Science Frontier

Sino-European cooperative research paper published on Nature Communications

Apr 29, 2021

Recently, tutors of the China-EU Institute for Clean and Renewable Energy (abbreviated as ICARE) have published another Sino-European Cooperative Research Paper, Prospective contributions of biomass pyrolysis to China’s 2050 carbon reduction and renewable energy goals, on Nature Communications, March 16 (Link:

The primary affiliation of this paper is Huazhong University of Science and Technology, while the co-first authors are Professor Yang Qing and her Ph.D student Zhou Hewen. The corresponding authors are Professor Yang Qing, Professor Chen Hanping of State Key Laboratory of Coal Combustion and Professor M.B. McElroy of School of Engineering of Harvard University. Dr. Pietro Bartocci, the European tutor of ICARE, is the third author. The research team has united the experts from Harvard University, Perugia University, Edinburgh University, Utah State University, Tsinghua University and Peking University. This study explores the contribution of biomass based negative carbon technology to China's simultaneous achievement of carbon neutral and renewable energy goals (Figure 1).


Recognizing that bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) may still take years to mature, this study focuses on another photosynthesis-based, negative-carbon technology that is closer to implementation in China: biomass intermediate pyrolysis poly-generation (BIPP). Here we find that a BIPP system can be profitable without subsidies, while its national deployment could contribute to a 61% reduction of carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product in 2030, compared to 2005, and result additionally in a reduction in air pollutant emissions. With 73% of national crop residues used between 2020 and 2030, the cumulative greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction could reach up to 8620 Mt CO2-eq by 2050, contributing 13–31% of the global GHG emission reduction goal for BECCS, and nearly 4555 Mt more than that projected for BECCS alone in China. Thus, China’s BIPP deployment could have an important influence on achieving both national and global GHG emissions reduction targets.


Professor Yang Qing has published more than 40 SCI papers as the first author / corresponding author in important journals, including more than 30 regional journals, more than 20 SSCI papers, 13 papers with an impact factor greater than 10, 3 highly cited papers of ESI, 1 hot paper, h index 28, and has been cited  2165 times.

She is an IPCC expert reviewer and reviewer of Joule, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Applied Energy, Energy, Journal of Cleaner Production, Energy & Fuels, etc. She is a member of the International Institute of Energy Economics (IAEE) and the International Society for System Dynamics (SDA).

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Since 2015, Dr. Pietro Bartocci has been a visiting professor of ICARE, teaching Energy Economy and LCA and Energy Policy & Management, and completing the European thesis guidance for 16 graduates.

So far, he has published 73 SCI papers as the first author / corresponding author in important journals, among which 19 papers are published in one district, 4 papers with an impact factor greater than 10, H index 28, and cited 1373 times.

He is the chief editor of Energy Nexus, deputy editor of Fuel, member of Fuel Communication Advisory Committee, deputy editor of Energy Ecology and Environment, member of editorial board of Processes. In 2021, he won the Marie Curie individual scholarship.

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Ms. Zhou Hewen was previously a master’s student of ICARE and is now a Ph.D student of the School of Energy and Power Engineering in Huazhong University of Science and Technology. She took her internship at University of Perugia from May 2019 to October 2019. She won the national scholarship, the third prize of the Internet + LCA Competition, and the second prize of First Renewable Energy Technology Competition.

At present, she has published 8 articles, including 2 SCI articles and 1 conference paper as the first or second author.

Source: China-EU Institute of Clean and Renewable Engergy

Edited: Scott, Peng Yumeng

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