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Economics Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 315787, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/315787
Research Article

Induced Land Use Emissions due to First and Second Generation Biofuels and Uncertainty in Land Use Emission Factors

Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2056, USA

Received 4 December 2012; Revised 20 February 2013; Accepted 7 March 2013

Academic Editor: Amani Elobeid

Copyright © 2013 Farzad Taheripour and Wallace E. Tyner. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Much research has estimated induced land use changes (ILUCs) and emissions for first generation biofuels. Relatively little has provided estimates for the second generation biofuels. This paper estimates ILUC emissions for the first and second generation biofuels. Estimated ILUC emissions are uncertain not only because their associated land use changes are uncertain, but also because of uncertainty in the land use emission factors (EFs). This paper also examines uncertainties related to these factors. The results suggest that converting crop residues to biofuel has no significant ILUC emissions, but that is not the case for dedicated energy crops. Use of dedicated energy crops transfers managed natural land and marginal land (cropland-pasture) to crop production. Producing biogasoline from miscanthus generates the lowest land requirement among alterative pathways. The largest land requirement is associated with switchgrass. The difference is due largely to the assumed yields of switchgrass and miscanthus. The three major conclusions from uncertainty in emissions analyses are (1) inclusion or exclusion of cropland-pasture makes a huge difference; (2) changes in soil carbon sequestration due to changes in land cover vegetation play an important role; and (3) there is wide divergence among the emission factor sources, especially for dedicated crop conversion to ethanol.