Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Solutions to climate change: Using trees and grasses to capture carbon and produce energy

Date:
January 29, 2010
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
A unique research project in the UK is investigating how coppiced trees and grass crops can be used both to generate renewable energy and to trap carbon in the soil over the long term.

A unique 1.1 million research project is investigating how coppiced trees and grass crops can be used both to generate renewable energy and to trap carbon in the soil over the long term.

Led by Professor Gail Taylor, an expert on plants and the environment at the University of Southampton, a team of scientists across the UK will track the path of carbon, captured by plants and grasses through the process of photosynthesis, as it flows through the plant to the soil, which is inhabited by micro-organisms, before becoming locked into organic matter in the soil in which the plant is growing.

The team will also compare the process with that of arable food crops, such as wheat, and will test the idea that the 'bioenergy' crops are better at stimulating long-term retention of soil carbon.

Unlike existing food crops that are harvested after just a few months, trees and grasses can spend decades growing before they are harvested and release their trapped CO2, making the process more effective.

"Scientists now believe that CO2 is an important greenhouse gas and a major cause of climate change, so it's vital we develop ways of removing it from the atmosphere," comments Professor Gail Taylor, of the University's School of Biological Sciences.

"Using trees and grasses is an efficient and cost-effective way of doing this, whilst providing a source of energy and off-setting CO2 emissions from equivalent fossil fuels. Our research has already shown that bioenergy crops could potentially reduce carbon emissions by several million tonnes in the UK over the next decade."

'Carbon opportunity' maps will be developed to identify the optimum areas of the countryside in which bioenergy crops could most effectively be grown. The crops could then be combusted alongside coal in power stations to produce electricity, producing fewer CO2 emissions than fossil fuels, or used in heating systems.

"In the future, bioenergy crops could be turned into liquid fuels such as bioethanol, avoiding the conflict between food and fuel when grain crops are used for these purposes," adds Professor Taylor.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Solutions to climate change: Using trees and grasses to capture carbon and produce energy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127110421.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2010, January 29). Solutions to climate change: Using trees and grasses to capture carbon and produce energy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127110421.htm
University of Southampton. "Solutions to climate change: Using trees and grasses to capture carbon and produce energy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127110421.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

AP (Aug. 26, 2014) Researchers at UC Berkeley are testing a prototype of an earthquake early warning system that California is pursuing years after places like Mexico and Japan already have them up and running. (August 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brazil Tries Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Dengue

Brazil Tries Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Dengue

AFP (Aug. 25, 2014) A factory in the industrial state of Sao Paulo produces genetically modified mosquitoes to fight dengue, a deadly tropical disease more prevalent in Brazil than anywhere else in the world. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Prime Minister at Japan Landslide Site

Raw: Prime Minister at Japan Landslide Site

AP (Aug. 25, 2014) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Hiroshima on Monday as rescuers expanded their search for dozens still missing from landslides around the western Japanese city that killed at least 50 people. (Aug. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins