Agricultural residue production and potentials for energy and materials services.

Agricultural residues are potentially major contributors of resources for energy and material production. We provide regional and global estimates of the amount of residues from major crops and address the sources of uncertainty in the estimation of the amount of agricultural residues produced globally. Data and methods available currently limit the use of resource estimates for energy or production planning. We develop function based multipliers to estimate the global production of agricultural residues. The multipliers are applied to the production of the, on a global scale, six most important crops: barley, maize, rice, soybean, sugar cane and wheat in 227 countries and territories of the world. We find a global production of residues from these six crops of View the MathML source Pg dry matter yr-1. North and South America, Eastern, South-Eastern and Southern Asia and Eastern Europe each produce more than 200 Tg yr-1. The theoretical energy potential from the selected crop residues is estimated to 65 EJ yr-1 corresponding to 15% of the global primary energy consumption or 66% of the world's energy consumption for transport. Development towards high input agriculture can increase the global residue production by ~1.3 Pg dry matter yr-1.