WorldWideScience

Sample records for assessing biofuel crop

  1. Life cycle assessment of first-generation biofuels using a nitrogen crop model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallejones, P; Pardo, G; Aizpurua, A; del Prado, A

    2015-02-01

    This paper presents an alternative approach to assess the impacts of biofuel production using a method integrating the simulated values of a new semi-empirical model at the crop production stage within a life cycle assessment (LCA). This new approach enabled us to capture some of the effects that climatic conditions and crop management have on soil nitrous oxide (N₂O) emissions, crop yields and other nitrogen (N) losses. This analysis considered the whole system to produce 1 MJ of biofuel (bioethanol from wheat and biodiesel from rapeseed). Non-renewable energy use, global warming potential (GWP), acidification, eutrophication and land competition are considered as potential environmental impacts. Different co-products were handled by system expansion. The aim of this study was (i) to evaluate the variability due to site-specific conditions of climate and fertiliser management of the LCA of two different products: biodiesel from rapeseed and bioethanol from wheat produced in the Basque Country (Northern Spain), and (ii) to improve the estimations of the LCA impacts due to N losses (N₂O, NO₃, NH₃), normally estimated with unspecific emission factors (EFs), that contribute to the impact categories analysed in the LCA of biofuels at local scale. Using biodiesel and bioethanol derived from rapeseed and wheat instead of conventional diesel and gasoline, respectively, would reduce non-renewable energy dependence (-55%) and GWP (-40%), on average, but would increase eutrophication (42 times more potential). An uncertainty analysis for GWP impact showed that the variability associated with the prediction of the major contributor to global warming potential (soil N₂O) can significantly affect the results from the LCA. Therefore the use of a model to account for local factors will improve the precision of the assessment and reduce the uncertainty associated with the convenience of the use of biofuels. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Alternative Crops and Biofuel Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kenkel, Philip [Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK (United States); Holcomb, Rodney B. [Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK (United States)

    2013-03-01

    In order for the biofuel industry to meet the RFS benchmarks for biofuels, new feedstock sources and production systems will have to be identified and evaluated. The Southern Plains has the potential to produce over a billion gallons of biofuels from regionally produced alternative crops, agricultural residues, and animal fats. While information on biofuel conversion processes is available, it is difficult for entrepreneurs, community planners and other interested individuals to determine the feasibility of biofuel processes or to match production alternatives with feed stock availability and community infrastructure. This project facilitates the development of biofuel production from these regionally available feed stocks. Project activities are concentrated in five major areas. The first component focused on demonstrating the supply of biofuel feedstocks. This involves modeling the yield and cost of production of dedicated energy crops at the county level. In 1991 the DOE selected switchgrass as a renewable source to produce transportation fuel after extensive evaluations of many plant species in multiple location (Caddel et al,. 2010). However, data on the yield and cost of production of switchgrass are limited. This deficiency in demonstrating the supply of biofuel feedstocks was addressed by modeling the potential supply and geographic variability of switchgrass yields based on relationship of available switchgrass yields to the yields of other forage crops. This model made it possible to create a database of projected switchgrass yields for five different soil types at the county level. A major advantage of this methodology is that the supply projections can be easily updated as improved varieties of switchgrass are developed and additional yield data becomes available. The modeling techniques are illustrated using the geographic area of Oklahoma. A summary of the regional supply is then provided.

  3. Water for Food, Energy, and the Environment: Assessing Streamflow Impacts of Increasing Cellulosic Biofuel Crop Production in the Corn Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaeger, M. A.; Housh, M.; Ng, T.; Cai, X.; Sivapalan, M.

    2012-12-01

    hypothesis: what may benefit the human system (farms, refineries, cities) may damage the environment. The hydrological and optimization models will be run interactively, with the optimization model run for 10 years and the resulting land use solution then used in the SWAT hydrologic model to provide more detailed information on river/ecosystem impacts, which are assessed using low flow analysis. Problem areas highlighted by this analysis can be targeted by implementing flow requirements at different locations in the watershed; these constraints are then added to the optimization model which is run for another 10 years, and the new solution again analyzed in more detail to assess the effectiveness of the imposed environmental measures. Preliminary results show that under proposed subsidies and current crop prices, the percentage of land planted with Miscanthus will increase to environmentally unsustainable levels, but that implementing flow and water quality constraints can mitigate the damage to some extent. Moreover, tributary and mainstem subwatersheds in the Sangamon do not respond equally, even in this very homogenous region, and thus the spatial context is important for understanding the tradeoffs between economic and hydrologic benefits, which become increasingly important in creating sustainable biofuel production.

  4. [Biofuels, food security and transgenic crops].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, Orlando; Chaparro-Giraldo, Alejandro

    2009-01-01

    Soaring global food prices are threatening to push more poor people back below the poverty line; this will probably become aggravated by the serious challenge that increasing population and climate changes are posing for food security. There is growing evidence that human activities involving fossil fuel consumption and land use are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and consequently changing the climate worldwide. The finite nature of fossil fuel reserves is causing concern about energy security and there is a growing interest in the use of renewable energy sources such as biofuels. There is growing concern regarding the fact that biofuels are currently produced from food crops, thereby leading to an undesirable competition for their use as food and feed. Nevertheless, biofuels can be produced from other feedstocks such as lingo-cellulose from perennial grasses, forestry and vegetable waste. Biofuel energy content should not be exceeded by that of the fossil fuel invested in its production to ensure that it is energetically sustainable; however, biofuels must also be economically competitive and environmentally acceptable. Climate change and biofuels are challenging FAO efforts aimed at eradicating hunger worldwide by the next decade. Given that current crops used in biofuel production have not been domesticated for this purpose, transgenic technology can offer an enormous contribution towards improving biofuel crops' environmental and economic performance. The present paper critically presents some relevant relationships between biofuels, food security and transgenic plant technology.

  5. Assessing hydroclimate impacts of a large-scale perennial biofuel crop expansion over the continental United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, M.; Wagner, M.; Miguez-Macho, G.; Mahalov, A.; Georgescu, M.

    2013-12-01

    Perennial bioenergy crops are a potential alternative energy source to fossil fuels that could increase U.S. energy independence and mitigate anthropogenic climate change. Large-scale conversion of existing lands to perennial bioenergy crops has shown the potential to decrease near-surface temperatures but could cause unintended consequences on water resources via changes in soil moisture/groundwater depletion. Spatiotemporal analysis of long-term and extreme hydrological impacts remains limited but is necessary for examination of large-scale sustainable deployment of this alternative energy pathway. Here, we quantify hydroclimatic impacts associated with perennial bioenergy crop expansion (e.g., miscanthus or switchgrass) and examine simulated effects on magnitude and frequency of extreme events (i.e. heat waves and anomalous precipitation events). We conduct 10-year (2001-2010) U.S. continental scale simulations of baseline and perennial bioenergy crop expansion (based on recent assessments of abandoned and degraded cropland over the conterminous U.S.) using WRF coupled to a land surface model (LEAF-Hydro) at 20 km resolution. Time series analysis and spatial statistical methods are applied to quantify extreme hydroclimate frequency owing to biofuels expansion, investigated through groundwater table depth, soil moisture and energy partitioning change and variability, and consequential impacts on ET, temperature, and precipitation. A further quantification of intensity, duration and persistence of extreme hydroclimate events is made based on extreme value theory. This study demonstrates a framework of feedback assessment between land use/land cover change and water resources, as well as evaluating feasibility and long-term sustainability of large-scale deployment of perennial bioenergy crops across the continental U.S.

  6. A realistic meteorological assessment of perennial biofuel crop deployment: a southern Great Plains perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utility of perennial bioenergy crops (e.g., switchgrass and miscanthus) offer unique opportunities to transition toward a more sustainable energy pathway due to their reduced carbon footprint, averted competition with food crops, and ability to grow on abandoned and degraded farmlands. Studies that ...

  7. Energy crops for biofuel feedstocks: facts and recent patents on genetic manipulation to improve biofuel crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Suresh

    2013-12-01

    Burning fossil-fuels to meet the global energy requirements by human being has intensified the concerns of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. Therefore, serious efforts are required to develop nonfossil-based renewable energy sources. Plants are more efficient in utilizing solar energy to convert it into biomass which can be used as feedstocks for biofuel production. Hence with the increasing demands of energy and the needs of cost-effective, sustainable production of fuels, it has become necessary to switch over to plant biomass as a renewable source of energy. Biofuels derived from more sustainable biological materials such as lignocellulosic plant residues, considered as second generation biofuels, are more dependable. However, there are technical challenges such as pretreatment and hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass to convert it into fermentable sugars. Plant genetic engineering has already proven its potential in modifying cell wall composition of plants for enhancing the efficiency of biofuel production. Interest and potential in the area are very much evident from the growing number of patents in the recent years on the subject. In this review, recent trends in genetic engineering of energy crops for biofuel production have been introduced, and strategies for the future developments have been discussed.

  8. Trace Gas Exchange of Biofuel Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graus, M.; Warneke, C.; Williams, E. J.; Lerner, B. M.; Gilman, J. B.; Li, R.; Eller, A. S.; Gray, C.; Fierer, N.; Fall, R.; Harley, P. C.; Roberts, J. M.; Yuan, B.; Qian, Y.; Westra, P.; Fryrear, C.; Collins, M.; Whitman, K.; De Gouw, J. A.

    2011-12-01

    In 2010 leaf level gas exchange and VOC fluxes from switchgrass and corn grown at the CSU horticultural farm in Ft Collins (CO) were measured using a PTR-MS coupled to a modified Li6400 cuvette system. Both species are C4 plants with corn currently being the dominant biofuel crop in the USA whilst switchgrass being a promising candidate for cellulosic fuel ethanol production. Amongst the strongest VOC emissions from both plants were methanol, acetic acid, acetaldehyde, acetone and toluene. The switchgrass VOC emissions compare reasonably well with the only published data measured from potted plants in a whole plant enclosure (Eller et al. 2011). VOC emission studies on corn are almost as scarce as those of switchgrass. Considering the acreage of corn grown in the USA every year, VOC flux measurements of this plant species are largely under-represented in the literature. The emission rates that do exist in the literature do not compare well with the numbers found in this study (e.g. Das et al. 2003; 35μg methanol per hour per gram biomass). To investigate the biosphere atmosphere exchange of corn fields in more detail the field campaign BioCORN 2011 was initiated. In summer 2011 an eddy covariance system was set up in a corn field at ARDEC (CSU, Ft Collins, CO) to investigate the energy flux and the trace gas exchange of the US' dominant biofuel crop. Besides energy flux, evapotranspiration and CO2 flux a comprehensive suite of volatile organic compounds and inorganic species (O3, NO, NO2, CO) are measured for virtual disjunct eddy covariance (vDEC) analysis and true eddy covariance (EC) fluxes, respectively. VOCs are monitored by PTR-MS and, for the first time, fluxes of formic acid are measured utilizing NI-CIMS data for vDEC analysis. Besides the EC approach leaf level flux measurements and soil flux measurements are performed using a GC-MS system (TACOH) coupled to a modified Li6400 system and to soil chambers, respectively. Ethanol and methanol are amongst the

  9. Assessing the environmental sustainability of biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazamia, Elena; Smith, Alison G

    2014-10-01

    Biofuels vary in their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when displacing fossil fuels. Savings depend primarily on the crop used for biofuel production, and on the effect that expanding its cultivation has on land use. Evidence-based policies should be used to ensure that maximal sustainability benefits result from the development of biofuels. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Livelihood implications of biofuel crop production: Implications for governance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hunsberger, Carol; Bolwig, Simon; Corbera, Esteve

    2014-01-01

    While much attention has focused on the climate change mitigation potential of biofuels, research from the social sciences increasingly highlights the social and livelihood impacts of their expanded production. Policy and governance measures aimed at improving the social effects of biofuels have...... proliferated but questions remain about their effectiveness across the value chain. This paper performs three tasks building on emerging insights from social science research on the deployment of biofuel crops. First, we identify livelihood dimensions that are particularly likely to be affected...... by their cultivation in the global South – income, food security, access to land-based resources, and social assets – revealing that distributional effects are crucial to evaluating the outcomes of biofuel production across these dimensions. Second, we ask how well selected biofuel governance mechanisms address...

  11. The biofuel potential of crop based biomass in Denmark in 2020; Danmarks potentiale for afgroedebaseret biobraendstofproduktion i aar 2020

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bertelsen Blume, S.

    2008-02-15

    According to climate change observations and foresights several countries including Denmark have committed to reduce GHGemissions. However, the transport sector is still increasing its GHGemissions. Substitution of fossil fuels with biofuels seems to be the best way to reduce CO{sub 2}-emission from this sector on the shorter term. This project evaluates how Denmark can produce enough biofuels to fulfil the political goal of 10 % substitution of the fossil fuel consumption in the year of 2020. This project also approaches the suitability of different crop species to the biofuel industry. Maize and sugar beet are the most suitable crops for biofuel production when only focusing on maximum biofuel yield. Alfalfa is likewise showings great potential and is the most suitable crop in terms of sustainable biofuel production, because of low energy requirements (diesel, fertilizer, pesticide and irrigation) during cropping. Even though maize has higher needs for energy during cropping, it will still be suitable for sustainable biofuel production because of the high biofuel yield. Present calculations show that it is possible to meet the required amount of biofuels by using domestic biomass, which is currently exported (cereal grain) or not utilized (eg. straw). However, these calculations assume that it will become possible to convert the whole amount of carbohydrates into biofuel before 2020. In terms of assessing the biofuel production potential three storylines are defined for the development until 2020. Changes in land use and crop composition are suggested for each storyline to adjust the biofuel production to Danish agriculture. The biofuel production potential is also assessed for two regions in Denmark. Here the region of Storstroem shows greater potential than the region of Soenderjylland because of low density of domestic animals. (au)

  12. Sustainable Biofuel Project: Emergy Analysis of South Florida Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amponsah, Nana Yaw [Intelligentsia International, Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States); Izursa, Jose-Luis [Intelligentsia International, Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States); Hanlon, Edward A. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States). Soil and Water Sciences Dept.; Capece, John C. [Intelligentsia International, Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States)

    2012-11-15

    This study evaluates the sustainability of various farming systems, namely (1) sugarcane on organic and mineral soils and (2) energycane and sweet sorghum on mineral soils. The primary objective of the study is to compare the relative sustainability matrices of these energy crops and their respective farming systems. These matrices should guide decision and policy makers to determine the overall sustainability of an intended or proposed bioethanol project related to any of these studied crops. Several different methods of energy analysis have been proposed to assess the feasibility or sustainability of projects exploiting natural resources (such as (Life Cycle Analysis, Energy Analysis, Exergy Analysis, Cost Benefit Analysis, Ecological Footprint, etc.). This study primarily focused on the concept of Emergy Analysis, a quantitative analytical technique for determining the values of nonmonied and monied resources, services and commodities in common units of the solar energy it took to make them. With this Emergy Analysis study, the Hendry County Sustainable Biofuels Center intends to provide useful perspective for different stakeholder groups to (1) assess and compare the sustainability levels of above named crops cultivation on mineral soils and organic soils for ethanol production and (2) identify processes within the cultivation that could be targeted for improvements. The results provide as much insight into the assumptions inherent in the investigated approaches as they do into the farming systems in this study.

  13. Biofuel Feedstock Assessment for Selected Countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kline, K.L.; Oladosu, G.A.; Wolfe, A.K.; Perlack, R.D.; Dale, V.H.

    2008-02-18

    Findings from biofuel feedstock production assessments and projections of future supply are presented and discussed. The report aims to improve capabilities to assess the degree to which imported biofuel could contribute to meeting future U.S. targets to reduce dependence on imported oil. The study scope was focused to meet time and resource requirements. A screening process identified Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, and the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) region for initial analysis, given their likely role in future feedstock supply relevant to U.S. markets. Supply curves for selected feedstocks in these countries are projected for 2012, 2017 and 2027. The supply functions, along with calculations to reflect estimated supplies available for export and/or biofuel production, were provided to DOE for use in a broader energy market allocation study. Potential cellulosic supplies from crop and forestry residues and perennials were also estimated for 2017 and 2027. The analysis identified capacity to potentially double or triple feedstock production by 2017 in some cases. A majority of supply growth is derived from increasing the area cultivated (especially sugarcane in Brazil). This is supplemented by improving yields and farming practices. Most future supplies of corn and wheat are projected to be allocated to food and feed. Larger shares of future supplies of sugarcane, soybean and palm oil production will be available for export or biofuel. National policies are catalyzing investments in biofuel industries to meet targets for fuel blending that generally fall in the 5-10% range. Social and environmental concerns associated with rapid expansion of feedstock production are considered. If the 2017 projected feedstock supply calculated as ‘available’ for export or biofuel were converted to fuel, it would represent the equivalent of about 38 billion gallons of gasoline. Sugarcane and bagasse dominate the available supply, representing 64

  14. PETRO: Higher Productivity Crops for Biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-01-01

    PETRO Project: The 10 projects that comprise ARPA-E’s PETRO Project, short for “Plants Engineered to Replace Oil,” aim to develop non-food crops that directly produce transportation fuel. These crops can help supply the transportation sector with agriculturally derived fuels that are cost-competitive with petroleum and do not affect U.S. food supply. PETRO aims to redirect the processes for energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) capture in plants toward fuel production. This would create dedicated energy crops that serve as a domestic alternative to petroleum-based fuels and deliver more energy per acre with less processing prior to the pump.

  15. A modelling approach to estimate the European biofuel production: from crops to biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clodic, Melissa [Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique (IFP/INRA), Paris (France). Instituto Frances do Petroleo

    2008-07-01

    Today, in the context of energy competition and climate change, biofuels are promoted as a renewable resource to diversify the energy supply. However, biofuel development remains controversial. Here, we will present a way to make an environmental and economic cost and benefit analysis of European biofuels, from the crops until the marketed products, by using a linear programming optimization modelling approach. To make this European biofuel production model, named AGRAF, possible, we decided to use different independent linear programming optimization models which represent the separate parts of the process: European agricultural production, production of transforming industries and refinery production. To model the agricultural and the refining sections, we have chosen to improve existing and experimented models by adding a biofuel production part. For the transforming industry, we will create a new partial equilibrium model which will represent stake holders such as Sofiproteol, Stereos, etc. Data will then be exchanged between the models to coordinate all the biofuel production steps. Here, we will also focus on spatialization in order to meet certain of our requirements, such as the exchange flux analysis or the determination of transport costs, usually important in an industrial optimization model. (author)

  16. Biofuel Feedstock Assessment For Selected Countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kline, Keith L [ORNL; Oladosu, Gbadebo A [ORNL; Wolfe, Amy K [ORNL; Perlack, Robert D [ORNL; Dale, Virginia H [ORNL; McMahon, Matthew [Appalachian State University

    2008-02-01

    Findings from biofuel feedstock production assessments and projections of future supply are presented and discussed. The report aims to improve capabilities to assess the degree to which imported biofuel could contribute to meeting future U.S. targets to reduce dependence on imported oil. The study scope was focused to meet time and resource requirements. A screening process identified Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, and the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) region for initial analysis, given their likely role in future feedstock supply relevant to U.S. markets. Supply curves for selected feedstocks in these countries are projected for 2012, 2017 and 2027. The supply functions, along with calculations to reflect estimated supplies available for export and/or biofuel production, were provided to DOE for use in a broader energy market allocation study. Potential cellulosic supplies from crop and forestry residues and perennials were also estimated for 2017 and 2027. The analysis identified capacity to potentially double or triple feedstock production by 2017 in some cases. A majority of supply growth is derived from increasing the area cultivated (especially sugarcane in Brazil). This is supplemented by improving yields and farming practices. Most future supplies of corn and wheat are projected to be allocated to food and feed. Larger shares of future supplies of sugarcane, soybean and palm oil production will be available for export or biofuel. National policies are catalyzing investments in biofuel industries to meet targets for fuel blending that generally fall in the 5-10% range. Social and environmental concerns associated with rapid expansion of feedstock production are considered. If the 2017 projected feedstock supply calculated as 'available' for export or biofuel were converted to fuel, it would represent the equivalent of about 38 billion gallons of gasoline. Sugarcane and bagasse dominate the available supply

  17. Water Use and Quality Footprints of Biofuel Crops in Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shukla, S.; Hendricks, G.; Helsel, Z.; Knowles, J.

    2013-12-01

    The use of biofuel crops for future energy needs will require considerable amounts of water inputs. Favorable growing conditions for large scale biofuel production exist in the sub-tropical environment of South Florida. However, large-scale land use change associated with biofuel crops is likely to affect the quantity and quality of water within the region. South Florida's surface and ground water resources are already stressed by current allocations. Limited data exists to allocate water for growing the energy crops as well as evaluate the accompanying hydrologic and water quality impacts of large-scale land use changes. A three-year study was conducted to evaluate the water supply and quality impacts of three energy crops: sugarcane, switchgrass, and sweet sorghum (with a winter crop). Six lysimeters were used to collect the data needed to quantify crop evapotranspiration (ETc), and nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) levels in groundwater and discharge (drainage and runoff). Each lysimeter (4.85 x 3.65 x 1.35 m) was equipped to measure water input, output, and storage. The irrigation, runoff, and drainage volumes were measured using flow meters. Groundwater samples were collected bi-weekly and drainage/runoff sampling was event based; samples were analyzed for nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) species. Data collected over the three years revealed that the average annual ETc was highest for sugarcane (1464 mm) followed by switchgrass and sweet sorghum. Sweet sorghum had the highest total N (TN) concentration (7.6 mg/L) in groundwater and TN load (36 kg/ha) in discharge. However, sweet sorghum had the lowest total P (TP) concentration (1.2 mg/L) in groundwater and TP load (9 kg/ha) in discharge. Water use footprint for ethanol (liter of water used per liter of ethanol produced) was lowest for sugarcane and highest for switchgrass. Switchgrass had the highest P-load footprint for ethanol. No differences were observed for the TN load footprint for ethanol. This is the

  18. Biofuel crops with CAM photosynthesis: Economic potential on moisture-limited lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, Mark; Hartzell, Samantha; Porporato, Amilcare

    2017-04-01

    As the demand for food and renewable energy increases, the intelligent utilization of marginal lands is becoming increasingly critical. In marginal lands classified by limited rainfall or soil salinity, the cultivation of traditional C3 and C4 photosynthesis crops often is economically infeasible. However, in such lands, nontraditional crops with crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis show great economic potential for cultivation. CAM crops including Opuntia (prickly pear) and Ananas (pineapple) achieve a water use efficiency which is three fold higher than C4 crops such as corn and 6-fold higher than C3 crops such as wheat, leading to a comparable annual productivity with only 20% of the water demand. This feature, combined with a shallow rooting depth and a high water storage capacity, allows CAM plants to take advantage of small, infrequent rainfall amounts in shallow, quickly draining soils. Furthermore, CAM plants typically have properties (e.g., high content of non-structural carbohydrates) that are favorable for biofuel production. Here, for marginal lands characterized by low soil moisture availability and/or high salinity, we assess the potential productivity and economic benefits of CAM plants. CAM productivity is estimated using a recently developed model which simulates CAM photosynthesis under a range of soil and climate conditions. From these results, we compare the energy and water resource inputs required by CAM plants to those required by more traditional C3 and C4 crops (corn, wheat, sorghum), and we evaluate the economic potential of CAM crops as sources of food, fodder, or biofuel in marginal soils. As precipitation events become more intense and infrequent, we show that even though marginal land area may increase, CAM crop cultivation shows great promise for maintaining high productivity with minimal water inputs. Our analysis indicates that on marginal lands, widespread cultivation of CAM crops as biofuel feedstock may help

  19. Sustainable Biofuel Crops Project, Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Juhn, Daniel [Conservation International, Arlington, VA (United States). Moore Center for Science and Oceans. Integrated Assessment and Planning; Grantham, Hedley [Conservation International, Arlington, VA (United States). Moore Center for Science and Oceans. Integrated Assessment and Planning

    2014-05-28

    Over the last six years, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has developed the Bioenergy and Food Security (BEFS) Approach to help countries design and implement sustainable bioenergy policies and strategies. The BEFS Approach consists of two sets of multidisciplinary and integrated tools and guidance (the BEFS Rapid Appraisal and the BEFS Detailed Analysis) to facilitate better decision on bioenergy development which should foster both food and energy security, and contribute to agricultural and rural development. The development of the BEFS Approach was for the most part funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Recognizing the need to provide support to countries that wanted an initial assessment of their sustainable bioenergy potential, and of the associated opportunities, risks and trade offs, FAO began developing the BEFS-RA (Rapid Appraisal). The BEFS RA is a spreadsheet–based assessment and analysis tool designed to outline the country's basic energy, agriculture and food security context, the natural resources potential, the bioenergy end use options, including initial financial and economic implications, and the identification of issues that might require fuller investigation with the BEFS Detailed Analysis.

  20. An Assessment of Thailand’s Biofuel Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pujan Shrestha

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The paper provides an assessment of first generation biofuel (ethanol and biodiesel development in Thailand in terms of feedstock used, production trends, planned targets and policies and discusses the biofuel sustainability issues—environmental, socio-economic and food security aspects. The policies, measures and incentives for the development of biofuel include targets, blending mandates and favorable tax schemes to encourage production and consumption of biofuels. Biofuel development improves energy security, rural income and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG emissions, but issues related to land and water use and food security are important considerations to be addressed for its large scale application. Second generation biofuels derived from agricultural residues perform favorably on environmental and social sustainability issues in comparison to first generation biofuel sources. The authors estimate that sustainably-derived agricultural crop residues alone could amount to 10.4 × 106 bone dry tonnes per year. This has the technical potential of producing 1.14–3.12 billion liters per year of ethanol to possibly displace between 25%–69% of Thailand’s 2011 gasoline consumption as transportation fuel. Alternatively, the same amount of residue could provide 0.8–2.1 billion liters per year of diesel (biomass to Fischer-Tropsch diesel to potentially offset 6%–15% of national diesel consumption in the transportation sector.

  1. The Impact of Biofuel Policies on Crop Acreages in Germany and France

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gardebroek, Koos; Reimer, Jeffrey J.; Baller, Lieneke

    2017-01-01

    A major concern about biofuels is that increasing biofuel feedstock demand reduces availability of crops for food and feed leading to higher food prices. This paper investigates relations between biofuel policies and prices of rapeseed, the major feedstock used for biodiesel production in Europe,

  2. Methodology for calculation of carbon balances for biofuel crops production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerlfand, I.; Hamilton, S. K.; Snapp, S. S.; Robertson, G. P.

    2012-04-01

    Understanding the carbon balance implications for different biofuel crop production systems is important for the development of decision making tools and policies. We present here a detailed methodology for assessing carbon balances in agricultural and natural ecosystems. We use 20 years of data from Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) experiments at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS), combined with models to produce farm level CO2 balances for different management practices. We compared four grain and one forage systems in the U.S. Midwest: corn (Zea mays) - soybean (Glycine max) - wheat (Triticum aestivum) rotations managed with (1) conventional tillage, (2) no till, (3) low chemical input, and (4) biologically-based (organic) practices; and (5) continuous alfalfa (Medicago sativa). In addition we use an abandoned agricultural field (successionnal ecosystem) as reference system. Measurements include fluxes of N2O and CH4, soil organic carbon change, agricultural yields, and agricultural inputs (e.g. fertilization and farm fuel use). In addition to measurements, we model carbon offsets associated with the use of bioenergy from agriculturally produced crops. Our analysis shows the importance of establishing appropriate system boundaries for carbon balance calculations. We explore how different assumptions regarding production methods and emission factors affect overall conclusions on carbon balances of different agricultural systems. Our results show management practices that have major the most important effects on carbon balances. Overall, agricultural management with conventional tillage was found to be a net CO2 source to the atmosphere, while agricultural management under reduced tillage, low input, or organic management sequestered carbon at rates of 93, -23, -51, and -14 g CO2e m-2 yr-1, respectively for conventionally tilled, no-till, low-input, and organically managed ecosystems. Perennial systems (alfalfa and the successionnal fields) showed net carbon

  3. Greenhouse gas emissions from cultivation of energy crops may affect the sustainability of biofuels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Mette Sustmann; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Heiske, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    Agro‐biofuels are expected to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases because CO2 emitted during the combustion of the biofuels has recently been taken from the atmosphere by the energy crop. Thus, when replacing fossil fuels with biofuels we reduce the emission of fossil fuel‐derived CO2...... or incorporation of crop residues. In this study we relate measured field emissions of N2O to the reduction in fossil fuel‐derived CO2, which is obtained when energy crops are used for biofuel production. The analysis includes five organically managed crops (viz. maize, rye, rye‐vetch, vetch and grass......‐clover) and three scenarios for conversion of biomass to biofuel. The scenarios are 1) bioethanol production, 2) biogas production and 3) co‐production of bioethanol and biogas, where the energy crops are first used for bioethanol fermentation and subsequently the residues from this process are utilized for biogas...

  4. Greenhouse gas emissions from cultivation of energy crops may affect the sustainability of biofuels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Mette Sustmann; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Heiske, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    Agro-biofuels are expected to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases because CO2 emitted during the combustion of the biofuels has recently been taken from the atmosphere by the energy crop. Thus, when replacing fossil fuels with biofuels we reduce the emission of fossil fuel-derived CO2...... or incorporation of crop residues. In this study we relate measured field emissions of N2O to the reduction in fossil fuel-derived CO2, which is obtained when energy crops are used for biofuel production. The analysis includes five organically managed crops (viz. maize, rye, rye-vetch, vetch and grass......-clover) and three scenarios for conversion of biomass to biofuel. The scenarios are 1) bioethanol production, 2) biogas production and 3) co-production of bioethanol and biogas, where the energy crops are first used for bioethanol fermentation and subsequently the residues from this process are utilized for biogas...

  5. Impact assessment of the European biofuel directive on land use and biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hellmann, F.; Verburg, P.H.

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents an assessment of the potential impact of the EUs biofuel directive on European land use and biodiversity. In a spatially explicit analysis, it is determined which ecologically valuable land use types are likely to be directly replaced by biofuel crops. In addition, it is

  6. Assessment of Peruvian biofuel resources and alternatives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harper, J.P.; Smith, W.; Mariani, E.

    1979-08-01

    Comprehensive assessment of the biofuel potential of Peru is based on: determination of current biofuel utilization practices, evauation of Peruvian biomass productivity, identification of Peruvian agricultural and forestry resources, assessment of resource development and management concerns, identification of market considerations, description of biofuel technological options, and identification of regional biofuel technology applications. Discussion of current biofuel utilization centers on a qualitative description of the main conversion approaches currently being practiced in Peru. Biomass productivity evaluations consider the terrain and soil, and climatic conditions found in Peru. The potential energy from Peruvian agricultural and forestry resources is described quantitatively. Potental regional production of agricultural residues and forest resources that could supply energy are identified. Assessment of resource development and management concerns focuses on harvesting, reforestation, training, and environmental consequences of utilization of forest resources. Market factors assessed include: importation, internal market development, external market development, energy policy and pricing, and transportation. Nine biofuel technology options for Peru are identified: (1) small-to-medium-scale gasification, (2) a wood waste inventory, (3) stationary and mobile charcoal production systems, (4) wood distillation, (5) forest resource development and management, (6) electrical cogeneration, (7) anaerobic digestion technology, (8) development of ethanol production capabilities, and (9) agricultural strategies for fuel production. Applications of these biofuel options are identified for each of the three major regions - nine applications for the Costa Region, eight for the Sierra Region, and ten for the Selva Region.

  7. VOC Emissions from the Potential Biofuel Crop, Switchgrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graus, M.; Eller, A. S.; Fall, R.; Gilman, J. B.; Kuster, W. C.; de Gouw, J. A.; Qian, Y.; Sekimoto, K.; Monson, R. K.; Warneke, C.

    2010-12-01

    Volatile organic compound (VOC) emission rates during the growth and simulated harvest phases were determined for three different cultivars of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) using laboratory chamber measurements. Switchgrass is a candidate for use in second-generation (cellulosic) ethanol production and the acerage dedicated to its growth in the USA has already increased during the past decade. We estimate that the yearly emissions from switchgrass plantations, including both the growth and harvest phases, will be on the order of 3 kg C ha-1 methanol, 1 kg C ha-1 acetaldehyde, 1 kg C ha-1 acetone, 0.9 kg C ha-1 monoterpenes, 0.5 kg C ha-1 isoprene + 1-penten-3-ol, 0.2 kg C ha-1 hexenals, and 0.1 kg C ha-1 hexenols. These emission rates are lower than those expected from Eucalyptus or Poplar plantations, which are other potential biofuel crops and have significantly higher VOC emissions.

  8. SMALLHOLDER FARMERS’ WILLINGNESS TO INCORPORATE BIOFUEL CROPS INTO CROPPING SYSTEMS IN MALAWI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beston Bille Maonga

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Using cross-sectional data, this study analysed the critical and significant socioeconomic factors with high likelihood to determine smallholder farmers’ decision and willingness to adopt jatropha into cropping systems in Malawi. Employing desk study and multi-stage random sampling technique a sample of 592 households was drawn from across the country for analysis. A probit model was used for the analysis of determinants of jatropha adoption by smallholder farmers. Empirical findings show that education, access to loan, bicycle ownership and farmers’ expectation of raising socioeconomic status are major significant factors that would positively determine probability of smallholder farmers’ willingness to adopt jatropha as a biofuel crop on the farm. Furthermore, keeping of ruminant herds of livestock, long distance to market and fears of market unavailability have been revealed to have significant negative influence on farmers’ decision and willingness to adopt jatropha. Policy implications for sustainable crop diversification drive are drawn and discussed.

  9. Spatial optimization of cropping pattern for sustainable food and biofuel production with minimal downstream pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Femeena, P V; Sudheer, K P; Cibin, R; Chaubey, I

    2018-02-09

    Biofuel has emerged as a substantial source of energy in many countries. In order to avoid the 'food versus fuel competition', arising from grain-based ethanol production, the United States has passed regulations that require second generation or cellulosic biofeedstocks to be used for majority of the biofuel production by 2022. Agricultural residue, such as corn stover, is currently the largest source of cellulosic feedstock. However, increased harvesting of crops residue may lead to increased application of fertilizers in order to recover the soil nutrients lost from the residue removal. Alternatively, introduction of less-fertilizer intensive perennial grasses such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus Greef et Deu.) can be a viable source for biofuel production. Even though these grasses are shown to reduce nutrient loads to a great extent, high production cost have constrained their wide adoptability to be used as a viable feedstock. Nonetheless, there is an opportunity to optimize feedstock production to meet bioenergy demand while improving water quality. This study presents a multi-objective simulation optimization framework using Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and Multi Algorithm Genetically Adaptive Method (AMALGAM) to develop optimal cropping pattern with minimum nutrient delivery and minimum biomass production cost. Computational time required for optimization was significantly reduced by loose coupling SWAT with an external in-stream solute transport model. Optimization was constrained by food security and biofuel production targets that ensured not more than 10% reduction in grain yield and at least 100 million gallons of ethanol production. A case study was carried out in St. Joseph River Watershed that covers 280,000 ha area in the Midwest U.S. Results of the study indicated that introduction of corn stover removal and perennial grass production reduce nitrate and total phosphorus loads without

  10. Biofuel as an Integrated Farm Drainage Management crop: A bioeconomic analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levers, L. R.; Schwabe, K. A.

    2017-04-01

    Irrigated agricultural lands in arid regions often suffer from soil salinization and lack of drainage, which affect environmental quality and productivity. Integrated Farm Drainage Management (IFDM) systems, where drainage water generated from higher-valued crops grown on high quality soils are used to irrigate salt-tolerant crops grown on marginal soils, is one possible strategy for managing salinity and drainage problems. If the IFDM crop were a biofuel crop, both environmental and private benefits may be generated; however, little is known about this possibility. As such, we develop a bioeconomic programming model of irrigated agricultural production to examine the role salt-tolerant biofuel crops might play within an IFDM system. Our results, generated by optimizing profits over land, water, and crop choice decisions subject to resource constraints, suggest that based on the private profits alone, biofuel crops can be a competitive alternative to the common practices of land retirement and nonbiofuel crop production under both low to high drainage water salinity. Yet IFDM biofuel crop production generates 30-35% fewer GHG emissions than the other strategies. The private market competitiveness coupled with the public good benefits may justify policy changes encouraging the growth of IFDM biofuel crops in arid agricultural areas globally.

  11. UAS-based infrared thermography for evaluating biofuel crop water status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remote sensing of crop canopy temperature is a scientifically-based method to evaluate crop water stress at or near real time. Potential approaches for estimating biofuel crop water status from an unmanned aerial system (UAS’s) equipped with a thermal camera were evaluated in this study. An experime...

  12. A photorespiratory bypass increases plant growth and seed yield in biofuel crop Camelinasativa

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dalal, Jyoti; Lopez, Harry; Vasani, Naresh B; Hu, Zhaohui; Swift, Jennifer E; Yalamanchili, Roopa; Dvora, Mia; Lin, Xiuli; Xie, Deyu; Qu, Rongda; Sederoff, Heike W

    2015-01-01

    is an oilseed crop with great potential for biofuel production on marginal land. The seed oil from camelina has been converted to jet fuel and improved fuel efficiency in commercial and military test flights...

  13. Efficiency of second generation biofuel crop subsidy schemes: spatial heterogeneity and policy design

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andrée, B.J.M.; Koomen, E.

    2017-01-01

    Policy schemes that aim to stimulate the cultivation of biofuel crops typically ignore the spatial heterogeneity in costs and benefits associated with their production. Because of spatial heterogeneity in biophysical, and current agricultural production factors, potential gains from stimulating

  14. Effects of elevated temperature on growth and reproduction of biofuels crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Questions/Methods Cellulosic biofuels crops have considerable potential to reduce our carbon footprint , and to be at least neutral in terms of carbon production. However, their widespread cultivation may result in unintended ecological and health effects. We report...

  15. Soil physical and hydrological properties under three biofuel crops in Ohio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonin, Catherine [Ohio State University; Lal, Dr. Rattan [Ohio State University; Schmitz, Matthias [Rheinsche Friedrich/Wilhelms Universitaet Boon; Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    While biofuel crops are widely studied and compared for their energy and carbon footprints, less is known about their effects on other soil properties, particularly hydrologic characteristics. Soils under three biofuel crops, corn (Zea mays), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and willow (Salix spp.), were analyzed seven years after establishment to assess the effects on soil bulk density ({rho}{sub b}), penetration resistance (PR), water-holding capacity, and infiltration characteristics. The PR was the highest under corn, along with the lowest associated water content, while PR was 50-60% lower under switchgrass. In accordance with PR data, surface (0-10 cm) bulk density also tended to be lower under switchgrass. Both water infiltration rates and cumulative infiltration amounts varied widely among and within the three crops. Because the Philip model did not fit the data, results were analyzed using the Kostiakov model instead. Switchgrass plots had an average cumulative infiltration of 69 cm over 3 hours with a constant infiltration rate of 0.28 cm min{sup -1}, compared with 37 cm and 0.11 cm min{sup -1} for corn, and 26 cm and 0.06 cm min{sup -1} for willow, respectively. Results suggest that significant changes in soil physical and hydrologic properties may require more time to develop. Soils under switchgrass may have lower surface bulk density, higher field water capacity, and a more rapid water infiltration rate than those under corn or willow.

  16. Soil physical and hydrological properties under three biofuel crops in Ohio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonin, Catherine; Lal, Rattan [The Ohio State Univ., School of Environment and Natural Resources, Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, Columbus, OH (United States); Schmitz, Matthias [Rheinische Friedrich/Wilhelms-Universitaet Bonn, Steinmann Institut fuer Geologie, Mineralogie und Palaeontologie, Bonn (Germany); Wullschleger, S. [The Oakridge National Lab., Oakridge, TN (United States)

    2012-10-15

    While biofuel crops are widely studied and compared for their energy and carbon footprints, less is known about their effects on other soil properties, particularly hydrologic characteristics. Soils under three biofuel crops, corn (Zea mays), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and willow (Salix spp.), were analyzed seven years after establishment to assess the effects on soil bulk density ({rho}{sub b}), penetration resistance (PR), water-holding capacity, and infiltration characteristics. The PR was the highest under corn, along with the lowest associated water content, while PR was 50-60 % lower under switchgrass. In accordance with PR data, surface (0-10 cm) bulk density also tended to be lower under switchgrass. Both water infiltration rates and cumulative infiltration amounts varied widely among and within the three crops. Because the Philip model did not fit the data, results were analyzed using the Kostiakov model instead. Switchgrass plots had an average cumulative infiltration of 69 cm over 3 hours with a constant infiltration rate of 0.28 cm min{sup -1}, compared with 37 cm and 0.11 cm min{sup -1} for corn, and 26 cm and 0.06 cm min{sup -1} for willow, respectively. Results suggest that significant changes in soil physical and hydrologic properties may require more time to develop. Soils under switchgrass may have lower surface bulk density, higher field water capacity, and a more rapid water infiltration rate than those under corn or willow.

  17. Biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts from sustainable agricultural and forest crops: proceedings of the short rotation crops international conference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronald S., Jr. Zalesny; Rob Mitchell; Jim, eds. Richardson

    2008-01-01

    The goal of this conference was to initiate and provide opportunities for an international forum on the science and application of producing both agricultural and forest crops for biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts. There is a substantial global need for development of such systems and technologies that can economically and sustainably produce short rotation crops...

  18. Moth diversity in three biofuel crops and native prairie in Illinois.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Terry; Berenbaum, May R

    2013-06-01

    The expanding demand for biofuel feedstock may lead to large-scale conscription of land for monoculture production of biofuel crops with concomitant substantial negative impacts on biodiversity. We compared moth diversity in light-trap samples from corn, miscanthus, switchgrass and native prairie, to determine whether there is an observable relationship between plant species diversity and moth abundance and diversity. Moth alpha diversity was highest in prairie and was higher in switchgrass than in the other two biofuel crops. Beta diversity generally was low among the biofuel crops, and prairie shared lower beta diversity with switchgrass than with corn or miscanthus. Analysis of variance showed no significant differences in moth abundance per species among treatments. The alpha and beta diversity index findings are consistent with those of other studies on arthropods in biofuel crops and provide evidence to suggest that large-scale conversion of acreage to biofuel crops may have substantial negative effects on arthropod biodiversity both within the cropping systems and in the surrounding landscape. © 2012 The Authors Insect Science © 2012 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  19. Optimizing root system architecture in biofuel crops for sustainable energy production and soil carbon sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    To, Jennifer PC; Zhu, Jinming; Benfey, Philip N

    2010-01-01

    Root system architecture (RSA) describes the dynamic spatial configuration of different types and ages of roots in a plant, which allows adaptation to different environments. Modifications in RSA enhance agronomic traits in crops and have been implicated in soil organic carbon content. Together, these fundamental properties of RSA contribute to the net carbon balance and overall sustainability of biofuels. In this article, we will review recent data supporting carbon sequestration by biofuel crops, highlight current progress in studying RSA, and discuss future opportunities for optimizing RSA for biofuel production and soil carbon sequestration. PMID:21173868

  20. Optimizing root system architecture in biofuel crops for sustainable energy production and soil carbon sequestration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    To, Jennifer Pc; Zhu, Jinming; Benfey, Philip N; Elich, Tedd

    2010-09-08

    Root system architecture (RSA) describes the dynamic spatial configuration of different types and ages of roots in a plant, which allows adaptation to different environments. Modifications in RSA enhance agronomic traits in crops and have been implicated in soil organic carbon content. Together, these fundamental properties of RSA contribute to the net carbon balance and overall sustainability of biofuels. In this article, we will review recent data supporting carbon sequestration by biofuel crops, highlight current progress in studying RSA, and discuss future opportunities for optimizing RSA for biofuel production and soil carbon sequestration.

  1. Biobutanol as a Potential Sustainable Biofuel - Assessment of Lignocellulosic and Waste-based Feedstocks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Niemisto

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces the production process of an alternative transportation biofuel, biobutanol. European legislation concerning biofuels and their sustainability criteria are also briefly described. The need to develop methods to ensure more sustainable and efficient biofuel production processes is recommended. In addition, the assessment method to evaluate the sustainability of biofuels is considered and sustainability assessment of selected feedstocks for biobutanol production is performed. The benefits and potential of using lignocellulosic and waste materials as feedstocks in the biobutanol production process are also discussed. Sustainability assessment in this paper includes cultivation, harvest/collection and upstream processing (pretreatment of feedstocks, comparing four main biomass sources: food crops, non-food crops, food industry by-product and wood-based biomass. It can be concluded that the highest sustainable potential in Finland is when biobutanol production is integrated into pulp & paper mills.

  2. A Review of Advances and Quality Assessment of Biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdulsalami S. KOVO

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The search for the exploitation of renewable and environmental benign energy resources increase globally due to increasing prices and uncertainties in the availability of conventional energy resources such as mineral fuels. Biofuels are alternative renewable fuels that have received considerable attention in the recent past: namely bioethanol, which is made from crop grains or sugarcane and biodiesel, which is made from vegetable oils and animal fats, and both are used as a sources of power for cars, trucks, and aircrafts. Presently the fuels are produced and marketed in Brazil and many developed countries, and serves as a potent supplement/substitute for fossil fuel. This paper examines the precedence of biofuel as a fuel and highlights the advances made in the production, use and quality assessment at the global level.

  3. The developmental transcriptome atlas of the biofuel crop Camelina sativa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagale, Sateesh; Nixon, John; Khedikar, Yogendra; Pasha, Asher; Provart, Nicholas J; Clarke, Wayne E; Bollina, Venkatesh; Robinson, Stephen J; Coutu, Cathy; Hegedus, Dwayne D; Sharpe, Andrew G; Parkin, Isobel A P

    2016-12-01

    Camelina sativa is currently being embraced as a viable industrial bio-platform crop due to a number of desirable agronomic attributes and the unique fatty acid profile of the seed oil that has applications for food, feed and biofuel. The recent completion of the reference genome sequence of C. sativa identified a young hexaploid genome. To complement this work, we have generated a genome-wide developmental transcriptome map by RNA sequencing of 12 different tissues covering major developmental stages during the life cycle of C. sativa. We have generated a digital atlas of this comprehensive transcriptome resource that enables interactive visualization of expression data through a searchable database of electronic fluorescent pictographs (eFP browser). An analysis of this dataset supported expression of 88% of the annotated genes in C. sativa and provided a global overview of the complex architecture of temporal and spatial gene expression patterns active during development. Conventional differential gene expression analysis combined with weighted gene expression network analysis uncovered similarities as well as differences in gene expression patterns between different tissues and identified tissue-specific genes and network modules. A high-quality census of transcription factors, analysis of alternative splicing and tissue-specific genome dominance provided insight into the transcriptional dynamics and sub-genome interplay among the well-preserved triplicated repertoire of homeologous loci. The comprehensive transcriptome atlas in combination with the reference genome sequence provides a powerful resource for genomics research which can be leveraged to identify functional associations between genes and understand the regulatory networks underlying developmental processes. © 2016 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada The Plant Journal © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and the Society for Experimental Biology Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of

  4. Chemistry and microbial functional diversity differences in biofuel crop and grassland soils in multiple geographies

    Science.gov (United States)

    As crop and non-crop lands are increasingly becoming converted to biofuel feedstock production, it is of interest to identify potential impacts of annual and perennial feedstocks on soil ecosystem services. Soil samples obtained from 6 regional sets of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and 3 regiona...

  5. The Effect of Biotechnology and Biofuels on U.S. Corn Belt Cropping Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Fausti, Scott W.; Van der Sluis, Evert; Qasmi, Bashir A.; Lundgren, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    The effects of transgenic crop and federal biofuel policy (ethanol) on state-level cropping patterns in the Corn Belt region are investigated during 1996-2012. Empirical evidence generated by a random intercept model with fixed effects indicates corn production was positively impacted by these factors, but the effects across states are heterogeneous.

  6. Biofuels, poverty, and growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arndt, Channing; Benfica, Rui; Tarp, Finn

    2010-01-01

    This paper assesses the implications of large-scale investments in biofuels for growth and income distribution. We find that biofuels investment enhances growth and poverty reduction despite some displacement of food crops by biofuels. Overall, the biofuel investment trajectory analyzed increases...... and accrual of land rents to smallholders, compared with the more capital-intensive plantation approach. Moreover, the benefits of outgrower schemes are enhanced if they result in technology spillovers to other crops. These results should not be taken as a green light for unrestrained biofuels development...

  7. The effect of native and introduced biofuel crops on the composition of soil biota communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frouz, Jan; Hedenec, Petr

    2016-04-01

    Biofuel crops are an accepted alternative to fossil fuels, but little is known about the ecological impact of their production. The aim of this contribution is to study the effect of native (Salix viminalis and Phalaris arundinacea) and introduced (Helianthus tuberosus, Reynoutria sachalinensis and Silphium perfoliatum) biofuel crop plantations on the soil biota in comparison with cultural meadow vegetation used as control. The study was performed as part of a split plot field experiment of the Crop Research Institute in the city of Chomutov (Czech Republic). The composition of the soil meso- and macrofauna community, composition of the cultivable fraction of the soil fungal community, cellulose decomposition (using litter bags), microbial biomass, basal soil respiration and PLFA composition (incl. F/B ratio) were studied in each site. The C:N ratio and content of polyphenols differed among plant species, but these results could not be considered significant between introduced and native plant species. Abundance of the soil meso- and macrofauna was higher in field sites planted with S. viminalis and P. arundinacea than those planted with S. perfoliatum, H. tuberosus and R. sachalinensis. RDA and Monte Carlo Permutation Test showed that the composition of the faunal community differed significantly between various native and introduced plants. Significantly different basal soil respiration was found in sites planted with various energy crops; however, this difference was not significant between native and introduced species. Microbial biomass carbon and cellulose decomposition did not exhibit any statistical differences among the biofuel crops. The largest statistically significant difference we found was in the content of actinobacterial and bacterial (bacteria, G+ bacteria and G- bacteria) PLFA in sites overgrown by P. arundinacea compared to introduced as well as native biofuel crops. In conclusion, certain parameters significantly differ between various native

  8. Cellulosic biofuels from crop residue and groundwater extraction in the US Plains: the case of Nebraska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sesmero, Juan P

    2014-11-01

    This study develops a model of crop residue (i.e. stover) supply and derived demand for irrigation water accounting for non-linear effects of soil organic matter on soil's water holding capacity. The model is calibrated for typical conditions in central Nebraska, United States, and identifies potential interactions between water and biofuel policies. The price offered for feedstock by a cost-minimizing plant facing that stover supply response is calculated. Results indicate that as biofuel production volumes increase, soil carbon depletion per unit of biofuel produced decreases. Consumption of groundwater per unit of biofuel produced first decreases and then increases (after a threshold of 363 dam(3) of biofuels per year) due to plants' increased reliance on the extensive margin for additional biomass. The analysis reveals a tension between biofuel and water policies. As biofuel production raises the economic benefits of relaxing water conservation policies (measured by the "shadow price" of water) increase. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Why do smallholders plant biofuel crops? The ‘politics of consent’ in Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castellanos-Navarrete, Antonio; Jansen, Kees

    2017-01-01

    Recent studies have addressed the social and environmental impacts of biofuel crops but seldom the question as to why rural producers engage in their production. It is particularly unclear how governments worldwide, especially in middle-income countries such as Brazil, Thailand, and Mexico, could

  10. Advancing environmental risk assessment for transgenic biofeedstock crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolt Jeffrey D

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Transgenic modification of plants is a key enabling technology for developing sustainable biofeedstocks for biofuels production. Regulatory decisions and the wider acceptance and development of transgenic biofeedstock crops are considered from the context of science-based risk assessment. The risk assessment paradigm for transgenic biofeedstock crops is fundamentally no different from that of current generation transgenic crops, except that the focus of the assessment must consider the unique attributes of a given biofeedstock crop and its environmental release. For currently envisioned biofeedstock crops, particular emphasis in risk assessment will be given to characterization of altered metabolic profiles and their implications relative to non-target environmental effects and food safety; weediness and invasiveness when plants are modified for abiotic stress tolerance or are domesticated; and aggregate risk when plants are platforms for multi-product production. Robust risk assessments for transgenic biofeedstock crops are case-specific, initiated through problem formulation, and use tiered approaches for risk characterization.

  11. The hydrometeorological sustainability of Miscanthus x giganteus as a biofuel crop in the US Midwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Gavin R.

    Miscanthus x giganteus (M. x giganteus ) is a dense, 3-5 m tall, productive perennial grass that has been suggested to replace corn as the principal source of biofuel for the US transportation industry. However, cultivating a regime of this water-intensive rhizomatous crop across the US Midwest may not be agronomically realistic if it is unable to survive years of low precipitation or extreme cold wintertime soil temperatures, both of which have previously killed experimental crops. The goal of this research was to use a third-generation land surface model (LSM) to provide a new assessment of the hypothetical biogeophysical sustainability of a regime of M. x giganteus across the US Midwest given that, for the first time, a robust and near-complete dataset over a large area of mature M. x giganteus was available for model validation. Modifications to the local hydrology and microclimate would necessarily occur in areas where M. x giganteus is adapted, but a switch to this biofuel crop can only occur where its intense growing season water usage (up to 600 mm) and wintertime soil temperature requirements (no less than -6° C) are feasibly sustainable without irrigation. The first step was to interpret the observed turbulent and ecosystem flux behavior over an extant area of mature M. x giganteus and replicate this behavior within the SiB3 third-generation LSM (Simple Biosphere Model, version 3). A new vegetation parameterization was developed in SiB3 using several previous empirical studies of M. x giganteus as a foundation. The simulation results were validated against a new, robust series of turbulent and ecosystem flux data taken over a four-hectare experimental crop of M. x giganteus in Champaign, IL, USA from 2011-2013. Wintertime mortality of M. x giganteus was subsequently assessed. It was proposed that areas with higher seasonal snowfall in the US Midwest may be favorable for M. x giganteus sustainability and expansion due to the significant insulating effect

  12. Fluxes of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide over four potential biofuel crops in Central Illinois

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeri, M.; Hickman, G. C.; Bernacchi, C.

    2009-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are important greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change. Agriculture is a significant source of N2O to the atmosphere due to the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers. Fluxes of N2O and CO2 are measured using the flux-gradient technique over four different crops at the Energy Farm, a University of Illinois research facility in Urbana, Illinois. Measurements started in June of 2009 and are part of a project that aims to assess the impacts of potential biofuel crops on the carbon, water and nitrogen cycles. The species chosen are Maize (Zea mays), Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and Prairie (a mix of several native species). The choice of species was based on their potential for the production of second-generation biofuels, i.e., fuels derived from the decomposition of the cellulosic material in the plant biomass. The use of corn residue for cellulosic biofuels might impact the carbon cycle through the reduction of soil organic content. Miscanthus is a perennial grass with great potential for biomass production. However, the total water used during the growing season and its water use efficiency might impose limits on the regions where this biofuel crop can be sustainably planted on a large scale. Switchgrass and the prairie species are less productive but might be suited for being well adapted and easy to establish. This study is the first side-by-side comparison of fluxes of N2O for these agro-ecosystems. The measurements are performed at micrometeorological towers placed at the center of 4 ha plots. The air is sampled at two heights over the vegetation and is analyzed in a tunable diode laser (TDL) installed nearby. A valve system cycles the TDL measurements trough all the intakes in the plots. The fluxes are calculated using the flux-gradient method, which requires the knowledge of the scalar vertical gradient as well as of the friction velocity (u*) and the Monin

  13. Life Cycle Assessment of Biofuels in Sweden; Livscykelanalys av svenska biodrivmedel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boerjesson, Paal; Tufvesson, Linda; Lantz, Mikael

    2009-05-15

    The purpose with this study is to carry out updated and developed life cycle assessments of biofuels produced and used in Sweden today. The focuses are on making the assessments as relevant and transparent as possible and identify hot spots having significant impacts on the environmental performance of the specific biofuel production chains. The study includes sensitivity analyses showing the impact on changed future conditions. The results should be seen as actual and average environmental performance based on updated calculation methods, thus individual systems developed by specific companies may have somewhat different performance. Biofuels analysed are ethanol from wheat, sugar beet and sugar cane (imported from Brazil), RME from rape seed, biogas from sugar beet, ley crops, maize and organic residues, such as municipal waste, food industry waste and liquor manure. The study also includes co-production of ethanol and biogas from wheat. Final use in both light and heavy duty vehicles, and related emissions, are assessed. Environmental impact categories considered are climate change, eutrophication, acidification, photochemical oxidants, particles and energy balances. The calculations include emissions from technical systems, e.g. energy input in various operations and processes, and biogenic emissions of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide from direct land use changes (LUC). The potential risk of indirect land use changes (ILUC) is also assessed. By-products are included by three different calculation methods, system expansion, energy allocation and economic allocation. The results are presented per MJ biofuel, but the alternative functional unit per hectare cropland is also used regarding the greenhouse gas performance of crop-based biofuels. Finally, estimations are carried out regarding the current environmental performance of the actual various biofuel systems based on system expansion, recommended by the ISO-standardisation of LCA, and energy allocation

  14. Exergy-based efficiency and renewability assessment of biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewulf, J; Van Langenhove, H; Van De Velde, B

    2005-05-15

    This study presents an efficiency and renewability analysis of the production of three biofuels: rapeseed methyl ester (RME), soybean methyl ester (SME) and corn-based ethanol (EtOH). The overall production chains have been taken into account: not only the agricultural crop production and the industrial conversion into biofuel, but also production of the supply of agricultural resources (pesticides, fertilizers, fuel, seeding material) and industrial resources (energy and chemicals) to transform the crops into biofuel. Simultaneously, byproducts of the agricultural and industrial processes have been taken into account when resources have to be allocated to the biofuels. The technical analysis via the second law of thermodynamics revealed that corn-based EtOH results in the highest production rate with an exergetic fuel content of 68.8 GJ ha(-1) yr(-1), whereas the RME and SME results were limited to 47.5 and 16.4 GJ ha(-1) yr(-1). The allocated nonrenewable resource input to deliver these biofuels is significant: 16.5, 15.4, and 5.6 MJ ha(-1) yr(-1). This means that these biofuels, generally considered as renewable resources, embed a nonrenewable fraction of one-quarter for EtOH and even one-third for RME and SME. This type of analysis provides scientifically sound quantitative information that is necessarywith respect to the sustainability analysis of so-called renewable energy.

  15. Biofuel Crops Expansion: Evaluating the Impact on the Agricultural Water Scarcity Costs and Hydropower Production with Hydro Economic Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, G.

    2015-12-01

    Biofuels such as ethanol from sugar cane remain an important element to help mitigate the impacts of fossil fuels on the atmosphere. However, meeting fuel demands with biofuels requires technological advancement for water productivity and scale of production. This may translate into increased water demands for biofuel crops and potential for conflicts with incumbent crops and other water uses including domestic, hydropower generation and environmental. It is therefore important to evaluate the effects of increased biofuel production on the verge of water scarcity costs and hydropower production. The present research applies a hydro-economic optimization model to compare different scenarios of irrigated biofuel and hydropower production, and estimates the potential tradeoffs. A case study from the Araguari watershed in Brazil is provided. These results should be useful to (i) identify improved water allocation among competing economic demands, (ii) support water management and operations decisions in watersheds where biofuels are expected to increase, and (iii) identify the impact of bio fuel production in the water availability and economic value. Under optimized conditions, adoption of sugar cane for biofuel production heavily relies on the opportunity costs of other crops and hydropower generation. Areas with a lower value crop groups seem more suitable to adopt sugar cane for biofuel when the price of ethanol is sufficiently high and the opportunity costs of hydropower productions are not conflicting. The approach also highlights the potential for insights in water management from studying regional versus larger scales bundled systems involving water use, food production and power generation.

  16. GEOGLAM Crop Monitor Assessment Tool: Developing Monthly Crop Condition Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGaughey, K.; Becker Reshef, I.; Barker, B.; Humber, M. L.; Nordling, J.; Justice, C. O.; Deshayes, M.

    2014-12-01

    The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) developed the Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative (GEOGLAM) to improve existing agricultural information through a network of international partnerships, data sharing, and operational research. This presentation will discuss the Crop Monitor component of GEOGLAM, which provides the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) with an international, multi-source, and transparent consensus assessment of crop growing conditions, status, and agro-climatic conditions likely to impact global production. This activity covers the four primary crop types (wheat, maize, rice, and soybean) within the main agricultural producing regions of the AMIS countries. These assessments have been produced operationally since September 2013 and are published in the AMIS Market Monitor Bulletin. The Crop Monitor reports provide cartographic and textual summaries of crop conditions as of the 28th of each month, according to crop type. This presentation will focus on the building of international networks, data collection, and data dissemination.

  17. A strategic assessment of biofuels development in the Western States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenneth E. Skog; Robert Rummer; Bryan Jenkins; Nathan Parker; Peter Tittman; Quinn Hart; Richard Nelson; Ed Gray; Anneliese Schmidt; Marcia Patton-Mallory; Gordon Gayle

    2009-01-01

    The Western Governors' Association assessment of biofuels potential in western states estimated the location and capacity of biofuels plants that could potentially be built for selected gasoline prices in 2015 using a mixed integer programming model. The model included information on forest biomass supply curves by county (developed using Forest Service FIA data...

  18. Energy crops for biofuel production: Analysis of the potential in Tuscany

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marta, A. Dalla; Mancini, M.; Ferrise, R.; Bindi, M.; Orlandini, S. [Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental Science, University of Florence, Piazzale delle Cascine 18 - 50144 Firenze (Italy)

    2010-07-15

    The possibility of using biomass as a source of energy in reducing green-house gas emissions is a matter of great interest. In particular, biomasse from agriculture represent one of the largest and most diversified sources to be exploited and more specifically, ethanol and diesel deriving from biomass have the potential to be a sustainable means of replacing fossil fuels for transportation. Nevertheless, the cultivation of dedicated energy crops does meet with some criticism (competitiveness with food crop cultivation, water requirements, use of fertilizers, etc.) and the economical and environmental advantages of this activity depend on accurate evaluations of the total efficiency of the production system. This paper illustrates the production potential of two energy crops, sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and maize (Zea mais), cultivated with different water and fertilization supplies in the region of Tuscany, in central Italy. A 50-year climatic series of 19 weather stations scattered around Tuscany was used to run the crop model CropSyst for obtaining crop biomass predictions. The effect of climate change and variability was analyzed and the potential production of bioenergy was investigated in terms of pure vegetable oil (sunflower) and bioethanol (maize). The results demonstrated that despite a reduction in crop yields and an increase of their variability due to climate change, the cultivation of maize in the regional set-aside areas would be capable of supplying approximately 50% of the energy requirements in terms of biofuel for transportation obtained, while the cultivation of a sunflower crops would supply less than 10%. (author)

  19. Limits to biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, S.

    2013-06-01

    Biofuel production is dependent upon agriculture and forestry systems, and the expectations of future biofuel potential are high. A study of the global food production and biofuel production from edible crops implies that biofuel produced from edible parts of crops lead to a global deficit of food. This is rather well known, which is why there is a strong urge to develop biofuel systems that make use of residues or products from forest to eliminate competition with food production. However, biofuel from agro-residues still depend upon the crop production system, and there are many parameters to deal with in order to investigate the sustainability of biofuel production. There is a theoretical limit to how much biofuel can be achieved globally from agro-residues and this amounts to approximately one third of todays' use of fossil fuels in the transport sector. In reality this theoretical potential may be eliminated by the energy use in the biomass-conversion technologies and production systems, depending on what type of assessment method is used. By surveying existing studies on biofuel conversion the theoretical limit of biofuels from 2010 years' agricultural production was found to be either non-existent due to energy consumption in the conversion process, or up to 2-6000TWh (biogas from residues and waste and ethanol from woody biomass) in the more optimistic cases.

