*Berkeley Lab scientist analyzes role of bioenergy crops to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere*
Berkeley Lab's Christer Jansson hopes to get scientists thinking about new ways to use bioenergy crops to fight climate change. Image credit: Berkeley Lab
A blade of grass destined to be converted into biofuel may join energy efficiency and other big-ticket strategies in the effort to reduce atmospheric carbon — but not in the way that you might think.
In addition to offsetting fossil-fuel emissions, a potential bioenergy plant such as the grass Miscanthus could also snare carbon from the atmosphere and trap it in the soil for millennia.
Sounds promising. But should scientists genetically engineer bioenergy crops to be better at ridding the atmosphere of the greenhouse gas? And can this strategy take place on the scale needed to mitigate climate change?
These questions are framed in a new analysis by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Christer Jansson and researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Their research, published in the October issue of Bioscience, explores ways in which bioenergy crops can become a big player in the drive to rein in rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The authors hope to get others thinking about engineering plants to not only produce biofuel, but to also sequester carbon. (more…)