WorldWideScience

Sample records for assessing biofuel crop

  1. Assessing biofuel crop invasiveness: a case study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Evan Buddenhagen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There is widespread interest in biofuel crops as a solution to the world's energy needs, particularly in light of concerns over greenhouse-gas emissions. Despite reservations about their adverse environmental impacts, no attempt has been made to quantify actual, relative or potential invasiveness of terrestrial biofuel crops at an appropriate regional or international scale, and their planting continues to be largely unregulated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a widely accepted weed risk assessment system, we analyzed a comprehensive list of regionally suitable biofuel crops to show that seventy percent have a high risk of becoming invasive versus one-quarter of non-biofuel plant species and are two to four times more likely to establish wild populations locally or be invasive in Hawaii or in other locations with a similar climate. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Because of climatic and ecological similarities, predictions of biofuel crop invasiveness in Hawaii are applicable to other vulnerable island and subtropical ecosystems worldwide. We demonstrate the utility of an accessible and scientifically proven risk assessment protocol that allows users to predict if introduced species will become invasive in their region of interest. Other evidence supports the contention that propagule pressure created by extensive plantings will exacerbate invasions, a scenario expected with large-scale biofuel crop cultivation. Proactive measures, such as risk assessments, should be employed to predict invasion risks, which could then be mitigated via implementation of appropriate planting policies and adoption of the "polluter-pays" principle.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. A quantitative assessment of crop residue feedstocks for biofuel in North and Northeast China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yang, L.; Wang, X.Y.; Han, L.P.; Spiertz, J.H.J.; Liao, S.H.; Wei, M.G.; Xie, G.H.

    2015-01-01

    Crop residue resources may affect soil quality, global carbon balance, and stability of crop production, but also contribute to future energy security. This study was performed to evaluate the spatial and temporal variation in residue quantities of field crops in five provinces of North China (NC) a

  6. Energy Crop and Biotechnology for Biofuel Production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liangcai Peng; Neal Gutterson

    2011-01-01

    @@ Selection of energy crops is the first priority for large-scale biofuel production in China.As a major topic, it was extensively discussed in the Second International Symposium on Bioenergy and Biotechnology, held from October 16-19(th), 2010 in Huazhong Agricultural University(HZAU), Wuhan, China, with more than one hundred registered participants(Figure 1).

  7. Greenhouse-gas payback times for crop-based biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elshout, P. M. F.; van Zelm, R.; Balkovic, J.; Obersteiner, M.; Schmid, E.; Skalsky, R.; van der Velde, M.; Huijbregts, M. A. J.

    2015-06-01

    A global increase in the demand for crop-based biofuels may be met by cropland expansion, and could require the sacrifice of natural vegetation. Such land transformation alters the carbon and nitrogen cycles of the original system, and causes significant greenhouse-gas emissions, which should be considered when assessing the global warming performance of crop-based biofuels. As an indicator of this performance we propose the use of greenhouse-gas payback time (GPBT), that is, the number of years it takes before the greenhouse-gas savings due to displacing fossil fuels with biofuels equal the initial losses of carbon and nitrogen stocks from the original ecosystem. Spatially explicit global GPBTs were derived for biofuel production systems using five different feedstocks (corn, rapeseed, soybean, sugarcane and winter wheat), cultivated under no-input and high-input farm management. Overall, GPBTs were found to range between 1 and 162 years (95% range, median: 19 years) with the longest GPBTs occurring in the tropics. Replacing no-input with high-input farming typically shortened the GPBTs by 45 to 79%. Location of crop cultivation was identified as the primary factor driving variation in GPBTs. This study underscores the importance of using spatially explicit impact assessments to guide biofuel policy.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Producing biofuel crops: environmental and economic implications and strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    The growing need for sustainable fuel sources must become compatible with the continued need for food by an ever increasing world population and the effects of climate change on ability to produce food and biofuel. Growing more hectares of biofuel crops such as corn increases sediment and nutrient l...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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)

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  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

    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. 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)

  18. Closing the Carbon Budget in Perennial Biofuel Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantola, I. B.; Anderson-Teixeira, K. J.; Bernacchi, C.; Hudiburg, T. W.; Masters, M. D.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2013-12-01

    At present, some 40% of corn grown in the United States, accounting for more than 26 million acres of farmland, is processed for bioethanol. Interest has arisen in converting biofuel production from corn grain ethanol to cellulosic ethanol, derived primarily from cellulose from dedicated energy crops. As many cellulosic biofuel feedstocks are perennial grasses, conversion from annual corn cropping to perennials represents a substantial change in farming practices with the potential to alter the plant-soil relationship in the Midwestern United States. Elimination of annual tillage preserves soils structure, conserving soil carbon and maintaining plant root systems. Five years of perennial grass establishment in former agricultural land in Illinois has shown a significant change in soil carbon pools and fluxes. Atmospheric carbon exchange monitoring combined with vegetation and soil sampling and respiration measurements confirm that in the first 3 years (establishment phase), perennial giant grasses Miscanthus x giganteus and Panicum virgatum rapidly increased belowground carbon allocation >400% and belowground biomass 400-750% compared to corn. Following establishment, perennial grasses maintained below- and aboveground annual biomass production, out-performing corn in both average and drought conditions. Here we offer a quantitative comparison of the carbon allocation pathways of corn and perennial biofuel crops in Midwestern landscapes, demonstrating the carbon benefits of perennial cropping through increased C allocation to root and rhizome structures. Long rotation periods in perennial grasses combined with annual carbon inputs to the soil system are expected to convert these agricultural soils from atmospheric carbon sources to carbon sinks.

  19. Impacts of biofuel cultivation on mortality and crop yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashworth, K.; Wild, O.; Hewitt, C. N.

    2013-05-01

    Ground-level ozone is a priority air pollutant, causing ~ 22,000 excess deaths per year in Europe, significant reductions in crop yields and loss of biodiversity. It is produced in the troposphere through photochemical reactions involving oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The biosphere is the main source of VOCs, with an estimated 1,150TgCyr-1 (~ 90% of total VOC emissions) released from vegetation globally. Isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene) is the most significant biogenic VOC in terms of mass (around 500TgCyr-1) and chemical reactivity and plays an important role in the mediation of ground-level ozone concentrations. Concerns about climate change and energy security are driving an aggressive expansion of bioenergy crop production and many of these plant species emit more isoprene than the traditional crops they are replacing. Here we quantify the increases in isoprene emission rates caused by cultivation of 72Mha of biofuel crops in Europe. We then estimate the resultant changes in ground-level ozone concentrations and the impacts on human mortality and crop yields that these could cause. Our study highlights the need to consider more than simple carbon budgets when considering the cultivation of biofuel feedstock crops for greenhouse-gas mitigation.

  20. An assessment of Thailand's biofuel development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    . 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......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...... 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...

  1. Assessing the environmental sustainability of biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    This is the accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1360138514002039. 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 o...

  2. 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.

  3. 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 converted to biofuel feedstock production, it is of interest to identify potential impacts of annual and perennial feedstocks on soil ecosystem services. Soil samples were obtained from diverse regionally distributed biofuel cropping si...

  4. 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.

  5. Spatial analysis of the potential crops for the production of biofuels in Argentina

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carballo, Stella; Marco, Noelia Flores; Anschau, Alicia [Centro de Investigaciones de Recursos Naturales (CIRN/INTA), Buenos Aires (Argentina). Inst. de Tecnologia Agropecuaria. Inst. de Clima y Agua], E-mail: scarballo@cnia.inta.gov.ar; Hilbert, Jorge [Instiuto de Ingenieria Rural (CIA/INTA), Buenos Aires (Argentina)], E-mail: hilbert@cnia.inta.gov.ar

    2008-07-01

    The increase in biofuels production has been rising in the last ten years at a high rate. Argentina as one of the main crop producers in the world has a great potential to contribute with high volumes of biofuels. At present time common crops are used for large scale production but new alternatives are under study in different regions of the country. The increase in pressure for expansion also raises concerns on the impact on ecology issues such as soil erosion and biodiversity. Looking at a national level INTA has been working on the construction of a GIS were different crops were placed. The purpose is to identify critical information, to raise a methodology to obtain accurate and up-to date thematic maps using satellite images, to feed a GIS and to integrate the different layers to estimate biomass potentials for energy supply in our country, assessing potential land availability for biofuel crops or plantations to be made with ecological, economic and social sustainability bases. (author)

  6. 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 determin

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    -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......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...

  9. 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

    ‐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......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...

  10. Advancing environmental risk assessment for transgenic biofeedstock crops

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    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 t...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The significance of nitrous oxide emission from biofuel crops on arable land: a Swedish perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Å. Kasimir Klemedtsson

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The current regulations governing biofuel production in the European Union require that they have to mitigate climate change, by producing >35 % less greenhouse gases (GHG than fossil fuels. There is a risk that this may not be achievable, since land use for crop production inevitably emits the strong GHG nitrous oxide (N2O, due to nitrogen fertilisation and cycling in the environment. We conclude that efficient agricultural crop production resulting in a good harvest and low N2O emission can fulfill the EU standard, and is possible under certain conditions for the Swedish agricultural and refinery production systems. However, in years having low crop yields total GHG emissions can be even higher than those released by burning of fossil fuels. In general, the N2O emission size in Sweden and northern Europe is such that there is a >50 % chance that the 35 % saving requirement will not be met. Thus ecosystem N2O emissions have to be convincingly assessed. Here we compare Swedish emission data with values estimated by means of statistical models and by a global, top-down, procedure; the measurements and the predictions often show higher values that would fail to meet the EU standard and thus prevent biofuel production development.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  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.

  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; 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Terry Harrison; May R.Berenbaum

    2013-01-01

    The expanding demand for biofuel feedstock may lead to large-scale conscription of land for monoculture production ofbiofuel 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Carbon consequences and agricultural implications of growing biofuel crops on marginal agricultural lands in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Zhangcai; Zhuang, Qianlai; Zhu, Xudong; Cai, Ximing; Zhang, Xiao

    2011-12-15

    Using marginal agricultural lands to grow energy crops for biofuel feedstocks is a promising option to meet the biofuel needs in populous China without causing further food shortages or environmental problems. Here we quantify the effects of growing switchgrass and Miscanthus on Chinese marginal agricultural lands on biomass production and carbon emissions with a global-scale biogeochemical model. We find that the national net primary production (NPP) of these two biofuel crops are 622 and 1546 g C m(-2) yr(-1), respectively, whereas the NPP of food crops is about 600 g C m(-2) yr(-1) in China. The net carbon sink over the 47 Mha of marginal agricultural lands across China is 2.1 Tg C yr(-1) for switchgrass and 5.0 Tg C yr(-1) for Miscanthus. Soil organic carbon is estimated to be 10 kg C m(-2) in both biofuel ecosystems, which is equal to the soil carbon levels of grasslands in China. In order to reach the goal of 12.5 billion liters of bioethanol in 2020 using crop biomass as biofuel feedstocks, 7.9-8.0 Mha corn grain, 4.3-6.1 Mha switchgrass, or 1.4-2.0 Mha Miscanthus will be needed. Miscanthus has tremendous potential to meet future biofuel needs, and to benefit CO(2) mitigation in China.

  3. The significance of nitrous oxide emission due to cropping of grain for biofuel production: a Swedish perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasimir Klemedtsson, Å.; Smith, K. A.

    2011-12-01

    The current regulations governing production of biofuels in the European Union require that they have to mitigate climate change, by producing >35% less greenhouse gases (GHG) than fossil fuels. There is a risk that this may not be achievable, since land use for crop production inevitably emits the potent GHG nitrous oxide (N2O), due to nitrogen fertilisation and cycling in the environment. We analyse first-generation biofuel production on agricultural land and conclude that efficient agricultural crop production resulting in a good harvest and low N2O emission can fulfil the EU standard, and is possible under certain conditions for the Swedish agricultural and bioethanol production systems. However, in years having low crop yields, and where cropping is on organic soils, total GHG emissions per unit of fuel produced can be even higher than those released by burning of fossil fuels. In general, the N2O emission size in Sweden and elsewhere in northern Europe is such that there is a >50% chance that the 35% saving requirement will not be met. Thus ecosystem N2O emissions have to be convincingly assessed. Here we compare Swedish emission data with values estimated by means of statistical models and by a global, top-down, approach; the measurements and the predictions often show higher values that would fail to meet the EU standard and thus prevent biofuel production development.

  4. Spatial Optimization of Cropping Pattern in an Agricultural Watershed for Food and Biofuel Production with Minimum Downstream Pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pv, F.; Sudheer, K.; Chaubey, I.; RAJ, C.; Her, Y.

    2013-05-01

    Biofuel is considered to be a viable alternative to meet the increasing fuel demand, and therefore many countries are promoting agricultural activities that help increase production of raw material for biofuel production. Mostly, the biofuel is produced from grain based crops such as Corn, and it apparently create a shortage in food grains. Consequently, there have been regulations to limit the ethanol production from grains, and to use cellulosic crops as raw material for biofuel production. However, cultivation of such cellulosic crops may have different effects on water quality in the watershed. Corn stover, one of the potential cellulosic materials, when removed from the agricultural field for biofuel production, causes a decrease in the organic nutrients in the field. This results in increased use of pesticides and fertilizers which in turn affect the downstream water quality due to leaching of the chemicals. On the contrary, planting less fertilizer-intensive cellulosic crops, like Switch Grass and Miscanthus, is expected to reduce the pollutant loadings from the watershed. Therefore, an ecologically viable land use scenario would be a mixed cropping of grain crops and cellulosic crops, that meet the demand for food and biofuel without compromising on the downstream water quality. Such cropping pattern can be arrived through a simulation-optimization framework. Mathematical models can be employed to evaluate various management scenarios related to crop production and to assess its impact on water quality. Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model is one of the most widely used models in this context. SWAT can simulate the water and nutrient cycles, and also quantify the long-term impacts of land management practices, in a watershed. This model can therefore help take decisions regarding the type of cropping and management practices to be adopted in the watershed such that the water quality in the rivers is maintained at acceptable level. In this study, it

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Jatropha: A Promising Crop for Africa's Biofuel Production?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eijck, J.A.J. van; Smeets, E.M.W.; Faaij, A.P.C.

    2012-01-01

    Jatropha has often been proposed as a miracle crop for the production of oil, because of the high yields and low requirements in terms of land quality, climate and crop management. A large number of companies have started with jatropha production in Africa which is projected to increase rapidly. Yet

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...... Mozambique's annual economic growth by 0.6 percentage points and reduces the incidence of poverty by about 6 percentage points over a 12-year phase-in period. Benefits depend on production technology. An outgrower approach to producing biofuels is more pro-poor, due to the greater use of unskilled labor...

  11. 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.

  12. Analyzing the effect of biofuel expansion on land use in major producing countries: evidence of increased multiple cropping

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Langeveld, J.W.A.; Dixon, J.; Keulen, van H.; Quist-Wessel, P.M.F.

    2014-01-01

    Estimates on impacts of biofuel production often use models with limited ability to incorporate changes in land use, notably cropping intensity. This review studies biofuel expansion between 2000 and 2010 in Brazil, the USA, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Mozambique, South Africa plus 27 EU member stat

  13. Can biofuel crops alleviate tribal poverty in India's drylands?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Agoramoorthy, Govindasamy [College of Environmental and Health Sciences, Tajen University, Yanpu, Pingtung 907 (China); Sadguru Foundation, Dahod, Gujarat State (India); Hsu, Minna J. [Department of Biological Sciences, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 804 (China); Chaudhary, Sunita [Sadguru Foundation, Dahod, Gujarat State (India); Shieh, Po-Chuen [College of Environmental and Health Sciences, Tajen University, Yanpu, Pingtung 907 (China)

    2009-11-15

    The on-going climate change concerns have stimulated heavy interest in biofuels, and supporters of biofuels hail that they are considered naturally carbon-neutral. Critiques on the other hand cry that the large-scale production of biofuels can not only strain agricultural resources, but also threaten future food security. People who live in the drylands of India are often faced with challenges and constraints of poverty. Foremost among the challenges are the marginal environmental conditions for agriculture, often influenced by low and erratic rainfall, frequent droughts, poor soil condition, unreliable irrigation water supply, and rural migration to urban areas in search of work. In this paper, we have analyzed a case study of community lift irrigation practiced in India and its impact in boosting agricultural productivity and enhancing local food security. The lift-irrigation model practiced in the drylands of India to grow food crops can be adopted for the expansion of biofuel crops that has the potential to eradicate poverty among farming communities if appropriate sustainable development measures are carefully implemented. (author)

  14. 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.

  15. Genetic Engineering of Energy Crops: A Strategy for Biofuel Production in China Free Access

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guosheng Xie; Liangcai Peng

    2011-01-01

    Biomass utilization is increasingly considered as a practical way for sustainable energy supply and long-term environment care around the world.In concerns with food security in China,starch or sugar-based bioethanol and edible-oil-derived biodiesel are harshly restricted for large scale production.However,conversion of lignocellulosic residues from food crops is a potential alternative.Because of its recalcitrance,current biomass process is unacceptably expensive,but genetic breeding of energy crops is a promising solution.To meet the need,energy crops are defined with a high yield for both food and biofuel purposes.In this review,main grasses(rice,wheat,maize,sorghum and miscanthus)are evaluated for high biomass production,the principles are discussed on modification of plant cell walls that lead to efficient biomass degradation and conversion,and the related biotechnologies are proposed in terms of energy crop selection.

  16. Litter Inputs and Soil Aggregation in Midwestern Biofuel Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantola, I. B.; Masters, M. D.; Smyth, E. M.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2014-12-01

    Perennial C4 grasses represent alternatives to corn for the production of ethanol because of low management costs and high biomass production. To evaluate the effects of perennial grasses on the agricultural soils of the Midwest, native switchgrass and a sterile hybrid of the Asian grass Miscanthus were planted at the University of Illinois Energy Farm in 2008. Through five years of growth, above and belowground plant biomass, litter, and soil were compared with soils in plots growing a corn-corn-soy rotation typical of the area. Above- and belowground plant biomass in Miscanthus and switchgrass averaged higher than corn/soy following two years of perennial establishment, with belowground biomass exceeding corn/soy by approximately 5-fold in the year after establishment (2010) and 25-fold by 2012. Measurements of root distribution and turnover rates indicate that roots are the primary contribution of new carbon to soils under perennial crops. Physical fractionation of the soils into water stable aggregates showed 4-14% increases in macroaggregate fractions under perennial crops; the large aggregates are adhered together by organic material and indicative of the increased presence of labile carbon forms like plant roots, fungi, and plant and microbial exudates. Carbon and nitrogen analyses of the fractions show that while overall carbon has not increased significantly in whole soil, soils under perennial grasses are concentrating carbon by 5-17% in the macroaggregates after just 5 years. Native switchgrass roots (buried) and litter (surface-applied) decompose faster than Miscanthus roots and litter, but slower than corn roots and litter buried to simulate incorporation by tillage. Switchgrass soil shows the highest degree of macroaggregate formation, pointing to a high rate of litter and root decomposition and incorporation into soil structure. While macroaggregates are relatively labile soil structures compared to microaggregates and free silt and clay, they offer

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving

    2011-01-01

    (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...... wastewater. Algae capture CO2 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Soil water infiltration affected by biofuel and grain crop production systems in claypan landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effect of soil management systems on water infiltration is very crucial within claypan landscapes to maximize production as well as minimize environmental risks. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of topsoil thickness on water infiltration in claypan soils for grain and biofuel...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. Response of soil respiration to climate across biofuel crops and land use histories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Y.; Chen, J.; Shao, C.; Shen, W.; Zenone, T.; John, R.; Deal, M.; Hamilton, S. K.; Robertson, G. P.

    2013-12-01

    Land use change (LUC) due to the worldwide increasing production of biofuel crops creates carbon debt that would require decades to repay. The payback time depends on the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 and more determined by the carbon loss, such as soil respiration, than photosynthesis offset. Soil respiration is not only an important part of ecosystem respiration, but is also highly correlated with ecosystem production, via substrate subsidies from plants. Both autotrophic and heterotrophic soil respiration were regulated by climated-induced factors (e.g. soil temperature and soil water content) and also affected by substrate supply. In 2009, three sites in conservation reserve program (CRP) and conventional corn-soybean rotation agricultural lands (AG), were converted to soybean production, in experimental sites at Kellogg Biological Station, MI. In 2010, the three sites of differential previous land uses were then converted to corn (Cr), switchgrass (Sw) and prairie mixture (Pr) production. A reference site has been maintained CRP status since then. We used chamber-based method to assess total and heterotrophic soil respirations rate (SRRt and SRRh) from control treatment (C) and root exclusion treatment (E) at all sites, in 2011 and 2012, to explore how soil respiration rate (SRR) respond to the change of abiotic and biotic factors. Our results show that soil temperature (Ts) are important factors that affect SRR patterns. At the beginning of growing season, SRRs are low (average SRRt and SRRh are 3.19 and 3.11 umol CO2/m2s, respectively, on April 10th, 2011) when soil temperature is low. SRRs in general increased over time in a year, peaked in late July- early August, 1-2 weeks after soil temperature arrive its peak (maximum average SRRt and SRRh are 8.64 and 5.68, respectively, on August 3rd/4th, 2011). Soil water content (VWC) did not affect the time of SRR peak but limited its amount; when VWCs were extremely low in 2012 (average VWC at C and E

  4. Genetic modification of plant cell walls to enhance biomass yield and biofuel production in bioenergy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yanting; Fan, Chunfen; Hu, Huizhen; Li, Ying; Sun, Dan; Wang, Youmei; Peng, Liangcai

    2016-01-01

    Plant cell walls represent an enormous biomass resource for the generation of biofuels and chemicals. As lignocellulose property principally determines biomass recalcitrance, the genetic modification of plant cell walls has been posed as a powerful solution. Here, we review recent progress in understanding the effects of distinct cell wall polymers (cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, pectin, wall proteins) on the enzymatic digestibility of biomass under various physical and chemical pretreatments in herbaceous grasses, major agronomic crops and fast-growing trees. We also compare the main factors of wall polymer features, including cellulose crystallinity (CrI), hemicellulosic Xyl/Ara ratio, monolignol proportion and uronic acid level. Furthermore, the review presents the main gene candidates, such as CesA, GH9, GH10, GT61, GT43 etc., for potential genetic cell wall modification towards enhancing both biomass yield and enzymatic saccharification in genetic mutants and transgenic plants. Regarding cell wall modification, it proposes a novel groove-like cell wall model that highlights to increase amorphous regions (density and depth) of the native cellulose microfibrils, providing a general strategy for bioenergy crop breeding and biofuel processing technology.

  5. 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...

  6. Comparing life cycle assessments of different biofuel options.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, Alissa; Yuan, Juhong

    2013-06-01

    Life cycle assessment (LCA) has shown that first generation biofuels provide a little to no benefit for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions compared to petroleum fuels, particularly when indirect effects are considered. Second generation fuels are intended to achieve greater GHG reductions and avoid other sustainability issues. LCAs of second generation biofuels exhibit great variability and uncertainty, leading to inconclusive results for the performance of particular pathways (combinations of feedstocks and fuels). Variability arises in part because of the prospective nature of LCAs for future fuels; however, a review of recent articles on biofuel LCA methodology indicates two additional sources of variability: real sources such as spatiotemporal heterogeneity, and methodological sources such as choices for co-product allocation methods and system boundary definition.

  7. Lifecycle Assessment of Biofuel Production from Wood Pyrolysis Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manyele, S. V.

    2007-01-01

    Due to a stronger dependency on biomass for energy, there is a need for improved technologies in biomass-to-energy conversion in Tanzania. This paper presents a life cycle assessment (LCA) of pyrolysis technology used for conversion of wood and wood waste to liquid biofuel. In particular, a survey of environmental impacts of the process is…

  8. PEG Treatment Improves Germination and Establishment in Older Seeds of Camelina (Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz): A Potential Biofuel Crop

    OpenAIRE

    Vikas Yadav Patade; Deepti Khatri, Kamal Kumar; Ankur Agarwal; Maya Kumari; Mohammed Nasim

    2016-01-01

    Loss of seed viability upon storage is a major concern for oilseed crops. Polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG 6000) mediated osmotic and salt (NaCl) induced ionic treatments were given with an objective to enhance the seed germination and survival in a potential biofuel crop, Camelina (Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz). In a PEG treatment (10% w/v), opening of cotyledonary leaves as well as seedling survival was significantly higher than the control and other osmotic and/or ionic treatments. The plants ...

  9. 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 efficienc

  10. Sustainability of soil fertility and the use of lignocellulosic crop harvest residues for the production of biofuels: a literature review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijnders, L.