  20. Limits to biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johansson S.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Biofuel production is dependent upon agriculture and forestry systems, and the expectations of future biofuel potential are high. A study of the global food production and biofuel production from edible crops implies that biofuel produced from edible parts of crops lead to a global deficit of food. This is rather well known, which is why there is a strong urge to develop biofuel systems that make use of residues or products from forest to eliminate competition with food production. However, biofuel from agro-residues still depend upon the crop production system, and there are many parameters to deal with in order to investigate the sustainability of biofuel production. There is a theoretical limit to how much biofuel can be achieved globally from agro-residues and this amounts to approximately one third of todays’ use of fossil fuels in the transport sector. In reality this theoretical potential may be eliminated by the energy use in the biomass-conversion technologies and production systems, depending on what type of assessment method is used. By surveying existing studies on biofuel conversion the theoretical limit of biofuels from 2010 years’ agricultural production was found to be either non-existent due to energy consumption in the conversion process, or up to 2–6000TWh (biogas from residues and waste and ethanol from woody biomass in the more optimistic cases.

  1. Biosphere-atmosphere exchange of volatile organic compounds over C4 biofuel crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graus, Martin; Eller, Allyson S. D.; Fall, Ray; Yuan, Bin; Qian, Yaling; Westra, Philip; de Gouw, Joost; Warneke, Carsten

    2013-02-01

    Significant amounts of ethanol are produced from biofuel crops such as corn and, in the future, likely switchgrass. The atmospheric effects of growing these plant species on a large scale are investigated here by measuring the plant-atmosphere exchange of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Field grown corn and switchgrass emit VOCs at flux rates of 4.4 nmolC m-2 s-1 (10-9 mol carbon per square meter leaf area per second) and 2.4 nmolC m-2 s-1, respectively. Methanol contributes ˜60% to the molar flux but small emissions of carbonyls, aromatic compounds and terpenoids are relatively more important for potential air quality impacts. Switchgrass can act as a sink for carbonyls and aromatic compounds with compensation points of a few hundred pptv. In switchgrass moderate drought stress may induce enhanced emissions of monoterpenes, carbonyls and aromatics. Per liter of fuel ethanol produced, the estimated VOC emissions associated with the biomass growth of corn (7.8 g l-1) or switchgrass (6.2 g l-1) are in the same range as the VOC emissions from the use of one liter gasoline in vehicle engines. VOC emissions from the growing of biofuel crops can therefore be a significant contributor to the VOC emissions in the life cycle of biofuels. The VOC emissions from corn and switchgrass are small compared to those of tree species suggested as biofuel crops. Due to their reactivity with respect to OH the emissions from corn and switchgrass are not likely to have a significant impact on regional ozone formation.

  2. An assessment of Thailand's biofuel development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kumar, S.; Salam, P. Abdul; Shrestha, Pujan

    2013-01-01

    to land and water use and food security are important considerations to be addressed for its large scale application. Second generation biofuels derived from agricultural residues perform favorably on environmental and social sustainability issues in comparison to first generation biofuel sources...... as transportation fuel. Alternatively, the same amount of residue could provide 0.8-2.1 billion liters per year of diesel (biomass to Fischer-Tropsch diesel) to potentially offset 6%-15% of national diesel consumption in the transportation sector....

  3. Integrating social and value dimensions into sustainability assessment of lignocellulosic biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raman, Sujatha; Mohr, Alison; Helliwell, Richard; Ribeiro, Barbara; Shortall, Orla; Smith, Robert; Millar, Kate

    2015-11-01

    The paper clarifies the social and value dimensions for integrated sustainability assessments of lignocellulosic biofuels. We develop a responsible innovation approach, looking at technology impacts and implementation challenges, assumptions and value conflicts influencing how impacts are identified and assessed, and different visions for future development. We identify three distinct value-based visions. From a techno-economic perspective, lignocellulosic biofuels can contribute to energy security with improved GHG implications and fewer sustainability problems than fossil fuels and first-generation biofuels, especially when biomass is domestically sourced. From socio-economic and cultural-economic perspectives, there are concerns about the capacity to support UK-sourced feedstocks in a global agri-economy, difficulties monitoring large-scale supply chains and their potential for distributing impacts unfairly, and tensions between domestic sourcing and established legacies of farming. To respond to these concerns, we identify the potential for moving away from a one-size-fits-all biofuel/biorefinery model to regionally-tailored bioenergy configurations that might lower large-scale uses of land for meat, reduce monocultures and fossil-energy needs of farming and diversify business models. These configurations could explore ways of reconciling some conflicts between food, fuel and feed (by mixing feed crops with lignocellulosic material for fuel, combining livestock grazing with energy crops, or using crops such as miscanthus to manage land that is no longer arable); different bioenergy applications (with on-farm use of feedstocks for heat and power and for commercial biofuel production); and climate change objectives and pressures on farming. Findings are based on stakeholder interviews, literature synthesis and discussions with an expert advisory group.

  4. Glucanocellulosic ethanol: the undiscovered biofuel potential in energy crops and marine biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falter, Christian; Zwikowics, Claudia; Eggert, Dennis; Blümke, Antje; Naumann, Marcel; Wolff, Kerstin; Ellinger, Dorothea; Reimer, Rudolph; Voigt, Christian A

    2015-09-01

    Converting biomass to biofuels is a key strategy in substituting fossil fuels to mitigate climate change. Conventional strategies to convert lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol address the fermentation of cellulose-derived glucose. Here we used super-resolution fluorescence microscopy to uncover the nanoscale structure of cell walls in the energy crops maize and Miscanthus where the typical polymer cellulose forms an unconventional layered architecture with the atypical (1, 3)-β-glucan polymer callose. This raised the question about an unused potential of (1, 3)-β-glucan in the fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass. Engineering biomass conversion for optimized (1, 3)-β-glucan utilization, we increased the ethanol yield from both energy crops. The generation of transgenic Miscanthus lines with an elevated (1, 3)-β-glucan content further increased ethanol yield providing a new strategy in energy crop breeding. Applying the (1, 3)-β-glucan-optimized conversion method on marine biomass from brown macroalgae with a naturally high (1, 3)-β-glucan content, we not only substantially increased ethanol yield but also demonstrated an effective co-fermentation of plant and marine biomass. This opens new perspectives in combining different kinds of feedstock for sustainable and efficient biofuel production, especially in coastal regions.

  5. Allelopathic effect of new introduced biofuel crops on the soil biota: A comparative study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heděnec, Petr; Frouz, Jan; Ustak, Sergej; Novotny, David

    2015-04-01

    Biofuel crops as an alternative to fossil fuels are a component of the energy mix in many countries. Many of them are introduced plants, so they pose a serious threat of biological invasions. Production of allelopathic compounds can increase invasion success by limiting co-occurring species in the invaded environment (novel weapons hypothesis). In this study, we focused on plant chemistry and production of allelopathic compounds by biofuel crops (hybrid sorrel Rumex tianschanicus x Rumex patientia and miscanthus Miscanthus sinensis) in comparison with invasive knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis) and cultural meadow species. First, we tested the impact of leachates isolated from hybrid sorrel, miscanthus, knotweed and cultural meadow species compared to deionized water, used as a control, on seed germination of mustard (Sinapis arvensis) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) cultivated on sand and soil. Secondly, we studied the effect of leachates on the growth of soil fungal pathogens Fusarium culmorum, Rhizoctonia solani, Sclerotinia solani and Cochliobolus sativus. Finally, we tested the effect of litter of hybrid sorrel, miscanthus, knotweed and cultural meadow litter mixed with soil on population growth of Enchytraeus crypticus and Folsomia candida. Miscanthus and knotweed litter had a higher C:N ratio than the control meadow and hybrid sorrel litter. Miscanthus and hybrid sorrel litter had a higher content of phenols than knotweed and cultural meadow litter. Leachates from hybrid sorrel, miscanthus and knotweed biomass significantly decreased seed germination of wheat and mustard in both substrates. Soil fungal pathogens grew less vigorously on agar enriched by leachates from both biofuel crops than on agar enriched by knotweed and leachates. Litter from hybrid sorrel, miscanthus and knotweed significantly altered (both ways) the population growth of the soil mesofauna.

  6. Biobutanol as a Potential Sustainable Biofuel - Assessment of Lignocellulosic and Waste-based Feedstocks

    OpenAIRE

    Johanna Niemisto; Paula Saavalainen; Eva Pongracz; Riitta L. Keiski

    2013-01-01

    This paper introduces the production process of an alternative transportation biofuel, biobutanol. European legislation concerning biofuels and their sustainability criteria are also briefly described. The need to develop methods to ensure more sustainable and efficient biofuel production processes is recommended. In addition, the assessment method to evaluate the sustainability of biofuels is considered and sustainability assessment of selected feedstocks for biobutanol production is perform...

  7. Volatile organic compound emissions from switchgrass cultivars used as biofuel crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eller, A. S. D.; Sekimoto, K.; Gilman, J. B.; Kuster, W. C.; de Gouw, J. A.; Monson, R. K.; Graus, M.; Crespo, E.; Warneke, C.; Fall, R.

    2011-06-01

    Volatile organic compound (VOC) emission rates during the growth and simulated harvest phases were determined for switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) using laboratory chamber measurements. Switchgrass is a candidate for use in second-generation (cellulosic) biofuel production and the acreage dedicated to its growth in the USA has already increased during the past decade. We estimate that the yearly emissions from switchgrass plantations, including both the growth and harvest phases will be on the order of 3 kg C ha-1 methanol, 1 kg C ha-1 acetaldehyde, 1 kg C ha-1 acetone, 0.9 kg C ha-1 monoterpenes, 0.5 kg C ha-1 isoprene + another compound, most likely 1-penten-3-ol, 0.2 kg C ha-1 hexenals, and 0.1 kg C ha-1 hexenols. These emission rates are much lower than those expected from Eucalyptus or poplar plantations, which are other potential biofuel crops and have significantly higher VOC emissions, suggesting that the choice of species in the production of biofuels could have serious implications for regional air quality.

  8. The California Biomass Crop Adoption Model estimates biofuel feedstock crop production across diverse agro-ecological zones within the state, under different future climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaffka, S.; Jenner, M.; Bucaram, S.; George, N.

    2012-12-01

    Both regulators and businesses need realistic estimates for the potential production of biomass feedstocks for biofuels and bioproducts. This includes the need to understand how climate change will affect mid-tem and longer-term crop performance and relative advantage. The California Biomass Crop Adoption Model is a partial mathematical programming optimization model that estimates the profit level needed for new crop adoption, and the crop(s) displaced when a biomass feedstock crop is added to the state's diverse set of cropping systems, in diverse regions of the state. Both yield and crop price, as elements of profit, can be varied. Crop adoption is tested against current farmer preferences derived from analysis of 10 years crop production data for all crops produced in California, collected by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Analysis of this extensive data set resulted in 45 distinctive, representative farming systems distributed across the state's diverse agro-ecological regions. Estimated yields and water use are derived from field trials combined with crop simulation, reported elsewhere. Crop simulation is carried out under different weather and climate assumptions. Besides crop adoption and displacement, crop resource use is also accounted, derived from partial budgets used for each crop's cost of production. Systematically increasing biofuel crop price identified areas of the state where different types of crops were most likely to be adopted. Oilseed crops like canola that can be used for biodiesel production had the greatest potential to be grown in the Sacramento Valley and other northern regions, while sugar beets (for ethanol) had the greatest potential in the northern San Joaquin Valley region, and sweet sorghum in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Up to approximately 10% of existing annual cropland in California was available for new crop adoption. New crops are adopted if the entire cropping system becomes more profitable. In

  9. Host Genotype and Harvest Practices Shape the Leaf and Root Microbiomes of the Biofuel Crop Switchgrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, E.; Gonzalez, J.; Juenger, T. E.; Woyke, T.

    2016-12-01

    Growing energy demands and concerns for climate change have urgently pushed forward the timeline for the implementation of biofuel energies. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a leading biofuel crop in the United States. Bacteria living on and inside leaves and roots affect plant health, hence a plant's genetic control over its microbiota is of great interest to crop breeders and evolutionary biologists. We present a large-scale field experiment to untangle the effects of genotype, environment, soil horizon and harvest treatment practices on prokaryotic and fungal communities associated with leaves and roots of switchgrass. Using V4 16S rRNA and ITS gene as well as metagenome sequencing, we show that host genotype is significant in both, leaves and roots, and varies among sites. Microbiome composition along the rhizosphere also shifts with soil depth. Furthermore, plant harvest significantly changes both, leaf surface and rhizosphere communities, which can be seen a year after the harvest event. Gene function analysis shows that rhizosphere communities are enriched in genes encoding nitrate reduction, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, motility, and sensory and signal transduction proteins relative to leaf surface communities. Our results demonstrate how genotype-environment interactions contribute to the complexity of microbiome assembly in natural environments.

  10. Assessing the social impacts of the biofuel lifecycle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Andreas; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

    In order to assess the social impacts of the biofuel lifecycle, Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) may be a promising tool. However, as this review study points out, several problems are still to be solved. SLCA can be defined as a tool for assessing a product’s or service’s total impact on human...

  11. Algal biofuels: key issues, sustainability and life cycle assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singh, A.; Irving Olsen, S.

    2011-05-15

    In recent years research activities are intensively focused on renewable fuels in order to fulfill the increasing energy demand and to reduce the fossil fuels consumption and external oil dependency either in order to provide local energetic resources and or as a means for reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions to reduce the climate change effects. Among the various renewable energy sources algal biofuels is a very promising source of biomass as algae sequester huge quantities of carbon from atmosphere and are very efficient in utilizing the nutrients from the industrial effluent and municipal wastewater. Algae capture CO{sub 2} from atmosphere and industrial flue gases and transform it in to organic biomass that can be used for the production of biofuels. Like other biomass, algal biomass is also a carbon neutral source for the production of bioenergy. Therefore cultivation of algal biomass provides dual benefits; while being able to utilize nutrients in waste water thus reducing impacts on inland waters it produce biomass for the production of biofuels. However, reaching commercial scale production of algal biofuels is difficult. The main drawbacks include the harvesting of dry biomass and higher capital investment. The harvested algal biomass and its extracts can be efficiently converted to different biofuels such as bioethanol, biodiesel, biogas and biohydrogen by implementation of various process technologies. Comprehensive life cycle assessments (LCA) of algal biofuels illustrating environmental benefits and impacts can be a tool for policy decisions and for technology development. (Author)

  12. Assessing soil and groundwater contamination from biofuel spills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Colin S; Shu, Youn-Yuen; Wu, Suh-Huey; Tien, Chien-Jung

    2015-03-01

    Future modifications of fuels should include evaluation of the proposed constituents for their potential to damage environmental resources such as the subsurface environment. Batch and column experiments were designed to simulate biofuel spills in the subsurface environment and to evaluate the sorption and desorption behavior of target fuel constituents (i.e., monoaromatic and polyaromatic hydrocarbons) in soil. The extent and reversibility of the sorption of aromatic biofuel constituents onto soil were determined. When the ethanol content in ethanol-blended gasoline exceeded 25%, enhanced desorption of the aromatic constituents to water was observed. However, when biodiesel was added to diesel fuel, the sorption of target compounds was not affected. In addition, when the organic carbon content of the soil was higher, the desorption of target compounds into water was lower. The empirical relationships between the organic-carbon normalized sorption coefficient (Koc) and water solubility and between Koc and the octanol-water partition coefficient (Kow) were established. Column experiments were carried out for the comparison of column effluent concentration/mass from biofuel-contaminated soil. The dissolution of target components depended on chemical properties such as the hydrophobicity and total mass of biofuel. This study provides a basis for predicting the fate and transport of hydrophobic organic compounds in the event of a biofuel spill. The spill scenarios generated can assist in the assessment of biofuel-contaminated sites.

  13. Satellite-based assessment of water requirement for biofuel feedstock production in Maui, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Water availability is one of the limiting factors for sustainable production of biofuel crops. A common method for determining crop water requirement is to multiply daily potential evapotranspiration (ETo) calculated from meteorological parameters by a crop coefficient (Kc) to obtain actual crop eva...

  14. Modelling Global Land Use and Social Implications in the Sustainability Assessment of Biofuels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kløverpris, Jesper; Wenzel, Henrik

    2007-01-01

    Cross-fertilising environmental, economic and geographical modelling to improve the environmental assessment of biofuel......Cross-fertilising environmental, economic and geographical modelling to improve the environmental assessment of biofuel...

  15. Resource use efficiency and environmental performance of nine major biofuel crops, processed by first-generation conversion techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vries, de S.C.; Ven, van de G.W.J.; Ittersum, van M.K.; Giller, K.E.

    2010-01-01

    We compared the production–ecological sustainability of biofuel production from several major crops that are also commonly used for production of food or feed, based on current production practices in major production areas. The set of nine sustainability indicators focused on resource use

  16. Jatropha curcas, a biofuel crop: functional genomics for understanding metabolic pathways and genetic improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-10-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement. © 2013 The Authors. Biotechnology Journal published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Algal biofuels: key issues, sustainability and life cycle assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving

    2011-01-01

    In recent years research activities are intensively focused on renewable fuels in order to fulfill the increasing energy demand and to reduce the fossil fuels consumption and external oil dependency either in order to provide local energetic resources and or as a means for reducing greenhouse gases...... (GHG) emissions to reduce the climate change effects. Among the various renewable energy sources algal biofuels is a very promising source of biomass as algae sequester huge quantities of carbon from atmosphere and are very efficient in utilizing the nutrients from the industrial effluent and municipal...... capital investment. The harvested algal biomass and its extracts can be efficiently converted to different biofuels such as bioethanol, biodiesel, biogas and biohydrogen by implementation of various process technologies. Comprehensive life cycle assessments (LCA) of algal biofuels illustrating...

  18. Enhanced Carbon Concentration in Camelina: Development of a Dedicated, High-value Biofuels Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-01-01

    PETRO Project: UMass is developing an enhanced, biofuels-producing variant of Camelina, a drought-resistant, cold-tolerant oilseed crop that can be grown in many places other plants cannot. The team is working to incorporate several genetic traits into Camelina that increases its natural ability to produce oils and add the production of energy-dense terpene molecules that can be easily converted into liquid fuels. UMass is also experimenting with translating a component common in algae to Camelina that should allow the plants to absorb higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), which aids in enhancing photosynthesis and fuel conversion. The process will first be demonstrated in tobacco before being applied in Camelina.

  19. Assessing the biofuel options for Southern Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Von Malititz, GP

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available in modified petrol engines; and biodiesel, which can be used as a direct diesel replacement or as a blend with petroleum diesel. Bioethanol is derived from sugar through fermentation and distillation in a process functionally identical to the production... of alcohol for the liqueur market (Bridgwater, 2006). Starch- based crops such as maize or sugar molasses require an additional processing step that converts the starch to a sugar. This simple and well established process is referred to as first...

  20. Exploring the Potential Use of Camelina sativa as a Biofuel crop for Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharjee, Tapas Chandra

    2011-12-01

    The objective of this research is to explore the feasibility of using Camelina sativa, an oilseed crop as an alternative feedstock for biodiesel production. To establish it as a potential biofuel crop in Nevada, C. sativa seeds were treated with ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) and twenty-five randomly selected lines of an M3 generation EMS population were evaluated for fatty acid composition. Increased variation in fatty acid composition was observed when compared with the control, wildtype cultivar. Most importantly, lines demonstrated putative decreases in relative linolenic acid content, a desirable outcome for biodiesel quality. To select the best variety of C. sativa for local production, an analysis of oil content, germination rate, 1000 seed weight was performed among different varieties and significant differences in seed quality was observed. Transcriptome analysis of C. sativa was performed using 454 pyrosequencing to characterize expressed genes in roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and developing seeds of mature plants subjected to drought, cold and high salinity stress Some contig assemblies corresponding to stress-inducible gene and genes involved in fatty acid biosynthesis were observed in this study.

  1. Biofuels as a sustainable energy source: an update of the applications of proteomics in bioenergy crops and algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ndimba, Bongani Kaiser; Ndimba, Roya Janeen; Johnson, T Sudhakar; Waditee-Sirisattha, Rungaroon; Baba, Masato; Sirisattha, Sophon; Shiraiwa, Yoshihiro; Agrawal, Ganesh Kumar; Rakwal, Randeep

    2013-11-20

    Sustainable energy is the need of the 21st century, not because of the numerous environmental and political reasons but because it is necessary to human civilization's energy future. Sustainable energy is loosely grouped into renewable energy, energy conservation, and sustainable transport disciplines. In this review, we deal with the renewable energy aspect focusing on the biomass from bioenergy crops to microalgae to produce biofuels to the utilization of high-throughput omics technologies, in particular proteomics in advancing our understanding and increasing biofuel production. We look at biofuel production by plant- and algal-based sources, and the role proteomics has played therein. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Translational Plant Proteomics. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Carbon and energy balances for cellulosic biofuel crops in U.S. Midwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerlfand, I.; Hamilton, S. K.; Robertson, G. P.

    2012-04-01

    Cellulosic biofuels produced on lands not used for food production have the potential to avoid competition for food and associated indirect land use costs. Understanding the carbon and energy balance implications for different cellulosic production systems is important for the development of decision making tools and policies. Here we present carbon and energy balances of alternative agricultural management. We use 20 years of data from KBS LTER experiments to produce farm level CO2 and energy balances for different management practices. Our analyses include four grain and four perrenial systems in the U.S. Midwest: corn (Zea mays) - soybean (Glycine max) - wheat (Triticum aestivum) rotations managed with (1) conventional tillage, (2) no till, (3) low chemical input, and (4) biologically-based (organic) practices; (5) continuous alfalfa (Medicago sativa); (6) Poplar; and (7,8) Successionnal fields, both fertilized and unfertilized. Measurements include fluxes of N2O and CH4, soil organic carbon change, agricultural yields, and agricultural inputs (e.g. fertilization and farm fuel use). Our results indicate that management decisions such as tillage and plant types have a great influence on the net carbon and energy balances and benefits of cellulosic biofuels production. Specifically, we show that cellulosic biofuels produced from an early successional, minimally managed system have a net C sequestration (i.e., negative C balance) of -841±46 gCO2e m-2 yr-1 vs. -594±93 gCO2e m-2 yr-1 for more productive and management intensive alfalfa, and vs. 232±157 gCO2e m-2 for poplar. The reference agricultural system (a conventionally tilled corn-soybean-wheat rotation) has net sequestration of -149±33 g CO2e m-2 yr-1. Among the annual grain crops, average energy costs of farming for the different systems ranged from 4.8 GJ ha-1 for the organic system to 7.1 GJ ha-1 for the conventional; the no-till system was also low at 4.9 GJ ha-1 and the low-chemical input system

  3. Assessing Jatropha Crop Production Alternatives in Abandoned Agricultural Arid Soils Using MCA and GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serafin Corral

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses the assessment of various biofuel crop production alternatives on the island of Fuerteventura using Jatropha crops. It adopts an integrated approach by carrying out a multi-criteria assessment with the support of participatory techniques and geographical information systems. Sixteen production alternatives were analyzed for growing Jatropha, and the results suggest that the best alternative involves using typical torrifluvent soils irrigated with recycled urban wastewater using surface drip irrigation covering 100% evapotranspiration. It was also determined that a potential area of 2546 ha could be used for cultivation within a radius of 10 km from a wastewater treatment plant. This level of production would supply 27.56% of the biofuel needs of Fuerteventura, thereby contributing to the 2020 target of the European Commission regarding biofuels for land transport.

  4. Fuel from Tobacco and Arundo Donax: Synthetic Crop for Direct Drop-in Biofuel Production through Re-routing the Photorespiration Intermediates and Engineering Terpenoid Pathways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-02-15

    PETRO Project: Biofuels offer renewable alternatives to petroleum-based fuels that reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to nearly zero. However, traditional biofuels production is limited not only by the small amount of solar energy that plants convert through photosynthesis into biological materials, but also by inefficient processes for converting these biological materials into fuels. Farm-ready, non-food crops are needed that produce fuels or fuel-like precursors at significantly lower costs with significantly higher productivity. To make biofuels cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels, biofuels production costs must be cut in half.

  5. The role of N2O derived from crop-based biofuels, and from agriculture in general, in Earth's climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Keith A.; Mosier, Arvin R.; Crutzen, Paul J.; Winiwarter, Wilfried

    2012-01-01

    In earlier work, we compared the amount of newly fixed nitrogen (N, as synthetic fertilizer and biologically fixed N) entering agricultural systems globally to the total emission of nitrous oxide (N2O). We obtained an N2O emission factor (EF) of 3–5%, and applied it to biofuel production. For ‘first-generation’ biofuels, e.g. biodiesel from rapeseed and bioethanol from corn (maize), that require N fertilizer, N2O from biofuel production could cause (depending on N uptake efficiency) as much or more global warming as that avoided by replacement of fossil fuel by the biofuel. Our subsequent calculations in a follow-up paper, using published life cycle analysis (LCA) models, led to broadly similar conclusions. The N2O EF applies to agricultural crops in general, not just to biofuel crops, and has made possible a top-down estimate of global emissions from agriculture. Independent modelling by another group using bottom-up IPCC inventory methodology has shown good agreement at the global scale with our top-down estimate. Work by Davidson showed that the rate of accumulation of N2O in the atmosphere in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries was greater than that predicted from agricultural inputs limited to fertilizer N and biologically fixed N (Davidson, E. A. 2009 Nat. Geosci. 2, 659–662.). However, by also including soil organic N mineralized following land-use change and NOx deposited from the atmosphere in our estimates of the reactive N entering the agricultural cycle, we have now obtained a good fit between the observed atmospheric N2O concentrations from 1860 to 2000 and those calculated on the basis of a 4 per cent EF for the reactive N. PMID:22451102

  6. The role of N2O derived from crop-based biofuels, and from agriculture in general, in Earth's climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Keith A; Mosier, Arvin R; Crutzen, Paul J; Winiwarter, Wilfried

    2012-05-05

    In earlier work, we compared the amount of newly fixed nitrogen (N, as synthetic fertilizer and biologically fixed N) entering agricultural systems globally to the total emission of nitrous oxide (N(2)O). We obtained an N(2)O emission factor (EF) of 3-5%, and applied it to biofuel production. For 'first-generation' biofuels, e.g. biodiesel from rapeseed and bioethanol from corn (maize), that require N fertilizer, N(2)O from biofuel production could cause (depending on N uptake efficiency) as much or more global warming as that avoided by replacement of fossil fuel by the biofuel. Our subsequent calculations in a follow-up paper, using published life cycle analysis (LCA) models, led to broadly similar conclusions. The N(2)O EF applies to agricultural crops in general, not just to biofuel crops, and has made possible a top-down estimate of global emissions from agriculture. Independent modelling by another group using bottom-up IPCC inventory methodology has shown good agreement at the global scale with our top-down estimate. Work by Davidson showed that the rate of accumulation of N(2)O in the atmosphere in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries was greater than that predicted from agricultural inputs limited to fertilizer N and biologically fixed N (Davidson, E. A. 2009 Nat. Geosci. 2, 659-662.). However, by also including soil organic N mineralized following land-use change and NO(x) deposited from the atmosphere in our estimates of the reactive N entering the agricultural cycle, we have now obtained a good fit between the observed atmospheric N(2)O concentrations from 1860 to 2000 and those calculated on the basis of a 4 per cent EF for the reactive N.

  7. Variation in canopy duration in the perennial biofuel crop Miscanthus reveals complex associations with yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robson, Paul R.H.; Farrar, Kerrie; Gay, Alan P.; Jensen, Elaine F.; Clifton-Brown, John C.; Donnison, Iain S.

    2013-01-01

    Energy crops can provide a sustainable source of power and fuels, and mitigate the negative effects of CO2 emissions associated with fossil fuel use. Miscanthus is a perennial C4 energy crop capable of producing large biomass yields whilst requiring low levels of input. Miscanthus is largely unimproved and therefore there could be significant opportunities to increase yield. Further increases in yield will improve the economics, energy balance, and carbon mitigation of the crop, as well as reducing land-take. One strategy to increase yield in Miscanthus is to maximize the light captured through an extension of canopy duration. In this study, canopy duration was compared among a diverse collection of 244 Miscanthus genotypes. Canopy duration was determined by calculating the number of days between canopy establishment and senescence. Yield was positively correlated with canopy duration. Earlier establishment and later senescence were also both separately correlated with higher yield. However, although genotypes with short canopy durations were low yielding, not all genotypes with long canopy durations were high yielding. Differences of yield between genotypes with long canopy durations were associated with variation in stem and leaf traits. Different methodologies to assess canopy duration traits were investigated, including visual assessment, image analysis, light interception, and different trait thresholds. The highest correlation coefficients were associated with later assessments of traits and the use of quantum sensors for canopy establishment. A model for trait optimization to enable yield improvement in Miscanthus and other bioenergy crops is discussed. PMID:23599277

  8. Limits to biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Johansson S.

    2013-01-01

    Biofuel production is dependent upon agriculture and forestry systems, and the expectations of future biofuel potential are high. A study of the global food production and biofuel production from edible crops implies that biofuel produced from edible parts of crops lead to a global deficit of food. This is rather well known, which is why there is a strong urge to develop biofuel systems that make use of residues or products from forest to eliminate competition with food production. However, b...

  9. Photosynthetic energy conversion efficiency: setting a baseline for gauging future improvements in important food and biofuel crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, Rebecca A; Ort, Donald R

    2015-06-01

    The conversion efficiency (ε(c)) of absorbed radiation into biomass (MJ of dry matter per MJ of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation) is a component of yield potential that has been estimated at less than half the theoretical maximum. Various strategies have been proposed to improve ε(c), but a statistical analysis to establish baseline ε(c) levels across different crop functional types is lacking. Data from 164 published ε(c) studies conducted in relatively unstressed growth conditions were used to determine the means, greatest contributors to variation, and genetic trends in ε(c )across important food and biofuel crop species. ε(c) was greatest in biofuel crops (0.049-0.066), followed by C4 food crops (0.046-0.049), C3 nonlegumes (0.036-0.041), and finally C3 legumes (0.028-0.035). Despite confining our analysis to relatively unstressed growth conditions, total incident solar radiation and average growing season temperature most often accounted for the largest portion of ε(c) variability. Genetic improvements in ε(c), when present, were less than 0.7% per year, revealing the unrealized potential of improving ε(c) as a promising contributing strategy to meet projected future agricultural demand. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  10. Resource use efficiency and environmental performance of nine major biofuel crops, processed by first-generation conversion techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    de Vries, Sander C.; van de Ven, Gerrie W.J.; van Ittersum, Martin K.; Giller, Ken E. [Plant Production Systems Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 430, 6700 AK Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2010-05-15

    We compared the production-ecological sustainability of biofuel production from several major crops that are also commonly used for production of food or feed, based on current production practices in major production areas. The set of nine sustainability indicators focused on resource use efficiency, soil quality, net energy production and greenhouse gas emissions, disregarding socio-economic or biodiversity aspects and land use change. Based on these nine production-ecological indicators and attributing equal importance to each indicator, biofuel produced from oil palm (South East Asia), sugarcane (Brazil) and sweet sorghum (China) appeared most sustainable: these crops make the most efficient use of land, water, nitrogen and energy resources, while pesticide applications are relatively low in relation to the net energy produced. Provided there is no land use change, greenhouse gas emissions of these three biofuels are substantially reduced compared with fossil fuels. Oil palm was most sustainable with respect to the maintenance of soil quality. Maize (USA) and wheat (Northwest Europe) as feedstock for ethanol perform poorly for nearly all indicators. Sugar beet (Northwest Europe), cassava (Thailand), rapeseed (Northwest Europe) and soybean (USA) take an intermediate position. (author)

  11. Using The Corngrass1 Gene To Enhance The Biofuel Properties Of Crop Plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hake, Sarah [USDA Agricultural Research Service, Washington DC (United States); Chuck, George [USDA Agricultural Research Service, Washington DC (United States)

    2015-10-29

    The development of novel plant germplasm is vital to addressing our increasing bioenergy demands. The major hurdle to digesting plant biomass is the complex structure of the cell walls, the substrate of fermentation. Plant cell walls are inaccessible matrices of macromolecules that are polymerized with lignin, making fermentation difficult. Overcoming this hurdle is a major goal toward developing usable bioenergy crop plants. Our project seeks to enhance the biofuel properties of perennial grass species using the Corngrass1 (Cg1) gene and its targets. Dominant maize Cg1 mutants produce increased biomass by continuously initiating extra axillary meristems and leaves. We cloned Cg1 and showed that its phenotype is caused by over expression of a unique miR156 microRNA gene that negatively regulates SPL transcription factors. We transferred the Cg1 phenotype to other plants by expressing the gene behind constitutive promoters in four different species, including the monocots, Brachypodium and switchgrass, and dicots, Arabidopsis and poplar. All transformants displayed a similar range of phenotypes, including increased biomass from extended leaf production, and increased vegetative branching. Field grown switchgrass transformants showed that overall lignin content was reduced, the ratio of glucans to xylans was increased, and surprisingly, that starch levels were greatly increased. The goals of this project are to control the tissue and temporal expression of Cg1 by using different promoters to drive its expression, elucidate the function of the SPL targets of Cg1 by generating gain and loss of function alleles, and isolate downstream targets of select SPL genes using deep sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation. We believe it is possible to control biomass accumulation, cell wall properties, and sugar levels through manipulation of either the Cg1 gene and/or its SPL targets.

  12. A photorespiratory bypass increases plant growth and seed yield in biofuel crop Camelina sativa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalal, Jyoti; Lopez, Harry; Vasani, Naresh B; Hu, Zhaohui; Swift, Jennifer E; Yalamanchili, Roopa; Dvora, Mia; Lin, Xiuli; Xie, Deyu; Qu, Rongda; Sederoff, Heike W

    2015-01-01

    Camelina sativa is an oilseed crop with great potential for biofuel production on marginal land. The seed oil from camelina has been converted to jet fuel and improved fuel efficiency in commercial and military test flights. Hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel from camelina is environmentally superior to that from canola due to lower agricultural inputs, and the seed meal is FDA approved for animal consumption. However, relatively low yield makes its farming less profitable. Our study is aimed at increasing camelina seed yield by reducing carbon loss from photorespiration via a photorespiratory bypass. Genes encoding three enzymes of the Escherichia coli glycolate catabolic pathway were introduced: glycolate dehydrogenase (GDH), glyoxylate carboxyligase (GCL) and tartronic semialdehyde reductase (TSR). These enzymes compete for the photorespiratory substrate, glycolate, convert it to glycerate within the chloroplasts, and reduce photorespiration. As a by-product of the reaction, CO2 is released in the chloroplast, which increases photosynthesis. Camelina plants were transformed with either partial bypass (GDH), or full bypass (GDH, GCL and TSR) genes. Transgenic plants were evaluated for physiological and metabolic traits. Expressing the photorespiratory bypass genes in camelina reduced photorespiration and increased photosynthesis in both partial and full bypass expressing lines. Expression of partial bypass increased seed yield by 50-57 %, while expression of full bypass increased seed yield by 57-73 %, with no loss in seed quality. The transgenic plants also showed increased vegetative biomass and faster development; they flowered, set seed and reached seed maturity about 1 week earlier than WT. At the transcriptional level, transgenic plants showed differential expression in categories such as respiration, amino acid biosynthesis and fatty acid metabolism. The increased growth of the bypass transgenics compared to WT was only observed in ambient or low CO

  13. Sustainability of biofuels and bioproducts: socio-economic impact assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Rutz, D; van Eijck, J.A.J.; Faaij, A.P.C.

    2011-01-01

    Many countries worldwide are increasingly engaging in the promotion of biomass production for industrial uses such as biofuels and bioproducts (chemicals, bioplastics, etc.). Until today, mainly biofuels were supported by European policies, but support for bioproducts is still lacking behind. Thus, also the public sustainability debate concentrated on biofuels, but so far not on bioproducts. Driven by the strong public debate on sustainability aspects, biofuels are confronted with many enviro...

  14. Biorefineries for chemical and biofuel production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjerbæk Søtoft, Lene

    crops for biofuel production is research in biorefineries using a whole-crop approach with the aim of having an optimal use of all the components of the specific crop. Looking at rape as a model crop, the components can be used for i.e. bioethanol, biodiesel, biogas, biohydrogen, feed, food and plant...... with traditional land based food or feed crops, but can be grown to produce oil or biomass for biofuels as well as a long range of products with huge potential as food, feed or nutritionals. This with smaller requirements towards feed nutrients and land use. Value: If biofuels are to be used as a substitute...... will bring forth new knowledge on biorefineries and help decision makers in their assessment of the potential of biofuels in our future....

  15. Is biofuel policy harming biodiversity in Europe?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eggers, J.; Tröltzsch, K.; Falcucci, A.; Verburg, P.H.; Ozinga, W.A.

    2009-01-01

    We assessed the potential impacts of land-use changes resulting from a change in the current biofuel policy on biodiversity in Europe. We evaluated the possible impact of both arable and woody biofuel crops on changes in distribution of 313 species pertaining to different taxonomic groups. Using

  16. Global Warming Potential and Eutrophication Potential of Biofuel Feedstock Crops Produced in Florida, Measured Under Different Scenarios

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izursa, Jose-Luis; Hanlon, Edward; Amponsah, Nana; Capece, John

    2013-02-15

    The agriculture sector is in a growing need to develop greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation techniques to reduce the enhanced greenhouse effect. The challenge to the sector is not only to reduce net emissions but also increase production to meet growing demands for food, fiber, and biofuel. This study focuses on the changes in the GHG balance of three biofuel feedstock (biofuel sugarcane, energy-cane and sweet sorghum) considering changes caused by the adoption of conservationist practices such as reduced tillage, use of controlled-release fertilizers or when cultivation areas are converted from burned harvest to green harvest. Based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2006) balance and the Tools for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI) characterization factors published by the EPA, the annual emission balance includes use energy (diesel and electricity), equipment, and ancillary materials, according to the mean annual consumption of supplies per hectare. The total amounts of GWP were 2740, 1791, and 1910 kg CO2e ha-1 y-1 for biofuel sugarcane, energy-cane and sweet sorghum, respectively, when produced with conventional tillage and sugarcane was burned prior to harvesting. Applying reduced tillage practices, the GHG emissions reduced to 13% for biofuel sugarcane, 23% for energy-cane and 8% for sweet sorghum. A similar decrease occurs when a controlled-release fertilizer practice is adopted, which helps reduce the total emission balance in 5%, 12% and 19% for biofuel sugarcane, energy-cane and sweet sorghum, respectively and a 31% average reduction in eutrophication potential. Moreover, the GHG emissions for biofuel sugarcane, with the adoption of green harvest, would result in a smaller GHG balance of 1924 kg CO2e ha-1 y-1, providing an effect strategy for GHG mitigation while still providing a profitable yield in Florida.

  17. First or second generation biofuel crops in Brandenburg, Germany? A model-based comparison of their production-ecological sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vries, de S.C.; Ven, van de G.W.J.; Ittersum, van M.K.

    2014-01-01

    We assessed and compared the production-ecological sustainability of first and second generation biofuel production systems in the state of Brandenburg, Germany. Production ecological sustainability was defined by a limited set of sustainability indicators including net energy yield per hectare, GHG

  18. Identification and expression analysis of microRNAs and targets in the biofuel crop sugarcane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincentz Michel

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs are small regulatory RNAs, some of which are conserved in diverse plant genomes. Therefore, computational identification and further experimental validation of miRNAs from non-model organisms is both feasible and instrumental for addressing miRNA-based gene regulation and evolution. Sugarcane (Saccharum spp. is an important biofuel crop with publicly available expressed sequence tag and genomic survey sequence databases, but little is known about miRNAs and their targets in this highly polyploid species. Results In this study, we have computationally identified 19 distinct sugarcane miRNA precursors, of which several are highly similar with their sorghum homologs at both nucleotide and secondary structure levels. The accumulation pattern of mature miRNAs varies in organs/tissues from the commercial sugarcane hybrid as well as in its corresponding founder species S. officinarum and S. spontaneum. Using sugarcane MIR827 as a query, we found a novel MIR827 precursor in the sorghum genome. Based on our computational tool, a total of 46 potential targets were identified for the 19 sugarcane miRNAs. Several targets for highly conserved miRNAs are transcription factors that play important roles in plant development. Conversely, target genes of lineage-specific miRNAs seem to play roles in diverse physiological processes, such as SsCBP1. SsCBP1 was experimentally confirmed to be a target for the monocot-specific miR528. Our findings support the notion that the regulation of SsCBP1 by miR528 is shared at least within graminaceous monocots, and this miRNA-based post-transcriptional regulation evolved exclusively within the monocots lineage after the divergence from eudicots. Conclusions Using publicly available nucleotide databases, 19 sugarcane miRNA precursors and one new sorghum miRNA precursor were identified and classified into 14 families. Comparative analyses between sugarcane and sorghum suggest that these two

  19. Soil CO2, N2O and Nox Flux Responses to Biofuel Crop Plantation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, L.; Eberwein, J.; Allsman, L.; Grantz, D. A.; Jenerette, D.

    2014-12-01

    Biofuel crops in high temperature environments, e.g, sorghum in southern California, USA, have a high capacity to assimilate atmospheric CO2. Photosynthates from the canopy may provide extra labile carbon source to feed soil microorganisms and influence trace gas fluxes, including CO2, N2O and NOx. Understanding how soil microorganisms balance the carbon (energy) and nitrogen (nutrients) allocation between growing microbial biomass and respiration is critical for evaluating the GHG emissions and emissions of regional air quality pollutants. We conducted experiments in a high temperature agroecosystem both in fallow and sorghum production fields with an experimental nitrogen gradient (0,50 and 100 kg/ha, marked as control, low and high with triplicate repeat) to investigate the CO2, N2O and NOx flux responses. All gas fluxes were measured simultaneously from three replicate locations for each treatment in the field biweekly. Measurements were performed 2-5 days after irrigation. We found that planting sorghum has significant effects on soil CO2 (p<0.0001), N2O (p<0.0001) and NOx (p=0.04) fluxes, but nitrogen amendments only have marginally significant effects on CO2 flux (p=0.07). Surprisingly, no significant response of N2O (p=0.27) and NOx (p=0.61) were observed in responses to N amendments. Compared to the fallow field, the CO2 flux in sorghum field increased 77%, 134% and 202% in control, low and high N level amendments, respectively. N2O flux from the sorghum field are consistently higher than from fallow field, with 207%, 174% and 1064% increase in control, low and high N level amendments, respectively. For the NOx flux, no significant difference was found between fallow and sorghum field. Although nitrogen amendments did not show significant effects on CO2, N2O and NOx flux, the high N treatment in sorghum field continuously gains the highest flux rates. Our results suggested additional C inputs may be an important factor regulating CO2, N2O and NOx fluxes in

  20. Unintended consequences of biofuels production?The effects of large-scale crop conversion on water quality and quantity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, Heather L.; Green, Christopher T.; Rebich, Richard A.; Barlow, Jeannie R.B.; Hicks, Matthew B.

    2010-01-01

    In the search for renewable fuel alternatives, biofuels have gained strong political momentum. In the last decade, extensive mandates, policies, and subsidies have been adopted to foster the development of a biofuels industry in the United States. The Biofuels Initiative in the Mississippi Delta resulted in a 47-percent decrease in cotton acreage with a concurrent 288-percent increase in corn acreage in 2007. Because corn uses 80 percent more water for irrigation than cotton, and more nitrogen fertilizer is recommended for corn cultivation than for cotton, this widespread shift in crop type has implications for water quantity and water quality in the Delta. Increased water use for corn is accelerating water-level declines in the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer at a time when conservation is being encouraged because of concerns about sustainability of the groundwater resource. Results from a mathematical model calibrated to existing conditions in the Delta indicate that increased fertilizer application on corn also likely will increase the extent of nitrate-nitrogen movement into the alluvial aquifer. Preliminary estimates based on surface-water modeling results indicate that higher application rates of nitrogen increase the nitrogen exported from the Yazoo River Basin to the Mississippi River by about 7 percent. Thus, the shift from cotton to corn may further contribute to hypoxic (low dissolved oxygen) conditions in the Gulf of Mexico.

  1. Assessing the Economic, Environmental and Social Sustainability of Biofuel Policies

    OpenAIRE

    Mela, Giulio

    2013-01-01

    Biofuels started to raise interest almost 40 years ago, when the Arab oil embargo pushed oil prices up and therefore spurred the research towards new forms of energy. Nevertheless, biofuel production has not really taken off until recently, when the combination of high oil prices, concern about greenhouse gas emissions, and the progressive reduction of oil reserves induced many countries across the world to implement policies encouraging biofuels production. At the beginning of the 2000s, ...

  2. Sustainability of biofuels and bioproducts: socio-economic impact assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rutz, D.; van Eijck, J.A.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/297954296; Faaij, A.P.C.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/10685903X

    2011-01-01

    Many countries worldwide are increasingly engaging in the promotion of biomass production for industrial uses such as biofuels and bioproducts (chemicals, bioplastics, etc.). Until today, mainly biofuels were supported by European policies, but support for bioproducts is still lacking behind. Thus,

  3. Transport biofuels - a life-cycle assessment approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijnders, L.

    2008-01-01

    Life-cycle studies of the currently dominant transport biofuels (bioethanol made from starch or sugar and biodiesel made from vegetable oil) show that solar energy conversion efficiency is relatively poor if compared with solar cells and that such biofuels tend to do worse than conventional fossil

  4. Wonder crop could pave the way for bio-fuel revolution

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Gush, Mark B

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available are some of the pressures that are influencing the quest for alternative, cleaner forms of energy. Some would suggest that the bio-fuel revolution has begun. Because of these trends a recent business initiative has proposed the introduction of the so...

  5. Ecological effects of feral biofuel crops in constructed oak savannah communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effects of elevated temperatures and drought on constructed oak savannahs were studied to determine the interactive effects of potentially invasive feral biofuel species and climate change on native grassland communities. A total of 12 sunlit mesocosm were used. Each mesoco...

  6. Ecological effects of feral biofuel crops in constructed oak savannah communities - June 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effects of elevated temperatures and drought on constructed oak savannahs were studied to determine the interactive effects of potentially invasive feral biofuel species and climate change on native grassland communities. A total of 12 sunlit mesocosm were used. Each mesoco...

  7. Decomposition rate and enzymatic activity of composted municipal waste and poultry manure in the soil in a biofuel crops field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordovil, Cláudia Marques-Dos-Santos; de Varennes, Amarilis; Pinto, Renata Machado Dos Santos; Alves, Tiago Filipe; Mendes, Pedro; Sampaio, Sílvio César

    2017-05-01

    Biofuel crops are gaining importance because of the need to replace non-renewable sources. Also, due to the increasing amounts of wastes generated, there is the need to recycle them to the soil, both to fertilize crops and to improve soil physical properties through organic matter increase and microbiological changes in the rhizosphere. We therefore studied the influence of six biofuel crops (elephant grass, giant cane, sugarcane, blue gum, black cottonwood, willow) on the decomposition rate and enzymatic activity of composted municipal solid waste and poultry manure. Organic amendments were incubated in the field (litterbag method), buried near each plant or bare soil. Biomass decrease and dehydrogenase, urease and acid phosphatase level in amendments was monitored over a 180-day period. Soil under the litterbags was analysed for the same enzymatic activity and organic matter fractions (last sampling). After 365 days, a fractionation of organic matter was carried out in both amendments and soil under the litterbags. For compost, willow and sugarcane generally led to the greatest enzymatic activity, at the end of the experiment. For manure, dehydrogenase activity decreased sharply with time, the smallest value near sugarcane, while phosphatase and urease generally presented the highest values, at the beginning or after 90 days' incubation. Clustering showed that plant species could be grouped based on biomass and enzymes measured over time. Plant species influenced the decomposition rate and enzymatic activities of the organic amendments. Overall, mineralization of both amendments was associated with a greater urease activity in soils. Dehydrogenase activity in manure was closely associated with urease activity. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  8. Early warning and crop condition assessment research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boatwright, G. O.; Whitehead, V. S.

    1986-01-01

    The Early Warning Crop Condition Assessment Project of AgRISTARS was a multiagency and multidisciplinary effort. Its mission and objectives were centered around development and testing of remote-sensing techniques that enhance operational methodologies for global crop-condition assessments. The project developed crop stress indicators models that provide data filter and alert capabilities for monitoring global agricultural conditions. The project developed a technique for using NOAA-n satellite advanced very-high-resolution radiometer (AVHRR) data for operational crop-condition assessments. This technology was transferred to the Foreign Agricultural Service of the USDA. The project developed a U.S. Great Plains data base that contains various meteorological parameters and vegetative index numbers (VIN) derived from AVHRR satellite data. It developed cloud screening techniques and scan angle correction models for AVHRR data. It also developed technology for using remotely acquired thermal data for crop water stress indicator modeling. The project provided basic technology including spectral characteristics of soils, water, stressed and nonstressed crop and range vegetation, solar zenith angle, and atmospheric and canopy structure effects.

  9. Water footprint benchmarks for crop production: A first global assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mekonnen, Mesfin; Hoekstra, Arjen Ysbert

    2014-01-01

    In the coming few decades, global freshwater demand will increase to meet the growing demand for food, fibre and biofuel crops. Raising water productivity in agriculture, that is reducing the water footprint (WF) per unit of production, will contribute to reducing the pressure on the limited global

  10. Consequences of EU Biofuel Policies on Agricultural Production and Land Use

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Banse, M.A.H.; Meijl, van H.; Woltjer, G.B.

    2008-01-01

    This article assesses the implications of European Union (EU) biofuel policies based on a general equilibrium framework with endogenous land supply. The results show that, without policy intervention to stimulate the use of biofuel crops, the targets set by the EU Biofuels Directive will not be met.

  11. Using satellite vegetation and compound topographic indices to map highly erodible cropland buffers for cellulosic biofuel crop developments in eastern Nebraska, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2015-01-01

    Cultivating annual row crops in high topographic relief waterway buffers has negative environmental effects and can be environmentally unsustainable. Growing perennial grasses such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) for biomass (e.g., cellulosic biofuel feedstocks) instead of annual row crops in these high relief waterway buffers can improve local environmental conditions (e.g., reduce soil erosion and improve water quality through lower use of fertilizers and pesticides) and ecosystem services (e.g., minimize drought and flood impacts on production; improve wildlife habitat, plant vigor, and nitrogen retention due to post-senescence harvest for cellulosic biofuels; and serve as carbon sinks). The main objectives of this study are to: (1) identify cropland areas with high topographic relief (high runoff potentials) and high switchgrass productivity potential in eastern Nebraska that may be suitable for growing switchgrass, and (2) estimate the total switchgrass production gain from the potential biofuel areas. Results indicate that about 140,000 hectares of waterway buffers in eastern Nebraska are suitable for switchgrass development and the total annual estimated switchgrass biomass production for these suitable areas is approximately 1.2 million metric tons. The resulting map delineates high topographic relief croplands and provides useful information to land managers and biofuel plant investors to make optimal land use decisions regarding biofuel crop development and ecosystem service optimization in eastern Nebraska.

  12. Weed management in short rotation poplar and herbaceous perennial crops grown for biofuel production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buhler, D.D. [USDA-Agricultural Research Service National Soil Tilth Lab., Ames, IA (United States); Netzer, D.A.; Riemenschneider, D.E. [USDA-Forest Service, Forestry Sciences Lab., Rhinelander, WI (United States); Hartzler, R.G. [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States). Dept. of Agrimony

    1998-12-31

    Weed management is a key element of any crop production system. Weeds are a particular problem in the production of short rotation woody and perennial herbaceous biomass crops due to the shortage of registered herbicides and integrated weed management systems. Herbicides will be an important component of weed management of biomass crops. However, producers should take a broader view of weeds and incorporate all available weed management tactics in these production systems. In both short rotation poplar and herbaceous perennial crops, weed control during the establishment period is most critical. New plantings of these species grow very slowly and do not compete well with weeds until a canopy develops. Effective weed control can double the growth of short rotation poplar crops and affect the variability of the resulting stand. In crops like switchgrass, uncontrolled weeds during establishment can result in stand failure. Cultural practices such as site preparation, using weed-free seed, fallowing, selecting the proper planting dates, companion crops and controlling weeds in previous crops must be combined with herbicides to develop integrated management systems. Weeds may also cause problems in established stands through competition with the biomass crop and by contaminating the product. Effective and economical weed management systems will be essential for the development of short rotation woody and herbaceous perennial biomass crop production systems. (Author)

  13. Comparative safety assessment for biotech crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kok, E.J.; Kuiper, H.A.

    2003-01-01

    Since the first discussions on strategies to assess the food safety of genetically modified (GM) crop plants, assessment of GM plants and derived tissues has been based on comparisons with their traditionally bred counterparts. This was termed the Principle of Substantial Equivalence. However,

  14. White paper report from working groups attending the international conference on research and educational opportunities in bio-fuel crop production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morgan, K.T. [University of Florida, Soil and Water Science Dep., Southwest Florida Res. and Educ. Center, Immokalee, FL 34142 (United States); Gilbert, R.A. [University of Florida, Agronomy Dep., Everglades Res. and Educ. Center, Belle Glade, FL 33430 (United States); Helsel, Z.A. [Rutgers University, Plant Biology and Pathology Dep., New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520 (United States); Buacum, L. [University of Florida, Hendry County Extension, LaBelle, FL 33935 (United States); Leon, R.; Perret, J. [EARTH University, Apto. 4442-1000, San Jose (Costa Rica)

    2010-12-15

    A conference on current research and educational programs in production of crops for bio-fuel was sponsored and organized by the EARTH University and the University of Florida in November, 2008. The meeting addressed current research on crops for bio-fuel production with discussions of research alternatives for future crop production systems, land use issues, ethics of food vs. fuel production, and carbon sequestration in environmentally sensitive tropical and sub-tropical regions of the Americas. The need and potential for development of graduate and undergraduate curricula and inter-institutional cooperation among educational institutions in the region were also discussed. Delegations from Belize, Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Panama, The Dominican Republic, and the United States including ministers of Agriculture and Energy attended this meeting. Over a two-day period, four working groups provided a framework to facilitate networking, motivate task oriented creative thinking, and maintain a timely accomplishment of assigned duties in the context of the conference themes. Participants in the conference were assigned to one of four working groups, each following given topics: Agronomy, Environment, Socio-Economics and Education/Extension. It was the consensus of representatives of industry, academic and regulatory community assembled in Costa Rica that significant research, education and socio-economic information is needed to make production of bio-fuel crops sustainable. Agronomic research should include better crop selection based on local conditions, improved production techniques, pest and disease management, and mechanical cultivation and harvesting. Another conclusion was that tailoring of production systems to local soil characteristics and use of bio-fuel by-products to improve nutrient use efficiency and reduction of environmental impact on water quantity and quality is critical to sustainability of bio-fuel crop production. (author)

  15. Local Social and Environmental Impacts of Biofuels: Global Comparative Assessment and Implications for Governance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura German

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The 2000s witnessed the rapid expansion of biofuel plantations in the global South in the context of a growing trend of crop plantation expansion. This trend has been spurred by policies in the European Union, United States, Brazil, and other countries favoring the use of biofuels in the transport sector to enhance energy security and reduce carbon emissions, as well as by the desire of governments in developing countries to harness the stimulus that new commercial investments provide to the agricultural sector and to national economies. Despite these potential benefits, a number of concerns have been raised about the local social and environmental impacts of biofuel feedstock expansion. We shed light on this debate through a synthesis of findings from case studies in six biofuel producer countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and a seventh paper exploring the implications of the land-use changes observed in these case studies for the climate mitigation potential of biofuels. We also explore the implications for governing the environmental impacts of biofuel feedstock production, protecting the rights of customary land users, and enabling smallholder-inclusive business models. Our analysis suggests that better governance of the sector's impacts is not the exclusive preserve of unitary sets of actors, but instead requires concerted and coordinated efforts by governments of producer and consumer countries, investors, civil society, and the financial sector to better capture the sector's potential while minimizing its social and environmental costs.

  16. Integration of agricultural and energy system models for biofuel assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    This paper presents a coupled modeling framework to capture the dynamic linkages between agricultural and energy markets that have been enhanced through the expansion of biofuel production, as well as the environmental impacts resulting from this expansion. The framework incorpor...

  17. Strategic environmental assessment for sustainable expansion of palm oil biofuels in Brazilian north region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carvalho, Carolina

    2010-09-15

    Biofuels development in Brazil is a key factor for the environment and sustainable development of the country. Brazil has great potential of available areas and has favourable climate and geography for biofuel production, such as palm oil, soy, sugar cane, etc. This research aims to evaluate palm oil production and expansion in Para state, in the north of Brazil and also Amazonian territory. Degraded land will be evaluated through remote sensing, because palm oil crops should be placed in these lands, and secondly, expansion scenarios would be created. This PhD research will be a decision support tool for public policies.

  18. Integrating social and value dimensions into sustainability assessment of lignocellulosic biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Raman, Sujatha; Mohr, Alison; Helliwell, Richard; Ribeiro,Barbara; Shortall, Orla; Smith?, Robert; Millar, Kate

    2015-01-01

    The paper clarifies the social and value dimensions for integrated sustainability assessments of lignocellulosic biofuels. We develop a responsible innovation approach, looking at technology impacts and implementation challenges, assumptions and value conflicts influencing how impacts are identified and assessed, and different visions for future development. We identify three distinct value-based visions. From a techno-economic perspective, lignocellulosic biofuels can contribute to energy se...

  19. Refuge or reservoir? The potential impacts of the biofuel crop Miscanthus x giganteus on a major pest of maize.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph L Spencer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Interest in the cultivation of biomass crops like the C4 grass Miscanthus x giganteus (Miscanthus is increasing as global demand for biofuel grows. In the US, Miscanthus is promoted as a crop well-suited to the Corn Belt where it could be cultivated on marginal land interposed with maize and soybean. Interactions (direct and indirect of Miscanthus, maize, and the major Corn Belt pest of maize, the western corn rootworm, (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, WCR are unknown. Adding a perennial grass/biomass crop to this system is concerning since WCR is adapted to the continuous availability of its grass host, maize (Zea mays. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In a greenhouse and field study, we investigated WCR development and oviposition on Miscanthus. The suitability of Miscanthus for WCR development varied across different WCR populations. Data trends indicate that WCR populations that express behavioural resistance to crop rotation performed as well on Miscanthus as on maize. Over the entire study, total adult WCR emergence from Miscanthus (212 WCR was 29.6% of that from maize (717 WCR. Adult dry weight was 75-80% that of WCR from maize; female emergence patterns on Miscanthus were similar to females developing on maize. There was no difference in the mean no. of WCR eggs laid at the base of Miscanthus and maize in the field. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Field oviposition and significant WCR emergence from Miscanthus raises many questions about the nature of likely interactions between Miscanthus, maize and WCR and the potential for Miscanthus to act as a refuge or reservoir for Corn Belt WCR. Responsible consideration of the benefits and risks associated with Corn Belt Miscanthus are critical to protecting an agroecosystem that we depend on for food, feed, and increasingly, fuel. Implications for European agroecosystems in which Miscanthus is being proposed are also discussed in light of the WCR's recent invasion into Europe.

  20. Satellite-based assessment of crop coefficient for sugarcane in Maui, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Water availability is one of the limiting factors for sustainable production of biofuel crops. A common method for determining crop water requirement is to multiply daily potential evapotranspiration (ETo) calculated from meteorological parameters by a crop coefficient (Kc) to obtain actual crop eva...

  1. The emerging biofuel crop Camelina sativa retains a highly undifferentiated hexaploid genome structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagale, Sateesh; Koh, Chushin; Nixon, John; Bollina, Venkatesh; Clarke, Wayne E; Tuteja, Reetu; Spillane, Charles; Robinson, Stephen J; Links, Matthew G; Clarke, Carling; Higgins, Erin E; Huebert, Terry; Sharpe, Andrew G; Parkin, Isobel A P

    2014-04-23

    Camelina sativa is an oilseed with desirable agronomic and oil-quality attributes for a viable industrial oil platform crop. Here we generate the first chromosome-scale high-quality reference genome sequence for C. sativa and annotated 89,418 protein-coding genes, representing a whole-genome triplication event relative to the crucifer model Arabidopsis thaliana. C. sativa represents the first crop species to be sequenced from lineage I of the Brassicaceae. The well-preserved hexaploid genome structure of C. sativa surprisingly mirrors those of economically important amphidiploid Brassica crop species from lineage II as well as wheat and cotton. The three genomes of C. sativa show no evidence of fractionation bias and limited expression-level bias, both characteristics commonly associated with polyploid evolution. The highly undifferentiated polyploid genome of C. sativa presents significant consequences for breeding and genetic manipulation of this industrial oil crop.

  2. Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Biofuel Crops and Parameterization in the EPIC Biogeochemical Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    This presentation describes year 1 field measurements of N2O fluxes and crop yields which are used to parameterize the EPIC biogeochemical model for the corresponding field site. Initial model simulations are also presented.

  3. Energy valuation methods for biofuels in South Florida: Introduction to life cycle assessment and emergy approaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Treese II, J. Van [Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Immokalee, FL (United States); Hanlon, Edward A. [Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Immokalee, FL (United States); Amponsah, Nana [Intelligentsia International, LaBelle, FL (United States); Izursa, Jose -Luis [Intelligentsia International, LaBelle, FL (United States); Capece, John C. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    2013-03-01

    Here, recent changes in the United States requiring the use of ethanol in gasoline for most vehicular transportation have created discussion about important issues, such as shifting the use of certain plants from food production to energy supply, related federal subsidies, effects on soil, water and atmosphere resources, tradeoffs between food production and energy production, speculation about biofuels as a possible means for energy security, potential reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or development and expansion of biofuels industry. A sustainable approach to biofuel production requires understanding inputs (i.e., energy required to carry out a process, both natural and anthropogenic) and outputs (i.e., energy produced by that process) and cover the entire process, as well as environmental considerations that can be overlooked in a more traditional approach. This publication gives an overview of two methods for evaluating energy transformations in biofuels production: (1) Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and (2) Emergy Assessment (EA). The LCA approach involves measurements affecting greenhouse gases (GHG), which can be linked to the energy considerations used in the EA. Although these two methods have their basis in energy or GHG evaluations, their approaches can lead to a reliable judgment regarding a biofuel process. Using these two methods can ensure that the energy components are well understood and can help to evaluate the economic environmental component of a biofuel process. In turn, using these two evaluative tools will allow for decisions about biofuel processes that favor sustainability

  4. Life cycle assessment of energy products: environmental impact assessment of biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zah, R.; Boeni, H.; Gauch, M.; Hischier, R.; Lehmann, M.; Waeger, P.

    2007-05-15

    This final report for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) deals with the results of a study that evaluated the environmental impact of the entire production chain of fuels made from biomass and used in Switzerland. Firstly, the study supplies an analysis of the possible environmental impacts of biofuels that can be used as a basis for political decisions. Secondly, an environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of various biofuels is presented. In addition, the impacts of fuel use are compared with other uses for bioenergy such as the generation of electricity and heat. The methods used in the LCA are discussed, including the Swiss method of ecological scarcity (Environmental Impact Points, UBP 06), and the European Eco-indicator 99 method. The results of the study are discussed, including the finding that not all biofuels can reduce environmental impacts as compared to fossil fuels. The role to be played by biofuels produced in an environmentally-friendly way together with other forms of renewable energy in our future energy supply is discussed.

