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Greenhouse gasses from oilseed rape cultivation – evaluation and mitigation

PhD defence, Wednesday 22 January 2020. Henrik Thers.

2020.01.22 | Sunitha Satkunam

Henrik Thers

During his studies, Henrik Thers investigated greenhouse gas emissions from winter oilseed rape cultivation for biodiesel purposes. The sustainability of biodiesel highly depends on the climate impact of the cultivation step, which is dominated by nitrous oxide emissions. Thus, it is important to quantify the nitrous oxide emissions and to search for mitigation options. In addition, it was examined whether pyrolysis of the oilseed rape straw residue and field application of the resulting biochar potentially reduced the overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Henrik Thers monitored nitrous oxide emissions from annual field experiments at two locations, and conducted a life cycle assessment of Danish oilseed rape cultivation with and without inclusion of pyrolysis and biochar field application. The resulting cumulated nitrous oxide emissions turned out to be lesser than expected – especially those related to the N fertilizer. The life cycle assessment revealed that a substantial greenhouse gas reduction could be achieved by biochar field application due to carbon sequestration.

The PhD degree was completed at the Department of Agroecology, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Wednesday 22 January 2020 at 10.00
Place: Building 8814, room 3075, Auditorium, AU Foulum, Aarhus University
Title of PhD thesis: Greenhouse gas emissions and potential mitigation options in relation to winter oilseed rape cultivation for biodiesel
Contact information: Henrik Thers, e-mail: thers@agro.au.dk, tel.: +45 20620220
Members of the assessment committee:
Senior Scientist Gerardus Lambertus Velthof, Wageningen Environmental Research, Subdivision Sustainable Soil Use, Wageningen Agricultural University, the Netherlands
Senior Researcher Maria Luz Cayuela García, Department of Soil and Water Conservation & Waste Management, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain
Professor with special responsibilities Mathias Neumann Andersen, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University (chair)
Main supervisor:
Associate professor Lars Elsgaard, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University
Professor Søren O. Petersen, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University
Researcher Marie Trydeman Knudsen, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1521, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
12183 / i43