    2013-01-01

    Use of lignocellulosic crop harvest residues for liquid or gaseous biofuel production may impact soil quality, long-term soil fertility and the major determinants of the latter, stocks of soil organic carbon and nutrients. When soil organic carbon stocks of mineral cropland soils are to be maintaine

  11. Importance of biophysical effects on climate warming mitigation potential of biofuel crops over the conterminous United Sta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Current quantification of Climate Warming Mitigation Potential (CWMP) of biomass-derived energy has focused primarily on its biogeochemical effects. This study used site-level observations of carbon, water, and energy fluxes of biofuel crops to parameterize and evaluate the Community Land Model (CLM...

  12. Sustainability of soil fertility and the use of lignocellulosic crop harvest residues for the production of biofuels: a literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reijnders, L

    2013-01-01

    Use of lignocellulosic crop harvest residues for liquid or gaseous biofuel production may impact soil quality, long-term soil fertility and the major determinants of the latter, stocks of soil organic carbon and nutrients. When soil organic carbon stocks of mineral cropland soils are to be maintained, there is scope for the removal of lignocellulosic harvest residues in several systems with much reduced tillage or no tillage. The scope for such removal might be increased when suitably treated residues from the conversion of harvest residues into biofuel are returned to cropland soils. For mineral cropland soils under conventional tillage, the scope for the production of liquid biofuels from harvest residues is likely to be less than in the case of no-till systems. When fertility of cropland soils is to be sustainable, nutrients present in suitably treated biofuel production residues have to be returned to these soils. Apparently, the actual return of carbon and nutrients present in residues of biofuel production from crop harvest residues to arable soils currently predominantly concerns the application of digestates of anaerobic digestion. The effects thereof on soil fertility and quality need further clarification. Further clarification about the effects on soil fertility and quality of chars and of co-products of lignocellulosic ethanol production is also needed.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Cost outlook for the production of biofuels. A cost comparison assessment of the future production of biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ragettli, M.

    2007-02-15

    In this diploma thesis by Martin Ragettli a cost comparison assessment of the future production of biofuels is presented. The author states that biofuels can make a contribution to the reduction of the effects of fossil fuel depletion and regional and global environmental problems, as well as providing security of supply. The status of biofuels in the context of sustainability efforts and the use of renewable forms of energy are discussed as are the potential and costs of biomass-based energy supply. Various types of biomass for the production of biofuels are reviewed, as are production technologies. The global potential of biomass supplies is examined. The methodology applied and the system components examined are discussed and a regional approach is reviewed. Recommendations for further research are made.

  16. Bioenergy crops grown for hyperaccumulation of phosphorous in the Delmarva Peninsula and their biofuels potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boateng, Akwasi A; Serapiglia, Michelle J; Mullen, Charles A; Dien, Bruce S; Hashem, Fawzy M; Dadson, Robert B

    2015-03-01

    Herbaceous bioenergy crops, including sorghum, switchgrass, and miscanthus, were evaluated for their potential as phytoremediators for the uptake of phosphorus in the Delmarva Peninsula and their subsequent conversion to biofuel intermediates (bio-oil) by fast pyrolysis using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy. Four cultivars of sorghum, five cultivars of switchgrass and one miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus) were grown in soils with two different levels of poultry manure (PM) applications. Little variation was seen in phosphorus uptake in the two different soils indicating that the levels of available phosphorus in the soil already saturated the uptake ability of the plants. However, all plants regardless of trial took up more phosphorus than that measured for the non- PM treated control. Sorghum accumulated greater levels of nutrients including phosphorus and potassium compared to switchgrass and miscanthus. The levels of these nutrients in the biomass did not have an effect on carbohydrate contents. However, the potential yield and composition of bio-oil from fast pyrolysis were affected by both agronomics and differences in mineral concentrations.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2013-05-01

    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.

  19. 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...... specific data. However, in this context it is important to remember that that the quality of site specific data is very dependent on the auditing approach and therefore not necessarily of high accuracy and that generic data might be designed to take into account the location, sector, size and maybe...... are most relevant to include in the SLCA in order to cover the field sufficiently seems paramount if the SLCA is to gain any weight as a decision support tool. Furthermore, some assessment of the difference between site specific and generic data could give valuable perspectives on whether a reasonable...

  20. 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...

  1. 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 spe

  2. 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.

  3. What drives sustainble biofuels? A review of indicator assessments of biofuel production systems involving smallholder farmer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Florin, M.J.; Ven, van de G.W.J.; Ittersum, van M.K.

    2014-01-01

    The contribution of biofuel production to sustainable development in rural areas requires policy and practice that understands the opportunities and risks faced by smallholder farmers. Potential opportunities for smallholders include access to markets, access to employment, local infrastructure deve

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Fertilizer Demand for Biofuel and Cereal crop Production in the United States

    OpenAIRE

    Acheampong, Kwame; Dicks, Michael R.

    2012-01-01

    The emergence of biofuel production has impacted almost all sectors of the agricultural industry and the general economy and has produced a large body of research into how increased production of biofuels will impact the agricultural sector and the general economy. All research is in agreement that total biomass production will be required to increase to meet food and fuel demands. The increase in biomass will, of necessity, require increased use of fertilizers. Research on fertilizer demand ...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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,

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mekonnen, M.M.; Hoekstra, A.Y.

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Life cycle assessment of biofuels: energy and greenhouse gas balances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gnansounou, E; Dauriat, A; Villegas, J; Panichelli, L

    2009-11-01

    The promotion of biofuels as energy for transportation in the industrialized countries is mainly driven by the perspective of oil depletion, the concerns about energy security and global warming. However due to sustainability constraints, biofuels will replace only 10 to 15% of fossil liquid fuels in the transport sector. Several governments have defined a minimum target of GHG emissions reduction for those biofuels that will be eligible to public incentives, for example a 35% emissions reduction in case of biofuels in Members States of the European Union. This article points out the significant biases in estimating GHG balances of biofuels stemming from modelling choices about system definition and boundaries, functional unit, reference systems and allocation methods. The extent to which these choices influence the results is investigated. After performing a comparison and constructive criticism of various modelling choices, the LCA of wheat-to-bioethanol is used as an illustrative case where bioethanol is blended with gasoline at various percentages (E5, E10 and E85). The performance of these substitution options is evaluated as well. The results show a large difference in the reduction of the GHG emissions with a high sensitivity to the following factors: the method used to allocate the impacts between the co-products, the type of reference systems, the choice of the functional unit and the type of blend. The authors come out with some recommendations for basing the estimation of energy and GHG balances of biofuels on principles such as transparency, consistency and accuracy.

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Relevance of Crop Biology for Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Crops in Africa

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the crop biology of economic crops in Africa is needed for regulators to accurately review dossiers and conduct comprehensive environmental risk assessments (ERAs). This information allows regulators to decide whether biotech crops present a risk to biodiversity, since crossing between domesticated crops and their wild relatives could affect the adaptations of the wild species. The criteria that should be used in the evaluation of African crops for ERA include growth habit, ce...

  2. RELEVANCE OF CROP BIOLOGY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS IN AFRICA

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the crop biology of economic crops in Africa is needed for regulators to accurately review dossiers and conduct comprehensive environmental risk assessments (ERA). This information allows regulators to decide whether biotech crops present a risk to biodiversity, since crossing between domesticated crops and their wild relatives could affect the adaptations of the wild species. The criteria that should be used in the evaluation of African crops for environmental risk assessmen...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Large area crop inventory experiment crop assessment subsystem software requirements document

    Science.gov (United States)

    1975-01-01

    The functional data processing requirements are described for the Crop Assessment Subsystem of the Large Area Crop Inventory Experiment. These requirements are used as a guide for software development and implementation.

  6. An overview of researches on Jerusalem artichoke as a biofuel crop%菊芋作为能源植物的研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘祖昕; 谢光辉

    2012-01-01

    Non-food biofuel crop is under the spotlight in the research field of bioenergy.Jerusalem artichoke is one of the most promising non-food biofuel crops,due to its wide adaptability,high resistance,high biomass productivity,multiple ways of utilization for bioenergy and environment friendly.This paper reviews the recent development and problems in research in biology characteristics,stress resistance and yield potential,germplasm evaluation,genetic characteristics and cultivar breeding,planting technology,chemical composition and energy conversion on the basis of feedstock production and biomass conversion utilization.It discusses the prospects of research and development of Jerusalem artichoke as an energy crop.Specific cultivar for bioenergy,efficient feedstock production system suited for bioenergy plants,searching for inulinase with high activity,efficient fermentation strains,oleaginous microorganisms,life cycle assessment of feedstock production,and comprehensive research and development of byproducts should be focused.%非粮能源植物是发展生物质能源的重要基础。菊芋适应性广,抗逆性强,生物质产量高,能源化利用方式多样,且环境友好,是我国有前景的非粮能源植物之一。笔者以原料生产和生物质转化利用为中心,对菊芋生物学、抗逆性和产量潜力、种质资源、遗传特性和良种选育、种植技术、化学组成和能源转化利用等方面的研究进展和存在问题进行了详细阐述,并展望了菊芋作为能源植物的研发前景。培育能源专用良种,建立适应能源生产的高效生产技术体系、获得高活力菊糖酶、高效发酵菌株和产油微生物,原料生产全生命周期评价及副产物综合开发利用是今后应着力研究的重点。

  7. 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.

  8. 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...... invader. Other risks to consider are fire in the mature crop, the spread of pests and diseases and increased water use. These years, the first commercial large scale crop production results are coming through and will show if the promises are to be fulfilled and the risks can be handled. However, breeding......, further development of the production chain, and stewardship programmes to avoid potential risks are still needed if Miscanthus is to compete with fossil fuel use and be widely produced....

  9. Impact of climate variability on N and C flux within the life cycle of biofuels produced from crop residues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pourhashem, G.; Block, P. J.; Adler, P. R.; Spatari, S.

    2013-12-01

    Biofuels from agricultural feedstocks (lignocellulose) are under development to meet national policy objectives for producing domestic renewable fuels. Using crop residues such as corn stover as feedstock for biofuel production can minimize the risks associated with food market disruption; however, it demands managing residue removal to minimize soil carbon loss, erosion, and to ensure nutrient replacement. Emissions of nitrous oxide and changes to soil organic carbon (SOC) are subject to variability in time due to local climate conditions and cultivation practices. Our objective is to investigate the effect of climate inputs (precipitation and temperature) on biogeochemical greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (N2O and SOC expressed as CO2) within the life cycle of biofuels produced from agricultural residues. Specifically, we investigate the impact of local climate variability on soil carbon and nitrogen fluxes over a 20-year biorefinery lifetime where biomass residue is used for lignocellulosic ethanol production. We investigate two cases studied previously (Pourhashem et al, 2013) where the fermentable sugars in the agricultural residue are converted to ethanol (biofuel) and the lignin byproduct is used in one of two ways: 1) power co-generation; or 2) application to land as a carbon/nutrient-rich amendment to soil. In the second case SOC losses are mitigated through returning the lignin component to land while the need for fertilizer addition is also eliminated, however in both cases N2O and SOC are subject to variability due to variable climate conditions. We used the biogeochemical model DayCent to predict soil carbon and nitrogen fluxes considering soil characteristics, tillage practices and local climate (e.g. temperature and rainfall). We address the impact of climate variability on the soil carbon and nitrogen fluxes by implementing a statistical bootstrap resampling method based on a historic data set (1980 to 2000). The ensuing probabilistic outputs from the

  10. 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)

  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. RELEVANCE OF CROP BIOLOGY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS IN AFRICA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olalekan eAkinbo

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge about the crop biology of economic crops in Africa is needed for regulators to accurately review dossiers and conduct comprehensive environmental risk assessments (ERA. This information allows regulators to decide whether biotech crops present a risk to biodiversity, since crossing between domesticated crops and their wild relatives could affect the adaptations of the wild species. The criteria that should be used in the evaluation of African crops for environmental risk assessment (ERA include: growth habit, centre of origin, centre of genetic diversity, proximity of wild relatives, inter-fertility, mode of pollen dispersal, length of pollen viability, mating system, invasiveness, weediness, mode of propagation, mode of seed dispersal and length of seed dormancy. In this paper, we discuss the crops being genetic engineered in Africa and describe the crop biology of those with native relatives.

  13. Environmental assessment of biofuel chains based on ecosystem modelling, including land-use change effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielle, B.; Gagnaire, N.; Massad, R.; Prieur, V.; Python, Y.

    2012-04-01

    The potential greenhouse gas (GHG) savings resulting from the displacement of fossil energy sources by bioenergy mostly hinges on the uncertainty on the magnitude of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from arable soils occuring during feedstock production. These emissions are broadly related to fertilizer nitrogen input rates, but largely controlled by soil and climate factors which makes their estimation highly uncertain. Here, we set out to improve estimates of N2O emissions from bioenergy feedstocks by using ecosystem models and measurements and modeling of atmospheric N2O in the greater Paris (France) area. Ground fluxes were measured in two locations to assess the effect of soil type and management, crop type (including lignocellulosics such as triticale, switchgrass and miscanthus), and climate on N2O emission rates and dynamics. High-resolution maps of N2O emissions were generated over the Ile-de-France region (around Paris) with two ecosystem models using geographical databases on soils, weather data, land-use and crop management. The models were tested against ground flux measurements and the emission maps were fed into the atmospheric chemistry-transport model CHIMERE. The maps were tested by comparing the CHIMERE simulations with time series of N2O concentrations measured at various heights above the ground in two locations in 2007. The emissions of N2O, as integrated over the region, were used in a life-cycle assessment of representative biofuel pathways: bioethanol from wheat and sugar-beet (1st generation), and miscanthus (2nd generation chain); bio-diesel from oilseed rape. Effects related to direct and indirect land-use changes (in particular on soil carbon stocks) were also included in the assessment based on various land-use scenarios and literature references. The potential deployment of miscanthus was simulated by assuming it would be grown on the current sugar-beet growing area in Ile-de-France, or by converting land currently under permanent fallow

  14. Palm-based biofuel refinery (PBR) to substitute petroleum refinery: An energy and emergy assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goh, Chun Sheng; Lee, Keat Teong [School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia)

    2010-12-15

    As the most active palm industry cluster in the world, Malaysia produces enormous amount of biomass from the industry. This work studies the possibility of creating a renewable and sustainable source of energy by fully utilizing an area of land to provide liquid biofuel for the country. Palm-based biofuel refinery (PBR) proposed in this study has the ultimate goal to displace petroleum fuels and fulfill domestic energy demand. It fully utilizes indigenous palm biomass to fulfill 35.5% of energy demand in the country by using land area of only 8% of current palm cultivation. The operation concept of PBR is similar to petroleum refinery in which a single source feedstock (crude petroleum) can be processed to multiple products. In PBR, products from an oil palm plantation will be converted to various biofuel end products. Renewable biofuel such as biodiesel and bioethanol can be produced from crude palm oil and lignocellulosic residues. Energy and emergy assessment were made in this work to evaluate the sustainability and efficiency of PBR. Biofuel produced from PBR has a high energy equivalent of 31.56 MJ/kg as 1 ha of land can produce 182,142 MJ annually. Although there are still obstacles to be overcome, it is important for Malaysia to develop its own energy supply from indigenous resources as an initiative not only for security but also lower carbon emission. (author)

  15. 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.

  16. Environmental assessment of biofuel pathways in Ile de France based on ecosystem modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielle, Benoît; Gagnaire, Nathalie; Massad, Raia Silvia; Dufossé, Karine; Bessou, Cécile

    2014-01-01

    The objective of the work reported here was to reduce the uncertainty on the greenhouse gas balances of biofuels using agro-ecosystem modeling at a high resolution over the Ile-de-France region in Northern France. The emissions simulated during the feedstock production stage were input to a life-cycle assessment of candidate biofuel pathways: bioethanol from wheat, sugar-beet and miscanthus, and biodiesel from oilseed rape. Compared to the widely-used methodology based on fixed emission factors, ecosystem modeling lead to 55-70% lower estimates for N2O emissions, emphasizing the importance of regional factors. The life-cycle GHG emissions of first-generation biofuels were 50-70% lower than fossil-based equivalents, and 85% lower for cellulosic ethanol. When including indirect land-use change effects, GHG savings became marginal for biodiesel and wheat ethanol, but were positive due to direct effects for cellulosic ethanol.

  17. 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...... gases and is also very efficient in utilizing the nutrients from industrial effluents and municipal wastewater. Therefore cultivation of algal biomass provide dual benefit, it provides biomass for the production of biofuels and also save our environment from air and water pollution. The life cycle...... assessment (LCA) of algal biofuels suggests them to be environmentally better than the fossil fuels but economically it is not yet so attractive....

  18. 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

  19. Will EU Biofuel Policies affect Global Agricultural Markets?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Banse, M.; Vvan Meijl, H.; Tabeau, A.; Woltjer, G.

    2008-04-15

    This paper assesses the global and sectoral implications of the European Union Biofuels Directive (BFD) in a multi-region computable general equilibrium framework with endogenous determination of land supply. The results show that, without mandatory blending policies or subsidies to stimulate the use of biofuel crops in the petroleum sector, the targets of the BFD will not be met in 2010 and 2020. With a mandatory blending policy, the enhanced demand for biofuel crops has a strong impact on agriculture at the global and European levels. The additional demand from the energy sector leads to an increase in global land use and, ultimately, a decrease in biodiversity. The development, on the other hand, might slow or reverse the long-term process of declining real agricultural prices. Moreover, assuming a further liberalization of the European agricultural market imports of biofuels are expected to increase to more than 50% of the total biofuel demand in Europe.

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. Assessment of bio-fuel options for solid oxide fuel cell applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Jiefeng

    Rising concerns of inadequate petroleum supply, volatile crude oil price, and adverse environmental impacts from using fossil fuels have spurred the United States to promote bio-fuel domestic production and develop advanced energy systems such as fuel cells. The present dissertation analyzed the bio-fuel applications in a solid oxide fuel cell-based auxiliary power unit from environmental, economic, and technological perspectives. Life cycle assessment integrated with thermodynamics was applied to evaluate the environmental impacts (e.g., greenhouse gas emission, fossil energy consumption) of producing bio-fuels from waste biomass. Landfill gas from municipal solid wastes and biodiesel from waste cooking oil are both suggested as the promising bio-fuel options. A nonlinear optimization model was developed with a multi-objective optimization technique to analyze the economic aspect of biodiesel-ethanol-diesel ternary blends used in transportation sectors and capture the dynamic variables affecting bio-fuel productions and applications (e.g., market disturbances, bio-fuel tax credit, policy changes, fuel specification, and technological innovation). A single-tube catalytic reformer with rhodium/ceria-zirconia catalyst was used for autothermal reformation of various heavy hydrocarbon fuels (e.g., diesel, biodiesel, biodiesel-diesel, and biodiesel-ethanol-diesel) to produce a hydrogen-rich stream reformates suitable for use in solid oxide fuel cell systems. A customized mixing chamber was designed and integrated with the reformer to overcome the technical challenges of heavy hydrocarbon reformation. A thermodynamic analysis, based on total Gibbs free energy minimization, was implemented to optimize the operating environment for the reformations of various fuels. This was complimented by experimental investigations of fuel autothermal reformation. 25% biodiesel blended with 10% ethanol and 65% diesel was determined to be viable fuel for use on a truck travelling with

  4. 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

    2012-06-07

    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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. Water use implications of biofuel scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teter, J.; Mishra, G. S.; Yeh, S.

    2012-12-01

    Existing studies rely upon attributional lifecycle analysis (LCA) approaches to estimate water intensity of biofuels in liters of irrigated/evapotranspiration water consumed for biofuel production. Such approaches can be misleading. From a policy perspective, a better approach is to compare differential water impacts among scenarios on a landscape scale. We address the shortcomings of existing studies by using consequential LCA, and incorporate direct and indirect land use (changes) of biofuel scenarios, marginal vs. average biofuel water use estimates, future climate, and geographic heterogeneity. We use the outputs of a partial equilibrium economic model, climate and soil data, and a process-based crop-soil-climate-water model to estimate differences in green water (GW - directly from precipitation to soil) and blue water (BW - supplied by irrigation) use among three scenarios: (1) business-as-usual (BAU), (2) Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandates, and (3) a national Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) plus the RFS scenario. We use spatial statistical methods to interpolate key climatic variables using daily climate observations for the contiguous USA. Finally, we use FAO's crop model AquaCrop to estimate the domestic GW and BW impacts of biofuel policies from 2007-2035. We assess the differences among scenarios along the following metrics: (1) crop area expansion at the county level, including prime and marginal lands, (2) crop-specific and overall annual/seasonal water balances including (a) water inflows (irrigation & precipitation), (b) crop-atmosphere interactions: (evaporation & transpiration) and (d) soil-water flows (runoff & soil infiltration), in mm 3 /acre over the relevant time period. The functional unit of analysis is the BW and GW requirements of biofuels (mm3 per Btu biofuel) at the county level. Differential water use impacts among scenarios are a primarily a function of (1) land use conversion, in particular that of formerly uncropped land classes

  8. Crop Change Assessment Using Polarimetric RADARSAT-2 Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chen; Shang, Jiali; Vachon, Paris W.; McNairn, Heather

    2011-03-01

    This paper studies the feasibility of monitoring crop growth cycles based on a temporal variation analysis of three elementary radar scattering mechanisms. Crop changes are assessed using RADARSAT-2 polarimetric data. The polarimetric SAR (PolSAR) analysis is based on the Pauli decomposition. Multi-temporal analysis is applied to RGB images constructed using surface scattering, double bounce and volume scattering. The crops studied in this paper are corn, cereals and soybeans. Each crop has unique physical structural characteristics and responds differently to these scattering mechanisms. By monitoring the significant changes that occur in these scattering mechanisms, the crop growth to harvest cycle can be observed and the harvest time can be estimated. In addition, a Maximum Likelihood Classification was performed on the RADARSAT-2 data to produce a crop map. An overall classification accuracy of 85% was achieved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Greenhouse gas emissions from cultivation of agricultural crops for biofuels and production of biogas from manure : implementation of the directive of the European parliament and of the council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahlgren, S.; Hansson, P.A.; Kimming, M. [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Energy and Technology; Aronsson, P. [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Plant Production Ecology; Lundkvist, H. [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Ecology

    2010-07-01

    The results of a study conducted to determine greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the cultivation of agricultural crops for the production of biofuels and the production of biogas from solid and liquid manure were presented. A life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology was used to comply with the European Union (EU) directive for which the task was performed. The agricultural crops included wheat, triticale, spring barley, and winter rapeseed. Sensitivity analyses indicated that the selection of methodology and input data altered the results of the study in relation to nitrous oxide (NO{sub x}) emissions from crop cultivation. The use of nitrogen (N) as a fertilizer without the catalytic cleaning of NO{sub x} resulted in emissions increases of approximately 40 per cent for winter wheat. The cultivation of winter wheat for ethanol production using a dedicated wheat variety and reduced N fertilization reduced average emissions by 6 per cent. The study also showed that biogas production reduced GHG emissions when manure was stored in tanks prior to being spread in the field. The study assumed that modern technology was used to upgrade the biogas to vehicle fuel quality.

  12. Assessing the value of transgenic crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacey, Hugh

    2002-10-01

    In the current controversy about the value of transgenic crops, matters open to empirical inquiry are centrally at issue. One such matter is a key premise in a common argument (that I summarize) that transgenic crops should be considered to have universal value. The premise is that there are no alternative forms of agriculture available to enable the production of sufficient food to feed the world. The proponents of agroecology challenge it, claiming that agroecology provides an alternative, and they deny the claim that it is well founded on empirical evidence. It is, therefore, a matter of both social and scientific importance that this premise and the criticisms of it be investigated rigorously and empirically, so that the benefits and disadvantages of transgenic-intensive agriculture and agroecology can be compared in a reliable way. Conducting adequate investigation about the potential contribution of agroecology requires that the cultural conditions of its practice (and, thus, of the practices and movements of small-scale farmers in the "third world") be strengthened--and this puts the interests of investigation into tension with the socio-economic interests driving the development of transgenics. General issues about relationship between ethical argument and empirical (scientific) investigation are raised throughout the article.

  13. 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.

  14. Field pennycress: A new oilseed crop for the production of biofuels, lubricants, and high-quality proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) has numerous positive attributes that make it a very promising industrial oilseed crop. Its short growing season makes it suitable as an off-season crop between corn and soybean production in most of the upper Midwestern U.S. Fall planting of pennycress may also...

  15. Assessing the effect of stricter sustainability criteria on EU biomass crop potential

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elbersen, B.S.; Fritsche, U.; Petersen, J.E.; Lesschen, J.P.

    2013-01-01

    This paper investigates how different sustainability criteria restrict the supply of cropped biomass sources within the EU. There are already mandatory sustainability criteria formulated in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) at EU level for biomass feedstocks to be used for conversion into biofuel

  16. 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.