  5. Environmental impact assessment of biofuel production on contaminated land - Swedish case studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersson-Skoeld, Yvonne; Suer, Pascal (Swedish Geotechnical Institute, Linkoeping (Sweden)); Blom, Sonja (FB Engineering AB, Goeteborg (Sweden)); Bardos, Paul (r3 Environmental Technology Ltd, Reading (United Kingdom)); Track, Thomas; Polland, Marcel (DECHEMA e. V., Frankfurt am Main (Germany))

    2009-07-01

    This report studies the (possible) cultivation of short rotation wood (Salix Vinimalis) on two contaminated sites from an environmental perspective, through a life cycle analysis (LCA) and carbon footprint, with an outlook towards an overarching method for a qualitative or semi-quantitative analysis based on a life cycle framework. Two areas were selected as case studies: a small site where short rotation crop (Salix Vinimalis) cultivation is in progress and a large site where biofuel production is hypothetical. For the selection of suitable sites, the following aspects were considered: Site location and size, so that biofuel cultivation might be economically viable without a remediation bonus, Topography and soil conditions, so that machinery could be used for cultivation, Time, so that the site was not in urgent need of remediation due to environmental or human health risks, or acute exploitation requirements, Contamination degree, which should not be plant-toxic, Contamination depth, Assessment of optimum crop and its use. For doubtful areas, it is especially important to analyse what the most viable option for the contaminated site is, and what bio-product could be used. For a more comprehensive analysis, which also incorporates local economic and social aspects, the decision support matrix, inter alia, described in the main report of the project Rejuvenate, is recommended. The calculation of emissions for the LCA and the carbon footprint used a German software tool for LCA of soil remediation. The software includes equipment emission data published in 1995. The module 'landfarming' has been used in this study to calculate emissions from herbicide application, fertilisation, ploughing and deep-ploughing, Salix harvest, harrowing etc. Since production of herbicide and Salix Vinimalis shoots were not included in the software, they were not included in the study. The conclusions for the two sites were very similar, in spite of the large differences

  6. A draft genome of field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) provides tools for the domestication of a new winter biofuel crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorn, Kevin M; Fankhauser, Johnathon D; Wyse, Donald L; Marks, M David

    2015-04-01

    Field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) is being domesticated as a new winter cover crop and biofuel species for the Midwestern United States that can be double-cropped between corn and soybeans. A genome sequence will enable the use of new technologies to make improvements in pennycress. To generate a draft genome, a hybrid sequencing approach was used to generate 47 Gb of DNA sequencing reads from both the Illumina and PacBio platforms. These reads were used to assemble 6,768 genomic scaffolds. The draft genome was annotated using the MAKER pipeline, which identified 27,390 predicted protein-coding genes, with almost all of these predicted peptides having significant sequence similarity to Arabidopsis proteins. A comprehensive analysis of pennycress gene homologues involved in glucosinolate biosynthesis, metabolism, and transport pathways revealed high sequence conservation compared with other Brassicaceae species, and helps validate the assembly of the pennycress gene space in this draft genome. Additional comparative genomic analyses indicate that the knowledge gained from years of basic Brassicaceae research will serve as a powerful tool for identifying gene targets whose manipulation can be predicted to result in improvements for pennycress. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.

  7. Agricultural Worker Injury Comparative Risk Assessment Methodology: Assessing Corn and Biofuel Switchgrass Production Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, Charles V; Mosher, Gretchen A; Ryan, Saxon J

    2017-07-31

    Keeping workers safe is a continuing challenge in agricultural production. Risk assessment methodologies have been used widely in other industries to better understand systems and enhance decision making, yet their use in production agriculture has been limited. This article describes the considerations and the approach taken to measure the difference in worker injury risks between two agricultural production systems. A model was developed specifically for the comparison of worker injury risk between corn and biofuel switchgrass production systems. The model is composed of injury and exposure values that were used in a Monte Carlo simulation. The output of this risk assessment shows that approximately 99% of the values from the Monte Carlo simulation rank corn production as a greater worker injury risk than biofuel switchgrass production. Furthermore, the greatest contributing factors for each production system were identified as harvest, and that finding aligns with current literature. Copyright© by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers.

  8. Farmers’ Willingness to Grow Sweet Sorghum as a Cellulosic Bioenergy Crop: A Stated Choice Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Bergtold, Jason S.; Fewell, Jason E.; Williams, Jeffery R.

    2011-01-01

    Biofuel production must increase to 36 billion gallons by the year 2022, according to government mandates. The majority of this fuel must be produced from “advanced” or second-generation biofuel feedstocks after 2015. Advanced biofuel feedstocks include annual crops such as sweet sorghum. Kansas farmers are poised to be major producers of sweet sorghum for biofuels. A stated choice survey was administered to Kansas farmers to assess their willingness to grow sweet sorghum for biofuels under v...

  9. Benefits versus risks of growing biofuel crops: the case of Miscanthus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Uffe

    2011-01-01

    The giant C4 grasses of the genus Miscanthus holds promise as candidates for the optimal bioenergy crop in the temperate zone with their high yield, cold tolerance, low environmental impact, resistance to pests and diseases, ease of harvesting and handling, and non-invasiveness. The latter is, ho...

  10. The effect of native and introduced biofuel crops on the composition of soil biota communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Heděnec, Petr; Novotný, D.; Usťak, S.; Cajthaml, Tomáš; Slejška, A.; Šimáčková, H.; Honzík, R.; Kovářová, M.; Frouz, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 60, January (2014), s. 137-146 ISSN 0961-9534 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:61388971 Keywords : soil fauna * energy crops * composition of soil fungi * microbial biomass * basal soil respiration Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.394, year: 2014

  11. Preliminary Results on Growing Second Generation Biofuel Crop Miscanthus X Giganteus at The Polluted Military Site in Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pidlisnyuk Valentina

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The semi-field research on using second-generation biofuel crop Miscanthus x giganteus for restoration of former military site in Kamenetz-Podilsky, Ukraine was carried out during two vegetation seasons. Despite high metal pollution of soil, in particular, by Fe, Mn, Ti, and Zr, no growth inhibition was observed. The concentrations followed pattern soil > roots > stems > leaves. Accumulation of particular metals in roots was different: Fe, Mn and Ti were accumulated rather palpably after the first vegetation season and less tangible after the second one. Cu, Pb and Zn were less accumulative in both vegetation seasons, and for As and Pb the accumulative concentrations were very small. Accumulations in the aboveground parts of the plant in comparison to roots were significantly lower in case of Fe, Ti, Mn, Cu, Zn, Sr and even statistically comparable to zero in case of As, Pb and Zr. Calculated translocation ratio of metals in the plant’s parts preferably indicated lack of metals’ hyper accumulation. Generally, no correlations were observed between concentrations of metals in the soil and in the upper plant’s parts. The research confirmed the ability of Miscanthus x giganteus to grow on the military soils predominantly contaminated by metals.

  12. Validation of crop weather models for crop assessment arid yield ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Input for the models comprised of weather, crop and soil data collected from five selected stations. Simulation results show that IRSIS model tends to over predict grain yields of maize, sorghum and wheat, a fact that could be attributed to the inadequacy of the model to accurately account for rainfall excess. On the other hand ...

  13. DMF - A New Biofuel Candidate

    OpenAIRE

    Tian, Guohong; Daniel, Ritchie; Xu, Hongming

    2011-01-01

    This book aspires to be a comprehensive summary of current biofuels issues and thereby contribute to the understanding of this important topic. Readers will find themes including biofuels development efforts, their implications for the food industry, current and future biofuels crops, the successful Brazilian ethanol program, insights of the first, second, third and fourth biofuel generations, advanced biofuel production techniques, related waste treatment, emissions and environmental impacts...

  14. An agent-based model of farmer decision-making and water quality impacts at the watershed scale under markets for carbon allowances and a second-generation biofuel crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Tze Ling; Eheart, J. Wayland; Cai, Ximing; Braden, John B.

    2011-09-01

    An agent-based model of farmers' crop and best management practice (BMP) decisions is developed and linked to a hydrologic-agronomic model of a watershed, to examine farmer behavior, and the attendant effects on stream nitrate load, under the influence of markets for conventional crops, carbon allowances, and a second-generation biofuel crop. The agent-based approach introduces interactions among farmers about new technologies and market opportunities, and includes the updating of forecast expectations and uncertainties using Bayesian inference. The model is applied to a semi-hypothetical example case of farmers in the Salt Creek Watershed in Central Illinois, and a sensitivity analysis is performed to effect a first-order assessment of the plausibility of the results. The results show that the most influential factors affecting farmers' decisions are crop prices, production costs, and yields. The results also show that different farmer behavioral profiles can lead to different predictions of farmer decisions. The farmers who are predicted to be more likely to adopt new practices are those who interact more with other farmers, are less risk averse, quick to adjust their expectations, and slow to reduce their forecast confidence. The decisions of farmers have direct water quality consequences, especially those pertaining to the adoption of the second-generation biofuel crop, which are estimated to lead to reductions in stream nitrate load. The results, though empirically untested, appear plausible and consistent with general farmer behavior. The results demonstrate the usefulness of the coupled agent-based and hydrologic-agronomic models for normative research on watershed management on the water-energy nexus.

  15. Biofuel or excavation? - Life cycle assessment (LCA) of soil remediation options

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suer, Pascal; Andersson-Skoeld, Yvonne [Swedish Geotechnical Institute, 58193 Linkoeping (Sweden)

    2011-02-15

    The environmental consequences of soil remediation through biofuel or through dig-and-dump were compared using life cycle assessment (LCA). Willow (Salix viminalis) was actually grown in-situ on a discontinued oil depot, as a phytoremediation treatment. These data were used for the biofuel remediation, while excavation-and-refill data were estimated from experience. The biofuel remediation had great environmental advantages compared to the ex situ excavation remediation. With the ReCiPe impact assessment method, which included biodiversity, the net environmental effect was even positive, in spite of the fact that the wood harvest was not utilised for biofuel production, but left on the contaminated site. Impact from the Salix viminalis cultivation was mainly through land use for the short rotation coppice, and through journeys of control personnel. The latter may be reduced when familiarity with biofuel as a soil treatment method increases. The excavation-and-refill remediation was dominated by the landfill and the transport of contaminated soil and backfill. (author)

  16. Assessment of energy recovery from fibrous crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-10-01

    Silsoe Agricultural College (SAC), Robin Appel (RA) and their commercial partners have worked with MAFF and DTI in development of a decortication plant for processing natural fibres. The plant has export potential in its application to flax, hemp and similar fibre/energy crops. The process residues are shiv (flax straw) and dust. Lucas Furnaces (LF Ltd) has reviewed with SACE and RA the use of advanced, high temperature combustion to use the shiv and dust as the energy source for the plant, notably for an export package where energy costs are high or where disposal of the dust is regulated and costly. This report assesses the combustion characteristics of flax shiv and dust in the Lucas Furnaces cyclone combustion unit. The trials have provided the basic information to develop and present to the market a package of sustainable fibre crops and energy resources. The energy derived from the waste has been assessed and balanced against all the energy uses at the decorticator including electricity, compressed air and drying. Alternative uses for surplus energy have been examined. Lucas Furnaces tested the flax in the laboratory for its full range of combustion characteristics and environmental chemistry, including the fusion properties of the ash and heat values. The results are tabulated in the report, and show a fuel with characteristics seen in wood and straw. (Author)

  17. World Biofuels Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alfstad,T.

    2008-10-01

    This report forms part of a project entitled 'World Biofuels Study'. The objective is to study world biofuel markets and to examine the possible contribution that biofuel imports could make to help meet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The study was sponsored by the Biomass Program of the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), U.S. Department of Energy. It is a collaborative effort among the Office of Policy and International Affairs (PI), Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The project consisted of three main components: (1) Assessment of the resource potential for biofuel feedstocks such as sugarcane, grains, soybean, palm oil and lignocellulosic crops and development of supply curves (ORNL). (2) Assessment of the cost and performance of biofuel production technologies (NREL). (3) Scenario-based analysis of world biofuel markets using the ETP global energy model with data developed in the first parts of the study (BNL). This report covers the modeling and analysis part of the project conducted by BNL in cooperation with PI. The Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) energy system model was used as the analytical tool for this study. ETP is a 15 region global model designed using the MARKAL framework. MARKAL-based models are partial equilibrium models that incorporate a description of the physical energy system and provide a bottom-up approach to study the entire energy system. ETP was updated for this study with biomass resource data and biofuel production technology cost and performance data developed by ORNL and NREL under Tasks 1 and 2 of this project. Many countries around the world are embarking on ambitious biofuel policies through renewable fuel standards and economic incentives. As a result, the global biofuel demand is expected to grow very

  18. Understanding the expansion of energy crops beyond the global biofuel boom : evidence from oil palm expansion in Colombia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marin-Burgos, Victoria; Clancy, Joy S.

    2017-01-01

    Background: The global palm oil market experienced a remarkable boom since the year 2000. Since palm oil can be used for biodiesel production, the global expansion of oil palm cultivation has been associated with the global biofuel boom. Biofuel policies—especially those adopted in the European

  19. A Review of Environmental Life Cycle Assessments of Liquid Transportation Biofuels in the Pan American Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shonnard, David R; Klemetsrud, Bethany; Sacramento-Rivero, Julio; Navarro-Pineda, Freddy; Hilbert, Jorge; Handler, Robert; Suppen, Nydia; Donovan, Richard P

    2015-12-01

    Life-cycle assessment (LCA) has been applied to many biofuel and bioenergy systems to determine potential environmental impacts, but the conclusions have varied. Different methodologies and processes for conducting LCA of biofuels make the results difficult to compare, in-turn making it difficult to make the best possible and informed decision. Of particular importance are the wide variability in country-specific conditions, modeling assumptions, data quality, chosen impact categories and indicators, scale of production, system boundaries, and co-product allocation. This study has a double purpose: conducting a critical evaluation comparing environmental LCA of biofuels from several conversion pathways and in several countries in the Pan American region using both qualitative and quantitative analyses, and making recommendations for harmonization with respect to biofuel LCA study features, such as study assumptions, inventory data, impact indicators, and reporting practices. The environmental management implications are discussed within the context of different national and international regulatory environments using a case study. The results from this study highlight LCA methodology choices that cause high variability in results and limit comparability among different studies, even among the same biofuel pathway, and recommendations are provided for improvement.

  20. Molecular cloning and characterization of a group II WRKY transcription factor from Jatropha curcas, an important biofuel crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Parinita; Dabi, Mitali; Agarwal, Pradeep K

    2014-08-01

    The WRKY family of transcription factors (TFs) play an intricate role in regulating the stress signaling pathways by autoregulation or may be by cross regulation through interaction with other proteins. Although WRKY TFs are considered to be plant specific, however, their presence has been reported from unicellular algae, slime mould, and gymnosperms. We have isolated the JcWRKY cDNA from an important biofuel crop Jatropha curcas growing in the wastelands of India. The JcWRKY gene has an ORF of 693 bp and encodes a 230 amino acids protein with estimated molecular mass of 25.25 kDa. JcWRKY shows close homology to FaWRKY1 and St-WRKY1. The JcWRKY contains seven potential phosphorylation sites, which might be involved in regulating its function. The transcript analysis revealed that the JcWRKY transcript gets upregulated in response to salinity, dehydration, salicylic acid (SA), methyl jasmonate (MeJa), and collar rot fungus Macrophomina. However, maximum expression is observed under SA, highlighting its role in enhancing systemic acquired resistance for disease tolerance. The JcWRKY recombinant protein showed binding to W-box of pathogenesis related-1 (PR-1) and iso1 (encoding isoamylase1) promoters. Overexpression of JcWRKY in Escherichia coli enhanced the growth of cells in NaCl, KCl, mannitol, sorbitol, SA, and MeJa treatments, indicating that it protects and promotes growth under ionic, osmotic, and chemical stresses. The enhancement in growth can be due to the regulation of stress responsive genes. Therefore, it can be used as an important gene for enhancing abiotic and biotic resistance in plants and to facilitate faster growth of E. coli cells under stress conditions for efficient expression.

  1. A critical review of biochemical conversion, sustainability and life cycle assessment of algal biofuels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving

    2011-01-01

    The increasing global demand of biofuels for energy security and reduction in climate change effects generate the opportunity to explore new biomass sources. Algae is a very promising source of biomass in this context as it sequester a significant quantity of carbon from atmosphere and industrial...... assessment (LCA) of algal biofuels suggests them to be environmentally better than the fossil fuels but economically it is not yet so attractive.......The increasing global demand of biofuels for energy security and reduction in climate change effects generate the opportunity to explore new biomass sources. Algae is a very promising source of biomass in this context as it sequester a significant quantity of carbon from atmosphere and industrial...

  2. Deep Cropping via Attention Box Prediction and Aesthetics Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Wenguan; Shen, Jianbing

    2017-01-01

    We model the photo cropping problem as a cascade of attention box regression and aesthetic quality classification, based on deep learning. A neural network is designed that has two branches for predicting attention bounding box and analyzing aesthetics, respectively. The predicted attention box is treated as an initial crop window where a set of cropping candidates are generated around it, without missing important information. Then, aesthetics assessment is employed to select the final crop ...

  3. REFUEL: an EU road map for biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Londo, M.; Deurwarder, E.; Lensink, S. (and others)

    2007-05-15

    A successful mid-term development of biofuels calls for a robust road map. REFUEL assesses inter alia least-cost biofuel chain options, their benefits, outlines the technological, legislative and other developments that should take place, and evaluate different policy strategies for realisation. Some preliminary conclusions of the project are discussed here. There is a significant domestic land potential for energy crops in the EU, which could supply between one quarter and one third of gasoline and diesel demand by 2030 if converted into advanced biofuels. A biomass supply of 8 to 10 EJ of primary energy could be available at costs around or below 3 EURO/GJ. However, the introduction of advanced biofuel options may meet a considerable introductory cost barrier, which will not be overcome when EU policy is oriented to the introduction of biofuels at least cost. Therefore, conventional biodiesel and ethanol may dominate the market for decades to come, unless biofuels incentives are differentiated, e.g. on the basis of the differences in greenhouse gas performance among biofuels.The introduction of advanced biofuels may also be enhanced by creating stepping stones or searching introduction synergies. A stepping stone can be the short-term development of lignocellulosic biomass supply chains for power generation by co-firing; synergies can be found between advanced FT-diesel production and hydrogen production for the fuel cell. (au)

  4. Sustainable alternatives for land-based biofuels in the European Union. Assessment of options and development of a policy strategy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kampman, B.; Van Grinsven, A.; Croezen, H.

    2012-12-15

    It is feasible for EU member states to meet their commitments regarding transport fuels under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) without resorting to biofuels from food crops. The RED target (10% renewable transport energy in 2020) can be met by a mix of measures aimed at improving energy efficiency, combined with a strong focus on growth of renewable electricity use and biofuels and biomethane from waste and residues. These measures also contribute to the FQD target (6% reduction in carbon intensity of fuels by 2020), but will need to be complemented by other measures such as reduced flaring and venting during oil production. The report shows how EU transport energy policy could reduce its reliance on biofuels from food crops that are likely to cause land use change. This alternative vision for the transport sector in 2020 would cut CO2 emissions by 205 million tonnes.

  5. The Next Generation Feedstock of Biofuel: Jatropha or Chlorella as Assessed by Their Life-Cycle Inventories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pu Peng

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Promising energy crops such as Jatropha curcas Linnaeus (JCL, which are planted on marginal lands, or microalgae such as Chlorella, which are cultivated in ponds located on mudflats or deserts, have been regarded with high hopes to solve the shortage of food crops and increase the amount of biodiesel (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester, FAME production. However, the annual yields of biomass and transport fuels (t/ha of both are still unclear and often exaggerated in the literature. Large portions of JCL biomass, including tree trunks and leaves, can also be used to generate electricity along with FAME, which is produced from seed lipids. Meanwhile, lipid extracted algae (LEA are composed of proteins, polysaccharides, and lipids other than glycerides which are unable to be esterified to form FAME and much more abundant in the microalgae than oil cake in the oil crops. Therefore, it has been strongly suggested that not only transesterification or esterification but also Fischer-Tropsch (FT process and bio-electricity generation should be considered as routes to produce biofuels. Otherwise, the yield of biofuel would be extremely low using either JCL or Chlorella as feedstock. The Life-Cycle Inventories (LCI of the biofuel processes with whole biomass of JCL and Chlorella were compared based on their net energy ratio (NER and CO2 emission saving (CES. It was shown that the technological improvement of irrigation, cultivation, and processing for either economic-crops or microalgae were all necessary to meet the requirements of commercial biofuel production.

  6. De novo transcriptome analysis of an imminent biofuel crop, Camelina sativa L. using Illumina GAIIX sequencing platform and identification of SSR markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudalkar, Shalini; Golla, Ramesh; Ghatty, Sreenivas; Reddy, Attipalli Ramachandra

    2014-01-01

    Camelina sativa L. is an emerging biofuel crop with potential applications in industry, medicine, cosmetics and human nutrition. The crop is unexploited owing to very limited availability of transcriptome and genomic data. In order to analyse the various metabolic pathways, we performed de novo assembly of the transcriptome on Illumina GAIIX platform with paired end sequencing for obtaining short reads. The sequencing output generated a FastQ file size of 2.97 GB with 10.83 million reads having a maximum read length of 101 nucleotides. The number of contigs generated was 53,854 with maximum and minimum lengths of 10,086 and 200 nucleotides respectively. These trancripts were annotated using BLAST search against the Aracyc, Swiss-Prot, TrEMBL, gene ontology and clusters of orthologous groups (KOG) databases. The genes involved in lipid metabolism were studied and the transcription factors were identified. Sequence similarity studies of Camelina with the other related organisms indicated the close relatedness of Camelina with Arabidopsis. In addition, bioinformatics analysis revealed the presence of a total of 19,379 simple sequence repeats. This is the first report on Camelina sativa L., where the transcriptome of the entire plant, including seedlings, seed, root, leaves and stem was done. Our data established an excellent resource for gene discovery and provide useful information for functional and comparative genomic studies in this promising biofuel crop.

  7. Health effects of biofuel exhaust

    OpenAIRE

    Vugt, M.A.T.M. van; Mulderij, M.; Usta, M; Kadijk, G.; Kooter, I.M.; Krul, C.A.M.

    2009-01-01

    Alternatives to fossil fuels receive a lot of attention. In particular, oil derived of specific crops forms a promising fuel. In order to warrant global expectance of such novel fuels, safety issues associated with combustion of these fuels needs to be assessed. Although only a few public reports exist, recently potential toxic effects associated with biofuels has been published. Here, we report the analysis of a comprehensive study, comparing the toxic effects of conventional diesel, biodies...

  8. Performance of Jatropha curcas: A biofuel crop in wasteland of Madhya Pradesh, India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pandey, A.K.; Bhargava, Pankaj; Gupta, Nivedika; Sharma, Dhanshree [Non Wood Forest Produce Division, Tropical Forest Research Institute, P.O. RFRC, Jabalpur 482021 (India)

    2010-07-01

    In India vast tracts of land (20.17% of total geographical area) exists as wastelands accounting for about 63.85 million hectares. Wastelands are degraded lands that lack their life sustaining potential as a result of inherent or imposed disabilities such as by location, environment, chemical and physical properties of the soil or financial or management constraints. In recent years, the central government and many of the state governments have expressed their support for bringing wastelands, under cultivation. Jatropha curcas has been found most promising for this purpose due to the use of its seed oil as biodiesel and other favorable attributes like hardy nature, short gestation period and adaptability in a wide range of agro-climatic conditions etc. Jatropha plantation helps in restoration of vast stretches of wastelands into green oil fields and can address major issues of developing countries like energy security, environmental amelioration, rural employment generation and conservation of foreign exchange reserves. With the objective to evaluate the performance of Jatropha plants in wasteland conditions, Tropical Forest Research Institute, Jabalpur has initiated a study in 2006. Progeny trial was laid out in Barha (Jabalpur) locality comprising of 20 superior genotypes of Jatropha. Among them, Gessani Shivpuri 3, Gessani Shivpuri 2, Bilara Pohiri Shivpuri 2, Parsoria Damoh Sagar, Bizouli Janarpura Gwalior 3, Bizouli Janarpura Gwalior 2 and Dewari Sagar 1 genotype are performing better as compared to other genotypes. This information will be helpful in assessing of the potential of locally adapted accessions and provide baseline information for future Jatropha plantation and wasteland reclammation programmes.

  9. Accounting for indirect land-use change in the life cycle assessment of biofuel supply chains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Susan Tarka; Woods, Jeremy; Akhurst, Mark; Brander, Matthew; O'Hare, Michael; Dawson, Terence P.; Edwards, Robert; Liska, Adam J.; Malpas, Rick

    2012-01-01

    The expansion of land used for crop production causes variable direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, and other economic, social and environmental effects. We analyse the use of life cycle analysis (LCA) for estimating the carbon intensity of biofuel production from indirect land-use change (ILUC). Two approaches are critiqued: direct, attributional life cycle analysis and consequential life cycle analysis (CLCA). A proposed hybrid ‘combined model’ of the two approaches for ILUC analysis relies on first defining the system boundary of the resulting full LCA. Choices are then made as to the modelling methodology (economic equilibrium or cause–effect), data inputs, land area analysis, carbon stock accounting and uncertainty analysis to be included. We conclude that CLCA is applicable for estimating the historic emissions from ILUC, although improvements to the hybrid approach proposed, coupled with regular updating, are required, and uncertainly values must be adequately represented; however, the scope and the depth of the expansion of the system boundaries required for CLCA remain controversial. In addition, robust prediction, monitoring and accounting frameworks for the dynamic and highly uncertain nature of future crop yields and the effectiveness of policies to reduce deforestation and encourage afforestation remain elusive. Finally, establishing compatible and comparable accounting frameworks for ILUC between the USA, the European Union, South East Asia, Africa, Brazil and other major biofuel trading blocs is urgently needed if substantial distortions between these markets, which would reduce its application in policy outcomes, are to be avoided. PMID:22467143

  10. A trial of the suitability of switchgrass and reed canary grass as biofuel crops under UK conditions. 5th interim report March 2005

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richie, A.B.

    2005-07-01

    The Topgrass Project, established in 2002, investigated the potential of miscanthus, switchgrass and reed canary grass as biofuel crops at various sites in the UK. This interim report covers the period from the harvesting in winter 2003/04 to the harvesting in winter 2004/05. The report gives details on (i) pest and weed control and (ii) yields and associated costs per species per unit area. It was concluded that maximum potential yield has not been reached at some sites. The study was funded by the DTI and carried out by IACR Rothamstead with ADAS Consulting, Duchy College Cornwall and SCRI Invergowrie as collaborators. The project has now terminated.

  11. Validation of Crop Weather Models for'Crop Assessment arid Yield ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Information gatheringfor early warning and crop assessment in Tanzania is based on physical inspection of standing crop in sample jields. This process is subject to human error, inadequate and is also time con- suming. Recent developments in computer simulation have paved the way for more efficient methods of.

  12. (Hordeum Vulgare) Crop Coefficient and Comparative Assessment ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bheema

    evapotranspiration, to estimate barley crop coefficient (kc), and to evaluate the water productivity taking into ... corresponding economic water productivity for tomato and onion were 87 – 89% and 81 – 82% higher than that of ... areas where water scarcity is critical problem and irrigation is a necessity for crop production.

  13. The life cycle emission of greenhouse gases associated with plant oils used as biofuel

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijnders, L.

    2011-01-01

    Life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions associated with biofuels should not only consider fossil fuel inputs, but also N2O emissions and changes in carbon stocks of (agro) ecosystems linked to the cultivation of biofuel crops. When this is done, current plant oils such as European rapeseed

  14. Biofuels development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Are the policies conducive?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jumbe, Charles B.L. [University of Malawi, Centre for Agricultural Research and Development, Bunda College, P.O. Box 219, Lilongwe (Malawi); Msiska, Frederick B.M. [Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, P.O. Box 30134, Lilongwe 3 (Malawi); Madjera, Michael [Evangelical Church in Middle Germany, P.O. Box 1424, 39004 Magdeburg (Germany)

    2009-11-15

    This paper analyses national, regional and international biofuels policies and strategies to assess whether these policies promote or undermine the development of biofuels sector in Africa. Despite having a huge comparative advantage in land, labour and good climatic conditions favourable for the growing of energy crops, few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have included biofuels strategies in their energy or national development policies. Further results show that while developed countries commit huge financial resources for research, technology development and the provision of tax-incentives to both producers and consumers, there is little government support for promoting biofuels in Africa. Although the consequences of biofuels on food supply remain uncertain, the mandatory blending of biofuels with fossil fuels by industrialized countries will create demand for land in Africa for the growing of energy crops for biofuels. This paper urgently calls upon national governments in Sub-Saharan Africa to develop appropriate strategies and regulatory frameworks to harness the potential economic opportunities from biofuels sector development, while protecting the environment and rural communities from the adverse effects of land alienation from the mainstream agriculture towards the growing of energy crops for biofuels at the expense of traditional food crops. (author)

  15. Biofuels development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Are the policies conducive?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jumbe, Charles B.L., E-mail: charlesjumbe@bunda.unima.m [University of Malawi, Centre for Agricultural Research and Development, Bunda College, P.O. Box 219, Lilongwe (Malawi); Msiska, Frederick B.M., E-mail: frederickmsiska@yahoo.co [Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, P.O. Box 30134, Lilongwe 3 (Malawi); Madjera, Michael, E-mail: michael.madjera@onlinehome.d [Evangelical Church in Middle Germany, P.O. Box 1424, 39004 Magdeburg (Germany)

    2009-11-15

    This paper analyses national, regional and international biofuels policies and strategies to assess whether these policies promote or undermine the development of biofuels sector in Africa. Despite having a huge comparative advantage in land, labour and good climatic conditions favourable for the growing of energy crops, few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have included biofuels strategies in their energy or national development policies. Further results show that while developed countries commit huge financial resources for research, technology development and the provision of tax-incentives to both producers and consumers, there is little government support for promoting biofuels in Africa. Although the consequences of biofuels on food supply remain uncertain, the mandatory blending of biofuels with fossil fuels by industrialized countries will create demand for land in Africa for the growing of energy crops for biofuels. This paper urgently calls upon national governments in Sub-Saharan Africa to develop appropriate strategies and regulatory frameworks to harness the potential economic opportunities from biofuels sector development, while protecting the environment and rural communities from the adverse effects of land alienation from the mainstream agriculture towards the growing of energy crops for biofuels at the expense of traditional food crops.

  16. Using "EC-Assess" to Assess a Small Biofuels Project in Honduras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngassa, Franklin Chamda

    2010-01-01

    Biofuels may contribute to both rural economic development and climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Gota Verde Project in Yoro, Honduras, attempts to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of small-scale biofuel production for local use by implementing a distinctive approach to feedstock production that encourages small farm…

  17. A GIS COST MODEL TO ASSESS THE AVAILABILITY OF FRESHWATER, SEAWATER, AND SALINE GROUNDWATER FOR ALGAL BIOFUEL PRODUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venteris, Erik R.; Skaggs, Richard; Coleman, Andre M.; Wigmosta, Mark S.

    2013-03-15

    A key advantage of using microalgae for biofuel production is the ability of some algal strains to thrive in waters unsuitable for conventional crop irrigation such as saline groundwater or seawater. Nonetheless, the availability of sustainable water supplies will provide significant challenges for scale-up and development of algal biofuels. We conduct a limited techno-economic assessment based on the availability of freshwater, saline groundwater, and seawater for use in open pond algae cultivation systems. We explore water issues through GIS-based models of algae biofuel production, freshwater supply, and cost models for supplying seawater and saline groundwater. We estimate that combined, within the coterminous US these resources can support production on the order of 9.46E+7 m3 yr-1 (25 billion gallons yr-1) of renewable biodiesel. Achievement of larger targets requires the utilization of less water efficient sites and relatively expensive saline waters. Geographically, water availability is most favorable for the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida peninsula, where evaporation relative to precipitation is moderate and various saline waters are economically available. As a whole, barren and scrub lands of the southwestern US have limited freshwater supplies so accurate assessment of alternative waters is critical.

  18. Assessment of commercialization of food crops among farming ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study assessed the commercialization of food crops among farming household in Osun state by administering questionnaires to 99 food crop farmers. Furthermore, descriptive statistics, Household Commercialization Index (HCl) and Linear Regression analysis were used for data analysis. Results of field data analyses ...

  19. Life cycle assessment of biofuel production from brown seaweed in Nordic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarado-Morales, Merlin; Boldrin, Alessio; Karakashev, Dimitar B; Holdt, Susan L; Angelidaki, Irini; Astrup, Thomas

    2013-02-01

    The use of algae for biofuel production is expected to play an important role in securing energy supply in the next decades. A consequential life cycle assessment (LCA) and an energy analysis of seaweed-based biofuel production were carried out in Nordic conditions to document and improve the sustainability of the process. Two scenarios were analyzed for the brown seaweed (Laminaria digitata), namely, biogas production (scenario 1) and bioethanol+biogas production (scenario 2). Potential environmental impact categories under investigation were Global Warming, Acidification and Terrestrial Eutrophication. The production of seaweed was identified to be the most energy intensive step. Scenario 1 showed better performance compared to scenario 2 for all impact categories, partly because of the energy intensive bioethanol separation process and the consequently lower overall efficiency of the system. For improved environmental performance, focus should be on optimization of seaweed production, bioethanol distillation, and management of digestate on land. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Life cycle assessment of microalgae to biofuel: Thermochemical processing through hydrothermal liquefaction or pyrolysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennion, Edward P.

    Microalgae are currently being investigated as a renewable transportation fuel feedstock based on various advantages that include high annual yields, utilization of poor quality land, does not compete with food, and can be integrated with various waste streams. This study focuses on directly assessing the impact of two different thermochemical conversion technologies on the microalgae-to-biofuel process through life cycle assessment. A system boundary of a "well to pump" (WTP) is defined and includes sub-process models of the growth, dewatering, thermochemical bio-oil recovery, bio-oil stabilization, conversion to renewable diesel, and transport to the pump. Models were validated with experimental and literature data and are representative of an industrial-scale microalgae-to-biofuel process. Two different thermochemical bio-oil conversion systems are modeled and compared on a systems level, hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and pyrolysis. The environmental impact of the two pathways were quantified on the metrics of net energy ratio (NER), defined here as energy consumed over energy produced, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Results for WTP biofuel production through the HTL pathway were determined to be 1.23 for the NER and GHG emissions of -11.4 g CO2 eq (MJ renewable diesel)-1. WTP biofuel production through the pyrolysis pathway results in a NER of 2.27 and GHG emissions of 210 g CO2 eq (MJ renewable diesel)-1. The large environmental impact associated with the pyrolysis pathway is attributed to feedstock drying requirements and combustion of co-products to improve system energetics. Discussion focuses on a detailed breakdown of the overall process energetics and GHGs, impact of modeling at laboratory-scale compared to industrial-scale, environmental impact sensitivity to engineering systems input parameters for future focused research and development, and a comparison of results to literature.

  1. Biofuel on contaminated land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suer, Pascal; Andersson-Sköld, Yvonne; Blom, Sonja; Bardos, Paul; Polland, Marcel; Track, Thomas

    2010-05-01

    Desktop studies of two Swedish contaminated sites has indicated that growing biofuel crops on these sites may be more environmentally beneficial than alternative risk management approaches such as excavation / removal or containment The demand for biofuel increases pressure on the cultivatable soil of the world. While contaminated land is not very suitable for food production, cultivation of low and medium contaminated soil may remove some pressure from agricultural soils. For larger sites, biofuel cultivation may be economically viable without a remediation bonus. Suitable sites have topographic conditions that allow agricultural machinery, are not in urgent need of remediation, and contamination levels are not plant toxic. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was done for two cases. The (desk top) case studies were - Case K, a 5000 m2 site where salix (willow) was cultivated with hand-held machinery and the biofuel harvest was left on site, and - Case F, a 12 ha site were on site ensuring was being considered, and were salix might have rented an economic profit if the remediation had not been urgent due to exploitation pressure. Some selected results for biofuel K; biofuel F; excavation K; and on site ensuring F respectively: Energy: 0,05; 1,4; 3,5; 19 TJ Waste: 1; 9; 1200; 340 ton Land use off-site: 190; 3 500; 200 000; 1 400 000 m² a Global warming: 3; 86; 230; 1 200 ton CO2 eq Acidification: 25; 1 000; 2 600; 14 000 kg SO2 eq Photochemical smog: 10; 180; 410; 2 300 kg ethene eq Human health: 2; 51; 150; 620 index The environmental impact of the traditional remediation methods of excavation and on-site ensuring was mainly due to the transport of contaminated soil and replacement soil, and landfilling of the contaminated soil. Biofuel cultivation avoids these impacts, while fertiliser production and agricultural machinery would have a lower environmental impact than moving large volumes of soil around. Journeys of a controller to check on the groundwater quality also

  2. The crop assessment subsystem: System implementation and approaches used for the generation of crop production reports

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcallum, W. E.; Hatch, R. E.; Boatwright, S. M.; Liszcz, C. J.; Evans, S. M. (Principal Investigator)

    1979-01-01

    The primary responsibility of the crop assessment subsystem (CAS) during the three phases of LACIE was to produce crop reports that included estimates of wheat area, yield, and production, as well as a specified set of associated statistical descriptors. The operations of CAS are described with emphasis on sampling strategy, input/output data, evolution of aggregation/reporting system capabilities, and CAS aggregation procedures.

  3. Environmental risk assessments for transgenic crops producing output trait enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raybould, Alan; Tuttle, Ann; Shore, Scott; Stone, Terry

    2010-08-01

    The environmental risks from cultivating crops producing output trait enzymes can be rigorously assessed by testing conservative risk hypotheses of no harm to endpoints such as the abundance of wildlife, crop yield and the rate of degradation of crop residues in soil. These hypotheses can be tested with data from many sources, including evaluations of the agronomic performance and nutritional quality of the crop made during product development, and information from the scientific literature on the mode-of-action, taxonomic distribution and environmental fate of the enzyme. Few, if any, specific ecotoxicology or environmental fate studies are needed. The effective use of existing data means that regulatory decision-making, to which an environmental risk assessment provides essential information, is not unnecessarily complicated by evaluation of large amounts of new data that provide negligible improvement in the characterization of risk, and that may delay environmental benefits offered by transgenic crops containing output trait enzymes.

  4. Life cycle assessment of energy products: environmental impact assessment of biofuels; Oekobilanz von Energieprodukten: Oekologische Bewertung von Biotreibstoffen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zah, R.; Boeni, H.; Gauch, M.; Hischier, R.; Lehmann, M.; Waeger, P.

    2007-05-15

    This final report for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) deals with the results of a study that evaluated the environmental impact of the entire production chain of fuels made from biomass and used in Switzerland. Firstly, the study supplies an analysis of the possible environmental impacts of biofuels that can be used as a basis for political decisions. Secondly, an environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of various biofuels is presented. In addition, the impacts of fuel use are compared with other uses for bioenergy such as the generation of electricity and heat. The methods used in the LCA are discussed, including the Swiss method of ecological scarcity (Environmental Impact Points, UBP 06), and the European Eco-indicator 99 method. The results of the study are discussed, including the finding that not all biofuels can reduce environmental impacts as compared to fossil fuels. The role to be played by biofuels produced in an environmentally-friendly way together with other forms of renewable energy in our future energy supply is discussed.

  5. Outlook for advanced biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Hamelinck, Carlo Noël

    2004-01-01

    Modern use of biomass can play an important role in a sustainable energy supply. Biomass abounds in most parts of the world and substantial amounts could be produced at low costs. Motor biofuels seem a sensible application of biomass: they are among the few sustainable alternatives to the transportation sector and can address many of the problems associated with mineral oil. Many biofuels are conceivable. Biodiesel (from oil crops) and ethanol from sugar beets or grains are already used in pr...

  6. Assessment of environmental stresses for enhanced microalgal biofuel production-an overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan eCheng

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Microalgal biofuels are currently considered to be the most promising alternative to future renewable energy source. Microalgae have great potential to produce various biofuels, including biodiesel, bioethanol, biomethane, and biohydrogen. Cultivation of biofuel-producing microalgae demands favorable environmental conditions, such as suitable light, temperature, nutrients, salinity, and pH. However, these conditions are not always compatible with the conditions beneficial to biofuel production, because biofuel-related compounds (such as lipids and carbohydrates tend to accumulate under environmental-stress conditions of light, temperature, nutrient, and salt. This paper presents a brief overview of the effects of environmental conditions on production of microalgal biomass and biofuel, with specific emphasis on how to utilize environmental stresses to improve biofuel productivity. The potential avenues of reaping the benefits of enhanced biofuel production by environmental stresses while maintaining high yields of biomass production have been discussed.

  7. An Integrated Assessment of Location-Dependent Scaling for Microalgae Biofuel Production Facilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coleman, Andre M.; Abodeely, Jared; Skaggs, Richard; Moeglein, William AM; Newby, Deborah T.; Venteris, Erik R.; Wigmosta, Mark S.

    2014-06-19

    Successful development of a large-scale microalgae-based biofuels industry requires comprehensive analysis and understanding of the feedstock supply chain—from facility siting/design through processing/upgrading of the feedstock to a fuel product. The evolution from pilot-scale production facilities to energy-scale operations presents many multi-disciplinary challenges, including a sustainable supply of water and nutrients, operational and infrastructure logistics, and economic competitiveness with petroleum-based fuels. These challenges are addressed in part by applying the Integrated Assessment Framework (IAF)—an integrated multi-scale modeling, analysis, and data management suite—to address key issues in developing and operating an open-pond facility by analyzing how variability and uncertainty in space and time affect algal feedstock production rates, and determining the site-specific “optimum” facility scale to minimize capital and operational expenses. This approach explicitly and systematically assesses the interdependence of biofuel production potential, associated resource requirements, and production system design trade-offs. The IAF was applied to a set of sites previously identified as having the potential to cumulatively produce 5 billion-gallons/year in the southeastern U.S. and results indicate costs can be reduced by selecting the most effective processing technology pathway and scaling downstream processing capabilities to fit site-specific growing conditions, available resources, and algal strains.

  8. Projecting future grassland productivity to assess thesustainability of potential biofuel feedstock areas in theGreater Platte River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.; Boyte, Stephen; Phuyal, Khem P.

    2014-01-01

    This study projects future (e.g., 2050 and 2099) grassland productivities in the Greater Platte River Basin (GPRB) using ecosystem performance (EP, a surrogate for measuring ecosystem productivity) models and future climate projections. The EP models developed from a previous study were based on the satellite vegetation index, site geophysical and biophysical features, and weather and climate drivers. The future climate data used in this study were derived from the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model 3.0 ‘SRES A1B’ (a ‘middle’ emissions path). The main objective of this study is to assess the future sustainability of the potential biofuel feedstock areas identified in a previous study. Results show that the potential biofuel feedstock areas (the more mesic eastern part of the GPRB) will remain productive (i.e., aboveground grassland biomass productivity >2750 kg ha−1 year−1) with a slight increasing trend in the future. The spatially averaged EPs for these areas are 3519, 3432, 3557, 3605, 3752, and 3583 kg ha−1 year−1 for current site potential (2000–2008 average), 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050, and 2099, respectively. Therefore, the identified potential biofuel feedstock areas will likely continue to be sustainable for future biofuel development. On the other hand, grasslands identified as having no biofuel potential in the drier western part of the GPRB would be expected to stay unproductive in the future (spatially averaged EPs are 1822, 1691, 1896, 2306, 1994, and 2169 kg ha−1 year−1 for site potential, 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050, and 2099). These areas should continue to be unsuitable for biofuel feedstock development in the future. These future grassland productivity estimation maps can help land managers to understand and adapt to the expected changes in future EP in the GPRB and to assess the future sustainability and feasibility of potential biofuel feedstock areas.

  9. Assessment of energy return on energy investment (EROEI of oil bearing crops for renewable fuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Restuccia

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available As reported in literature the production of biodiesel should lead to a lower energy consumption than those obtainable with its use. So, to justify its consumption, a sustainable and “low input” production should be carried out. In order to assess the sustainability of Linum usitatissimum, Camelina sativa and Brassica carinata cultivation for biodiesel production in terms of energy used compared to that obtained, the index EROEI (Energy Return On Energy Invested has been used. At this aim, an experimental field was realised in the south-eastern Sicilian land. During the autumn-winter crop cycle, no irrigation was carried out and some suitable agricultural practices have been carried out taking into account the peculiarity of each type of used seeds. The total energy consumed for the cultivation of oil bearing crops from sowing to the production of biodiesel represents the Input of the process. In particular, this concerned the energy embodied in machinery and tools utilized, in seed, chemical fertilizer and herbicide but also the energy embodied in diesel fuels and lubricant oils. In addition, the energy consumption relating to machines and reagents required for the processes of extraction and transesterification of the vegetable oil into biodiesel have been calculated for each crops. The energy obtainable from biodiesel production, taking into account the energy used for seed pressing and for vegetable oil transesterification into biodiesel, represents the Output of the process. The ratio Output/Input gets the EROEI index which in the case of Camelina sativa and Linum usatissimum is greater than one. These results show that the cultivation of these crops for biofuels production is convenient in terms of energy return on energy investment. The EROEI index for Brassica carinata is lower than one. This could means that some factors, concerning mechanisation and climatic

  10. Effects of future urban and biofuel crop expansions on the riverine export of phosphorus to the Laurentian Great Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaBeau, Meredith B.; Robertson, Dale M.; Mayer, Alex S.; Pijanowski, Bryan C.; Saad, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Increased phosphorus (P) loadings threaten the health of the world’s largest freshwater resource, the Laurentian Great Lakes (GL). To understand the linkages between land use and P delivery, we coupled two spatially explicit models, the landscape-scale SPARROW P fate and transport watershed model and the Land Transformation Model (LTM) land use change model, to predict future P export from nonpoint and point sources caused by changes in land use. According to LTM predictions over the period 2010–2040, the GL region of the U.S. may experience a doubling of urbanized areas and agricultural areas may increase by 10%, due to biofuel feedstock cultivation. These land use changes are predicted to increase P loadings from the U.S. side of the GL basin by 3.5–9.5%, depending on the Lake watershed and development scenario. The exception is Lake Ontario, where loading is predicted to decrease by 1.8% for one scenario, due to population losses in the drainage area. Overall, urban expansion is estimated to increase P loadings by 3.4%. Agricultural expansion associated with predicted biofuel feedstock cultivation is predicted to increase P loadings by an additional 2.4%. Watersheds that export P most efficiently and thus are the most vulnerable to increases in P sources tend to be found along southern Lake Ontario, southeastern Lake Erie, western Lake Michigan, and southwestern Lake Superior where watershed areas are concentrated along the coastline with shorter flow paths. In contrast, watersheds with high soil permeabilities, fractions of land underlain by tile drains, and long distances to the GL are less vulnerable.

  11. Anticipating potential biodiversity conflicts for future biofuel crops in South Africa: Incorporating land cover information with Species Distribution Models

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Blanchard, R

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Using spatial techniques to determine the threat of land-use change is a useful tool in mitigating against potential biodiversity losses. We investigate the potential suitability and likely impacts of energy crops not currently grown in South Africa...

  12. Techno-economic assessment of biofuel production in the European Union. Working paper 2004

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Toro Chacon, F.A.

    2004-07-01

    Various environmentally negative effects reflected in an increase in air pollution, global warming, climate change, acid rain and ozone layer depletion among others have motivated researchers, scientists together with industry and government partnerships to search, develop and find alternatives and solutions to reduce adverse impacts in the short, middle and long term. Among the different choices in place, important efforts are aimed at finding feasible alternative fuels for transportation that could replace traditional fossil fuels, which are considered to contribute considerably to the estimated contamination levels. In regard to the short and middle term options, biofuels seem to have an important role in the European Union with increasing production levels during the last years. Moreover, at the end of 2003, a Directive for the Promotion of Alternative Fuels for Transportation was adopted in Europe and initial substitution targets for all EU-member states were established for 2005 and 2010. The purpose of this techno-economic assessment is to highlight the various technological possibilities and economic aspects involved in the production of biofuel in Europe. (orig.)

  13. New methodology for estimating biofuel consumption for cooking: Atmospheric emissions of black carbon and sulfur dioxide from India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habib, Gazala; Venkataraman, Chandra; Shrivastava, Manish; Banerjee, Rangan; Stehr, J. W.; Dickerson, Russell R.

    2004-09-01

    The dominance of biofuel combustion emissions in the Indian region, and the inherently large uncertainty in biofuel use estimates based on cooking energy surveys, prompted the current work, which develops a new methodology for estimating biofuel consumption for cooking. This is based on food consumption statistics, and the specific energy for food cooking. Estimated biofuel consumption in India was 379 (247-584) Tg yr-1. New information on the user population of different biofuels was compiled at a state level, to derive the biofuel mix, which varied regionally and was 74:16:10%, respectively, of fuelwood, dung cake and crop waste, at a national level. Importantly, the uncertainty in biofuel use from quantitative error assessment using the new methodology is around 50%, giving a narrower bound than in previous works. From this new activity data and currently used black carbon emission factors, the black carbon (BC) emissions from biofuel combustion were estimated as 220 (65-760) Gg yr-1. The largest BC emissions were from fuelwood (75%), with lower contributions from dung cake (16%) and crop waste (9%). The uncertainty of 245% in the BC emissions estimate is now governed by the large spread in BC emission factors from biofuel combustion (122%), implying the need for reducing this uncertainty through measurements. Emission factors of SO2 from combustion of biofuels widely used in India were measured, and ranged 0.03-0.08 g kg-1 from combustion of two wood species, 0.05-0.20 g kg-1 from 10 crop waste types, and 0.88 g kg-1 from dung cake, significantly lower than currently used emission factors for wood and crop waste. Estimated SO2 emissions from biofuels of 75 (36-160) Gg yr-1 were about a factor of 3 lower than that in recent studies, with a large contribution from dung cake (73%), followed by fuelwood (21%) and crop waste (6%).

  14. Overview on Biofuels from a European Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponti, Luigi; Gutierrez, Andrew Paul

    2009-01-01

    In light of the recently developed European Union (EU) Biofuels Strategy, the literature is reviewed to examine (a) the coherency of biofuel production with the EU nonindustrial vision of agriculture, and (b) given its insufficient land base, the implications of a proposed bioenergy pact to grow biofuel crops in the developing world to meet EU…

  15. A geographical assessment of vegetation carbon stocks and greenhouse gas emissions on potential microalgae-based biofuel facilities in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quiroz Arita, Carlos; Yilmaz, Özge; Barlak, Semin; Catton, Kimberly B; Quinn, Jason C; Bradley, Thomas H

    2016-12-01

    The microalgae biofuels life cycle assessments (LCA) present in the literature have excluded the effects of direct land use change (DLUC) from facility construction under the assumption that DLUC effects are negligible. This study seeks to model the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of microalgae biofuels including DLUC by quantifying the CO2 equivalence of carbon released to the atmosphere through the construction of microalgae facilities. The locations and types of biomass and Soil Organic Carbon that are disturbed through microalgae cultivation facility construction are quantified using geographical models of microalgae productivity potential including consideration of land availability. The results of this study demonstrate that previous LCA of microalgae to biofuel processes have overestimated GHG benefits of microalgae-based biofuels production by failing to include the effect of DLUC. Previous estimations of microalgae biofuel production potential have correspondingly overestimated the volume of biofuels that can be produced in compliance with U.S. environmental goals. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Assessing Chromoleana odorata as a trap crop for the cultural ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Chromolaena odorata was assessed under laboratory conditions as a possible trap crop for cultural control of plant nematodes. The fine sieve extraction technique was used to extract the plant parasitic nematodes from soil, leaf and root samples of Chromolaena odorata, Different nematode genera were observed and ...

  17. Assessing the Socioeconomic Impact of Transgenic Crops on Small ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Supporting biosafety policy decisions : "best practices" for assessing the social and economic impacts of transgenic crop varieties on small-scale farmers; final ... IDRC has provided two phases of support to OSILAC, the Observatory for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean (101849 and 102830).

  18. [Assessment of allergenicity of genetically modified food crops].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schauzu, M; Pöting, A; Rubin, D; Lampen, A

    2012-03-01

    The placing on the European Union's market of genetically modified crops requires authorization by the European Commission which is based on the proof that the derived foods are as safe as their conventional counterparts. The assessment of potential allergenicity is part of the necessary investigations recommended in the updated Guidance Document of the Scientific Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which is based on internationally agreed recommendations. All genetically modified crops which so far have been authorized in the European Union were evaluated by the EFSA GMO Panel which considered it unlikely that their overall allergenicity has been altered.

  19. Reconciling biofuels, sustainability and commodities demand. Pitfalls and policy options

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uslu, A.; Bole, T.; Londo, M. [ECN Policy Studies, Petten (Netherlands); Pelkmans, L. [VITO, Mol (Belgium); Berndes, G. [Chalmers University, Gothenburg (Sweden); Prieler, S.; Fischer, G. [International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IIASA, Laxenburg (Austria); Cueste Cabal, H. [CIEMAT, Madrid (Spain)

    2010-06-15

    Increasing fossil fuel prices, energy security considerations and environmental concerns, particularly concerning climate change, have motivated countries to explore alternative energy sources including biofuels. Global demand for biofuels has been rising rapidly due to biofuel support policies established in many countries. However, proposed strong links between biofuels demand and recent years' high food commodity prices, and notions that increasing biofuels production might bring about serious negative environmental impacts, in particularly associated with the land use change to biofuel crops, have shifted public enthusiasm about biofuels. In this context, the ELOBIO project aims at shedding further light to these aspects of biofuel expansion by collecting and reviewing the available data, and also developing strategies to decrease negative effects of biofuels while enabling their positive contribution to climate change, security of supply and rural development. ELOBIO considers aspects associated with both 1st and 2nd generation biofuels, hence analyses effects on both agricultural commodity markets and lignocellulosic markets. This project, funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme, consists of a review of current experiences with biofuels and other renewable energy policies and their impacts on other markets, iterative stakeholder-supported development of low-disturbing biofuels policies, model supported assessment of these policies' impacts on food, feed and lignocellulosic markets, and finally an assessment of the effects of selected optimal policies on biofuels costs and potentials. Results of the ELOBIO study show that rapid biofuel deployment without careful monitoring of consequences and implementation of mitigating measures risks leading to negative consequences. Implementing ambitious global biofuel targets for 2020, based on current 1st generation technologies, can push international agricultural commodity prices upwards and

  20. Biofuel seeks endorsement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongeneel, C.; Rentmeester, S.

    2015-01-01

    Biofuels such as ethanol from sugar cane and cellulose ‘waste’ are theoretically sustainable, as their combustion releases no more CO2 than is absorbed during production. Even so, they are also controversial, because they are believed to be grown at the expense of food crops, or because areas of

  1. Global Assessments and Guidelines for Sustainable Liquid Biofuel Production in Developing Countries : Final report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bernd, F.; Reinhardt, G.; Malavelle, J.; Faaij, A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/10685903X; van Eijck, Janske|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/297954296; van der Hilst, Floortje|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314099905; Batidzirai, Batidzirai|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/341355909; Fritsche, U.

    The Global Environment Facility (GEF) aims to set clear policies and priorities for future work and investments in biofuel related projects and to provide guidance to countries on how to select sustainable biofuel projects. Three UN agencies, UNEP, UNIDO and FAO, in collaboration with three research

  2. Algae as a Feedstock for Biofuels: An Assessment of the State of Technology and Opportunities. Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sikes, K.; McGill, R. [Sentech, Inc. (United States); Van Walwijk, M. [Independent Consultant (France)

    2011-05-15

    The pursuit of a stable, economically-sound, and environmentally-friendly source of transportation fuel has led to extensive research and development (R&D) efforts focused on the conversion of various feedstocks into biofuels. Some feedstocks, such as sugar cane, corn and woody biomass, are targeted because their structures can be broken down into sugars and fermented into alcohols. Other feedstocks, such as vegetable oils, are appealing because they contain considerable amounts of lipids, which can be extracted and converted into biodiesel or other fuels. While significant R&D and commercial strides have been made with each of these feedstocks, technical and market barriers (e.g., cost, scalability, infrastructure requirements, and 'food vs. fuel' debates) currently limit the penetration of the resultant biofuels into the mainstream. Because of algae's ability to potentially address several of these barriers, its use as a feedstock for biofuels has led to much excitement and initiative within the energy industry. Algae are highly diverse, singleor multi-cellular organisms comprised of mostly lipids, protein, and carbohydrates, which may be used to produce a wide variety of biofuels. Algae offer many competitive advantages over other feedstocks, including: 1) Higher potential lipid content than terrestrial plants, sometimes exceeding 50% of the cell's dry biomass (U.S. DOE, May '10; Tornabene et al., 1983) 2) Rapid growth rates that are 20-30 times higher than terrestrial crops (McDill, 2009) and, in some cases, capable of doubling in size with 10 hours 3) Diverse number of species that can collectively thrive in a wide range of environments throughout the world, presenting an overall high overall tolerance for climate, sunlight, nutrient levels, etc. 4) Daily harvesting potential instead of seasonal harvest periods associated with terrestrial crops 5) Potential to redirect CO2 from industry operations to algal cultivation facilities to be

  3. Biofuel Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biofuel Database (Web, free access)   This database brings together structural, biological, and thermodynamic data for enzymes that are either in current use or are being considered for use in the production of biofuels.

  4. International Global Crop Condition Assessments in the framework of GEOGLAM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker-Reshef, I.; Justice, C. O.; Vermote, E.; Whitcraft, A. K.; Claverie, M.

    2013-12-01

    The Group on Earth Observations (partnership of governments and international organizations) developed the Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative in response to the growing calls for improved agricultural information. The goal of GEOGLAM is to strengthen the international community's capacity to produce and disseminate relevant, timely and accurate forecasts of agricultural production at national, regional and global scales through the use of Earth observations. This initiative is designed to build on existing agricultural monitoring initiatives at national, regional and global levels and to enhance and strengthen them through international networking, operationally focused research, and data/method sharing. GEOGLAM was adopted by the G20 as part of the action plan on food price volatility and agriculture and is being implemented through building on the extensive GEO Agricultural Community of Practice (CoP) that was initiated in 2007 and includes key national and international agencies, organizations, and universities involved in agricultural monitoring. One of the early GEOGLAM activities is to provide harmonized global crop outlooks that offer timely qualitative consensus information on crop status and prospects. This activity is being developed in response to a request from the G-20 Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) and is implemented within the global monitoring systems component of GEOGLAM. The goal is to develop a transparent, international, multi-source, consensus assessment of crop growing conditions, status, and agro-climatic conditions, likely to impact global production. These assessments are focused on the four primary crop types (corn, wheat, soy and rice) within the main agricultural producing regions of the world. The GEOGLAM approach is to bring together international experts from global, regional and national monitoring systems that can share and discuss information from a variety of independent complementary sources in

  5. EXPERT MODEL OF LAND SUITABILITY ASSESSMENT FOR CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Đurđević

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available A total of 17404 soil samples (2003rd-2009th year were analysed in the eastern Croatia. The largest number of soil samples belongs to the Osijek-Baranya county, which together with both Eastern sugar beet Factories (Osijek and Županja, conduct the soil fertility control (~4200 samples/yr.. Computer model suitability assessment for crops, supported by GIS, proved to be fast, efficient enough reliable in terms of the number of analyzed soil samples. It allows the visualization of the agricultural area and prediction of its production properties for the purposes of analysis, planning and rationalization of agricultural production. With more precise data about the soil (soil, climate and reliable Digital Soil Map of Croatia, the model could be an acceptable, not only to evaluate the suitability for growing different crops but also their need for fertilizer, necessary machinery, repairs (liming, and other measures of organic matter input. The abovementioned aims to eliminate or reduce effects of limiting factors in primary agricultural production. Assessment of the relative benefits of soil presented by computer model for the crops production and geostatistical method kriging in the Osijek-Baranya county showed: 1 Average soil suitability being 60.06 percent. 2 Kriging predicted that 51751 ha (17.16% are of limited resources (N1 for growing crops whereas a 86142 ha (28.57% of land is limited suitably (S3, b 132789 ha (44.04% are moderately suitable (S2 and c 30772 ha (10.28% are of excellent fertility (S1. A large number of eastern Croatian land data showed that the computer-geostatistical model for determination of soil benefits for growing crops was automated, fast and simple to use and suitable for the implementation of GIS and automatically downloading the necessary benefit indicators from the input base (land, analytical and climate as well as data from the digital soil maps able to: a visualize the suitability for soil tillage, b predict the

  6. The water-land-food nexus of first-generation biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rulli, Maria Cristina; Bellomi, Davide; Cazzoli, Andrea; de Carolis, Giulia; D'Odorico, Paolo

    2016-03-01

    Recent energy security strategies, investment opportunities and energy policies have led to an escalation in biofuel consumption at the expenses of food crops and pastureland. To evaluate the important impacts of biofuels on food security, the food-energy nexus needs to be investigated in the context of its linkages with the overall human appropriation of land and water resources. Here we provide a global assessment of biofuel crop production, reconstruct global patterns of biofuel crop/oil trade and determine the associated displacement of water and land use. We find that bioethanol is mostly produced with domestic crops while 36% of biodiesel consumption relies on international trade, mainly from Southeast Asia. Altogether, biofuels rely on about 2-3% of the global water and land used for agriculture, which could feed about 30% of the malnourished population. We evaluate the food-energy tradeoff and the impact an increased reliance on biofuel would have on the number of people the planet can feed.

  7. Spatio-Temporal Impacts of Biofuel Production and Climate Variability on Water Quantity and Quality in Upper Mississippi River Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debjani Deb

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Impact of climate change on the water resources of the United States exposes the vulnerability of feedstock-specific mandated fuel targets to extreme weather conditions that could become more frequent and intensify in the future. Consequently, a sustainable biofuel policy should consider: (a how climate change would alter both water supply and demand; and (b in turn, how related changes in water availability will impact the production of biofuel crops; and (c the environmental implications of large scale biofuel productions. Understanding the role of biofuels in the water cycle is the key to understanding many of the environmental impacts of biofuels. Therefore, the focus of this study is to model the rarely explored interactions between land use, climate change, water resources and the environment in future biofuel production systems. Results from this study will help explore the impacts of the US biofuel policy and climate change on water and agricultural resources. We used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT to analyze the water quantity and quality consequences of land use and land management related changes in cropping conditions (e.g., more use of marginal lands, greater residue harvest, increased yields, plus management practices due to biofuel crops to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard target on water quality and quantity.

  8. Assessing ecological risks and benefits of genetically modified crops

    OpenAIRE

    Bošković Jelena V.; Isajev Vasilije V.; Prijić Željana S.; Zečević Veselinka M.; Hojka Zdravko M.; Dozet Gordana K.

    2010-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops and biotechnology are providing new opportunities for increasing crop productivity and tackling agriculture problems, such as diseases, pests and weeds, abiotic stress and nutritional limitations of staple food crops. As GM crops are being adopted in various locations with different ecosystems, a scientifically based understanding of the environmental effects of cultivations of GM crops would assist decision makers worldwide ...

  9. Assessment of the GHG reduction potential from energy crops using a combined LCA and biogeochemical process models: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Dong; Hao, Mengmeng; Fu, Jingying; Wang, Qiao; Huang, Yaohuan; Fu, Xinyu

    2014-01-01

    The main purpose for developing biofuel is to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, but the comprehensive environmental impact of such fuels is not clear. Life cycle analysis (LCA), as a complete comprehensive analysis method, has been widely used in bioenergy assessment studies. Great efforts have been directed toward establishing an efficient method for comprehensively estimating the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction potential from the large-scale cultivation of energy plants by combining LCA with ecosystem/biogeochemical process models. LCA presents a general framework for evaluating the energy consumption and GHG emission from energy crop planting, yield acquisition, production, product use, and postprocessing. Meanwhile, ecosystem/biogeochemical process models are adopted to simulate the fluxes and storage of energy, water, carbon, and nitrogen in the soil-plant (energy crops) soil continuum. Although clear progress has been made in recent years, some problems still exist in current studies and should be addressed. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art method for estimating GHG emission reduction through developing energy crops and introduces in detail a new approach for assessing GHG emission reduction by combining LCA with biogeochemical process models. The main achievements of this study along with the problems in current studies are described and discussed.

  10. GEOGLAM Crop Assessment Tool: Adapting from global agricultural monitoring to food security monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humber, M. L.; Becker-Reshef, I.; Nordling, J.; Barker, B.; McGaughey, K.

