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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/13334

Title: Phytoremediation, a sustainable remediation technology? II: Economic assessment of CO2 abatement through the use of phytoremediation crops for renewable energy production
Authors: Witters, N.
Mendelsohn, R.
Van Passel, S.
Van Slycken, S.
Weyens, N.
Schreurs, E.
Meers, E.
Tack, F.
Vanheusden, B.
Vangronsveld, J.
Issue Date: 2012
Citation: BIOMASS & BIOENERGY, 39, p. 470-477
Abstract: Phytoremediation could be a sustainable remediation alternative for conventional remediation technologies. However, its implementation on a commercial scale remains disappointing. To emphasize its sustainability, this paper examines whether and how the potential economic benefit of CO2 abatement for different crops used for phytoremediation or sustainable land management purposes could promote phytotechnologies. Our analysis is based on a case study in the Campine region, where agricultural soils are contaminated with mainly cadmium. We use Life Cycle Analysis to show for the most relevant crops (willow (Salix spp), energy maize (Zea mays), and rapeseed (Brassica napus)), that phytoremediation, used for renewable energy production, could abate CO2. Converting this in economic numbers through the Marginal Abatement Cost of CO2 (€ 20 ton−1) we can integrate this in the economic analysis to compare phytoremediation crops among each other, and phytoremediation with conventional technologies. The external benefit of CO2 abatement when using phytoremediation crops for land management ranges between € 55 and € 501 per hectare. The purpose of these calculations is not to calculate a subsidy for phytoremediation. There is no reason why one would prefer phytoremediation crops for renewable energy production over “normal” biomass. Moreover, subsidies for renewable energy already exist. Therefore, we should not integrate these numbers in the economic analysis again. However, these numbers could contribute to making explicit the competitive advantage of phytoremediation compared to conventional remediation technologies, but also add to a more sustainably funded decision on which crop should be grown on contaminated land.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/13334
DOI: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2011.11.017
ISI #: 000302829900054
ISSN: 0961-9534
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2013
Appears in Collections: Environmental Economics
Environmental Biology
Research Institute: Centre for Environmental Sciences
Economics and Public Policy
Centre for Government and Law

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