[NEWS] Study: Biofuels Increase Net Carbon Emissions
– by John Raphael, August 26, 2016, Nature World News
A new study revealed that that the increasing biofuel use in the U.S. has led to the net increase in carbon dioxide emissions, despite previous studies suggesting that biofuel is carbon neutral.
The study, published in the journal Climatic Change, debunked all previous carbon footprint models based on lifecycle analysis that were used to develop the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which resulted to the expansion of biofuel use over the past decade. These carbon footprint models showed that crop-based biofuels offer at least modest net greenhouse gas reductions relative to petroleum fuels.
The belief that biofuel is carbon neutral was made because plants absorb carbon dioxide as they grow. Due to this, the carbon dioxide produced when burning fuels from crops should be balanced by their carbon dioxide uptake when they grow.
However, using crop-production data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Annual Basis Carbon (ABC) accounting method, the researchers discovered that the carbon dioxide uptake of crops used for biofuels can only upset 37 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from biofuel combustion from 2005 to 2013.