    2014-12-01

    The GEOGLAM Crop Monitor's Crop Assessment Tool was released in August 2013 in support of the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor's objective to develop transparent, timely crop condition assessments in primary agricultural production areas, highlighting potential hotspots of stress/bumper crops. The Crop Assessment Tool allows users to view satellite derived products, best available crop masks, and crop calendars (created in collaboration with GEOGLAM Crop Monitor partners), then in turn submit crop assessment entries detailing the crop's condition, drivers, impacts, trends, and other information. Although the Crop Assessment Tool was originally intended to collect data on major crop production at the global scale, the types of data collected are also relevant to the food security and rangelands monitoring communities. In line with the GEOGLAM Countries at Risk philosophy of "foster[ing] the coordination of product delivery and capacity building efforts for national and regional organizations, and the development of harmonized methods and tools", a modified version of the Crop Assessment Tool is being developed for the USAID Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). As a member of the Countries at Risk component of GEOGLAM, FEWS NET provides agricultural monitoring, timely food security assessments, and early warnings of potential significant food shortages focusing specifically on countries at risk of food security emergencies. While the FEWS NET adaptation of the Crop Assessment Tool focuses on crop production in the context of food security rather than large scale production, the data collected is nearly identical to the data collected by the Crop Monitor. If combined, the countries monitored by FEWS NET and GEOGLAM Crop Monitor would encompass over 90 countries representing the most important regions for crop production and food security.

  11. Biofuels combustion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westbrook, Charles K

    2013-01-01

    This review describes major features of current research in renewable fuels derived from plants and from fatty acids. Recent and ongoing fundamental studies of biofuel molecular structure, oxidation reactions, and biofuel chemical properties are reviewed, in addition to combustion applications of biofuels in the major types of engines in which biofuels are used. Biofuels and their combustion are compared with combustion features of conventional petroleum-based fuels. Two main classes of biofuels are described, those consisting of small, primarily alcohol, fuels (particularly ethanol, n-butanol, and iso-pentanol) that are used primarily to replace or supplement gasoline and those derived from fatty acids and used primarily to replace or supplement conventional diesel fuels. Research efforts on so-called second- and third-generation biofuels are discussed briefly.

  12. The Policy Objectives of a Biofuel Industry in Canada: An Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danny G. Le Roy

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Canada has a huge stock of biomass resources, which provides a basis (and a temptation for development of a major bio-fuels industry. Both federal and provincial governments have engaged in a wide array of subsidies, mandates, and other measures to stimulate production and consumption of biofuels. As a result, biofuels has become a growth industry in Canada with production of ethanol almost 10 times higher than it was ten years earlier. However, this has come at considerable cost to taxpayers. Increased biofuel production has resulted in minimal reduction in greenhouse gases, short run (but not long run increases in net farm income (that benefited grain and oilseed producers but hurt livestock producers, large increases in the prices of farm land due to the higher grain and oilseed prices, and minimal impacts on rural economic diversification.

  13. Deep Sequencing of the Fruit Transcriptome and Lipid Accumulation in a Non-Seed Tissue of Chinese Tallow, a Potential Biofuel Crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Divi, Uday K; Zhou, Xue-Rong; Wang, Penghao; Butlin, Jamie; Zhang, Dong-Mei; Liu, Qing; Vanhercke, Thomas; Petrie, James R; Talbot, Mark; White, Rosemary G; Taylor, Jennifer M; Larkin, Philip; Singh, Surinder P

    2016-01-01

    Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera) is a valuable oilseed-producing tree that can grow in a variety of conditions without competing for food production, and is a promising biofuel feedstock candidate. The fruits are unique in that they contain both saturated and unsaturated fat present in the tallow and seed layer, respectively. The tallow layer is poorly studied and is considered only as an external fatty deposition secreted from the seed. In this study we show that tallow is in fact a non-seed cellular tissue capable of triglyceride synthesis. Knowledge of lipid synthesis and storage mechanisms in tissues other than seed is limited but essential to generate oil-rich biomass crops. Here, we describe the annotated transcriptome assembly generated from the fruit coat, tallow and seed tissues of Chinese tallow. The final assembly was functionally annotated, allowing for the identification of candidate genes and reconstruction of lipid pathways. A tallow tissue-specific paralog for the transcription factor gene WRINKLED1 (WRI1) and lipid droplet-associated protein genes, distinct from those expressed in seed tissue, were found to be active in tallow, underpinning the mode of oil synthesis and packaging in this tissue. Our data have established an excellent knowledge base that can provide genetic and biochemical insights for engineering non-seed tissues to accumulate large amounts of oil. In addition to the large data set of annotated transcripts, the study also provides gene-based simple sequence repeat and single nucleotide polymorphism markers. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Assessing meteorological key factors influencing crop invasion by pollen beetle (

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen Junk

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The pollen beetle, Meligethes aeneus F. (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae, is a severe pest of winter oilseed rape. A phenological model to forecast the first spring invasion of crops in Luxembourg by M. aeneus was developed in order to provide a tool for improving pest management and for assessing the potential effects of climate change on this pest. The model was derived using long-term, multi-site observational datasets of pollen beetle migration and meteorological data, as the timing of crop invasion is determined mainly by meteorological variables. Daily values of mean air and soil temperature, accumulated sunshine duration and precipitation were used to create a threshold-based model to forecast crop invasion. Minimising of the root mean squared error (RMSE of predicted versus observed migration dates was used as the quality criterion for selecting the optimum combination of threshold values for meteorological variables. We identified mean air temperature 8.0 °C, mean soil temperature 4.6 °C, and sunshine duration of 3.4 h as the best threshold values, with a cut-off of 1 mm precipitation and with no need for persistence of those conditions for more than one day (RMSE=9.3days$RMSE=9.3\\,\\text{days}$. Only in six out of 30 cases, differences between observed and predicted immigration dates were >5$>5$ days. In the future, crop invasion by pollen beetles will probably be strongly affected by changes in air temperature and precipitation related to climate change. We used a multi-model ensemble of 15 regional climate models driven by the A1B emission scenario to assess meteorological changes in two 30‑year future periods, near future (2021–2050 and far future (2069–2098 in comparison with the reference period (1971–2000. Air temperature and precipitation were predicted to increase in the first three months of each year, both in the near future and the far future. The pollen beetle migration model indicated that this change would

  15. Genetically modified crops: success, safety assessment, and public concern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Om V; Ghai, Shivani; Paul, Debarati; Jain, Rakesh K

    2006-08-01

    With the emergence of transgenic technologies, new ways to improve the agronomic performance of crops for food, feed, and processing applications have been devised. In addition, ability to express foreign genes using transgenic technologies has opened up options for producing large quantities of commercially important industrial or pharmaceutical products in plants. Despite this high adoption rate and future promises, there is a multitude of concerns about the impact of genetically modified (GM) crops on the environment. Potential contamination of the environment and food chains has prompted detailed consideration of how such crops and the molecules that they produce can be effectively isolated and contained. One of the reasonable steps after creating a transgenic plant is to evaluate its potential benefits and risks to the environment and these should be compared to those generated by traditional agricultural practices. The precautionary approach in risk management of GM plants may make it necessary to monitor significant wild and weed populations that might be affected by transgene escape. Effective risk assessment and monitoring mechanisms are the basic prerequisites of any legal framework to adequately address the risks and watch out for new risks. Several agencies in different countries monitor the release of GM organisms or frame guidelines for the appropriate application of recombinant organisms in agro-industries so as to assure the safe use of recombinant organisms and to achieve sound overall development. We feel that it is important to establish an internationally harmonized framework for the safe handling of recombinant DNA organisms within a few years.

  16. Total environmental impacts of biofuels from corn stover using a hybrid life cycle assessment model combining process life cycle assessment and economic input-output life cycle assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Changqi; Huang, Yaji; Wang, Xinye; Tai, Yang; Liu, Lingqin; Liu, Hao

    2018-01-01

    Studies on the environmental analysis of biofuels by fast pyrolysis and hydroprocessing (BFPH) have so far focused only on the environmental impacts from direct emissions and have included few indirect emissions. The influence of ignoring some indirect emissions on the environmental performance of BFPH has not been well investigated and hence is not really understood. In addition, in order to avoid shifting environmental problems from one medium to another, a comprehensive assessment of environmental impacts caused by the processes must quantify the environmental emissions to all media (air, water, and land) in relation to each life cycle stage. A well-to-wheels assessment of the total environmental impacts resulting from direct emissions and indirect emissions of a BFPH system with corn stover is conducted using a hybrid life cycle assessment (LCA) model combining the economic input-output LCA and the process LCA. The Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and other environmental Impacts (TRACI) has been used to estimate the environmental impacts in terms of acidification, eutrophication, global climate change, ozone depletion, human health criteria, photochemical smog formation, ecotoxicity, human health cancer, and human health noncancer caused by 1 MJ biofuel production. Taking account of all the indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the net GHG emissions (81.8 g CO2 eq/MJ) of the biofuels are still less than those of petroleum-based fuels (94 g CO2 eq/MJ). Maize production and pyrolysis and hydroprocessing make major contributions to all impact categories except the human health criteria. All impact categories resulting from indirect emissions except eutrophication and smog air make more than 24% contribution to the total environmental impacts. Therefore, the indirect emissions are important and cannot be ignored. Sensitivity analysis has shown that corn stover yield and bio-oil yield affect the total environmental impacts of the biofuels

  17. Microalgae biofuel potentials (review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghasemi, Y; Rasoul-Amini, S; Naseri, A T; Montazeri-Najafabady, N; Mobasher, M A; Dabbagh, F

    2012-01-01

    With the decrease of fossil based fuels and the environmental impact of them over the planet, it seems necessary to seek the sustainable sources of clean energy. Biofuels, is becoming a worldwide leader in the development of renewable energy resources. It is worthwhile to say that algal biofuel production is thought to help stabilize the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and decrease global warming impacts. Also, among algal fuels' attractive characteristics, algal biodiesel is non toxic, with no sulfur, highly biodegradable and relatively harmless to the environment if spilled. Algae are capable of producing in excess of 30 times more oil per acre than corn and soybean crops. Currently, algal biofuel production has not been commercialized due to high costs associated with production, harvesting and oil extraction but the technology is progressing. Extensive research was conducted to determine the utilization of microalgae as an energy source and make algae oil production commercially viable.

  18. Development of a biorefinery optimized biofuel supply curve for the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathan Parker; Peter Tittmann; Quinn Hart; Richard Nelson; Ken Skog; Anneliese Schmidt; Edward Gray; Bryan Jenkins

    2010-01-01

    A resource assessment and biorefinery siting optimization model was developed and implemented to assess potential biofuel supply across the Western United States from agricultural, forest, urban, and energy crop biomass. Spatial information including feedstock resources, existing and potential refinery locations and a transportation network model is provided to a mixed...

  19. Life Cycle Assessment of Bioenergy from Lignocellulosic Crops Cultivated on Marginal Land in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rettenmaier, Nils; Schmidt, Tobias; Gärtner, Sven; Reinhardt, Guido

    2017-04-01

    Population growth and changing diets due to economic development lead to an additional demand for land for food and feed production. Slowly but surely turning into a mass market, also the cultivation of non-food biomass crops for fibre (bio-based products) and fuel (biofuels and bioenergy) is increasingly contributing to the pressure on global agricultural land. As a consequence, the already prevailing competition for land might even intensify over the next decades. Against this background, the possibilities of shifting the cultivation of non-food biomass crops to so-called 'marginal lands' are investigated. The EC-funded project 'Sustainable exploitation of biomass for bioenergy from marginal lands in Europe' (SEEMLA) aims at the establishment of suitable innovative land-use strategies for a sustainable production of bioenergy from lignocellulosic crops on marginal lands while improving general ecosystem services. For a complete understanding of the environmental benefits and drawbacks of the envisioned cultivation of bioenergy crops on marginal land, life cycle assessments (LCA) have proven to be a suitable and valuable tool. Thus, embedded into a comprehensive sustainability assessment, a screening LCA is carried out for the entire life cycles of the bioenergy carriers researched in SEEMLA. Investigated systems, on the one hand, include the specific field trials carried out by the SEEMLA partners in Ukraine, Greece and Germany. On the other hand, generic scenarios are investigated in order to derive reliable general statements on the environmental impacts of bioenergy from marginal lands in Europe. Investigated crops include woody and herbaceous species such as black locust, poplar, pine, willow and Miscanthus. Conversion technologies cover the use in a domestic or a district heating plant, power plant, CHP as well as the production of Fischer-Tropsch diesel (FT diesel) and lignocellulosic ethanol. Environmental impacts are compared to conventional reference

  20. Biofuels and sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Barry D

    2010-01-01

    Interest in liquid biofuels production and use has increased worldwide as part of government policies to address the growing scarcity and riskiness of petroleum use, and, at least in theory, to help mitigate adverse global climate change. The existing biofuels markets are dominated by U.S. ethanol production based on cornstarch, Brazilian ethanol production based on sugarcane, and European biodiesel production based on rapeseed oil. Other promising efforts have included programs to shift toward the production and use of biofuels based on residues and waste materials from the agricultural and forestry sectors, and perennial grasses, such as switchgrass and miscanthus--so-called cellulosic ethanol. This article reviews these efforts and the recent literature in the context of ecological economics and sustainability science. Several common dimensions for sustainable biofuels are discussed: scale (resource assessment, land availability, and land use practices); efficiency (economic and energy); equity (geographic distribution of resources and the "food versus fuel" debate); socio-economic issues; and environmental effects and emissions. Recent proposals have been made for the development of sustainable biofuels criteria, culminating in standards released in Sweden in 2008 and a draft report from the international Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels. These criteria hold promise for accelerating a shift away from unsustainable biofuels based on grain, such as corn, and toward possible sustainable feedstock and production practices that may be able to meet a variety of social, economic, and environmental sustainability criteria.

  1. Structural characterization of copia-type retrotransposons leads to insights into the marker development in a biofuel crop, Jatropha curcas L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Recently, Jatropha curcas L. has attracted worldwide attention for its potential as a source of biodiesel. However, most DNA markers have demonstrated high levels of genetic similarity among and within jatropha populations around the globe. Despite promising features of copia-type retrotransposons as ideal genetic tools for gene tagging, mutagenesis, and marker-assisted selection, they have not been characterized in the jatropha genome yet. Here, we examined the diversity, evolution, and genome-wide organization of copia-type retrotransposons in the Asian, African, and Mesoamerican accessions of jatropha, then introduced a retrotransposon-based marker for this biofuel crop. Results In total, 157 PCR fragments that were amplified using the degenerate primers for the reverse transcriptase (RT) domain of copia-type retroelements were sequenced and aligned to construct the neighbor-joining tree. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that isolated copia RT sequences were classified into ten families, which were then grouped into three lineages. An in-depth study of the jatropha genome for the RT sequences of each family led to the characterization of full consensus sequences of the jatropha copia-type families. Estimated copy numbers of target sequences were largely different among families, as was presence of genes within 5 kb flanking regions for each family. Five copia-type families were as appealing candidates for the development of DNA marker systems. A candidate marker from family Jc7 was particularly capable of detecting genetic variation among different jatropha accessions. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to metaphase chromosomes reveals that copia-type retrotransposons are scattered across chromosomes mainly located in the distal part regions. Conclusion This is the first report on genome-wide analysis and the cytogenetic mapping of copia-type retrotransposons of jatropha, leading to the discovery of families bearing high potential as DNA

  2. Assessment of a dry and a wet route for the production of biofuels from microalgae: energy balance analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lixian; Wim Brilman, Derk W F; Withag, Jan A M; Brem, Gerrit; Kersten, Sascha

    2011-04-01

    In this study, the energy balance of two microalgae-to-biofuel concepts, one via a so called "dry route" (oil extraction from dried algae) and one via a "wet route" (oil extraction in the water phase), are assessed. Both routes are intended to convert the chemical energy contained in the microalgae into high-value biofuels with minimal fossil energy consumption. The analysis shows that the drying process in the dry route and the oil extraction process in the wet route consume a significant amount of energy. By coupling waste heat from a nearby power plant to the process, the energy balance can be improved and a potential fossil energy ratio (FER) up to 2.38 and 1.82 can be reached for the dry and wet route, respectively. The results indicate that based on current available technologies, the dry route has higher FER and the wet route has more potential in producing high valuable biofuels. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. An Assessment of the Quality of Crop Yield Predictions under Different Degrees of Water Limitation in European Crop Producing Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, E.

    2015-12-01

    The Fifth IPCC Assessment Report on climate change shows that the frequency and/or intensity of different types of weather extreme events is likely to increase in a number of regions across the globe. The agricultural sector, which plays a crucial role for the livelihood of a large fraction of the world's population, is particularly vulnerable to extreme events due to its dependency on climate conditions.Process-based crop models play an important role for translating climate and weather information into agricultural forecasts, both at decadal time scales as part of climate impact assessments and shorter time scales, for examples for seasonal yield predictions as part of early warning systems for harvest failures. A variety of crop models exist, with different degrees of complexity, spatial and temporal resolutions, incorporated chemical, physical and biological processes and mathematical formulations of these processes. Furthermore, crop models differ with regard to the agro-climatic zones and crop types for which they were calibrated and validated. For these reasons, crop models can vary significantly with respect to their suitability for yield forecasts under different climate conditions, geographical regions and crop types.In this study, we assess the quality of crop yield predictions of the vegetation model LPJmL for four major crops (maize, rice, wheat, soy) under a range of water limitation conditions in Europe, using a high-resolution regional climate data set (0.1 ° x 0.1 °) covering the period 1989-2008. The aim of the study is to examine the degree of uncertainty of yield predictions for different agro-climatic zones and to identify the factors that influence the goodness-of-fit of model predictions. By this, we hope to provide input into further model improvements and to provide guidance for decision-makers on the suitability of yield predictions for different climatic regions within the European continent.

  4. Performance assessment of biofuel production in an algae-based remediation system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wuang, Shy Chyi; Luo, Yanpei Darren; Wang, Simai; Chua, Pei Qiang Danny; Tee, Pok Siang

    2016-03-10

    The production of biofuel from microalgae has been an area of great interest as microalgae have higher productivities than land plants, and certain species have high lipid constituents which are the major feedstock for biodiesel production. One way to enhance the economic feasibility of algal-based biofuel is to couple it with waste remediation. This study investigated the technical feasibility of cultivating Chlorella sp. and Nannochloropsis sp. with fish water for biofuel production. The remediation potential of Chlorella sp. was found to be higher but the lipid yield is lower, when compared to Nannochloropsis sp. Lipid productivities were found to be similar for both types of algae at 1.1-1.3mgL(-1)h(-1). The fatty acid profiles of the obtained lipids were found suitable for biofuel production, and the calorific values were high at 30-32MJ/kg. The results provide insights into lipid production in Chlorella sp. and Nannochloropsis sp., when coupled with waste remediation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Assessing opportunities and constraints for biofuel development in sub-Saharan Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Von Maltitz, Graham P

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available projects can be classified into 4 distinct models based on production scales (small- versus large-scale farm/plantations) and on the intended use of the biofuel (local versus national). The first type embraces large corporate plantations to supply...

  6. Biofuels Assessment on Technical Opportunities and Research needs for Latin America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rutz, Dominik; Janssen, Rainer; Hofer, Anton

    2008-01-01

    As fossil reserves become scarcer and the price for crude oil drastically increases, new energy sources have to be explored. The transport sector today mainly depends on liquid fuels and an opportunity to substitute fossil fuels is biofuels. Thus, the European Union (EU) has implemented several p...

  7. Biotechnology Towards Energy Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margaritopoulou, Theoni; Roka, Loukia; Alexopoulou, Efi; Christou, Myrsini; Rigas, Stamatis; Haralampidis, Kosmas; Milioni, Dimitra

    2016-03-01

    New crops are gradually establishing along with cultivation systems to reduce reliance on depleting fossil fuel reserves and sustain better adaptation to climate change. These biological assets could be efficiently exploited as bioenergy feedstocks. Bioenergy crops are versatile renewable sources with the potential to alternatively contribute on a daily basis towards the coverage of modern society's energy demands. Biotechnology may facilitate the breeding of elite energy crop genotypes, better suited for bio-processing and subsequent use that will improve efficiency, further reduce costs, and enhance the environmental benefits of biofuels. Innovative molecular techniques may improve a broad range of important features including biomass yield, product quality and resistance to biotic factors like pests or microbial diseases or environmental cues such as drought, salinity, freezing injury or heat shock. The current review intends to assess the capacity of biotechnological applications to develop a beneficial bioenergy pipeline extending from feedstock development to sustainable biofuel production and provide examples of the current state of the art on future energy crops.

  8. Combining Landsat-8 and WorldView-3 data to assess crop residue cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop residues on the soil surface contribute to soil quality and form the first line defense against the erosive forces of water and wind. Quantifying crop residue cover on the soil surface after crops are planted is crucial for monitoring soil tillage intensity and assessing the extent of conserva...

  9. Assessing uncertainties of water footprints using an ensemble of crop growth models on winter wheat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kersebaum, Kurt Christian; Kroes, Joop; Gobin, Anne; Takáč, Jozef; Hlavinka, Petr; Trnka, Miroslav; Ventrella, Domenico; Giglio, Luisa; Ferrise, Roberto; Moriondo, Marco; Marta, Anna Dalla; Luo, Qunying; Eitzinger, Josef; Mirschel, Wilfried; Weigel, Hans Joachim; Manderscheid, Remy; Hoffmann, Munir; Nejedlik, Pavol; Iqbal, Muhammad Anjum; Hösch, Johannes

    2016-01-01

    Crop productivity and water consumption form the basis to calculate the water footprint (WF) of a specific crop. Under current climate conditions, calculated evapotranspiration is related to observed crop yields to calculate WF. The assessment of WF under future climate conditions requires the

  10. Biofuel Boundaries: Estimating the Medium-Term Supply Potential of Domestic Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, Andrew; O'Hare, Michael; Farrell, Alexander

    2007-01-01

    We estimate the physical supply potential of biofuels from domestic municipal solid waste, forestry residues, crops residues and energy crops grown on existing cropland using optimistic assumptions about near-term conversion technologies. It is technically feasible to produce a significant amount of liquid biofuel (equivalent to 30-100% of 2003 gasoline demand) without reducing domestically produced food and fiber crops or reducing the total calories available as domestic animal feed. Most of...

  11. Life cycle assessment of energy products: environmental impact assessment of biofuels; Ecobilan d'agents energetiques. Evaluation ecologique de biocarburants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zah, R.; Boeni, H.; Gauch, M.; Hischier, R.; Lehmann, M.; Waeger, P.

    2007-05-15

    This final report for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) deals with the results of a study that evaluated the environmental impact of the entire production chain of fuels made from biomass and used in Switzerland. Firstly, the study supplies an analysis of the possible environmental impacts of biofuels that can be used as a basis for political decisions. Secondly, an environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of various biofuels is presented. In addition, the impacts of fuel use are compared with other uses for bioenergy such as the generation of electricity and heat. The methods used in the LCA are discussed, including the Swiss method of ecological scarcity (Environmental Impact Points, UBP 06), and the European Eco-indicator 99 method. The results of the study are discussed, including the finding that not all biofuels can reduce environmental impacts as compared to fossil fuels. The role to be played by biofuels produced in an environmentally-friendly way together with other forms of renewable energy in our future energy supply is discussed.

  12. Next generation of liquid biofuel production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Batidzirai, B.

    2012-01-01

    More than 99% of all currently produced biofuels are classified as “first generation” (i.e. fuels produced primarily from cereals, grains, sugar crops and oil seeds) (IEA, 2008b). “Second generation” or “next generation” biofuels, on the other hand, are produced from lignocellulosic feedstocks such

  13. Sustainable Biofuels Development Center

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reardon, Kenneth F. [Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)

    2015-03-01

    The mission of the Sustainable Bioenergy Development Center (SBDC) is to enhance the capability of America’s bioenergy industry to produce transportation fuels and chemical feedstocks on a large scale, with significant energy yields, at competitive cost, through sustainable production techniques. Research within the SBDC is organized in five areas: (1) Development of Sustainable Crops and Agricultural Strategies, (2) Improvement of Biomass Processing Technologies, (3) Biofuel Characterization and Engine Adaptation, (4) Production of Byproducts for Sustainable Biorefining, and (5) Sustainability Assessment, including evaluation of the ecosystem/climate change implication of center research and evaluation of the policy implications of widespread production and utilization of bioenergy. The overall goal of this project is to develop new sustainable bioenergy-related technologies. To achieve that goal, three specific activities were supported with DOE funds: bioenergy-related research initiation projects, bioenergy research and education via support of undergraduate and graduate students, and Research Support Activities (equipment purchases, travel to attend bioenergy conferences, and seminars). Numerous research findings in diverse fields related to bioenergy were produced from these activities and are summarized in this report.

  14. Assessment of the Agronomic Feasibility of Bioenergy Crop Cultivation on Marginal and Polluted Land: A GIS-Based Suitability Study from the Sulcis Area, Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Pulighe

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available In the context of environmental sustainability there has been an increasing interest in bioenergy production from renewable resources, and is expected that European biofuel production from energy crops will increase as a consequence of the achievement of policy targets. The aim of this paper is to assess the agronomic feasibility of biomass crop cultivation to provide profitable renewable feedstocks in a marginal and heavy-metal polluted area located in the Sulcis district, Sardinia (Italy. Results from literature review and unpublished data from field trials carried out in Sardinia were analysed to establish the main agronomic traits of crops (e.g., yield potential and input requirements. A Geographical Information System (GIS-based procedure with remotely sensed data is also used to evaluate the land suitability and the actual land use/cover, considering a future scenario of expansion of energy crops on these marginal areas avoiding potential conflicts with food production. The results of the review suggests that giant reed, native perennial grasses and milk thistle are the most suitable energy crops for this area. The land suitability analysis shows that about 5700 ha and 1000 ha could be available for feedstock cultivation in the study area and in the most polluted area, respectively. The results obtained from land suitability process and agronomic evaluation will serve as a base to support technical and economical feasibility studies, as well as for the evaluation of environmental sustainability of the cultivation in the study area.

  15. Climate, Biofuels and Water: Projections and Sustainability Implications for the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deb, D.; Tuppad, P.; Daggupati, P.; Srinivasan, R.; Varma, D.

    2014-12-01

    Impact of climate change on the water resources of the United States exposes the vulnerability of feedstock-specific mandated fuel targets to extreme weather conditions that could become more frequent and intensify in the future. Consequently, a sustainable biofuel policy should consider a) how climate change would alter both water supply and demand and, b) in turn, how related changes in water availability will impact the production of biofuel crops and c) the environmental implications of large scale biofuel productions. Since, understanding the role of biofuels in the water cycle is key to understanding many of the environmental impacts of biofuels, the focus of this study is on modeling the rarely explored interactions between land use, climate change, water resources and the environment in future biofuel production systems to explore the impacts of the US biofuel policy and climate change on water and agricultural resources. More specifically, this research will address changes in the water demand and availability, soil erosion and water quality driven by both climate change and biomass feedstock production in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. We used the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) hydrologic model to analyze the water quantity and quality consequences of land use and land management related changes in cropping conditions (e.g. more use of marginal lands, greater residue harvest, increased yields), plus management practices due to biofuel crops to meet the RFS target on water quality and quantity. Results show that even if the Upper Mississippi River Basin is a region of low water stress, it contributes to high nutrient load in Gulf of Mexico through seasonal shifts in streamflow, changes in extreme high and low flow events, changes in loadings and transport of sediments and nutrients due to changes in precipitation patterns and intensity, changes in frequency of occurrence of floods and drought, early melting of snow and ice, increasing

  16. Assessing microalgae biorefinery routes for the production of biofuels via hydrothermal liquefaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Barreiro, Diego; Samorì, Chiara; Terranella, Giuseppe; Hornung, Ursel; Kruse, Andrea; Prins, Wolter

    2014-12-01

    The interest in third generation biofuels from microalgae has been rising during the past years. Meanwhile, it seems not economically feasible to grow algae just for biofuels. Co-products with a higher value should be produced by extracting a particular algae fraction to improve the economics of an algae biorefinery. The present study aims at analyzing the influence of two main microalgae components (lipids and proteins) on the composition and quantity of biocrude oil obtained via hydrothermal liquefaction of two strains (Nannochloropsis gaditana and Scenedesmus almeriensis). The algae were liquefied as raw biomass, after extracting lipids and after extracting proteins in microautoclave experiments at different temperatures (300-375°C) for 5 and 15min. The results indicate that extracting the proteins from the microalgae prior to HTL may be interesting to improve the economics of the process while at the same time reducing the nitrogen content of the biocrude oil. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Next generation of liquid biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    Batidzirai, B.

    2012-01-01

    More than 99% of all currently produced biofuels are classified as “first generation” (i.e. fuels produced primarily from cereals, grains, sugar crops and oil seeds) (IEA, 2008b). “Second generation” or “next generation” biofuels, on the other hand, are produced from lignocellulosic feedstocks such as agricultural and forest residues, as well as purpose-grown energy crops such as vegetative grasses and short rotation forests (SRF). These feedstocks largely consist of cellulose, hemicellulose ...

  18. Biofuel technology handbook. 2. ed.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rutz, Dominik; Janssen, Rainer

    2008-01-15

    This comprehensive handbook was created in order to promote the production and use of biofuels and to inform politicians, decision makers, biofuel traders and all other relevant stakeholders about the state-of-the-art of biofuels and relevant technologies. The large variety of feedstock types and different conversion technologies are described. Explanations about the most promising bio fuels provide a basis to discuss about the manifold issues of biofuels. The impartial information in this handbook further contributes to diminish existing barriers for the broad use of biofuels. Emphasis of this handbook is on first generation biofuels: bio ethanol, Biodiesel, pure plant oil, and bio methane. It also includes second generation biofuels such as BTL-fuels and bio ethanol from lingo-cellulose as well as bio hydrogen. The whole life cycle of bio fuels is assessed under technical, economical, ecological, and social aspect. Characteristics and applications of bio fuels for transport purposes are demonstrated and evaluated. This is completed by an assessment about the most recent studies on biofuel energy balances. This handbook describes the current discussion about green house gas (GHG) balances and sustainability aspects. GHG calculation methods are presented and potential impacts of biofuel production characterized: deforestation of rainforests and wetlands, loss of biodiversity, water pollution, human health, child labour, and labour conditions.

  19. Assessing the environmental impacts of cropping systems and cover crops : Life cycle assessment of FAST, a long-term arable farming field experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prechsl, U E; Wittwer, R; van der Heijden, M.G.A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/240923901; Luscher, G; Jeanneret, P; Nemecek, T

    2017-01-01

    To reduce environmental impacts of cropping systems, various management strategies are being discussed. Longterm field experiments are particularly suitable to directly compare different management strategies and to perform a comprehensive impact assessment. To identify the key drivers of several

  20. Algal biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razeghifard, Reza

    2013-11-01

    The world is facing energy crisis and environmental issues due to the depletion of fossil fuels and increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Growing microalgae can contribute to practical solutions for these global problems because they can harvest solar energy and capture CO2 by converting it into biofuel using photosynthesis. Microalgae are robust organisms capable of rapid growth under a variety of conditions including in open ponds or closed photobioreactors. Their reduced biomass compounds can be used as the feedstock for mass production of a variety of biofuels. As another advantage, their ability to accumulate or secrete biofuels can be controlled by changing their growth conditions or metabolic engineering. This review is aimed to highlight different forms of biofuels produced by microalgae and the approaches taken to improve their biofuel productivity. The costs for industrial-scale production of algal biofuels in open ponds or closed photobioreactors are analyzed. Different strategies for photoproduction of hydrogen by the hydrogenase enzyme of green algae are discussed. Algae are also good sources of biodiesel since some species can make large quantities of lipids as their biomass. The lipid contents for some of the best oil-producing strains of algae in optimized growth conditions are reviewed. The potential of microalgae for producing petroleum related chemicals or ready-make fuels such as bioethanol, triterpenic hydrocarbons, isobutyraldehyde, isobutanol, and isoprene from their biomass are also presented.

  1. Economic assessment and comparison of acacia energy crop with annual traditional crops in Southern Europe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gasol, Carles M.; Rieradevall, Joan; Gabarrell, Xavier [SosteniPrA UAB-IRTA, Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambientals ICTA, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona (Spain); Brun, Filippo; Mosso, Angela [Dipartimento di Economia e Ingegneria Agraria Forestale e Ambientale, University of Torino (Italy)

    2010-01-15

    In several policy documents bioenergy is recognized as an important renewable energy source in Italy. The increase in energy prices represents an opportunity for lignocellulosic energy crops such as acacia and poplar. However, for Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) and Short Rotation Forestry (SRF) to be adopted by farmers, these crops must be perceived to be at least as profitable as crops that normally compete with these plantations for land use. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the economic feasibility of acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) as an energy crop in a low input production regime in Italy and, in particular, to consider its competitiveness with wheat. Our results show that neither SRC and SRF techniques using assumed production costs (EUR3820 and EUR5285 ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}) nor biomass productions are able to obtain a positive profit (-EUR184 and -EUR172 ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}) that can convince farmers to invest in biomass plantations on their land. The results demonstrate that wheat is a more economically secure option than SRC or SRF. The viability of local biomass production in Italy and Southern Europe depends on the active support of the governments; without them, biomass is not economically competitive for the farmers when compared to crops such as wheat. (author)

  2. Towards Sustainable Production of Biofuels from Microalgae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans Ragnar Giselrød

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Renewable and carbon neutral biofuels are necessary for environmental and economic sustainability. The viability of the first generation biofuels production is however questionable because of the conflict with food supply. Microalgal biofuels are a viable alternative. The oil productivity of many microalgae exceeds the best producing oil crops. This paper aims to analyze and promote integration approaches for sustainable microalgal biofuel production to meet the energy and environmental needs of the society. The emphasis is on hydrothermal liquefaction technology for direct conversion of algal biomass to liquid fuel.

  3. Assessing cover crop management under actual and climate change conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso-Ayuso, María; Quemada, Miguel; Vanclooster, Marnik; Ruiz-Ramos, Margarita; Rodriguez, Alfredo; Gabriel, José Luis

    2017-10-22

    The termination date is recognized as a key management factor to enhance cover crops for multiple benefits and to avoid competition with the following cash crop. However, the optimum date depends on annual meteorological conditions, and climate variability induces uncertainty in a decision that needs to be taken every year. One of the most important cover crop benefits is reducing nitrate leaching, a major concern for irrigated agricultural systems and highly affected by the termination date. This study aimed to determine the effects of cover crops and their termination date on the water and N balances of an irrigated Mediterranean agroecosystem under present and future climate conditions. For that purpose, two field experiments were used for inverse calibration and validation of the WAVE model (Water and Agrochemicals in the soil and Vadose Environment), based on continuous soil water content data, soil nitrogen content and crop measurements. The calibrated and validated model was subsequently used in advanced scenario analysis under present and climate change conditions. Under present conditions, a late termination date increased cover crop biomass and subsequently soil water and N depletion. Hence, preemptive competition risk with the main crop was enhanced, but a reduction of nitrate leaching also occurred. The hypothetical planting date of the following cash crop was also an important tool to reduce preemptive competition. Under climate change conditions, the simulations showed that the termination date will be even more important to reduce preemptive competition and nitrate leaching. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Assessment of yield stability in sorghum | Adugna | African Crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. (Moench)) is the third major cereal crop in Ethiopia in terms of area and production next to tef (Eragrostis tef) and maize (Zea mays). It is the major crop in drought stressed lowland areas that cover 66% of the total arable land in the country. Yield stability is one of the setbacks facing plant ...

  5. An Outlook on Microalgal Biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijffels, R.H.; Barbosa, M.J.

    2010-01-01

    Microalgae are considered one of the most promising feedstocks for biofuels. The productivity of these photosynthetic microorganisms in converting carbon dioxide into carbon-rich lipids, only a step or two away from biodiesel, greatly exceeds that of agricultural oleaginous crops, without competing

  6. Assessment of the safety of foods derived from genetically modified (GM) crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Konig, A.; Cockburn, A.; Crewel, R. W. R.

    2004-01-01

    This paper provides guidance on how to assess the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops (GM crops); it summarises conclusions and recommendations of Working Group I of the ENTRANSFOOD project. The paper provides an approach for adapting the test strategy to the characteristics...... of the modified crop and the introduced trait, and assessing potential unintended effects from the genetic modification. The proposed approach to safety assessment starts with the comparison of the new GM crop with a traditional counterpart that is generally accepted as safe based on a history of human food use...... (the concept of substantial equivalence). This case-focused approach ensures that foods derived from GM crops that have passed this extensive test-regime are as safe and nutritious as currently consumed plant-derived foods. The approach is suitable for current and future GM crops with more complex...

  7. Safety assessment of foods from genetically modified crops in countries with developing economies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delaney, Bryan

    2015-12-01

    Population growth particularly in countries with developing economies will result in a need to increase food production by 70% by the year 2050. Biotechnology has been utilized to produce genetically modified (GM) crops for insect and weed control with benefits including increased crop yield and will also be used in emerging countries. A multicomponent safety assessment paradigm has been applied to individual GM crops to determine whether they as safe as foods from non-GM crops. This paper reviews methods to assess the safety of foods from GM crops for safe consumption from the first generation of GM crops. The methods can readily be applied to new products developed within country and this paper will emphasize the concept of data portability; that safety data produced in one geographic location is suitable for safety assessment regardless of where it is utilized. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. Implications of Using Corn Stalks as a Biofuel Source

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    wilhelm,w; hatfield,j; riedell,w; follett,r; johnson,j; baker,j

    2004-03-17

    Removing crop residue from the soil surface for use as a biofuel or biofuel feedstock raises questions about long-term soil quality; it may increase erosion , decrease infiltration, and reduce the soil organic carbon content, and may reduce future crop yield.

  9. Crop modelling for integrated assessment of risk to food production from climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ewert, F.; Rötter, R.P.; Bindi, M.; Webber, Heidi; Trnka, M.; Kersebaum, K.C.; Olesen, J.E.; Ittersum, van M.K.; Janssen, S.J.C.; Rivington, M.; Semenov, M.A.; Wallach, D.; Porter, J.R.; Stewart, D.; Verhagen, J.; Gaiser, T.; Palosuo, T.; Tao, F.; Nendel, C.; Roggero, P.P.; Bartosová, L.; Asseng, S.

    2015-01-01

    The complexity of risks posed by climate change and possible adaptations for crop production has called for integrated assessment and modelling (IAM) approaches linking biophysical and economic models. This paper attempts to provide an overview of the present state of crop modelling to assess

  10. Assessing Reliability of Cellulose Hydrolysis Models to Support Biofuel Process Design – Identifiability and Uncertainty Analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sin, Gürkan; Meyer, Anne S.; Gernaey, Krist

    2010-01-01

    The reliability of cellulose hydrolysis models is studied using the NREL model. An identifiability analysis revealed that only 6 out of 26 parameters are identifiable from the available data (typical hydrolysis experiments). Attempting to identify a higher number of parameters (as done in the ori...... to analyze the uncertainty of model predictions. This allows judging the fitness of the model to the purpose under uncertainty. Hence we recommend uncertainty analysis as a proactive solution when faced with model uncertainty, which is the case for biofuel process development research....

  11. Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fargione, Joseph; Hill, Jason; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Hawthorne, Peter

    2008-02-01

    Increasing energy use, climate change, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels make switching to low-carbon fuels a high priority. Biofuels are a potential low-carbon energy source, but whether biofuels offer carbon savings depends on how they are produced. Converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas, or grasslands to produce food crop based biofuels in Brazil, Southeast Asia, and the United States creates a “biofuel carbon debt” by releasing 17 to 420 times more CO2 than the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions that these biofuels would provide by displacing fossil fuels. In contrast, biofuels made from waste biomass or from biomass grown on degraded and abandoned agricultural lands planted with perennials incur little or no carbon debt and can offer immediate and sustained GHG advantages.

  12. Crop modelling for integrated assessment of risk to food production from climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ewert, F.; Rötter, R.P.; Bindi, M.

    2015-01-01

    . However, progress on the number of simulated crops, uncertainty propagation related to model parameters and structure, adaptations and scaling are less advanced and lagging behind IAM demands. The limitations are considered substantial and apply to a different extent to all crop models. Overcoming......The complexity of risks posed by climate change and possible adaptations for crop production has called for integrated assessment and modelling (IAM) approaches linking biophysical and economic models. This paper attempts to provide an overview of the present state of crop modelling to assess...

  13. Regional climate change mitigation with crops: context and assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singarayer, J S; Davies-Barnard, T

    2012-09-13

    The intention of this review is to place crop albedo biogeoengineering in the wider picture of climate manipulation. Crop biogeoengineering is considered within the context of the long-term modification of the land surface for agriculture over several thousand years. Biogeoengineering is also critiqued in relation to other geoengineering schemes in terms of mitigation power and adherence to social principles for geoengineering. Although its impact is small and regional, crop biogeoengineering could be a useful and inexpensive component of an ensemble of geoengineering schemes to provide temperature mitigation. The method should not detrimentally affect food security and there may even be positive impacts on crop productivity, although more laboratory and field research is required in this area to understand the underlying mechanisms.

  14. Environmental assessment of two different crop systems in terms of biomethane potential production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacenetti, Jacopo; Fusi, Alessandra; Negri, Marco; Guidetti, Riccardo; Fiala, Marco

    2014-01-01

    The interest in renewable energy sources has gained great importance in Europe due to the need to reduce fossil energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, as required by the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) of the European Parliament. The production of energy from energy crops appears to be consistent with RED. The environmental impact related to this kind of energy primarily originates from crop cultivation. This research aimed to evaluate the environmental impact of different crop systems for biomass production: single and double crop. The environmental performances of maize and maize plus wheat were assessed from a life cycle perspective. Two alternative scenarios considering different yields, crop management, and climatic conditions, were also addressed. One normal cubic metre of potential methane was chosen as a functional unit. Methane potential production data were obtained through lab experimental tests. For both of the crop systems, the factors that have the greatest influence on the overall environmental burden are: fertilizer emissions, diesel fuel emissions, diesel fuel production, and pesticide production. Notwithstanding the greater level of methane potential production, the double crop system appears to have the worse environmental performance with respect to its single crop counterpart. This result is due to the bigger quantity of inputs needed for the double crop system. Therefore, the greater amount of biomass (silage) obtained through the double crop system is less than proportional to the environmental burden that results from the bigger quantity of inputs requested for double crop. © 2013.

  15. Dynamic drought risk assessment using crop model and remote sensing techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, H.; Su, Z.; Lv, J.; Li, L.; Wang, Y.

    2017-02-01

    Drought risk assessment is of great significance to reduce the loss of agricultural drought and ensure food security. The normally drought risk assessment method is to evaluate its exposure to the hazard and the vulnerability to extended periods of water shortage for a specific region, which is a static evaluation method. The Dynamic Drought Risk Assessment (DDRA) is to estimate the drought risk according to the crop growth and water stress conditions in real time. In this study, a DDRA method using crop model and remote sensing techniques was proposed. The crop model we employed is DeNitrification and DeComposition (DNDC) model. The drought risk was quantified by the yield losses predicted by the crop model in a scenario-based method. The crop model was re-calibrated to improve the performance by the Leaf Area Index (LAI) retrieved from MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. And the in-situ station-based crop model was extended to assess the regional drought risk by integrating crop planted mapping. The crop planted area was extracted with extended CPPI method from MODIS data. This study was implemented and validated on maize crop in Liaoning province, China.

  16. Sustainable conversion of coffee and other crop wastes to biofuels and bioproducts using combined biochemical and thermochemical processes in a multi-stage biorefinery concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    The environmental impact of agricultural waste from processing of food and feed crops is an increasing concern worldwide. Concerted efforts are underway to develop sustainable practices for the disposal of residues from processing of such crops as coffee, sugarcane, or corn. Coffee is crucial to the...

  17. The Giant Reed as an energy crop: assessing the energy requirements within its supply chain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodias, Efthymis; Busato, P.; Bochtis, Dionysis

    2013-01-01

    Biomass energy is one form of renewable energy sources that are in the core of interesting for many researchers. There many different biomass sources that can be exploited for energy production, such as crop residues, waste materials, forestry residues and energy crops. Regarding energy crops......, there are many different types of crops significantly varies in terms of energy potential yields, production and provision methods, etc. To this end, a thoroughly assessment of the energy inputs and outputs of each potential energy crop is necessary. In this paper, the Giant Reed is evaluated energetically...... as a potential energy crop. The assessment regards a 10 year period. The considered energy elements include direct inputs (e.g. fuel consumption) as well as indirect inputs (e.g. embodied energy of materials and machinery). According to the results, the balance between the estimated total energy input...

  18. Bringing policy relevance and scientific discipline to environmental risk assessment for genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Rod A; Garcia-Alonso, Monica; Layton, Raymond; Raybould, Alan

    2013-09-01

    Although public opinion is important in deciding what is valued by society, governments have determined that scientific expertise is required to evaluate potential environmental effects of genetically modified (GM) crops. We suggest how to evaluate rigorously the environmental effects of GM crops in the context of a scientific investigation. Following a disciplined scientific approach to environmental risk assessment (ERA) for GM crops should help resolve controversy in identifying and addressing risk. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Theoretical Calculations on the Feasibility of Microalgal Biofuels: Utilization of Marine Resources Could Help Realizing the Potential of Microalgae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hanwool; Lee, Choul-Gyun

    2016-11-01

    Microalgae have long been considered as one of most promising feedstocks with better characteristics for biofuels production over conventional energy crops. There have been a wide range of estimations on the feasibility of microalgal biofuels based on various productivity assumptions and data from different scales. The theoretical maximum algal biofuel productivity, however, can be calculated by the amount of solar irradiance and photosynthetic efficiency (PE), assuming other conditions are within the optimal range. Using the actual surface solar irradiance data around the world and PE of algal culture systems, maximum algal biomass and biofuel productivities were calculated, and feasibility of algal biofuel were assessed with the estimation. The results revealed that biofuel production would not easily meet the economic break-even point and may not be sustainable at a large-scale with the current algal biotechnology. Substantial reductions in the production cost, improvements in lipid productivity, recycling of resources, and utilization of non-conventional resources will be necessary for feasible mass production of algal biofuel. Among the emerging technologies, cultivation of microalgae in the ocean shows great potentials to meet the resource requirements and economic feasibility in algal biofuel production by utilizing various marine resources. © 2016 The Authors. Biotechnology Journal published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. A quality assessment of the MARS crop yield forecasting system for the European Union

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Velde, Marijn; Bareuth, Bettina

    2015-04-01

    Timely information on crop production forecasts can become of increasing importance as commodity markets are more and more interconnected. Impacts across large crop production areas due to (e.g.) extreme weather and pest outbreaks can create ripple effects that may affect food prices and availability elsewhere. The MARS Unit (Monitoring Agricultural ResourceS), DG Joint Research Centre, European Commission, has been providing forecasts of European crop production levels since 1993. The operational crop production forecasting is carried out with the MARS Crop Yield Forecasting System (M-CYFS). The M-CYFS is used to monitor crop growth development, evaluate short-term effects of anomalous meteorological events, and provide monthly forecasts of crop yield at national and European Union level. The crop production forecasts are published in the so-called MARS bulletins. Forecasting crop yield over large areas in the operational context requires quality benchmarks. Here we present an analysis of the accuracy and skill of past crop yield forecasts of the main crops (e.g. soft wheat, grain maize), throughout the growing season, and specifically for the final forecast before harvest. Two simple benchmarks to assess the skill of the forecasts were defined as comparing the forecasts to 1) a forecast equal to the average yield and 2) a forecast using a linear trend established through the crop yield time-series. These reveal a variability in performance as a function of crop and Member State. In terms of production, the yield forecasts of 67% of the EU-28 soft wheat production and 80% of the EU-28 maize production have been forecast superior to both benchmarks during the 1993-2013 period. In a changing and increasingly variable climate crop yield forecasts can become increasingly valuable - provided they are used wisely. We end our presentation by discussing research activities that could contribute to this goal.

  1. Assessing nutritional diversity of cropping systems in African villages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roseline Remans

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In Sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of children under five years in age are chronically undernourished. As new investments and attention galvanize action on African agriculture to reduce hunger, there is an urgent need for metrics that monitor agricultural progress beyond calories produced per capita and address nutritional diversity essential for human health. In this study we demonstrate how an ecological tool, functional diversity (FD, has potential to address this need and provide new insights on nutritional diversity of cropping systems in rural Africa. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Data on edible plant species diversity, food security and diet diversity were collected for 170 farms in three rural settings in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nutritional FD metrics were calculated based on farm species composition and species nutritional composition. Iron and vitamin A deficiency were determined from blood samples of 90 adult women. Nutritional FD metrics summarized the diversity of nutrients provided by the farm and showed variability between farms and villages. Regression of nutritional FD against species richness and expected FD enabled identification of key species that add nutrient diversity to the system and assessed the degree of redundancy for nutrient traits. Nutritional FD analysis demonstrated that depending on the original composition of species on farm or village, adding or removing individual species can have radically different outcomes for nutritional diversity. While correlations between nutritional FD, food and nutrition indicators were not significant at household level, associations between these variables were observed at village level. CONCLUSION: This study provides novel metrics to address nutritional diversity in farming systems and examples of how these metrics can help guide agricultural interventions towards adequate nutrient diversity. New hypotheses on the link between agro-diversity, food security and human nutrition are

  2. Assessing nutritional diversity of cropping systems in African villages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remans, Roseline; Flynn, Dan F B; DeClerck, Fabrice; Diru, Willy; Fanzo, Jessica; Gaynor, Kaitlyn; Lambrecht, Isabel; Mudiope, Joseph; Mutuo, Patrick K; Nkhoma, Phelire; Siriri, David; Sullivan, Clare; Palm, Cheryl A

    2011-01-01

    In Sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of children under five years in age are chronically undernourished. As new investments and attention galvanize action on African agriculture to reduce hunger, there is an urgent need for metrics that monitor agricultural progress beyond calories produced per capita and address nutritional diversity essential for human health. In this study we demonstrate how an ecological tool, functional diversity (FD), has potential to address this need and provide new insights on nutritional diversity of cropping systems in rural Africa. Data on edible plant species diversity, food security and diet diversity were collected for 170 farms in three rural settings in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nutritional FD metrics were calculated based on farm species composition and species nutritional composition. Iron and vitamin A deficiency were determined from blood samples of 90 adult women. Nutritional FD metrics summarized the diversity of nutrients provided by the farm and showed variability between farms and villages. Regression of nutritional FD against species richness and expected FD enabled identification of key species that add nutrient diversity to the system and assessed the degree of redundancy for nutrient traits. Nutritional FD analysis demonstrated that depending on the original composition of species on farm or village, adding or removing individual species can have radically different outcomes for nutritional diversity. While correlations between nutritional FD, food and nutrition indicators were not significant at household level, associations between these variables were observed at village level. This study provides novel metrics to address nutritional diversity in farming systems and examples of how these metrics can help guide agricultural interventions towards adequate nutrient diversity. New hypotheses on the link between agro-diversity, food security and human nutrition are generated and strategies for future research are suggested calling for

  3. The Impacts of Biofuel Targets on Land-Use Change and Food Supply : A Global CGE Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Timilsina, Govinda R.; Mevel, Simon; Beghin, John C.; van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique

    2010-01-01

    This study analyzes the long-term impacts of large-scale expansion of biofuels on land-use change, food supply and prices, and the overall economy in various countries or regions using a global computable general equilibrium model, augmented by a land-use module and detailed representation of biofuel sectors. The study finds that an expansion of global biofuel production to meet currently ...

  4. Black liquor fractionation for biofuels production - a techno-economic assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesfun, Sennai; Lundgren, Joakim; Grip, Carl-Erik; Toffolo, Andrea; Nilsson, Rasika Lasanthi Kudahettige; Rova, Ulrika

    2014-08-01

    The hemicelluloses fraction of black liquor is an underutilized resource in many chemical pulp mills. It is possible to extract and separate the lignin and hemicelluloses from the black liquor and use the hemicelluloses for biochemical conversion into biofuels and chemicals. Precipitation of the lignin from the black liquor would consequently decrease the thermal load on the recovery boiler, which is often referred to as a bottleneck for increased pulp production. The objective of this work is to techno-economically evaluate the production of sodium-free lignin as a solid fuel and butanol to be used as fossil gasoline replacement by fractionating black liquor. The hydrolysis and fermentation processes are modeled in Aspen Plus to analyze energy and material balances as well as to evaluate the plant economics. A mathematical model of an existing pulp and paper mill is used to analyze the effects on the energy performance of the mill subprocesses. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Life cycle assessment and nutrient analysis of various processing pathways in algal biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Dongyan; Ruan, Roger; Addy, Min; Mack, Sarah; Chen, Paul; Zhou, Yong

    2017-04-01

    This study focuses on analyzing nutrient distributions and environmental impacts of nutrient recycling, reusing, and discharging in algal biofuels production. The three biomass conversion pathways compared in this study were: hydrothermal liquefaction technology (HTL), hydrothermal hydrolysis pretreatment +HTL (HTP), and wet lipid extraction (WLE). Carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous (C, N, P) flows were described in each pathway. A primary cost analysis was conducted to evaluate the economic performance. The LCA results show that the HTP reduced life cycle NO x emissions by 10% from HTL, but increased fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, and eutrophication potential by 14%, 5%, and 28% respectively. The cost of per gallon biodiesel produced in HTP was less than in HTL. To further reduce emissions, efforts should be focused on improving nutrient uptake rates in algae cultivation, increasing biomass carbon detention in hydrothermal hydrolysis, and/or enhancing biomass conversion rates in the biooil upgrading processes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. An Innovation Systems Assessment of the Australian Biofuel Industry. Policy and Private Sector Implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nielsen, Jason D.

    2006-07-15

    A strong biofuel industry in Australia has the potential to provide numerous benefits to the nation and its peoples. The benefits include; reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and harmful particulate matter, a boost to rural development goals, enhanced fuel security and a lower balance of payments. For biofuels to be seriously considered as alternatives to traditional petroleum based automotive fuels they must be economically viable. The findings from a series of Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) investigations suggest that ethanol and biodiesel production would be economically viable, in the Australian context, with oil prices in the range of 30-40 USD a barrel. Despite the price of oil being in or above this range for over two years a strong home grown biofuel industry has failed to develop in Australia. The purpose of this master's thesis therefore is to identify the critical issues facing biofuel industry development in Australian and to propose possible policy and private sector strategies for dealing with them. The analysis was done in the following three steps; the first was to map the development of the ethanol and biodiesel industries, the second was to analyse the performance of the industries overtime and the third was to identify the mechanisms which have either induced or blocked their growth. The strategies proposed by this thesis were derived from analysing the inducing and blocking mechanisms and the related issues. The innovation systems approach was chosen because of its ability to provide insights into key industry players, their network interactions and the institutional setup within which they work together to develop, diffuse and use their products. The data needed for the analysis stated above included information related to the development, diffusion and use of ethanol and biodiesel; that is, details about the industry actors and their activities, industry networks, product standards, excise arrangements

  7. Assessment of selenium mineralization and availability from catch crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stavridou, Eleftheria; Thorup-Kristensen, Kristian; Young, S.D.

    2011-01-01

    Selenium (Se) release from four plant species (Indian mustard, fodder radish, Italian ryegrass and hairy vetch) was measured under controlled leaching conditions and in a pot incubation experiment as part of a study of the potential for using these plant species as Se catch crops. Catch crops may...... reduce Se leaching and, by subsequent release of Se from the plant material, increase the available Se for succeeding crops. Plants grown both without and with Se addition (250 g Se ⁄ ha) were tested. In the leaching experiment, frozen plant material was incorporated into soil columns and incubated...... lower than that in the control, indicating Se immobilization. In the pot incubation experiment, the results were consistent with those from the leaching experiment. The addition of enriched plant material increased Se concentration in Indian mustard plants compared with unamended soil. However...

  8. Assessing the invasive potential of biofuel species proposed for Florida and the United States using the Australian Weed Risk Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gordon, D.R. [The Nature Conservancy, PO Box 118526, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Department of Biology, PO Box 118526, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Tancig, K.J. [PO Box 116455, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Onderdonk, D.A.; Gantz, C.A. [Department of Biology, PO Box 118526, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)

    2011-01-15

    Twelve taxa under exploration as bioenergy crops in Florida and the U.S. were evaluated for potential invasiveness using the Australian Weed Risk Assessment system (WRA) modified for separate assessment at the state and national scales. When tested across a range of geographies, this system correctly identifies invaders 90%, and non-invaders 70% of the time, on average. Predictions for Florida were the same as for the U.S. Arundo donax, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus grandis, Jatropha curcas, Leucaena leucocephala, Pennisetum purpureum, and Ricinus communis were found to have a high probability of becoming invasive, while Miscanthus x giganteus, Saccharum arundinaceum, Saccharum officinarum, and the sweet variety of Sorghum bicolor have a low probability of becoming invasive. Eucalyptus amplifolia requires further evaluation before a prediction is possible. These results are consistent with reports on other tests of these taxa. Given the economic and ecological impacts of invasive species, including the carbon expended for mechanical and chemical control efforts, cultivation of taxa likely to become invasive should be avoided. (author)

  9. Assessment of the safety of foods derived from genetically modified (GM) crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    König, A.; Cockburn, A.; Crevel, R.W.R.; Debruyne, E.; Grafstroem, R.; Hammerling, U.; Kimber, I.; Knudsen, I.; Kuiper, H.A.; Peijnenburg, A.A.C.M.; Penninks, A.H.; Poulsen, M.; Schauzu, M.; Wal, J.M.

    2004-01-01

    This paper provides guidance on how to assess the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops (GM crops); it summarises conclusions and recommendations of Working Group 1 of the ENTRANSFOOD project. The paper provides an approach for adapting the test strategy to the characteristics of

  10. The release of genetically modified crops into the environment - Part II. Overview of ecological risk assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Conner, A.J.; Glare, T.R.; Nap, J.P.H.

    2003-01-01

    Despite numerous future promises, there is a multitude of concerns about the impact of GM crops on the environment. Key issues in the environmental assessment of GM crops are putative invasiveness, vertical or horizontal gene flow, other ecological impacts, effects on biodiversity and the impact of

  11. Assessing the sustainability of wheat-based cropping systems using APSIM: Model parameterisation and evaluation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moeller, C.; Pala, M.; Manschadi, A.M.; Meinke, H.B.; Sauerborn, J.

    2007-01-01

    Assessing the sustainability of crop and soil management practices in wheat-based rotations requires a well-tested model with the demonstrated ability to sensibly predict crop productivity and changes in the soil resource. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) suite of models was

  12. Assessment of the safety of foods derived from genetically modified (GM) crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, A; Cockburn, A; Crevel, R W R; Debruyne, E; Grafstroem, R; Hammerling, U; Kimber, I; Knudsen, I; Kuiper, H A; Peijnenburg, A A C M; Penninks, A H; Poulsen, M; Schauzu, M; Wal, J M

    2004-07-01

    This paper provides guidance on how to assess the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops (GM crops); it summarises conclusions and recommendations of Working Group 1 of the ENTRANSFOOD project. The paper provides an approach for adapting the test strategy to the characteristics of the modified crop and the introduced trait, and assessing potential unintended effects from the genetic modification. The proposed approach to safety assessment starts with the comparison of the new GM crop with a traditional counterpart that is generally accepted as safe based on a history of human food use (the concept of substantial equivalence). This case-focused approach ensures that foods derived from GM crops that have passed this extensive test-regime are as safe and nutritious as currently consumed plant-derived foods. The approach is suitable for current and future GM crops with more complex modifications. First, the paper reviews test methods developed for the risk assessment of chemicals, including food additives and pesticides, discussing which of these methods are suitable for the assessment of recombinant proteins and whole foods. Second, the paper presents a systematic approach to combine test methods for the safety assessment of foods derived from a specific GM crop. Third, the paper provides an overview on developments in this area that may prove of use in the safety assessment of GM crops, and recommendations for research priorities. It is concluded that the combination of existing test methods provides a sound test-regime to assess the safety of GM crops. Advances in our understanding of molecular biology, biochemistry, and nutrition may in future allow further improvement of test methods that will over time render the safety assessment of foods even more effective and informative. Copryright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Modifying plants for biofuel and biomaterial production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furtado, Agnelo; Lupoi, Jason S; Hoang, Nam V; Healey, Adam; Singh, Seema; Simmons, Blake A; Henry, Robert J

    2014-12-01

    The productivity of plants as biofuel or biomaterial crops is established by both the yield of plant biomass per unit area of land and the efficiency of conversion of the biomass to biofuel. Higher yielding biofuel crops with increased conversion efficiencies allow production on a smaller land footprint minimizing competition with agriculture for food production and biodiversity conservation. Plants have traditionally been domesticated for food, fibre and feed applications. However, utilization for biofuels may require the breeding of novel phenotypes, or new species entirely. Genomics approaches support genetic selection strategies to deliver significant genetic improvement of plants as sources of biomass for biofuel manufacture. Genetic modification of plants provides a further range of options for improving the composition of biomass and for plant modifications to assist the fabrication of biofuels. The relative carbohydrate and lignin content influences the deconstruction of plant cell walls to biofuels. Key options for facilitating the deconstruction leading to higher monomeric sugar release from plants include increasing cellulose content, reducing cellulose crystallinity, and/or altering the amount or composition of noncellulosic polysaccharides or lignin. Modification of chemical linkages within and between these biomass components may improve the ease of deconstruction. Expression of enzymes in the plant may provide a cost-effective option for biochemical conversion to biofuel. © 2014 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Sustainability of biofuels in Latin America: Risks and opportunities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Janssen, Rainer, E-mail: rainer.janssen@wip-munich.de [WIP Renewable Energies, Sylvensteinstrasse 2, 81369 Munich (Germany); Rutz, Dominik Damian [WIP Renewable Energies, Sylvensteinstrasse 2, 81369 Munich (Germany)

    2011-10-15

    Several Latin American countries are setting up biofuel programmes to establish alternative markets for agricultural commodities. This is mainly triggered by the current success of Brazilian bioethanol production for the domestic market and for export. Furthermore, the global biofuel market is expected to increase due to ambitious biofuel programmes in the EU and in the USA. Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Guatemala are focusing on bioethanol production from sugarcane whereas biofuel production in Argentina is based on soy biodiesel. Recent developments of the biofuel sector take place extremely rapid especially in Argentina, which became one of the five largest biodiesel producers in the world in 2008. Till date no specific biofuel sustainability certification systems have been implemented in Latin American, as well as on global level. This fact and the predominant use of food crops for biofuel production raise concerns about the sustainability of biofuel production related to environmental and social aspects. This paper provides an overview of the hotspots of conflicts in biofuel production in Latin America. It investigates presently available sustainability tools and initiatives to ensure sustainable biofuel production in Latin America. Finally, it provides an outlook on how to integrate sustainability in the Latin American biofuel sector. - Research Highlights: > This study investigates risks and opportunities of biofuels in Latin America. > Latin American countries are setting up programmes to promote biofuel development. > Strong biofuel sectors provide opportunities for economic development. > Potential negative impact includes deforestation and effects on food security. > Sustainability initiatives exist to minimise negative impact.

  15. Topgrass. A trial of the suitability of switchgrass and reed canary grass as biofuel crops under UK conditions. 4th interim report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Riche, A.B.

    2004-04-01

    This report summarises the results of the Topgrass project growing miscanthus, switchgrass and reed canary grass at nine UK sites and covers a one year period between the winter harvesting of the plots in 2002/3 and 2003/4. Details are given of the rainfall, air temperature and solar radiation; crop monitoring for pests, diseases and weeds; crop measurements; and a comparison of all sites. Appendices present individual site diaries and individual site operations and costs.