    2014-07-01

    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.

  17. Assessing biofuels: Aiming for sustainable development or complying with the market?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diaz-Chavez, Rocio A., E-mail: r.diaz-chavez@imperial.ac.uk [Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    The growing interest in biofuels has led to increasing concern about their wider implications, particularly if grown for transport use in large scale. Such concerns include environmental, social and economic issues. To counterbalance the possible negative effects, a series of measures are being put in place to help their sustainability. Nevertheless, considering the different meanings of sustainability in different parts of the world and the need to expand productive rural activities, the differences between trying to assure a commodity and the benefits or impacts at local level raise the questions between the aims of sustainability and the need to comply with a market. The ideal situation would be to reconcile both aspects, which in practise represent a major challenge for governments and industry. This paper provides an overview on the sustainability assessment of biofuels to consider a possible way forward. - Highlights: > Multi-interactions in biomass production for bioenergy are a new paradigm to develop policies. > Certification and verification schemes are limited to assess broader sustainability issues. > Improved agricultural and forestry systems for biomass use will boost policies and investment.

  18. Visual soil assessment: field guide for cropping

    OpenAIRE

    Shepherd, Graham

    2000-01-01

    Visual assessments provide an immediate diagnostic tool to evaluate soil quality, as many physical, biological (and to a lesser degree chemical) soil characteristics show up as visual characteristics. Results are easy to interpret and understand. The Visual Soil Assessment (VSA) method has been developed to help land managers assess soil quality easily, quickly, reliably and cheaply on a paddock scale. It requires little equipment, training or technical skills. Part I, “VSA of soil qu...

  19. 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

  20. Projecting future grassland productivity to assess the sustainability of potential biofuel feedstock areas in the Greater Platte River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.; Boyte, Stephen; Phyual, Khem

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Life cycle assessment integrated with thermodynamic analysis of bio-fuel options for solid oxide fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Jiefeng; Babbitt, Callie W; Trabold, Thomas A

    2013-01-01

    A methodology that integrates life cycle assessment (LCA) with thermodynamic analysis is developed and applied to evaluate the environmental impacts of producing biofuels from waste biomass, including biodiesel from waste cooking oil, ethanol from corn stover, and compressed natural gas from municipal solid wastes. Solid oxide fuel cell-based auxiliary power units using bio-fuel as the hydrogen precursor enable generation of auxiliary electricity for idling heavy-duty trucks. Thermodynamic analysis is applied to evaluate the fuel conversion efficiency and determine the amount of fuel feedstock needed to generate a unit of electrical power. These inputs feed into an LCA that compares energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of different fuel pathways. Results show that compressed natural gas from municipal solid wastes is an optimal bio-fuel option for SOFC-APU applications in New York State. However, this methodology can be regionalized within the U.S. or internationally to account for different fuel feedstock options.

  3. [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.

  4. Environmental authorities and biofuel controversies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mol, A.P.J.

    2010-01-01

    The current generation of crop-based biofuels is heavily contested for its negative consequences for the environment and the poor. Hence, the current biofuel system needs to be transformed in the direction of what can be labelled 'fair fuels': (bio) fuels that are environmentally and socially sustai

  5. 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...... activities between Latin America and the European Union in order to maximize synergies in the biofuels sectors. This paper presents objectives and first results of the BioTop project with special emphasis on biomass potential, improved conversion technologies, sustainability, standardization, trade, and RTD...... policies to support the use of biofuels,relying on both, domestically produced and imported biofuels, as available agricultural land for biofuel production in the EU is limited. The potential for biofuel production in Latin America is much larger and cooperation among the two continents is encouraged...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Stephen R; López-Núñez, Juan Carlos; Jones, Marjorie A; Moser, Bryan R; Cox, Elby J; Lindquist, Mitch; Galindo-Leva, Luz Angela; Riaño-Herrera, Néstor M; Rodriguez-Valencia, Nelson; Gast, Fernando; Cedeño, David L; Tasaki, Ken; Brown, Robert C; Darzins, Al; Brunner, Lane

    2014-10-01

    The environmental impact of agricultural waste from the 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 the processing of such crops as coffee, sugarcane, or corn. Coffee is crucial to the economies of many countries because its cultivation, processing, trading, and marketing provide employment for millions of people. In coffee-producing countries, improved technology for treatment of the significant amounts of coffee waste is critical to prevent ecological damage. This mini-review discusses a multi-stage biorefinery concept with the potential to convert waste produced at crop processing operations, such as coffee pulping stations, to valuable biofuels and bioproducts using biochemical and thermochemical conversion technologies. The initial bioconversion stage uses a mutant Kluyveromyces marxianus yeast strain to produce bioethanol from sugars. The resulting sugar-depleted solids (mostly protein) can be used in a second stage by the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica to produce bio-based ammonia for fertilizer and are further degraded by Y. lipolytica proteases to peptides and free amino acids for animal feed. The lignocellulosic fraction can be ground and treated to release sugars for fermentation in a third stage by a recombinant cellulosic Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which can also be engineered to express valuable peptide products. The residual protein and lignin solids can be jet cooked and passed to a fourth-stage fermenter where Rhodotorula glutinis converts methane into isoprenoid intermediates. The residues can be combined and transferred into pyrocracking and hydroformylation reactions to convert ammonia, protein, isoprenes, lignins, and oils into renewable gas. Any remaining waste can be thermoconverted to biochar as a humus soil enhancer. The integration of multiple technologies for treatment of coffee waste has the potential to

  7. 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.

  8. Identification, Characterization, and Expression Analysis of Cell Wall Related Genes in Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench, a Food, Fodder, and Biofuel Crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rai, Krishan M.; Thu, Sandi W.; Balasubramanian, Vimal K.; Cobos, Christopher J.; Disasa, Tesfaye; Mendu, Venugopal

    2016-01-01

    Biomass based alternative fuels offer a solution to the world's ever-increasing energy demand. With the ability to produce high biomass in marginal lands with low inputs, sorghum has a great potential to meet second-generation biofuel needs. Despite the sorghum crop importance in biofuel and fodder industry, there is no comprehensive information available on the cell wall related genes and gene families (biosynthetic and modification). It is important to identify the cell wall related genes to understand the cell wall biosynthetic process as well as to facilitate biomass manipulation. Genome-wide analysis using gene family specific Hidden Markov Model of conserved domains identified 520 genes distributed among 20 gene families related to biosynthesis/modification of various cell wall polymers such as cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, and lignin. Chromosomal localization analysis of these genes revealed that about 65% of cell wall related genes were confined to four chromosomes (Chr. 1–4). Further, 56 tandem duplication events involving 169 genes were identified in these gene families which could be associated with expansion of genes within families in sorghum. Additionally, we also identified 137 Simple Sequence Repeats related to 112 genes and target sites for 10 miRNAs in some important families such as cellulose synthase, cellulose synthase-like, and laccases, etc. To gain further insight into potential functional roles, expression analysis of these gene families was performed using publically available data sets in various tissues and under abiotic stress conditions. Expression analysis showed tissue specificity as well as differential expression under abiotic stress conditions. Overall, our study provides a comprehensive information on cell wall related genes families in sorghum which offers a valuable resource to develop strategies for altering biomass composition by plant breeding and genetic engineering approaches. PMID:27630645

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Risk assessment of genetically modified crops for nutrition and health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magaña-Gómez, Javier A; de la Barca, Ana M Calderón

    2009-01-01

    The risk assessment of genetically modified (GM) crops for human nutrition and health has not been systematic. Evaluations for each GM crop or trait have been conducted using different feeding periods, animal models, and parameters. The most common result is that GM and conventional sources induce similar nutritional performance and growth in animals. However, adverse microscopic and molecular effects of some GM foods in different organs or tissues have been reported. Diversity among the methods and results of the risk assessments reflects the complexity of the subject. While there are currently no standardized methods to evaluate the safety of GM foods, attempts towards harmonization are on the way. More scientific effort is necessary in order to build confidence in the evaluation and acceptance of GM foods.

  14. 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 rai

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Positive and negative impacts of agricultural production of liquid biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijnders, L.; Hester, R.E.; Harrison, R.M.

    2012-01-01

    Agricultural production of liquid biofuels can have positive effects. It can decrease dependence on fossil fuels and increase farmers’ incomes. Agricultural production of mixed perennial biofuel crops may increase pollinator and avian richness. Most types of agricultural crop-based liquid biofuel pr

  18. 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.

  19. Transgenic woody plants for biofuel

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei Tang; Anna Y.Tang

    2014-01-01

    Transgenic trees as a new source for biofuel have brought a great interest in tree biotechnology. Genetically modifying forest trees for ethanol production have advantages in technical challenges, costs, environmental concerns, and financial problems over some of crops. Genetic engineering of forest trees can be used to reduce the level of lignin, to produce the fast-growing trees, to develop trees with higher cellulose, and to allow the trees to be grown more widely. Trees can establish themselves in the field with less care of farmers, compared to most of crops. Transgenic crops as a new source for biofuel have been recently reviewed in several reviews. Here, we overview transgenic woody plants as a new source for biofuel including genetically modified woody plants and environment; main focus of woody plants genetic modifications;solar to chemical energy transfer; cellulose biosynthesis;lignin biosynthesis;and cellulosic ethanol as biofuel.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Arid Lands Biofuel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neupane, B. P.

    2013-05-01

    Dependence on imported petroleum, as well as consequences from burning fossil fuels, has increased the demand for biofuel sources in the United States. Competition between food crops and biofuel crops has been an increasing concern, however, since it has the potential to raise prices for US beef and grain products due to land and resource competition. Biofuel crops that can be grown on land not suitable for food crops are thus attractive, but also need to produce biofuels in a financially sustainable manner. In the intermountain west of Nevada, biofuel crops need to survive on low-organic soils with limited precipitation when grown in areas that are not competing with food and feed. The plants must also yield an oil content sufficiently high to allow economically viable fuel production, including growing and harvesting the crop as well as converting the hydrocarbons into a liquid fuel. Gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa) currently appears to satisfy all of these requirements and is commonly observed throughout the west. The plant favors dry, sandy soils and is most commonly found on roadsides and other freshly disturbed land. A warm season biennial, the gumweed plant is part of the sunflower family and normally grows 2-4 feet high with numerous yellow flowers and curly leaves. The gumweed plant contains a large store of diterpene resins—most abundantly grindelic acid— similar to the saps found on pine trees that are used to make inks and adhesives. The dry weight harvest on the experimental field is 5130 lbs/acre. Whole plant biomass yields between 11-15% (average 13%) biocrude when subjected to acetone extraction whereas the buds alone contains up to a maximum of 35% biocrude when harvested in 'white milky' stage. The extract is then converted to basic form (sodium grindelate) followed by extraction of nonpolar constituents (mostly terpenes) with hexane and extracted back to ethyl acetate in acidified condition. Ethyl acetate is removed under vacuum to leave a dark

  4. 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

  5. Genetic improvement of biofuel plants: recent progress and patents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, T Sudhakar; Badri, Jyothi; Sastry, R Kalpana; Shrivastava, Anshul; Kishor, P B Kavi; Sujatha, M

    2013-04-01

    Due to depleting reserves of fossil fuels, political uncertainties, increase in demand of energy needs and growing concerns of environmental effects, bioenergy as an alternative source of energy needs had taken centre stage globally. In this report, we review the progress made in lignocellulose, cellulose and fermentation based biofuels in addition to tree borne oil seeds. Algae as a source of feedstock for the biofuel has also been reviewed. Recent efforts in genome sequencing of biofuel crops and molecular breeding approaches have increased our understanding towards crop improvement of major feedstocks. Besides, patenting trends in bioenergy sector were assessed by patent landscape analysis. The results showed an increasing trend in published patents during the last decade which is maximum during 2011. A conceptual framework of "transgenesis in biofuels to industrial application" was developed based on the patent analytics viz., International Patent Classification (IPC) analysis and Theme Maps. A detailed claim analysis based on the conceptual framework assessed the patenting trends that provided an exhaustive dimension of the technology. The study emphasizes the current thrust in bioenergy sector by various public and private institutions to expedite the process of biofuel production.

  6. 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.

  7. Assessing county-level water footprints of different cellulosic-biofuel feedstock pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Yi-Wen; Wu, May

    2012-08-21

    While agricultural residue is considered as a near-term feedstock option for cellulosic biofuels, its sustainability must be evaluated by taking water into account. This study aims to analyze the county-level water footprint for four biofuel pathways in the United States, including bioethanol generated from corn grain, stover, wheat straw, and biodiesel from soybean. The county-level blue water footprint of ethanol from corn grain, stover, and wheat straw shows extremely wide variances with a national average of 31, 132, and 139 L of water per liter biofuel (L(w)/L(bf)), and standard deviation of 133, 323, and 297 L(w)/L(bf), respectively. Soybean biodiesel production results in a blue water footprint of 313 L(w)/L(bf) on the national average with standard deviation of 894 L(w)/L(bf). All biofuels show a greater green water footprint than the blue one. This work elucidates how diverse spatial resolutions affect biofuel water footprints, which can provide detailed insights into biofuels' implications on local water sustainability.

  8. 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.

  9. Watershed scale environmental sustainability analysis of biofuel production in changing land use and climate scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    RAJ, C.; Chaubey, I.; Cherkauer, K. A.; Brouder, S. M.; Volenec, J. J.

    2013-12-01

    One of the grand challenges in meeting the US biofuel goal is producing large quantities of cellulosic biofeedstock materials for the production of biofuels in an environmentally sustainable and economically viable manner. The possible land use and land management practice changes induce concerns over the environmental impacts of these bioenergy crop production scenarios both in terms of water availability and water quality, and these impacts may be exacerbated by climate variability and change. This study aims to evaluate environmental sustainability of various plausible land and crop management scenarios for biofuel production under changing climate scenarios for a Midwest US watershed. The study considers twelve environmental sustainability indicators related hydrology and water quality with thirteen plausible biofuels scenarios in the watershed under nine climate change scenarios. The land use change scenarios for evaluation includes, (1) bioenergy crops in highly erodible soils (3) bioenergy crops in low row crop productive fields (marginal lands); (3) bioenergy crops in pasture and range land use areas and (4) combinations of these scenarios. Future climate data bias corrected and downscaled to daily values from the World Climate Research Programme's (WCRP's) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) multi-model dataset were used in this study. The distributed hydrological model SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) was used to simulate bioenergy crops growth, hydrology and water quality. The watershed scale sustainability analysis was done in Wildcat Creek basin, which is located in North-Central Indiana, USA.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    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...... was incorporated in the soil in the ‘Mulching’ rotation and removed and used for biogas production in the ‘Biogas’ rotation (and residues from biogas production were simulated to be returned to the field). A method was suggested for allocating effects of fertility building crops in life cycle assessments...

  12. Assessment of global grey water footprint of major food crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hong; Liu, Wenfeng; Antonelli, Marta

    2016-04-01

    Agricultural production is one of the major sources of water pollution in the world. This is closely related to the excess application of fertilizers. Leaching of N and P to water bodies has caused serious degradation of water quality in many places. With the persistent increase in the demand for agricultural products, agricultural intensification evident during the past decades will continue in the future. This will lead to further increase in fertilizer application and consequently water pollution. Grey water footprint is a measure of the intensity of water pollution caused by water use for human activities. It is defined as the volume of water that is required to assimilate a load of pollutants to a freshwater body, based on natural background concentrations and water quality standards. This study conducts a global assessment of grey water footprint for major cereal crops, wheat, maize and rice. A crop model, Python-based EPIC (PEPIT), is applied to quantify the leaching of N and P from the fertilizer application in the three crops on a global scale with 0.5 degree spatial resolution. The hotspots of leaching are identified. The results suggest that, based on the definition and method of grey water footprint proposed by the World Water Footprint Network, the grey water footprint in many parts of the world has exceeded their total water resources availability. This indicates the seriousness of water pollution caused by agricultural production. However, the situation may also call for the development of a realistic measurement of grey water footprint which is more pertinent to water resources management. This paper proposes some alternatives in measuring grey water footprint and also discusses incorporation of grey water footprint assessment into water policy formulation and river basins plan development.

  13. A comparison of cellulosic fuel yields and separated soil-surface CO2 fluxes in maize and prairie biofuel cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Virginia A.

    It has been suggested that strategic incorporation of perennial vegetation into agricultural landscapes could provide ecosystem services while maintaining agricultural productivity. To evaluate potential use of prairie as a Midwestern cellulosic feedstock, we investigated theoretical cellulosic fuel yields, as well as soil-surface carbon dioxide emissions of prairie-based biofuel systems as compared to maize-based systems on fertile soils in Boone County, IA, USA. Investigated systems were: a maize-soybean rotation grown for grain only, continuous maize grown for grain and stover both with and without a winter rye cover crop, and a 31-species reconstructed prairie grown with and without spring nitrogen fertilization for fall-harvested biomass. From 2009-2013, the highest producing system was N-fertilized prairie, averaging 10.4 Mg ha -1 yr-1 above-ground biomass with average harvest removals of 7.8 Mg ha-1 yr-1. The unfertilized prairie produced 7.4 Mg ha-1 yr-1, averaging harvests of 5.3 Mg ha-1 yr-1. Lowest cellulosic biomass harvests were realized from continuous maize systems, averaging 3.5 Mg ha -1 yr-1 when grown with, and 3.7 Mg ha-1 yr-1 when grown without a winter rye cover crop, respectively. Un-fertilized prairie biomass and maize stover had equivalent dietary conversion ratios at 330 g ethanol kg-1 dry biomass, but N-fertilized prairie was lower at 315. Over four years prairie systems averaged 1287 L cellulosic ethanol ha-1 yr-1 more than maize systems, with fertilization increasing prairie ethanol production by 865 L ha-1 yr-1. Harvested biomass accounted for >90% of ethanol yield variation. A major hurdle in carbon cycling studies is the separation of the soil-surface CO2 flux into its respective components. From 2012-2013 we used a shading method to separate soil-surface CO2 resulting from oxidation of soil organic matter and CO2 derived from live-root activity in three systems: unfertilized prairie, N-fertilized prairie, and continuous maize

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. IDB Biofuels Sustainability Scorecard

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    This document presents the IDB Biofuels Sustainability Scorecard user's guide. The primary objective of the Scorecard is to provide a tool to think through the complex issues associated with biofuels from the field to the tank, thereby encouraging higher levels of sustainability in such projects. While the Scorecard addresses many sustainability issues, it should not be used as a replacement for certification schemes and/or life-cycle assessment tools, but rather should inform these processes...

  17. Biofuels and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John; Fargione, Joseph; Hill, Jason

    2011-06-01

    The recent increase in liquid biofuel production has stemmed from a desire to reduce dependence on foreign oil, mitigate rising energy prices, promote rural economic development, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The growth of this industry has important implications for biodiversity, the effects of which depend largely on which biofuel feedstocks are being grown and the spatial extent and landscape pattern of land requirements for growing these feedstocks. Current biofuel production occurs largely on croplands that have long been in agricultural production. The additional land area required for future biofuels production can be met in part by reclaiming reserve or abandoned croplands and by extending cropping into lands formerly deemed marginal for agriculture. In the United States, many such marginal lands have been enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), providing important habitat for grassland species. The demand for corn ethanOl has changed agricultural commodity economics dramatically, already contributing to loss of CRP lands as contracts expire and lands are returned to agricultural production. Nevertheless, there are ways in which biofuels can be developed to enhance their coexistence with biodiversity. Landscape heterogeneity can be improved by interspersion of land uses, which is easier around facilities with smaller or more varied feedstock demands. The development of biofuel feedstocks that yield high net energy returns with minimal carbon debts or that do not require additional land for production, such as residues and wastes, should be encouraged. Competing land uses, including both biofuel production and biodiversity protection, should be subjected to comprehensive cost-benefit analysis, so that incentives can be directed where they will do the most good.

  18. Bioaccumulation of nutrient elements from fly ash-amended soil in Jatropha curcas L.: a biofuel crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhary, Doongar R; Ghosh, Arup

    2013-08-01

    Fly ash (FA) from coal-burning industries may be a potential inorganic soil amendment; the insight of its nutrient release and supply to soil may enhance their agricultural use. The study was conducted to assess the ability of fly ash (a coal fired thermal plant waste) to reduce soil fertility depletion and to study bioaccumulation of mineral nutrients in Jatropha curcas grown on soils amended with fly ash. Fly ash was amended to field soil at six rates (0, 5, 10, 20, 40, and 70 % w/w) on which J. curcas was grown. After 8 months of growth, the height of jatropha plants was significantly increased at 5 and 10 % FA-amended soil, whereas, biomass significantly increased at 5, 10, and 20 % FA-amended soil compared to control soil (0 % FA). Leaf nutrients uptake, followed by stems and roots uptake were highly affected by fly ash amendment to soil. Most of nutrients accumulation were increased up to 20 % fly ash and decreased thereafter. The results of available nutrient analysis of soil revealed that availability of nitrogen, potassium, sulfur, copper, iron, mangnese, and zinc declined significantly at higher levels of fly ash amendments, whereas, availability of phosphorus increased at these levels. However, pH, organic carbon, and available boron were not influenced significantly by fly ash amendment to soil. Microbial biomass C, N, and ratio of microbial-C to organic C were significantly reduced at 20 % fly ash and higher amounts. This study revealed that J. curcas plants could gainfully utilize the nutrients available in fly ash by subsequently amending soil.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Global land use implications of biofuels: State of the art conference and workshop on modelling global land use implications in the environmental assessment of biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kløverpris, J.; Wenzel, H.; Banse, M.A.H.; Mila I. Canals, L.; Reenberg, A.

    2008-01-01

    Background, Aims and Scope On 4¿5 June 2007, an international conference was held in Copenhagen. It provided an interdisciplinary forum where economists and geographers met with LCA experts to discuss the challenges of modelling the ultimate land use changes caused by an increased demand for biofuel

  6. 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

  7. Halophytes As Bioenergy Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Rita; Wungrampha, Silas; Singh, Vinay; Pareek, Ashwani; Sharma, Manoj K

    2016-01-01

    Shrinking arable land due to soil salinization and, depleting fresh water resources pose serious worldwide constraints to crop productivity. A vision of using plant feedstock for biofuel production can only be realized if we can identify alternate species that can be grown on saline soils and therefore, would not compete for the resources required for conventional agriculture. Halophytes have remarkable ability to grow under high salinity conditions. They can be irrigated with seawater without compromising their biomass and seed yields making them good alternate candidates as bioenergy crops. Both oil produced from the seeds and the lignocellulosic biomass of halophytes can be utilized for biofuel production. Several researchers across the globe have recognized this potential and assessed several halophytes for their tolerance to salt, seed oil contents and composition of their lignocellulosic biomass. Here, we review current advances and highlight the key species of halophytes analyzed for this purpose. We have critically assessed the challenges and opportunities associated with using halophytes as bioenergy crops.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    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 cli...

  10. Assessing the quality of a deliberative democracy mini-public event about advanced biofuel production and development in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longstaff, Holly; Secko, David M

    2016-02-01

    The importance of evaluating deliberative public engagement events is well recognized, but such activities are rarely conducted for a variety of theoretical, political and practical reasons. In this article, we provide an assessment of the criteria presented in the 2008 National Research Council report on Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making (NRC report) as explicit indicators of quality for the 2012 'Advanced Biofuels' deliberative democracy event. The National Research Council's criteria were selected to evaluate this event because they are decision oriented, are the products of an exhaustive review of similar past events, are intended specifically for environmental processes and encompass many of the criteria presented in other evaluation frameworks. It is our hope that the results of our study may encourage others to employ and assess the National Research Council's criteria as a generalizable benchmark that may justifiably be used in forthcoming deliberative events exploring different topics with different audiences.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Biofuels worldwide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    His, St

    2004-07-01

    After over 20 years of industrial development, the outlook for biofuels now looks bright. Recent developments indicate that the use of biofuels, previously confined to a handful of countries including Brazil and the United States, is 'going global' and a world market may emerge. However, these prospects could eventually be limited by constraints relative to resources and costs. The future of biofuels probably depends on the development of new technologies to valorize lignocellulosic substances such as wood and straw. (author)

  14. Use of Crop Models in Assessment of Soil Drought

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milada Stastna

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available The aims of the study were to apply, test and to present the ability of the deterministic simulation models SIMWASER and CERES-Wheat computing soil-water balance components, percolation losses, ground water recharge and capillary rise. Two case studies for the assessment of percolation losses from irrigated carrots to deep groundwater at Obersiebenbrunn in the Marchfeld (Austria and ground water recharge and capillary rise from shallow groundwater in grass lysimeters at Berlin-Dahlem (Germany together with two test sites with similar climatic conditions and soil water storage potential but with (Grossenzesdorf, Austria and without (Zabcice, Czech Republic groundwater impact in a semi-arid agricultural area in central Europe were chosen. At Obersiebenbrunn, simulated percolation and evapotranspiration were 183 and 629 mm, while the respective measured values amounted to 198 and 635 mm. Up to 42% (194 mm of evapotranspiration was provided by groundwater at s Grossenzesdorf and only 126 mm was used for the worst case comparing to observed data. Th ese results showed both models as proper applicable tools to demonstrate crop – soil – water relations. However, the availability and management of soil water reserves will remain important, especially when extreme events such as droughts occur more frequently and annual soil and groundwater recharge decrease.

