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Plant chemistry associated dynamic modelling to enhance urban vegetation carbon sequestration potential via bioenergy harvesting

Chan, Ka-Lai, Dong, Chengyu, Wong, Man Sing, Kim, Lee-Hyung, Leu, Shao-Yuan
Journal of cleaner production 2018 v.197 pp. 1084-1094
algorithms, best management practices, biofuels, biomass, carbon sequestration, carbon sinks, chemical composition, cities, dynamic models, energy, fossil fuels, harvesting, plant biochemistry, plant growth, shrubs, simulation models, spices, sustainable development, trees, vegetation
Urban vegetation is a critical element to achieve sustainable development of highly populated cities. Plants can fix and store carbon in the biomass, and can also be used as an energy source in substituting fossil fuels. In this study, we introduced a new dynamic model to simulate the carbon sequestration potential of urban greening facilities. This model was developed using plant-specific data measured from a typical urban rain garden. Field data and biomass samples were analyzed to calculate the carbon stocks of 7 herb, 7 shrub and 6 tree species. Biomass samples of representative tree species were collected for measurement of tree height, trunk diameter, and total biomass for validating the needed simulation coefficients. The new parameters obtained from chemical composition analyses were included in the model to better describe the bioenergy potentials of various plants species. The proposed model provides a general algorithm which is universally applicable for simulating plant growth and carbon sequestration potential for different plant spices combinations and management practices. The best management practices can be achieved through maximization of growing capacity of plants and bioenergy harvesting. The simulation results suggested that the maximum carbon sequestration potential of the studied urban rain garden can increase from 6.7 kg m−2 to 14.7 kg m−2 through harvesting and converting the plant-derived biomass into biofuels.