  16. Assessing Nutrient Adequacy from the Crop Contents of Free ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The crude protein (CP) level of the crop contents of adult chickens in all seasons and the calcium and phosphorus levels in winter corresponded with the ... It was concluded that the birds would not suffer from micro-mineral deficiencies, and that a risk of toxicity would depend on the bioavailability of the consumed element.

  17. Biofuels: 1995 project summaries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-01-01

    Domestic transportation fuels are derived primarily from petroleum and account for about two-thirds of the petroleum consumption in the United States. In 1994, more than 40% of our petroleum was imported. That percentage is likely to increase, as the Middle East has about 75% of the world`s oil reserves, but the United States has only about 5%. Because we rely so heavily on oil (and because we currently have no suitable substitutes for petroleum-based transportation fuels), we are strategically and economically vulnerable to disruptions in the fuel supply. Additionally, we must consider the effects of petroleum use on the environment. The Biofuels Systems Division (BSD) is part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE). The day-to-day research activities, which address these issues, are managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. BSD focuses its research on biofuels-liquid and gaseous fuels made from renewable domestic crops-and aggressively pursues new methods for domestically producing, recovering, and converting the feedstocks to produce the fuels economically. The biomass resources include forage grasses, oil seeds, short-rotation woody crops, agricultural and forestry residues, algae, and certain industrial and municipal waste streams. The resulting fuels include ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, and ethers.

  18. Soil organic carbon assessments in cropping systems using isotopic techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín De Dios Herrero, Juan; Cruz Colazo, Juan; Guzman, María Laura; Saenz, Claudio; Sager, Ricardo; Sakadevan, Karuppan

    2016-04-01

    Introduction of improved farming practices are important to address the challenges of agricultural production, food security, climate change and resource use efficiency. The integration of livestock with crops provides many benefits including: (1) resource conservation, (2) ecosystem services, (3) soil quality improvements, and (4) risk reduction through diversification of enterprises. Integrated crop livestock systems (ICLS) with the combination of no-tillage and pastures are useful practices to enhance soil organic carbon (SOC) compared with continuous cropping systems (CCS). In this study, the SOC and its fractions in two cropping systems namely (1) ICLS, and (2) CCS were evaluated in Southern Santa Fe Province in Argentina, and the use of delta carbon-13 technique and soil physical fractionation were evaluated to identify sources of SOC in these systems. Two farms inside the same soil cartographic unit and landscape position in the region were compared. The ICLS farm produces lucerne (Medicago sativa Merrill) and oat (Avena sativa L.) grazed by cattle alternatively with grain summer crops sequence of soybean (Glicine max L.) and corn (Zea mays L.), and the farm under continuous cropping system (CCS) produces soybean and corn in a continuous sequence. The soil in the area is predominantly a Typic Hapludoll. Soil samples from 0-5 and 0-20 cm depths (n=4) after the harvest of grain crops were collected in each system and analyzed for total organic carbon (SOC, 0-2000 μm), particulate organic carbon (POC, 50-100 μm) and mineral organic carbon (MOC, <50 μm). Delta carbon-13 was determined by isotopic ratio mass spectrometry. In addition, a site with natural vegetation (reference site, REF) was also sampled for delta carbon-13 determination. ANOVA and Tukey statistical analysis were carried out for all data. The SOC was higher in ICLS than in CCS at both depths (20.8 vs 17.7 g kg-1 for 0-5 cm and 16.1 vs 12.7 g kg-1 at 0-20 cm, respectively, P<0.05). MOC was

  19. Manipulating microRNAs for improved biomass and biofuels from plant feedstocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trumbo, Jennifer Lynn; Zhang, Baohong; Stewart, Charles Neal

    2015-04-01

    Petroleum-based fuels are nonrenewable and unsustainable. Renewable sources of energy, such as lignocellulosic biofuels and plant metabolite-based drop-in fuels, can offset fossil fuel use and reverse environmental degradation through carbon sequestration. Despite these benefits, the lignocellulosic biofuels industry still faces many challenges, including the availability of economically viable crop plants. Cell wall recalcitrance is a major economic barrier for lignocellulosic biofuels production from biomass crops. Sustainability and biomass yield are two additional, yet interrelated, foci for biomass crop improvement. Many scientists are searching for solutions to these problems within biomass crop genomes. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in almost all biological and metabolic process in plants including plant development, cell wall biosynthesis and plant stress responses. Because of the broad functions of their targets (e.g. auxin response factors), the alteration of plant miRNA expression often results in pleiotropic effects. A specific miRNA usually regulates a biologically relevant bioenergy trait. For example, relatively low miR156 overexpression leads to a transgenic feedstock with enhanced biomass and decreased recalcitrance. miRNAs have been overexpressed in dedicated bioenergy feedstocks such as poplar and switchgrass yielding promising results for lignin reduction, increased plant biomass, the timing of flowering and response to harsh environments. In this review, we present the status of miRNA-related research in several major biofuel crops and relevant model plants. We critically assess published research and suggest next steps for miRNA manipulation in feedstocks for increased biomass and sustainability for biofuels and bioproducts. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Assessing the potential of biofuel (biochar) production from food wastes through thermal treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rago, Yogeshwari Pooja; Surroop, Dinesh; Mohee, Romeela

    2018-01-01

    This work primarily investigated the feasibility of generating high quality biochar from food wastes (FW) torrefaction. The thermal behavior of FW torrefaction was studied between 225 and 300°C for 1 and 3h at a fixed heating rate of 15°C/min. Torrefaction upgraded the energy density, calorific value and carbon content of FW compared to the untreated feedstock. Mass loss constituted a good measure of the reactivity and ease of degradation of FW based on the cumulative effect of time and temperature. The fuel properties of torrefied FW approached those of coal whilst their high energy yields confirmed their use as potential coal substitutes in thermal conversion systems. Torrefaction at 275°C at both residence times were optimal while severe torrefaction at 300°C for 3h was energetically inefficient. FTIR analysis and the increased HHV of bio-oil fractions revealed that bio-oil could be used to produce value-added chemicals and biofuels upon upgrading. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Assessment of fruit density and leaf number: fruit to optimize crop load of mangosteen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sayan Sdoodee

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available To optimize crop load of mangosteen, fruit density and leaf number: fruit were assessed using a framework of quadrat cube (0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 m in 2 consecutive years (2004-2005. Twenty-four 14-year-old uniform trees, field grown at Songkhla province, were selected to arrange 4 levels of crop loads: 1 Extremely low crop load (T1 = 264±5 fruit pt-1, 2 Low crop load (T2 = 826±36 fruit pt-1, 3 Medium crop load (T3 = 1190±27 fruit pt-1 and 4 High crop load (T4 = 1719±36 fruit pt-1. By placing the quadrat cube on the tree canopy, leaves quadrat-1 and fruits quadrat-1 were counted. Relationship between fruits quadrat-1 and fruit number pt-1 was found, and leaf number: fruit was also related to fruit yield pt-1. These results indicate that the assessment of fruit density and leaf number: fruit is of benefit for crop load management. Thus, 9 fruits quadrat-1 and 18 leaves: fruit are recommended to optimize crop load of mangosteen.

  2. Global economic–biophysical assessment of midterm scenarios for agricultural markets—biofuel policies, dietary patterns, cropland expansion, and productivity growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delzeit, Ruth; Klepper, Gernot; Zabel, Florian; Mauser, Wolfram

    2018-02-01

    Land-use decisions are made at the local level. They are influenced both by local factors and by global drivers and trends. These will most likely change over time e.g. due to political shocks, market developments or climate change. Hence, their influence should be taken into account when analysing and projecting local land-use decisions. We provide a set of mid-term scenarios of global drivers (until 2030) for use in regional and local studies on agriculture and land-use. In a participatory process, four important drivers are identified by experts from globally distributed regional studies: biofuel policies, increase in preferences for meat and dairy products in Asia, cropland expansion into uncultivated areas, and changes in agricultural productivity growth. Their impact on possible future developments of global and regional agricultural markets are analysed with a modelling framework consisting of a global computable general equilibrium model and a crop growth model. The business as usual (BAU) scenario causes production and prices of crops to rise over time. It also leads to a conversion of pasture land to cropland. Under different scenarios, global price changes range between ‑42 and +4% in 2030 compared to the BAU. An abolishment of biofuel targets does not significantly improve food security while an increased agricultural productivity and cropland expansion have a stronger impact on changes in food production and prices.

  3. Assessing winter cover crop nutrient uptake efficiency using a water quality simulation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeo, In-Young; Lee, Sangchui; Sadeghi, Ali M.; Beeson, Peter C.; Hively, W. Dean; McCarty, Greg W.; Lang, Megan W.

    2013-01-01

    Winter cover crops are an effective conservation management practice with potential to improve water quality. Throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (CBW), which is located in the Mid-Atlantic US, winter cover crop use has been emphasized and federal and state cost-share programs are available to farmers to subsidize the cost of winter cover crop establishment. The objective of this study was to assess the long-term effect of planting winter cover crops at the watershed scale and to identify critical source areas of high nitrate export. A physically-based watershed simulation model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), was calibrated and validated using water quality monitoring data and satellite-based estimates of winter cover crop species performance to simulate hydrological processes and nutrient cycling over the period of 1991–2000. Multiple scenarios were developed to obtain baseline information on nitrate loading without winter cover crops planted and to investigate how nitrate loading could change with different winter cover crop planting scenarios, including different species, planting times, and implementation areas. The results indicate that winter cover crops had a negligible impact on water budget, but significantly reduced nitrate leaching to groundwater and delivery to the waterways. Without winter cover crops, annual nitrate loading was approximately 14 kg ha−1, but it decreased to 4.6–10.1 kg ha−1 with winter cover crops resulting in a reduction rate of 27–67% at the watershed scale. Rye was most effective, with a potential to reduce nitrate leaching by up to 93% with early planting at the field scale. Early planting of winter cover crops (~30 days of additional growing days) was crucial, as it lowered nitrate export by an additional ~2 kg ha−1 when compared to late planting scenarios. The effectiveness of cover cropping increased with increasing extent of winter cover crop implementation. Agricultural fields with well-drained soils

  4. Applying Bayesian modelling to assess climate change effects on biofuel production

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Peter, C

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available ) production (%) Current S1 S2 S1 S2 S1 S2 Soy 0 to 5200 57200 to 62400 78000 to 83200 57200 78000 85 85 Sunflower 10000 to 20000 70000 to 80000 80000 to 90000 60000 60000 85 85 Canola 0 to 15000 105000 to 120000 150000 to 165000 105000 1500000 85 85 Sugar..., and proposes sugar cane, sugar beet, biodiesel sunflower, canola and soy beans. These crops are intended to be grown in the short term by small-scale farmers in the former rural homelands such as the Eastern Cape, under dryland conditions. However, one...

  5. Green Peace: Can Biofuels Accelerate Energy Security

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-14

    the most widely used biofuel – ethanol – is produced from the fermentation and distillation of sugar or starch-based crops such as sugarcane or corn... ethanol plant first opened in the United States in 1910. Biofuels production declined over time because it was expensive, inefficient, and...ultimately unsustainable.7 Corn-based ethanol reappeared in the 1970s after the oil embargo as a way for the United States to reduce its dependency on

  6. Greenhouse gas emission curves for advanced biofuel supply chains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daioglou, Vassilis; Doelman, Jonathan C.; Stehfest, Elke; Müller, Christoph; Wicke, Birka; Faaij, Andre; van Vuuren, Detlef P.

    2017-12-01

    Most climate change mitigation scenarios that are consistent with the 1.5-2 °C target rely on a large-scale contribution from biomass, including advanced (second-generation) biofuels. However, land-based biofuel production has been associated with substantial land-use change emissions. Previous studies show a wide range of emission factors, often hiding the influence of spatial heterogeneity. Here we introduce a spatially explicit method for assessing the supply of advanced biofuels at different emission factors and present the results as emission curves. Dedicated crops grown on grasslands, savannahs and abandoned agricultural lands could provide 30 EJBiofuel yr-1 with emission factors less than 40 kg of CO2-equivalent (CO2e) emissions per GJBiofuel (for an 85-year time horizon). This increases to 100 EJBiofuel yr-1 for emission factors less than 60 kgCO2e GJBiofuel-1. While these results are uncertain and depend on model assumptions (including time horizon, spatial resolution, technology assumptions and so on), emission curves improve our understanding of the relationship between biofuel supply and its potential contribution to climate change mitigation while accounting for spatial heterogeneity.

  7. Biofuels and the need for additional carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Searchinger, Timothy D.

    2010-04-01

    Use of biofuels does not reduce emissions from energy combustion but may offset emissions by increasing plant growth or by reducing plant residue or other non-energy emissions. To do so, biofuel production must generate and use 'additional carbon', which means carbon that plants would not otherwise absorb or that would be emitted to the atmosphere anyway. When biofuels cause no direct land use change, they use crops that would grow regardless of biofuels so they do not directly absorb additional carbon. All potential greenhouse gas reductions from such biofuels, as well as many potential emission increases, result from indirect effects, including reduced crop consumption, price-induced yield gains and land conversion. If lifecycle analyses ignore indirect effects of biofuels, they therefore cannot properly find greenhouse gas reductions. Uncertainties in estimating indirect emission reductions and increases are largely symmetrical. The failure to distinguish 'additional' carbon from carbon already absorbed or withheld from the atmosphere also leads to large overestimates of global bioenergy potential. Reasonable confidence in greenhouse gas reductions requires a precautionary approach to estimating indirect effects that does not rely on any single model. Reductions can be more directly assured, and other adverse indirect effects avoided, by focusing on biofuels from directly additional carbon.

  8. Sustainable biomass potential for biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Lossau, Selma

    2017-01-01

    There is a large interest in biofuels in Brazil and India as a substitute to fossil fuels, with a purpose of enhancing energy security and promoting rural development. The critical question is whether there is adequate spare land available in Brazil and India that is suited for biofuel feedstock production. For these reasons, Daimler AG launched a project in co-operation with the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) and the Technical University of Berlin to assess t...

  9. Assessing environmental impacts of constructed wetland effluents for vegetable crop irrigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castorina, A; Consoli, S; Barbagallo, S; Branca, F; Farag, A; Licciardello, F; Cirelli, G L

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to monitor and assess environmental impacts of reclaimed wastewater (RW), used for irrigation of vegetable crops, on soil, crop quality and irrigation equipment. During 2013, effluents of a horizontal sub-surface flow constructed treatment wetland (TW) system, used for tertiary treatment of sanitary wastewater from a small rural municipality located in Eastern Sicily (Italy), were reused by micro-irrigation techniques to irrigate vegetable crops. Monitoring programs, based on in situ and laboratory analyses were performed for assessing possible adverse effects on water-soil-plant systems caused by reclaimed wastewater reuse. In particular, experimental results evidenced that Escherichia coli content found in RW would not present a risk for rotavirus infection following WHO (2006) standards. Irrigated soil was characterized by a certain persistence of microbial contamination and among the studied vegetable crops, lettuce responds better, than zucchini and eggplants, to the irrigation with low quality water, evidencing a bettering of nutraceutical properties and production parameters.

  10. Land availability for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Ximing; Zhang, Xiao; Wang, Dingbao

    2011-01-01

    Marginal agricultural land is estimated for biofuel production in Africa, China, Europe, India, South America, and the continental United States, which have major agricultural production capacities. These countries/regions can have 320-702 million hectares of land available if only abandoned and degraded cropland and mixed crop and vegetation land, which are usually of low quality, are accounted. If grassland, savanna, and shrubland with marginal productivity are considered for planting low-input high-diversity (LIHD) mixtures of native perennials as energy crops, the total land availability can increase from 1107-1411 million hectares, depending on if the pasture land is discounted. Planting the second generation of biofuel feedstocks on abandoned and degraded cropland and LIHD perennials on grassland with marginal productivity may fulfill 26-55% of the current world liquid fuel consumption, without affecting the use of land with regular productivity for conventional crops and without affecting the current pasture land. Under the various land use scenarios, Africa may have more than one-third, and Africa and Brazil, together, may have more than half of the total land available for biofuel production. These estimations are based on physical conditions such as soil productivity, land slope, and climate.

  11. Biofuels: policies, standards and technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-09-15

    Skyrocketing prices of crude oil in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century accompanied by rising prices for food focused political and public attention on the role of biofuels. On the one hand, biofuels were considered as a potential automotive fuel with a bright future, on the other hand, biofuels were accused of competing with food production for land. The truth must lie somewhere in-between and is strongly dependent on the individual circumstance in different countries and regions. As food and energy are closely interconnected and often compete with each other for other resources, such as water, the World Energy Council - following numerous requests of its Member Committees - decided to undertake an independent assessment of biofuels policies, technologies and standards.

  12. Carbon footprints of crops from organic and conventional arable crop rotations – using a life cycle assessment approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Meyer-Aurich, A; Olesen, Jørgen E

    2014-01-01

    . The results showed significantly lower carbon footprint of the crops from the ‘Biogas’ rotation (assuming that biogas replaces fossil gas) whereas the remaining crop rotations had comparable carbon footprints per kg cash crop. The study showed considerable contributions caused by the green manure crop (grass...... organic arable crop rotations with different sources of N supply. Data from long-term field experiments at three different locations in Denmark were used to analyse three different organic cropping systems (‘Slurry’, ‘Biogas’ and ‘Mulching’), one conventional cropping system (‘Conventional’) and a “No...... input” system as reference systems. The ‘Slurry’ and ‘Conventional’ rotations received slurry and mineral fertilizer, respectively, whereas the ‘No input’ was unfertilized. The ‘Mulching’ and ‘Biogas’ rotations had one year of grass-clover instead of a faba bean crop. The grass-clover biomass...

  13. Assessment of microalga biofilms for simultaneous remediation and biofuel generation in mine tailings water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palma, H; Killoran, E; Sheehan, M; Berner, F; Heimann, K

    2017-06-01

    Microalgae crops can generate a biochemical profile of high energy density and may be used for remediation of contaminated waste waters. This manuscript presents a laboratory-scale investigation into the potential for growing endemic microalgae biofilms in phosphorus-enriched nickel refinery tailings water, with an emphasis on product potential and the remediation of heavy metals. The dominant species of the consortia was a Chlorella-like microalga. The growth was monitored over time, with a productivity (0.77±0.07gAFDW.m(-2).day(-1)) showing promising potential. The biochemical profile of biomass had a high total carbohydrate yield (40.0%), and a potential for increased lipid yields (6.7-19.5%). Biofilms showed a significant potential for the removal of heavy metals (Ni, Co, Mn, Sr) from the waste water with 24.8%, 10.5%, 24.8% and 26.4% reduction in Ni, Co, Mn and Sr, respectively. Results highlight significant potential for large-scale biofilm biomass production using metal-laden nickel refinery waste waters. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Estimation of un-used land potential for biofuels development in China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tian, Yishui [Chinese Academy of Agricultural Engineering, Beijing 100026 (China); Maelardalen University, Vaesteraas SE-721 23 (Sweden); Zhao, Lixin; Meng, Haibo; Sun, Liying [Chinese Academy of Agricultural Engineering, Beijing 100026 (China); Yan, Jinyue [Maelardalen University, Vaesteraas SE-721 23 (Sweden); Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm (Sweden)

    2009-11-15

    This paper presents the current status of biofuel development and estimates the potential of un-used land for biofuel development. The potential of crops including cassava, sweet potato, sweet sorghum, sugarcane, sugar beet and Jerusalem artichoke were assessed and discussed for different regions considering the geographical conditions and features of agricultural production. If reserved land resources are explored together with substitute planting implemented and unit area yield improved, potential production of ethanol fuel will be 22 million ton in 2020. The study also recommends the use of winter idle lands for rapeseed plantation for biofuel production. The potential for production of biodiesel by rapeseed and cottonseed can reach to 3.59 million ton. (author)

  15. From biomass to sustainable biofuels in southern Africa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Zyl, W.H.; Den Haan, R.; Rose, S.H.; La Grange, D.C.; Bloom, M. [Stellenbosch Univ., Matieland (South Africa). Dept. of Microbiology; Gorgens, J.F.; Knoetze, J.H. [Stellenbosch Univ., Matieland (South Africa). Dept. of Process Engineering; Von Blottnitz, H. [Cape Town Univ., Rondebosch (South Africa). Dept. of Chemical Engineering

    2009-07-01

    This presentation reported on a global sustainable bioenergy project with particular reference to South Africa's strategy to develop biofuels. The current biofuel production in South Africa was presented along with the potential for biofuels production and other clean alternative fuels. The South African industrial biofuel strategy (IBS) was developed in 2007 with a mandate to create jobs in the energy-crop and biofuels value chain; attract investment into rural areas; promote agricultural development; and reduce the import of foreign oil. The proposed crops for bioethanol include sugar cane and sugar beet, while the proposed crops for biodiesel include sunflower, canola and soya beans. The exclusion of maize was based on food security concerns. Jatropha curcas was also excluded because it is considered to be an invasive species. In addition to environmental benefits, the production of biofuels from biomass in Africa offers improved energy security, economic development and social upliftment. All biofuel projects are evaluated to ensure that these benefits are realized. Although first generation technologies do not score well due to marginal energy balance, negative life cycle impacts or detriment to biodiversity, the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass scores well in terms of enabling the commercialization of second generation biofuels. This paper discussed both the biochemical and thermochemical technological interventions needed to develop commercially-viable second generation lignocellulose conversion technologies to biofuels. tabs., figs.

  16. Applying a weed risk assessment approach to GM crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keese, Paul K; Robold, Andrea V; Myers, Ruth C; Weisman, Sarah; Smith, Joe

    2014-12-01

    Current approaches to environmental risk assessment of genetically modified (GM) plants are modelled on chemical risk assessment methods, which have a strong focus on toxicity. There are additional types of harms posed by plants that have been extensively studied by weed scientists and incorporated into weed risk assessment methods. Weed risk assessment uses robust, validated methods that are widely applied to regulatory decision-making about potentially problematic plants. They are designed to encompass a broad variety of plant forms and traits in different environments, and can provide reliable conclusions even with limited data. The knowledge and experience that underpin weed risk assessment can be harnessed for environmental risk assessment of GM plants. A case study illustrates the application of the Australian post-border weed risk assessment approach to a representative GM plant. This approach is a valuable tool to identify potential risks from GM plants.

  17. Microalgae: biofuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babita Kumari

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In the present day, microalgae feedstocks are gaining interest in energy scenario due to their fast growth potential coupled with relatively high lipid, carbohydrate and nutrients contents. All of these properties render them an excellent source for biofuels such as biodiesel, bioethanol and biomethane; as well as a number of other valuable pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. The present review is a critical appraisal of the commercialization potential of microalgae biofuels. The available literature on various aspects of microalgae for e.g. its cultivation, life cycle assessment, and conceptualization of an algal biorefinery, has been done. The evaluation of available information suggests the operational and maintenance cost along with maximization of oil-rich microalgae production is the key factor for successful commercialization of microalgae-based fuels.

  18. Global approaches to addressing biofuel-related invasive species risks and incorporation into U.S. laws and policies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-01

    Biofuels are being pursued for their potential greenhouse gas emissions benefits, among other reasons. In order to maximize productivity, avoid food-fuel conflicts, and minimize GHG emissions, many advanced biofuel feedstock crops, such as thos...

  19. MODELING WORLD BIOENERGY CROP POTENTIAL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagiwara, Kensuke; Hanasaki, Naota; Kanae, Shinjiro

    Bioenergy is regarded as clean energy due to its characteristics and expected to be a new support of world energy de¬mand, but there are few integrated assessments of the potential of bioenergy considering sustainable land use. We esti¬mated the global bioenergy potential with an integrated global water resources model, the H08. It can simulate the crop yields on global-scale at a spatial resolution of 0.50.5. Seven major crops in the world were considered; namely, maize, sugar beet, sugar cane, soybean, rapeseed, rice, and wheat, of which the first 5 are commonly used to produce biofuel now. Three different land-cover types were chosen as potential area for cultivation of biofuel-producing crop: fallow land, grassland, and portion of forests (excluding areas sensitive for biodiversity such as frontier forest). We attempted to estimate the maximum global bioenergy potential and it was estimated to be 1120EJ. Bioenergy potential depends on land-use limitations for the protection of bio-diversity and security of food. In another condition which assumed more land-use limitations, bioenergy potential was estimated to be 70-233EJ.

  20. Assessing Crop Coefficients for Natural Vegetated Areas Using Satellite Data and Eddy Covariance Stations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Corbari

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO method for potential evapotranspiration assessment is based on the crop coefficient, which allows one to relate the reference evapotranspiration of well irrigated grass to the potential evapotranspiration of specific crops. The method was originally developed for cultivated species based on lysimeter measurements of potential evapotranspiration. Not many applications to natural vegetated areas exist due to the lack of available data for these species. In this paper we investigate the potential of using evapotranspiration measurements acquired by micrometeorological stations for the definition of crop coefficient functions of natural vegetated areas and extrapolation to ungauged sites through remotely sensed data. Pastures, deciduous and evergreen forests have been considered and lower crop coefficient values are found with respect to FAO data.

  1. Sustainable Process Design of Lignocellulose based Biofuel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mangnimit, Saranya; Malakul, Pomthong; Gani, Rafiqul

    available, and are also non-food crops. In this respect, Cassava rhizome has several characteristics that make it a potential feedstock for fuel ethanol production. It has high content of cellulose and hemicelluloses . The objective of this paper is to present a study focused on the sustainable process...... the production and use of alternative and sustainable energy sources as rapidly as possible. Biofuel is a type of alternative energy that can be produced from many sources including sugar substances (such as sugarcane juice and molasses), starchy materials (such as corn and cassava), and lignocellulosic...... design of bioethanol production from cassava rhizome using various computer aided tools through a systematic and effiicient work-flow, The study includes process simulation, sustainability analysis, economic evaluation and life cycle assessment (LCA) according to a well-defined workflow that guarantees...

  2. Assessment of the phytoextraction potential of high biomass crop plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hernandez-Allica, Javier [NEIKER-tecnalia, Basque Institute of Agricultural Research and Development, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain); Becerril, Jose M. [Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, University of the Basque Country, P.O. Box 644, E-48080 Bilbao (Spain); Garbisu, Carlos [NEIKER-tecnalia, Basque Institute of Agricultural Research and Development, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain)], E-mail: cgarbisu@neiker.net

    2008-03-15

    A hydroponic screening method was used to identify high biomass crop plants with the ability to accumulate metals. Highest values of shoot accumulation were found in maize cv. Ranchero, rapeseed cv. Karat, and cardoon cv. Peralta for Pb (18 753 mg kg{sup -1}), Zn (10 916 mg kg{sup -1}), and Cd (242 mg kg{sup -1}), respectively. Subsequently, we tested the potential of these three cultivars for the phytoextraction of a metal spiked compost, finding out that, in cardoon and maize plants, increasing Zn and Cd concentrations led to lower values of root and shoot DW. By contrast, rapeseed shoot growth was not significantly affected by Cd concentration. Finally, a metal polluted soil was used to check these cultivars' phytoextraction capacity. Although the soil was phytotoxic enough to prevent the growth of cardoon and rapeseed plants, maize plants phytoextracted 3.7 mg Zn pot{sup -1}. We concluded that the phytoextraction performance of cultivars varies depending on the screening method used. - The phytoextraction performance of cultivars varies significantly depending on the screening method used.

  3. Assessing Uncertainties of Water Footprints Using an Ensemble of Crop Growth Models on Winter Wheat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurt Christian Kersebaum

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Crop productivity and water consumption form the basis to calculate the water footprint (WF of a specific crop. Under current climate conditions, calculated evapotranspiration is related to observed crop yields to calculate WF. The assessment of WF under future climate conditions requires the simulation of crop yields adding further uncertainty. To assess the uncertainty of model based assessments of WF, an ensemble of crop models was applied to data from five field experiments across Europe. Only limited data were provided for a rough calibration, which corresponds to a typical situation for regional assessments, where data availability is limited. Up to eight models were applied for wheat. The coefficient of variation for the simulated actual evapotranspiration between models was in the range of 13%–19%, which was higher than the inter-annual variability. Simulated yields showed a higher variability between models in the range of 17%–39%. Models responded differently to elevated CO2 in a FACE (Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment experiment, especially regarding the reduction of water consumption. The variability of calculated WF between models was in the range of 15%–49%. Yield predictions contributed more to this variance than the estimation of water consumption. Transpiration accounts on average for 51%–68% of the total actual evapotranspiration.

  4. Assessment of possible allergenicity of hypothetical ORFs in common food crops using current bioinformatic guidelines and its implications for the safety assessment of GM crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Gregory J; Zhang, Shiping; Mirsky, Henry P; Cressman, Robert F; Cong, Bin; Ladics, Gregory S; Zhong, Cathy X

    2012-10-01

    Before a genetically modified (GM) crop can be commercialized it must pass through a rigorous regulatory process to verify that it is safe for human and animal consumption, and to the environment. One particular area of focus is the potential introduction of a known or cross-reactive allergen not previously present within the crop. The assessment of possible allergenicity uses the guidelines outlined by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization's (WHO) Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) to evaluate all newly expressed proteins. Some regulatory authorities have broadened the scope of the assessment to include all DNA reading frames between stop codons across the insert and spanning the insert/genomic DNA junctions. To investigate the utility of this bioinformatic assessment, all naturally occurring stop-to-stop frames in the non-transgenic genomes of maize, rice, and soybean, as well as the human genome, were compared against the AllergenOnline (www.allergenonline.org) database using the Codex criteria. We discovered thousands of frames that exceeded the Codex defined threshold for potential cross-reactivity suggesting that evaluating hypothetical ORFs (stop-to-stop frames) has questionable value for making decisions on the safety of GM crops. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. The "Grignon Model"; Qualitative Assessment of Maize Cropping Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bohanec, M.; Messéan, A.; Scatasta, S.

    An important goal of the SIGMEA project is to develop computer-based decision support systems (DSS) for the assessment of the......An important goal of the SIGMEA project is to develop computer-based decision support systems (DSS) for the assessment of the...

  6. The greenhouse gas intensity and potential biofuel production capacity of maize stover harvest in the US Midwest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, Curtis D. [Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park MD 20742 USA; Zhang, Xuesong [Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and University of Maryland, College Park MD 20740 USA; Reddy, Ashwan D. [Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park MD 20742 USA; Robertson, G. Philip [Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824 USA; W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners MI 49060 USA; Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824 USA; Izaurralde, Roberto César [Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park MD 20742 USA; Texas A& M AgriLife Research & Extension Center, Temple TX 76502 USA

    2017-08-11

    Agricultural residues are important sources of feedstock for a cellulosic biofuels industry that is being developed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy independence. While the US Midwest has been recognized as key to providing maize stover for meeting near-term cellulosic biofuel production goals, there is uncertainty that such feedstocks can produce biofuels that meet federal cellulosic standards. Here, we conducted extensive site-level calibration of the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) terrestrial ecosystems model and applied the model at high spatial resolution across the US Midwest to improve estimates of the maximum production potential and greenhouse gas emissions expected from continuous maize residue-derived biofuels. A comparison of methodologies for calculating the soil carbon impacts of residue harvesting demonstrates the large impact of study duration, depth of soil considered, and inclusion of litter carbon in soil carbon change calculations on the estimated greenhouse gas intensity of maize stover-derived biofuels. Using the most representative methodology for assessing long-term residue harvesting impacts, we estimate that only 5.3 billion liters per year (bly) of ethanol, or 8.7% of the near-term US cellulosic biofuel demand, could be met under common no-till farming practices. However, appreciably more feedstock becomes available at modestly higher emissions levels, with potential for 89.0 bly of ethanol production meeting US advanced biofuel standards. Adjustments to management practices, such as adding cover crops to no-till management, will be required to produce sufficient quantities of residue meeting the greenhouse gas emission reduction standard for cellulosic biofuels. Considering the rapid increase in residue availability with modest relaxations in GHG reduction level, it is expected that management practices with modest benefits to soil carbon would allow considerable expansion of potential cellulosic

  7. Future yields assessment of bioenergy crops in relation to climate change and technological development in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore L. Cosentino

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Bioenergy crops are expected to play an important role in reducing CO2 emission, in energy supply and in European energy policy. However, a sustainable bioenergy supply must be resilient to climate change and the impacts on agriculture at both global and regional scale. The purpose of this study was to forecast the potential distribution of several bioenergy crops based on agronomic and environmental constrains under current conditions and future scenarios (2020 and 2030 in European Union. Potential biomass yield, according to the category end use product achievable in each environmental zone of Europe at present and in the future available land have been also studied. Future yields were assessed according to two factors: technological development and climate change: the former was based on prospect of DG-Agriculture for conventional crops and expert judgments for bioenergy crops, while the latter based on relevant research papers and literature reviews which used site-specific crop growth models. Yields are expected to increase in northern Europe due to climate change and technological development, while in southerneastern Europe the negative effect of climate change will be mitigated by the technological development. The estimated total biomass production in Europe, on the basis of future yields and surplus land made available for energy crops, may not be sufficient to meet the needs of bioenergy supply as claimed in the European directive 2009/28/EC.

  8. A multi-scale hydroclimatological assessment of perennial bioenergy cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgescu, Matei; Miguez-Macho, Gonzalo; Wagner, Melissa; Wang, Meng; Bagley, Justin; Vanloocke, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    Hydro-climatic sustainability associated with deployment of perennial bioenergy cropping systems requires a holistic approach that extends beyond merely carbon accounting. Here, we present results from a five-year National Science Foundation project (Water Sustainability and Climate initiative) focused on development of geographically explicit maps depicting sustainable regional "hot-spots" of perennial biomass energy expansion in the United States (U.S.). Using short-term/high-resolution (1 year/1km) and climate scale/medium range resolution (10 years/20km) simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) system, an atmospheric code coupled to a suite of land surface models, we quantify impacts on the hydrologic cycle, and examine the effect of energy crops (e.g., miscanthus and switchgrass) on subsurface hydrology (e.g., soil moisture, groundwater impacts) and atmospheric dynamics. We avoid the competition with food crops by focusing energy crop deployment exclusively on abandoned and degraded farmland regions within the Continental U.S. Finally, assessment of photosynthetic production of bioenergy crops is made, based on hydro-climatic constraints associated with varying scenarios of perennial bioenergy crop deployment simulated with WRF.

  9. Risk assessment and ecological effects of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis crops on non-target organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Hui-Lin; Li, Yun-He; Wu, Kong-Ming

    2011-07-01

    The application of recombinant DNA technology has resulted in many insect-resistant varieties by genetic engineering (GE). Crops expressing Cry toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have been planted worldwide, and are an effective tool for pest control. However, one ecological concern regarding the potential effects of insect-resistant GE plants on non-target organisms (NTOs) has been continually debated. In the present study, we briefly summarize the data regarding the development and commercial use of transgenic Bt varieties, elaborate on the procedure and methods for assessing the non-target effects of insect-resistant GE plants, and synthetically analyze the related research results, mostly those published between 2005 and 2010. A mass of laboratory and field studies have shown that the currently available Bt crops have no direct detrimental effects on NTOs due to their narrow spectrum of activity, and Bt crops are increasing the abundance of some beneficial insects and improving the natural control of specific pests. The use of Bt crops, such as Bt maize and Bt cotton, results in significant reductions of insecticide application and clear benefits on the environment and farmer health. Consequently, Bt crops can be a useful component of integrated pest management systems to protect the crop from targeted pests. © 2011 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  10. Biofuels, land use change and smallholder livelihoods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hought, Joy Marie; Birch-Thomsen, Torben; Petersen, Jacob

    2012-01-01

    Crop-based biofuels represent an environmental and political alternative to fossil fuels, as well as an important source of rural development income; as global biofuel markets continue to mature, however, their impact on food security remains controversial. This study investigates the effects...... of biofuel feedstock adoption by smallholders in the northwestern Cambodian province of Banteay Meanchey, a region undergoing rapid land use change following the formal end of the Khmer Rouge era in 1989 and subsequent rural resettlement. Remote sensing data combined with field interviews pointed to three...... market had severe consequences for livelihoods and food security. The paper concludes with a discussion of the probable impacts of the emerging cassava market on trajectories in land use, land ownership, and land access in rural Cambodia. The case looks at biofuel adoption in the context of other land...

  11. Biofuels from algae: challenges and potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannon, Michael; Gimpel, Javier; Tran, Miller; Rasala, Beth; Mayfield, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Algae biofuels may provide a viable alternative to fossil fuels; however, this technology must overcome a number of hurdles before it can compete in the fuel market and be broadly deployed. These challenges include strain identification and improvement, both in terms of oil productivity and crop protection, nutrient and resource allocation and use, and the production of co-products to improve the economics of the entire system. Although there is much excitement about the potential of algae biofuels, much work is still required in the field. In this article, we attempt to elucidate the major challenges to economic algal biofuels at scale, and improve the focus of the scientific community to address these challenges and move algal biofuels from promise to reality. PMID:21833344

  12. Increasing Biofuel Deployment and Utilization through Development of Renewable Super Premium: Infrastructure Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moriarty, K.; Kass, M.; Theiss, T.

    2014-11-01

    A high octane fuel and specialized vehicle are under consideration as a market opportunity to meet federal requirements for renewable fuel use and fuel economy. Infrastructure is often cited as a barrier for the introduction of a new fuel. This report assesses infrastructure readiness for E25 (25% ethanol; 75% gasoline) and E25+ (more than 25% ethanol). Both above-ground and below-ground equipment are considered as are the current state of stations, codes and regulations, and materials compatibility.

  13. Crop cover the principal influence on non-crop ground beetle (Coleoptera, Carabidae) activity and assemblages at the farm scale in a long-term assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyre, M D; Sanderson, R A; McMillan, S D; Critchley, C N R

    2016-04-01

    Ground beetle data were generated using pitfall traps in the 17-year period from 1993 to 2009 and used to investigate the effects of changes in surrounding crop cover on beetle activity and assemblages, together with the effects of weather variability. Beetles were recorded from non-crop field margins (overgrown hedges). Crop cover changes explained far more variation in the beetle assemblages recorded than did temperature and rainfall variation. A reduction in management intensity and disturbance in the crops surrounding the traps, especially the introduction and development of willow coppice, was concomitant with changes in individual species activity and assemblage composition of beetles trapped in non-crop habitat. There were no consistent patterns in either overall beetle activity or in the number of species recorded over the 17-year period, but there was a clear change from assemblages dominated by smaller species with higher dispersal capability to ones with larger beetles with less dispersal potential and a preference for less disturbed agroecosystems. The influence of surrounding crops on ground beetle activity in non-crop habitat has implications for ecosystem service provision by ground beetles as pest predators. These results are contrary to conventional assumptions and interpretations, which suggest activity of pest predators in crops is influenced primarily by adjacent non-crop habitat. The long-term nature of the assessment was important in elucidation of patterns and trends, and indicated that policies such as agri-environment schemes should take cropping patterns into account when promoting management options that are intended to enhance natural pest control.

  14. Adapting crop rotations to climate change in regional impact modelling assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Edmar I; de Ruiter, John; Ausseil, Anne-Gaelle; Daigneault, Adam; Johnstone, Paul; Holmes, Allister; Tait, Andrew; Ewert, Frank

    2018-03-01

    The environmental and economic sustainability of future cropping systems depends on adaptation to climate change. Adaptation studies commonly rely on agricultural systems models to integrate multiple components of production systems such as crops, weather, soil and farmers' management decisions. Previous adaptation studies have mostly focused on isolated monocultures. However, in many agricultural regions worldwide, multi-crop rotations better represent local production systems. It is unclear how adaptation interventions influence crops grown in sequences. We develop a catchment-scale assessment to investigate the effects of tactical adaptations (choice of genotype and sowing date) on yield and underlying crop-soil factors of rotations. Based on locally surveyed data, a silage-maize followed by catch-crop-wheat rotation was simulated with the APSIM model for the RCP 8.5 emission scenario, two time periods (1985-2004 and 2080-2100) and six climate models across the Kaituna catchment in New Zealand. Results showed that direction and magnitude of climate change impacts, and the response to adaptation, varied spatially and were affected by rotation carryover effects due to agronomical (e.g. timing of sowing and harvesting) and soil (e.g. residual nitrogen, N) aspects. For example, by adapting maize to early-sowing dates under a warmer climate, there was an advance in catch crop establishment which enhanced residual soil N uptake. This dynamics, however, differed with local environment and choice of short- or long-cycle maize genotypes. Adaptation was insufficient to neutralize rotation yield losses in lowlands but consistently enhanced yield gains in highlands, where other constraints limited arable cropping. The positive responses to adaptation were mainly due to increases in solar radiation interception across the entire growth season. These results provide deeper insights on the dynamics of climate change impacts for crop rotation systems. Such knowledge can be used

  15. Assessing the MODIS Crop Detection Algorithm for Soybean Crop Area Mapping and Expansion in the Mato Grosso State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anibal Gusso

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Estimations of crop area were made based on the temporal profiles of the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI obtained from moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS images. Evaluation of the ability of the MODIS crop detection algorithm (MCDA to estimate soybean crop areas was performed for fields in the Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Using the MCDA approach, soybean crop area estimations can be provided for December (first forecast using images from the sowing period and for February (second forecast using images from the sowing period and the maximum crop development period. The area estimates were compared to official agricultural statistics from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE and from the National Company of Food Supply (CONAB at different crop levels from 2000/2001 to 2010/2011. At the municipality level, the estimates were highly correlated, with R2=0.97 and RMSD = 13,142 ha. The MCDA was validated using field campaign data from the 2006/2007 crop year. The overall map accuracy was 88.25%, and the Kappa Index of Agreement was 0.765. By using pre-defined parameters, MCDA is able to provide the evolution of annual soybean maps, forecast of soybean cropping areas, and the crop area expansion in the Mato Grosso state.

  16. Estimating Biofuel Feedstock Water Footprints Using System Dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Inman, Daniel; Warner, Ethan; Stright, Dana; Macknick, Jordan; Peck, Corey

    2016-07-01

    Increased biofuel production has prompted concerns about the environmental tradeoffs of biofuels compared to petroleum-based fuels. Biofuel production in general, and feedstock production in particular, is under increased scrutiny. Water footprinting (measuring direct and indirect water use) has been proposed as one measure to evaluate water use in the context of concerns about depleting rural water supplies through activities such as irrigation for large-scale agriculture. Water footprinting literature has often been limited in one or more key aspects: complete assessment across multiple water stocks (e.g., vadose zone, surface, and ground water stocks), geographical resolution of data, consistent representation of many feedstocks, and flexibility to perform scenario analysis. We developed a model called BioSpatial H2O using a system dynamics modeling and database framework. BioSpatial H2O could be used to consistently evaluate the complete water footprints of multiple biomass feedstocks at high geospatial resolutions. BioSpatial H2O has the flexibility to perform simultaneous scenario analysis of current and potential future crops under alternative yield and climate conditions. In this proof-of-concept paper, we modeled corn grain (Zea mays L.) and soybeans (Glycine max) under current conditions as illustrative results. BioSpatial H2O links to a unique database that houses annual spatially explicit climate, soil, and plant physiological data. Parameters from the database are used as inputs to our system dynamics model for estimating annual crop water requirements using daily time steps. Based on our review of the literature, estimated green water footprints are comparable to other modeled results, suggesting that BioSpatial H2O is computationally sound for future scenario analysis. Our modeling framework builds on previous water use analyses to provide a platform for scenario-based assessment. BioSpatial H2O's system dynamics is a flexible and user

  17. Sampling Simulations for Assessing the Accuracy of U.S. Agricultural Crop Mapping from Remotely Sensed Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwyer, Linnea; Yadav, Kamini; Congalton, Russell G.

    2017-04-01

    Providing adequate food and water for a growing, global population continues to be a major challenge. Mapping and monitoring crops are useful tools for estimating the extent of crop productivity. GFSAD30 (Global Food Security Analysis Data at 30m) is a program, funded by NASA, that is producing global cropland maps by using field measurements and remote sensing images. This program studies 8 major crop types, and includes information on cropland area/extent, if crops are irrigated or rainfed, and the cropping intensities. Using results from the US and the extensive reference data available, CDL (USDA Crop Data Layer), we will experiment with various sampling simulations to determine optimal sampling for thematic map accuracy assessment. These simulations will include varying the sampling unit, the sampling strategy, and the sample number. Results of these simulations will allow us to recommend assessment approaches to handle different cropping scenarios.

  18. The effect of crop rotation on pesticide leaching in a regional pesticide risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balderacchi, Matteo; Di Guardo, Andrea; Vischetti, Costantino; Trevisan, Marco

    2008-11-01

    New modeling approaches that include the use of GIS are under development in order to allow a more realistic assessment of environmental contamination by pesticides. This paper reports a regional GIS-based risk assessment using a software tool able to simulate complex and real crop rotations at the regional scale. A single pesticide leaching assessment has been done. The mean annual pesticide concentration in leachate has been analyzed using both stochastic and deterministic approaches. The outputs of these simulations were mapped over the sampling locations of the regional pesticide monitoring program, demonstrating that GIS-based risk assessment can be used to establish new monitoring programs. A multiple pesticide leaching assessment for analyzing the risk related to pest control strategies in six different maize-based rotations has been carried out. Additive toxic units approach has been used. Crop rotation allows to mediate the risk related to pesticide use because forces the use of different compounds with different fate and toxicology properties.

  19. Meta-analysis and Harmonization of Life Cycle Assessment Studies for Algae Biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Qingshi; Eckelman, Matthew; Zimmerman, Julie

    2017-09-05

    Algae biodiesel (BioD) and renewable diesel (RD) have been recognized as potential solutions to mitigating fossil-fuel consumption and the associated environmental issues. Life cycle assessment (LCA) has been used by many researchers to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of these algae-derived fuels, yielding a wide range of results and, in some cases, even differing on indicating whether these fuels are preferred to petroleum-derived fuels or not. This meta-analysis reviews the methodological preferences and results for energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption for 54 LCA studies that considered algae BioD and RD. The significant variation in reported results can be primarily attributed to the difference in scope, assumptions, and data sources. To minimize the variation in life cycle inventory calculations, a harmonized inventory data set including both nominal and uncertainty data is calculated for each stage of the algae-derived fuel life cycle.

  20. Trace gas emissions from combustion of peat, crop residue, biofuels, grasses, and other fuels: configuration and FTIR component of the fourth Fire Lab at Missoula Experiment (FLAME-4)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockwell, C. E.; Yokelson, R. J.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; Robinson, A. L.; DeMott, P. J.; Sullivan, R. C.; Reardon, J.; Ryan, K. C.; Griffith, D. W. T.; Stevens, L.

    2014-04-01

    During the fourth Fire Lab at Missoula Experiment (FLAME-4, October-November~2012) a~large variety of regionally and globally significant biomass fuels was burned at the US Forest Service Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, Montana. The particle emissions were characterized by an extensive suite of instrumentation that measured aerosol chemistry, size distribution, optical properties, and cloud-nucleating properties. The trace gas measurements included high resolution mass spectrometry, one- and two-dimensional gas chromatography, and open-path Fourier transform infrared (OP-FTIR) spectroscopy. This paper summarizes the overall experimental design for FLAME-4 including the fuel properties, the nature of the burn simulations, the instrumentation employed, and then focuses on the OP-FTIR results. The OP-FTIR was used to measure the initial emissions of 20 trace gases: CO2, CO, CH4, C2H2, C2H4, C3H6, HCHO, HCOOH, CH3OH, CH3COOH, glycolaldehyde, furan, H2O, NO, NO2, HONO, NH3, HCN, HCl, and SO2. These species include most of the major trace gases emitted by biomass burning and for several of these compounds it is the first time their emissions are reported for important fuel types. The main fuel types included: African grasses, Asian rice straw, cooking fires (open (3-stone), rocket, and gasifier stoves), Indonesian and extratropical peat, temperate and boreal coniferous canopy fuels, US crop residue, shredded tires, and trash. Comparisons of the OP-FTIR emission factors (EF) and emission ratios (ER) to field measurements of biomass burning verify that the large body of FLAME-4 results can be used to enhance the understanding of global biomass burning and its representation in atmospheric chemistry models.

  1. Carbon Footprint of Biofuel Sugarcane Produced in Mineral and Organic Soils in Florida

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izursa, Jose-Luis; Hanlon, Edward; Amponsah, Nana; Capece, John

    2013-02-06

    Ethanol produced from sugarcane is an existing and accessible form of renewable energy. In this study, we applied the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach to estimate the Carbon Footprint (CFP) of biofuel sugarcane produced on mineral (sandy) and organic (muck) soils in Florida. CFP was estimated from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (CO2, CH4, and N2O) during the biofuel sugarcane cultivation. The data for the energy (fossil fuels and electricity), equipment, and chemical fertilizers were taken from enterprise budgets prepared by the University of Florida based on surveys and interviews obtained from local growers during the cropping years 2007/2008 and 2009/2010 for mineral soils and 2008/2009 for organic soils. Emissions from biomass burning and organic land use were calculated based on the IPCC guidelines. The results show that the CFP for biofuel sugarcane production is 0.04 kg CO2e kg-1y-1 when produced in mineral soils and 0.46 kg CO2e kg-1y-1 when produced in organic soils. Most of the GHG emissions from production of biofuel sugarcane in mineral soils come from equipment (33%), fertilizers (28%), and biomass burning (27%); whereas GHG emissions from production in organic soils come predominantly from the soil (93%). This difference should be considered to adopt new practices for a more sustainable farming system if biofuel feedstocks are to be considered.

  2. Assessment of health care services on crop farmers' activities in Oke ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study assessed the healthcare services on crop farmers' activity in Oke-Ero Local Government area of Kwara State, Nigeria. A two-stage sampling techniques was used to select one hundred and sixty (160) respondents. Data were collected with questionnaire and analysed using both descriptive and inferential ...

  3. Spatiotemporal land use modelling to assess land availability for energy crops – illustrated for Mozambique

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilst, F. van der; Verstegen, J.A.; Karssenberg, D.J.; Faaij, A.P.C.

    2012-01-01

    A method and tool have been developed to assess future developments in land availability for bioenergy crops in a spatially explicit way, while taking into account both the developments in other land use functions, such as land for food, livestock and material production, and the uncertainties in

  4. Workshop overview : Approaches to the assessment of the allergenic potential of food from genetically modified crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ladics, G.S.; Holsapple, M.P.; Astwood, J.D.; Kimber, I.; Knippels, L.M.J.; Helm, R.M.; Dong, W.

    2003-01-01

    There is a need to assess the safety of foods deriving from genetically modified (GM) crops, including the allergenic potential of novel gene products. Presently, there is no single in vitro or in vivo model that has been validated for the identification or characterization of potential food

  5. Assessing the Life-Cycle Performance of Hydrogen Production via Biofuel Reforming in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Susmozas

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Currently, hydrogen is mainly produced through steam reforming of natural gas. However, this conventional process involves environmental and energy security concerns. This has led to the development of alternative technologies for (potentially green hydrogen production. In this work, the environmental and energy performance of biohydrogen produced in Europe via steam reforming of glycerol and bio-oil is evaluated from a life-cycle perspective, and contrasted with that of conventional hydrogen from steam methane reforming. Glycerol as a by-product from the production of rapeseed biodiesel and bio-oil from the fast pyrolysis of poplar biomass are considered. The processing plants are simulated in Aspen Plus® to provide inventory data for the life cycle assessment. The environmental impact potentials evaluated include abiotic depletion, global warming, ozone layer depletion, photochemical oxidant formation, land competition, acidification and eutrophication. Furthermore, the cumulative (total and non-renewable energy demand is calculated, as well as the corresponding renewability scores and life-cycle energy balances and efficiencies of the biohydrogen products. In addition to quantitative evidence of the (expected relevance of the feedstock and impact categories considered, results show that poplar-derived bio-oil could be a suitable feedstock for steam reforming, in contrast to first-generation bioglycerol.

  6. Peculiarities of ecotoxicological assessment nanoagrochemicals used in crop production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Makarenko

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The article presents the results of studying the toxic effect of nanoagrochemicals on the processes of a plant's cell division, growth and development of plants at the early stages of ontogeny. It can be assume that the toxic effect of nanoagrochemicals depends on the size and structure of the nanoparticles, which are included in their composition: the toxic effect is stronger, the smaller the size of the nanoparticles is; nanocomposites of crystal structure are more toxic compared to nanocomposites of amorphous structure. Nanoagrochemicals ecotoxicological risk assessment should not be based only on the study of the dependence “dose-effect” on the level of the organism and population; it should include the research of the toxic process, starting from the level of the cell and its organelles.

  7. Alternative spatial allocation of suitable land for biofuel production in China

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Jianjun; Chen, Yang; Rao, Yongheng

    2017-01-01

    How to select locations for biofuel production is still a critical consideration for balance of crop and biofuel productions as well as of energy consumption and environmental conservation. Biofuels are widely produced all over the world, but this practice in China is still at the initial stage....... Based on China's current stage on food security and changing biofuel demands, this paper selected agro-environmental and socio-economic factors of biofuel production, and simulated and spatially allocated areas suited for biofuel production under the two scenarios of planning-oriented scenario (Po......S) and biofuel-oriented scenario (BoS) by the target year 2020. It also estimated biofuel production potentials and zones across China's provinces. The results show that land suited for biofuel production is primarily located in Northwestern, Northern, Northeastern, Central and Southwestern China...

  8. Liquid biofuels - can they meet our expectations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glatzel, G.

    2012-04-01

    Liquid biofuels are one of the options for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and the dependence on fossil fuels. This is reflected in the DIRECTIVE 2003/30/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the promotion of the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels for transport. The promotion of E10, an automotive fuel containing 10 percent bioethanol, is based on this directive. At present almost all bioethanol is produced from agricultural crops such as maize, corn or sugar beet and sugar cane in suitable climates. In view of shortages and rising prices of food, in particular in developing countries, the use of food and feed crops for biofuel production is increasingly criticized. Alternative sources of biomass are perennial grasses and wood, whose cellulose fraction can be converted to alcohol by the so called "second generation" processes, which seem to be close to commercial deployment. The use of the total plant biomass increases the biofuel yield per hectare as compared to conventional crops. Of special interest for biofuel production is woody biomass from forests as this avoids competition with food production on arable land. Historically woody biomass was for millennia the predominant source of thermal energy. Before fossil fuels came into use, up to 80 percent of a forest was used for fuel wood, charcoal and raw materials such as potash for trade and industry. Now forests are managed to yield up to 80 percent of high grade timber for the wood industry. Replacing sophisticatedly managed forests by fast growing biofuel plantations could make economic sense for land owners when a protected market is guaranteed by politics, because biofuel plantations would be highly mechanized and cheap to operate, even if costs for certified planting material and fertilizer are added. For forest owners the decision to clear existing long rotation forests for biofuel plantations would still be weighty because of the extended time of decades required to rebuild a

  9. The Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM): Update on Multisite Inter-comparison Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, I.; Gilliams, S. J. B.; Defourny, P.

    2016-12-01

    Globally there is significant convergence on agricultural monitoring research questions. The focus of interest usually revolves around crop type, crop area estimation and near real time crop condition and yield forecasting. Notwithstanding this convergence, agricultural systems differ significantly throughout the world, reflecting the diversity of ecosystems they are located in. Consequently, a global system of systems for operational monitoring must be based on multiple approaches. Research is required to compare and assess these approaches to identify which are most appropriate for any given location. To this end the Joint Experiments for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) was established in 2009 to as a research platform to allow the global agricultural monitoring community to work towards a set of best practices and recommendations for using earth observation data to map, monitor and report on agricultural productivity globally. The JECAM initiative brings together researchers from a large number of globally distributed, well monitored agricultural test sites that cover a range of crop types, cropping systems and climate regimes. The results of JECAM optical inter-comparison research taking place in the Stimulating Innovation for Global Monitoring of Agriculture (SIGMA) project and the Sentinel-2 for Agriculture project will be discussed. The presentation will also highlight upcoming work on a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) inter-comparison study. The outcome of these projects will result in a set of best practices that cover the range of remote sensing monitoring and reporting needs, including satellite data acquisition, pre-processing techniques, information retrieval and ground data validation. These outcomes provide the R&D foundation for GEOGLAM and will help to inform the development of the GEOGLAM system of systems for global agricultural monitoring.

  10. Assessment of future crop yield and agricultural sustainable water use in north china plain using multiple crop models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, G.

    2016-12-01

    Currently, studying crop-water response mechanism has become an important part in the development of new irrigation technology and optimal water allocation in water-scarce regions, which is of great significance to crop growth guidance, sustainable utilization of agricultural water, as well as the sustainable development of regional agriculture. Using multiple crop models(AquaCrop,SWAP,DNDC), this paper presents the results of simulating crop growth and agricultural water consumption of the winter-wheat and maize cropping system in north china plain. These areas are short of water resources, but generates about 23% of grain production for China. By analyzing the crop yields and the water consumption of the traditional flooding irrigation, the paper demonstrates quantitative evaluation of the potential amount of water use that can be reduced by using high-efficient irrigation approaches, such as drip irrigation. To maintain food supply and conserve water resources, the research concludes sustainable irrigation methods for the three provinces for sustainable utilization of agricultural water.

  11. Biofuel technologies. Recent developments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gupta, Vijai Kumar [National Univ. of Ireland Galway (Ireland). Dept. of Biochemistry; MITS Univ., Rajasthan (India). Dept. of Science; Tuohy, Maria G. (eds.) [National Univ. of Ireland Galway (Ireland). Dept. of Biochemistry

    2013-02-01

    Written by experts. Richly illustrated. Of interest to both experienced researchers and beginners in the field. Biofuels are considered to be the main potential replacement for fossil fuels in the near future. In this book international experts present recent advances in biofuel research and related technologies. Topics include biomethane and biobutanol production, microbial fuel cells, feedstock production, biomass pre-treatment, enzyme hydrolysis, genetic manipulation of microbial cells and their application in the biofuels industry, bioreactor systems, and economical processing technologies for biofuel residues. The chapters provide concise information to help understand the technology-related implications of biofuels development. Moreover, recent updates on biofuel feedstocks, biofuel types, associated co- and byproducts and their applications are highlighted. The book addresses the needs of postgraduate researchers and scientists across diverse disciplines and industrial sectors in which biofuel technologies and related research and experimentation are pursued.

  12. Biofuel from "humified" biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kpogbemabou, D.; Lemée, L.; Amblès, A.

    2009-04-01

    In France, 26% of the emissions of greenhouse effect gas originate from transportation which depends for 87% on fossil fuels. Nevertheless biofuels can contribute to the fight against climate change while reducing energetic dependence. Indeed biomass potentially represents in France 30 Mtoe a year that is to say 15% national consumption. But 80% of these resources are made of lignocellulosic materials which are hardly exploitable. First-generation biofuels are made from sugar, starch, vegetable oil, or animal fats. Due to their competition with human food chain, first-generation biofuels could lead to food shortages and price rises. At the contrary second-generation biofuel production can use a variety of non food crops while using the lignocellulosic part of biomass [1]. Gasification, fermentation and direct pyrolysis are the most used processes. However weak yields and high hydrogen need are limiting factors. In France, the National Program for Research on Biofuels (PNRB) aims to increase mobilizable biomass resource and to develop lignocellulosic biomass conversion. In this context, the LIGNOCARB project studies the liquefaction of biodegraded biomass in order to lower hydrogen consumption. Our aim was to develop and optimize the biodegradation of the biomass. Once the reactor was achieved, the influence of different parameters (starting material, aeration, moisture content) on the biotransformation process was studied. The monitored parameters were temperature, pH and carbon /nitrogen ratio. Chemical (IHSS protocol) and biochemical (van Soest) fractionations were used to follow the maturity ("humic acid"/"fulvic acid" ratio) and the biological stability (soluble, hemicelluloses, celluloses, lignin) of the organic matter (OM). In example, the increase in lignin can be related to the stabilization since the OM becomes refractory to biodegradation whereas the increase in the AH/AF ratio traduces "humification". However, contrarily to the composting process, we do

  13. Life cycle and landscape impacts of biofuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, J.

    2012-12-01

    Achieving the biofuel volumes mandated in the Renewable Fuels Standard of the United States Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 will require large amounts of biomass such as crop residues and dedicated bioenergy crops. Growing sufficient amounts of these feedstocks would greatly transform the agricultural landscape of the United States, and depending on where and how they are grown, may have vastly different implications for the sustainability of the biofuels industry. This presentation describes ongoing research into how biomass can best be produced on the landscape so as to benefit rural economies and provide ecosystem services such as greenhouse gas mitigation and improved air quality. The focus is on newly developed methods for integrating spatial and temporal information into life cycle assessment so as to both allow for more detailed impact assessment and to provide insight into how to improve efficiency along bioenergy production supply chains. Results will benefit stakeholders both by offering recommendations for guiding sustainable growth of the emerging bioeconomy and by advancing understanding of the inherent tradeoffs among alternate scenarios.

  14. Economics, energy, and environmental assessment of diversified crop rotations in sub-Himalayas of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Raman Jeet; Meena, Roshan Lal; Sharma, N K; Kumar, Suresh; Kumar, Kuldeep; Kumar, Dileep

    2016-02-01

    Reducing the carbon footprint and increasing energy use efficiency of crop rotations are the two most important sustainability issues of the modern agriculture. Present study was undertaken to assess economics, energy, and environmental parameters of common diversified crop rotations (maize-tomato, and maize-toria-wheat) vis-a-vis traditional crop rotations like maize-wheat, maize + ginger and rice-wheat of the north-western Himalayan region of India. Results revealed that maize-tomato and maize + ginger crop rotations being on par with each other produced significantly higher system productivity in terms of maize equivalent yield (30.2-36.2 t/ha) than other crop rotations (5.04-7.68 t/ha). But interestingly in terms of energy efficiencies, traditional maize-wheat system (energy efficiency 7.9, human energy profitability of 177.8 and energy profitability of 6.9 MJ/ha) was significantly superior over other systems. Maize + ginger rotation showed greater competitive advantage over other rotations because of less consumption of non-renewable energy resources. Similarly, maize-tomato rotation had ability of the production process to exploit natural resources due to 14-38% less use of commercial or purchased energy sources over other crop rotations. Vegetable-based crop rotations (maize + ginger and maize-tomato) maintained significantly the least carbon footprint (0.008 and 0.019 kg CO2 eq./kg grain, respectively) and the highest profitability (154,322 and 274,161 Rs./ha net return, respectively) over other crop rotations. As the greatest inputs of energy and carbon across the five crop rotations were nitrogen fertilizer (15-29% and 17-28%, respectively), diesel (14-24% and 8-19%, respectively) and irrigation (10-27% and 11-44%, respectively), therefore, alternative sources like organic farming, conservation agriculture practices, soil and water conservation measures, rain water harvesting etc. should be encouraged to reduce dependency of direct energy and external

  15. Biofuels and Land use in Sweden - An overview of land-use change effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoeglund, J. [IVL Swedish Environmental Research Inst., Stockholm (Sweden); Ahlgren, S. [Lund Univ., Lund (Sweden); Grahn, M. [Chalmers Univ. of Technology, Goeteborg (Sweden); Sundberg, C. [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden)] [and others

    2013-09-01

    Supported by policies, biofuel production has been continuously increasing worldwide during recent years owing to a scientific consensus that human-induced global warming is a reality and the need to reduce import dependency of fossil fuels. However, concerns have been raised that bio-fuels, often advocated as the future substitute for greenhouse gas (GHG) intensive fossil fuels, may cause negative effects on the climate and the environment. When assessing GHG emissions from biofuels, the production phase of the biofuel crop is essential since this is the phase in which most of the GHG emissions occur during the life cycle of the fuel (not accounting for biogenic CO{sub 2} from the tailpipe). Much research has been focusing on the GHG performance of biofuels, but there are also a range of other possible environmental effects of biofuel production, often linked to land use and land management. Changes in land use can result from a wide range of anthropogenic activities including agriculture and forestry management, livestock and biofuel production. Direct effects of land-use change (LUC) range from changes of carbon stock in standing biomass to biodiversity impacts and nutrient leakage. Beside the direct effects, indirect effects can influence other uses of land through market forces across countries and continents. These indirect effects are complex to measure and observe. This report provides an overview of a much debated issue: the connection between LUC and bio-fuel production and associated potential impacts on a wide range of aspects (i.e., soil chemistry, biodiversity, socio economics, climate change, and policy). The main purpose of the report is to give a broad overview of the literature on LUC impacts from biofuel production, not only taking into account the link between LUC and GHG, which has been addressed in many other studies. The report first presents a review of the literature in the different scientific areas related to LUC and biofuel production

  16. Controversies, development and trends of biofuel industry in the world

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WenJun Zhang

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Controversies, development and trends of biofuel industry in the world were discussed in present article. First-generation biofuels, i.e., grain and land based biofuels, occupied large areas of arable lands and severely constrained food supplies, are widely disputed. They have been replaced by second-generation biofuels. The raw materials of the second-generation biofuels include plants, straw, grass and other crops and forest residues. However, the cost for production of the second-generation biofuels is higher. Therefore the development of the third-generation biofuels is undergoing. The third-generation technologies use, mainly algae, as raw material to produce bioethanol, biobutanol, biodiesel and hydrogen, and use discarded fruits to produce dimethylfuran, etc. Different countries and regions are experiencing different stages of biofuel industry. In the future the raw materials for biofuel production will be focused on various by-products, wastes, and organisms that have not direct economic benefit for human. Production technologies should be improved or invented to reduce carbon emission and environmental pollution during biofuel production and to reduce production cost.

