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International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 197–218 | Cite as

Primary productivity and the prospects for biofuels in the United Kingdom

  • G. J. Lawson
  • T. V. Callaghan
Article

Abstract

Estimates of land use and plant productivity are combined to predict total annual primary production in the UK as 252 million tonnes dry matter (10.5 t ha−1yr−1). Annual above ground production is predicted to be 165 Mt (6.9 t ha−1yr−1). Within these totals, intensive agriculture contributes 60%, productive woodland 8%, natural vegetation 26% and urban vegetation 5%.

However, only 25% of total plant production is cropped by man and animals, and most of this is subsequently discarded as wastes and residues. 2112 PJ of organic material is available for fuel without reducing food or fibre production, but since much of this could not be economically collected, 859 PJ is calculated as a more realistic biofuel contribution by the year 2000. After deducting 50% conversion losses, this could save P1 billion (1979 prices) in oil imports.

Short rotation energy plantations, forest residues, coppice woodlands, animal and crop wastes, industrial and domestic wastes, catch crops, natural vegetation and urban vegetation all have immediate or short term potential as biofuel sources. Sensitive planning is required to reduce environmental impact, but in some cases more diverse wildlife habitats may be created.

Keywords

Natural Vegetation Wildlife Habitat Short Rotation Catch Crop Forest Residue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Swets & Zeitlinger 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. J. Lawson
    • 1
  • T. V. Callaghan
    • 1
  1. 1.Merlewood Research StationInstitute of Terrestrial EcologyCumbria

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