  15. Cropping systems with corn residue production levels sufficient to maintain or even improve soil organic carbon levels and allow partial removal for biofuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increasing energy demands and prices, declining petroleum reserves, and political instability in oil-rich areas of the world, all call for greater use of domestically produced biofuels. Recent reports concluded that US agriculture and forest lands have the capacity to produce immense amounts of plan...

  16. 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....

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bacenetti, Jacopo; Fusi, Alessandra, E-mail: alessandra.fusi@unimi.it; 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. - Highlights: • Environmental impact of two crop systems was evaluated • Biomethane specific production tests were carried out • Alternative scenarios (different yields and crop management) were assessed • Maize single crop obtains the better environmental performance • Critical factors are: fertilizer and diesel fuel emissions and diesel fuel

  18. 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.

  19. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technical...

  20. Space for innovation for sustainable community-based biofuel production and use: Lessons learned for policy from Nhambita community, Mozambique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schut, Marc, E-mail: marc.schut@wur.nl [Communication and Innovation Studies, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 8130, 6700 EW Wageningen (Netherlands); Paassen, Annemarie van, E-mail: annemarie.vanpaassen@wur.nl [Communication and Innovation Studies, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 8130, 6700 EW Wageningen (Netherlands); Leeuwis, Cees, E-mail: cees.leeuwis@wur.nl [Communication and Innovation Studies, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 8130, 6700 EW Wageningen (Netherlands); Bos, Sandra, E-mail: sandra-bos@live.nl [Social Engineer and SME-specialist, FACT Foundation, Eindhoven (Netherlands); Leonardo, Wilson, E-mail: wilson.leonardo@wur.nl [Plant Production Systems, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen (Netherlands); Lerner, Anna, E-mail: klerner@worldbank.org [Climate Change Mitigation Team, Global Environment Facility, World Bank, Washington, DC (United States)

    2011-09-15

    This paper provides insights and recommendations for policy on the opportunities and constrains that influence the space for innovation for sustainable community-based biofuel production and use. Promoted by the Mozambican government, Nhambita community established jatropha trials in 2005. Initial results were promising, but crop failure and the absence of organized markets led to scepticism amongst farmers. We start from the idea that the promotion of community-based biofuel production and use requires taking interactions between social-cultural, biophysical, economic, political and legal subsystems across different scales and levels of analysis through time into account. Our analysis demonstrates that heterogeneous farming strategies and their synergies at community level should be carefully assessed. Furthermore, national and international political and legal developments, such as the development of biofuel sustainability criteria, influence the local space in which community-based biofuel developments take place. We conclude that ex-ante integrated assessment and creating an enabling environment can enhance space for sustainable community-based biofuel production and use. It may provide insights into the opportunities and constraints for different types of smallholders, and promote the development of adequate policy mechanisms to prevent biofuels from becoming a threat rather than an opportunity for smallholders. - Highlights: > This paper explores space for innovation for community-based biofuel production and use. > Heterogeneous farming strategies and their synergies at community level are key. > Farmers have little trust in jatropha due to crop failure and absence of markets. > (Inter)national biofuel policies influence space for local biofuel production and use. > Policies should focus on ex-ante integrated assessment and creating an enabling environment.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Biorefineries for chemical and biofuel production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjerbæk Søtoft, Lene

      Today sustainability, production potential and politics i.e. taxation, subsidies and ethical concerns are hot topics within renewable energy from biomass. Decision making in this area is complicated and decisions are influenced by both the history of the data behind the decisions...... 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    2016-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:27782372

  12. 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 t

  13. 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

  14. 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

    and comparison of different carbon mitigation projects (e.g. biofuel use, sequestering plant, afforestation project, etc.). The Lashof accounting methodology is chosen amid other methods of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission characterization for its relative simplicity and capability of characterizing all types...... 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...... framework is demonstrated with a case study of tree ethanol pathways (maize, sugarcane and willow). Study shows that carbon mitigation assessment through LCA is possible and that it could be a useful tool for decision makers as it can compare different projects regardless of their original context. Case...

  15. 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.

  16. In-Season Assessment of Rabi Crop Progression and Condition from Multi Source Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahay, B.; Ramana, K. V.; Chandrsekar, K.; Biswal, A.; Sesha Sai, M. V. R.; Rao, S. V. C. K.

    2014-11-01

    Timely and accurate information on periodic crop progress and condition is essential to an agricultural country like India. The current study has been carried out with the objective of monitoring the timelines of the sowing of rabi crops viz. wheat and mustard, their progression and condition assessment using data from multiple sources viz. a set of indices derived from remote sensing, meteorological parameters and crop simulation modeling. The study area consists of six districts with significant wheat and mustard crops namely Patiala, Bhiwani, Agra, Bharatpur, Morena and Rohtas, and has been done for three years (2008-09, 2012-13 and 2013-14). The methodology consists of analysis of multi-temporal AWiFS and MODIS datasets of historical and current seasons for the period October to March covering rabi season. Crop simulation for wheat was carried out using DSSAT-CERES crop growth model for assessing crop growth. The results were discussed in terms of crop progression, start-of-the-season and crop condition. As a future scope of this study, thermal indices can be incorporated for further refinement and the same can be extended to larger areas.

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. Assessing methods for developing crop forecasting in the Iberian Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ines, A. V. M.; Capa Morocho, M. I.; Baethgen, W.; Rodriguez-Fonseca, B.; Han, E.; Ruiz Ramos, M.

    2015-12-01

    Seasonal climate prediction may allow predicting crop yield to reduce the vulnerability of agricultural production to climate variability and its extremes. It has been already demonstrated that seasonal climate predictions at European (or Iberian) scale from ensembles of global coupled climate models have some skill (Palmer et al., 2004). The limited predictability that exhibits the atmosphere in mid-latitudes, and therefore de Iberian Peninsula (PI), can be managed by a probabilistic approach based in terciles. This study presents an application for the IP of two methods for linking tercile-based seasonal climate forecasts with crop models to improve crop predictability. Two methods were evaluated and applied for disaggregating seasonal rainfall forecasts into daily weather realizations: 1) a stochastic weather generator and 2) a forecast tercile resampler. Both methods were evaluated in a case study where the impacts of two seasonal rainfall forecasts (wet and dry forecast for 1998 and 2015 respectively) on rainfed wheat yield and irrigation requirements of maize in IP were analyzed. Simulated wheat yield and irrigation requirements of maize were computed with the crop models CERES-wheat and CERES-maize which are included in Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT v.4.5, Hoogenboom et al., 2010). Simulations were run at several locations in Spain where the crop model was calibrated and validated with independent field data. These methodologies would allow quantifying the benefits and risks of a seasonal climate forecast to potential users as farmers, agroindustry and insurance companies in the IP. Therefore, we would be able to establish early warning systems and to design crop management adaptation strategies that take advantage of favorable conditions or reduce the effect of adverse ones. ReferencesPalmer, T. et al., 2004. Development of a European multimodel ensemble system for seasonal-to-interannual prediction (DEMETER). Bulletin of the

  1. Biofuels. Handle with care. An analysis of EU biofuel policy with recommendations for action

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2009-11-15

    For many policymakers biofuels must have seemed like a dream-come-true. The arguments put forward by supporters were plentiful and powerful. Carbon Dioxide emissions (CO2) could be cut because the biofuel crops absorb CO2 while they grow and energy security could be guaranteed because biofuels can be grown at home or imported from stable regions rather than oil states. The car industry also liked them because they took political focus away from vehicle fuel efficiency as a route to cutting CO2 emissions. Cars require only minor modifications to become green-looking 'flexfuel' models. Farmers liked them because it created another market for their products and even oil companies came to like them, because it enabled them to look more 'green'. The EU and other regions hurried to put in place volume targets and financial incentives to force the market to adopt biofuels. However, in the rush, the full impacts of their production were not well understood. And, by focusing on a single nascent technology, rather than on the goal - carbon emissions reductions - the dream soon turned to a nightmare. It has now become clear that there is no simple answer to the question of whether biofuels are truly a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. The evidence, much of it published in the last three years, suggests that in the vast majority of existing cases, they are not. A change to current policy is needed. This report follows the adoption, at the end of 2008, of the European Union's mandatory 10% renewable energy target for transport, to be reached by 2020. It attempts to assess the environmental implications of that policy. Its key findings are that if the target is, as is widely accepted, almost completely to be met through the use of biofuels, it is highly unlikely to be met sustainably. In short, there is a very substantial risk that current policy will cause more harm than good. One of the most important reasons for this is the failure to account

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeo, I.-Y.; Lee, S.; Sadeghi, A. M.; Beeson, P. C.; Hively, W. D.; McCarty, G. W.; Lang, M. W.

    2014-12-01

    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 cover crop establishment. The objective of this study was to assess the long-term effect of planting winter cover crops to improve water quality at the watershed scale (~ 50 km2) 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 to simulate hydrological processes and agricultural nutrient cycling over the period of 1990-2000. To accurately simulate winter cover crop biomass in relation to growing conditions, a new approach was developed to further calibrate plant growth parameters that control the leaf area development curve using multitemporal satellite-based measurements of species-specific winter cover crop performance. Multiple SWAT scenarios were developed to obtain baseline information on nitrate loading without winter cover crops and to investigate how nitrate loading could change under different winter cover crop planting scenarios, including different species, planting dates, and implementation areas. The simulation results indicate that winter cover crops have a negligible impact on the water budget but significantly reduce nitrate leaching to groundwater and delivery to the waterways. Without winter cover crops, annual nitrate loading from agricultural lands was approximately 14 kg ha-1, but decreased to 4.6-10.1 kg ha-1 with cover crops resulting in a reduction rate of 27-67% at the watershed scale. Rye was the most effective species, with a potential to reduce nitrate leaching by up to 93% with early planting at the field scale. Early planting of cover crops (~ 30

  3. Illusions, hunger and vices: smallholders, environmentalism and the green agrarian question in Chiapas' biofuel rush

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castellanos-Navarrete, A.

    2015-01-01

    Activists and environmentalists all over the world have been successful in framing biofuel crops as drivers of deforestation, land grabbing and rural indebtedness – effectively reversing earlier promotional pronouncements of biofuels as the answer to ecological problems. The counternarrative h

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Biofuels Barometer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-07-15

    European Union biofuel use for transport reached the 12 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) threshold during 2009, heralding a further drop in the pace of the sectors growth, which rose by only 18.7% between 2008 and 2009 - just 1.9 mtoe of consumption over the previous year. The biofuel incorporation rate in all fuels used by transport in the EU is unlikely to pass 4% in 2009, which is a very long way short of the 5.75% goal for 2010 set in the 2003 European biofuel directive, which would require around 18 mtoe of biofuel use. [French] Durant l'annee 2009, la consommation de biocarburants dedies aux transports de l'Union europeenne a atteint le seuil des 12 millions de tonnes equivalent petrole (Mtep). Ce resultat marque une nouvelle diminution du rythme de croissance de la filiere, +18,7 % seulement entre 2008 et 2009, qui n'ajoute que 1,9 Mtep a la consommation de 2009 par rapport a celle de 2008. Le taux d'incorporation des biocarburants dans le contenu energetique de l'ensemble des carburants utilises dans les transports de l'UE ne devrait pas depasser les 4% en 2009. On est encore tres loin de l'objectif de 5,75 % en 2010 de la directive europeenne sur les biocarburants de 2003, qui necessiterait une consommation de biocarburants de l'ordre de 18 Mtep.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Crop water-stress assessment using an airborne thermal scanner

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millard, J. P.; Jackson, R. D.; Reginato, R. J.; Idso, S. B.; Goettelman, R. C.

    1978-01-01

    An airborne thermal scanner was used to measure the temperature of a wheat crop canopy in Phoenix, Arizona. The results indicate that canopy temperatures acquired about an hour and a half past solar noon were well correlated with presunrise plant water tension, a parameter directly related to plant growth and development. Pseudo-colored thermal images reading directly in stress degree days, a unit indicative of crop irrigation needs and yield potential, were produced. The aircraft data showed significant within-field canopy temperature variability, indicating the superiority of the synoptic view provided by aircraft over localized ground measurements. The standard deviation between airborne and ground-acquired canopy temperatures was 2 C or less.

  12. ASSESSMENT OF TOXICITY OF INDUSTRIAL WASTES USING CROP PLANT ASSAYS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Alice Teacă

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Environmental pollution has a harmful action on bioresources, including agricultural crops. It is generated through many industrial activities such as mining, coal burning, chemical technology, cement production, pulp and paper industry, etc. The toxicity of different industrial wastes and heavy metals excess was evaluated using crop plant assays (germination and hydroponics seedlings growth tests. Experimental data regarding the germination process of wheat (from two cultivars and rye seeds in the presence of industrial wastes (thermal power station ash, effluents from a pre-bleaching stage performed on a Kraft cellulose – chlorinated lignin products or chlorolignin, along with use of an excess of some heavy metals (Zn and Cu are presented here. Relative seed germination, relative root elongation, and germination index (a factor of relative seed germination and relative root elongation were determined. Relative root elongation and germination index were more sensitive indicators of toxicity than seed germination. The toxic effects were also evaluated in hydroponics experiments, the sensitivity of three crop plant species, namely Triticum aestivum L. (wheat, Secale cereale (rye, and Zea mays (corn being compared. Physiological aspects, evidenced both by visual observation and biometric measurements (mean root, aerial part and plant length, as well as the cellulose and lignin content were examined.

  13. 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.

  14. An integrated model for assessing both crop productivity and agricultural water resources at a large scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, M.; Sakurai, G.; Iizumi, T.; Yokozawa, M.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural production utilizes regional resources (e.g. river water and ground water) as well as local resources (e.g. temperature, rainfall, solar energy). Future climate changes and increasing demand due to population increases and economic developments would intensively affect the availability of water resources for agricultural production. While many studies assessed the impacts of climate change on agriculture, there are few studies that dynamically account for changes in water resources and crop production. This study proposes an integrated model for assessing both crop productivity and agricultural water resources at a large scale. Also, the irrigation management to subseasonal variability in weather and crop response varies for each region and each crop. To deal with such variations, we used the Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique to quantify regional-specific parameters associated with crop growth and irrigation water estimations. We coupled a large-scale crop model (Sakurai et al. 2012), with a global water resources model, H08 (Hanasaki et al. 2008). The integrated model was consisting of five sub-models for the following processes: land surface, crop growth, river routing, reservoir operation, and anthropogenic water withdrawal. The land surface sub-model was based on a watershed hydrology model, SWAT (Neitsch et al. 2009). Surface and subsurface runoffs simulated by the land surface sub-model were input to the river routing sub-model of the H08 model. A part of regional water resources available for agriculture, simulated by the H08 model, was input as irrigation water to the land surface sub-model. The timing and amount of irrigation water was simulated at a daily step. The integrated model reproduced the observed streamflow in an individual watershed. Additionally, the model accurately reproduced the trends and interannual variations of crop yields. To demonstrate the usefulness of the integrated model, we compared two types of impact assessment of

  15. 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.

  16. Empirical Assessment of Climate Change on Major Agricultural Crops of Punjab, Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Afzal, Muhammad; Ahmed, Tanvir; Ahmed, Gulzar

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is exacerbating climate affect on agricultural productivity. The objective of present study is the empirical assessment of climate change on three major agricultural crops of Punjab, Pakistan. A variant of Cobb-Douglas production function is used for the panel data of the districts of Punjab covering period 1981 to 2012.Overall findings of the study reveal that temperature has positive impact on the production of wheat crops during the planting and harvesting stage. However, t...

  17. Using the CLM Crop Model to assess the impacts of changes in Climate, Atmospheric CO2, Irrigation, Fertilizer and Geographic Distribution on Historical and Future Crop Yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, P.

    2015-12-01

    Since the start of the green revolution global crop yields have increased linearly for most major cereal crops, so that present day global values are around twice those of the 1960s. The increase in crop yields have allowed for large increases in global agricultural production without correspondingly large increases in cropping area. Future projections under the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSP) framework and other assessments result in increases of global crop production of greater than 100% by the year 2050. In order to meet this increased agricultural demand within the available arable land, future production gains need to be understood in terms of the yield changes due to changes in climate, atmospheric CO2, and adaptive management such as irrigation and fertilizer application. In addition to the changes in crop yield, future agricultural demand will need to be met through increasing cropping areas into what are currently marginal lands at the cost of existing forests and other natural ecosystems. In this study we assess the utility of the crop model within the Community Land Model (CLM Crop) to provide both historical and future guidance on changes in crop yields under a range of global idealized crop modeling experiments. The idealized experiments follow the experimental design of the AgMIP Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison (GGCMI) in which CLM Crop is a participating model. The idealized experiments consist of global crop simulations for Cotton, Maize, Rice, Soy, Sugarcane, and Wheat under various climate, atmospheric CO2 levels, irrigation prescription, and nitrogen fertilizer application. The time periods simulated for the experiments are for the Historical period (1901 - 2005), and for the two Representative Concentration Pathways of RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 (2006 - 2100). Each crop is simulated on all land grid cells globally for each time period with atmospheric forcing that is a combination of: 1. transient climate and CO2; 2. transient climate

  18. Bioenergy from crops and biomass residues: a consequential life-cycle assessment including land-use changes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tonini, Davide; Astrup, Thomas Fruergaard

    generation biofuels produced from residual biomass promise important environmental savings. However, since these residues are today in-use for specific purposes (e.g., feeding), a detailed modelling of the consequences (e.g., on the feed-market) induced by their diversion to energy should be performed...... to represent the actual environmental impacts. This study quantified the GHG emissions associated with a number of scenarios involving bioenergy production (as combined-heat-and-power, heating, and transport biofuel) from energy crops, industrial/agricultural residues, algae, and the organic fraction...... at identifying all the consequences associated with the establishment of bioenergy systems compared with the reference (current use of fossil and biomass resource). The modelling was facilitated with the LCA-model EASETECH. The functional unit was 1 unit-energy produced (i.e., 1 kWh electricity, 1 MJ heat or 1...

  19. Assessment of crop damage and hail risk based on radar hail signature information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tani, Satyanarayana; Paulitsch, Helmut; Teschl, Reinhard; Süsser-Rechberger, Barbara

    2016-04-01

    Hail storm damage is a major concern to the farmers in the province of Styria, Austria. Each year severe hail storms are causing damages to crops, resulting in losses of millions of euros. High spatiotemporal resolution data are essential to properly assess crop damage information for the insurance sector and also for the better risk assessment. Radar data offer high spatial and temporal resolutions, resulting in very promising option for crop damage assessment and hail risk analysis. This study focuses on the combined analysis of hail signature information from radar and ground measurements for crop hail damage assessment. The days with the high crop hail damage claims were selected for the investigation. Total 16 hail days were assigned to examine the relation between radar-derived products and damages produced by hail in Styria during 2015. 3D single polarization C-band weather radar data and radiosonde freezing level data were used to derive hail kinetic energy flux as well as flux integrated over the whole event. Hail events from ESWD (European Severe Weather Database) and crop damage reports from the Austrian Hail Insurance System were allotted for validation. The spatial distribution maps of total hail kinetic energy were developed to capture the swath and intensity of the hail storms to identify potential hail damage areas. The results show that in most cases radar-based hail signature information well corresponds to the areas where hail events and damage footprints were reported. The radar-based hail signature information is a useful detection option for the assessment of crop damage and hail risk.

  20. Development of a biorefinery optimized biofuel supply curve for the Western United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parker, Nathan [Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California at Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Tittmann, Peter [Department of Geography, University of California at Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Hart, Quinn [Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California at Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Nelson, Richard [Engineering Extension, KSU College of Engineering, 133 Ward Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-2508 (United States); Skog, Ken [Forest Products Laboratory, One Gifford Pinchot Drive, Madison, WI 53726 (United States); Schmidt, Anneliese; Gray, Edward [The Antares Group Inc., 4351 Garden City Drive, Suite 301, Landover, MD 20785 (United States); Jenkins, Bryan [Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California at Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States)

    2010-11-15

    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 integer-linear optimization model that determines the optimal locations, technology types and sizes of biorefineries to satisfy a maximum profit objective function applied across the biofuel supply and demand chain from site of feedstock production to the product fuel terminal. The resource basis includes preliminary considerations of crop and residue sustainability. Sensitivity analyses explore possible effects of policy and technology changes. At a target market price of 19.6 $ GJ{sup -1}, the model predicts a feasible production level of 610-1098 PJ, enough to supply up to 15% of current regional liquid transportation fuel demand. (author)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. Farm-scale costs and returns for second generation bioenergy cropping systems in the US Corn Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manatt, Robert K.; Hallam, Arne; Schulte, Lisa A.; Heaton, Emily A.; Gunther, Theo; Hall, Richard B.; Moore, Ken J.

    2013-09-01

    While grain crops are meeting much of the initial need for biofuels in the US, cellulosic or second generation (2G) materials are mandated to provide a growing portion of biofuel feedstocks. We sought to inform development of a 2G crop portfolio by assessing the profitability of novel cropping systems that potentially mitigate the negative effects of grain-based biofuel crops on food supply and environmental quality. We analyzed farm-gate costs and returns of five systems from an ongoing experiment in central Iowa, USA. The continuous corn cropping system was most profitable under current market conditions, followed by a corn-soybean rotation that incorporated triticale as a 2G cover crop every third year, and a corn-switchgrass system. A novel triticale-hybrid aspen intercropping system had the highest yields over the long term, but could only surpass the profitability of the continuous corn system when biomass prices exceeded foreseeable market values. A triticale/sorghum double cropping system was deemed unviable. We perceive three ways 2G crops could become more cost competitive with grain crops: by (1) boosting yields through substantially greater investment in research and development, (2) increasing demand through substantially greater and sustained investment in new markets, and (3) developing new schemes to compensate farmers for environmental benefits associated with 2G crops.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. Sustainable Process Design of Lignocellulose based Biofuel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mangnimit, Saranya; Malakul, Pomthong; Gani, Rafiqul

    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...... 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...... 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Risk Assessment and Ecological Effects of Transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis Crops on Non-Target Organisms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2011-01-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Global future food supply and possibilities for biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Terefe Tucho, Gudina

    2009-01-01

    The large scale biofuel production began in 1970s in USA and Brazil. Currently, USA is leading the global biofuel production by 40% from corn followed by Brazil (34%). Nevertheless, it is considered as one of the triggering and underlying factors for soaring crop prices [FAO, 2008; Rosegrant, 2008

  16. 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.

  17. Assessing/Optimising Bio-fuel Combustion Technologies for Reducing Civil Aircraft Emissions

    OpenAIRE

    Mazlan, Nurul Musfirah

    2012-01-01

    Gas turbines are extensively used in aviation because of their advantageous volume as weight characteristics. The objective of this project proposed was to look at advanced propulsion systems and the close coupling of the airframe with advanced prime mover cycles. The investigation encompassed a comparative assessment of traditional and novel prime mover options including the design, off-design, degraded performance of the engine and the environmental and economic analysis of the system. The ...

  18. Review: Assessing potential dietary toxicity of heavy metals in selected vegetables and food crops

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ISLAM Ejaz ul; YANG Xiao-e; HE Zhen-li; MAHMOOD Qaisar

    2007-01-01

    Heavy metals, such as cadmium, copper, lead, chromium and mercury, are important environmental pollutants,particularly in areas with high anthropogenic pressure. Their presence in the atmosphere, soil and water, even in traces can cause serious problems to all organisms, and heavy metal bioaccumulation in the food chain especially can be highly dangerous to human health. Heavy metals enter the human body mainly through two routes namely: inhalation and ingestion, ingestion being the main route of exposure to these elements in human population. Heavy metals intake by human populations through food chain has been reported in many countries. Soil threshold for heavy metal toxicity is an important factor affecting soil environmental capacity of heavy metal and determines heavy metal cumulative loading limits. For soil-plant system, heavy metal toxicity threshold is the highest permissible content in the soil (total or bioavailable concentration) that does not pose any phytotoxic effects or heavy metals in the edible parts of the crops does not exceed food hygiene standards. Factors affecting the thresholds of dietary toxicity of heavy metal in soil-crop system include: soil type which includes soil pH, organic matter content, clay mineral and other soil chemical and biochemical properties; and crop species or cultivars regulated by genetic basis for heavy metal transport and accumulation in plants. In addition, the interactions of soil-plant root-microbes play important roles in regulating heavy metal movement from soil to the edible parts of crops. Agronomic practices such as fertilizer and water managements as well as crop rotation system can affect bioavailability and crop accumulation of heavy metals, thus influencing the thresholds for assessing dietary toxicity of heavy metals in the food chain. This paper reviews the phytotoxic effects and bioaccumulation of heavy metals in vegetables and food crops and assesses soil heavy metal thresholds for potential dietary

  19. The policy context of biofuels: a case of non-governance at the global level?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bastos Lima, M.G.; Gupta, J.