  17. An assessment of the usefulness of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus subsalsus as a source of biomass for biofuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno R.S. Setta

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays algal biofuels are considered one of the most promising solutions of global energy crisis and climate change for the years to come. By manipulation of the culture conditions, many algal species can be induced to accumulate high concentrations of particular biomolecules and can be directed to the desired output for each fuel. In this context, the present study involved the assessment of the effects of CO2 availability and nitrogen starvation on growth and chemical composition of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus subsalsus, testing a fast-growing native strain. The control experiments were performed with Conway culture medium in 12-day batch cultures, in 6-liter flasks and 12 h photoperiod, with addition of 2 L min-1 filtered air to each flask. Other two experimental conditions were also tested: (i the placement into the cultures of additional dissolved nutrients except nitrogen, one week after the start of growth (N-, and (ii the input of pure CO2 into the flasks from the 5th day of growth (C+. In all cultures, daily cell counts were done throughout the cultivation, as well as measurements of pH and cell biovolumes. Maximum cell yield were found in N-experiments, while cell yields of C+ and control were similar. Dissolved nitrogen was exhausted before the end of the experiments, but dissolved phosphorus was not totally consumed. Protein and chlorophyll-a concentrations decreased from the exponential to the stationary growth phase of all experiments, except for protein in the control. In all experiments, carbohydrate, lipid and total carotenoid increased from the exponential to the stationary growth phase, as an effect of nitrogen limitation. Increments in carbohydrate concentrations were remarkable, achieving more than 42% of the dry weight (dw, but concentrations of lipid were always lower than 13% dw. The addition of pure CO2 did not cause a significant increase in biomass of S. subsalsus nor generated more lipid and carbohydrate than

  18. Streamflow impacts of biofuel policy-driven landscape change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sami Khanal

    Full Text Available Likely changes in precipitation (P and potential evapotranspiration (PET resulting from policy-driven expansion of bioenergy crops in the United States are shown to create significant changes in streamflow volumes and increase water stress in the High Plains. Regional climate simulations for current and biofuel cropping system scenarios are evaluated using the same atmospheric forcing data over the period 1979-2004 using the Weather Research Forecast (WRF model coupled to the NOAH land surface model. PET is projected to increase under the biofuel crop production scenario. The magnitude of the mean annual increase in PET is larger than the inter-annual variability of change in PET, indicating that PET increase is a forced response to the biofuel cropping system land use. Across the conterminous U.S., the change in mean streamflow volume under the biofuel scenario is estimated to range from negative 56% to positive 20% relative to a business-as-usual baseline scenario. In Kansas and Oklahoma, annual streamflow volume is reduced by an average of 20%, and this reduction in streamflow volume is due primarily to increased PET. Predicted increase in mean annual P under the biofuel crop production scenario is lower than its inter-annual variability, indicating that additional simulations would be necessary to determine conclusively whether predicted change in P is a response to biofuel crop production. Although estimated changes in streamflow volume include the influence of P change, sensitivity results show that PET change is the significantly dominant factor causing streamflow change. Higher PET and lower streamflow due to biofuel feedstock production are likely to increase water stress in the High Plains. When pursuing sustainable biofuels policy, decision-makers should consider the impacts of feedstock production on water scarcity.

  19. Streamflow impacts of biofuel policy-driven landscape change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanal, Sami; Anex, Robert P; Anderson, Christopher J; Herzmann, Daryl E

    2014-01-01

    Likely changes in precipitation (P) and potential evapotranspiration (PET) resulting from policy-driven expansion of bioenergy crops in the United States are shown to create significant changes in streamflow volumes and increase water stress in the High Plains. Regional climate simulations for current and biofuel cropping system scenarios are evaluated using the same atmospheric forcing data over the period 1979-2004 using the Weather Research Forecast (WRF) model coupled to the NOAH land surface model. PET is projected to increase under the biofuel crop production scenario. The magnitude of the mean annual increase in PET is larger than the inter-annual variability of change in PET, indicating that PET increase is a forced response to the biofuel cropping system land use. Across the conterminous U.S., the change in mean streamflow volume under the biofuel scenario is estimated to range from negative 56% to positive 20% relative to a business-as-usual baseline scenario. In Kansas and Oklahoma, annual streamflow volume is reduced by an average of 20%, and this reduction in streamflow volume is due primarily to increased PET. Predicted increase in mean annual P under the biofuel crop production scenario is lower than its inter-annual variability, indicating that additional simulations would be necessary to determine conclusively whether predicted change in P is a response to biofuel crop production. Although estimated changes in streamflow volume include the influence of P change, sensitivity results show that PET change is the significantly dominant factor causing streamflow change. Higher PET and lower streamflow due to biofuel feedstock production are likely to increase water stress in the High Plains. When pursuing sustainable biofuels policy, decision-makers should consider the impacts of feedstock production on water scarcity.

  20. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the biofuel production process from sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and soybean oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanz Requena, J.F.; Guimaraes, A.C.; Quiros Alpera, S.; Relea Gangas, E.; Hernandez-Navarro, S.; Navas Gracia, L.M.; Martin-Gil, J.; Fresneda Cuesta, H. [Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes, Valladolid (Spain). Dept. of Natural Resources; Valladolid Univ., Palencia (Spain). Dept. of Forest and Agricultural Engineering

    2011-02-15

    Once ratified the Kyoto protocol, Spain arises the great challenge of reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases. Among the measures proposed is the introduction of biofuels in the market, both for the transport sector and for the production of heat. This paper compares the environmental impact from the production of biofuels whose origin is the oil obtained from sunflower, rapeseed and soybeans. The environmental impact of each production is performed by applying the methodology of life cycle analysis (LCA). The categories where you get a greater impact are land use, fossil fuels, carcinogens, inorganic respiratory and climate change. The cause is mainly due to the processes of seed production. We have also found a significant impact on the drying and preparation processes of the seed as well as the crude soybean oil extracting process. Moreover as the LCA shows production of rapeseed and sunflower has a positive contribution to climate change. (author)

  1. Improving the use of crop models for risk assessment and climate change adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Challinor, Andrew J; Müller, Christoph; Asseng, Senthold; Deva, Chetan; Nicklin, Kathryn Jane; Wallach, Daniel; Vanuytrecht, Eline; Whitfield, Stephen; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Koehler, Ann-Kristin

    2018-01-01

    Crop models are used for an increasingly broad range of applications, with a commensurate proliferation of methods. Careful framing of research questions and development of targeted and appropriate methods are therefore increasingly important. In conjunction with the other authors in this special issue, we have developed a set of criteria for use of crop models in assessments of impacts, adaptation and risk. Our analysis drew on the other papers in this special issue, and on our experience in the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 and the MACSUR, AgMIP and ISIMIP projects. The criteria were used to assess how improvements could be made to the framing of climate change risks, and to outline the good practice and new developments that are needed to improve risk assessment. Key areas of good practice include: i. the development, running and documentation of crop models, with attention given to issues of spatial scale and complexity; ii. the methods used to form crop-climate ensembles, which can be based on model skill and/or spread; iii. the methods used to assess adaptation, which need broadening to account for technological development and to reflect the full range options available. The analysis highlights the limitations of focussing only on projections of future impacts and adaptation options using pre-determined time slices. Whilst this long-standing approach may remain an essential component of risk assessments, we identify three further key components: 1.Working with stakeholders to identify the timing of risks. What are the key vulnerabilities of food systems and what does crop-climate modelling tell us about when those systems are at risk?2.Use of multiple methods that critically assess the use of climate model output and avoid any presumption that analyses should begin and end with gridded output.3.Increasing transparency and inter-comparability in risk assessments. Whilst studies frequently produce ranges that quantify uncertainty, the assumptions

  2. Estimating Sugarcane Water Requirements for Biofuel Feedstock Production in Maui, Hawaii Using Satellite Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Water availability is one of the limiting factors for sustainable production of biofuel crops. A common method for determining crop water requirement is to multiply daily potential evapotranspiration (ETo) calculated from meteorological parameters by a crop coefficient (Kc) to obtain actual crop eva...

  3. Contrasts and synergies in different biofuel reports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalopoulos, A; Landeweerd, L; Van der Werf-Kulichova, Z; Puylaert, P G B; Osseweijer, P

    2011-04-06

    The societal debate on biofuels is characterised by increased complexity. This can hinder the effective governance of the field. This paper attempts a quantitative bird's eye meta-analysis of this complexity by mapping different stakeholder perspectives and expected outcomes as seen in the secondary literature on biofuels, along the lines of the People-Planet-Profit framework. Our analysis illustrates the tension between stated and actual drivers of large scale biofuel development, especially for first generation biofuels. Although environmental (Planet) aspects have dominated the biofuel debate, their overall assessment is mostly negative with regard to first generation biofuels. By contrast, economic (Profit) aspects are the only ones that are assessed positively with regard to first generation biofuels. Furthermore, positive and negative assessments of biofuel development are strongly influenced by the differences in focus between different stakeholder clusters. Stakeholders who appear generally supportive to biofuel development (industry) focus relatively more on aspects that are generally assessed as positive (Profit). By contrast, non-supportive stakeholders (NGO's) tend to focus mainly on aspects that are generally assessed as negative (Planet). Moreover, our analysis of reference lists revealed few citations of primary scientific data, and also that intergovernmental organizations produce the most influential publications in the debate. The surprising lack of listed references to scientific (primary) data reveals a need to assess in which arena the transition of scientific data towards secondary publications takes place, and how one can measure its quality. This work should be understood as a first effort to take some control over a complex and contradictory number of publications, and to allow the effective governance of the field through the identification of areas of overlapping consensus and persisting controversy, without reverting to claims on

  4. Characteristics and safety assessment of intractable proteins in genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bushey, Dean F; Bannon, Gary A; Delaney, Bryan F; Graser, Gerson; Hefford, Mary; Jiang, Xiaoxu; Lee, Thomas C; Madduri, Krishna M; Pariza, Michael; Privalle, Laura S; Ranjan, Rakesh; Saab-Rincon, Gloria; Schafer, Barry W; Thelen, Jay J; Zhang, John X Q; Harper, Marc S

    2014-07-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops may contain newly expressed proteins that are described as "intractable". Safety assessment of these proteins may require some adaptations to the current assessment procedures. Intractable proteins are defined here as those proteins with properties that make it extremely difficult or impossible with current methods to express in heterologous systems; isolate, purify, or concentrate; quantify (due to low levels); demonstrate biological activity; or prove equivalency with plant proteins. Five classes of intractable proteins are discussed here: (1) membrane proteins, (2) signaling proteins, (3) transcription factors, (4) N-glycosylated proteins, and (5) resistance proteins (R-proteins, plant pathogen recognition proteins that activate innate immune responses). While the basic tiered weight-of-evidence approach for assessing the safety of GM crops proposed by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) in 2008 is applicable to intractable proteins, new or modified methods may be required. For example, the first two steps in Tier I (hazard identification) analysis, gathering of applicable history of safe use (HOSU) information and bioinformatics analysis, do not require protein isolation. The extremely low level of expression of most intractable proteins should be taken into account while assessing safety of the intractable protein in GM crops. If Tier II (hazard characterization) analyses requiring animal feeding are judged to be necessary, alternatives to feeding high doses of pure protein may be needed. These alternatives are discussed here. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Assessment of physical and chemical indicators of sandy soil quality for sustainable crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipiec, Jerzy; Usowicz, Boguslaw

    2017-04-01

    Sandy soils are used in agriculture in many regions of the world. The share of sandy soils in Poland is about 55%. The aim of this study was to assess spatial variability of soil physical and chemical properties affecting soil quality and crop yields in the scale of field (40 x 600 m) during three years of different weather conditions. The experimental field was located on the post glacial and acidified sandy deposits of low productivity (Szaniawy, Podlasie Region, Poland). Physical soil quality indicators included: content of sand, silt, clay and water, bulk density and those chemical: organic carbon, cation exchange capacity, acidity (pH). Measurements of the most soil properties were done at spring and summer each year in topsoil and subsoil layer in 150 points. Crop yields were evaluated in places close to measuring points of the soil properties. Basic statistics including mean, standard deviation, skewness, kurtosis minimal, maximal and correlations between the soil properties and crop yields were calculated. Analysis of spatial dependence and distribution for each property was performed using geostatistical methods. Mathematical functions were fitted to the experimentally derived semivariograms that were used for mapping the soil properties and crop yield by kriging. The results showed that the largest variations had clay content (CV 67%) and the lowest: sand content (5%). The crop yield was most negatively correlated with sand content and most positively with soil water content and cation exchange capacity. In general the exponential semivariogram models fairly good matched to empirical data. The range of semivariogram models of the measured indicators varied from 14 m to 250 m indicate high and moderate spatial variability. The values of the nugget-to-sill+nugget ratios showed that most of the soil properties and crop yields exhibited strong and moderate spatial dependency. The kriging maps allowed identification of low yielding sub-field areas that

  6. Biofuels and biodiversity in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. O’Farrell

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The South African government, as part of its efforts to mitigate the effects of the ongoing energy crisis, has proposed that biofuels should form an important part of the country’s energy supply. The contribution of liquid biofuels to the national fuel supply is expected to be at least 2% by 2013. The Biofuels Industrial Strategy of the Republic of South Africa of 2007 outlines key incentives for reaching this target and promoting the development of a sustainable biofuels industry. This paper discusses issues relating to this strategy as well as key drivers in biofuel processing with reference to potential impacts on South Africa’s rich biological heritage.

    Our understanding of many of the broader aspects of biofuels needs to be enhanced. We identify key areas where challenges exist, such as the link between technology, conversion processes and feedstock selection. The available and proposed processing technologies have important implications for land use and the use of different non-native plant species as desired feedstocks. South Africa has a long history of planting non-native plant species for commercial purposes, notably for commercial forestry. Valuable lessons can be drawn from this experience on mitigation against potential impacts by considering plausible scenarios and the appropriate management framework and policies. We conceptualise key issues embodied in the biofuels strategy, adapting a framework developed for assessing and quantifying impacts of invasive alien species. In so doing, we provide guidelines for minimising the potential impacts of biofuel projects on biodiversity.

  7. Biofuels. Environment, technology and food security

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Escobar, Jose C.; Lora, Electo S.; Venturini, Osvaldo J. [NEST - Excellence Group in Thermal Power and Distributed Generation, Mechanical Engineering Institute, Universidade Federal de Itajuba (Brazil); Yanez, Edgar E. [CENIPALMA, Oil Palm Research Center - Cenipalma, Calle 21 42-C-47, Bogota (Colombia); Castillo, Edgar F. [CENICANA - Sugarcane Research Center of Colombia, Calle 58 N, 3BN-110, A.A., 9138 - Cali (Colombia); Almazan, Oscar [ICIDCA - Instituto Cubano de Investigaciones de los Derivados de la Cana de Azucar, Via Blanca y Carretera Central 804, San Miguel del Padron, A.P. 4036, La Habana (Cuba)

    2009-08-15

    The imminent decline of the world's oil production, its high market prices and environmental impacts have made the production of biofuels to reach unprecedent volumes over the last 10 years. This is why there have been intense debates among international organizations and political leaders in order to discuss the impacts of the biofuel use intensification. Besides assessing the causes of the rise in the demand and production of biofuels, this paper also shows the state of the art of their world's current production. It is also discussed different vegetable raw materials sources and technological paths to produce biofuels, as well as issues regarding production cost and the relation of their economic feasibility with oil international prices. The environmental impacts of programs that encourage biofuel production, farmland land requirements and the impacts on food production are also discussed, considering the life cycle analysis (LCA) as a tool. It is concluded that the rise in the use of biofuels is inevitable and that international cooperation, regulations and certification mechanisms must be established regarding the use of land, the mitigation of environmental and social impacts caused by biofuel production. It is also mandatory to establish appropriate working conditions and decent remuneration for workers of the biofuels production chain. (author)

  8. Assessment of surface water quality of inland valleys for cropping in SW Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aboyeji, O. S.; Ogunkoya, O. O.

    2017-05-01

    Inland valley agro-ecosystems which are a category of wetlands have potential for sustainable crop production relative to uplands. A major challenge to their utilisation in the study area is their heterogeneity in hydrology, morphology, soil types and agro-economy. The study assessed the surface water quality of three typologies of the agro-ecosystems—amphitheatre-like valley-heads (Am), valley-side (VS), and low depression (LD)—for cropping. Surface water of six sites were sampled during the wet and dry seasons. The physicochemical properties and metal concentrations of the samples were analysed. Descriptive statistics and water quality indices were used to assess the suitability of the waters of the agro-ecosystems for cropping. Results showed that the valleys have neutral to slightly alkaline waters. Values of physicochemical parameters are generally within the acceptable range for cropping. The concentration of major cations varied across the inland valley types, but exhibited similar characteristics within each valley. The dominance of the major cations is in the order of Na > Ca > K > Mg. ANOVA results indicated that there is no significant difference in the concentration of heavy metals across the valleys ( F = 2.044, p = 0.138, α = 0.05). Generally, most of the physicochemical parameters and trace metals have low concentrations and are non-toxic to plants. Values of water quality indices (sodium adsorption ratio, soluble sodium percentage, total dissolved solids and permeability index) indicated that the concentrations of minerals in waters across the valley typologies are generally within permissible limits for cropping.

  9. Biofuels – On the way to sustainability?: Opinion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Kaltschmitt

    2016-12-01

    stabilizing element because biofuels and conventional fossil fuels can be exchanged completely and immediately. They can help to level out price variations of biomass by taking up agricultural products in case of a global production exceeding the demand from the food and feed market. Vice versa, biofuel production could be reduced in case of low yields and a resulting shortage of biomass to alleviate pressure on the food and feed market. One precondition for creating such a harmonized or stabilized market is that sustainability criteria, which are already mandatorily applied to biomass feedstocks used for biofuel production, are applied to all traded agricultural products regardless of their use. Consequently, such a concept could boost a more sustainable agricultural and forestry primary productionFurthermore, the following targets need to be achieved in the years to come in order to increase competitiveness, reduce negative environmental consequences and to promote acceptance of biofuels:Widening of the biomass resource basis; this includes better crops, the use of organic wastes as well as "new" biomass feedstocks (e.g. algae;Technological advances in biomass production and downstream processing in order to increase efficiencies throughout the overall provision chain;Better combination of biomass production and processing for the various markets to exploit synergy effects and minimize losses (e.g. promotion of the bio-refinery concept;Improved assessment of sustainability criteria throughout the overall provision chain; this includes also aspects like impacts on biodiversity and soil properties, iLUC, child labor etc. Such aspects are essential to cope with an increasing demand for biomass driven by a growing world population, changing consumption patterns as well as an increasing demand for renewable energy provision and industrial purposes. All over, tremendous progress has been made in recent years in increasing sustainability and efficiency of biofuel production

  10. Stream Health Sensitivity to Landscape Changes due to Bioenergy Crops Expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nejadhashemi, A.; Einheuser, M. D.; Woznicki, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Global demand for bioenergy has increased due to uncertainty in oil markets, environmental concerns, and expected increases in energy consumption worldwide. To develop a sustainable biofuel production strategy, the adverse environmental impacts of bioenergy crops expansion should be understood. To study the impact of bioenergy crops expansion on stream health, the adaptive neural-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) was used to predict macroinvertebrate and fish stream health measures. The Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI), Family Index of Biological Integrity (Family IBI), and Number of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera taxa (EPT taxa) were used as macroinvertebrate measures, while the Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) was used for fish. A high-resolution biophysical model built using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to obtain water quantity and quality variables for input into the ANFIS stream health predictive models. Twenty unique crop rotations were developed to examine impacts of bioenergy crops expansion on stream health in the Saginaw Bay basin. Traditional intensive row crops generated more pollution than current landuse conditions, while second-generation biofuel crops associated with less intensive agricultural activities resulted in water quality improvement. All three macroinvertebrate measures were negatively impacted during intensive row crop productions but improvement was predicted when producing perennial crops. However, the expansion of native grass, switchgrass, and miscanthus production resulted in reduced IBI relative to first generation row crops. This study demonstrates that ecosystem complexity requires examination of multiple stream health measures to avoid potential adverse impacts of landuse change on stream health.

  11. Assessment of potential greenhouse gas mitigation from changes to crop root mass and architecture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paustian, Keith [Booz Allen Hamiltion Inc., McLean, VA (United States); Campbell, Nell [Booz Allen Hamiltion Inc., McLean, VA (United States); Dorich, Chris [Booz Allen Hamiltion Inc., McLean, VA (United States); Marx, Ernest [Booz Allen Hamiltion Inc., McLean, VA (United States); Swan, Amy [Booz Allen Hamiltion Inc., McLean, VA (United States)

    2016-01-29

    Reducing (and eventually reversing) the increase in greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere due to human activities, and thus reducing the extent and severity of anthropogenic climate change, is one of the great challenges facing humanity. While most of the man-caused increase in GHGs has been due to fossil fuel use, land use (including agriculture) currently accounts for about 25% of total GHG emissions and thus there is a need to include emission reductions from the land use sector as part of an effective climate change mitigation strategy. In addition, analyses included in the recent IPCC 5th Climate Change Assessment report suggests that it may not be possible to achieve large enough emissions reductions in the energy, transport and industrial sectors alone to stabilize GHG concentrations at a level commensurate with a less than 2°C global average temperature increase, without the help of a substantial CO2 sink (i.e., atmospheric CO2 removal) from the land use sector. One of the potential carbon sinks that could contribute to this goal is increasing C storage in soil organic matter on managed lands. This report details a preliminary scoping analysis, to assess the potential agricultural area in the US – where appropriate soil, climate and land use conditions exist – to determine the land area on which ‘improved root phenotype’ crops could be deployed and to evaluate the potential long-term soil C storage, given a set of ‘bounding scenarios’ of increased crop root input and/or rooting depth for major crop species (e.g., row crops (corn, sorghum, soybeans), small grains (wheat, barley, oats), and hay and pasture perennial forages). The enhanced root phenotype scenarios assumed 25, 50 and 100% increase in total root C inputs, in combination with five levels of modifying crop root distributions (i.e., no change and four scenarios with increasing downward shift in root distributions). We also analyzed impacts of greater root

  12. Cloud Cover Assessment for Operational Crop Monitoring Systems in Tropical Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaque Daniel Rocha Eberhardt

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The potential of optical remote sensing data to identify, map and monitor croplands is well recognized. However, clouds strongly limit the usefulness of optical imagery for these applications. This paper aims at assessing cloud cover conditions over four states in the tropical and sub-tropical Center-South region of Brazil to guide the development of an appropriate agricultural monitoring system based on Landsat-like imagery. Cloudiness was assessed during overlapping four months periods to match the typical length of crop cycles in the study area. The percentage of clear sky occurrence was computed from the 1 km resolution MODIS Cloud Mask product (MOD35 considering 14 years of data between July 2000 and June 2014. Results showed high seasonality of cloud occurrence within the crop year with strong variations across the study area. The maximum seasonality was observed for the two states in the northern part of the study area (i.e., the ones closer to the Equator line, which also presented the lowest averaged values (15% of clear sky occurrence during the main (summer cropping period (November to February. In these locations, optical data faces severe constraints for mapping summer crops. On the other hand, relatively favorable conditions were found in the southern part of the study region. In the South, clear sky values of around 45% were found and no significant clear sky seasonality was observed. Results underpin the challenges to implement an operational crop monitoring system based solely on optical remote sensing imagery in tropical and sub-tropical regions, in particular if short-cycle crops have to be monitored during the cloudy summer months. To cope with cloudiness issues, we recommend the use of new systems with higher repetition rates such as Sentinel-2. For local studies, Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAVs might be used to augment the observing capability. Multi-sensor approaches combining optical and microwave data can be another

  13. Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Agricultural Water Demands and Crop Yields in California's Central Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tansey, M. K.; Flores-Lopez, F.; Young, C. A.; Huntington, J. L.

    2012-12-01

    Long term planning for the management of California's water resources requires assessment of the effects of future climate changes on both water supply and demand. Considerable progress has been made on the evaluation of the effects of future climate changes on water supplies but less information is available with regard to water demands. Uncertainty in future climate projections increases the difficulty of assessing climate impacts and evaluating long range adaptation strategies. Compounding the uncertainty in the future climate projections is the fact that most readily available downscaled climate projections lack sufficient meteorological information to compute evapotranspiration (ET) by the widely accepted ASCE Penman-Monteith (PM) method. This study addresses potential changes in future Central Valley water demands and crop yields by examining the effects of climate change on soil evaporation, plant transpiration, growth and yield for major types of crops grown in the Central Valley of California. Five representative climate scenarios based on 112 bias corrected spatially downscaled CMIP 3 GCM climate simulations were developed using the hybrid delta ensemble method to span a wide range future climate uncertainty. Analysis of historical California Irrigation Management Information System meteorological data was combined with several meteorological estimation methods to compute future solar radiation, wind speed and dew point temperatures corresponding to the GCM projected temperatures and precipitation. Future atmospheric CO2 concentrations corresponding to the 5 representative climate projections were developed based on weighting IPCC SRES emissions scenarios. The Land, Atmosphere, and Water Simulator (LAWS) model was used to compute ET and yield changes in the early, middle and late 21st century for 24 representative agricultural crops grown in the Sacramento, San Joaquin and Tulare Lake basins. Study results indicate that changes in ET and yield vary

  14. Assessing Crop Conditions through the Use of Remote Sensing and Agricultural and Radar Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davitt, A. W. D.; McDonald, K. C.; Winter, J.

    2016-12-01

    California and The Central Valley are presently experiencing one of that region's worst, persistent droughts on record. Due to the drought, the majority of the agricultural regions located in the Central Valley have faced reduced surface water allocations, negatively impacting crop production and the socioeconomics of the region. As a result of these effects, there has been an increased incentive to consider new ways to maximize agricultural water use efficiency. Recent advances in remote sensing and agricultural modelling provide the ability to improve agricultural management for end users to better understand field conditions, allowing the users to make informed decisions on irrigation timing and amounts. Our research explores the effectiveness of Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer Cropping Systems Model (DSSAT-CSM) in simulating wheat, corn, and rice for water year 2015 in Yolo County, California. This will be accomplished through the evaluation of multi-temporal C-band radar backscatter from the Sentinel-1 satellite and the Michigan's microwave canopy scattering model (MIMICS) to simulate Sentinel-1 radar for each crop type based on vegetation structure outputs from DSSAT-CSM. By linking Sentinel-1 and MIMICS to DSSAT-CSM, we create a verified model for agricultural monitoring that can potentially support the assessment of conditions within agricultural fields. This would allow growers to optimize use of limited water supplies through informed water management practices, improving crop conditions and yield in a water stressed region.

  15. A New Satellite Measurement Capability for Assessing Damage to Crops from Regional Scale Ozone Pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, J. J.; Creilson, J. K.; Parker, P. A.; Ainsworth, E. A.; Vining, G. G.; Szarka, J. L.

    2009-05-01

    High concentrations of ground-level ozone are frequently measured over farmland regions in many parts of the world. Since laboratory data show that ozone can significantly impact crop productivity if levels above a threshold concentration are reached, there is a consensus that crop yield should be impacted now and that the effects will become even more detrimental as global background concentrations continue to rise, as suggested by the latest IPCC report. Using the long-term record of tropospheric ozone derived from satellite measurements (http://asd-www.larc.nasa.gov/TOR/data.html), we present a methodology that can be used to assess the impact of regional ozone pollution on crop productivity. In this study, we use soybean crop yield data during a 5-year period over the Midwest of the United States and analyze the results using multiple linear regression statistical models. The results are consistent with findings using conventional ground-based measurements and with results obtained from an open-air experimental facility SoyFACE (Soybean Free Air Concentration Enrichment) in central Illinois. Our analysis suggests that the cost to the farmers globally is substantial, and supports other studies that calculate an economic loss to the farming community of more than 10 billion dollars annually.

  16. Use of Unmanned Aerial System to assess wildlife (Sus scrofa) damage to crops (Zea mays)

    OpenAIRE

    Michez, Adrien; Morelle, Kevin; Lehaire, François; Widar, Jérôme; Authelet, Manon; Vermeulen, Cédric; Lejeune, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Damage caused by ungulates to agricultural areas are difficult to evaluate because the real extent of the damage remains usually poorly described and potentially arising conflicts. Recent advances in unmanned aerial system (UAS) provide new versatile mapping and quantification possibilities in a wide range of applications. We used crop fields (Zea mays) damaged by wild boar (Sus scrofa) and compared the extent of the damage by means of three methods: i) traditional ground-based assessment...

  17. Co-generation of biofuels for transportation and heat for district heating systems-an assessment of the national possibilities in the EU

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Egeskog, Andrea [Physical Resource Theory, Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Goeteborg (Sweden); Hansson, Julia, E-mail: julia.hansson@chalmers.s [Physical Resource Theory, Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Goeteborg (Sweden); Berndes, Goeran [Physical Resource Theory, Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Goeteborg (Sweden); Werner, Sven [School of Business and Engineering, Halmstad University, SE-301 18 Halmstad (Sweden)

    2009-12-15

    Biomass gasification with subsequent synthesis to liquid or gaseous biofuels generates heat possible to use in district heating (DH) systems. The purpose here is to estimate the heat sink capacity of DH systems in the individual EU nations and assess the possibilities for biomass-gasification-based co-generation of synthetic biofuels for transportation and heat (CBH) for DH systems in the EU countries. The possibilities are assessed (i) assuming different levels of competiveness relative to other heat supply options of CBH corresponding to the EU target for renewable energy for transportation for 2020 and (ii) assuming that the potential expansion of the DH systems by 2020 is met with CBH. In general, the size of the DH heat sinks represented by the existing national aggregated DH systems can accommodate CBH at a scale that is significant compared to the 2020 renewable transportation target. The possibilities for CBH also depend on its cost-competitiveness compared to, e.g., fossil-fuel-based CHP. The possible expansion of the DH systems by 2020 represents an important opportunity for CBH and is also influenced by the potential increase in the use of other heat supply options, such as, industrial waste heat, waste incineration, and CHP.

  18. Co-generation of biofuels for transportation and heat for district heating systems. An assessment of the national possibilities in the EU

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Egeskog, Andrea; Hansson, Julia; Berndes, Goeran [Physical Resource Theory, Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Goeteborg (Sweden); Werner, Sven [School of Business and Engineering, Halmstad University, SE-301 18 Halmstad (Sweden)

    2009-12-15

    Biomass gasification with subsequent synthesis to liquid or gaseous biofuels generates heat possible to use in district heating (DH) systems. The purpose here is to estimate the heat sink capacity of DH systems in the individual EU nations and assess the possibilities for biomass-gasification-based co-generation of synthetic biofuels for transportation and heat (CBH) for DH systems in the EU countries. The possibilities are assessed (1) assuming different levels of competiveness relative to other heat supply options of CBH corresponding to the EU target for renewable energy for transportation for 2020 and (2) assuming that the potential expansion of the DH systems by 2020 is met with CBH. In general, the size of the DH heat sinks represented by the existing national aggregated DH systems can accommodate CBH at a scale that is significant compared to the 2020 renewable transportation target. The possibilities for CBH also depend on its cost-competitiveness compared to, e.g., fossil-fuel-based CHP. The possible expansion of the DH systems by 2020 represents an important opportunity for CBH and is also influenced by the potential increase in the use of other heat supply options, such as, industrial waste heat, waste incineration, and CHP. (author)

  19. Baseline health conditions in selected communities of northern Sierra Leone as revealed by the health impact assessment of a biofuel project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, Mirko S; Knoblauch, Astrid M; Righetti, Aurélie A; Divall, Mark J; Koroma, Manso M; Fofanah, Ibrahim; Turay, Hamid; Hodges, Mary H; Utzinger, Jürg

    2014-09-01

    As biofuel projects may be associated with positive and negative effects on people's health and wellbeing, a health impact assessment was performed for the Addax Bioenergy Sierra Leone (ABSL) project. We present data from the baseline health survey, which will provide a point of departure for future monitoring and evaluation activities. In December 2010, a cross-sectional survey was carried out in eight potentially affected communities. A broad set of clinical and parasitological indicators were assessed using standardised, quality-controlled procedures, including anthropometry and prevalence of anaemia, Plasmodium falciparum and helminth infections. Complete datasets were obtained from 1221 individuals of 194 households and eight schools. Of children aged health conditions, in combination with future health surveys, will deepen the understanding of how a biofuel project impacts on community health in a rural setting in sub-Saharan Africa. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Procedure to select test organisms for environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops in aquatic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilbeck, Angelika; Bundschuh, Rebecca; Bundschuh, Mirco; Hofmann, Frieder; Oehen, Bernadette; Otto, Mathias; Schulz, Ralf; Trtikova, Miluse

    2017-11-01

    For a long time, the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically modified (GM) crops focused mainly on terrestrial ecosystems. This changed when it was scientifically established that aquatic ecosystems are exposed to GM crop residues that may negatively affect aquatic species. To assist the risk assessment process, we present a tool to identify ecologically relevant species usable in tiered testing prior to authorization or for biological monitoring in the field. The tool is derived from a selection procedure for terrestrial ecosystems with substantial but necessary changes to adequately consider the differences in the type of ecosystems. By using available information from the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), the procedure can draw upon existing biological data on aquatic systems. The proposed procedure for aquatic ecosystems was tested for the first time during an expert workshop in 2013, using the cultivation of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize as the GM crop and 1 stream type as the receiving environment in the model system. During this workshop, species executing important ecological functions in aquatic environments were identified in a stepwise procedure according to predefined ecological criteria. By doing so, we demonstrated that the procedure is practicable with regard to its goal: From the initial long list of 141 potentially exposed aquatic species, 7 species and 1 genus were identified as the most suitable candidates for nontarget testing programs. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:974-979. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  1. A case study for assessment of microbial community dynamics in genetically modified Bt cotton crop fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapur, Manisha; Bhatia, Ranjana; Pandey, Gunjan; Pandey, Janmejay; Paul, Debarati; Jain, Rakesh K

    2010-08-01

    Bt cotton was the first genetically modified crop approved for use in India. However, only a few studies have been conducted to assess the feasibility of its commercial application. Bt cotton is genetically modified to express a proteinaceous endotoxin (Cry) encoded by cry gene of Bacillus thuringiensis that has specific insecticidal activity against bollworms. Therefore, the amount of pesticides used for growing Bt cotton is postulated to be considerably low as compared to their non-Bt counterparts. Alternatively, it is also speculated that application of a genetically modified crop may alter the bio-geochemical balance of the agriculture field(s). Microbial community composition and dynamics is an important descriptor for assessment of such alterations. In the present study, we have assessed the culturable and non-culturable microbial diversities in Bt cotton and non-Bt cotton soils to determine the ecological consequences of application of Bt cotton. The analyses of microbial community structures indicated that cropping of Bt cotton did not adversely affect the diversity of the microbial communities.

  2. social and economic impact on the use of biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Barrera Aguilar

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Biofuels currently represent a potential source of renewable energy. As well as that could lead to major new markets for farmers. However, only some of the current biofuel programs are feasible, and most involve high social costs and environmental ironically. The economic, environmental and social impacts of biofuels are widely debated and needs to be carefully assessed before extending public support to programs of biofuels on a large scale.The country strategy on biofuels should be based on a thorough assessment of these opportunities and costs in the medium and long term. One factor to consider is that oil reserves will run out, experts say, in fifty years. This article presents the social and economic impact of biofuel production in industrialized countries and developing countries that are or could become, efficient producers in export markets and new social and economic rentablesmpacto use Biofuels

  3. Global evaluation of biofuel potential from microalgae

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jeffrey W. Moody; Christopher M. McGinty; Jason C. Quinn

    2014-01-01

    In the current literature, the life cycle, technoeconomic, and resource assessments of microalgae-based biofuel production systems have relied on growth models extrapolated from laboratory-scale data...

  4. Changes in gene and protein expression during tomato ripening - consequences for the safety assessment of new crop plant varieties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kok, E.J.; Lehesranta, S.J.; Dijk, van J.P.; Helsdingen, J.R.; Dijksma, W.T.P.; Hoef, van A.M.A.; Koistinen, K.M.; Karenlampi, S.O.; Kuiper, H.A.; Keijer, J.

    2008-01-01

    An important part of the comparative approach to assess the safety of new crop plant varieties is an extensive compositional analysis, including the measurement of all key nutrients and antinutrients in a specific crop. The study described here investigates the applicability of `omics' technologies,

  5. Assessment of nutrient use in annual and perennial crops: a functional concept for analyzing nitrogen use efficiency

    OpenAIRE

    Weih, Martin; Asplund, Linnéa; Bergkvist, Göran

    2011-01-01

    The use of more nutrient-efficient crops is important for maintaining yields while enhancing environmental sustainability. Various approaches are being applied to evaluate aspects of plant nutrient use efficiency, among them ecological concepts based on accumulation and losses of biomass and nutrients, agronomic concepts with a major focus on agricultural crops and harvested products, and physiological approaches assessing single physiological processes important fo...

  6. Unintended Environmental Consequences of a Global Biofuels Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kicklighter, D. W.; Gurgel, A. C.; Melillo, J. M.; Reilly, J.; Cronin, T. W.; Felzer, B. S.; Paltsev, S.; Schlosser, C. A.; Sokolov, A. P.

    2008-12-01

    Biofuels are being promoted as an important part of the global energy mix to meet the climate change challenge. The environmental costs of biofuels produced with current technologies at small scales have been studied, but little research has been done on the consequences of an aggressive global biofuels program with advanced technologies using cellulosic feedstocks. Using a simulation modeling approach, we explore two scenarios for cellulosic biofuels production and find that with either one, biofuels could make a substantial contribution to meeting global-scale energy needs in the future, but with significant unintended environmental consequences. If forests are cleared to grow cellulosic biofuels crops, we estimate that about 105 Pg C would be released to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and would cancel any greenhouse-gas savings from the substitution of biofuels for fossil fuels during the first half of the 21st century. Alternatively, if most cellulosic biofuels are grown on previously cleared land or land cleared of low-stature natural vegetation, we estimate that up to 30 Pg C would still be released to the atmosphere before a net greenhouse gas benefit from a global biofuels program is realized about the middle of the 21st century. With either alternative, we expect most of the world's cellulosic biofuels crops (14 to 15 million km2) to be grown on the relatively inexpensive but productive lands of the sub-tropics and tropics, with negative impacts on the biodiversity of these regions. Cellulosic biofuels may yet serve as a crucial wedge in the solution to the climate change problem, but must be deployed with caution so as not to jeopardize biodiversity, compromise ecosystems services, or undermine climate policy.

  7. Assessing COSMO-SkyMed capability for crops identification and monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guarini, R.; Dini, L.

    2015-12-01

    In the last decade, it has been possible to better understand the impact of agricultural human practices on the global environmental change at different spatial (from local to global) and time (from seasonal to decadal) scales. This has been achieved thanks to: big dataset continuously acquired by Earth Observation (EO) satellites; the improved capabilities of remote sensing techniques in extracting valuable information from the EO datasets; the new EO data policy which allowed unrestricted data usage; the net technologies which allowed to quickly and easily share national, international and market-derived information; an increasingly performing computing technology which allows to massively process large amount of data easier and at decreasing costs. To better understand the environmental impacts of agriculture and to monitor the consequences of human agricultural activities on the biosphere, scientists require to better identify crops and monitor crop conditions over time and space. Traditionally, NDVI time series maps derived from optical sensors have been used to this aim. As well-known this important source of information is conditioned by cloud cover. Unlike passive systems, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) ones are almost insensitive to atmospheric influences; thus, they are especially suitable for crop identification and condition monitoring. Among the other SAR systems currently in orbit, the Italian Space Agency (ASI) COSMO Sky-Med® (CSK®) constellation (X-band, frequency 9.6 GHz, wavelength 3.1 cm), especially for its peculiar high revisit capability (up to four images in 16 days with same acquisition geometry) seems to be particular suitable for providing information in addition and/or in alternative to other optical EO systems. To assess the capability of the CSK® constellation in identifying crops and in monitoring crops condition in 2013 ASI started the "AGRICIDOT" project. Some of the main project achievements will be presented at the congress.

  8. A holistic high-throughput screening framework for biofuel feedstock assessment that characterises variations in soluble sugars and cell wall composition in Sorghum bicolor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Antony P; Palmer, William M; Byrt, Caitlin S; Furbank, Robert T; Grof, Christopher Pl

    2013-12-23

    A major hindrance to the development of high yielding biofuel feedstocks is the ability to rapidly assess large populations for fermentable sugar yields. Whilst recent advances have outlined methods for the rapid assessment of biomass saccharification efficiency, none take into account the total biomass, or the soluble sugar fraction of the plant. Here we present a holistic high-throughput methodology for assessing sweet Sorghum bicolor feedstocks at 10 days post-anthesis for total fermentable sugar yields including stalk biomass, soluble sugar concentrations, and cell wall saccharification efficiency. A mathematical method for assessing whole S. bicolor stalks using the fourth internode from the base of the plant proved to be an effective high-throughput strategy for assessing stalk biomass, soluble sugar concentrations, and cell wall composition and allowed calculation of total stalk fermentable sugars. A high-throughput method for measuring soluble sucrose, glucose, and fructose using partial least squares (PLS) modelling of juice Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra was developed. The PLS prediction was shown to be highly accurate with each sugar attaining a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.99 with a root mean squared error of prediction (RMSEP) of 11.93, 5.52, and 3.23 mM for sucrose, glucose, and fructose, respectively, which constitutes an error of <4% in each case. The sugar PLS model correlated well with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and brix measures. Similarly, a high-throughput method for predicting enzymatic cell wall digestibility using PLS modelling of FTIR spectra obtained from S. bicolor bagasse was developed. The PLS prediction was shown to be accurate with an R2 of 0.94 and RMSEP of 0.64 μg.mgDW-1.h-1. This methodology has been demonstrated as an efficient and effective way to screen large biofuel feedstock populations for biomass, soluble sugar concentrations, and cell wall digestibility simultaneously allowing a

  9. Biofuels Baseline 2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamelinck, C.; Koper, M.; Berndes, G.; Englund, O.; Diaz-Chavez, R.; Kunen, E.; Walden, D.

    2011-10-15

    The European Union is promoting the use of biofuels and other renewable energy in transport. In April 2009, the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) was adopted that set a 10% target for renewable energy in transport in 2020. The directive sets several requirements to the sustainability of biofuels marketed in the frame of the Directive. The Commission is required to report to the European Parliament on a regular basis on a range of sustainability impacts resulting from the use of biofuels in the EU. This report serves as a baseline of information for regular monitoring on the impacts of the Directive. Chapter 2 discusses the EU biofuels market, the production and consumption of biofuels and international trade. It is derived where the feedstock for EU consumed biofuels originally come from. Chapter 3 discusses the biofuel policy framework in the EU and major third countries of supply. It looks at various policy aspects that are relevant to comply with the EU sustainability requirements. Chapter 4 discusses the environmental and social sustainability aspects associated with EU biofuels and their feedstock. Chapter 5 discusses the macro-economic effects that indirectly result from increased EU biofuels consumption, on commodity prices and land use. Chapter 6 presents country factsheets for main third countries that supplied biofuels to the EU market in 2008.

  10. Energy technology impacts on agriculture with a bibliography of models for impact assessment on crop ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rupp, E.M.; Luxmoore, R.J.; Parzyck, D.C.

    1979-09-01

    Possible impacts of energy technologies on agriculture are evaluated, and some of the available simulation models that can be used for predictive purposes are identified. An overview of energy technologies and impacts on the environment is presented to provide a framework for the commentary on the models. Coal combustion is shown to have major impacts on the environment and these will continue into the next century according to current Department of Energy projections. Air pollution effects will thus remain as the major impacts on crop ecosystems. Two hundred reports were evaluated, representing a wide range of models increasing in complexity from mathematical functions (fitted to data) through parametric models (which represent phenomena without describing the mechanisms) to mechanistic models (based on physical, chemical, and physiological principles). Many models were viewed as suitable for adaptation to technology assessment through the incorporation of representative dose-response relationships. It is clear that in many cases available models cannot be taken and directly applied in technology assessment. Very few models of air pollutant-crop interactions were identified, even though there is a considerable data base of pollutant effects on crops.

  11. Assessing uncertainties in crop and pasture ensemble model simulations of productivity and N2 O emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrhardt, Fiona; Soussana, Jean-François; Bellocchi, Gianni; Grace, Peter; McAuliffe, Russel; Recous, Sylvie; Sándor, Renáta; Smith, Pete; Snow, Val; de Antoni Migliorati, Massimiliano; Basso, Bruno; Bhatia, Arti; Brilli, Lorenzo; Doltra, Jordi; Dorich, Christopher D; Doro, Luca; Fitton, Nuala; Giacomini, Sandro J; Grant, Brian; Harrison, Matthew T; Jones, Stephanie K; Kirschbaum, Miko U F; Klumpp, Katja; Laville, Patricia; Léonard, Joël; Liebig, Mark; Lieffering, Mark; Martin, Raphaël; Massad, Raia S; Meier, Elizabeth; Merbold, Lutz; Moore, Andrew D; Myrgiotis, Vasileios; Newton, Paul; Pattey, Elizabeth; Rolinski, Susanne; Sharp, Joanna; Smith, Ward N; Wu, Lianhai; Zhang, Qing

    2017-10-28

    Simulation models are extensively used to predict agricultural productivity and greenhouse gas emissions. However, the uncertainties of (reduced) model ensemble simulations have not been assessed systematically for variables affecting food security and climate change mitigation, within multi-species agricultural contexts. We report an international model comparison and benchmarking exercise, showing the potential of multi-model ensembles to predict productivity and nitrous oxide (N2 O) emissions for wheat, maize, rice and temperate grasslands. Using a multi-stage modelling protocol, from blind simulations (stage 1) to partial (stages 2-4) and full calibration (stage 5), 24 process-based biogeochemical models were assessed individually or as an ensemble against long-term experimental data from four temperate grassland and five arable crop rotation sites spanning four continents. Comparisons were performed by reference to the experimental uncertainties of observed yields and N2 O emissions. Results showed that across sites and crop/grassland types, 23%-40% of the uncalibrated individual models were within two standard deviations (SD) of observed yields, while 42 (rice) to 96% (grasslands) of the models were within 1 SD of observed N2 O emissions. At stage 1, ensembles formed by the three lowest prediction model errors predicted both yields and N2 O emissions within experimental uncertainties for 44% and 33% of the crop and grassland growth cycles, respectively. Partial model calibration (stages 2-4) markedly reduced prediction errors of the full model ensemble E-median for crop grain yields (from 36% at stage 1 down to 4% on average) and grassland productivity (from 44% to 27%) and to a lesser and more variable extent for N2 O emissions. Yield-scaled N2 O emissions (N2 O emissions divided by crop yields) were ranked accurately by three-model ensembles across crop species and field sites. The potential of using process-based model ensembles to predict jointly

  12. Next generation biofuel engineering in prokaryotes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronenberg, Luisa S.; Marcheschi, Ryan J.; Liao, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Next-generation biofuels must be compatible with current transportation infrastructure and be derived from environmentally sustainable resources that do not compete with food crops. Many bacterial species have unique properties advantageous to the production of such next-generation fuels. However, no single species possesses all characteristics necessary to make high quantities of fuels from plant waste or CO2. Species containing a subset of the desired characteristics are used as starting points for engineering organisms with all desired attributes. Metabolic engineering of model organisms has yielded high titer production of advanced fuels, including alcohols, isoprenoids and fatty acid derivatives. Technical developments now allow engineering of native fuel producers, as well as lignocellulolytic and autotrophic bacteria, for the production of biofuels. Continued research on multiple fronts is required to engineer organisms for truly sustainable and economical biofuel production. PMID:23623045

  13. CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) for weather impact assessment on global agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gommes, René; Wu, Bingfang; Zhang, Ning; Feng, Xueliang; Zeng, Hongwei; Li, Zhongyuan; Chen, Bo

    2017-02-01

    CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) are a monitoring tool developed by the CropWatch global crop monitoring system in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; www.cropwatch.com.cn , Wu et al Int J Digital Earth 7(2):113-137, 2014, Wu et al Remote Sens 7:3907-3933, 2015). Contrary to most other environmental and agroclimatic indicators, they are "agronomic value-added", i.e. they are spatial values averaged over agricultural areas only and they include a weighting that enhances the contribution of the areas with the largest production potential. CWAIs can be computed for any time interval (starting from dekads) and yield one synthetic value per variable over a specific area and time interval, for instance a national annual value. Therefore, they are very compatible with socio-economic and other variables that are usually reported at regular time intervals over administrative units, such as national environmental or agricultural statistics. Two of the CWAIs are satellite-based (RAIN and Photosynthetically Active radiation, PAR) while the third is ground based (TEMP, air temperature); capitals are used when specifically referring to CWAIs rather than the climate variables in general. The paper first provides an overview of some common agroclimatic indicators, describing their procedural, systemic and normative features in subsequent sections, following the terminology of Binder et al Environ Impact Assess Rev 30:71-81 (2010). The discussion focuses on the systemic and normative aspects: the CWAIs are assessed in terms of their coherent description of the agroclimatic crop environment, at different spatial scales (systemic). The final section shows that the CWAIs retain key statistical properties of the underlying climate variables and that they can be compared to a reference value and used as monitoring and early warning variables (normative).

  14. Assessing the Challenges in Successful Implementation and Adoption of Crop Insurance in Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shweta Sinha

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to assess the gaps in the adoption of crop insurance in Thailand and suggest possible solutions relating to policy support and framework, implementation mechanisms, technology adoption, and awareness amongst farmers. The methodology includes a literature review, interaction with officials, rice experts and insurance experts, and discussion with farmers. A study was undertaken at province level to assess the impact of using rainfall index as a threshold. Additionally, focused group discussions (FGD were conducted with rice farmers at the village level. Key issues targeted in the FGD were to understand the behavior and practices during droughts, impact of drought on crop yield, methods already in use to reduce the impact, such as plantation of drought-resistant rice, and the adoption of crop insurance. Data availability is a challenge and has led to withdrawal of Weather Index Insurance (WII in 2015. WII have threshold levels based on historical rainfall. Adoption of coping mechanisms, such as drought-resistant rice and irrigation increases the chances of adverse selection. In absence of ground based weather data, a combination of satellite agriculture drought information can be used to make crop insurance more attractive as it would help in reducing basis risk and improving insurers and farmers’ confidence in the product. Discussion with farmers, insurance companies, and the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC in Thailand suggested low awareness among farmers about the potential benefits of weather index insurance products. Relatively low compensation is also an obstacle. Proper marketing and awareness raising campaigns should also accompany the introduction of index-based insurance products.

  15. CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) for weather impact assessment on global agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gommes, René; Wu, Bingfang; Zhang, Ning; Feng, Xueliang; Zeng, Hongwei; Li, Zhongyuan; Chen, Bo

    2017-02-01

    CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) are a monitoring tool developed by the CropWatch global crop monitoring system in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; http://www.cropwatch.com.cn, Wu et al Int J Digital Earth 7(2):113-137, 2014, Wu et al Remote Sens 7:3907-3933, 2015). Contrary to most other environmental and agroclimatic indicators, they are "agronomic value-added", i.e. they are spatial values averaged over agricultural areas only and they include a weighting that enhances the contribution of the areas with the largest production potential. CWAIs can be computed for any time interval (starting from dekads) and yield one synthetic value per variable over a specific area and time interval, for instance a national annual value. Therefore, they are very compatible with socio-economic and other variables that are usually reported at regular time intervals over administrative units, such as national environmental or agricultural statistics. Two of the CWAIs are satellite-based (RAIN and Photosynthetically Active radiation, PAR) while the third is ground based (TEMP, air temperature); capitals are used when specifically referring to CWAIs rather than the climate variables in general. The paper first provides an overview of some common agroclimatic indicators, describing their procedural, systemic and normative features in subsequent sections, following the terminology of Binder et al Environ Impact Assess Rev 30:71-81 (2010). The discussion focuses on the systemic and normative aspects: the CWAIs are assessed in terms of their coherent description of the agroclimatic crop environment, at different spatial scales (systemic). The final section shows that the CWAIs retain key statistical properties of the underlying climate variables and that they can be compared to a reference value and used as monitoring and early warning variables (normative).

  16. Old Dog New Tricks: Use of Point-based Crop Models in Grid-based Regional Assessment of Crop Management Technologies Impact on Future Food Security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koo, J.; Wood, S.; Cenacchi, N.; Fisher, M.; Cox, C.

    2012-12-01

    HarvestChoice (harvestchoice.org) generates knowledge products to guide strategic investments to improve the productivity and profitability of smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). A keynote component of the HarvestChoice analytical framework is a grid-based overlay of SSA - a cropping simulation platform powered by process-based, crop models. Calibrated around the best available representation of cropping production systems in SSA, the simulation platform engages the DSSAT Crop Systems Model with the CENTURY Soil Organic Matter model (DSSAT-CENTURY) and provides a virtual experimentation module with which to explore the impact of a range of technological, managerial and environmental metrics on future crop productivity and profitability, as well as input use. For each of 5 (or 30) arc-minute grid cells in SSA, a stack of model input underlies it: datasets that cover soil properties and fertility, historic and future climate scenarios and farmers' management practices; all compiled from analyses of existing global and regional databases and consultations with other CGIAR centers. Running a simulation model is not always straightforward, especially when certain cropping systems or management practices are not even practiced by resource-poor farmers yet (e.g., precision agriculture) or they were never included in the existing simulation framework (e.g., water harvesting). In such cases, we used DSSAT-CENTURY as a function to iteratively estimate relative responses of cropping systems to technology-driven changes in water and nutrient balances compared to zero-adoption by farmers, while adjusting model input parameters to best mimic farmers' implementation of technologies in the field. We then fed the results of the simulation into to the economic and food trade model framework, IMPACT, to assess the potential implications on future food security. The outputs of the overall simulation analyses are packaged as a web-accessible database and published

  17. A Computational Tool for Comparative Energy Cost Analysis of Multiple-Crop Production Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Efthymios Rodias

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Various crops can be considered as potential bioenergy and biofuel production feedstocks. The selection of the crops to be cultivated for that purpose is based on several factors. For an objective comparison between different crops, a common framework is required to assess their economic or energetic performance. In this paper, a computational tool for the energy cost evaluation of multiple-crop production systems is presented. All the in-field and transport operations are considered, providing a detailed analysis of the energy requirements of the components that contribute to the overall energy consumption. A demonstration scenario is also described. The scenario is based on three selected energy crops, namely Miscanthus, Arundo donax and Switchgrass. The tool can be used as a decision support system for the evaluation of different agronomical practices (such as fertilization and agrochemicals application, machinery systems, and management practices that can be applied in each one of the individual crops within the production system.

  18. [Model-based biofuels system analysis: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Shiyan; Zhang, Xiliang; Zhao, Lili; Ou, Xunmin

    2011-03-01

    Model-based system analysis is an important tool for evaluating the potential and impacts of biofuels, and for drafting biofuels technology roadmaps and targets. The broad reach of the biofuels supply chain requires that biofuels system analyses span a range of disciplines, including agriculture/forestry, energy, economics, and the environment. Here we reviewed various models developed for or applied to modeling biofuels, and presented a critical analysis of Agriculture/Forestry System Models, Energy System Models, Integrated Assessment Models, Micro-level Cost, Energy and Emission Calculation Models, and Specific Macro-level Biofuel Models. We focused on the models' strengths, weaknesses, and applicability, facilitating the selection of a suitable type of model for specific issues. Such an analysis was a prerequisite for future biofuels system modeling, and represented a valuable resource for researchers and policy makers.

  19. Heavy metals health risk assessment for population via consumption of food crops and fruits in Owerri, South Eastern, Nigeria

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Orisakwe, Orish Ebere; Nduka, John Kanayochukwu; Amadi, Cecilia Nwadiuto; Dike, Daniel Onyekachi; Bede, Onyinyechi

    2012-01-01

    This study assessed lead, cadmium, and nickel level in food crops, fruits and soil samples from Ohaji and Umuagwo and Owerri in South Eastern Nigeria and estimated the potential health risks of metals...

  20. Algae as a Feedstock for Biofuels. An Assessment of the Current Status and Potential for Algal Biofuels Production. Joint Summary report of IEA-AMF Annex XXXIV-2 and IEA Bioenergy Task 39

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' Conner, D. [S and T2 Consultants, Inc. (Canada)

    2011-09-15

    In 2010, the IEA Advanced Motor Fuels Implementing Agreement and the IEA Bioenergy Task 39 both commissioned reports on the status and potential opportunities for Algal Biofuels. While there were substantial similarities in the findings of the two reports, each report provides unique perspectives on different aspects of the technology and the opportunities. This summary draws on both of those reports. The Task 39 report (Bioenergy Algal Biofuels.pdf) was authored by Al Darzins and Philip Pienkos (NREL, US) and Les Edye (BioIndustry Partners, Australia). The IEA AMF report was prepared by Karen Sikes and Ralph McGill (Sentech, Inc. US) and Martijn Van Walwijk (Independent Researcher).

  1. Biofuels in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Tianwei; Yu, Jianliang; Lu, Jike; Zhang, Tao

    The Chinese government is stimulating the biofuels development to replace partially fossil fuels in the transport sector, which can enhance energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate rural development. Bioethanol, biodiesel, biobutanol, biogas, and biohydrogen are the main biofuels developed in China. In this chapter, we mainly present the current status of biofuel development in China, and illustrate the issues of feedstocks, food security and conversion processes.

  2. Rainfall and crop modeling-based water stress assessment for rainfed maize cultivation in peninsular India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manivasagam, V. S.; Nagarajan, R.

    2017-03-01

    Water stress due to uneven rainfall distribution causes a significant impact on the agricultural production of monsoon-dependent peninsular India. In the present study, water stress assessment for rainfed maize crop is carried out for kharif (June-October) and rabi (October-February) cropping seasons which coincide with two major Indian monsoons. Rainfall analysis (1976-2010) shows that the kharif season receives sufficient weekly rainfall (28 ± 32 mm) during 26th-39th standard meteorological weeks (SMWs) from southwest monsoon, whereas the rabi season experiences a major portion of its weekly rainfall due to northeast monsoon between the 42nd and 51st SMW (31 ± 42 mm). The later weeks experience minimal rainfall (5.5 ± 15 mm) and thus expose the late sown maize crops to a severe water stress during its maturity stage. Wet and dry spell analyses reveal a substantial increase in the rainfall intensity over the last few decades. However, the distribution of rainfall shows a striking decrease in the number of wet spells, with prolonged dry spells in both seasons. Weekly rainfall classification shows that the flowering and maturity stages of kharif maize (33rd-39th SMWs) can suffer around 30-40% of the total water stress. In the case of rabi maize, the analysis reveals that a shift in the sowing time from the existing 42nd SMW (16-22 October) to the 40th SMW (1-7 October) can avoid terminal water stress. Further, AquaCrop modeling results show that one or two minimal irrigations during the flowering and maturity stages (33rd-39th SMWs) of kharif maize positively avoid the mild water stress exposure. Similarly, rabi maize requires an additional two or three lifesaving irrigations during its flowering and maturity stages (48th-53rd SMWs) to improve productivity. Effective crop planning with appropriate sowing time, short duration crop, and high yielding drought-resistant varieties will allow for better utilization of the monsoon rain, thus reducing water stress with

  3. The potential of C4 grasses for cellulosic biofuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim eWeijde

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available With the advent of biorefinery technologies enabling plant biomass to be processed into biofuel, many researchers set out to study and improve candidate biomass crops. Many of these candidates are C4 grasses, characterized by a high productivity and resource use efficiency. In this review the potential of five C4 grasses as lignocellulose feedstock for biofuel production is discussed. These include three important field crops - maize, sugarcane and sorghum - and two undomesticated perennial energy grasses - miscanthus and switchgrass. Although all these grasses are high yielding, they produce different products. While miscanthus and switchgrass are exploited exclusively for lignocellulosic biomass, maize, sorghum and sugarcane are dual-purpose crops. It is unlikely that all the prerequisites for the sustainable and economic production of biomass for a global cellulosic biofuel industry will be fulfilled by a single crop. High and stable yields of lignocellulose are required in diverse environments worldwide, to sustain a year-round production of biofuel. A high resource use efficiency is indispensable to allow cultivation with minimal inputs of nutrients and water and the exploitation of marginal soils for biomass production. Finally, the lignocellulose composition of the feedstock should be optimized to allow its efficient conversion into biofuel and other by-products. Breeding for these objectives should encompass diverse crops, to meet the demands of local biorefineries and provide adaptability to different environments. Collectively, these C4 grasses are likely to play a central role in the supply of lignocellulose for the cellulosic ethanol industry. Moreover, as these species are evolutionary closely related, advances in each of these crops will expedite improvements in the other crops. This review aims to provide an overview of their potential, prospects and research needs as lignocellulose feedstocks for the commercial production of

  4. NREL biofuels program overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mielenz, J.R. [National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO (United States)

    1996-09-01

    The NREL Biofuels Program has been developing technology for conversion of biomass to transportation fuels with support from DOE Office of Transportation Technologies Biofuels System Program. This support has gone to both the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and over 100 subcontractors in universities and industry. This overview will outline the value of the Biofuels development program to the Nation, the current status of the technology development, and what research areas still need further support and progress for the development of a biofuels industry in the US.

  5. Improving EU biofuels policy?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swinbank, Alan; Daugbjerg, Carsten

    2013-01-01

    in the WTO, as there would be a clearer link between policy measures and the objective of reductions in GHG emissions; and the combination of the revised RED and the FQD would lessen the commercial incentive to import biofuels with modest GHG emission savings, and thus reduce the risk of trade tension....... to biofuels under both the RED and the FQD. In particular, biofuels have to demonstrate a 35% (later increasing to 50/60%) saving in life-cycle GHG emissions. This could be problematic in the World Trade Organization (WTO), as a non-compliant biofuel with a 34% emissions saving would probably be judged...

  6. Assessing transmission of crop diseases by insect vectors in a landscape context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrière, Y; Degain, B; Hartfield, K A; Nolte, K D; Marsh, S E; Ellers-Kirk, C; Van Leeuwen, W J D; Liesner, L; Dutilleul, P; Palumbo, J C

    2014-02-01

    Theory indicates that landscape composition affects transmission of vector-borne crop diseases, but few empirical studies have investigated how landscape composition affects plant disease epidemiology. Since 2006, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) has vectored the cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV) to cantaloupe and honeydew melons (Cucumis melo L.) in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, causing significant reductions in yield of fall melons and increased use of insecticides. Here, we show that a landscape-based approach allowing simultaneous assessment of impacts of local (i.e., planting date) and regional (i.e., landscape composition) factors provides valuable insights on how to reduce crop disease risks. Specifically, we found that planting fall melon fields early in the growing season, eliminating plants germinating from seeds produced by spring melons after harvest, and planting fall melon fields away from cotton and spring melon fields may significantly reduce the incidence of CYSDV infection in fall melons. Because the largest scale of significance of the positive association between abundance of cotton and spring melon fields and CYSDV incidence was 1,750 and 3,000 m, respectively, reducing areas of cotton and spring melon fields within these distances from fall melon fields may decrease CYSDV incidence. Our results indicate that landscape-based studies will be fruitful to alleviate limitations imposed on crop production by vector-borne diseases.

