In a world having been being building increasing atmospheric -stock due to exceeding the bio- and maritime –sphere’s Carbon-metabolism capacity no use of Carbon resulting in discharging Carbon to atmosphere can be viewed Carbon-neutral. The only sustainability-measure that could make sense is Carbon Efficiency.
The myth of holding biomass out as a Carbon-neutral fuel has led to some very unsustainable practices, such as transcontinental biomass or biofuel trade, displacing not only calorific low Carbon Efficiency potentials from e.g. tropical climate zones, but leading to Carbon depletion and eluviation of soil by exports of the nutrients from one climate zone to others. It almost appears like a renaissance of colonial business models. But many regimes have not only followed but accelerated its dissemination by providing subsidies!
Looking at global total end of lifecycle Carbon accrual the world would need to introduce common standards for how to use such renewable Carbon resources:
Since Carbon Efficiency of burning Natural Gas is more than 2 times better than burning biomass the later should never be used for secondary energy recovery only. Accelerated decomposed organic waste or biomass on the other hand is a much better refinery feedstock than crude oil on the other hand.
So Carbon Efficiency is all about wisely using and re-using Carbon sources for the right applications. Subsidies enticing biochemical secondary energy recovery from quite small fractioned uncontaminated unstructured biomass unfortunately do the opposite. Because we need to ensure protection of sufficient soil replenishment. Greedy energy recovery, whether for chemical- or secondary energy from substrates predestined for storing Carbon and microbial nitrogen should not be mindlessly exploited for energy. So out of the total 4 billion tonnes renewable Carbon shown in above picture only 60% deem adequate for bio-refining. The rest should always go into compost.
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