Abstract

Biofuels have been proposed as an ecologically benign alternative to fossil fuels. There is, however, considerable uncertainty in the scientific literature about their ecological benefit. Here, we review studies that apply life-cycle analysis (LCA), a computational tool for assessing the efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) impact of energy systems, to biofuel feedstocks. Published values for energy efficiency and GHG differ significantly even for an individual species, and we identify three major sources of variation in these LCA results. By providing new information on biogeochemistry and plant physiology, ecologists and plant scientists can increase the accuracy of LCA for biofuel production systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

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life cycle assessment
biofuels
greenhouse gases
ecology
biogeochemistry
plant physiology
fossil fuels
energy efficiency
ecologists
feedstocks
production technology
uncertainty
energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

Cite this

Life-cycle analysis and the ecology of biofuels. / Davis, Sarah C.; Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J.; Delucia, Evan H.

In: Trends in Plant Science, Vol. 14, No. 3, 01.03.2009, p. 140-146.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Davis, Sarah C. ; Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J. ; Delucia, Evan H. / Life-cycle analysis and the ecology of biofuels. In: Trends in Plant Science. 2009 ; Vol. 14, No. 3. pp. 140-146.
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