Integration of bioenergy systems into UK agriculture-New options for management of nitrogen flows
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2013

The large flow of reactive nitrogen (N) through agriculture causes negative environmental impacts, pointing to a need for changes in agricultural practices. At the same time, agriculture is expected to provide biomass to support the increasing demand from the UK bioenergy sector. A high-level aggregated model of the agricultural system in the UK was developed, which maintains the existing level of food and livestock production and at the same time increases N recirculation. Integrating three different bioenergy sub-systems into the agricultural system was an essential component of the model development. Cellulosic bioenergy crops were located in the landscape as vegetation filters to intercept and capture N and thereby reduce N leaching. Efficient collection and digestion of manure produced organic N fertiliser and biogas. Efficient forage production for cattle allowed further cultivation of bioenergy plants. Five implementation scenarios were developed to clarify the contribution of these bioenergy sub-systems to improved N management. The results point to a significant potential for improving the productive use of reactive N and for decreasing N losses to water and air. The interception and recirculation of N presently leaching from arable fields is assessed as the most important option. It is also important to increase recirculation of N in manure and in bioenergy system by-flows. Besides mitigating the environmental impacts of agriculture these measures reduce the requirements for newly synthesised N fertilisers. A systems perspective on N, agriculture, and bioenergy systems facilitates N recirculation and promotes effective N use, reducing the need for additional N inputs.

Nitrogen

Environment

Agriculture

Bioenergy

Recirculation

Land use

Författare

Sara Alongi Skenhall

Chalmers, Energi och miljö, Fysisk resursteori

Göran Berndes

Chalmers, Energi och miljö, Fysisk resursteori

J. Woods

Imperial College London

Biomass and Bioenergy

0961-9534 (ISSN)

Vol. 54 219-226

Ämneskategorier

Industriell bioteknik

DOI

10.1016/j.biombioe.2013.04.002