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Consequential life cycle assessment of miscanthus livestock bedding, diverting straw to bioelectricity generation

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dc.contributor.author Yesufu, Jalil
dc.contributor.author McCalmont, Jon P.
dc.contributor.author Clifton‐Brown, John C.
dc.contributor.author Williams, Prysor
dc.contributor.author Hyland, John
dc.contributor.author Gibbons, James
dc.contributor.author Styles, David
dc.date.accessioned 2020-09-15T11:37:00Z
dc.date.available 2020-09-15T11:37:00Z
dc.date.issued 2020
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/9218
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Straw is an important livestock bedding material facing increasing demand for alternative uses in Europe and is often transported long distances from arable to livestock regions. Alternative bedding materials cultivated directly on livestock farms could potentially avoid this transport and competition for use. For the first time, we applied consequential life cycle assessment (LCA) to account for the direct and indirect implications of miscanthus bedding production on livestock farms, considering displacement of fodder or livestock, and substitution of fossil fuels with straw in electricity generation. We modelled the effect of substituting straw with ‘home‐grown’ miscanthus bedding across seven beef and sheep farms. The consequences of displacing grass forage (or animal) production with homegrown miscanthus bedding cultivation were evaluated via three farmer decision scenarios: buy extra concentrate feed (D1), utilize remaining pasture areas more efficiently (D2) and buy grass silage (D3). Electricity generated from displaced straw (bedding) substituted either natural gas or coal electricity. Sensitivity analyses were undertaken using 34 scenario permutations to represent combinations of feed and electricity substitution, miscanthus fertilization rates and yields, and the quality of displaced pasture. Consequential LCA indicates that miscanthus bedding production could be environmentally beneficial, under scenarios involving D2 and D3. However, greenhouse gas emissions and wider environmental burdens may be increased under D1 scenarios, owing to the environmental cost of additional concentrate feed production, and possible indirect land use change, outweighing the benefits from: (a) fossil electricity substitution with straw bioelectricity; (b) reduced animal emissions via improved digestibility of concentrate feed; (c) avoided straw transport. The ratio of the yield of miscanthus to replaced grass was found to be a critical determinant of D1 environmental outcomes. We conclude that if grass forage production can be better managed, the use of miscanthus as a bedding material on livestock farms provides environmental benefits via diversion of straw to bioenergy use. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Wiley and Sons Ltd en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries GCB Bioenergy;12 (1), pp. 39-53
dc.relation.uri https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12646
dc.subject livestock bedding en_US
dc.subject bioelectricity energy en_US
dc.title Consequential life cycle assessment of miscanthus livestock bedding, diverting straw to bioelectricity generation en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.date.updated 2020-09-15T11:14:47Z
dc.description.version PUBLISHED
dc.identifier.doi 10.1111/gcbb.12646
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US
dc.internal.rssid 2961546
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes
dc.identifier.journaltitle GCB Bioenergy
dc.description.status peer-reviewed


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