Publication Details

Title : Modeling state-level soil carbon emission factors under various scenarios for direct land use change associated with United States biofuel feedstock production
Publication Date : March 01, 2013
Publication Journal :
Authors : H Kwon, S Mueller, JB Dunn, M Wander
Abstract : Current estimates of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels produced in the US can be improved by refining soil C emission factors (EF; C emissions per land area per year) for direct land use change associated with different biofuel feedstock scenarios. We developed a modeling framework to estimate these EFs at the state-level by utilizing remote sensing data, national statistics databases, and a surrogate model for CENTURY's soil organic C dynamics submodel (SCSOC). We estimated the forward change in soil C concentration within the 0-30 cm depth and computed the associated EFs for the 2011 to 2040 period for croplands, grasslands or pasture/hay, croplands/conservation reserve, and forests that were suited to produce any of four possible biofuel feedstock systems [corn (Zea Mays L)-corn, corn-corn with stover harvest, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L), and miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deuter)]. Our results predict smaller losses or even modest gains in sequestration for corn based systems, particularly on existing croplands, than previous efforts and support assertions that production of perennial grasses will lead to negative emissions in most situations and that conversion of forest or established grasslands to biofuel production would likely produce net emissions. The proposed framework and use of the SCSOC provide transparency and relative simplicity that permit users to easily modify model inputs to inform biofuel feedstock production targets set forth by policy.