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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal AgroParisTech université Paris-Saclay

Welcome to ECOSYS

UMR ECOSYS - Ecologie fonctionnelle et écotoxicologie des agroécosystèmes

IMproved Assessment of the Greenhouse gas balance of bioeNErgy pathways - the IMAGINE project

IMAGINE is a joint project between INRA, AgroParisTech and LSCE on the N2O emissions from ecosystems and the consequences on the life-cycle assessments of bioenergy pathways.


Controversy is brewing about the potential greenhouse gas (GHG) savings resulting from the displacement of fossil energy sources by bioenergy, which mostly hinges on the uncertainty on the magnitude of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions by cultivated soils. The life-cycle GHG budget of bioenergy pathways are indeed strongly conditioned by these emissions, as related to fertilizer nitrogen inputs during feedstock growth.
This project aims at improving the estimation of N2O emissions from local to regional scales (ie integrated on the feedstock supply area of a bioenergy unit), using biophysical ecosystem models and measurements and modeling of atmospheric N2O in the greater Paris basin. The ecosystem models (in particular for agro-ecosystems) will be parameterized and tested against existing plot-scale data sets and data specifically collected for the purpose of this project on a range of species (annual and perennial). They will be then extrapolated to produce N2O emission maps utilizable by chemistry-transport atmospheric models, from regional to global scales. These models will make it possible to test the ' bottom-up' emission maps, by comparison with the atmospheric measurements carried out on 3 stations in northern France with various catchment sizes, and to obtain independent 'top-down' esimations.
The emissions of N2O, as integrated at the regional scale, will be used in a life-cycle assessment of representative bioenergy pathways (biofuels, and combined heat and power generation). Effects related to direct land-use changes (and their impact on soil carbon stocks) will be also included in the assessment, based on land-use projections as driven by bioenergy implementation scenarios in France.

Link to the project web site


UMR EGC INRA AgroParisTech, Grignon


UR Sols, INRA, Orléans,

Ferme AgroParisTech, Grignon


Fondation Tuck/ENERBIO

See also

Recent publications or projects on similar topics:

Gabrielle, B. & Gagnaire, N. Life-cycle assessment of straw use in bio-ethanol production: a case-study based on deterministic modelling. Biomass and Bioenergy, 2008, 32, 431-441.

Rolland, M.-N., Gabrielle, B., Laville, P., Cellier, P., Beekmann, M., Gilliot, J.-M.; Michelin, J., Hadjar, D. & Curci, G. Biophysical modelling of NO emissions from agricultural soils in northern France for use in regional chemistry-transport modelling Environ. Pollution (in press), 2009.

Lehuger, S., Gabrielle, B., van Oijen, M., Makowski, D., Germon, J.-C., Morvan, T. & Hénault, C. Bayesian calibration of the nitrous oxide emission module of an agro-ecosystem model Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 2009, 133, 208 - 222.

The ECOBIOM project on the assessment of biomass feedstock supply at the sub-regional scale, and its environmental impacts.