Soil carbon in life cycle assessment of bioenergy

Last changed: 12 April 2021

Changes in the soil carbon (C) content are an important part of the greenhouse gas emissions from bioenergy production. We will quantify the soil C increase in willow production and biogas systems, as well as suggest how soil C losses from straw harvest can be minimized.

Calculations was done with a soil C model and its results was used in life cycle assessment, where the resource use and environmental effects are quantified. Since soil C changes can be validated against long term field experiments, much better predictions can be made compared to other greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide and methane.

This project will give a more correct view of the greenhouse gas balance of bioenergy production on Swedish agricultural land, and show options to improve this balance.

Contact: Cecilia Sundberg


Ericsson, N., Nordberg, T., Sundberg, C., Ahlgren, S., Hansson, P.-A. (2014) Climate impact and energy efficiency from electricity generation through anaerobic digestion or direct combustion of short rotation coppice willow Öppnas i nytt fönster Applied Energy, 132, pp. 86-98. doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.06.049

Hammar, T., Ericsson, N., Sundberg, C., Hansson, P.-A. (2014) Climate Impact of Willow Grown for Bioenergy in Sweden. BioEnergy Research. Article in Press. doi: 10.1007/s12155-014-9490-0

Ericsson, N., Porsö, C., Ahlgren, S., Nordberg, Å., Sundberg, C. and Hansson, P.-A. (2013) Time-dependent climate impact of a bioenergy system – methodology development and application to Swedish conditions.Öppnas i nytt fönster GCB Bioenergy, 5: 580–590. doi: 10.1111/gcbb.12031

Hammar, T., Sundberg, C., Ericsson, N., Hansson, P.-A (2014)  Climate Impacts of Bioenergy Produced from Willow Grown in Sweden Öppnas i nytt fönster. Conference proccedings. 22nd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition. doi: 10.5071/22ndEUBCE2014-1DO.1.5