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Impact of poplar bioenergy cultivation on ozone and volatile organic compound emissions (SRF-OZO)
Start date: Nov 1, 2014, End date: Oct 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The need for renewable energy sources to meet EU Directive 2009/28/EC is expected to lead to a considerable expansion in the planting of dedicated fast-growing biomass crops managed as Short Rotation Forestry (SRF). Among them Poplar (Populus spp) is currently the most widely planted SRF species and thus an increase in large-scale SRF poplar plantations might be expected. Poplars are characterized by a considerably high isoprene emission coefficient, and are susceptible to ozone pollution. In this project we will – for the first time – simultaneously measure the fluxes of Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (BVOCs), ozone (O3), and NOx emission in combination with the greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4 and N2O). All these flux measurements will be made in an SRF poplar plantation located in Lochristi (Belgium) using the eddy covariance technique. The primary objectives of the project are: (i) to quantify the NOx, BVOC and O3 emissions at leaf and ecosystem levels, and (ii) to identify the environmental variables that drive these fluxes. The data obtained will be used to parameterize the CTM LOTOS-EUROS and the CTMs Chemical Transport models. Model simulations will reveal the potential impact of large-scale biomass plantations on isoprene emissions, and consequently on ozone air pollution at the European level. The study will also quantify the Global Warming Potential of poplar SRF and the carbon offset that could be achieved with the bioenergy produced. This project will establish a scientific collaboration with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) of the US Department of Energy to share data and write joint publications."

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