Biofuel Crop Production Potential in Scotland. Dr Elaine Booth SAC

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1 Biofuel Crop Production Potential in Scotland Dr Elaine Booth SAC

2 Outline of talk Drivers for bioenergy development Feedstock crops currently used for biofuel Environmental considerations Second generation biofuel crops for Scotland Particularly reed canary grass and Camelina Conclusions

3 Drivers for bioenergy development UK aim - 15% of all energy from renewables by 2020, made up as follows: Electricity 30% renewables Heat 12% renewables Transport (road and rail) 10% renewables Biofuels are currently the best way to decrease our carbon emissions from transport NNFCC, 2011

4 Current biofuel types Bioethanol - petrol substitute / additive from starch/sugar crops, eg cereals, potatoes, sugar beet Biodiesel - diesel substitute / additive from oil crops, used cooking oil, tallow As blends, both can be used in unmodified engines Means of establishing biofuel in the market Blending sustainable biofuels with petrol and diesel offers the most commercially viable way to reduce carbon emissions over next 20 years Shell, 2012

5 Biodiesel production from oilseed rape in Scotland Biodiesel from oilseed rape viewed as better option for production in Scotland than bioethanol from cereals Oilseed rape production in Scotland highest average yields in Europe high oil content due to northerly latitude and temperate conditions However, currently - no crusher in Scotland, but rapeseed (and cereals) exported for the production of biofuel in the UK and elsewhere

6 Small scale production of biodiesel Possibility for local fuel production? Equipment available and small scale production technically possible Look carefully at costs May be worthwhile for some: Ready market for biodiesel Utilise meal on-farm Use existing buildings/labour In area where diesel, feed particularly expensive Straight Vegetable Oil (less processing as no esterification to biodiesel) lower costs of production more suited to small scale? 6

7 Environmental considerations biofuel in the UK UK biofuel gives 57% greenhouse gas savings compared to fossil fuels Energy balance: Biodiesel 2-3 units out:1 unit in Bioethanol 1-2 units out:1 unit in From established crop rotation little impact on biodiversity Quality Assurance systems in place enables traceability etc

8 Future liquid biofuels wish list Greater environmental benefits Less food vs. fuel conflict Continue to fit with current petrol/diesel systems (in medium term) Potential solutions Second generation liquid biofuels e.g. liquid biofuels from woody biomass technology not yet commercially viable New biofuel crops

9 Biomass crops key features Perennial many years production for each establishment Tend to have lower input requirements Considerably improves energy balance Bioethanol from perennials has good energy balance (20 to 30:1) Biomass crop examples Short Rotation Coppice willow Miscanthus more suited to southern UK Short Rotation Forestry several tree species at trial stage All expensive to establish Represent a long term land use change 9

10 Reed Canary Grass a biomass crop better suited to Scotland Agronomic advantages Established from seed relatively cheap Establish and harvest with conventional equipment Good winter hardiness, resistant to both drought and water logging Low nutrient requirement

11 New biofuel crop: Camelina sativa Known as gold of pleasure / false flax / Siberian oilseed Mediterranean origin, from Brassicacae family Cold hardy Drought tolerant Low input annual crop: Low fertiliser Minimal pesticide Can grown on marginal land Increasing interest in parts of US and Canada

12 Camelina aviation fuel Camelina derived biofuel blended 50:50 with aviation fuel Successfully tested by many commercial airlines (e.g. KLM, Japan Airlines) and US Navy, Air Force Camelina based jet fuel reduced net emissions by 84% (Michigan Technological University) and perform as well/slightly better than fossil fuel Global demand for aviation fuel for passenger flights is 40 Bn gallons in long term, biofuels could replace 40 70% of fuels in commercial aviation (Boeing)

13 Camelina in Scotland Studied by SAC in EU project considering low input oilseed for Northern Europe Both winter and spring Camelina grew successfully Lower nutrient requirement than other oilseeds Lower cost of growing and possibly lesser environmental impact However, yield compared to other oilseeds is lower Potential for breeding/agronomic improvement

14 Conclusions Biofuel crop potential in Scotland Biodiesel and bioethanol are obtained from oilseed rape and cereals and can be used in current engines Agronomy of these crops is well known and they are well suited to Scotland Environmental and food vs. fuel issues limits use Development of techniques to enable the production of liquid biofuels from biomass will lead to use of various perennial crops with environmental advantages Reed canary grass is well suited to Scotland Camelina has much potential as an aviation biofuel and trials have indicated it grows well in Scotland

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