  7. Illinois biomass resources: annual crops and residues; canning and food-processing wastes. Preliminary assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Antonopoulos, A A

    1980-06-01

    Illinois, a major agricultural and food-processing state, produces vast amounts of renewable plant material having potential for energy production. This biomass, in the form of annual crops, crop residues, and food-processing wastes, can be converted to alternative fuels (such as ethanol) and industrial chemicals (such as furfural, ethylene, and xylene). The present study provides a preliminary assessment of these Illinois biomass resources, including (a) an appraisal of the effects of their use on both agriculture and industry; (b) an analysis of biomass conversion systems; and (c) an environmental and economic evaluation of products that could be generated from biomass. It is estimated that, of the 39 x 10/sup 6/ tons of residues generated in 1978 in Illinois from seven main crops, about 85% was collectible. The thermal energy equivalent of this material is 658 x 10/sup 6/ Btu, or 0.66 quad. And by fermenting 10% of the corn grain grown in Illinois, some 323 million gallons of ethanol could have been produced in 1978. Another 3 million gallons of ethanol could have been produced in the same year from wastes generated by the state's food-processing establishments. Clearly, Illinois can strengthen its economy substantially by the development of industries that produce biomass-derived fuels and chemicals. In addition, a thorough evaluation should be made of the potential for using the state's less-exploitable land for the growing of additional biomass.

  8. Impact Assessment of Salinization Affected Soil on Greenhouse Crops using SALTMED

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappa, Polyxeni; Daliakopoulos, Ioannis; Tsanis, Ioannis; Varouchakis, Emmanouil

    2015-04-01

    Here we assess the effects of soil salinization on greenhouse crops and the potential benefits of rainwater harvesting as a soil amelioration technology. The study deals with the following scenarios: (a) variation of irrigation water salinity from 3,000 μS/cm to 500 μS/cm through mixing with rainwater, (b) crop substitution for increased tolerance and (c) climatic variability to account for the impact of climate change. In order to draw meaningful conclusions, a model that takes into account vegetation interaction, soil, irrigation water and climate variables is required. The SALTMED model is a reliable and tested physical process model that simulates evapotranspiration, plant water uptake, water and solute transport to estimate crop yield and biomass production under all irrigation systems. SALTMED is tested with the above scenarios in the RECARE FP7 Project Case Study of Timpaki, in the Island of Crete, Greece. Simulations are conducted for typical cultivations of Solanum lycopersicum, Capsicum anuumm and Solanum melongena. Preliminary results indicate the optimal combination from a set of solutions concerning the soil and water parameters can be beneficial against the salinization threat. Future research includes the validation of the results with field experiments. Keywords: salinization, greenhouse, tomato, SALTMED, rainwater, RECARE

  9. How to manage uncertainty in future Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) scenarios addressing the effect of climate change in crop production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niero, Monia; Ingvordsen, Cathrine Heinz; Bagger Jørgensen, Rikke

    2015-01-01

    When Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is used to provide insights on how to pursue future food demand, it faces the challenge to describe scenarios of the future in which the environmental impacts occur. In the case of future crop production, the effects of climate change should be considered....... In this context, the objectives of this paper are two-fold: (i) to recommend an approach to deal with uncertainty in scenario analysis for LCA of crop production in a changed climate, when the goal of the study is to suggest strategies for adaptation of crop cultivation practices towards low environmental impacts......, and (ii) to implement the suggested approach to spring barley cultivation in Denmark. First, the main implications of climate change for future crop cultivation are analyzed, and the factors which should be included when modeling the climate change effects on crops through LCA are introduced, namely...

  10. Ensuring sustainability in developing world biofuel productoin

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Von Maltitz, Graham P

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available SUSTAINABILITY IN DEVELOPING WORLDS BIOFUEL PRODUCTION Graham von Maltitz, Lorren Haywood and Benita De Wet Natural Resources and the Environment CSIR, Pretoria South Africa forest bioenergy for sustainable development Sustainability Assessment Framework... in Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar growing for EU markets Type 3 projects E.g. Outgrowers linked to commercial plantations Small scale farmers linked to commercial biofuel fuel processing plants Type 2 projects E.g. Commercial farmers in South...

  11. Assessing Natural Isothiocyanate Air Emissions after Field Incorporation of Mustard Cover Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trott, Donna M.; LePage, Jane; Hebert, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    A regional air assessment was performed to characterize volatile natural isothiocyanate (NITC) compounds in air during soil incorporation of mustard cover crops in Washington State. Field air sampling and analytical methods were developed specific to three NITCs known to be present in air at appreciable concentrations during/after field incorporation. The maximum observed concentrations in air for the allyl, benzyl, and phenethyl isothiocyanates were respectively 188, 6.1, and 0.7 lg m-3 during mustard incorporation. Based on limited inhalation toxicity information, airborne NITC concentrations did not appear to pose an acute human inhalation exposure concern to field operators and bystanders.

  12. Relevance of Bt toxin interaction studies for environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Schrijver, Adinda; De Clercq, Patrick; de Maagd, Ruud A; van Frankenhuyzen, Kees

    2015-12-01

    In recent years, different Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin-encoding genes have been combined or 'stacked' in genetically modified (GM) crops. Synergism between Bt proteins may occur and thereby increase the impact of the stacked GM event on nontarget invertebrates compared to plants expressing a single Bt gene. On the basis of bioassay data available for Bt toxins alone or in combination, we argue that the current knowledge of Bt protein interactions is of limited relevance in environmental risk assessment (ERA). © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Water use impacts of future transport fuels: role of California's climate policy & National biofuel policies (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teter, J.; Yeh, S.; Mishra, G. S.; Tiedeman, K.; Yang, C.

    2013-12-01

    -hydrologic model EPIC to capture both green water (GW) and blue water (BW) use at a ~10 square km resolution among three scenarios: (1) a counterfactual scenario with no national biofuel policy, (2) current Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandates, and (3) a proposed national Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) plus the RFS scenario. Inputs to EPIC are spatially explicit: (a) cropping areas and yields as projected by a partial equilibrium economic model, (b) daily weather data, (c) soil properties (d) N fertilizer application, and (e) irrigation sources and volumes, by crop (Fig 4-5). We assess the differences among biofuel scenarios from 2007-2035 along the following metrics: (1) crop area expansion on prime & marginal lands (Fig 6), (2) Crop-specific & overall annual/seasonal water balances including (2a) water inflows (irrigation & precipitation), (2b) crop-atmosphere interactions: (evaporation & transpiration) and (2c) soil-water flows (runoff & soil infiltration), in mm3 /acre. We found differential water use impacts among biofuel scenarios are a primarily a function of (1) land use conversion, in particular that of formerly uncropped land classes (2) irrigation practices, (3) feedstock water use efficiency, and (4) the longer growing season and a predominance of rainfed cultivation of dedicated biofuel feedstocks. Fig 1-6 available at the linked urls.

  14. The use of whole food animal studies in the safety assessment of genetically modified crops: limitations and recommendations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartholomaeus, Andrew; Parrott, Wayne; Bondy, Genevieve; Walker, Kate

    2013-11-01

    There is disagreement internationally across major regulatory jurisdictions on the relevance and utility of whole food (WF) toxicity studies on GM crops, with no harmonization of data or regulatory requirements. The scientific value, and therefore animal ethics, of WF studies on GM crops is a matter addressable from the wealth of data available on commercialized GM crops and WF studies on irradiated foods. We reviewed available GM crop WF studies and considered the extent to which they add to the information from agronomic and compositional analyses. No WF toxicity study was identified that convincingly demonstrated toxicological concern or that called into question the adequacy, sufficiency, and reliability of safety assessments based on crop molecular characterization, transgene source, agronomic characteristics, and/or compositional analysis of the GM crop and its near-isogenic line. Predictions of safety based on crop genetics and compositional analyses have provided complete concordance with the results of well-conducted animal testing. However, this concordance is primarily due to the improbability of de novo generation of toxic substances in crop plants using genetic engineering practices and due to the weakness of WF toxicity studies in general. Thus, based on the comparative robustness and reliability of compositional and agronomic considerations and on the absence of any scientific basis for a significant potential for de novo generation of toxicologically significant compositional alterations as a sole result of transgene insertion, the conclusion of this review is that WF animal toxicity studies are unnecessary and scientifically unjustifiable.

  15. The use of whole food animal studies in the safety assessment of genetically modified crops: Limitations and recommendations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartholomaeus, Andrew; Parrott, Wayne; Bondy, Genevieve

    2013-01-01

    There is disagreement internationally across major regulatory jurisdictions on the relevance and utility of whole food (WF) toxicity studies on GM crops, with no harmonization of data or regulatory requirements. The scientific value, and therefore animal ethics, of WF studies on GM crops is a matter addressable from the wealth of data available on commercialized GM crops and WF studies on irradiated foods. We reviewed available GM crop WF studies and considered the extent to which they add to the information from agronomic and compositional analyses. No WF toxicity study was identified that convincingly demonstrated toxicological concern or that called into question the adequacy, sufficiency, and reliability of safety assessments based on crop molecular characterization, transgene source, agronomic characteristics, and/or compositional analysis of the GM crop and its near-isogenic line. Predictions of safety based on crop genetics and compositional analyses have provided complete concordance with the results of well-conducted animal testing. However, this concordance is primarily due to the improbability of de novo generation of toxic substances in crop plants using genetic engineering practices and due to the weakness of WF toxicity studies in general. Thus, based on the comparative robustness and reliability of compositional and agronomic considerations and on the absence of any scientific basis for a significant potential for de novo generation of toxicologically significant compositional alterations as a sole result of transgene insertion, the conclusion of this review is that WF animal toxicity studies are unnecessary and scientifically unjustifiable. PMID:24164514

  16. The potentials and challenges of algae based biofuels: a review of the techno-economic, life cycle, and resource assessment modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Jason C; Davis, Ryan

    2015-05-01

    Microalgae biofuel production has been extensively evaluated through resource, economic and life cycle assessments. Resource assessments consistently identify land as non-limiting and highlight the need to consider siting based on combined geographical constraints of land and other critical resources such as water and carbon dioxide. Economic assessments report a selling cost of fuel that ranges between $1.64 and over $30 gal(-1) consistent with large variability reported in the life cycle literature, -75 to 534 gCO2-eq MJ(-1). Large drivers behind such variability stem from differences in productivity assumptions, pathway technologies, and system boundaries. Productivity represents foundational units in these assessments with current assumed yields in various assessments varying by a factor of 60. A review of the literature in these areas highlights the need for harmonized assessments such that direct comparisons of alternative processing technologies can be made on the metrics of resource requirements, economic feasibility, and environmental impact. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Assessment of water sources to plant growth in rice based cropping systems by stable water isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahindawansha, Amani; Kraft, Philipp; Racela, Heathcliff; Breuer, Lutz

    2016-04-01

    Rice is one of the most water-consuming crops in the world. Understanding water source utilization of rice will help us to improve water use efficiency (WUE) in paddy management. The objectives of our study are to evaluate the isotopic compositions of surface ponded water, soil water, irrigation water, groundwater, rain water and plant water and based on stable water isotope signatures to evaluate the contributions of various water sources to plant growth (wet rice, aerobic rice and maize) together with investigating the contribution of water from different soil horizons for plant growth in different maturity periods during wet and dry seasons. Finally we will compare the water balances and crop yields in both crops during both seasons and calculate the water use efficiencies. This will help to identify the most efficient water management systems in rice based cropping ecosystems using stable water isotopes. Soil samples are collected from 9 different depths at up to 60 cm in vegetative, reproductive and matured periods of plant growth together with stem samples. Soil and plant samples are extracted by cryogenic vacuum extraction. Root samples are collected up to 60 cm depth from 10 cm intercepts leading calculation of root length density and dry weight. Groundwater, surface water, rain water and irrigation water are sampled weekly. All water samples are analyzed for hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios (d18O and dD) using Los Gatos Research DLT100. Rainfall records, ground water level, surface water level fluctuations and the amount of water irrigated in each field will be measured during the sampling period. The direct inference approach which is based on comparing isotopic compositions (dD and d18O) between plant stem water and soil water will be used to determine water sources taken up by plant. Multiple-source mass balance assessment can provide the estimated range of potential contributions of water from each soil depth to root water uptake of a crop. These

  18. Assessments of Future Maize Yield Potential Changes in the Korean Peninsula Using Multiple Crop Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, S. H.; Lim, C. H.; Kim, J.; Lee, W. K.; Kafatos, M.

    2016-12-01

    The Korean Peninsula has unique agricultural environment due to the differences of political and socio-economical system between Republic of Korea (SK, hereafter) and Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (NK, hereafter). NK has been suffering lack of food supplies caused by natural disasters, land degradation and political failure. The neighboring developed country SK has better agricultural system but very low food self-sufficiency rate. Maize is an important crop in both countries since it is staple food for NK and SK is No. 2 maize importing country in the world after Japan. Therefore, evaluating maize yield potential (Yp) in the two distinct regions is essential to assess food security under climate change and variability. In this study, we utilized multiple process-based crop models, having ability of regional scale assessment, to evaluate maize Yp and assess the model uncertainties -EPIC, GEPIC, DSSAT, and APSIM model that has capability of regional scale expansion (apsimRegions). First we evaluated each crop model for 3 years from 2012 to 2014 using reanalysis data (RDAPS; Regional Data Assimilation and Prediction System produced by Korea Meteorological Agency) and observed yield data. Each model performances were compared over the different regions in the Korean Peninsula having different local climate characteristics. To quantify of the major influence of at each climate variables, we also conducted sensitivity test using 20 years of climatology in historical period from 1981 to 2000. Lastly, the multi-crop model ensemble analysis was performed for future period from 2031 to 2050. The required weather variables projected for mid-century were employed from COordinated Regional climate Downscaling EXperiment (CORDEX) East Asia. The high-resolution climate data were obtained from multiple regional climate models (RCM) driven by multiple climate scenarios projected from multiple global climate models (GCMs) in conjunction with multiple greenhouse gas

  19. A roadmap for biofuels...

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faaij, A.P.C.; Londo, H.M.

    2009-01-01

    Biofuels have been in the eye of the storm, in particular since 2008, when the food crisis was considered by many to be caused by the increased production of biofuels. Heavy criticism in public media made various governments, including the European Commission, reconsider their targets and ambitions

  20. Biofuels for sustainable transportation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neufeld, S.

    2000-05-23

    Biomass is an attractive energy source, and transportation fuels made from biomass offer a number of benefits. Developing the technology to produce and use biofuels will create transportation fuel options that can positively impact the national energy security, the economy, and the environment. Biofuels include ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, biocrude, and methane.

  1. Assessments of Maize Yield Potential in the Korean Peninsula Using Multiple Crop Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, S. H.; Myoung, B.; Lim, C. H.; Lee, S. G.; Lee, W. K.; Kafatos, M.

    2015-12-01

    The Korean Peninsular has unique agricultural environments due to the differences in the political and socio-economical systems between the Republic of Korea (SK, hereafter) and the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (NK, hereafter). NK has been suffering from the lack of food supplies caused by natural disasters, land degradation and failed political system. The neighboring developed country SK has a better agricultural system but very low food self-sufficiency rate (around 1% of maize). Maize is an important crop in both countries since it is staple food for NK and SK is No. 2 maize importing country in the world after Japan. Therefore evaluating maize yield potential (Yp) in the two distinct regions is essential to assess food security under climate change and variability. In this study, we have utilized multiple process-based crop models capable of regional-scale assessments to evaluate maize Yp over the Korean Peninsula - the GIS version of EPIC model (GEPIC) and APSIM model that can be expanded to regional scales (APSIM regions). First we evaluated model performance and skill for 20 years from 1991 to 2010 using reanalysis data (Local Data Assimilation and Prediction System (LDAPS); 1.5km resolution) and observed data. Each model's performances were compared over different regions within the Korean Peninsula of different regional climate characteristics. To quantify the major influence of individual climate variables, we also conducted a sensitivity test using 20 years of climatology. Lastly, a multi-model ensemble analysis was performed to reduce crop model uncertainties. The results will provide valuable information for estimating the climate change or variability impacts on Yp over the Korean Peninsula.

  2. Elicitation of expert judgments of uncertainty in the risk assessment of herbicide-tolerant oilseed crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krayer von Krauss, Martin P; Casman, Elizabeth A; Small, Mitchell J

    2004-12-01

    One of the lay public's concerns about genetically modified (GM) organisms (GMO) and related emerging technologies is that not all the important risks are evaluated or even identified yet--and that ignorance of the unanticipated risks could lead to severe environmental or public health consequences. To some degree, even the scientists who participated in the analysis of the risks from GMOs (arguably the people most qualified to critique these analyses) share some of this concern. To formally explore the uncertainty in the risk assessment of a GM crop, we conducted detailed interviews of seven leading experts on GM oilseed crops to obtain qualitative and quantitative information on their understanding of the uncertainties associated with the risks to agriculture from GM oilseed crops (canola or rapeseed). The results of these elicitations revealed three issues of potential concern that are currently left outside the scope of risk assessments. These are (1) the potential loss of the agronomic and environmental benefits of glyphosate (a herbicide widely used in no-till agriculture) due to the combined problems of glyphosate-tolerant canola and wheat volunteer plants, (2) the growing problem of seed lot contamination, and (3) the potential market impacts. The elicitations also identified two areas where knowledge is insufficient. These are: the occurrence of hybridization between canola and wild relatives and the ability of the hybrids to perpetuate themselves in nature, and the fate of the herbicide-tolerance genes in soil and their interaction with soil microfauna and -flora. The methodological contribution of this work is a formal approach to analyzing the uncertainty surrounding complex problems.

  3. Recent Inventions and Trends in Algal Biofuels Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karemore, Ankush; Nayak, Manoranjan; Sen, Ramkrishna

    2016-01-01

    In recent times, when energy crisis compounded by global warming and climate change is receiving worldwide attention, the emergence of algae, as a better feedstock for third-generation biofuels than energy crops or plants, holds great promise. As compared to conventional biofuels feedstocks, algae offer several advantages and can alone produce a significant amount of biofuels sustainably in a shorter period to fulfill the rising demand for energy. Towards commercialisation, there have been numerous efforts put for- ward for the development of algae-derived biofuel. This article reviews and summarizes the recent inventions and the current trends that are reported and captured in relevant patents pertaining to the novel methods of algae biomass cultivation and processing for biofuels and value-added products. In addition, the recent advancement in techniques and technologies for microalgal biofuel production has been highlighted. Various steps involved in the production of algal biofuels have been considered in this article. Moreover, the work that advances to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the processes for the manufacture of biofuels has been presented. Our survey was conducted in the patent databases: WIPO, Spacenet and USPTO. There are still some technological bottlenecks that could be overcome by designing advanced photobioreactor and raceway ponds, developing new and low cost technologies for biomass cultivation, harvesting, drying and extraction. Recent advancement in algae biofuels methods is directed toward developing efficient and integrated systems to produce biofuels by overcoming the current challenges. However, further research effort is required to scale-up and improve the efficiency of these methods in the upstream and downstream technologies to make the cost of biofuels competitive with petroleum fuels.

  4. The potential of C4 grasses for cellulosic biofuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Weijde, Tim; Alvim Kamei, Claire L.; Torres, Andres F.; Vermerris, Wilfred; Dolstra, Oene; Visser, Richard G. F.; Trindade, Luisa M.

    2013-01-01

    With the advent of biorefinery technologies enabling plant biomass to be processed into biofuel, many researchers set out to study and improve candidate biomass crops. Many of these candidates are C4 grasses, characterized by a high productivity and resource use efficiency. In this review the potential of five C4 grasses as lignocellulosic feedstock for biofuel production is discussed. These include three important field crops—maize, sugarcane and sorghum—and two undomesticated perennial energy grasses—miscanthus and switchgrass. Although all these grasses are high yielding, they produce different products. While miscanthus and switchgrass are exploited exclusively for lignocellulosic biomass, maize, sorghum, and sugarcane are dual-purpose crops. It is unlikely that all the prerequisites for the sustainable and economic production of biomass for a global cellulosic biofuel industry will be fulfilled by a single crop. High and stable yields of lignocellulose are required in diverse environments worldwide, to sustain a year-round production of biofuel. A high resource use efficiency is indispensable to allow cultivation with minimal inputs of nutrients and water and the exploitation of marginal soils for biomass production. Finally, the lignocellulose composition of the feedstock should be optimized to allow its efficient conversion into biofuel and other by-products. Breeding for these objectives should encompass diverse crops, to meet the demands of local biorefineries and provide adaptability to different environments. Collectively, these C4 grasses are likely to play a central role in the supply of lignocellulose for the cellulosic ethanol industry. Moreover, as these species are evolutionary closely related, advances in each of these crops will expedite improvements in the other crops. This review aims to provide an overview of their potential, prospects and research needs as lignocellulose feedstocks for the commercial production of biofuel. PMID:23653628

  5. A spatial modeling framework to evaluate domestic biofuel-induced potential land use changed and emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliot, Joshua; Sharma, Bhavna; Best, Neil; Glotter, Michael; Dunn, Jennifer B.; Foster, Ian; Miguez, Fernando; Mueller, Steffen; Wang, Michael

    2014-01-01

    We present a novel bottom-up approach to estimate biofuel-induced land-use change (LUC) and resulting CO2 emissions in the U.S. from 2010 to 2022, based on a consistent methodology across four essential components: land availability, land suitability, LUC decision-making, and induced CO2 emissions. Using highresolution geospatial data and modeling, we construct probabilistic assessments of county-, state-, and national-level LUC and emissions for macroeconomic scenarios. We use the Cropland Data Layer and the Protected Areas Database to characterize availability of land for biofuel crop cultivation, and the CERES-Maize and BioCro biophysical crop growth models to estimate the suitability (yield potential) of available lands for biofuel crops. For LUC decisionmaking, we use a county-level stochastic partial-equilibrium modeling framework and consider five scenarios involving annual ethanol production scaling to 15, 22, and 29 BG, respectively, in 2022, with corn providing feedstock for the first 15 BG and the remainder coming from one of two dedicated energy crops. Finally, we derive high-resolution above-ground carbon factors from the National Biomass and Carbon Data set to estimate emissions from each LUC pathway. Based on these inputs, we obtain estimates for average total LUC emissions of 6.1, 2.2, 1.0, 2.2, and 2.4 gCO2e/MJ for Corn-15 Billion gallons (BG), Miscanthus × giganteus (MxG)-7 BG, Switchgrass (SG)-7 BG, MxG-14 BG, and SG-14 BG scenarios, respectively.

  6. Assessing rice crop damage and restoration using remote sensing in tsunami-affected areas, Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chi-Farn; Son, Nguyen-Thanh; Chen, Cheng-Ru; Cho, Kohei; Hsiao, Ya-Yun; Chiang, Shou-Hao; Chang, Ly-Yu

    2015-01-01

    The tsunami that occurred on March 11, 2011, in Japan caused widespread devastation of infrastructure and rice cultivation areas. This study assessed the rice growing areas damaged due to this event and the restoration progress using moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer data. The data were processed for 2010 to 2013, comprising four main steps: (1) data preprocessing to construct the smooth time-series enhanced vegetation index 2 data, (2) rice crop mapping using the dynamic time warping algorithm, (3) accuracy assessment, and (4) change analysis of rice cultivation areas. The mapping results validated using the ground reference data indicated overall accuracies and kappa coefficients generally >84.3% and 0.69, respectively. The results, also verified with the government's rice area statistics, reaffirmed a close correlation between these two datasets (R2>0.77). When examining changes of rice cultivation between 2010 and 2013, the rice area damaged by the tsunami during 2010 to 2011 was ˜17,550 ha. The rice area restored after one year (2012) was ˜6663 ha, but this regressed slightly in 2013 (5656 ha). Such information could be used by officials to better understand the tsunami-damaged rice area and the restoration progress for crop management in the study region.

  7. The role of biochemical engineering in the production of biofuels from microalgae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Jorge Alberto Vieira; de Morais, Michele Greque

    2011-01-01

    Environmental changes that have occurred due to the use of fossil fuels have driven the search for alternative sources that have a lower environmental impact. First-generation biofuels were derived from crops such as sugar cane, corn and soybean, which contribute to water scarcity and deforestation. Second-generation biofuels originated from lignocellulose agriculture and forest residues, however these needed large areas of land that could be used for food production. Based on technology projections, the third generation of biofuels will be derived from microalgae. Microalgae are considered to be an alternative energy source without the drawbacks of the first- and second-generation biofuels. Depending upon the growing conditions, microalgae can produce biocompounds that are easily converted into biofuels. The biofuels from microalgae are an alternative that can keep the development of human activity in harmony with the environment. This study aimed to present the main biofuels that can be derived from microalgae. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Center for Advanced Biofuel Systems (CABS) Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kutchan, Toni M. [Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, MO (United States)

    2015-12-02

    One of the great challenges facing current and future generations is how to meet growing energy demands in an environmentally sustainable manner. Renewable energy sources, including wind, geothermal, solar, hydroelectric, and biofuel energy systems, are rapidly being developed as sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. Biofuels are particularly attractive to the U.S., given its vast agricultural resources. The first generation of biofuel systems was based on fermentation of sugars to produce ethanol, typically from food crops. Subsequent generations of biofuel systems, including those included in the CABS project, will build upon the experiences learned from those early research results and will have improved production efficiencies, reduced environmental impacts and decreased reliance on food crops. Thermodynamic models predict that the next generations of biofuel systems will yield three- to five-fold more recoverable energy products. To address the technological challenges necessary to develop enhanced biofuel systems, greater understanding of the non-equilibrium processes involved in solar energy conversion and the channeling of reduced carbon into biofuel products must be developed. The objective of the proposed Center for Advanced Biofuel Systems (CABS) was to increase the thermodynamic and kinetic efficiency of select plant- and algal-based fuel production systems using rational metabolic engineering approaches grounded in modern systems biology. The overall strategy was to increase the efficiency of solar energy conversion into oils and other specialty biofuel components by channeling metabolic flux toward products using advanced catalysts and sensible design:1) employing novel protein catalysts that increase the thermodynamic and kinetic efficiencies of photosynthesis and oil biosynthesis; 2) engineering metabolic networks to enhance acetyl-CoA production and its channeling towards lipid synthesis; and 3) engineering new metabolic networks for the

  9. Potential emissions reduction in road transport sector using biofuel in developing countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liaquat, A. M.; Kalam, M. A.; Masjuki, H. H.; Jayed, M. H.

    2010-10-01

    Use of biofuels as transport fuel has high prospect in developing countries as most of them are facing severe energy insecurity and have strong agricultural sector to support production of biofuels from energy crops. Rapid urbanization and economic growth of developing countries have spurred air pollution especially in road transport sector. The increasing demand of petroleum based fuels and their combustion in internal combustion (IC) engines have adverse effect on air quality, human health and global warming. Air pollution causes respiratory problems, adverse effects on pulmonary function, leading to increased sickness absenteeism and induces high health care service costs, premature birth and even mortality. Production of biofuels promises substantial improvement in air quality through reducing emission from biofuel operated automotives. Some of the developing countries have started biofuel production and utilization as transport fuel in local market. This paper critically reviews the facts and prospects of biofuel production and utilization in developing countries to reduce environmental pollution and petro dependency. Expansion of biofuel industries in developing countries can create more jobs and increase productivity by non-crop marginal lands and wastelands for energy crops plantation. Contribution of India and China in biofuel industry in production and utilization can dramatically change worldwide biofuel market and leap forward in carbon cut as their automotive market is rapidly increasing with a souring proportional rise of GHG emissions.

  10. InfoDROUGHT: Technical reliability assessment using crop yield data at the Spanish-national level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras, Sergio; Garcia-León, David; Hunink, Johannes E.

    2017-04-01

    Drought monitoring (DM) is a key component of risk-centered drought preparedness plans and drought policies. InfoDROUGHT (www.infosequia.es) is a a site- and user-tailored and fully-integrated DM system which combines functionalities for: a) the operational satellite-based weekly-1km tracking of severity and spatial extent of drought impacts, b) the interactive and faster query and delivery of drought information through a web-mapping service. InfoDROUGHT has a flexible and modular structure. The calibration (threshold definitions) and validation of the system is performed by combining expert knowledge and auxiliary impact assessments and datasets. Different technical solutions (basic or advanced versions) or deployment options (open-standard or restricted-authenticated) can be purchased by end-users and customers according to their needs. In this analysis, the technical reliability of InfoDROUGHT and its performance for detecting drought impacts on agriculture has been evaluated in the 2003-2014 period by exploring and quantifying the relationships among the drought severity indices reported by InfoDROUGHT and the annual yield anomalies observed for different rainfed crops (maize, wheat, barley) at Spain. We hypothesize a positive relationship between the crop anomalies and the drought severity level detected by InfoDROUGHT. Annual yield anomalies were computed at the province administrative level as the difference between the annual yield reported by the Spanish Annual Survey of Crop Acreages and Yields (ESYRCE database) and the mean annual yield estimated during the study period. Yield anomalies were finally compared against drought greenness-based and thermal-based drought indices (VCI and TCI, respectively) to check the coherence of the outputs and the hypothesis stated. InfoDROUGHT has been partly funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competiveness through a Torres-Quevedo grant, and by the H2020-EU project "Bridging the Gap for Innovations in

  11. DNA barcoding simplifies environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops in biodiverse regions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chinyere V Nzeduru

    Full Text Available Transgenes encoding for insecticidal crystal (Cry proteins from the soil-dwelling bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis have been widely introduced into Genetically Modified (GM crops to confer protection against insect pests. Concern that these transgenes may also harm beneficial or otherwise valued insects (so-called Non Target Organisms, NTOs represents a major element of the Environmental Risk Assessments (ERAs used by all countries prior to commercial release. Compiling a comprehensive list of potentially susceptible NTOs is therefore a necessary part of an ERA for any Cry toxin-containing GM crop. In partly-characterised and biodiverse countries, NTO identification is slowed by the need for taxonomic expertise and time to enable morphological identifications. This limitation represents a potentially serious barrier to timely adoption of GM technology in some developing countries. We consider Bt Cry1A cowpea (Vigna unguiculata in Nigeria as an exemplar to demonstrate how COI barcoding can provide a simple and cost-effective means of addressing this problem. Over a period of eight weeks, we collected 163 insects from cowpea flowers across the agroecological and geographic range of the crop in Nigeria. These individuals included 32 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs spanning four Orders and that could mostly be assigned to genus or species level. They included 12 Lepidopterans and two Coleopterans (both potentially sensitive to different groups of Cry proteins. Thus, barcode-assisted diagnoses were highly harmonised across groups (typically to genus or species level and so were insensitive to expertise or knowledge gaps. Decisively, the entire study was completed within four months at a cost of less than 10,000 US$. The broader implications of the findings for food security and the capacity for safe adoption of GM technology are briefly explored.

  12. Genome sequence of foxtail millet (Setaria italica) provides insights into grass evolution and biofuel potential

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Gengyun; Liu, Xin; Quan, Zhiwu

    2012-01-01

    Foxtail millet (Setaria italica), a member of the Poaceae grass family, is an important food and fodder crop in arid regions and has potential for use as a C(4) biofuel. It is a model system for other biofuel grasses, including switchgrass and pearl millet. We produced a draft genome (∼423 Mb...

  13. Prospects of using algae in biofuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. I. Maltsev

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The development of industry, agriculture and the transport sector is associated with the use of various energy sources. Renewable energy sources, including biofuels, are highly promising in this respect. As shown by a number of scientific studies, a promising source for biofuel production that would meet modern requirements may be algal biomass. After activation of the third generation biodiesel production it was assumed that the algae would become the most advantageous source, because it is not only able to accumulate significant amounts of lipids, but could reduce the of agricultural land involved in biofuel production and improve air quality by sequestering CO2. However, a major problem is presented by the cost of algae biomass cultivation and its processing compared to the production of biodiesel from agricultural crops. In this regard, there are several directions of increasing the efficiency of biodiesel production from algae biomass. The first direction is to increase lipid content in algae cells by means of genetic engineering. The second direction is connected with the stimulation of increased accumulation of lipids by stressing algae. The third direction involves the search for new, promising strains of algae that will be characterized by faster biomass accumulation rate, higher content of TAG and the optimal proportions of accumulated saturated and unsaturated fatty acids compared to the already known strains. Recently, a new approach in the search for biotechnologically valuable strains of algae has been formed on the basis of predictions of capacity for sufficient accumulation of lipids by clarifying the evolutionary relationships within the major taxonomic groups of algae. The outcome of these studies is the rapid cost reduction of biofuel production based on algae biomass. All this emphasizes the priority of any research aimed at both improving the process of production of biofuels from algae, and the search for new sources for

  14. Application of food and feed safety assessment principles to evaluate transgenic approaches to gene modulation in crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, Wayne; Chassy, Bruce; Ligon, Jim; Meyer, Linda; Petrick, Jay; Zhou, Junguo; Herman, Rod; Delaney, Bryan; Levine, Marci

    2010-07-01

    New crop varieties containing traits such as enhanced nutritional profiles, increased yield, and tolerance to drought are being developed. In some cases, these new traits are dependent on small RNAs or regulatory proteins such as transcription factors (TF) that modify the expression of endogenous plant genes. To date, the food and feed safety of genetically modified (GM) crops has been assessed by the application of a set of internationally accepted procedures for evaluating the safety of GM crops. The goal of this paper is to review the main aspects of the current safety assessment paradigm and to recommend scientifically sound principles for conducting a safety assessment for GM crops that are developed by technologies that modify endogenous plant gene expression. Key considerations for such a safety assessment include the following: (1) RNA and TF are generally recognized as safe (GRAS); (2) Genes encoding RNAi and regulatory proteins such as TFs are an important component of the plantgenome; (3) Crops engineered using RNAi modifications are not expected to produce heterologous proteins; (4) The modulation of TFs may result in quantitative differences in endogenous plant components,which can be assessed through agronomic performance and compositional analysis on a caseby-case basis. 2010 ILSI. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. Screening for an Allergic Response to 2nd Generation Biofuel Sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract for March 2014 Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting The use of cellulosic biofuels crops can potentially reduce our carbon footprint. However, they may have unintended ecological and health effects such as increased competitiveness and allergenicity...

  16. Extended lifetime biofuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moehlenbrock, Michael J; Minteer, Shelley D

    2008-06-01

    Over the last 40 years, researchers have been studying and improving enzymatic biofuel cells, but until the last five years, the technology was plagued by short active lifetimes (typically 8 hours to 7 days) that prohibited the commercial use of this technology. This tutorial review introduces the topic of enzymatic biofuel cells and discusses the recent work done to stabilize and immobilize enzymes at bioanodes and biocathodes of biofuel cells. This review covers a wide variety of fuel systems from sugar to alcohols and covers both direct electron transfer (DET) systems and mediated electron transfer (MET) systems.

  17. Printed biofuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Joseph; Windmiller, Joshua Ray; Jia, Wenzhao

    2016-11-22

    Methods, systems, and devices are disclosed for implementing a biofuel cell device for extracting energy from a biofuel. In one aspect, a biofuel cell device includes a substrate, an anode including a catalyst to facilitate the conversion of a fuel in a biological fluid in an oxidative process that releases electrons captured at the anode, thereby extracting energy from the fuel substance, a cathode configured on the substrate adjacent to the anode and separated from the anode by a spacing region, and a load electrically coupled to the anode and cathode via electrical interconnects to obtain the extracted energy as electrical energy.

  18. Crop water productivity under increasing irrigation capacities in Romania. A spatially-explicit assessment of winter wheat and maize cropping systems in the southern lowlands of the country

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dogaru, Diana

    2016-04-01

    Improved water use efficiency in agriculture is a key issue in terms of sustainable management and consumption of water resources in the context of peoples' increasing food demands and preferences, economic growth and agricultural adaptation options to climate variability and change. Crop Water Productivity (CWP), defined as the ratio of yield (or value of harvested crop) to actual evapotranspiration or as the ratio of yield (or value of harvested crop) to volume of supplied irrigation water (Molden et al., 1998), is a useful indicator in the evaluation of water use efficiency and ultimately of cropland management, particularly in the case of regions affected by or prone to drought and where irrigation application is essential for achieving expected productions. The present study investigates the productivity of water in winter wheat and maize cropping systems in the Romanian Plain (49 594 sq. km), an important agricultural region in the southern part of the country which is increasingly affected by drought and dry spells (Sandu and Mateescu, 2014). The scope of the analysis is to assess the gains and losses in CWP for the two crops, by considering increased irrigated cropland and improved fertilization, these being the most common measures potentially and already implemented by the farmers. In order to capture the effects of such measures on agricultural water use, the GIS-based EPIC crop-growth model (GEPIC) (Williams et al., 1989; Liu, 2009) was employed to simulate yields, seasonal evapotranspiration from crops and volume of irrigation water in the Romanian Plain for the 2002 - 2013 interval with focus on 2007 and 2010, two representative years for dry and wet periods, respectively. The GEPIC model operates on a daily time step, while the geospatial input datasets for this analysis (e.g. climate data, soil classes and soil parameters, land use) were harmonized at 1km resolution grid cell. The sources of the spatial data are mainly the national profile agencies

  19. Reassessing Escherichia coli as a cell factory for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chonglong; Pfleger, Brian F; Kim, Seon-Won

    2017-06-01

    Via metabolic engineering, industrial microorganisms have the potential to convert renewable substrates into a wide range of biofuels that can address energy security and environmental challenges associated with current fossil fuels. The user-friendly bacterium, Escherichia coli, remains one of the most frequently used hosts for demonstrating production of biofuel candidates including alcohol-, fatty acid- and terpenoid-based biofuels. In this review, we summarize the metabolic pathways for synthesis of these biofuels and assess enabling technologies that assist in regulating biofuel synthesis pathways and rapidly assembling novel E. coli strains. These advances maintain E. coli's position as a prominent host for developing cell factories for biofuel production. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. National microalgae biofuel production potential and resource demand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigmosta, Mark S.; Coleman, André M.; Skaggs, Richard J.; Huesemann, Michael H.; Lane, Leonard J.

    2011-03-01

    Microalgae are receiving increased global attention as a potential sustainable "energy crop" for biofuel production. An important step to realizing the potential of algae is quantifying the demands commercial-scale algal biofuel production will place on water and land resources. We present a high-resolution spatiotemporal assessment that brings to bear fundamental questions of where production can occur, how many land and water resources are required, and how much energy is produced. Our study suggests that under current technology, microalgae have the potential to generate 220 × 109 L yr-1 of oil, equivalent to 48% of current U.S. petroleum imports for transportation. However, this level of production requires 5.5% of the land area in the conterminous United States and nearly three times the water currently used for irrigated agriculture, averaging 1421 L water per liter of oil. Optimizing the locations for microalgae production on the basis of water use efficiency can greatly reduce total water demand. For example, focusing on locations along the Gulf Coast, southeastern seaboard, and Great Lakes shows a 75% reduction in consumptive freshwater use to 350 L per liter of oil produced with a 67% reduction in land use. These optimized locations have the potential to generate an oil volume equivalent to 17% of imports for transportation fuels, equal to the Energy Independence and Security Act year 2022 "advanced biofuels" production target and utilizing some 25% of the current irrigation demand. With proper planning, adequate land and water are available to meet a significant portion of the U.S. renewable fuel goals.

  1. An experimental assessment on the influence of high octane fuels on biofuel based dual fuel engine performance, emission, and combustion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masimalai Senthilkumar

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an experimental study on the effect of different high octane fuels (such as eucalyptus oil, ethanol, and methanol on engine’s performance behaviour of a biofuel based dual fuel engine. A single cylinder Diesel engine was modified and tested under dual fuel mode of operation. Initially the engine was run using neat diesel, neat mahua oil as fuels. In the second phase, the engine was operated in dual fuel mode by using a specially designed variable jet carburettor to supply the high octane fuels. Engine trials were made at 100% and 40% loads (power outputs with varying amounts of high octane fuels up-to the maximum possible limit. The performance and emission characteristics of the engine were obtained and analysed. Results indicated significant improvement in brake thermal efficiency simultaneous reduction in smoke and NO emissions in dual fuel operation with all the inducted fuels. At 100% load the brake thermal efficiency increased from 25.6% to a maximum of 32.3, 30.5, and 28.4%, respectively, with eucalyptus oil, ethanol, and methanol as primary fuels. Smoke was reduced drastically from 78% with neat mahua oil a minimum of 41, 48, and 53%, respectively, with eucalyptus oil, ethanol, and methanol at the maximum efficiency point. The optimal energy share for the best engine behaviour was found to be 44.6, 27.3, and 23.2%, respectively, for eucalyptus oil, ethanol, and methanol at 100% load. Among the primary fuels tested, eucalyptus oil showed the maximum brake thermal efficiency, minimum smoke and NO emissions and maximum energy replacement for the optimal operation of the engine.

  2. Historical Perspective on How and Why Switchgrass was Seleced as a "Model" High-Potential Energy Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, Lynn [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2007-07-01

    Economic and environmental assessments by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program staff together with the screening project results, and funding limitations lead to making the decision to further develop only switchgrass as a “model” or “prototype” species in about 1990. This paper describes the conditions under which the herbaceous species were screened, summarizes results from those trials, discusses the various factors which influenced the selection of switchgrass, and provides a brief evaluation of switchgrass with respect to criteria that should be considered when selecting and developing a crop for biofuels and bioproducts.

  3. Assessing biogeochemical effects and best management practice for a wheat-maize cropping system using the DNDC model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, F.; Zheng, X.; Liu, C.; Wang, K.; Zhou, Z.; Deng, J.

    2014-01-01

    Contemporary agriculture is shifting from a single-goal to a multi-goal strategy, which in turn requires choosing best management practice (BMP) based on an assessment of the biogeochemical effects of management alternatives. The bottleneck is the capacity of predicting the simultaneous effects of different management practice scenarios on multiple goals and choosing BMP among scenarios. The denitrification-decomposition (DNDC) model may provide an opportunity to solve this problem. We validated the DNDC model (version 95) using the observations of soil moisture and temperature, crop yields, aboveground biomass and fluxes of net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide (N2O), nitric oxide (NO) and ammonia (NH3) from a wheat-maize cropping site in northern China. The model performed well for these variables. Then we used this model to simulate the effects of management practices on the goal variables of crop yields, NO emission, nitrate leaching, NH3 volatilization and net emission of greenhouse gases in the ecosystem (NEGE). Results showed that no-till and straw-incorporated practices had beneficial effects on crop yields and NEGE. Use of nitrification inhibitors decreased nitrate leaching and N2O and NO emissions, but they significantly increased NH3 volatilization. Irrigation based on crop demand significantly increased crop yield and decreased nitrate leaching and NH3 volatilization. Crop yields were hardly decreased if nitrogen dose was reduced by 15% or irrigation water amount was reduced by 25%. Two methods were used to identify BMP and resulted in the same BMP, which adopted the current crop cultivar, field operation schedules and full straw incorporation and applied nitrogen and irrigation water at 15 and 25% lower rates, respectively, than the current use. Our study indicates that the DNDC model can be used as a tool to assess biogeochemical effects of management alternatives and identify BMP.

  4. Biofuels Feedstock Development Program annual progress report for 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L.L.; Cushman, J.H.; Ehrenshaft, A.R.; McLaughlin, S.B.; McNabb, W.A.; Ranney, J.W.; Tuskan, G.A.; Turhollow, A.F.

    1992-12-01

    This report provides an overview of the ongoing research funded in 1991 by the Department of Energy's Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP). The BFDP is managed by the Environmental Sciences Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and encompasses the work formerly funded by the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program and the Herbaceous Energy Crops Program. The combined program includes crop development research on both woody and herbaceous energy crop species, cross-cutting energy and environmental analysis and integration, and information management activities. Brief summaries of 26 different program activities are included in the report.

  5. Biofuels Feedstock Development Program annual progress report for 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L.L.; Cushman, J.H.; Ehrenshaft, A.R.; McLaughlin, S.B.; McNabb, W.A.; Ranney, J.W.; Tuskan, G.A.; Turhollow, A.F.

    1992-12-01

    This report provides an overview of the ongoing research funded in 1991 by the Department of Energy`s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP). The BFDP is managed by the Environmental Sciences Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and encompasses the work formerly funded by the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program and the Herbaceous Energy Crops Program. The combined program includes crop development research on both woody and herbaceous energy crop species, cross-cutting energy and environmental analysis and integration, and information management activities. Brief summaries of 26 different program activities are included in the report.

  6. The green, blue and grey water footprint of crops and derived crop products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mekonnen, M. M.; Hoekstra, A. Y.

    2011-05-01

    This study quantifies the green, blue and grey water footprint of global crop production in a spatially-explicit way for the period 1996-2005. The assessment improves upon earlier research by taking a high-resolution approach, estimating the water footprint of 126 crops at a 5 by 5 arc minute grid. We have used a grid-based dynamic water balance model to calculate crop water use over time, with a time step of one day. The model takes into account the daily soil water balance and climatic conditions for each grid cell. In addition, the water pollution associated with the use of nitrogen fertilizer in crop production is estimated for each grid cell. The crop evapotranspiration of additional 20 minor crops is calculated with the CROPWAT model. In addition, we have calculated the water footprint of more than two hundred derived crop products, including various flours, beverages, fibres and biofuels. We have used the water footprint assessment framework as in the guideline of the Water Footprint Network. Considering the water footprints of primary crops, we see that the global average water footprint per ton of crop increases from sugar crops (roughly 200 m3 ton-1), vegetables (300 m3 ton-1), roots and tubers (400 m3 ton-1), fruits (1000 m3 ton-1), cereals (1600 m3 ton-1), oil crops (2400 m3 ton-1) to pulses (4000 m3 ton-1). The water footprint varies, however, across different crops per crop category and per production region as well. Besides, if one considers the water footprint per kcal, the picture changes as well. When considered per ton of product, commodities with relatively large water footprints are: coffee, tea, cocoa, tobacco, spices, nuts, rubber and fibres. The analysis of water footprints of different biofuels shows that bio-ethanol has a lower water footprint (in m3 GJ-1) than biodiesel, which supports earlier analyses. The crop used matters significantly as well: the global average water footprint of bio-ethanol based on sugar beet amounts to 51 m3 GJ-1

  7. Global Simulation of Bioenergy Crop Productivity: Analytical framework and Case Study for Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nair, S. Surendran [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Nichols, Jeff A. {Cyber Sciences} [ORNL; Post, Wilfred M [ORNL; Wang, Dali [ORNL; Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL; Kline, Keith L [ORNL; Wei, Yaxing [ORNL; Singh, Nagendra [ORNL; Kang, Shujiang [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    Contemporary global assessments of the deployment potential and sustainability aspects of biofuel crops lack quantitative details. This paper describes an analytical framework capable of meeting the challenges associated with global scale agro-ecosystem modeling. We designed a modeling platform for bioenergy crops, consisting of five major components: (i) standardized global natural resources and management data sets, (ii) global simulation unit and management scenarios, (iii) model calibration and validation, (iv) high-performance computing (HPC) modeling, and (v) simulation output processing and analysis. A case study with the HPC- Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model (HPC-EPIC) to simulate a perennial bioenergy crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and global biomass feedstock analysis on grassland demonstrates the application of this platform. The results illustrate biomass feedstock variability of switchgrass and provide insights on how the modeling platform can be expanded to better assess sustainable production criteria and other biomass crops. Feedstock potentials on global grasslands and within different countries are also shown. Future efforts involve developing databases of productivity, implementing global simulations for other bioenergy crops (e.g. miscanthus, energycane and agave), and assessing environmental impacts under various management regimes. We anticipated this platform will provide an exemplary tool and assessment data for international communities to conduct global analysis of biofuel biomass feedstocks and sustainability.

  8. Identifying potential areas for biofuel production and evaluating the environmental effects: a case study of the James River Basin in the Midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yiping; Liu, Shu-Guang; Li, Zhengpeng

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels are now an important resource in the United States because of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Both increased corn growth for ethanol production and perennial dedicated energy crop growth for cellulosic feedstocks are potential sources to meet the rising demand for biofuels. However, these measures may cause adverse environmental consequences that are not yet fully understood. This study 1) evaluates the long-term impacts of increased frequency of corn in the crop rotation system on water quantity and quality as well as soil fertility in the James River Basin and 2) identifies potential grasslands for cultivating bioenergy crops (e.g. switchgrass), estimating the water quality impacts. We selected the soil and water assessment tool, a physically based multidisciplinary model, as the modeling approach to simulate a series of biofuel production scenarios involving crop rotation and land cover changes. The model simulations with different crop rotation scenarios indicate that decreases in water yield and soil nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) concentration along with an increase in NO3-N load to stream water could justify serious concerns regarding increased corn rotations in this basin. Simulations with land cover change scenarios helped us spatially classify the grasslands in terms of biomass productivity and nitrogen loads, and we further derived the relationship of biomass production targets and the resulting nitrogen loads against switchgrass planting acreages. The suggested economically efficient (planting acreage) and environmentally friendly (water quality) planting locations and acreages can be a valuable guide for cultivating switchgrass in this basin. This information, along with the projected environmental costs (i.e. reduced water yield and increased nitrogen load), can contribute to decision support tools for land managers to seek the sustainability of biofuel development in this region.

  9. GROW1: a crop growth model for assessing impacts of gaseous pollutants from geothermal technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kercher, J.R.

    1977-03-17

    A preliminary model of photosynthesis and growth of field crops was developed to assess the effects of gaseous pollutants, particularly airborne sulfur compounds, resulting from energy production from geothermal resources. The model simulates photosynthesis as a function of such variables as irradiance, CO/sub 2/ diffusion resistances, and internal biochemical processes. The model allocates the products of photosynthesis to structural (leaf, stem, root, and fruit) and storage compartments of the plant. The simulations encompass the entire growing season from germination to senescence. The model is described conceptually and mathematically and examples of model output are provided for various levels of pollutant stress. Also, future developments that would improve this preliminary model are outlined and its applications are discussed.

  10. Paths to last in mixed crop-livestock farming: lessons from an assessment of farm trajectories of change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryschawy, J; Choisis, N; Choisis, J P; Gibon, A

    2013-04-01

    Mixed crop-livestock systems, combining livestock and cash crops at farm level, are considered to be suitable for sustainable intensification of agriculture. Ensuring the survival of mixed crop-livestock systems is a challenge for European agriculture: the number of European mixed crop-livestock farms has been decreasing since 1970. Analysis of farming system dynamics may elucidate past changes and the forces driving this decline. The objectives of this study were (i) to identify the diversity of paths that allowed the survival of mixed crop-livestock farming and (ii) to elucidate the driving forces behind such survival. We analysed the variety of farm trajectories from 1950 to 2005. We studied the entire farm population of a case study site, located in the 'Coteaux de Gascogne' region. In this less favoured area of south-western France, farmers have limited specialisation. Currently, half of the farms use mixed crop-livestock systems. The data set of 20 variables for 50 farms on the basis of six 10-year time steps was collected through retrospective surveys. We used a two-step analysis including (i) a visual assessment of the whole population of individual farm trajectories and (ii) a computer-based typology of farm trajectories on the basis of a series of multivariate analyses followed by automatic clustering. The European Common Agricultural Policy, market globalisation and decreasing workforce availability were identified as drivers of change that favoured the specialisation process. Nevertheless, farmers' choices and values have opposed against these driving forces, ensuring the survival of some mixed crop-livestock farming systems. The trajectories were clustered into five types, four of which were compatible with mixed crop-livestock systems. The first type was the maximisation of autonomy by combining crops and livestock. The second type was diversification of production to exploit economies of scope and protect the farm against market fluctuations. The

  11. The Danish Biofuel Debate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Janus

    2014-01-01

    What role does scientific claims-making play in the worldwide promotion of biofuels for transport, which continues despite serious concerns about its potentially adverse social and environmental effects? And how do actors with very different and conflicting viewpoints on the benefits and drawbacks...... of biofuels enrol scientific authority to support their positions? The sociological theory of functional differentiation combined with the concept of advocacy coalition can help in exploring this relationship between scientific claims-making and the policy stance of different actors in public debates about...... biofuels. In Denmark two distinct scientific perspectives about biofuels map onto the policy debates through articulation by two competing advocacy coalitions. One is a reductionist biorefinery perspective originating in biochemistry and neighbouring disciplines. This perspective works upwards from...

  12. Biosafety risk assessment approaches for insect-resistant genetically modified crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inaam Ullah

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Environmental risk assessment (ERA is imperative for commercial release of insect resistant, genetically modified crops (IR-GMCs.An insect specific, spider venom peptideω-HXTX-Hv1a (Hvt was successfully expressed in cotton plants. The cotton plants producing Hvt protein have demonstrated resistance against economically important insect pest species. The study was performed to assess the effects of Hvt producing cotton plants on Honey bees (Apis mellifera. Methods: Three approaches were used to evaluate the effects of Hvt protein on adults of honeybees; whole plant assays in flight cages, in vitro assays with pollen of Hvt-cotton, and assays with elevated levels of purified Hvt protein. Pollens of Bt cotton or purified Bt proteins were used as control. Results: The field experiments did not yield any meaningful data due to high rate of mortality in all treatments including the control. However, the laboratory experiments provided conclusive results in which Hvt, purified or in pollens, did not affect the survival or longevity of the bees compared to the control. During the course of study we were able to compare the quality, effectiveness and economics of different experiments. Conclusions: We conclude that Hvt either purified or produced in cotton plants do not affect the survival or longevity of honey bees. We are also of the view that starting at laboratory level assays not only gives meaningful data but also saves a lot of time and money that can be spent on other important questions regarding safety of a particular transgenic crop. Hence, a purpose-based, tiered approach could be the best choice for pre-release ERA of IR-GMCs.

  13. Microalgae: biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    Babita Kumari; Vinay Sharma

    2013-01-01

    In the present day, microalgae feedstocks are gaining interest in energy scenario due to their fast growth potential coupled with relatively high lipid, carbohydrate and nutrients contents. All of these properties render them an excellent source for biofuels such as biodiesel, bioethanol and biomethane; as well as a number of other valuable pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. The present review is a critical appraisal of the commercialization potential of microalgae biofuels....

  14. The Role of Biofuels Coproducts in Feeding the World Sustainably.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shurson, Gerald C

    2017-02-08

    One of the grand challenges facing our society today is finding solutions for feeding the world sustainably. The food-versus-fuel debate is a controversy embedded in this challenge, involving the trade-offs of using grains and oilseeds for biofuels production versus animal feed and human food. However, only 6% of total global grain produced is used to produce ethanol. Furthermore, biofuels coproducts contribute to sustainability of food production because only 1% to 2.5% of the overall energy efficiency is lost from converting crops into biofuels and animal feed, and approximately one-third of the corn used to produce ethanol is recovered as feed coproducts. Extensive research has been conducted over the past 15 years on biofuels coproducts to (a) optimize their use for improving caloric and nutritional efficiency in animal feeds, (b) identify benefits and limitations of use in various animal diets, (c) characterize their unique nutraceutical properties, and (d) evaluate their environmental impacts.

  15. Will biofuel projects in Southeast Asia become white elephants?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sheng Goh, Chun; Teong Lee, Keat [School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia)

    2010-08-15

    Southeast Asia's attempt to join the global biofuel development has not been very successful, despite the large amount of subsidies and incentives allotted for biofuel projects. The outcome of these projects has failed to meet expectation due to overrated assumptions and shortsighted policies. Utilization of edible feedstock such as palm oil and sugar cane for biofuel has disrupted the fragile industry due to the fluctuations of feedstock prices. The appropriate research on jatropha to prove its economic and environmental feasibility as energy crop has not been performed. Biofuel development in Southeast Asia remains at an early stage of development and requires highly intensive monitoring and strict legal enforcement to ensure future success. (author)

  16. Will biofuel projects in Southeast Asia become white elephants?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goh, Chun Sheng [School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia); Lee, Keat Teong, E-mail: chktlee@eng.usm.m [School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia)

    2010-08-15

    Southeast Asia's attempt to join the global biofuel development has not been very successful, despite the large amount of subsidies and incentives allotted for biofuel projects. The outcome of these projects has failed to meet expectation due to overrated assumptions and shortsighted policies. Utilization of edible feedstock such as palm oil and sugar cane for biofuel has disrupted the fragile industry due to the fluctuations of feedstock prices. The appropriate research on jatropha to prove its economic and environmental feasibility as energy crop has not been performed. Biofuel development in Southeast Asia remains at an early stage of development and requires highly intensive monitoring and strict legal enforcement to ensure future success.

  17. Public acceptance of biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savvanidou, Electra; Zervas, Efthimios; Tsagarakis, Konstantinos P. [Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Vas. Sofias 12, 67100 Xanthi (Greece)

    2010-07-15

    The public acceptance of biofuels in Greece is examined in this work. The analysis of 571 face to face interviews shows that 90.7% of the respondents believe that climatic changes are related to fossil fuel consumption, while only 23.8% know the difference between biodiesel and bioethanol. 76.1% believe that energy saving should precede the use of an alternative source of energy. Only 27.3% believe that priority must be given to biofuels over other renewable energy sources. Only 49.9% think that the use of biofuels can be an effective solution against climatic changes and 53.9% believe that the use of biofuels can be an effective solution for the energy problem. Finally, 80.9% of the car owners are willing to use biofuels, 44.8% are willing to pay the supplementary amount of 0.06 EUR/L of the fuel market price, while the average amount reported as willing to pay was 0.079 EUR/L on top of the fuel market price. Furthermore, eight models correlating the eight main responses with several socioeconomic variables are developed and analyzed. Those findings heave important policy implications related to the use and promotion of biofuels. (author)

  18. Assessment of an Operational System for Crop Type Map Production Using High Temporal and Spatial Resolution Satellite Optical Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordi Inglada

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Crop area extent estimates and crop type maps provide crucial information for agricultural monitoring and management. Remote sensing imagery in general and, more specifically, high temporal and high spatial resolution data as the ones which will be available with upcoming systems, such as Sentinel-2, constitute a major asset for this kind of application. The goal of this paper is to assess to what extent state-of-the-art supervised classification methods can be applied to high resolution multi-temporal optical imagery to produce accurate crop type maps at the global scale. Five concurrent strategies for automatic crop type map production have been selected and benchmarked using SPOT4 (Take5 and Landsat 8 data over 12 test sites spread all over the globe (four in Europe, four in Africa, two in America and two in Asia. This variety of tests sites allows one to draw conclusions applicable to a wide variety of landscapes and crop systems. The results show that a random forest classifier operating on linearly temporally gap-filled images can achieve overall accuracies above 80% for most sites. Only two sites showed low performances: Madagascar due to the presence of fields smaller than the pixel size and Burkina Faso due to a mix of trees and crops in the fields. The approach is based on supervised machine learning techniques, which need in situ data collection for the training step, but the map production is fully automatic.

  19. The Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) Initiative: Developing methods and best practices for global agricultural monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champagne, C.; Jarvis, I.; Defourny, P.; Davidson, A.

    2014-12-01

    Agricultural systems differ significantly throughout the world, making a 'one size fits all' approach to remote sensing and monitoring of agricultural landscapes problematic. The Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) was established in 2009 to bring together the global scientific community to work towards a set of best practices and recommendations for using earth observation data to map, monitor and report on agricultural productivity globally across an array of diverse agricultural systems. These methods form the research and development component of the Group on Earth Observation Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative to harmonize global monitoring efforts and increase market transparency. The JECAM initiative brings together researchers from a large number of globally distributed, well monitored agricultural test sites that cover a range of crop types, cropping systems and climate regimes. Each test site works independently as well as together across multiple sites to test methods, sensors and field data collection techniques to derive key agricultural parameters, including crop type, crop condition, crop yield and soil moisture. The outcome of this project will be a set of best practices that cover the range of remote sensing monitoring and reporting needs, including satellite data acquisition, pre-processing techniques, information retrieval and ground data validation. These outcomes provide the research and development foundation for GEOGLAM and will help to inform the development of the GEOGLAM "system of systems" for global agricultural monitoring. The outcomes of the 2014 JECAM science meeting will be discussed as well as examples of methods being developed by JECAM scientists.

  20. Energy Insecurity: The False Promise of Liquid Biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    1798 prophecy of global famine from population growth overtaking food production.15 Without the addition of artificial fertilizer energy, plants are...food, industrial, and biofuel crops. Chief locations for such land appropriation are Sudan, Mozambique, and Ethiopia , where millions are living...it had surplus food crop capacity and used it to rescue other nations from famine . In 1965, Pres. Lyndon Johnson’s administration shipped one-fifth

  1. Limitation of Biofuel Production in Europe from the Forest Market

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leduc, Sylvain; Wetterlund, Elisabeth; Dotzauer, Erik; Kindermann, Georg

    2013-04-01

    The European Union has set a 10% target for the share of biofuel in the transportation sector to be met by 2020. To reach this target, second generation biofuel is expected to replace 3 to 5% of the transport fossil fuel consumption. But the competition on the feedstock is an issue and makes the planning for the second generation biofuel plant a challenge. Moreover, no commercial second generation biofuel production plant is under operation, but if reaching commercial status, this type of production plants are expected to become very large. In order to minimize the tranportation costs and to takle the competetion for the feedstock against the existing woody based industries, the geographical location of biofuel production plants becomes an issue. This study investigates the potential of second generation biofuel economically feasible in Europe by 2020 in regards with the competition for the feedsstock with the existing woody biomass based industries (CHP, pulp and paper mills, sawmills...). To assess the biofuel potential in Europe, a techno-economic, geographically explicit model, BeWhere, is used. It determines the optimal locations of bio-energy production plants by minimizing the costs and CO2 emissions of the entire supply chain. The existing woody based industries have to first meet their wood demand, and if the amount of wood that remains is suficiant, new bio-energy production plants if any can be set up. Preliminary results show that CHP plants are preferably chosen over biofuel production plants. Strong biofuel policy support is needed in order to consequently increase the biofuel production in Europe. The carbon tax influences the emission reduction to a higher degree than the biofuel support. And the potential of second generation biofuel would at most reach 3% of the European transport fuel if the wood demand does not increase from 2010.

  2. Agronomic, Energetic and Environmental Aspects of Biomass Energy Crops Suitable for Italian Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppina M. D’Agosta

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The review, after a short introduction on the tendencies of the European Community Policy on biomasses, describes the agronomic, energy potential and environmental aspects of biomass crops for energy in relation to the research activity carried out in Italy on this topic, differentiating crops on the basis of the main energy use: biodiesel and bioethanol (which refers to “first generation biofuel”, heat and electricity. Currently, many of the crops for potential energy purposes are food crops (wheat, barley, corn, rapeseed, soybean, sunflower, grain sorghum, sugar beet and their production may be used as biofuel source (bioethanol and biodiesel since their crop management aspects are well known and consequently they are immediately applicable. Other species that could be used, highly productive in biomass, such as herbaceous perennial crops (Arundo donax, Miscanthus spp., cardoon, annual crops (sweet sorghum, short rotation woody crops (SRF have been carefully considered in Italy, but they still exhibit critical aspects related to propagation technique, low-input response, harvest and storage technique, cultivars and mechanization. Crops for food, however, often have negative energetic indices and environmental impacts (carbon sequestration, Life Cycle Assessment, consequent to their low productivity. Conversely, crops which are more productive in biomass, show both a more favourable energy balance and environmental impact.

