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Southampton scientists to help create a sustainable energy system for the UK
Date:5/20/2011

on team will address the current uncertainties measuring how these energy crops take up carbon dioxide, how much of that is locked up in crop and soil, and how much is released back to the environment.

Dr Matthew Tallis, environmental plant biologist from the University of Southampton, says: "We will achieve this by instrumenting a real commercial energy crop field in Oxfordshire and collect data on carbon flux continuously, over the duration of the project. We have very little idea on how these new second generation crops impact on the net balance of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and they could be a significant improvement compared to land use for other purposes, including arable and grassland crops."

The data will be utilised in bioenergy crop yield models to assess how much carbon captured by the energy crop can be utilised for energy purposes and how much may be held in long-term pools of carbon in the soil or 'sequestered.

In a second project, the nine-month long 835,000 Biomass Systems Value Chain Modelling project, Southampton researchers will focus on estimating the current and future supply of biomass for the UK market, given constraints such as conflict with food, or the nature conservation value of the land, or where other ecosystem services might be negatively affected. In addition, the results of this research will be linked to current scenarios for UK climate change and biomass supply will be predicted forward to 2020 and 2050.

These two projects will help to inform several on-going policy developments for future bioenergy deployment in the UK, with the overall aim to move towards a low carbon economy with a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 80 per cent by 2050.

The ETI is a public/private partnership tasked with developing "mass-scale" technologies that will help the UK meet its 2020 and 2050 energy targets. Akira Kirton, the Technology Strategy Manager of the ETI, who launched the proj
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Contact: Glenn Harris
G.Harris@soton.ac.uk
44-238-059-3212
University of Southampton
Source:Eurekalert

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