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Monitoring greenhouse gases from biofuel crops


Published Jan 13, 2015
FTIR measures Effects Of Nitrification Inhibitor In Soil
FTIR measures Effects Of Nitrification Inhibitor In Soil

Global issues such as climate change and energy security have driven rapid growth in renewable energy production - wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, hydro, biofuels etc. However, logically, each of these methods should deliver a net benefit in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, so researchers in the United States have employed portable FTIR analysers to study the GHG emissions of biomass production processes.

“It would be futile to manufacture biofuels in an attempt to mitigate climate change if the production process created more GHGs than were saved by using biofuels instead of fossil fuels,” says Dr. Joe Storlien from the Texas A&M University Department of Soil & Crop Sciences.

During the production of bioenergy crops, GHGs such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane are lost from the soil through both natural and managed biogeochemical processes, and the researchers were able to measure these gases by installing collars within field study plots.

Chambers of known volume were then fixed to the collars, and tubing connected the chambers to a Gasmet DX4030 multiparameter FTIR analyser which measured increases in gas concentrations inside the chambers’ headspaces over time (GHG diffusing out of the soil).




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