    2013-01-01

    The large-scale production of crop-based biofuels has been one of the fastest and most controversial global changes of recent years. Global biofuel outputs increased six-fold between 2000 and 2010, and a growing number of countries are adopting biofuel promotion policies. Meanwhile, multilateral bod

  20. Assessing Nitrogen Fertilization Strategies in Winter Wheat and Cotton Crops in Northern Greece

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    E. POLYCHRONAKI; C. DOUMA; C. GIOURGA; A. LOUMOU

    2012-01-01

    The management of fertilizer application is crucial for agricultural production and environmental safety.The objective of this study was to assess the efficiency of different fertilizatior.strategies,applying fertilizers with and without nitrification inhibitors (NIs)in split application,in Greece.The assessment criteria used were based on crop yield,soil nitrogen (N) concentrations and economic efficiency.For this purpose two crops (winter wheat and cotton) were selected in order to explore the optimum fertilization strategy for each crop.Three treatments combining fertilizers with NIs were tested compared with conventional fertilization (CF).Slight differences in the quantity and the combination of fertilizers with NIs applied resulted in variable effects on crop yield,soil N and economic return.Split N application of 102 kg ha-1,with half of the total amount applied at seeding,resulted in higher grain yield of winter wheat,lower NO3-N in soil and higher economic return.This result reveals the importance of N application at seeding in wheat crop.Fertilization strategy with 109.5 kg N ha-1 and split P application resulted in higher cotton yield and higher economic profit.Split P application seemed to increase yield,even though it is not a common practise in the area.

  1. 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 allerge

  2. 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.

  3. The impacts of biofuels on food security and supply in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shi Yuanchun; Li Shizhong; Zhang Hanxing

    2009-01-01

    Biofuels are the current promising alternative to fossil fuels. However, the fluctuating food prices caused by oil price led to critics to biofuels. The paper surveyed biofuels production and grain production and consumption de-mand, and come to the conclusion that there was a little impact of corn ethanol on international food price, and there was no impact on China's food prices. China has launched non-food biofuels development strategy to use marginal lands for growing hard crops, such as sweet sorghum, tuber crops, and switchgrass etc. to produce biofuels without any im-pact on food security in the future.

  4. 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.

  5. Biofuels and the conundrum of sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, John J

    2009-06-01

    Sustainable energy is the problem of the 21st century. If biofuels want to be part of the solution they must accept a degree of scrutiny unprecedented in the development of a new industry. That is because sustainability deals explicitly with the role of biofuels in ensuring the well-being of our planet, our economy, and our society both today and in the future. Life cycle assessment (LCA) has been the standard framework for assessing sustainability of biofuels. These assessments show that corn ethanol has a marginally lower fossil energy and greenhouse gas footprint compared to petroleum fuel. Sugarcane ethanol and some forms of biodiesel offer substantially lower footprints. New biofuels may offer low footprints. The science of LCA is being stretched to its limits as policy makers consider direct and indirect effects of biofuels on global land and water resources, global ecosystems, air quality, public health, and social justice.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Gaining perspective on the allergenicity assessment of genetically modified food crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Richard E; Hefle, Sue L

    2005-11-01

    Genetically modified plants are created by the insertion of foreign genes into plant cells followed by the generation of reproductively stable stock plants for rapid and precise improvements in agricultural crops. Current products provide resistance to insect pests, plant viruses or herbicides. Future products include nutritionally enhanced crops, salt and draught tolerant crops and plant produced industrial enzymes or pharmaceuticals. The risk that a newly expressed protein might cause serious allergic reactions is real, but the probability is relatively small. Regulatory agencies require a premarket evaluation of the genetically modified crop to reduce the potential for increased risks of food allergy. While absolute proof of safety is not possible, the major risk - transfer of a potent major allergen or nearly identical crossreactive protein - is minimized by allergen-specific serum immunoglobulin E tests that evaluate proteins taken from major allergenic sources or proteins with sequences highly similar to any allergen. Other tests are performed to identify proteins that are likely to sensitize consumers. Experience indicates the current assessment process is working effectively. However, further guidance on bioinformatics and immunoglobulin E assays could increase the reliability of the assessment. Further development of alternative assays may be needed to assess the next generation of products.

  9. Have Indirect Emissions from Biofuels Been Exaggerated?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kicklighter, D. W.; Gurgel, A.; Melillo, J. M.; Reilly, J. M.; Cronin, T.; Felzer, B. S.; Paltsev, S.; Schlosser, C. A.; Sokolov, A. P.

    2009-12-01

    The production of biofuels may lead to enhanced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from land to the atmosphere either by directly converting land to biofuel crops, or indirectly, by causing the displacement of food production and other land uses which then require additional land conversions. The importance of indirect GHG emissions from biofuel-related displacement of food production and other land uses is not known and is highly controversial. Here, we examine the direct and indirect land-use emissions over the 21st century from an expanded global bioenergy program, using a linked economic and terrestrial biogeochemistry modeling system under two different land use policies. We account for the dynamics of potential carbon losses or gains from land-use change along with nitrous oxide emissions from increased N fertilizer application. We find that: 1) indirect emissions from land use are responsible for substantially more carbon loss (up to twice as much) than direct land use; 2) increased nitrous oxide emissions over the century are more important to the GHG balance than the carbon losses themselves; 3) the GHG effects of biofuels change in both sign and magnitude over time so that the GHG cost/benefit of biofuels depends on the time horizon considered; and 4) the economics of biofuels become favorable sooner with the protection of forests. While biofuels can be an effective low carbon energy source from a GHG balance perspective, the associated land conversions may lead to an unacceptable loss of other ecosystem services.

  10. The water footprint of biofuel produced from forest wood residue via a mixed alcohol gasification process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Yi-Wen; Wu, May

    2013-09-01

    Forest residue has been proposed as a feasible candidate for cellulosic biofuels. However, the number of studies assessing its water use remains limited. This work aims to analyze the impacts of forest-based biofuel on water resources and quality by using a water footprint approach. A method established here is tailored to the production system, which includes softwood, hardwood, and short-rotation woody crops. The method is then applied to selected areas in the southeastern region of the United States to quantify the county-level water footprint of the biofuel produced via a mixed alcohol gasification process, under several logistic systems, and at various refinery scales. The results indicate that the blue water sourced from surface or groundwater is minimal, at 2.4 liters per liter of biofuel (l/l). The regional-average green water (rainfall) footprint falls between 400 and 443 l/l. The biofuel pathway appears to have a low nitrogen grey water footprint averaging 25 l/l at the regional level, indicating minimal impacts on water quality. Feedstock mix plays a key role in determining the magnitude and the spatial distribution of the water footprint in these regions. Compared with other potential feedstock, forest wood residue shows promise with its low blue and grey water footprint.

  11. 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.

  12. Bioaerosol Deposition to Food Crops near Manure Application: Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahne, Michael A; Rogers, Shane W; Holsen, Thomas M; Grimberg, Stefan J; Ramler, Ivan P; Kim, Seungo

    2016-03-01

    Production of both livestock and food crops are central priorities of agriculture; however, food safety concerns arise where these practices intersect. In this study, we investigated the public health risks associated with potential bioaerosol deposition to crops grown in the vicinity of manure application sites. A field sampling campaign at dairy manure application sites supported the emission, transport, and deposition modeling of bioaerosols emitted from these lands following application activities. Results were coupled with a quantitative microbial risk assessment model to estimate the infection risk due to consumption of leafy green vegetable crops grown at various distances downwind from the application area. Inactivation of pathogens ( spp., spp., and O157:H7) on both the manure-amended field and on crops was considered to determine the maximum loading of pathogens to plants with time following application. Overall median one-time infection risks at the time of maximum loading decreased from 1:1300 at 0 m directly downwind from the field to 1:6700 at 100 m and 1:92,000 at 1000 m; peak risks (95th percentiles) were considerably greater (1:18, 1:89, and 1:1200, respectively). Median risk was below 1:10,000 at >160 m downwind. As such, it is recommended that a 160-m setback distance is provided between manure application and nearby leafy green crop production. Additional distance or delay before harvest will provide further protection of public health.

  13. Present and future of biofuels production for sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    This paper provides policy relevant information on the assessment of the environmental and social costs, benefits, the critical developments and the options for a more sustainable use of biomass and measures to increase resource productivity of biofuels. In the 21st century biofuels are considered as economically efficient, socially equitable, and environmentally safe substitute of gasoline. The USA and Brazil produce major portion of the global biofuels. The expansion of biofuels conflicts a...

  14. Water distribution and water use assessment in rice cropping systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.M. Bockari-Gevao

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available This study was carried out to analyze the ways of water distribution in a rice growing area during the pre-saturation and normal irrigation supply periods and to assess water use (WU. The analyses were conducted using field data collected at the Besut rice irrigation scheme located in the state of Terengganu, Malaysia. The scheme comprises two sub-schemes, which are further subdivided into compartments and blocks. Based on field water requirements during the pre-saturation and normal irrigation supply periods and available flows at the intake structures, canal simulation was performed using the CanalMan Model. Results have shown that pre-saturation should not be done continuously unless flow rates are 9.00 m3/sec and 3.00 m3/sec for the Besut and Angga Barrages, respectively. If the respective flow rates fall below these values, then pre-saturation should be done in two phases. However, when the flow rate is between 5.00 and 5.50 m3/sec at Besut Barrage, pre-saturation is recommended to be carried out over three phases. During normal irrigation supply period, flow rates of 5.00 m3/sec and 1.50 m3/sec for the Besut and Angga Barrages respectively, are to be maintained for the whole irrigation scheme. In irrigation block-wise, two WU-based performance indices, namely, adequacy (AI and water productivity (WPI were computed. The average water productivity was 0.31 kg/m3 and 0.25 kg/m3 during the main season and off-season, respectively. Two WU indices, WPI and AI, ranked the performance of the blocks and identified those having problems in water allocation and utilization. These indices revealed that the blocks using more water performed poorly in terms of water productivity. These indices could be used to rectify uneven distribution of water in the scheme.

  15. Consequences of agro-biofuel production for greenhouse gas emissions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Mette Sustmann; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Johansen, Anders

    2009-01-01

    that accelerated emissions of N2O associated with the production of biomass for bio-fuel purposes will outweigh the avoided emissions of fossil fuel-derived CO2 (Crutzen et al., 2008). In the present study we examined the effects on N2O and CH4 emissions when residues from bio-energy production were recycled...... associated with the use of nitrogen based fertilizers in agricultural production. Replacing fossil fuel-derived energy by biomass-derived energy is commonly and with increasing emphasis proposed as a mean to mitigate the CO2 emissions. However, a recent analysis of global emission data proposes...... as fertilizer for a maize energy crop within an organic cropping system. Furthermore, we assessed sustainability in terms of greenhouse gasses for co-production of bio-ethanol and bio-gas from maize. This was compared to estimated greenhouse gas balances for rye and grass-clover as alternative raw materials....

  16. Biofuels and Sustainable Transport: A Conceptual Discussion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey Gilpin

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Strategies for sustainably using biofuels must be thoroughly assessed at several levels. First, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable development’s main dimensions. Second, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable transport’s main dimensions. Third, gains from using biofuels strategies must compare favorably to gains from other sustainable transport strategies, such as altering transport patterns and reducing transport volume. Fourth, the gains must compare favorably to gains from improving conventional fossil-fuel-based advanced vehicles. Fifth, the gains must compare favorably to gains from using other alternative fuels. Sixth, the gains from using one generation of biofuels (e.g., first generation must compare favorably to gains from using others (e.g., second through fourth generations. Performing scientifically sound and fair comparisons demands reliable theoretical perspectives and a well-established methodological basis. Industrial ecology theory and life cycle assessment methodology, respectively, are well-suited for these tasks.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. E. Stockwell

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. Efficiency assessment of using satellite data for crop area estimation in Ukraine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallego, Francisco Javier; Kussul, Nataliia; Skakun, Sergii; Kravchenko, Oleksii; Shelestov, Andrii; Kussul, Olga

    2014-06-01

    The knowledge of the crop area is a key element for the estimation of the total crop production of a country and, therefore, the management of agricultural commodities markets. Satellite data and derived products can be effectively used for stratification purposes and a-posteriori correction of area estimates from ground observations. This paper presents the main results and conclusions of the study conducted in 2010 to explore feasibility and efficiency of crop area estimation in Ukraine assisted by optical satellite remote sensing images. The study was carried out on three oblasts in Ukraine with a total area of 78,500 km2. The efficiency of using images acquired by several satellite sensors (MODIS, Landsat-5/TM, AWiFS, LISS-III, and RapidEye) combined with a field survey on a stratified sample of square segments for crop area estimation in Ukraine is assessed. The main criteria used for efficiency analysis are as follows: (i) relative efficiency that shows how much time the error of area estimates can be reduced with satellite images, and (ii) cost-efficiency that shows how much time the costs of ground surveys for crop area estimation can be reduced with satellite images. These criteria are applied to each satellite image type separately, i.e., no integration of images acquired by different sensors is made, to select the optimal dataset. The study found that only MODIS and Landsat-5/TM reached cost-efficiency thresholds while AWiFS, LISS-III, and RapidEye images, due to its high price, were not cost-efficient for crop area estimation in Ukraine at oblast level.

  1. 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

  2. A comprehensive assessment of the correlations between field crop yields and commonly used MODIS products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, David M.

    2016-10-01

    An exploratory assessment was undertaken to determine the correlation strength and optimal timing of several commonly used Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) composited imagery products against crop yields for 10 globally significant agricultural commodities. The crops analyzed included barley, canola, corn, cotton, potatoes, rice, sorghum, soybeans, sugarbeets, and wheat. The MODIS data investigated included the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR), Leaf Area Index (LAI), and Gross Primary Production (GPP), in addition to daytime Land Surface Temperature (DLST) and nighttime LST (NLST). The imagery utilized all had 8-day time intervals, but NDVI had a 250 m spatial resolution while the other products were 1000 m. These MODIS datasets were also assessed from both the Terra and Aqua satellites, with their differing overpass times, to document any differences. A follow-on analysis, using the Terra 250 m NDVI data as a benchmark, looked at the yield prediction utility of NDVI at two spatial scales (250 m vs. 1000 m), two time precisions (8-day vs. 16-day), and also assessed the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI, at 250 m, 16-day). The analyses spanned the major farming areas of the United States (US) from the summers of 2008-2013 and used annual county-level average crop yield data from the US Department of Agriculture as a basis. All crops, except rice, showed at least some positive correlations to each of the vegetation related indices in the middle of the growing season, with NDVI performing slightly better than FPAR. LAI was somewhat less strongly correlated and GPP weak overall. Conversely, some of the crops, particularly canola, corn, and soybeans, also showed negative correlations to DLST mid-summer. NLST, however, was never correlated to crop yield, regardless of the crop or seasonal timing. Differences between the Terra and Aqua results were found to be minimal. The 1000 m

  3. 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

  4. Assessment of a Novel Algal Strain Chlamydomonas debaryana NIREMACC03 for Mass Cultivation, Biofuels Production and Kinetic Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Sanjeev; Singh, Neetu; Sarma, Anil Kumar

    2015-08-01

    A novel microalgae strain Chlamydomonas debaryana (KJ210856) was isolated from a freshwater lake of Punjab, India, and cultivated considering climatic sustainability and inherent adaptability concern. C. debaryana was grown in a 30-L indoor photobioreactor to study the mass cultivation prospect and biofuel potential. Physicochemical characterization of biomass and the lipid was performed with effect to nitrogen stress. It showed a higher biomass yield (1.58 ± 0.02 g L(-1), dry weight) and twofold increase in lipid yield (552.78 ± 9 mg L(-1)) with 34.2 ± 0.19 % lipid content under nitrogen deficient condition. Strikingly, increase in triglycerides achieved with nitrogen depletion containing over 96 % of total fatty acids (C 14, C 16, and C 18). Proximate and ultimate analysis suggested the presence of relatively higher volatile matter and carbon-hydrogen ratio. Furthermore, lower moisture and ash content signified C. debaryana biomass has promising features towards biofuel applications. The pyrolytic behavior of the whole biomass was also studied using thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) and kinetic parameters were estimated using different methods. Promising growth rate and lipid yield leading to feasible biofuel feed stock production in indoor photobioreactor along with autosediment potential of cells validates C. debaryana NIREMACC03, a potential strain for mass cultivation.

  5. The Danish Biofuel Debate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Janus

    2014-01-01

    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...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Biofuel production in Vietnam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thanh, le L.

    2016-01-01

    Biofuel production has continued to develop and is driven by government support around the world. A comprehensive analysis of biofuel production and the policy implementation is crucial for the biofuel sustainability development. The objective of this thesis is to study the energy efficiency, GHG em

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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...

  16. How does scientific risk assessment of GM crops fit within the wider risk analysis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Katy L; Raybould, Alan F; Hudson, Malcolm D; Poppy, Guy M

    2007-01-01

    The debate concerning genetically modified crops illustrates confusion between the role of scientists and that of wider society in regulatory decision making. We identify two fundamental misunderstandings, which, if rectified, would allow progress with confidence. First, scientific risk assessment needs to test well-defined hypotheses, not simply collect data. Second, risk assessments need to be placed in the wider context of risk analysis to enable the wider 'non-scientific' questions to be considered in regulatory decision making. Such integration and understanding is urgently required because the challenges to regulation will escalate as scientific progress advances.

  17. 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.

  18. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT MULTICRITERIAL ECONOMIC AND MATHEMATICAL MODELS COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT TECHNOLOGY GROWING CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loyko V. I.

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Production and processing of grains formed in the national economic system of the country a number of cereals-governmental sectors, such as grain production, grain elevator industry, flour, cereals and mixed fodder production, which constitute the grain complex country. The significance and role of the grain as a commodity in the state economy can not be overestimated. This product, is totally liquid, which has a constant, steady demand at any time of the year, in any region. Ongoing measures to increase grain production and improve its implementation did not have a complex character, therefore, insignificant effect on the efficiency of the industry and the competitiveness of grain production. The shortagecovered by imports.According to the characteristics of management in agriculture, it should be emphasized that the absence of objective and timely information at all stages of production of the plant-breeding, and as a result, non-optimal choice of technology of cultivation of agricultural crops, might result in the fact that the cost of labor and material resources increases significantly, the company does not receive profits, and sometimes suffers losses. When selecting cultivation technology for agricultural crops, an agronomist has a database of more than a hundred times-personal of alternative technologies for each crop. It is up to the decision-maker (DMP to find specific criteria to select the most suitable (for the owners and the climatic zone technology of cultivating for the culture. These circumstances explain the relevance of in-depth research of economic and mathematical models and methods of analysis and evaluation of the economic efficiency of technologies of cultivation agricultural crops. The article deals with the process of developing multicriteria economic-mathematical model of a comprehensive assessment of technology of cultivation of agricultural crops.

  19. 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.

  20. Growing a sustainable biofuels industry: economics, environmental considerations, and the role of the Conservation Reserve Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher M.; Lin, Yolanda; Bierwagen, Britta G.; Eaton, Laurence M.; Langholtz, Matthew H.; Morefield, Philip E.; Ridley, Caroline E.; Vimmerstedt, Laura; Peterson, Steve; Bush, Brian W.

    2013-06-01

    Biofuels are expected to be a major contributor to renewable energy in the coming decades under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). These fuels have many attractive properties including the promotion of energy independence, rural development, and the reduction of national carbon emissions. However, several unresolved environmental and economic concerns remain. Environmentally, much of the biomass is expected to come from agricultural expansion and/or intensification, which may greatly affect the net environmental impact, and economically, the lack of a developed infrastructure and bottlenecks along the supply chain may affect the industry’s economic vitality. The approximately 30 million acres (12 million hectares) under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) represent one land base for possible expansion. Here, we examine the potential role of the CRP in biofuels industry development, by (1) assessing the range of environmental effects on six end points of concern, and (2) simulating differences in potential industry growth nationally using a systems dynamics model. The model examines seven land-use scenarios (various percentages of CRP cultivation for biofuel) and five economic scenarios (subsidy schemes) to explore the benefits of using the CRP. The environmental assessment revealed wide variation in potential impacts. Lignocellulosic feedstocks had the greatest potential to improve the environmental condition relative to row crops, but the most plausible impacts were considered to be neutral or slightly negative. Model simulations revealed that industry growth was much more sensitive to economic scenarios than land-use scenarios—similar volumes of biofuels could be produced with no CRP as with 100% utilization. The range of responses to economic policy was substantial, including long-term market stagnation at current levels of first-generation biofuels under minimal policy intervention, or RFS-scale quantities of biofuels if policy or market conditions were

  1. The watershed-scale optimized and rearranged landscape design (WORLD) model and local biomass processing depots for sustainable biofuel production: Integrated life cycle assessments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eranki, Pragnya L.; Manowitz, David H.; Bals, Bryan D.; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Kim, Seungdo; Dale, Bruce E.

    2013-07-23

    An array of feedstock is being evaluated as potential raw material for cellulosic biofuel production. Thorough assessments are required in regional landscape settings before these feedstocks can be cultivated and sustainable management practices can be implemented. On the processing side, a potential solution to the logistical challenges of large biorefi neries is provided by a network of distributed processing facilities called local biomass processing depots. A large-scale cellulosic ethanol industry is likely to emerge soon in the United States. We have the opportunity to influence the sustainability of this emerging industry. The watershed-scale optimized and rearranged landscape design (WORLD) model estimates land allocations for different cellulosic feedstocks at biorefinery scale without displacing current animal nutrition requirements. This model also incorporates a network of the aforementioned depots. An integrated life cycle assessment is then conducted over the unified system of optimized feedstock production, processing, and associated transport operations to evaluate net energy yields (NEYs) and environmental impacts.

  2. 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).

  3. 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

    2016-07-01

    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).

  4. Making the Surface Fleet Green: The DOTMLPF, Policy, and Cost Implications of Using Biofuel in Surface Ships

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-01

    1 1. A Brief History of Biofuel....................................................................1 2. Classifying Biofuels...use in the Surface Fleet. B. BACKGROUND 1. A Brief History of Biofuel Biological materials, including wood, crops, and vegetables, have been used...diatoms, green algae, golden-brown algae, prymnesiophytes, eustigmatophytes, and cyanobacteria (Department of Defense, Opportunities for DoD, 2010

  5. Monetary assessments of carbon dioxide emissions - Comparison between biofuels and fossil fuels; Monetaera vaerderingar av koldioxidutslaepp - jaemfoerelser mellan biobraenslen och fossila braenslen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ekstroem, C.; Kierkegaard, G. [Vattenfall Utveckling AB, Stockholm (Sweden)] Borgstroem, T. [Swedpower AB (Sweden)

    1999-10-01

    The Swedish tax and subsidy system results in that municipal heat and combined heat and power often can be produced from biofuels at the same as or at lower costs than from fossil fuels. A considerable part of the Swedish municipal district heat is nowadays produced from biofuels. It has been questioned, whether this is justifiable from a national economic point of view, considering realistic estimates of the possible future costs, caused by increased carbon dioxide emissions, that will be avoided this way. There are however large differences between the monetary assessments of carbon dioxide emissions presented in various studies. According to neoclassic national economy, various energy production options should be valued based on their total costs from a national economic point of view. Such total costs include the production costs (`private costs`) as well as `external costs`, i.e. costs that will be brought down upon other parties than the plant owners and the energy buyers. This study illustrates how such total costs for power and heat production from biofuels relative to from natural gas, oil and coal, would be affected if various monetary assessments of carbon dioxide emissions would be treated as external costs and internalised, i.a. charged upon the production costs. The calculations are made for assumed new production plants. The order of precedence (with respect to the lowest total costs) between the studied fuels is affected in favour of biofuels only for high monetary assessments of carbon dioxide emissions. For heat as well as combined heat and power production, an order of precedence corresponding to the carbon dioxide emissions for the respective fuels, will be achieved only for the highest carbon dioxide monetary assessments based on a low discount rate. For condensing power production, the calculated production costs for biofuels are so high that natural gas will get the lowest total costs for all the studied carbon dioxide monetary assessments

  6. Food crop accumulation and bioavailability assessment for antimony (Sb) compared with arsenic (As) in contaminated soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Susan C; Tighe, Matthew; Paterson, Ewan; Ashley, Paul M

    2014-10-01

    Field samples and a 9-week glasshouse growth trial were used to investigate the accumulation of mining derived arsenic (As) and antimony (Sb) in vegetable crops growing on the Macleay River Floodplain in Northern New South Wales, Australia. The soils were also extracted using EDTA to assess the potential for this extractant to be used as a predictor of As and Sb uptake in vegetables, and a simplified bioaccessibility extraction test (SBET) to understand potential for uptake in the human gut with soil ingestion. Metalloids were not detected in any field vegetables sampled. Antimony was not detected in the growth trial vegetable crops over the 9-week greenhouse trial. Arsenic accumulation in edible vegetable parts was risk of exposure through short-term vegetable crops is low. The data also demonstrate that uptake pathways for Sb and As in the vegetables were different with uptake strongly impacted by soil properties. A fraction of soil-borne metalloid was soluble in the different soils resulting in Sb soil solution concentration (10.75 ± 0.52 μg L(-1)) that could present concern for contamination of water resources. EDTA proved a poor predictor of As and Sb phytoavailability. Oral bioaccessibility, as measured by SBET, was risk from soil borne As and Sb in the floodplain environment.

