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Tyndall Manchester

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New paper on 'Environmental trade-offs associated with bioenergy from agri-residues in sub-tropical regions: a case study of the Colombian coffee sector'

23 July 2020

The paper evaluates the environmental impacts that can derive from coffee stems gasification in small-scale gasifiers-CHP systems

Published by Dr. Samira Garcia Freites and co-authored with researchers from Aston University, Dr Mirjam Röder and Professor Patricia Thornley, the paper shows how the deployment of coffee stem gasification-CHP systems can result in net reductions of greenhouse gas emissions of up to 68%, and particulate matter formation up to 98%, mainly when replacing coffee stem cookstoves and diesel-based electricity. Despite the positive impact on GHGs emissions and particulate matter, replacing grid electricity could also result in negative impacts due to the low-carbon intensity of the grid electricity in Colombia, which is largely sourced from hydropower plants.

The results also show the relevance of understanding the environmental performance of bioenergy systems compared to reference scenarios. The paper evaluates and identifies environmental trade-offs from modern bioenergy implementations, to illustrate how to maximise benefits and minimise the limitations of these systems. It is also relevant to consider region-specific policy agendas on climate change, health and ecosystem services to steer decision making on sustainable bioenergy systems.

coffee plant

Understanding the interface between environmental impact categories is essential, to maximise benefits and minimise negative impacts of bioenergy and the replacement of current biomass uses.

Read the full paper at the link below: 

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