An environmental and economic evaluation of pyrolysis for energy generation in Taiwan with endogenous land greenhouse gases emissions. Academic Article uri icon


  • Taiwan suffers from energy insecurity and the threat of potential damage from global climate changes. Finding ways to alleviate these forces is the key to Taiwan's future social and economic development. This study examines the economic and environmental impacts when ethanol, conventional electricity and pyrolysis-based electricity are available alternatives. Biochar, as one of the most important by-product from pyrolysis, has the potential to provide significant environmental benefits. Therefore, alternative uses of biochar are also examined in this study. In addition, because planting energy crops would change the current land use pattern, resulting in significant land greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, this important factor is also incorporated. Results show that bioenergy production can satisfy part of Taiwan's energy demand, but net GHG emissions offset declines if ethanol is chosen. Moreover, at high GHG price conventional electricity and ethanol will be driven out and pyrolysis will be a dominant technology. Fast pyrolysis dominates when ethanol and GHG prices are low, but slow pyrolysis is dominant at high GHG price, especially when land GHG emissions are endogenously incorporated. The results indicate that when land GHG emission is incorporated, up to 3.8 billion kWh electricity can be produced from fast pyrolysis, while up to 2.2 million tons of CO2 equivalent can be offset if slow pyrolysis is applied.

published proceedings

  • Int J Environ Res Public Health

author list (cited authors)

  • Kung, C., McCarl, B. A., & Chen, C.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Kung, Chih-Chun||McCarl, Bruce A||Chen, Chi-Chung

publication date

  • March 2014