  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. 75 FR 6263 - Biomass Crop Assistance Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-08

    ... ethanol derived from corn kernel starch); biofuel derived from waste material, including crop residue... ethanol derived from corn kernel starch, because the 2008 Farm Bill specifically excludes it in the... the production of advanced biofuels, renewable energy and biobased products. Within this context,...

  9. [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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. Accuracy Assessment of GAI Retrieval from SPOT5 Take According to Crop Type and Crop Development (BELCAM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delloye, C.; Weiss, M.; Baret, F.; Morin, D.; Defourny, P.

    2016-08-01

    The successful launch of Sentinel-2A equipped of the Multi Spectral Instrument is an exceptional opportunity to deliver regular information of high spatial and temporal resolution about the agricultural fields in Belgium. This research takes advantage of SPOT5 Take5 frequent acquisition over the Belgium in 2015 to realize an in-depth analysis of the Green Area Index (GAI) retrieval by inversion of a radiative transfer model at field scale over the whole Belgium for 2 crops: winter wheat and potato. The GAI is particularly relevant to derive the chlorophyll content at the canopy level (GAI × Cab) which is directly correlated to the Nitrogen content of the crops. This information is of crucial importance to advice farmers on the nitrogen fertilization genuinely required by the crops allowing the best yield and avoiding over fertilization and pollution of the groundwater table. The use of vegetation indexes seems promising to retrieve accurately the GAI (RRMSE =10.2%) during the period of the third Nitrogen application for the winter wheat. Further analyses have to be conducted for varieties of potato with a high level of biomass development (GAI > 4).

  13. Impacts of biofuels on climate change, water use, and land use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delucchi, Mark A

    2010-05-01

    Governments worldwide are promoting the development of biofuels in order to mitigate the climate impact of using fuels. In this article, I discuss the impacts of biofuels on climate change, water use, and land use. I discuss the overall metric by which these impacts have been measured and then present and discuss estimates of the impacts. In spite of the complexities of the environmental and technological systems that affect climate change, land use, and water use, and the difficulties of constructing useful metrics, it is possible to make some qualitative overall assessments. It is likely that biofuels produced from crops using conventional agricultural practices will not mitigate the impacts of climate change and will exacerbate stresses on water supplies, water quality, and land use, compared with petroleum fuels. Policies should promote the development of sustainable biofuel programs that have very low inputs of fossil fuels and chemicals that rely on rainfall or abundant groundwater, and that use land with little or no economic or ecological value in alternative uses.

  14. Reducing uncertainty in regulatory decision-making for transgenic crops: more ecological research or clearer environmental risk assessment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raybould, Alan

    2010-01-01

    Ecological research and environmental risk assessment are similar in that they address interesting problems by formulating and testing hypotheses. They differ in the types of problems that are interesting, the characteristics of good hypotheses to solve those problems, and the methods for rigorous testing of hypotheses. It is important to recognize the differences between environmental risk assessment and basic ecological research because confusing them can lead to ineffective risk assessment and missed opportunities to advance ecological theory. Uncertainty in regulatory decision-making about transgenic crops may be reduced more effectively by clarifying the purpose and structure of environmental risk assessments than by further research on the ecology of the crops.

  15. Thermochemical conversion of microalgal biomass into biofuels: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wei-Hsin; Lin, Bo-Jhih; Huang, Ming-Yueh; Chang, Jo-Shu

    2015-05-01

    Following first-generation and second-generation biofuels produced from food and non-food crops, respectively, algal biomass has become an important feedstock for the production of third-generation biofuels. Microalgal biomass is characterized by rapid growth and high carbon fixing efficiency when they grow. On account of potential of mass production and greenhouse gas uptake, microalgae are promising feedstocks for biofuels development. Thermochemical conversion is an effective process for biofuel production from biomass. The technology mainly includes torrefaction, liquefaction, pyrolysis, and gasification. Through these conversion technologies, solid, liquid, and gaseous biofuels are produced from microalgae for heat and power generation. The liquid bio-oils can further be upgraded for chemicals, while the synthesis gas can be synthesized into liquid fuels. This paper aims to provide a state-of-the-art review of the thermochemical conversion technologies of microalgal biomass into fuels. Detailed conversion processes and their outcome are also addressed.

  16. Allies in Biofuels. Opportunities in the Dutch - Argentinean biofuels trade relation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Verhagen, M.

    2007-11-12

    focuses on first generation biofuels and has only little experience with rapeseed, and second generation fuels. It is in both these areas that Dutch and European experience can play a role to develop Argentina's biofuels sector. Argentina, on the other hand can produce the amounts of biofuels that Europe and the Netherlands are demanding for in the short run. The outcome of research shows several recommendations to change biofuels policies for both countries. Furthermore, areas for cooperation were defined. In short: Dutch biofuels policy regarding international research and cooperation projects is too narrow. Argentina is an excellent partner but until now completely unnoticed. Teaming up with Brazil and making use of the same financial structures would be a possibility for the incorporation of Argentina in Dutch foreign biofuels activities; The Dutch initiative on criteria for sustainable production of biofuels appears overachieving, and hardly workable for producing countries. The dialogue with those countries - such as Argentina - should be intensified, in order to develop at least voluntary agreements, and to guarantee that both producer and consumer country are on the same team. The process is a two-way street; Argentina needs to stabilize policy development in order to bring stability to the biofuels sector and promote investments. Also, Argentina needs to develop a long-term strategy on biofuels and more actively pursue its national interests in the international arena specifically in terms of trade issues (WTO, normalization); Argentina's policy needs diversification. Brainstorming with experienced Dutch and European counterparts can distill instruments that are suitable for Argentina. Combined projects between Dutch and Argentinean institutes (SenterNovem, ECN, WUR, INTA) would be profitable in this area, as well as on more practical research regarding crop's life cycles, energy balances, technologies, etc. Modifications to policy and cooperation

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Quantifying the regional water footprint of biofuel production by incorporating hydrologic modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, M.; Chiu, Y.; Demissie, Y.

    2012-10-01

    A spatially explicit life cycle water analysis framework is proposed, in which a standardized water footprint methodology is coupled with hydrologic modeling to assess blue water, green water (rainfall), and agricultural grey water discharge in the production of biofuel feedstock at county-level resolution. Grey water is simulated via SWAT, a watershed model. Evapotranspiration (ET) estimates generated with the Penman-Monteith equation and crop parameters were verified by using remote sensing results, a satellite-imagery-derived data set, and other field measurements. Crop irrigation survey data are used to corroborate the estimate of irrigation ET. An application of the concept is presented in a case study for corn-stover-based ethanol grown in Iowa (United States) within the Upper Mississippi River basin. Results show vast spatial variations in the water footprint of stover ethanol from county to county. Producing 1 L of ethanol from corn stover growing in the Iowa counties studied requires from 4.6 to 13.1 L of blue water (with an average of 5.4 L), a majority (86%) of which is consumed in the biorefinery. The county-level green water (rainfall) footprint ranges from 760 to 1000 L L-1. The grey water footprint varies considerably, ranging from 44 to 1579 L, a 35-fold difference, with a county average of 518 L. This framework can be a useful tool for watershed- or county-level biofuel sustainability metric analysis to address the heterogeneity of the water footprint for biofuels.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Genetically modified crops and aquatic ecosystems: considerations for environmental risk assessment and non-target organism testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carstens, Keri; Anderson, Jennifer; Bachman, Pamela; De Schrijver, Adinda; Dively, Galen; Federici, Brian; Hamer, Mick; Gielkens, Marco; Jensen, Peter; Lamp, William; Rauschen, Stefan; Ridley, Geoff; Romeis, Jörg; Waggoner, Annabel

    2012-08-01

    Environmental risk assessments (ERA) support regulatory decisions for the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. The ERA for terrestrial agroecosystems is well-developed, whereas guidance for ERA of GM crops in aquatic ecosystems is not as well-defined. The purpose of this document is to demonstrate how comprehensive problem formulation can be used to develop a conceptual model and to identify potential exposure pathways, using Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize as a case study. Within problem formulation, the insecticidal trait, the crop, the receiving environment, and protection goals were characterized, and a conceptual model was developed to identify routes through which aquatic organisms may be exposed to insecticidal proteins in maize tissue. Following a tiered approach for exposure assessment, worst-case exposures were estimated using standardized models, and factors mitigating exposure were described. Based on exposure estimates, shredders were identified as the functional group most likely to be exposed to insecticidal proteins. However, even using worst-case assumptions, the exposure of shredders to Bt maize was low and studies supporting the current risk assessments were deemed adequate. Determining if early tier toxicity studies are necessary to inform the risk assessment for a specific GM crop should be done on a case by case basis, and should be guided by thorough problem formulation and exposure assessment. The processes used to develop the Bt maize case study are intended to serve as a model for performing risk assessments on future traits and crops.

  4. 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.

  5. PRODUCTION OF BIOFUELS AND ITS IMPACT ON AGRICULTURE IN CROATIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tajana Krička

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available There is a large potential for the production of energy crops on agricultural land. Global demand for food is expected to double within the coming 50 years, and demand for transportation fuels is expected to increase even more rapidly. There is a great need for renewable energy supplies for biofuel production that do not cause significant environmental harm and do not compete with food supply. In addition, biofuel by-products can be utilized as livestock feed with a substantial revenue source and significantly increases the profitability of the production process. Food-based biofuels can meet but a small portion of energy needs despite recent advances in crop yields and increased biofuel production efficiency. Therefore, biofuels that are non food-based are likely to be of far greater importance over the longer term. Reasonable values on the external effects are in most cases not enough to make agriculture-based biomass energy competitive so that considerable government subsidies are needed. Biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol that can be produced on agriculturally marginal lands with minimum fertilizer, pesticide, and fossil energy inputs, or produced with agricultural residues have potential to provide fuel supplies with greater environmental benefits that either petroleum or current food-based biofuels.

  6. Essays concerning the cellulosic biofuel industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosburg, Alicia Sue

    Despite market-based incentives and mandated production, the U.S. cellulosic biofuel industry has been slow to develop. This dissertation explores the economic factors that have limited industry development along with important economic tradeoffs that will be encountered with commercial-scale production. The first essay provides an overview of the policies, potential, and challenges of the biofuel industry, with a focus on cellulosic biofuel. The second essay considers the economics of cellulosic biofuel production. Breakeven models of the local feedstock supply system and biofuel refining process are constructed to develop the Biofuel Breakeven (BioBreak) program, a stochastic, Excel-based program that evaluates the feasibility of local biofuel and biomass markets under various policy and market scenarios. An application of the BioBreak program is presented using expected market conditions for 14 local cellulosic biofuel markets that vary by feedstock and location. The economic costs of biofuel production identified from the BioBreak application are higher than frequently anticipated and raise questions about the potential of cellulosic ethanol as a sustainable and economical substitute for conventional fuels. Program results also are extended using life-cycle analysis to evaluate the cost of reducing GHG emissions by substituting cellulosic ethanol for conventional fuel. The third essay takes a closer look at the economic trade-offs within the biorefinery industry and feedstock production processes. A long-run biomass production through bioenergy conversion cost model is developed that incorporates heterogeneity of biomass suppliers within and between local markets. The model builds on previous literature by treating biomass as a non-commoditized feedstock and relaxes the common assumption of fixed biomass density and price within local markets. An empirical application is provided for switchgrass-based ethanol production within U.S. crop reporting districts

  7. Toward the design of sustainable biofuel landscapes: A modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izaurralde, R. C.; Zhang, X.; Manowitz, D. H.; Sahajpal, R.

    2011-12-01

    Biofuel crops have emerged as promising feedstocks for advanced bioenergy production in the form of cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel. However, large-scale deployment of biofuel crops for energy production has the potential to conflict with food production and generate a myriad of environmental outcomes related to land and water resources (e.g., decreases in soil carbon storage, increased erosion, altered runoff, deterioration in water quality). In order to anticipate the possible impacts of biofuel crop production on food production systems and the environment and contribute to the design of sustainable biofuel landscapes, we developed a spatially-explicit integrated modeling framework (SEIMF) aimed at understanding, among other objectives, the complex interactions among land, water, and energy. The framework is a research effort of the DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. The SEIMF has three components: (1) a GIS-based data analysis system, (2) the biogeochemical model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate), and (3) an evolutionary multi-objective optimization algorithm for examining trade-offs between biofuel energy production and ecosystem responses. The SEIMF was applied at biorefinery scale to simulate biofuel production scenarios and the yield and environmental results were used to develop trade-offs, economic and life-cycle analyses. The SEIMF approach was also applied to test the hypothesis that growing perennial herbaceous species on marginal lands can satisfy a significant fraction of targeted demands while avoiding competition with food systems and maintaining ecosystem services.

  8. Phytotoxic risk assessment of ambient air pollution on agricultural crops in Selangor State, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishii, S; Bell, J N B; Marshall, F M

    2007-11-01

    The phytotoxic risk of ambient air pollution to local vegetation was assessed in Selangor State, Malaysia. The AOT40 value was calculated by means of the continuously monitored daily maximum concentration and the local diurnal pattern of O3. Together with minor risks associated with the levels of NO2 and SO2, the study found that the monthly AOT40 values in these peri-urban sites were consistently over 1.0 ppm.h, which is well in exceedance of the given European critical level. Linking the O3 level to actual agricultural crop production in Selangor State also indicated that the extent of yield losses could have ranged from 1.6 to 5.0% (by weight) in 2000. Despite a number of uncertainties, the study showed a simple but useful methodological framework for phytotoxic risk assessment with a limited data set, which could contribute to appropriate policy discussion and countermeasures in countries under similar conditions.

  9. Assessment of Land Management Practices in Food Crops Production among Small Scale Farmers in Kwara State, Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdulazeez, Muhammad-Lawal

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The study carried out an assessment of agricultural land management practices in food crops production among small scale farmers in Kwara Sate, Nigeria. Specifically, the study determined the socio economic characteristics of crop farmers in Kwara State; ascertained the cropping patterns common among them; highlighted the soil conservation methods adopted by the farmers; examined the relationship between selected socio-economic characteristics of the farmers and their adoption of major agricultural land management practices; and investigated the constraints to adoption of sustainable agricultural practices among crop farmers in Kwara State, Nigeria A three stage random sampling technique was used in selecting a total of one hundred and forty four small scale food crops farmers. Descriptive statistics, binary logistic regression model and four point Likert-type scale were used to analyse the data for the study. The study revealed that food crops production in Kwara State is dominated by middle aged men who are poorly educated and have poor access to agricultural extension services. Half of the respondents (48.60% adopted cereal-based cropping systems. 48.6% of the farmers adopted a minimum of three management practices. Crop rotation was mostly adopted by all the farmers while irrigation was the least adopted by only 29.3% of the respondents. Furthermore, the study revealed that farm size, age, education status, number of contacts with extension agents, household size and number of farm plots of the respondents were the significant factors affecting their adoption of land management practices. The study also revealed that the major constraints to the use of sustainable crop management practices among the farmers included inadequate supply of fertilizer, inadequacy of labour and credit, poor knowledge of improved agricultural practices, poor transportation, low produce prices and high cost of production. The study recommended the need for training

  10. Bioturbosina: Producción de cultivos energéticos para la aviación comercial Jet Biofuel: Production of energy-related crops for commercial aircraft

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibis Sepúlveda González

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Las más grandes compañías de fabricación de aviones, entre ellas Boeing y Airbus y la asociación internacional de líneas aéreas International Air Transport Association (IATA, decidieron jugar un doble papel: contribuir en la disminución de emisiones de gases efecto invernadero y asegurar la disponibilidad de combustible barato. Para ello se ha hecho un plan para agregar a la turbosina una fracción creciente de bioturbosina. En México esto se trabajó en el "plan de vuelo para los biocombustibles sustentables", convocado por ASA entre junio de 2010 y marzo de 2011. La bioturbosina debe reducir la emisión de GEI en más 50% en su ciclo de vida, con respecto a la turbosina. También se espera que, gracias a la tecnología, en el tiempo baje el costo de la bioturbosina mientras, por escasez, suba el del petróleo (Herrera y Morgan, 2010; García, 2010. De esta manera, a nivel mundial estas compañías han establecido que para 2015 se debe adicionar 1% de bioturbosina a la turbosina, para 2017; 10%, para 2020; 15% y así sucesivamente hasta cambiar al menos 50% del origen del combustible aéreo para 2050. En México se vende 2% del combustible aéreo del mundo. Esto significa una demanda inicial de 40 millones de litros de bioturbosina para 2015 y de unos 700 millones de litros para 2020. El grupo encargado de la promoción del biocombustible aéreo a nivel mundial (Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels- RSB, con sede en la École Politechnique Federale de Lausanne estableció 12 principios que deben cumplirse para ser aceptados como proveedores de aceites para bioturbosina. Estos tienen que ver con sustentabilidad ecológica y equidad social. En la ponencia se analizan las condiciones de México para responder a esta primera demanda real de biocombustibles, así como sus probables efectos.The largest aircraft making companies, among them Boeing and Airbus, and International Air Transport Association (IATA, decided to take double role: to

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Assessing genetically modified crops to minimize the risk of increased food allergy: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Richard E; Hefle, Susan L; Taylor, Steven L; van Ree, Ronald

    2005-06-01

    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 been evaluated for potential increases in allergenic properties using methods that are consistent with the current understanding of food allergens and knowledge regarding the prediction of allergenic activity. Although there have been refinements, the key aspects of the evaluation have not changed. The allergenic properties of the gene donor and the host (recipient) organisms are considered in determining the appropriate testing strategy. The amino acid sequence of the encoded protein is compared to all known allergens to determine whether the protein is a known allergen or is sufficiently similar to any known allergen to indicate an increased probability of allergic cross-reactivity. Stability of the protein in the presence of acid with the stomach protease pepsin is tested as a risk factor for food allergenicity. In vitro or in vivo human IgE binding are tested when appropriate, if the gene donor is an allergen or the sequence of the protein is similar to an allergen. Serum donors and skin test subjects are selected based on their proven allergic responses to the gene donor or to material containing the allergen that was matched in sequence. While some scientists and regulators have suggested using animal models, performing broadly targeted serum IgE testing or extensive pre- or post-market clinical tests, current evidence does not support these tests as being predictive or practical. Based on the evidence to date, the current assessment process has worked well to prevent the unintended introduction of allergens in commercial GM crops.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Economical competitiveness of biofuels. Costs of selected options of biofuels; Wirtschaftliche Konkurrenzfaehigkeit von Biokraftstoffen. Kosten ausgewaehlter Biokraftstoffoptionen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zeymer, Martin [DBFZ Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnuetzige GmbH, Leipzig (Germany)

    2012-07-01

    One important advantage of biofuels is essentially the ease of integration into the present infrastructure of the transport sector. From a technical point of view both liquid and gaseous fossil fuels can be replaced completely without expenditure on infrastructure or technological change. However, the sustainable use of bioenergy crops producing biofuels is limited and therefore the exploitation of residues for biofuels, must also be considered. To estimate the economic impact of biofuels the levelized costs of five concepts with different biomass input were calculated and compared to fossil references. According to the calculations, the production costs of biofuels add up to between 14 and 36 EUR/GJ, which is twice as much as fossil substitutes (between 9 and 17 EUR/GJ). Based on this, biofuels will not be commercial in the near future, but the German biofuel quota and associated penalty, if the obligations will not be fulfilled, leads to competitive position. Our results show the importance of low biomass prices, even if the biomass quality is worse and the conversion processes have to be more complex. There is a possibility to reduce the production costs consist by increasing the overall efficiency. Even small but highly integrated plants (Bioethanol (Triticale)) with a lack of economies of scale achieve a high biofuel output and by this comparatively low production costs. (orig.)

  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, th...... and the expected energy output is positive, providing a proof for the sustainability of the tested crop for a 10 year exploitation period....

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Assessment of relationship between fungal aerosol within a municipal dump and epiphytic mycoflora of crop plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ropek, Dariusz Roman; Fraczek, Krzysztof; Kozdrój, Jacek; Chmiel, Maria

    2013-01-01

    A field study was performed to assess whether fungal aerosol of a municipal dump may impact on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of epiphytic mycoflora of crop plants cultivated in vicinity of the dump. Sampling sites were located at every side of the dump. Plant samples were collected from field bean, spring wheat and potato. The highest concentration of fungal aerosol was found at the field located south of the dump within the zone of 250 m next to its borders. For this zone, the most numerous and diverse mycoflora was ascertained, and the plants cultivated were the most damaged. The results suggest that the municipal dump was not the source of phytopathogenic fungi; however, different emissions of contaminants from the dump might cause a decline in the intrinsic plant resistance against the pathogens.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Illusions, hunger and vices: smallholders, environmentalism and the green agrarian question in Chiapas' biofuel rush

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castellanos-Navarrete, A.

    2015-01-01

    Activists and environmentalists all over the world have been successful in framing biofuel crops as drivers of deforestation, land grabbing and rural indebtedness – effectively reversing earlier promotional pronouncements of biofuels as the answer to ecological

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Printed biofuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  14. Biofuels: not so bad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornley, Patricia; Morris, Trevor

    2008-09-01

    Kevin Joyce is right to draw attention to the energy consumed in producing biofuels (August p21) but wrong to conclude that this makes them "worse for carbon emissions than good old-fashioned gasoline". As he points out, energy is required to cultivate the biomass feedstock and convert it to biofuel, and the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with this must be offset against the savings from replacing mineral oil or diesel. However, even when this is taken into account, the biofuels on sale in the UK today are delivering greenhouse-gas savings.

  15. Safety assessment of nonbrowning potatoes: opening the discussion about the relevance of substantial equivalence on next generation biotech crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llorente, Briardo; Alonso, Guillermo D; Bravo-Almonacid, Fernando; Rodríguez, Vanina; López, Mariana G; Carrari, Fernando; Torres, Héctor N; Flawiá, Mirtha M

    2011-02-01

    It is expected that the next generation of biotech crops displaying enhanced quality traits with benefits to both farmers and consumers will have a better acceptance than first generation biotech crops and will improve public perception of genetic engineering. This will only be true if they are proven to be as safe as traditionally bred crops. In contrast with the first generation of biotech crops where only a single trait is modified, the next generation of biotech crops will add a new level of complexity inherent to the mechanisms underlying their output traits. In this study, a comprehensive evaluation of the comparative safety approach on a quality-improved biotech crop with metabolic modifications is presented. Three genetically engineered potato lines with silenced polyphenol oxidase (Ppo) transcripts and reduced tuber browning were characterized at both physiological and molecular levels and showed to be equivalent to wild-type (WT) plants when yield-associated traits and photosynthesis were evaluated. Analysis of the primary metabolism revealed several unintended metabolic modifications in the engineered tubers, providing evidence for potential compositional inequivalence between transgenic lines and WT controls. The silencing construct sequence was in silico analysed for potential allergenic cross-reactivity, and no similarities to known allergenic proteins were identified. Moreover, in vivo intake safety evaluation showed no adverse effects in physiological parameters. Taken together, these results provide the first evidence supporting that the safety of next generation biotech crops can be properly assessed following the current evaluation criterion, even if the transgenic and WT crops are not substantially equivalent.