  3. Agronomic, Energetic and Environmental Aspects of Biomass Energy Crops Suitable for Italian Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppina M. D’Agosta

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The review, after a short introduction on the tendencies of the European Community Policy on biomasses, describes the agronomic, energy potential and environmental aspects of biomass crops for energy in relation to the research activity carried out in Italy on this topic, differentiating crops on the basis of the main energy use: biodiesel and bioethanol (which refers to “first generation biofuel”, heat and electricity. Currently, many of the crops for potential energy purposes are food crops (wheat, barley, corn, rapeseed, soybean, sunflower, grain sorghum, sugar beet and their production may be used as biofuel source (bioethanol and biodiesel since their crop management aspects are well known and consequently they are immediately applicable. Other species that could be used, highly productive in biomass, such as herbaceous perennial crops (Arundo donax, Miscanthus spp., cardoon, annual crops (sweet sorghum, short rotation woody crops (SRF have been carefully considered in Italy, but they still exhibit critical aspects related to propagation technique, low-input response, harvest and storage technique, cultivars and mechanization. Crops for food, however, often have negative energetic indices and environmental impacts (carbon sequestration, Life Cycle Assessment, consequent to their low productivity. Conversely, crops which are more productive in biomass, show both a more favourable energy balance and environmental impact.

  4. The potential of C4 grasses for cellulosic biofuel production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijde, van der R.T.; Alvim Kamei, C.L.; Torres Salvador, A.F.; Vermerris, W.; Dolstra, O.; Visser, R.G.F.; Trindade, L.M.

    2013-01-01

    With the advent of biorefinery technologies enabling plant biomass to be processed into biofuel, many researchers set out to study and improve candidate biomass crops. Many of these candidates are C4 grasses, characterized by a high productivity and resource use efficiency. In this review the

  5. Biofuels News, Fall 1998, Vol. 1, No. 4

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    ICF Kaiser

    1998-12-08

    This issue of the Biofuels News focuses on a new industry in renewable transportation fuel. BC International (BCI) became the first company to dedicate a facility to produce ethanol from agricultural residues. Also, featured is an article on the potential of switchgrass as an energy crop.

  6. Biofuels and food security: biting off more than we can chew?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Clancy, Joy S.; Rivero Acha, Sergio Luis; Chen, Wei

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines the demonization of biofuels in relation to food security and assess whether or not the negativity towards biofuels is justified. We first examine the concept of food security which has been a concern long before the emergence of biofuels. We show that creating food security is

  7. Using life cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis in a real options framework to inform the design of algal biofuel production facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Jordan D; Hise, Adam M; Characklis, Greg W; Gerlach, Robin; Viamajala, Sridhar; Gardner, Robert D

    2017-02-01

    This study investigates the use of "real options analysis" (ROA) to quantify the value of greater product flexibility at algal biofuel production facilities. A deterministic optimization framework is integrated with a combined life cycle assessment/techno-economic analysis model and subjected to an ensemble of 30-year commodity price trajectories. Profits are maximized for two competing plant configurations: 1) one that sells lipid-extracted algae as animal feed only; and 2) one that can sell lipid-extracted algae as feed or use it to recover nutrients and energy, due to an up-front investment in anaerobic digestion/combined heat and power. Results show that added investment in plant flexibility does not result in an improvement in net present value, because current feed meal prices discourage use of lipid-extracted algae for nutrient and energy recovery. However, this study demonstrates that ROA provides many useful insights regarding plant design that cannot be captured via traditional techno-economic modeling. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Potential of Using Remote Sensing Techniques for Global Assessment of Water Footprint of Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mireia Romaguera

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Remote sensing has long been a useful tool in global applications, since it provides physically-based, worldwide, and consistent spatial information. This paper discusses the potential of using these techniques in the research field of water management, particularly for ‘Water Footprint’ (WF studies. The WF of a crop is defined as the volume of water consumed for its production, where green and blue WF stand for rain and irrigation water usage, respectively. In this paper evapotranspiration, precipitation, water storage, runoff and land use are identified as key variables to potentially be estimated by remote sensing and used for WF assessment. A mass water balance is proposed to calculate the volume of irrigation applied, and green and blue WF are obtained from the green and blue evapotranspiration components. The source of remote sensing data is described and a simplified example is included, which uses evapotranspiration estimates from the geostationary satellite Meteosat 9 and precipitation estimates obtained with the Climatic Prediction Center Morphing Technique (CMORPH. The combination of data in this approach brings several limitations with respect to discrepancies in spatial and temporal resolution and data availability, which are discussed in detail. This work provides new tools for global WF assessment and represents an innovative approach to global irrigation mapping, enabling the estimation of green and blue water use.

  9. Is current irrigation sustainable in the United States? An integrated assessment of climate change impact on water resources and irrigated crop yields

    OpenAIRE

    Blanc, Elodie; Caron, Justin; Fant, Charles; Monier, Erwan

    2017-01-01

    Abstract While climate change impacts on crop yields has been extensively studied, estimating the impact of water shortages on irrigated crop yields is challenging because the water resources management system is complex. To investigate this issue, we integrate a crop yield reduction module and a water resources model into the MIT Integrated Global System Modeling framework, an integrated assessment model linking a global economic model to an Earth system model. We assess the effects of clima...

  10. Life Cycle Energy and CO2 Emission Optimization for Biofuel Supply Chain Planning under Uncertainties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ren, Jingzheng; An, Da; Liang, Hanwei

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to develop a model for the decision-makers/stakeholders to design biofuel supply chain under uncertainties. Life cycle energy and CO2 emission of biofuel supply chain are employed as the objective functions, multiple feedstocks, multiple transportation modes, multiple...... sites for building biofuel plants, multiple technologies for biofuel production, and multiple markets for biofuel distribution are considered, and the amount of feedstocks in agricultural system, transportation capacities, yields of crops, and market demands are considered as uncertainty variables...... in this study. A bi-objective interval mix integer programming model has been developed for biofuel supply chain design under uncertainties, and the bio-objective interval programming method has been developed to solve this model. An illustrative case of a multiple-feedstock-bioethanol system has been studied...

  11. Meeting the Demand for Biofuels: Impact on Land Use and Carbon Mitigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khanna, Madhu; Jain, Atul; Onal, Hayri; Scheffran, Jurgen; Chen, Xiaoguang; Erickson, Matt; Huang, Haixiao; Kang, Seungmo.

    2011-08-14

    The purpose of this research was to develop an integrated, interdisciplinary framework to investigate the implications of large scale production of biofuels for land use, crop production, farm income and greenhouse gases. In particular, we examine the mix of feedstocks that would be viable for biofuel production and the spatial allocation of land required for producing these feedstocks at various gasoline and carbon emission prices as well as biofuel subsidy levels. The implication of interactions between energy policy that seeks energy independence from foreign oil and climate policy that seeks to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions for the optimal mix of biofuels and land use will also be investigated. This project contributes to the ELSI research goals of sustainable biofuel production while balancing competing demands for land and developing policy approaches needed to support biofuel production in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.

  12. Assessing genetically modified crops to minimize the risk of increased food allergy: A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goodman, Richard E.; Hefle, Susan L.; Taylor, Steven L.; van Ree, Ronald

    2005-01-01

    The first genetically modified (GM) crops approved for food use ( tomato and soybean) were evaluated for safety by the United States Food and Drug Administration prior to commercial production. Among other factors, those products and all additional GM crops that have been grown commercially have

  13. Sustainability assessment of crop protection systems: SustainOS methodology and its application for apple orchards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mouron, P.; Heijne, B.; Naef, A.; Strassemever, J.; Haver, F.; Avilla, J.

    2012-01-01

    Crop protection in general and apple crop protection in particular often rely on pesticides, although several alternative pest management measures are available. In this context European agricultural policy requires the implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) by 2014. Within IPM, more

  14. Socioeconomic and environmental assessment of biodiesel crops on family farming systems in Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Belo Leitea, Dal J.G.; Barbosa Justino, F.; Nunes Vieira da Silva, J.V.; Florin, M.J.; Ittersum, van M.K.

    2015-01-01

    In Brazil, local agricultural research agendas are increasingly challenged by the search for sustainable biodiesel crop options for family farmers, especially under semi-arid conditions. The aim of this paper is to explore the suitability of different biodiesel crops (i.e. soybean, castor bean and

  15. Bias in IPCC Methodologies for Assessment of N2O emissions from Crop Residue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitrogen use efficiencies are difficult to measure and reported recoveries from fertilizer N by crops average =50%. Worldwide studies (20+) conducted with precise 15N techniques that trace the fate of N found that an average of 66% of the fertilizer was recovered in crops and soils. In other words,...

  16. Assessing the environmental impact of changes in pesticide use on transgenic crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleter, G.A.; Kuiper, H.A.

    2004-01-01

    Two main traits that have been introduced into genetically modified crops that are currently on the market, viz., herbicide and insect resistance, likely affect pesticide use on these crops. Various surveys have been carried out, such as those of the USDAERS and NCFAP, comparing the pesticide use on

  17. The importance of weather data in crop growth simulation models and assessment of climatic change effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nonhebel, S.

    1993-01-01

    Yields of agricultural crops are largely determined by the weather conditions during the growing season. Weather data are therefore important input variables for crop growth simulation models. In practice, these data are accepted at their face value. This is not realistic. Like all measured

  18. Trade-offs of water use for hydropower generation and biofuel production in the Zambezi basin in Mozambique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanzel, Philipp; Kling, Harald; Nicholson, Kit

    2014-05-01

    Hydropower is the most important energy source in Mozambique, as in many other southern African countries. In the Zambezi basin, it is one of the major economic resources, and substantial hydropower development is envisaged for the next decades. In Mozambique, the extension of the large Cahora Bassa hydropower plant and the construction of several new facilities downstream are planned. Irrigated agriculture currently plays a minor role, but has a large potential due to available land and water resources. Irrigation development, especially for the production of biofuels, is an important government policy goal in Mozambique. This contribution assesses interrelations and trade-offs between these two development options with high dependence on water availability. Potential water demand for large-scale irrigated agriculture is estimated for a mix of possible biofuel crops in three scenarios with different irrigated area sizes. Impacts on river discharge and hydropower production in the Lower Zambezi and its tributaries under two projected future climates are simulated with a hydrological model and a reservoir operation and hydropower model. Trade-offs of increasing biofuel production with decreasing hydropower generation due to diminished discharge in the Zambezi River are investigated based on potential energy production, from hydropower and biofuels, and resulting gross revenues and net benefits. Results show that the impact of irrigation withdrawal on hydropower production is rather low due to the generally high water availability in the Zambezi River. In simulations with substantial irrigated areas, hydropower generation decreases by -2% as compared to a scenario with only small irrigated areas. The economic analyses suggest that the use of water for cultivation of biofuel crops in the Zambezi basin can generate higher economic benefits than the use of water for hydroelectric power production. If world oil prices stay at more than about 80 USD/barrel, then the

  19. BioFuels Atlas (Presentation)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moriarty, K.

    2011-02-01

    Presentation for biennial merit review of Biofuels Atlas, a first-pass visualization tool that allows users to explore the potential of biomass-to-biofuels conversions at various locations and scales.

  20. Derivation and interpretation of hazard quotients to assess ecological risks from the cultivation of insect-resistant transgenic crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raybould, Alan; Caron-Lormier, Geoffrey; Bohan, David A

    2011-06-08

    Cost-effective and rigorous risk assessments for chemicals may be based on hazard quotients (HQs): the ratio of a measure of exposure to a substance and a measure of the effect of that substance. HQs have been used for many years in ecological risk assessments for the use of synthetic pesticides in agriculture, and methods for calculating pesticide HQs have been adapted for use with transgenic crops. This paper describes how laboratory methods for assessing the ecotoxicological effects of synthetic pesticides have been modified for the measurement of effects of insecticidal proteins, and how these effect measures are combined with exposure estimates to derive HQs for assessing the ecological risks from the cultivation of insect-resistant transgenic crops. The potential for ecological modeling to inform the design of laboratory effects tests for insecticidal proteins is also discussed.

  1. Improved Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Crop Production at the Catchment Scale via a Process-Based Nitrogen Simulation Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Wenjie; van der Werf, Hayo M G; Salmon-Monviola, Jordy

    2015-09-15

    One of the major challenges in environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of crop production is the nonlinearity between nitrogen (N) fertilizer inputs and on-site N emissions resulting from complex biogeochemical processes. A few studies have addressed this nonlinearity by combining process-based N simulation models with LCA, but none accounted for nitrate (NO3(-)) flows across fields. In this study, we present a new method, TNT2-LCA, that couples the topography-based simulation of nitrogen transfer and transformation (TNT2) model with LCA, and compare the new method with a current LCA method based on a French life cycle inventory database. Application of the two methods to a case study of crop production in a catchment in France showed that, compared to the current method, TNT2-LCA allows delineation of more appropriate temporal limits when developing data for on-site N emissions associated with specific crops in this catchment. It also improves estimates of NO3(-) emissions by better consideration of agricultural practices, soil-climatic conditions, and spatial interactions of NO3(-) flows across fields, and by providing predicted crop yield. The new method presented in this study provides improved LCA of crop production at the catchment scale.

  2. Perspectives for Sustainable Aviation Biofuels in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís A. B. Cortez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The aviation industry has set ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions in coming decades. The strategy involves the use of sustainable biofuels, aiming to achieve benefits from environmental, social, and economic perspectives. In this context, Brazilian conditions are favorable, with a mature agroindustry that regularly produces automotive biofuel largely adopted by Brazilian road vehicles, while air transportation has been growing at an accelerating pace and a modern aircraft industry is in place. This paper presents the main conclusions and recommendations from a broad assessment of the technological, economic, and sustainability challenges and opportunities associated with the development of drop-in aviation biofuels in Brazil. It was written by a research team that prepared the initial reports and conducted eight workshops with the active participation of more than 30 stakeholders encompassing the private sector, government institutions, NGOs, and academia. The main outcome was a set of guidelines for establishing a new biofuels industry, including recommendations for (a filling the identified research and development knowledge gaps in the production of sustainable feedstock; (b overcoming the barriers in conversion technology, including scaling-up issues; (c promoting greater involvement and interaction between private and government stakeholders; and (d creating a national strategy to promote the development of aviation biofuels.

  3. Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA. An Integrated Assessment. Part 5. Irrigated Agriculture and National Grain Crop Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomson, A.M.; Rosenberg, N.J.; Izaurralde, R.C. [Joint Global Change Research Institute, 8400 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 201, College Park, MD, 20740 (United States); Brown, R.A. [Independent Project Analysis, 11150 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 300, Reston, VA, 20190 (United States)

    2005-03-01

    During this century global warming will lead to changes in global weather and climate, affecting many aspects of our environment. Agriculture is the sector of the United States economy most likely to be directly impacted by climatic changes. We have examined potential changes in dryland agriculture (Part 3) and in water resources necessary for crop production (Part 4) in response to a set of climate change scenarios. In this paper we assess to what extent, under these same scenarios, water supplies will be sufficient to meet the irrigation requirement of major grain crops in the US. In addition, we assess the overall impacts of changes in water supply on national grain production. We apply the 12 climate change scenarios described in Part 1 to the water resources and crop growth simulation models described in Part 2 for the conterminous United States. Drawing on data from Parts 3 and 4 we calculate what the aggregate national production would be in those regions in which grain crops are currently produced by applying irrigation where needed and water supplies allow. The total amount of irrigation water applied to crops declines under all climate change scenarios employed in this study. Under certain of the scenarios and in particular regions, precipitation decreases so much that water supplies are too limited; in other regions precipitation becomes so plentiful that little value is derived from irrigation. Nationwide grain crop production is greater when irrigation is applied as needed. Under irrigation, less corn and soybeans are produced under most of the climate change scenarios than is produced under baseline climate conditions. Winter wheat production under irrigation responds significantly to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations [CO2] and appears likely to increase under climate change.

  4. Implications of Biofuel-Induced Land Use Change and Management on Irrigated Agriculture in the Texas High Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ale, S.; Chen, Y.; Rajan, N.

    2016-12-01

    Texas High Plains (THP) is one of the important cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) growing regions in the US. Agriculture in the THP faces several challenges from declining groundwater levels and deteriorating groundwater quality in the underlying Ogallala Aquifer, and recurring droughts and severe wind erosion. Groundwater conservation districts in the THP have started setting up limits on annual allowable groundwater pumping for irrigation. Introducing cover crops in to the cotton production systems in the THP and/or changing land use from cotton to perennial bioenergy crops could not only address the above challenges, but also assist in meeting the national biofuel target. The overall goal of this study is to assess the implications of biofuel-indced land use managemt (growing winter wheat as a cover crop along with cotton) and land use change (replacing cotton with Alamo switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and Miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus)) on hydrology, water quality, wind erosion and biofuel production potential in the Double Mountain Fork Brazos watershed in the THP using the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) model. Results showed that, in comparison to the baseline (cotton monoculture) scenario, the average annual wind erosion reduced by 59% and 37% in irrigated and dryland areas, respectively, when winter wheat was grown as a cover crop along with cotton under the current 18-inch groundwater pumping restriction set up by the High Plains Water District. In addition, winter wheat produced about 2.6 and 2.0 Mg ha-1 of biomass for biofuel purposes under the irrigated and dryland conditions, respectively. Furthermore, the total nitrogen (TN) load and nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) leaching decreased by more than 43% and 73%, respectively, under the cover crop scenario. The land use change from cotton to switchgrass (in irrigated areas) and Miscanthus (in dryland areas) decreased the TN load, NO3-N leaching and wind erosion by more than 89% relative to

  5. Decision support model for evaluating biofuel development along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tidwell, Vincent Carroll; Correa, Alberto (Bi-National Sustainability Laboratory Santa Teresa, NM); Maxwell, Paul (Bi-National Sustainability Laboratory Santa Teresa, NM); Malczynski, Leonard A.

    2010-04-01

    Recently, Sandia National Laboratories and General Motors cooperated on the development of the Biofuels Deployment Model (BDM) to assess the feasibility, implications, limitations, and enablers of producing 90 billion gallons of ethanol per year by 2030. Leveraging the past investment, a decision support model based on the BDM is being developed to assist investors, entrepreneurs, and decision makers in evaluating the costs and benefits associated with biofuels development in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Specifically, the model is designed to assist investors and entrepreneurs in assessing the risks and opportunities associated with alternative biofuels development strategies along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as, assist local and regional decision makers in understanding the tradeoffs such development poses to their communities. The decision support model is developed in a system dynamics framework utilizing a modular architecture that integrates the key systems of feedstock production, transportation, and conversion. The model adopts a 30-year planning horizon, operating on an annual time step. Spatially the model is disaggregated at the county level on the U.S. side of the border and at the municipos level on the Mexican side. The model extent includes Luna, Hildalgo, Dona Anna, and Otero counties in New Mexico, El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, and the four munipos along the U.S. border in Chihuahua. The model considers a variety of feedstocks; specifically, algae, gitropha, castor oil, and agricultural waste products from chili and pecans - identifying suitable lands for these feedstocks, possible yields, and required water use. The model also evaluates the carbon balance for each crop and provides insight into production costs including labor demands. Finally, the model is fitted with an interactive user interface comprised of a variety of controls (e.g., slider bars, radio buttons), descriptive text, and output graphics allowing stakeholders to

  6. Safe composition levels of transgenic crops assessed via a clinical medicine model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Rod A; Scherer, Peter N; Phillips, Amy M; Storer, Nicholas P; Krieger, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5, which does not permit commercial exploitation. Substantial equivalence has become established as a foundation concept in the safety evaluation of transgenic crops. In the case of a food and feed crop, no single variety is considered the standard for safety or nutrition, so the substantial equivalence of transgenic crops is investigated relative to the array of commercial crop varieties with a history of safe consumption. Although used extensively in clinical medicine to compare new generic drugs with brand-name drugs, equivalence limits are shown to be a poor model for comparing transgenic crops with an array of reference crop varieties. We suggest an alternate model, also analogous to that used in clinical medicine, where reference intervals are constructed for a healthy heterogeneous population. Specifically, we advocate the use of distribution-free tolerance intervals calculated across a large amount of publicly available compositional data such as is found in the International Life Sciences Institute Crop Composition Database. PMID:20084639

  7. ECONOMIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF INTEGRATED CROP MANAGEMENT FARMER FIELD SCHOOL PROGRAM ON CORN PRODUCTION IN INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I Ketut Kariyasa

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Domestic supply of corn in Indonesia has not been able to meet demand satisfactorily due to demand rising faster than supply. Therefore, Indonesia has been continuously importing corn about of 10% of the total demand. To address this problem, the Indonesian government started to implement the Farmer Field School of Integrated Crop Management (ICM-FFS program on corn production since 2009. This study aimed to assess the impact of ICM-FFS on corn productivity, comparative and competitive advantages to produce corn as well as farmer’s income. The study found that ICM-FFS program could increase corn productivity by 30.95% of non ICM-FFS farms, of which 27.94% contributed by the difference in input use, while only 3.01% contributed by technological change. ICM-FFS farms were able to increase farmer’s income by 71.03% and social welfare by 94.69% compared to non ICMFFS farms. Through this program, Indonesia had higher comparative advantage in producing corn as an import substitute. The provision of competitive input and output markets, enhanced technical assistance to improve corn productivity and quality, and increasing attention on corn ICM-FFS development could be considered as policy directions to improve the next implementation strategies of corn production in Indonesia.

  8. Washington State Biofuels Industry Development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gustafson, Richard [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)

    2017-04-09

    The funding from this research grant enabled us to design, renovate, and equip laboratories to support University of Washington biofuels research program. The research that is being done with the equipment from this grant will facilitate the establishment of a biofuels industry in the Pacific Northwest and enable the University of Washington to launch a substantial biofuels and bio-based product research program.

  9. The Brazilian biofuels industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goldemberg José

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Ethanol is a biofuel that is used as a replacement for approximately 3% of the fossil-based gasoline consumed in the world today. Most of this biofuel is produced from sugarcane in Brazil and corn in the United States. We present here the rationale for the ethanol program in Brazil, its present 'status' and its perspectives. The environmental benefits of the program, particularly the contribution of ethanol to reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, are discussed, as well as the limitations to its expansion.

  10. Key issues in estimating energy and greenhouse gas savings of biofuels: challenges and perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dheeraj Rathore

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The increasing demand for biofuels has encouraged the researchers and policy makers worldwide to find sustainable biofuel production systems in accordance with the regional conditions and needs. The sustainability of a biofuel production system includes energy and greenhouse gas (GHG saving along with environmental and social acceptability. Life cycle assessment (LCA is an internationally recognized tool for determining the sustainability of biofuels. LCA includes goal and scope, life cycle inventory, life cycle impact assessment, and interpretation as major steps. LCA results vary significantly, if there are any variations in performing these steps. For instance, biofuel producing feedstocks have different environmental values that lead to different GHG emission savings and energy balances. Similarly, land-use and land-use changes may overestimate biofuel sustainability. This study aims to examine various biofuel production systems for their GHG savings and energy balances, relative to conventional fossil fuels with an ambition to address the challenges and to offer future directions for LCA based biofuel studies. Environmental and social acceptability of biofuel production is the key factor in developing biofuel support policies. Higher GHG emission saving and energy balance of biofuel can be achieved, if biomass yield is high, and ecologically sustainable biomass or non-food biomass is converted into biofuel and used efficiently.

  11. A Life-Cycle Assessment of Biofuels: Tracing Energy and Carbon through a Fuel-Production System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauskopf, Sara

    2010-01-01

    A life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a tool used by engineers to make measurements of net energy, greenhouse gas production, water consumption, and other items of concern. This article describes an activity designed to walk students through the qualitative part of an LCA. It asks them to consider the life-cycle costs of ethanol production, in terms of…

  12. Assessing human health risks from pesticide use in conventional and innovative cropping systems with the BROWSE model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammoglia, Sabine-Karen; Kennedy, Marc C; Barriuso, Enrique; Alletto, Lionel; Justes, Eric; Munier-Jolain, Nicolas; Mamy, Laure

    2017-08-01

    Reducing the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and on the environment is one of the objectives of the European Commission Directive 2009/128/EC in the quest for a sustainable use of pesticides. This Directive, developed through European national plans such as Ecophyto plan in France, promotes the introduction of innovative cropping systems relying, for example, on integrated pest management. Risk assessment for human health of the overall pesticide use in these innovative systems is required before the introduction of those systems to avoid that an innovation becomes a new problem. The objectives of this work were to assess and to compare (1) the human exposure to pesticides used in conventional and innovative cropping systems designed to reduce pesticide needs, and (2) the corresponding risks for human health. Humans (operator and residents) exposure to pesticides and risks for human health were assessed for each pesticide with the BROWSE model. Then, a method was proposed to represent the overall risk due to all pesticides used in one system. This study considers 3 conventional and 9 associated innovative cropping systems, and 116 plant protection products containing 89 different active substances (i.e. pesticides). The modelling results obtained with BROWSE showed that innovative cropping systems such as low input or no herbicide systems would reduce the risk for human health in comparison to the corresponding conventional cropping systems. On the contrary, BROWSE showed that conservation tillage system would lead to unacceptable risks in the conditions of our study, because of a high number of pesticide applications, and especially of some herbicides. For residents, the dermal absorption was the main exposure route while ingestion was found to be negligible. For operators, inhalation was also a predominant route of exposure. In general, human exposure to pesticides and human health risks were found to be correlated to the treatment frequency

  13. Challenge of biofuel: filling the tank without emptying the stomach?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajagopal, D.; Sexton, S. E.; Roland-Holst, D.; Zilberman, D.

    2007-10-01

    Biofuels have become a leading alternative to fossil fuel because they can be produced domestically by many countries, require only minimal changes to retail distribution and end-use technologies, are a partial response to global climate change, and because they have the potential to spur rural development. Production of biofuel has increased most rapidly for corn ethanol, in part because of government subsidies; yet, corn ethanol offers at most a modest contribution to society's climate change goals and only a marginally positive net energy balance. Current biofuels pose long-run consequences for the provision of food and environmental amenities. In the short run, however, when gasoline supply and demand are inelastic, they serve as a buffer supply of energy, helping to reduce prices. Employing a conceptual model and with back-of-the-envelope estimates of wealth transfers resulting from biofuel production, we find that ethanol subsidies pay for themselves. Adoption of second-generation technologies may make biofuels more beneficial to society. The large-scale production of new types of crops dedicated to energy is likely to induce structural change in agriculture and change the sources, levels, and variability of farm incomes. The socio-economic impact of biofuel production will largely depend on how well the process of technology adoption by farmers and processors is understood and managed. The confluence of agricultural policy with environmental and energy policies is expected.

  14. Assessment of Field-Grown Cucurbit Crops and Weeds within Farms in South-West Nigeria for Viral Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Ibitaiyewa AYO-JOHN

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Cucurbits are economic crops in Nigeria which serve as additional nutritional supplements and also good sources of income for farmers. Viral diseases are a worldwide problem of cucurbits and a major limiting factor for cucurbit production. A survey of farmer’s fields where cucurbit crops were grown was carried out to assess the incidence and severity of virus symptoms and viruses associated with the crops and weeds in selected locations in Ogun and Osun, in southwest Nigeria, in June, 2012. In all, 38 leaf samples were collected in Ogun state and 52 in Osun state from cucurbit crops and weeds. Leaf samples were tested against  Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV, Melon necrotic spot virus (MNSV, Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV, Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV,Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV and Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV using Double Antibody Sandwich (DAS enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA. All the fields surveyed had virus symptom incidences of 100% except for melon fields in Osun state with incidences of between 10 and 30%. In Ogun state, the occurrence of CMV was 5/31 (16.1% while MNSV was detected in Lagenaria siceraria and T. occidentalis and it occurred in 6.5% of the leaf samples. In Osun state, CMV was detected in watermelon, melon and weeds found in all locations surveyed. The occurrence of CMV was 9/38 (23.7% in the cucurbit crops and in 78.6% (11/14 of the weeds. PRSV and WMV also occurred in mixed infection with CMV in 7.1% respectively. CMV was the most widespread and prevalent virus infecting cucurbit crops and weeds.Cucurbits are economic crops in Nigeria which serve as additional nutritional supplements and also good sources of income for farmers. Viral diseases are a worldwide problem of cucurbits and a major limiting factor for cucurbit production. A survey of farmer’s fields where cucurbit crops were grown was carried out to assess the incidence and severity of virus symptoms and viruses associated with the crops

  15. Pesticide runoff from energy crops: A threat to aquatic invertebrates?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunzel, Katja; Schäfer, Ralf B; Thrän, Daniela; Kattwinkel, Mira

    2015-12-15

    The European Union aims to reach a 10% share of biofuels in the transport sector by 2020. The major burden is most likely to fall on already established annual energy crops such as rapeseed and cereals for the production of biodiesel and bioethanol, respectively. Annual energy crops are typically cultivated in intensive agricultural production systems, which require the application of pesticides. Agricultural pesticides can have adverse effects on aquatic invertebrates in adjacent streams. We assessed the relative ecological risk to aquatic invertebrates associated with the chemical pest management from six energy crops (maize, potato, sugar beet, winter barley, winter rapeseed, and winter wheat) as well as from mixed cultivation scenarios. The pesticide exposure related to energy crops and cultivation scenarios was estimated as surface runoff for 253 small stream sites in Central Germany using a GIS-based runoff potential model. The ecological risk for aquatic invertebrates, an important organism group for the functioning of stream ecosystems, was assessed using acute toxicity data (48-h LC50 values) of the crustacean Daphnia magna. We calculated the Ecological Risk from potential Pesticide Runoff (ERPR) for all three main groups of pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides). Our findings suggest that the crops potato, sugar beet, and rapeseed pose a higher ecological risk to aquatic invertebrates than maize, barley, and wheat. As maize had by far the lowest ERPR values, from the perspective of pesticide pollution, its cultivation as substrate for the production of the gaseous biofuel biomethane may be preferable compared to the production of, for example, biodiesel from rapeseed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Prioritizing stream types according to their potential risk to receive crop plant material--A GIS-based procedure to assist in the risk assessment of genetically modified crops and systemic insecticide residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundschuh, Rebecca; Kuhn, Ulrike; Bundschuh, Mirco; Naegele, Caroline; Elsaesser, David; Schlechtriemen, Ulrich; Oehen, Bernadette; Hilbeck, Angelika; Otto, Mathias; Schulz, Ralf; Hofmann, Frieder

    2016-03-15

    Crop plant residues may enter aquatic ecosystems via wind deposition or surface runoff. In the case of genetically modified crops or crops treated with systemic pesticides, these materials may contain insecticidal Bt toxins or pesticides that potentially affect aquatic life. However, the particular exposure pattern of aquatic ecosystems (i.e., via plant material) is not properly reflected in current risk assessment schemes, which primarily focus on waterborne toxicity and not on plant material as the route of uptake. To assist in risk assessment, the present study proposes a prioritization procedure of stream types based on the freshwater network and crop-specific cultivation data using maize in Germany as a model system. To identify stream types with a high probability of receiving crop materials, we developed a formalized, criteria-based and thus transparent procedure that considers the exposure-related parameters, ecological status--an estimate of the diversity and potential vulnerability of local communities towards anthropogenic stress--and availability of uncontaminated reference sections. By applying the procedure to maize, ten stream types out of 38 are expected to be the most relevant if the ecological effects from plant-incorporated pesticides need to be evaluated. This information is an important first step to identifying habitats within these stream types with a high probability of receiving crop plant material at a more local scale, including accumulation areas. Moreover, the prioritization procedure developed in the present study may support the selection of aquatic species for ecotoxicological testing based on their probability of occurrence in stream types having a higher chance of exposure. Finally, this procedure can be adapted to any geographical region or crop of interest and is, therefore, a valuable tool for a site-specific risk assessment of crop plants carrying systemic pesticides or novel proteins, such as insecticidal Bt toxins, expressed

  17. PERSPECTIVE: Climate change, biofuels, and global food security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassman, Kenneth G.

    2007-03-01

    There is a new urgency to improve the accuracy of predicting climate change impact on crop yields because the balance between food supply and demand is shifting abruptly from surplus to deficit. This reversal is being driven by a rapid rise in petroleum prices and, in response, a massive global expansion of biofuel production from maize, oilseed, and sugar crops. Soon the price of these commodities will be determined by their value as feedstock for biofuel rather than their importance as human food or livestock feed [1]. The expectation that petroleum prices will remain high and supportive government policies in several major crop producing countries are providing strong momentum for continued expansion of biofuel production capacity and the associated pressures on global food supply. Farmers in countries that account for a majority of the world's biofuel crop production will enjoy the promise of markedly higher commodity prices and incomesNote1. In contrast, urban and rural poor in food-importing countries will pay much higher prices for basic food staples and there will be less grain available for humanitarian aid. For example, the developing countries of Africa import about 10 MMt of maize each year; another 3 5 MMt of cereal grains are provided as humanitarian aid (figure 1). In a world where more than 800 million are already undernourished and the demand for crop commodities may soon exceed supply, alleviating hunger will no longer be solely a matter of poverty alleviation and more equitable food distribution, which has been the situation for the past thirty years. Instead, food security will also depend on accelerating the rate of gain in crop yields and food production capacity at both local and global scales. Maize imports and cereal donations as humanitarian aid to the developing countries of Africa Figure 1. Maize imports (yellow bar) and cereal donations as humanitarian aid to the developing countries of Africa, 2001 2003. MMT = million metric tons. Data

  18. Using the Lashof Accounting Methodology to Assess Carbon Mitigation Projects Using LCA: Ethanol Biofuel as a Case Study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Courchesne, Alexandre; Becaert, Valerie; Rosenbaum, Ralph K.

    2010-01-01

    As governments elaborate strategies to counter climate change, there is a need to compare the different options available on an environmental basis. This study proposes a life cycle assessment (LCA) framework integrating the Lashof Mg-year accounting methodology that allows the assessment...... of carbon mitigation projects. It calculates the cumulative radiative forcing caused by GHG emission within a predetermined time frame. Basically, the developed framework uses the Mg-year as a functional unit and isolates impacts related to the climate mitigation function with system expansion. The proposed...... study reveals that the system expansion scenario and the efficiency at reducing carbon emissions of the carbon mitigation project are critical factors having significant impact on results. Also, framework proves to be useful at treating land-use change emission as they are considered through...

  19. How Universal Is the Relationship between Remotely Sensed Vegetation Indices and Crop Leaf Area Index? A Global Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanghui Kang

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Leaf Area Index (LAI is a key variable that bridges remote sensing observations to the quantification of agroecosystem processes. In this study, we assessed the universality of the relationships between crop LAI and remotely sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs. We first compiled a global dataset of 1459 in situ quality-controlled crop LAI measurements and collected Landsat satellite images to derive five different VIs including Simple Ratio (SR, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, two versions of the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI and EVI2, and Green Chlorophyll Index (CIGreen. Based on this dataset, we developed global LAI-VI relationships for each crop type and VI using symbolic regression and Theil-Sen (TS robust estimator. Results suggest that the global LAI-VI relationships are statistically significant, crop-specific, and mostly non-linear. These relationships explain more than half of the total variance in ground LAI observations (R2 > 0.5, and provide LAI estimates with RMSE below 1.2 m2/m2. Among the five VIs, EVI/EVI2 are the most effective, and the crop-specific LAI-EVI and LAI-EVI2 relationships constructed by TS, are robust when tested by three independent validation datasets of varied spatial scales. While the heterogeneity of agricultural landscapes leads to a diverse set of local LAI-VI relationships, the relationships provided here represent global universality on an average basis, allowing the generation of large-scale spatial-explicit LAI maps. This study contributes to the operationalization of large-area crop modeling and, by extension, has relevance to both fundamental and applied agroecosystem research.

  20. Integrating Plant Science and Crop Modeling: Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change on Soybean and Maize Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fodor, Nándor; Challinor, Andrew; Droutsas, Ioannis; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Zabel, Florian; Koehler, Ann-Kristin; Foyer, Christine H

    2017-11-01

    Increasing global CO2 emissions have profound consequences for plant biology, not least because of direct influences on carbon gain. However, much remains uncertain regarding how our major crops will respond to a future high CO2 world. Crop model inter-comparison studies have identified large uncertainties and biases associated with climate change. The need to quantify uncertainty has drawn the fields of plant molecular physiology, crop breeding and biology, and climate change modeling closer together. Comparing data from different models that have been used to assess the potential climate change impacts on soybean and maize production, future yield losses have been predicted for both major crops. When CO2 fertilization effects are taken into account significant yield gains are predicted for soybean, together with a shift in global production from the Southern to the Northern hemisphere. Maize production is also forecast to shift northwards. However, unless plant breeders are able to produce new hybrids with improved traits, the forecasted yield losses for maize will only be mitigated by agro-management adaptations. In addition, the increasing demands of a growing world population will require larger areas of marginal land to be used for maize and soybean production. We summarize the outputs of crop models, together with mitigation options for decreasing the negative impacts of climate on the global maize and soybean production, providing an overview of projected land-use change as a major determining factor for future global crop production. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists.

  1. Global ex-situ crop diversity conservation and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault: assessing the current status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westengen, Ola T; Jeppson, Simon; Guarino, Luigi

    2013-01-01

    Ex-situ conservation of crop diversity is a global concern, and the development of an efficient and sustainable conservation system is a historic priority recognized in international law and policy. We assess the completeness of the safety duplication collection in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault with respect to data on the world's ex-situ collections as reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Currently, 774,601 samples are deposited at Svalbard by 53 genebanks. We estimate that more than one third of the globally distinct accessions of 156 crop genera stored in genebanks as orthodox seeds are conserved in the Seed Vault. The numbers of safety duplicates of Triticum (wheat), Sorghum (sorghum), Pennisetum (pearl millet), Eleusine (finger millet), Cicer (chickpea) and Lens (lentil) exceed 50% of the estimated numbers of distinct accessions in global ex-situ collections. The number of accessions conserved globally generally reflects importance for food production, but there are significant gaps in the safety collection at Svalbard in some genera of high importance for food security in tropical countries, such as Amaranthus (amaranth), Chenopodium (quinoa), Eragrostis (teff) and Abelmoschus (okra). In the 29 food-crop genera with the largest number of accessions stored globally, an average of 5.5 out of the ten largest collections is already represented in the Seed Vault collection or is covered by existing deposit agreements. The high coverage of ITPGRFA Annex 1 crops and of those crops for which there is a CGIAR mandate in the current Seed Vault collection indicates that existence of international policies and institutions are important determinants for accessions to be safety duplicated at Svalbard. As a back-up site for the global conservation system, the Seed Vault plays not only a practical but also a symbolic role for enhanced integration and cooperation for conservation of crop diversity.

  2. Global ex-situ crop diversity conservation and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault: assessing the current status.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ola T Westengen

    Full Text Available Ex-situ conservation of crop diversity is a global concern, and the development of an efficient and sustainable conservation system is a historic priority recognized in international law and policy. We assess the completeness of the safety duplication collection in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault with respect to data on the world's ex-situ collections as reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Currently, 774,601 samples are deposited at Svalbard by 53 genebanks. We estimate that more than one third of the globally distinct accessions of 156 crop genera stored in genebanks as orthodox seeds are conserved in the Seed Vault. The numbers of safety duplicates of Triticum (wheat, Sorghum (sorghum, Pennisetum (pearl millet, Eleusine (finger millet, Cicer (chickpea and Lens (lentil exceed 50% of the estimated numbers of distinct accessions in global ex-situ collections. The number of accessions conserved globally generally reflects importance for food production, but there are significant gaps in the safety collection at Svalbard in some genera of high importance for food security in tropical countries, such as Amaranthus (amaranth, Chenopodium (quinoa, Eragrostis (teff and Abelmoschus (okra. In the 29 food-crop genera with the largest number of accessions stored globally, an average of 5.5 out of the ten largest collections is already represented in the Seed Vault collection or is covered by existing deposit agreements. The high coverage of ITPGRFA Annex 1 crops and of those crops for which there is a CGIAR mandate in the current Seed Vault collection indicates that existence of international policies and institutions are important determinants for accessions to be safety duplicated at Svalbard. As a back-up site for the global conservation system, the Seed Vault plays not only a practical but also a symbolic role for enhanced integration and cooperation for conservation of crop diversity.

  3. Technology Roadmaps: Biofuels for Transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2011-07-01

    Biofuels could provide up to 27% of total transport fuel worldwide by 2050. The use of transport fuels from biomass, when produced sustainably, can help cut petroleum use and reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector, especially in heavy transport. Sustainable biofuel technologies, in particular advanced biofuels, will play an important role in achieving this roadmap vision. The roadmap describes the steps necessary to realise this ambitious biofuels target; identifies key actions by different stakeholders, and the role for government policy to adopt measures needed to ensure the sustainable expansion of both conventional and advanced biofuel production.

  4. Outlook for advanced biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamelinck, Carlo Noël

    2004-01-01

    Modern use of biomass can play an important role in a sustainable energy supply. Biomass abounds in most parts of the world and substantial amounts could be produced at low costs. Motor biofuels seem a sensible application of biomass: they are among the few sustainable alternatives to the

  5. The Biofuel Controversy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keyzer, M.A.; Merbis, M.D.; Voortman, R.L.

    2008-01-01

    About a decade ago, the main OECD countries decided to promote the use of biofuels so as to reduce greenhouse gases, to contribute to energy self-sufficiency and to create additional demand for agricultural commodities. The introduction of mandatory blending requirements and lavish subsidies spurred

  6. Managing cool-season weeds in sugarbeet grown for biofuel in the Southeastern U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugarbeet, grown for biofuel, is being considered as an alternate cool-season crop in the southeastern U. S. coastal plain. Typically, the crop would be seeded in the autumn, grow through the winter, and harvested the following spring. Labels for herbicides registered for use on sugarbeet grown in ...

  7. Environmental effect of constructed wetland as biofuel production system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dong

    2017-04-01

    Being as a renewable energy, biofuel has attracted worldwide attention. Clean biofuel production is an effective way to mitigate global climate change and energy crisis. Biofuel may offer a promising alternative to fossil fuels, but serious concerns arise about the adverse greenhouse gas consequences from using nitrogen fertilizers. Waste-nitrogen recycling is an attractive idea. Here we advocate a win-win approach to biofuel production which takes advantage of excessive nitrogen in domestic wastewater treated via constructed wetland (CW) in China. This study will carry on environmental effect analysis of CW as a biomass generation system through field surveys and controllable simulated experiments. This study intends to evaluate net energy balance, net greenhouse effect potential and ecosystem service of CW as biomass generation system, and make comparation with traditional wastewater treatment plant and other biofuel production systems. This study can provide a innovation mode in order to solve the dilemma between energy crops competed crops on production land and excessive nitrogen fertilizer of our traditional energy plant production. Data both from our experimental CWs in China and other researches on comparable CWs worldwide showed that the biomass energy yield of CWs can reach 182.3 GJ ha-1 yr-1, which was two to eight times higher than current biofuel-production systems. Energy output from CW was ˜137% greater than energy input for biofuel production. If CWs are designed with specific goal of biofuel production, biofuel production can be greatly enhanced through the optimization of N supply, hydraulic structures, and species selection in CWs. Assuming that 2.0 Tg (1 Tg = 1012 g) waste nitrogen contained in domestic wastewater is treated by CWs, biofuel production can account for 1.2% of national gasoline consumption in China. The proportion would increase to 6.7% if extra nitrogen (9.5 Tg) from industrial wastewater and agricultural runoff was included

  8. Estimating Nitrogen Load Resulting from Biofuel Mandates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Alshawaf

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA of 2007 were enacted to reduce the U.S. dependency on foreign oil by increasing the use of biofuels. The increased demand for biofuels from corn and soybeans could result in an increase of nitrogen flux if not managed properly. The objectives of this study are to estimate nitrogen flux from energy crop production and to identify the catchment areas with high nitrogen flux. The results show that biofuel production can result in an increase of nitrogen flux to the northern Gulf of Mexico from 270 to 1742 thousand metric tons. Using all cellulosic (hay ethanol or biodiesel to meet the 2022 mandate is expected to reduce nitrogen flux; however, it requires approximately 25% more land when compared to other scenarios. Producing ethanol from switchgrass rather than hay results in three-times more nitrogen flux, but requires 43% less land. Using corn ethanol for 2022 mandates is expected to have double the nitrogen flux when compared to the EISA-specified 2022 scenario; however, it will require less land area. Shifting the U.S. energy supply from foreign oil to the Midwest cannot occur without economic and environmental impacts, which could potentially lead to more eutrophication and hypoxia.

  9. The Effects of Biofuel Feedstock Production on Farmers’ Livelihoods in Ghana: The Case of Jatropha curcas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel Acheampong

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The widespread acquisition of land for large-scale/commercial production of biofuel crops in Ghana has raised concerns from civil society organizations, local communities and other parties, regarding the impact of these investments on local livelihoods. This paper assessed the effect of large-scale acquisition of land for production of Jatropha curcas on farmers’ livelihoods in Ghana. The study was conducted in 11 communities spanning the major agro-ecological zones and political divisions across Ghana. Methods of data collection included questionnaire survey, interviews and focus group discussions. Results show that several households have lost their land to Jatropha plantations leading, in some cases, to violent conflicts between biofuel investors, traditional authorities and the local communities. Most people reported that, contrary to the belief that Jatropha does well on marginal lands, the lands acquired by the Jatropha Companies were productive lands. Loss of rights over land has affected households’ food production and security, as many households have resorted to reducing the area they have under cultivation, leading to shortening fallow periods and declining crop yields. In addition, although the cultivation of Jatropha led to the creation of jobs in the communities where they were started, such jobs were merely transient. The paper contends that, even though the impact of Jatropha feedstock production on local livelihoods in Ghana is largely negative, the burgeoning industry could be developed in ways that could support local livelihoods.

  10. Spatial pattern of soil and soybean crop: an assessment using digital mapping techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro Franco, Mauricio; Cordoba, Mariano; Costa, Jose Luis; Aparicio, Virginia; Domenech, Marisa

    2017-04-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the relationships among spatial patterns of soil properties and soybean crop. The study was carried out in three provinces of Argentina: (i) Buenos Aires (BA), (ii) Entre Rios (ER) and (iii) Cordoba (COR). In each province, 2 agricultural fields were selected. Ancillary information related to soil forming factors in each field was gathered, for example apparent electrical conductivity (ECa), NDVI and yield maps. We used principal component spatial analysis (MULTISPATI-PCA) to delimit zones for soil type by field. To zonal validation, 4 sampling sites were located in which we collected soil samples, grain yield and soybean crop quality. Random Forest (RF) was used to determine the importance of soil properties over soybean crop properties. For comparing soil properties in each zone between fields, a mix lineal model and ANOVA were adjusted. Our results suggest that MULTISPATI-PCA was efficient to delimit zones for soil type. Relationships between soil properties and crop yield were examined and understood. However, it did not occur with crop quality patterns. Topography did not prove to be an accurate indicator of spatial pattern relations of soil properties and crop, whereas ECa, yield maps and NDVI proved to be effective indicators. Grains m-2 and NDVI were affected homogeneously and were showed spatial correspondence according to soil limitations. Percentage of protein did not show spatial correspondence with delimitated zones in saline soils, particularly in ER. In such fields, Om and pH were important for percentage of protein. It was evidenced that a direct relation exists between complex relationship of soil and crop properties and soil degradation.

  11. Assessing the transport potential of polymeric nanocapsules developed for crop protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petosa, Adamo Riccardo; Rajput, Faraz; Selvam, Olivia; Öhl, Carolin; Tufenkji, Nathalie

    2017-03-15

    Nanotechnology is increasingly important in the agricultural sector, with novel products being developed to heighten crop yields and increase pesticide efficacy. Herein, the transport potential of different polymeric nanocapsules (nCAPs) developed as pesticide delivery vehicles was assessed in model soil systems. The nCAPs examined are (i) poly(acrylic acid)-based (nCAP1), (ii) poly(methacrylic acid)-ran-poly(ethyl acrylate) copolymer-based (nCAP2), (iii) poly(methacrylic acid-ran-styrene) copolymer-based (nCAP3), and (iv) poly(methacrylic acid-ran-butylmethacrylate)-based (nCAP4). nCAP mobility was examined in columns packed with agricultural loamy sand saturated with artificial porewater containing Ca2+ and Mg2+ cations (10 mM ionic strength, pH 6 and 8). Furthermore, the impact of (i) cation species, (ii) sand type, and (iii) ammonium polyphosphate fertilizer on the transport potential of a nanoformulation combining nCAP4 capsules and the pyrethroid bifenthrin (nCAP4-BIF) was examined and compared to a commercial bifenthrin formulation (Capture® LFR). Although nCAP4-BIF and Capture® LFR formulations were highly mobile in quartz sand saturated with 10 mM NaNO3 (≥95% elution), they were virtually immobile in the presence of 10% ammonium polyphosphate fertilizer. The presence of Ca2+ and Mg2+ did not hinder nCAP4-BIF elution in quartz sand saturated with 10 mM standard CIPAC D synthetic porewater; however, limited Capture® LFR transport (sand saturated with divalent salt solutions, whereas nCAP4-BIF exhibited increased elution with time and enhanced transport upon the addition of fertilizer. Overall, nCAP4 is a promising delivery vehicle in pyrethroid nanoformulations such as nCAP4-BIF. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Dual cropping winter camelina with soybean in the northern Corn Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sustainably balancing biofuel crop production with food, feed, and fiber on agricultural lands will require developing new cropping strategies. Double- and/or relay-cropping winter camelina (Camelina sativa L.) with soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] may be a means to produce an energy and food crop o...

  13. Combining empirical and theory-based land-use modelling approaches to assess economic potential of biofuel production avoiding iLUC: Argentina as a case study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Diogo, V.; van der Hilst, F.; van Eijck, J.; Verstegen, J.A.; Hilbert, J.; Carballo, S.; Volante, J.; Faaij, A.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, a land-use modelling framework is presented combining empirical and theory-based modelling approaches to determine economic potential of biofuel production avoiding indirect land-use changes (iLUC) resulting from land competition with other functions. The empirical approach explores

  14. Combining emperical and theory-based land use modelling approaches to assess future availability of land and economic potential for sustainable biofuel production: Argentina as a case study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Diogo, V.; van der Hilst, Floortje; van Eijck, Janske; Faaij, André; Verstegen, Judith; Hilbert, J.; Carballo, S.; Volante, J.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, a land-use modelling framework is presented combining empirical and theory-based modelling approaches to determine economic potential of biofuel production avoiding indirect land-use changes (iLUC) resulting from land competition with other functions. The empirical approach explores

  15. Preparation of Biofuel Using Acetylatation of Jojoba Fatty Alcohols and Assessment as a Blend Component in Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel

    Science.gov (United States)

    The majority of biodiesel fuels are produced from vegetable oils or animal fats by transesterification of oil with alcohol in the presence of a catalyst. In this study, a new class of biofuel is explored by acetylation of fatty alcohols from Jojoba oil. Recently, we reported Jojoba oil methyl este...

  16. A trial burn of rape straw and whole crops harvested for energy use to assess efficiency implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Newman, R.

    2003-11-01

    Increased biomass utilisation and alternatives to cereal straw such as oil seed rape (OSR) straw will be necessary to achieve the Government's renewable energy targets. This report describes the results of a study to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of burning OSR straw and whole crops in an existing biomass power plant operated by EPR Ely Ltd in comparison with conventional cereal straw. Suitable quantities of bales of each fuel were provided for the combustion trials by Anglian Straw Ltd. Three trials were conducted: one using wheat-based cereal straw; one using 92% OSR; and one using 65% whole crop fuel. The availability of OSR straw and whole crop in Eastern England for use as fuel was also determined. Plant performance and stack emissions were evaluated and samples of delivered crop samples, bottom ash and fly ash from each trial were analysed. The parameters against which performance was assessed included: ease of handling and conveying; ease of chopping; ease of entry into the combustion chamber; furnace temperature profile; steam and electricity production rate; plant chimney emissions; ash collection and removal; operating stability; sustainability; and fuel availability.

  17. Techno-economic assessment of biofuel development by anaerobic digestion of European marine cold-water seaweeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dave, Ashok; Huang, Ye; Rezvani, Sina; McIlveen-Wright, David; Novaes, Marcio; Hewitt, Neil

    2013-05-01

    The techno-economic characteristics of macro-algae utilisation from European temperate zones was evaluated in a selected Anaerobic Digester (AD) using the chemical process modelling software ECLIPSE. The assessment covered the mass and energy balance of the entire process followed by the economic feasibility study, which included the total cost estimation, net present value calculation, and sensitivity analysis. The selected plant size corresponded to a community based AD of 1.6 MWth with a macro-algae feed rate of 8.64 tonnes per day (dry basis). The produced biogas was utilised in a combined heat and power plant generating 237 kWenet electricity and 367 kWth heat. The breakeven electricity-selling price in this study was estimated at around €120/MWh. On the ground of different national and regional policies, this study did not account for any government incentives. However, different support mechanisms such as Feed-in-Tariffs or Renewable Obligation Certificates can significantly improve the project viability. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Potential dermal exposure to deltamethrin and risk assessment for manual sprayers: Influence of crop type

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hughes, Enrique A.; Flores, Andrea P.; Ramos, Laura M.; Zalts, Anita [Instituto de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento (UNGS), J. M. Gutierrez 1150, B1613GSX Los Polvorines, Prov. de Buenos Aires (Argentina); Richard Glass, C. [Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Central Science Laboratory, Sand Hutton, York Y041 1LZ (United Kingdom); Montserrat, Javier M. [Instituto de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento (UNGS), J. M. Gutierrez 1150, B1613GSX Los Polvorines, Prov. de Buenos Aires (Argentina); Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingenieria Genetica y Biologia Molecular (CONICET), Vuelta de Obligado 2490, 2o piso, Buenos Aires (Argentina)], E-mail: jmontser@ungs.edu.ar

    2008-02-25

    A comparison of the Potential Dermal Exposure (PDE) of workers to the insecticide deltamethrin was made as a function of crop type, in small agricultural production units in Argentina. Seven experiments were done with two different crops (maize and broccoli, treated area between 600 and 1000 m{sup 2}) with three different operators under typical field conditions using a lever operated knapsack. The methodology is based on the whole body dosimetry technique, presenting separately the data for mixing/loading and application activities. These results indicate a higher concentration of pesticide in lower body sections for broccoli and a wider distribution for maize. The risk inherent in these agricultural procedures is estimated through Margin of Safety (MOS) values and was found to be generally safe. Preliminary results of a mass balance distribution of the pesticide between crop, soil and operator are also presented.

  19. Sustainable crop intensification through surface water irrigation in Bangladesh? A geospatial assessment of landscape-scale production potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krupnik, Timothy J; Schulthess, Urs; Ahmed, Zia Uddin; McDonald, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Changing dietary preferences and population growth in South Asia have resulted in increasing demand for wheat and maize, along side high and sustained demand for rice. In the highly productive northwestern Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia, farmers utilize groundwater irrigation to assure that at least two of these crops are sequenced on the same field within the same year. Such double cropping has had a significant and positive influence on regional agricultural productivity. But in the risk-prone and food insecure lower Eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains (EIGP), cropping is less intensive. During the dryer winter months, arable land is frequently fallowed or devoted to lower yielding rainfed legumes. Seeing opportunity to boost cereals production, particularly for rice, donors and land use policy makers have consequently reprioritized agricultural development investments in this impoverished region. Tapping groundwater for irrigation and intensified double cropping, however, is unlikely to be economically viable or environmentally sound in the EIGP. Constraints include saline shallow water tables and the prohibitively high installation and energetic extraction costs from deeper freshwater aquifers. The network of largely underutilized rivers and natural canals in the EIGP could conversely be tapped to provide less energetically and economically costly surface water irrigation (SWI). This approach is now championed by the Government of Bangladesh, which has requested USD 500 million from donors to implement land and water use policies to facilitate SWI and double cropping. Precise geospatial assessment of where freshwater flows are most prominent, or where viable fallow or low production intensity cropland is most common, however remains lacking. In response, we used remotely sensed data to identify agricultural land, detect the temporal availability of freshwater in rivers and canals, and assess crop production intensity over a three-year study period in a 33,750 km2

  20. Assessment of Danish biomass resources for producing biofuels for the transport sector towards the year 2020; Opgoerelse af den danske biomasseressourcer til brug for fremstilling af biobraendstoffer til transportsektoren frem mod 2020

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blume, S.; Hauggaard-Nielsen, H.; Jensen, E.S.

    2008-11-15

    The agricultural sector will have an increasing role to play according to society needs for biobased products, including biofuels. However, it is necessary to point out national positions of strength in order to act proactive and gain the benefits for this growing marked. It is clear from this report that both agriculture and forestry, and connected industries, have great possibilities to deliver biomass resources without decreasing the current food production. From the calculations in this report, including several assumptions concerning convertibility and uncertainties about yield potentials comparing, the sector can provide up to 30 % of the existing fossil fuel consumption in the transportation sector using cereal straw. Approximately, 10 % if the wood resources are utilized and about 6 % using more waste based biomasses. Fish and slaughterhouse waste can cover up to about 9 % of the present diesel consumption. However, increased sale of bioresources for bioenergy purposes require that this resource is validated as a part of the whole farm or forestry system including political regulations like for instance the EU Natura 2000 directives. Different crops have additional functions/ effects like groundwater protection, biodiversity, soil fertility (including carbon sequestration) which needs to be included when validating such biomass crops. Furthermore, several biomass resources which are regarded as waste at present represent a much higher value, and needs to be addressed in such perspective. (author)

  1. Safety assessment, detection and traceability, and societal aspects of genetically modified foods. European Network on Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified Food Crops (ENTRANSFOOD). Concluding remarks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuiper, H A; König, A; Kleter, G A; Hammes, W P; Knudsen, I

    2004-07-01

    The most important results from the EU-sponsored ENTRANSFOOD Thematic Network project are reviewed, including the design of a detailed step-wise procedure for the risk assessment of foods derived from genetically modified crops based on the latest scientific developments, evaluation of topical risk assessment issues, and the formulation of proposals for improved risk management and public involvement in the risk analysis process. Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Assessing changes to South African maize production areas in 2055 using empirical and process-based crop models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, L.; Bradley, B.; Oppenheimer, M.; Beukes, H.; Schulze, R. E.; Tadross, M.

    2010-12-01

    gains and losses in maize productivity. We identify several areas-particularly along the southern and eastern boundaries of current production-with potential for increased productivity. However, larger areas, primarily in the more arid western and northern production regions, are likely to experience diminished productivity. The combination of process-based and distribution models for agricultural impacts assessments provides a useful comparison of two different crop modeling frameworks, as well as the finest scale investigation using a spatially-explicit implementation of a process-based model for South Africa. The large GCM ensemble and multiple emissions scenarios provide a broad climate risk assessment for current maize production. SOM downscaling can help improve climate impacts assessments by increasing their resolution, and by circumventing GCM precipitation schemes whose outcomes are highly divergent.

  3. Risk assessment for herbaceous biomass crops: the case of perennial grasses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lowenberg-DeBoer, J.; Lopez-Pereira, M.A. (Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (US). Dept. of Agricultural Economics)

    1990-01-01

    The production of two perennial grasses, tall fescue and switchgrass, for biomass energy were included as alternative activities in a single-index model (SIM) of portfolio selection for an agricultural enterprise. Results indicate that, from the risk efficiency point of view, switchgrass is a good alternative and is included in a risk efficient farm enterprise, while tall fescue, due to its low expected return, is not included. The correlation of returns of the grass crops with those of the conventional activities was low or negative, suggesting that the energy crops may be good candidates for diversification. However, the high correlation between the returns on the two grass crops indicates that only one of them would be included in a risk efficient farm enterprise. The SIM regression estimates seemed sufficient to determine the risk characteristics of the new energy crops. The SIM quadratic-programming results added little additional information; thus, this stage of the analysis can be obviated without great loss of information. (author).

  4. Integrated Assessment of Crop-Livestock Production Systems Beyond Biophysical Methods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Masikati, Patricia; Homann Kee-Tui, Sabine; Descheemaeker, Katrien; Sisito, Gevious; Senda, Trinity; Crespo, Olivier; Nhamo, Nhamo

    2017-01-01

    Crop-livestock farming systems that are predominant in Africa, are complex with various interrelated ecological and economic factors. They involve multiple products or benefits (intended and nonintended), with trade-offs and synergies occurring both on- and off-site and varying over time.

  5. Assessment of a cabbage/pak choï crop association to manage ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In Senegal, vegetable production is an important area within the agricultural sector and contributes to improve the local diet. Damage caused by aphids in particular puts heavy pressure on vegetables production. Crop associations play an important role in controlling insect pests in some countries. The aims of this study ...

  6. Relevance of Bt toxin interaction studies for environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schrijver, De Adinda; Clercq, De Patrick; Maagd, de R.A.; Frankenhuyzen, van Kees

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, different Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin-encoding genes have been combined or 'stacked' in genetically modified (GM) crops. Synergism between Bt proteins may occur and thereby increase the impact of the stacked GM event on nontarget invertebrates compared to plants expressing

  7. Assessing nutrient adequacy from the crop contents of free-ranging ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    22379916

    2015-05-21

    May 21, 2015 ... The chickens consumed grains, kitchen waste, seeds from the environment, plant materials, worms and insects, and some ... concentration of a nutrient in crop contents indicates a deficiency, the chickens are likely to consume insufficient quantities of .... Green leaves of vegetables and grasses. Worms and ...

  8. HAWAII ALGAL BIOFUEL

    OpenAIRE

    Affandy, Gabriel; Bridges, Donald; Daniels, Quinn; Janicek, Drew; Martin, Julia; Poling, Edward; Schmalz, Jordan; Allen, Charles; Brown, Scott; Dobrowolski, Valerie; Jeffries, Jessica; McGovern, Jonathan; Praschak, Megan; Soques, Christopher; Black, Jesse

    2013-01-01

    This report investigates the feasibility and affordability of producing algae-derived biofuel in Hawaii for military aviation. The authors evaluated methods for cultivation of algae, investigated the processes necessary to locally refine bio-oil into bio-kerosene, researched the environmental impacts of cultivation and refinement facilities in Hawaii, and studied the resultant cost per gallon of bio-kerosene production. Based on the current state of technology and the proposed system of syste...

  9. Catchments Under Change: Assessing Impacts and Feedbacks from New Biomass Crops in the Agricultural Midwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaeger, Mary; Housh, Mashor; Ng, Tze Ling; Cai, Ximing; Sivapalan, Murugesu

    2013-04-01

    In order to meet the challenges of future change, it is essential to understand the environmental response to current conditions and historical changes. The central Midwestern US is an example of anthropogenic change and environmental feedbacks, having been transformed from a natural grassland system to an artificially-drained agricultural system. Environmental feedbacks from reduced soil residence times coupled with increasing crop fertilization have manifested as a hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. In an effort to address these feedbacks while meeting new crop demands, large-scale planting of high-yielding perennial biomass crops has been proposed. This could be detrimental to both human and environmental streamflow users because these plants require more water than do current crops. The lowest natural flows in this shallow groundwater-dependent region coincide with the peak of the growing season, thus compounding the problem. Therefore, for large-scale biomass crop production to be sustainable, these tradeoffs between water quality and water quantity must be fully understood. To better understand the catchment response to current conditions, we have analyzed streamflow data in a central Illinois agricultural watershed. To deal with future changes, we have developed an integrated systems model which provides, among other outputs, the land usage that maximizes the benefit to the human system. This land use is then implemented in a separate hydrologic model to determine the impact to the environmental system. Interactively running the two models, taking into account the catchment response to human actions as well as possible anthropogenic responses to the environment, allows us to examine the feedbacks between the two systems. This lets us plot the trajectory of the state of the system, which we hypothesize will show emergent internal properties of the coupled system. Initial tests of this modeling framework show promise that this may indeed be the case. External

  10. Clean vehicles with biofuel. A state of the art report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maansson, Tommy

    1998-09-01

    The purpose of this report is to provide an overall analysis and assessment of the use of biofuel in the Swedish tran