  16. Biofuels: balancing risks and rewards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornley, Patricia; Gilbert, Paul

    2013-02-06

    This paper describes a framework that can be used to evaluate the environmental risks and benefits associated with biofuel production. It uses the example of biodiesel produced from Argentinean soy to show how such a framework can be used to conceptualize trade-offs between different environmental, social and economic impacts of biofuel production. Results showing the greenhouse-gas savings and overall life-cycle impact of different 'soy-biodiesel' production methods are presented. These impacts and the significance of uncertainty in overall assessments of key parameters, such as greenhouse-gas savings, are discussed. It is shown that, even where sufficient knowledge exists to be able to quantify these impacts, the sustainability of supply of a particular biofuel is inextricably linked to values and ethical judgements. However, tailoring certification efforts to the issues that are most likely to make a significant difference to the overall sustainability could improve the effectiveness of certification efforts. The potential for a framework to guide and focus certification efforts is discussed and future research and policy priorities suggested.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Solutions Network Formulation Report. Using NASA Sensors to Perform Crop Type Assessment for Monitoring Insect Resistance in Corn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, David; Copenhaver, Ken; Anderson, Daniel; Hilbert, Kent

    2007-01-01

    The EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) is tasked to monitor for insect pest resistance to transgenic crops. Several models have been developed to understand the resistance properties of insects. The Population Genetics Simulator model is used in the EPA PIRDSS (Pest Infestation and Resistance Decision Support System). The EPA Office of Pesticide Programs uses the DSS to help understand the potential for insect pest resistance development and the likelihood that insect pest resistance will negatively affect transgenic corn. Once the DSS identifies areas of concern, crews are deployed to collect insect pest samples, which are tested to identify whether they have developed resistance to the toxins in transgenic corn pesticides. In this candidate solution, VIIRS (Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite) vegetation index products will be used to build hypertemporal layerstacks for crop type and phenology assessment. The current phenology attribute is determined by using the current time of year to index the expected growth stage of the crop. VIIRS might provide more accurate crop type assessment and also might give a better estimate on the crop growth stage.

  20. An integrated PMP model to assess the development of agro-energy crops and the effect on water requirements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele Donati

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an integrated model for the economic and environmental assessment of the use of natural resources when new activities (i.e. biomass crops for energy production are introduced into the farm production plan. The methodology is based on the integration of positive mathematical programming (PMP with the AquaCrop model developed by FAO. PMP represents farmer decision processes and evaluates how farms react to the biomass-sorghum activity option at different price levels. AquaCrop evaluates the relationship between water needs and biomass production and assesses the effect of the land allocation on water requirements at regional level. The integration of these two models assists global policy evaluation at regional level as it makes it possible to identify the economic threshold for biomass crops, the change in land allocation and total water requirement. The model can help policy makers to evaluate the impacts of variations in crop profitability and market innovations on farm profitability, land use and water consumption and the sustainability of the market scenario.

  1. An overview of second generation biofuel technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sims, Ralph E H; Mabee, Warren; Saddler, Jack N; Taylor, Michael

    2010-03-01

    The recently identified limitations of 1st-generation biofuels produced from food crops (with perhaps the exception of sugarcane ethanol) have caused greater emphasis to be placed on 2nd-generation biofuels produced from ligno-cellulosic feedstocks. Although significant progress continues to be made to overcome the technical and economic challenges, 2nd-generation biofuels production will continue to face major constraints to full commercial deployment. The logistics of providing a competitive, all-year-round, supply of biomass feedstock to a commercial-scale plant is challenging, as is improving the performance of the conversion process to reduce costs. The biochemical route, being less mature, probably has a greater cost reduction potential than the thermo-chemical route, but here a wider range of synthetic fuels can be produced to better suit heavy truck, aviation and marine applications. Continued investment in research and demonstration by both public and private sectors, coupled with appropriate policy support mechanisms, are essential if full commercialisation is to be achieved within the next decade. After that, the biofuel industry will grow only at a steady rate and encompass both 1st- and 2nd-generation technologies that meet agreed environmental, sustainability and economic policy goals.

  2. N2O release from agro-biofuel production negates global warming reduction by replacing fossil fuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. Mosier

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available The relationship, on a global basis, between the amount of N fixed by chemical, biological or atmospheric processes entering the terrestrial biosphere, and the total emission of nitrous oxide (N2O, has been re-examined, using known global atmospheric removal rates and concentration growth of N2O as a proxy for overall emissions. The relationship, in both the pre-industrial period and in recent times, after taking into account the large-scale changes in synthetic N fertiliser production and deforestation, is consistent, showing an overall conversion factor of 3–5%. This factor is covered only in part by the ~1% of "direct" emissions from agricultural crop lands estimated by IPCC (2006, or the "indirect" emissions cited therein. This means that the extra N2O entering the atmosphere as a result of using N to produce crops for biofuels will also be correspondingly greater than that estimated just on the basis of IPCC (2006. When the extra N2O emission from biofuel production is calculated in "CO2-equivalent" global warming terms, and compared with the quasi-cooling effect of "saving" emissions of fossil fuel derived CO2, the outcome is that the production of commonly used biofuels, such as biodiesel from rapeseed and bioethanol from corn (maize, can contribute as much or more to global warming by N2O emissions than cooling by fossil fuel savings. Crops with less N demand, such as grasses and woody coppice species have more favourable climate impacts. This analysis only considers the conversion of biomass to biofuel. It does not take into account the use of fossil fuel on the farms and for fertilizer and pesticide production, but it also neglects the production of useful co-products. Both factors partially compensate each other. This needs to be analyzed in a full life cycle assessment.

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Biofuels and food security: biting off more than we can chew?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Clancy, Joy; 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 m

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Using Different Spatial Scales of Climate Data for Regional Climate Impact Assessment: Effect on Crop Modeling Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mereu, V.; Gallo, A.; Trabucco, A.; Montesarchio, M.; Mercogliano, P.; Spano, D.

    2015-12-01

    The high vulnerability of the agricultural sector to climate conditions causes serious concern regarding climate change impacts on crop development and production, particularly in vulnerable areas like the Mediterranean Basin. Crop simulation models are the most common tools applied for the assessment of such impacts on crop development and yields, both at local and regional scales. However, the use of these models in regional impact studies requires spatial input data for weather, soil, management, etc, whose resolution could affect simulation results. Indeed, the uncertainty in projecting climate change impacts on crop phenology and yield at the regional scale is affected not only by the uncertainty related to climate models and scenarios, but also by the downscaling methods and the resolution of climate data. The aim of this study was the evaluation of the effects of spatial resolutions of climate projections in estimating maturity date and grain yield for different varieties of durum wheat, common wheat and maize in Italy. The simulations were carried out using the CSM-CERES-Wheat and CSM-CERES-Maize crop models included in the DSSAT-CSM (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer - Cropping System Model) software, parameterized and evaluated in different experimental sites located in Italy. Dynamically downscaled climate data at different resolutions and different RCP scenarios were used as input in the crop models. A spatial platform, DSSAT-CSM based, developed in R programming language was applied to perform the simulation of maturity date and grain yield for durum wheat, common wheat and maize in each grid cell. Results, analyzed at the national and regional level, will be discussed.

  11. Assessing FAO-56 dual crop coefficients using eddy covariance flux partitioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Current approaches to scheduling crop irrigation using reference evapotranspiration (ET0) recommend using a dual-coefficient approach using basal (Kcb) and soil (Ke) coefficients along with a stress coefficient (Ks) to model crop evapotranspiration (ETc), [e.g. ETc=(Ks*Kcb+Ke)*ET0]. However, determi...

  12. Environmental and economic assessment of protected crops in four European scenarios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Torrellas, M.; Antón, A.; Ruijs, M.N.A.; Garcia Victoria, N.; Stanghellini, C.; Montero, J.I.

    2012-01-01

    In this study we analysed the environmental and economic profile of current agricultural practices for greenhouse crops, in cold and warm climates in Europe, using four scenarios as reference systems: tomato crop in a plastic greenhouse in Spain, and in glasshouses in Hungary and the Netherlands, an

  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 tha

  14. 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

  15. 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 potent

  16. Biofuels, land use change and smallholder livelihoods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    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...... discrete phases of land use change in this period: first, as a result of the establishment of new settlements (mainly subsistence rice production); second, via the expansion of cash crop cultivation into forested areas (mainly grown on upland fields); and third, due to the response of smallholders...... 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...

  17. 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

  18. Assessing the impact of arthropod natural enemies on crop pests at the field scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macfadyen, Sarina; Davies, Andrew P; Zalucki, Myron P

    2015-02-01

    There are many reasons why it is important that we find ways to conserve, and better utilize natural enemies of invertebrate crop pests. Currently, measures of natural enemy impact are rarely incorporated into studies that purport to examine pest control. Most studies examine pest and natural enemy presence and/or abundance and then qualitatively infer impact. While this provides useful data to address a range of ecological questions, a measure of impact is critical for guiding pest management decision-making. Often some very simple techniques can be used to obtain an estimate of natural enemy impact. We present examples of field-based studies that have used cages, barriers to restrict natural enemy or prey movement, direct observation of natural enemy attack, and sentinel prey items to estimate mortality. The measure of natural enemy impact used in each study needs to be tailored to the needs of farmers and the specific pest problems they face. For example, the magnitude of mortality attributed to natural enemies may be less important than the timing and consistency of that mortality between seasons. Tailoring impact assessments will lead to research outcomes that do not simply provide general information about how to conserve natural enemies, but how to use these natural enemies as an integral part of decision-making.

  19. 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.

  20. Contribution of N2O to the greenhouse gas balance of first-generation biofuels : climate change and biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smeets, E.M.W.; Bouwman, A.F.; Stehfest, E.; van Vuuren, D.P.; Posthuma, A.

    2009-01-01

    In this study, we analyze the impact of fertilizer- and manure-induced N2O emissions due to energy crop production on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when conventional transportation fuels are replaced by first-generation biofuels (also taking account of other GHG emissions during th

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    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......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...

  3. 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…

  4. Energy Crops and their Implications on Soil Carbon Sequestration, Surface Energy and Water Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Y.; Barman, R.; Jain, A. K.

    2011-12-01

    The quest to meet growing energy demand with low greenhouse gas emissions has increased attention on the potential of existing and advanced biomass energy crops. Potential energy crops include row crops such as corn, and perennial grasses such as switchgrass. However, a massive expansion of bioenergy crops raises many questions such as: how and where to grow energy crops; and what will be the impacts of growing large scale biofuel crops on the terrestrial hydrological cycle, the surface energy budget, soil carbon sequestration and the concurrent effects on the climate system. An integrated modeling system is being developed with in the framework of a land surface model, the Integrated Science Assessment Model (ISAM), and being applied to address these questions.This framework accounts for the biophysical, physiological and biogeochemical systems governing important processes that regulate crop growth including water, energy and nutrient cycles within the soil-plant-atmosphere system. One row crop (Corn) and two energy crops (Switchgrass and Miscanthus) are studied in current framework. Dynamic phenology processes and parameters for simulating each crop have been developed using observed data from a north to south gradient of field trial sites. This study will specifically focus on the agricultural regions in the US and in Europe. The potential productivity of these three crops will be assessed in terms of carbon sequestration, surface energy and water balance and their spatial variability. This study will help to quantify the importance of various environmental aspects towards modeling bioenergy crops and to better understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of bioenergy crop yields.

  5. Biofuels and Biotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mielenz, Jonathan R [ORNL

    2009-01-01

    The world obtains 86% of its energy from fossil fuels, 40% from petroleum, a majority of which goes to the transportation sector (www.IEA.gov). Well-recognized alternatives are fuels derived from renewable sources known as biofuels. There are a number of biofuels useful for transportation fuels, which include ethanol, biobutanol, mixed alcohols, biodiesel, and hydrogen. These biofuels are produced from biologically derived feedstock, almost exclusively being plant materials, either food or feed sources or inedible plant material called biomass. This chapter will discuss technologies for production of liquid transportation biofuels from renewable feedstocks, but hydrogen will not be included, as the production technology and infrastructure are not near term. In addition, a specific emphasis will be placed upon the research opportunities and potential for application of system biology tools to dissect and understand the biological processes central to production of these biofuels from biomass and biological materials. There are a number of technologies for production of each of these biofuels that range from fully mature processes such as grain-derived ethanol, emerging technology of ethanol form cellulose derived ethanol and immature processes such thermochemical conversion technologies and production of hydrogen all produced from renewable biological feedstocks. Conversion of biomass by various thermochemical and combustion technologies to produce thermochemical biodiesel or steam and electricity provide growing sources of bioenergy. However, these technologies are outside of the scope of this chapter, as is the use of biological processing for upgrading and conversion of fossil fuels. Therefore, this chapter will focus on the current status of production of biofuels produced from biological-derived feedstocks using biological processes. Regardless of the status of development of the biological process for production of the biofuels, each process can benefit from

  6. The impact of site preparation for biofuel and sawtimber production on soil compaction and long-term soil productivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leggett, Z.H.; Sucre, E.B. [Weyerhaeuser NR Co., Vanceboro, NC (United States)

    2010-07-01

    Research into renewable fuel sources has increased as a result of increasing global concerns over carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) emissions. This study assessed that potential effects of concurrent biofuel and high quality wood product production in forests along the lower coastal plain of North Carolina. The effects of intercropping and biomass management on site productivity and sustainability were investigated on loblolly pine plantations; loblolly pine and switchgrass; and loblolly pines with flat-planted pine trees planted between crop tree beds. Stands of switchgrass only were also investigated. The treatments were established on 0.81 hectare plots and replicated 4 times. The impacts of various non-traditional land management approaches on soil productivity and sustainability were assessed, as well as the site preparations needed to develop a dual crop system. The study showed no significant differences in soil compaction before and after the treatments were installed. Average soil resistance across all treatments at the soil surface was 201 kPa. Soil resistance increased to 1539 kPa and 1923 kPa at depths of 15 and 30 cm. The study indicated that dual crop systems and practices for biofuel and timber production are both economically feasible and environmentally sustainable.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Biofuels are dead: long live biofuels(?) - part two.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    Whilst obsessing over the policy catastrophe surrounding biofuels, we could easily lose sight of the prospects for science and technology to increase the sustainability of biofuel production by orders of magnitude. Part two of this feature examines the research and development of more sustainable biofuels.

  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. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. System for determining biofuel concentration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huff, Shean P.; Janke, Christopher James; Kass, Michael D.; Lewis, Sr, Samuel Arthur; Pawel, Steven J; Theiss, Timothy J.

    2016-09-13

    A measurement device or system configured to measure the content of biofuels within a fuel blend. By measuring a state of a responsive material within a fuel blend, a biofuel content of the fuel blend may be measured. For example, the solubility of a responsive material to biofuel content within a fuel blend, may affect a property of the responsive material, such as shape, dimensional size, or electrical impedance, which may be measured and used as a basis for determining biofuel content.

  15. Modeling biofuel expansion effects on land use change dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Ethan; Inman, Daniel; Kunstman, Benjamin; Bush, Brian; Vimmerstedt, Laura; Peterson, Steve; Macknick, Jordan; Zhang, Yimin

    2013-03-01

    Increasing demand for crop-based biofuels, in addition to other human drivers of land use, induces direct and indirect land use changes (LUC). Our system dynamics tool is intended to complement existing LUC modeling approaches and to improve the understanding of global LUC drivers and dynamics by allowing examination of global LUC under diverse scenarios and varying model assumptions. We report on a small subset of such analyses. This model provides insights into the drivers and dynamic interactions of LUC (e.g., dietary choices and biofuel policy) and is not intended to assert improvement in numerical results relative to other works. Demand for food commodities are mostly met in high food and high crop-based biofuel demand scenarios, but cropland must expand substantially. Meeting roughly 25% of global transportation fuel demand by 2050 with biofuels requires >2 times the land used to meet food demands under a presumed 40% increase in per capita food demand. In comparison, the high food demand scenario requires greater pastureland for meat production, leading to larger overall expansion into forest and grassland. Our results indicate that, in all scenarios, there is a potential for supply shortfalls, and associated upward pressure on prices, of food commodities requiring higher land use intensity (e.g., beef) which biofuels could exacerbate.

  16. Transportability of confined field trial data from cultivation to import countries for environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakai, Shuichi; Hoshikawa, Kana; Shimono, Ayako; Ohsawa, Ryo

    2015-12-01

    Requirement of in-country confined field trials for genetically modified (GM) crops prior to unrestricted release is well-established among countries with domestic regulations for the cultivation approval of GM crops. However, the requirement of in-country confined field trials is not common in countries where the scope of the application does not include cultivation. Nonetheless, Japan and China request in-country confined field trials for GM crops which are intended only for use as food, feed and processing. This paper considers the transportability of confined field trial data from cultivation countries (e.g. United States, Canada, and South American countries) to import countries like Japan for the environmental risk assessment of GM crops by reviewing: (1) the purpose of confined field trial assessment, (2) weediness potential, defined as "an ability to establish and persist in an unmanaged area that is frequently disturbed by human activity", of host crops, and (3) reliability of the confined field trial data obtained from cultivation countries. To review the reliability of the confined field data obtained in the US, this paper describes actual examples of three confined field trials of approved GM corn events conducted both in the US and Japan. Based on the above considerations, this paper concludes that confined field data of GM corn and cotton is transportable from cultivation countries to importing countries (e.g. from the US to Japan), regardless of the characteristics of the inserted gene(s). In addition, this paper advocates harmonization of protocols for confined field trials to facilitate more efficient data transportability across different geographies.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. A LCA Based Biofuel Supply Chain Analysis Framework

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘喆轩; 邱彤; 陈丙珍

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a life cycle assessment (LCA) based biofuel supply chain (SC) analysis framework which enables the study of economic, energy and environmental (3E) performances by using multi-objective opti-mization. The economic objective is measured by the total annual profit, the energy objective is measured by the average fossil energy (FE) inputs per MJ biofuel and the environmental objective is measured by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per MJ biofuel. A multi-objective linear fractional programming (MOLFP) model with multi-conversion pathways is formulated based on the framework and is solved by using theε-constraint method. The MOLFP prob-lem is turned into a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) problem by setting up the total annual profit as the optimization objective and the average FE inputs per MJ biofuel and GHG emissions per MJ biofuel as constraints. In the case study, this model is used to design an experimental biofuel supply chain in China. A set of the weekly Pareto optimal solutions is obtained. Each non-inferior solution indicates the optimal locations and the amount of biomass produced, locations and capacities of conversion factories, locations and amount of biofuel being supplied in final markets and the flow of mass through the supply chain network (SCN). As the model reveals trade-offs among 3E criteria, we think the framework can be a good support tool of decision for the design of biofuel SC.

  2. Risk assessment of Bt crops on the non-target plant-associated insects and soil organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaqoob, Amina; Shahid, Ahmad Ali; Samiullah, Tahir Rehman; Rao, Abdul Qayyum; Khan, Muhammad Azmat Ullah; Tahir, Sana; Mirza, Safdar Ali; Husnain, Tayyab

    2016-06-01

    Transgenic plants containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) genes are being cultivated worldwide to express toxic insecticidal proteins. However, the commercial utilisation of Bt crops greatly highlights biosafety issues worldwide. Therefore, assessing the risks caused by genetically modified crops prior to their commercial cultivation is a critical issue to be addressed. In agricultural biotechnology, the goal of safety assessment is not just to identify the safety of a genetically modified (GM) plant, rather to demonstrate its impact on the ecosystem. Various experimental studies have been made worldwide during the last 20 years to investigate the risks and fears associated with non-target organisms (NTOs). The NTOs include beneficial insects, natural pest controllers, rhizobacteria, growth promoting microbes, pollinators, soil dwellers, aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates, mammals and humans. To highlight all the possible risks associated with different GM events, information has been gathered from a total of 76 articles, regarding non-target plant and soil inhabiting organisms, and summarised in the form of the current review article. No significant harmful impact has been reported in any case study related to approved GM events, although critical risk assessments are still needed before commercialisation of these crops. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Assessment of exchange of crop in view of change climate and International Treaties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Anil Kumar; Pedapati, Annitaa; Manibhushan

    2015-01-01

    To meet the UN millennium development goal of reducing the number of hungry people to half by 2015, there is utmost need to breed potentially high yielding varieties to match up the requirement along with corrective measures to bridge the gap between the potential yield and yield harvested by farmers. The scenario has changed from free access to limited access of plant genetic resources (PGR) and therefore, it is important to understand the issues in view of national and international agreements, intellectual property rights (IPR'S), climate change conditions and expanded scope of breeders and farmers rights for developed genotypes. For efficient management of PGR, developing countries need to understand the implications of PGR related IPR'S as stronger IPR'S in developed countries could have harmful effects by reduced exchange of genetic resources from developed countries. Keeping in view the existing realities every possible effort should be taken for enrichment of crop gene pool by introducing them from each and every corner of the globe. Keeping these facts in view this paper describes the priorities for introduction and exchange of important crop groups/crops along with some of their potential wild and weedy relatives and thrust has been given to generate awareness among the workers engaged in the breeders/crop improvement works. Information provided in this presentation can be utilized by prospective crop improvement works to plan to meet out the nationalfood security.

  7. Algal biodiesel economy and competition among bio-fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, D H

    2011-01-01

    This investigation examines the possible results of policy support in developed and developing economies for developing algal biodiesel through to 2040. This investigation adopts the Taiwan General Equilibrium Model-Energy for Bio-fuels (TAIGEM-EB) to predict competition among the development of algal biodiesel, bioethanol and conventional crop-based biodiesel. Analytical results show that algal biodiesel will not be the major energy source in 2040 without strong support in developed economies. In contrast, bioethanol enjoys a development advantage relative to both forms of biodiesel. Finally, algal biodiesel will almost completely replace conventional biodiesel. CO(2) reduction benefits the development of the bio-fuels industry.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 tran

  11. Biofuel consumption rates and patterns in Kenya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kituyi, E. [Nairobi Univ. (Kenya). Dept. of Chemistry; Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Biochemistry Dept., Mainz (Germany); Marufu, L.; Huber, B.; Andreae, M.O.; Helas, G. [Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Biogeochemistry Dept., Mainz (Germany); Wandiga, SO.; Jumba, I.O. [Nairobi Univ. (Kenya). Dept. of Chemistry

    2001-07-01

    A questionnaire survey was conducted in rural and urban Kenya to establish biofuel consumption rates and patterns. The survey targeted households, commercial catering enterprises and public institutions such as schools and colleges. Firewood was the main biofuel used, mostly by rural households, who consumed the commodity at average consumption rates in the range 0.8-2.7 kg cap{sup -1} day{sup -1}. Charcoal was mostly consumed by the urban households at weighted average rates in the range 0.18-0.69 kg cap{sup -1} day{sup -1}. The consumption rates and patterns for these fuels by restaurants and academic institutions, and those for crop residues are also reported. The rates largely depended on the fuel availability but differed significantly among the three consumer groups and between rural and urban households. Other factors which may have influenced consumption rates are discussed. Although good fuelwood sufficiency was reported in the country in 1997, there were increasing difficulties in accessing these resources by most households, a situation having both short- and long-term implications for biofuel consumption rates and patterns. (Author)

  12. 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.

  13. An assessment of LACIE and related methodologies for conducting crop inventories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokerud, R. E.; Quirein, J. A.

    1978-01-01

    The Large Area Crop Inventory Experiment (LACIE) is a joint undertaking of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It is designed to verify an economically important application of remote sensing from earth orbital satellites. The first two phases of the experiment have been completed. A description of the experiment and a short discussion on the results and conclusions of the first two phases are presented. The LACIE design is compared with other designs for conducting crop inventories. An integrated design methodology (based upon accumulated LACIE experience) is discussed for conducting crop acreage surveys in developing countries.

  14. 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.

  15. Assessing the impact of climate change on smallholder farmers’ crop net revenue in Togo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agossou Gadédjisso-Tossou

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This study employs a Ricardian modelling approach to measure the impact of climate change variables such as temperature and rainfalls on smallholder famers’ crop net revenue in Togo. The obtained results show that climate has a nonlinear effect on crop net revenue. In rainy season, the marginal impact of temperature on farmers’ net revenue is negative, while the impact of rainfalls is positive. The scenarios of decrease of rainfalls and/or increase of the temperature show negative impacts on the agriculture of Togo given the already harsh climatic conditions in the country. Other variables such as educational attainment, access to extension services and livestock ownership are found to have positive impact on farmers’ crop net revenue. Consequently, policies aimed at improving those factors could improve smallholder farmers’ wellbeing.

  16. Risk assessment of genetically engineered crops: fitness effects of virus-resistance transgenes in wild Cucurbita pepo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, Karen D; Power, Alison G; Snow, Allison A; Spencer, Lawrence J

    2009-07-01

    extent, conventionally bred squash would increase C. pepo fecundity. Studies such as this one, in combination with documentation of the probability of crop-to-wild gene flow and surveys of virus incidence in wild populations, can provide a solid basis for environmental risk assessments of crops genetically engineered for virus resistance.

  17. 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)

  18. A bio-economic farm household model to assess cropping systems in the Rift valley of Ethiopia : towards climate smart agriculture: do food security and mitigration goals match?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hengsdijk, H.; Verhagen, A.

    2012-01-01

    Modelling approach for rain fed farm household systems in the Central Rif Valley of Ethiopia to assess the possible effects of intensification of cereal-based cropping systems to farm income, mitigation of GHG emissions and other household indicators

  19. Assessment of maturity indices of rock phosphate enriched composts using variable crop residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moharana, P C; Biswas, D R

    2016-12-01

    This study aimed to asses maturity indices of rock phosphate enriched composts using crop residues having variable C/N ratios. There were distinct differences in concentration of NH4(+)-N, NO3(-)-N, Olsen-P and NH4OAc-K for composts generated from different crop residues, the highest being in rice straw. Water soluble P varied from 3.47-4.45% of total P, while citrate soluble P varied from 32.7-54.0% of total P. Rice straw composts showed lower C/N, WSC/Org-N and E4/E6 ratio and higher germination index indicating that they are well-matured and stabilized compost. The relative order of performance of crop residues in aggrading compost quality was chickpea stover>rice straw>mustard stover>wheat straw>tree leaves. The results demonstrated that all the enriched composts had higher contents of available nutrients and quality indices, indicating that enriched composts could be used to substitute costly chemical fertilizers for crop production.

  20. Mobile proximal soil sensing for crop productivity assessment and water management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil sensing shows promise for efficient crop water management. Most soil sensors used in irrigation management are in-situ devices that provide temporally dense data. However, they are generally deployed at only a few locations and therefore do not adequately characterize spatial variability in soi...

  1. Chromolaena odorata fallow in food cropping systems. An agronomic assessment in South-West Ivory Coast.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slaats, J.J.P.

    1995-01-01

    In tropical Africa, traditional shifting cultivation can no longer provide sufficient food for the rapidly increasing population, whereas it threatens the remaining forests. An alternative is a fallow system based on the shrub Chromolaena odorata. Food crop cultivation in rotation with this fallow t

  2. Competitive liquid biofuels from biomass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demirbas, Ayhan [Sirnak University, Dean of Engineering Faculty, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sirnak (Turkey)

    2011-01-15

    The cost of biodiesels varies depending on the feedstock, geographic area, methanol prices, and seasonal variability in crop production. Most of the biodiesel is currently made from soybean, rapeseed, and palm oils. However, there are large amounts of low-cost oils and fats (e.g., restaurant waste, beef tallow, pork lard, and yellow grease) that could be converted to biodiesel. The crop types, agricultural practices, land and labor costs, plant sizes, processing technologies and government policies in different regions considerably vary ethanol production costs and prices by region. The cost of producing bioethanol in a dry mill plant currently totals US$1.65/galon. The largest ethanol cost component is the plant feedstock. It has been showed that plant size has a major effect on cost. The plant size can reduce operating costs by 15-20%, saving another $0.02-$0.03 per liter. Thus, a large plant with production costs of $0.29 per liter may be saving $0.05-$0.06 per liter over a smaller plant. Viscosity of biofuel and biocrude varies greatly with the liquefaction conditions. The high and increasing viscosity indicates a poor flow characteristic and stability. The increase in the viscosity can be attributed to the continuing polymerization and oxidative coupling reactions in the biocrude upon storage. Although stability of biocrude is typically better than that of bio-oil, the viscosity of biocrude is much higher. The bio-oil produced by flash pyrolysis is a highly oxygenated mixture of carbonyls, carboxyls, phenolics and water. It is acidic and potentially corrosive. Bio-oil can also be potentially upgraded by hydrodeoxygenation. The liquid, termed biocrude, contains 60% carbon, 10-20 wt.% oxygen and 30-36 MJ/kg heating value as opposed to <1 wt.% and 42-46 MJ/kg for petroleum. (author)

  3. Assessing the impact of climate variability and change on crop production in the Midwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, R.; Bowling, L. C.; Cherkauer, K. A.

    2013-12-01

    Interannual variability of crop yield in the Midwestern USA is closely related to extremes in spring and summer moisture conditions. For example, extensive summer drought in 2012 caused a 28% reduction in corn yield relative to early season predictions. In contrast, saturated soil conditions in spring 2013 have led to delayed planting and poor stand development. Therefore, when applying physically-based models to predict crop yield, soil moisture dynamics and physiological stresses must be correctly represented, especially under future climate scenarios where spring and summer moisture are projected to increase and decrease, respectively, over much of the Midwest. The overall objective of this research is to explore and improve the ability of an existing ecohydrology model (SWAT 2009) to simulate corn yield with respect to current and future climate and soil moisture variability. The model is first evaluated for four field scale sites in Iowa, Illinois and Ohio. Soil moisture is calibrated based on 5-6 years of layer specific data to ensure a realistic soil water representation either in dry or wet conditions. Then the calibrated model is used to evaluate the effects of climate variability on crop yield between 1991 and 2010. Finally, the model is run with down-scaled and bias-corrected CMIP5 data from three GCMs (CCSM4, GFDL-esm2m, MIROC5) and four emissions scenarios (RC2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0 and RCP8.5). Soil moisture, physiological stresses and crop yield predictions for two future periods (2031-2050, 2071-2090) are compared with the baseline period (1991-2010) to quantify climate change impacts on crop yield due to excess/deficit moisture.

  4. 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 transport sector. The report is based on the information and experiences that have been accumulated within the KFB biofuel programme. The results of the various activities in the programme suggest that the technology required for the use of ethanol and biogas as fuels, functions satisfactorily and that biofuels possess considerable potential as a means of improving health and environment Refs, 57 figs, 20 tabs

  5. Global Impacts of European Agricultural and Biofuel Policies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Gerdien Prins

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Food supply and food distribution have been and are important issues in the global political arena. The recent emergence of biofuel policies has increased the influence of the policy arena on agricultural production. In this paper we show the regional impact of changes in the European Common Agricultural Policy and biofuel policy. Shifting trade patterns, changes in agricultural production, and expansion of agricultural area or intensification of agriculture result in changes in land use and land use emissions. Higher prices for agricultural crops on the world market together with changing production raise agricultural income. Brazil is the region the most affected. The results show that arrangements or policies will be needed to avoid negative impacts in other regions of changing agricultural or biofuel policies in the European Union.

  6. A greenhouse experiment for the identification of spectral indices for crop water and nitrogen status assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marino Gallina, Pietro; Bechini, Luca; Cabassi, Giovanni; Cavalli, Daniele; Chiaradia, Enrico Antonio; Corti, Martina; Ferrante, Antonio; Martinetti, Livia; Masseroni, Daniele; Morgutti, Silvia; Nocito, Fabio Francesco; Facchi, Arianna

    2015-04-01

    Improvements in crop production depend on the correct adoption of agronomic and irrigation management strategies. The use of high spatial and temporal resolution monitoring methods may be used in precision agriculture to improve the efficiency in water and nutrient input management, guaranteeing the environmental sustainability of agricultural productions. In the last decades, many indices for the monitoring of water or nitrogen status of crops were developed by using multispectral images and, more recently, hyperspectral and thermal images acquired by satellite of airborne platforms. To date, however, comprehensive studies aimed at identifying indices as independent as possible for the management of the two types of stress are still scarce in the literature. Moreover, the chemometric approach for the statistical analysis of the acquired images is not yet widely experienced in this research area. In this context, this work presents the set-up of a greenhouse experiment that will start in February 2015 in Milan (Northern Italy), which aims to the objectives described above. The experiment will be carried out on two crops with a different canopy geometry (rice and spinach) subjected to four nitrogen treatments, for a total of 96 pots. Hyperspectral scanner and thermal images will be acquired at four phenological stages. At each phenological phase, acquisitions will be conducted on one-fourth of the pots, in the first instance in good water conditions and, subsequently, at different time steps after the cessation of irrigation. During the acquisitions, measurements of leaf area index and biomass, chlorophyll and nitrogen content in the plants, soil water content, stomatal conductance and leaf water potential will be performed. Moreover, on leaf samples, destructive biochemical analysis will be conducted to evaluate the physiological stress status of crops in the light of different irrigation and nutrient levels. Multivariate regression analysis between the acquired

  7. A global and spatially explicit assessment of climate change impacts on crop production and consumptive water use.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junguo Liu

    Full Text Available Food security and water scarcity have become two major concerns for future human's sustainable development, particularly in the context of climate change. Here we present a comprehensive assessment of climate change impacts on the production and water use of major cereal crops on a global scale with a spatial resolution of 30 arc-minutes for the 2030s (short term and the 2090s (long term, respectively. Our findings show that impact uncertainties are higher on larger spatial scales (e.g., global and continental but lower on smaller spatial scales (e.g., national and grid cell. Such patterns allow decision makers and investors to take adaptive measures without being puzzled by a highly uncertain future at the global level. Short-term gains in crop production from climate change are projected for many regions, particularly in African countries, but the gains will mostly vanish and turn to losses in the long run. Irrigation dependence in crop production is projected to increase in general. However, several water poor regions will rely less heavily on irrigation, conducive to alleviating regional water scarcity. The heterogeneity of spatial patterns and the non-linearity of temporal changes of the impacts call for site-specific adaptive measures with perspectives of reducing short- and long-term risks of future food and water security.

  8. A Global and Spatially Explicit Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Crop Production and Consumptive Water Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Junguo; Folberth, Christian; Yang, Hong; Röckström, Johan; Abbaspour, Karim; Zehnder, Alexander J. B.

    2013-01-01

    Food security and water scarcity have become two major concerns for future human's sustainable development, particularly in the context of climate change. Here we present a comprehensive assessment of climate change impacts on the production and water use of major cereal crops on a global scale with a spatial resolution of 30 arc-minutes for the 2030s (short term) and the 2090s (long term), respectively. Our findings show that impact uncertainties are higher on larger spatial scales (e.g., global and continental) but lower on smaller spatial scales (e.g., national and grid cell). Such patterns allow decision makers and investors to take adaptive measures without being puzzled by a highly uncertain future at the global level. Short-term gains in crop production from climate change are projected for many regions, particularly in African countries, but the gains will mostly vanish and turn to losses in the long run. Irrigation dependence in crop production is projected to increase in general. However, several water poor regions will rely less heavily on irrigation, conducive to alleviating regional water scarcity. The heterogeneity of spatial patterns and the non-linearity of temporal changes of the impacts call for site-specific adaptive measures with perspectives of reducing short- and long-term risks of future food and water security. PMID:23460901

  9. 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.......Both the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and Article 7a of its Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) seek to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport fuels. The RED mandates a 10% share of renewable energy in transport fuels by 2020, whilst the FQD requires a 6% reduction in GHG emissions...... (from a 2010 base) by the same date. In practice, it will mainly be biofuels that economic operators will use to meet these requirements, but the different approaches can lead to either the RED, or the FQD, acting as the binding constraint. A common set of environmental sustainability criteria apply...

  10. The assessment of water vapour and carbon dioxide fluxes above arable crops - a comparison of methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaaf, S.; Daemmgen, U.; Burkart, S. [Federal Agricultural Research Centre, Inst. of Agroecology, Braunschweig (Germany); Gruenhage, L. [Justus-Liebig-Univ., Inst. for Plant Ecology, Giessen (Germany)

    2005-04-01

    Vertical fluxes of water vapour and carbon dioxide obtained from gradient, eddy covariance (closed and open path systems) and chamber measurements above arable crops were compared with the directly measured energy balance and the harvested net biomass carbon. The gradient and chamber measurements were in the correct order of magnitude, whereas the closed path eddy covariance system showed unacceptably small fluxes. Correction methods based on power spectra analysis yielded increased fluxes. However, the energy balance could not be closed satisfactorily. The application of the open path system proved to be successful. The SVAT model PLATIN which had been adapted to various arable crops was able to depict the components of the energy balance adequately. Net carbon fluxes determined with the corrected closed path data sets, chamber, and SVAT model equal those of the harvested carbon. (orig.)

  11. Plant Fitness Assessment for Wild Relatives of Insect Resistant Bt-Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. K. Letourneau

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available When field tests of transgenic plants are precluded by practical containment concerns, manipulative experiments can detect potential consequences of crop-wild gene flow. Using topical sprays of bacterial Bacillus thuringiensis larvicide (Bt and larval additions, we measured fitness effects of reduced herbivory on Brassica rapa (wild mustard and Raphanus sativus (wild radish. These species represent different life histories among the potential recipients of Bt transgenes from Bt cole crops in the US and Asia, for which rare spontaneous crosses are expected under high exposure. Protected wild radish and wild mustard seedlings had approximately half the herbivore damage of exposed plants and 55% lower seedling mortality, resulting in 27% greater reproductive success, 14-day longer life-spans, and 118% more seeds, on average. Seed addition experiments in microcosms and in situ indicated that wild radish was more likely to spread than wild mustard in coastal grasslands.

  12. Potential for Woody Bioenergy Crops Grown on Marginal Lands in the US Midwest to Reduce Carbon Emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahajpal, R.; Hurtt, G. C.; Fisk, J. P.; Izaurralde, R. C.; Zhang, X.

    2012-12-01

    While cellulosic biofuels are widely considered to be a low carbon energy source for the future, a comprehensive assessment of the environmental sustainability of existing and future biofuel systems is needed to assess their utility in meeting US energy and food needs without exacerbating environmental harm. To assess the carbon emission reduction potential of cellulosic biofuels, we need to identify lands that are initially not storing large quantities of carbon in soil and vegetation but are capable of producing abundant biomass with limited management inputs, and accurately model forest production rates and associated input requirements. Here we present modeled results for carbon emission reduction potential and cellulosic ethanol production of woody bioenergy crops replacing existing native prairie vegetation grown on marginal lands in the US Midwest. Marginal lands are selected based on soil properties describing use limitation, and are extracted from the SSURGO (Soil Survey Geographic) database. Yield estimates for existing native prairie vegetation on marginal lands modeled using the process-based field-scale model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) amount to ~ 6.7±2.0 Mg ha-1. To model woody bioenergy crops, the individual-based terrestrial ecosystem model ED (Ecosystem Demography) is initialized with the soil organic carbon stocks estimated at the end of the EPIC simulation. Four woody bioenergy crops: willow, southern pine, eucalyptus and poplar are parameterized in ED. Sensitivity analysis of model parameters and drivers is conducted to explore the range of carbon emission reduction possible with variation in woody bioenergy crop types, spatial and temporal resolution. We hypothesize that growing cellulosic crops on these marginal lands can provide significant water quality, biodiversity and GHG emissions mitigation benefits, without accruing additional carbon costs from the displacement of food and feed production.

  13. Environmental impact assessment of energy crops cultivation in the Mediterranean Europe

    OpenAIRE

    Boléo, Sara Maria Tranquada

    2011-01-01

    Dissertação apresentada na Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa Para a obtenção do Grau de Mestre em Energia e Bioenergia Energy crops offer ecological advantages over fossil fuels by contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases and acidifying emissions. However, there could be ecological shortcomings related to the intensity of agricultural production. There is a risk of polluting water and air, losing soil quality, enhancing erosion and reducing...

  14. Landscape dynamics in northwestern Amazonia: an assessment of pastures, fire and illicit crops as drivers of tropical deforestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armenteras, Dolors; Rodríguez, Nelly; Retana, Javier

    2013-01-01

    Many studies have identified drivers of deforestation throughout the tropics and, in most cases, have recognised differences in the level of threat. However, only a few have also looked at the temporal and spatial dynamics by which those drivers act, which is critical for assessing the conservation of biodiversity as well as for landscape planning. In this study, we analyse land cover change between 2000 and 2009 in north-western Colombian Amazonia to identify the interactions between the use of fire, cultivation of illicit crops and establishment of pastures, and their impacts on the loss of forest in the region. Yearly analyses were undertaken at randomly selected sample areas to quantify the average areas of transition of land cover types under different landscape compositions: forest-dominated mosaics, pasture mosaics, fire mosaics, and illicit crop mosaics. Our results indicate that despite the fact that forest areas were well-preserved, deforestation occurred at a low annual rate (0.06%). Conversion to pasture was the main factor responsible for forest loss (the area of pastures tripled within forest mosaics over 8 years), and this process was independent of the landscape matrix in which the forests were located. In fire mosaics, burning is a common tool for forest clearing and conversion to pasture. Thus, forests in fire mosaics were highly disturbed and frequently transformed from primary to secondary forests. The use of fire for illicit cropping was not detected, partly due to the small size of common illicit crops. Forest regeneration from pastures and secondary vegetation was observed in areas with large amounts of natural forest. Overall, assuming the continuation of the observed pasture conversion trend and the use of forest fire, we suggest that our results should be incorporated into a spatially explicit and integrated decision support tool to target and focus land-planning activities and policies.

  15. IN-SEASON ASSESSMENT OF WHEAT CROP HEALTH USING VEGETATION INDICES BASED ON GROUND MEASURED HYPER SPECTRAL DATA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khalid Ali Al-Gaadi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available An experiment on a 50 ha center pivot field was conducted to determine the Vegetation Indices (VI’s that were helpful in assessing the in-season performance of wheat crop treated with graded levels of irrigation water and fertilizers. The irrigation levels were at 100, 90, 80 and 70% evapotranspiration (ETc; however, the fertilizer levels of N: P: K kg-1ha included 300:150:200 (low; 400:250:300 (medium and 500:300:300 (High. The crop was sown on January 1st and harvested on May 9th, 2012. Temporal data on biophysical parameters and reflectance of the crop in hyper spectral bands (350-2500 nm were collected at booting and ripening growth stages (February 17th and April 5th, 2012. Results of the study revealed that many of the tested spectral indices showed significant response to irrigation levels. Out of those, only two spectral indices (Plant Senescence Reflectance Index ‘PSRI’ and Photochemical Reflectance Index ‘PRI’ also exhibited significant response to fertilizer levels. The Middle Infrared-Based Vegetation Index (MIVI showed a significant response to the irrigation levels for both sampling dates. Among the tested spectral indices, Normalized Difference Infrared Index (NDII and Normalized Difference Nitrogen Index (NDNI exhibited the highest correlation to crop Leaf Area Index (LAI. Five indices showed the most response to wheat grain yield. These indices included Near Infrared band (NIR, Water Band Index (WBI, Normalized Water Index-1 (NWI-1, Normalized Water Index-3 (NWI-3 and Normalized Water Index-4 (NWI-4.

  16. Plant-based assessment of inherent soil productivity and contributions to China's cereal crop yield increase since 1980.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingsheng Fan

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: China's food production has increased 6-fold during the past half-century, thanks to increased yields resulting from the management intensification, accomplished through greater inputs of fertilizer, water, new crop strains, and other Green Revolution's technologies. Yet, changes in underlying quality of soils and their effects on yield increase remain to be determined. Here, we provide a first attempt to quantify historical changes in inherent soil productivity and their contributions to the increase in yield. METHODS: The assessment was conducted based on data-set derived from 7410 on-farm trials, 8 long-term experiments and an inventory of soil organic matter concentrations of arable land. RESULTS: Results show that even without organic and inorganic fertilizer addition crop yield from on-farm trials conducted in the 2000s was significantly higher compared with those in the 1980s - the increase ranged from 0.73 to 1.76 Mg/ha for China's major irrigated cereal-based cropping systems. The increase in on-farm yield in control plot since 1980s was due primarily to the enhancement of soil-related factors, and reflected inherent soil productivity improvement. The latter led to higher and stable yield with adoption of improved management practices, and contributed 43% to the increase in yield for wheat and 22% for maize in the north China, and, 31%, 35% and 22% for early and late rice in south China and for single rice crop in the Yangtze River Basin since 1980. CONCLUSIONS: Thus, without an improvement in inherent soil productivity, the 'Agricultural Miracle in China' would not have happened. A comprehensive strategy of inherent soil productivity improvement in China, accomplished through combining engineering-based measures with biological-approaches, may be an important lesson for the developing world. We propose that advancing food security in 21st century for both China and other parts of world will depend on continuously improving

  17. Life cycle environmental impacts of wastewater-based algal biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Dongyan; Min, Min; Krohn, Brian; Mullins, Kimberley A; Ruan, Roger; Hill, Jason

    2014-10-07

    Recent research has proposed integrating wastewater treatment with algae cultivation as a way of producing algal biofuels at a commercial scale more sustainably. This study evaluates the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels with a well-to-wheel life cycle assessment (LCA). Production pathways examined include different nutrient sources (municipal wastewater influent to the activated sludge process, centrate from the sludge drying process, swine manure, and freshwater with synthetic fertilizers) combined with emerging biomass conversion technologies (microwave pyrolysis, combustion, wet lipid extraction, and hydrothermal liquefaction). Results show that the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels is generally better than freshwater-based algal biofuels, but depends on the characteristics of the wastewater and the conversion technologies. Of 16 pathways compared, only the centrate cultivation with wet lipid extraction pathway and the centrate cultivation with combustion pathway have lower impacts than petroleum diesel in all environmental categories examined (fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication potential, and consumptive water use). The potential for large-scale implementation of centrate-based algal biofuel, however, is limited by availability of centrate. Thus, it is unlikely that algal biofuels can provide a large-scale and environmentally preferable alternative to petroleum transportation fuels without considerable improvement in current production technologies. Additionally, the cobenefit of wastewater-based algal biofuel production as an alternate means of treating various wastewaters should be further explored.

  18. Benchmarking biofuels; Biobrandstoffen benchmarken

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Croezen, H.; Kampman, B.; Bergsma, G.

    2012-03-15

    A sustainability benchmark for transport biofuels has been developed and used to evaluate the various biofuels currently on the market. For comparison, electric vehicles, hydrogen vehicles and petrol/diesel vehicles were also included. A range of studies as well as growing insight are making it ever clearer that biomass-based transport fuels may have just as big a carbon footprint as fossil fuels like petrol or diesel, or even bigger. At the request of Greenpeace Netherlands, CE Delft has brought together current understanding on the sustainability of fossil fuels, biofuels and electric vehicles, with particular focus on the performance of the respective energy carriers on three sustainability criteria, with the first weighing the heaviest: (1) Greenhouse gas emissions; (2) Land use; and (3) Nutrient consumption [Dutch] Greenpeace Nederland heeft CE Delft gevraagd een duurzaamheidsmeetlat voor biobrandstoffen voor transport te ontwerpen en hierop de verschillende biobrandstoffen te scoren. Voor een vergelijk zijn ook elektrisch rijden, rijden op waterstof en rijden op benzine of diesel opgenomen. Door onderzoek en voortschrijdend inzicht blijkt steeds vaker dat transportbrandstoffen op basis van biomassa soms net zoveel of zelfs meer broeikasgassen veroorzaken dan fossiele brandstoffen als benzine en diesel. CE Delft heeft voor Greenpeace Nederland op een rijtje gezet wat de huidige inzichten zijn over de duurzaamheid van fossiele brandstoffen, biobrandstoffen en elektrisch rijden. Daarbij is gekeken naar de effecten van de brandstoffen op drie duurzaamheidscriteria, waarbij broeikasgasemissies het zwaarst wegen: (1) Broeikasgasemissies; (2) Landgebruik; en (3) Nutriëntengebruik.

  19. Biofuels from microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoni, Dominik; Zverlov, Vladimir V; Schwarz, Wolfgang H

    2007-11-01

    Today, biomass covers about 10% of the world's primary energy demand. Against a backdrop of rising crude oil prices, depletion of resources, political instability in producing countries and environmental challenges, besides efficiency and intelligent use, only biomass has the potential to replace the supply of an energy hungry civilisation. Plant biomass is an abundant and renewable source of energy-rich carbohydrates which can be efficiently converted by microbes into biofuels, of which, only bioethanol is produced on an industrial scale today. Biomethane is produced on a large scale, but is not yet utilised for transportation. Biobutanol is on the agenda of several companies and may be used in the near future as a supplement for gasoline, diesel and kerosene, as well as contributing to the partially biological production of butyl-t-butylether, BTBE as does bioethanol today with ETBE. Biohydrogen, biomethanol and microbially made biodiesel still require further development. This paper reviews microbially made biofuels which have potential to replace our present day fuels, either alone, by blending, or by chemical conversion. It also summarises the history of biofuels and provides insight into the actual production in various countries, reviewing their policies and adaptivity to the energy challenges of foreseeable future.

  20. Assessment of Impacts of Climate Variability on Crop Yield over the Terai Region of Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subedi, S.; Acharya, A.

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural sector in Nepal which alone contributes about 42 % of the total GDP have a huge influence on national economy. This sector is very much susceptible to climate change. This study is emphasized on Terai region (situated at an altitude of 60m to 300m) of Nepal which investigates the impacts of climate variability on various stages of cropping (paddy) periods such as transplant, maturity and harvest. The climate variables namely temperature and rainfall are used to explore the relationship between climate and paddy yields based on 30 years of historical observed data. Observed monthly rainfall and temperature data are collected from the department of hydrology and meteorology, and paddy yield data are collected from the Ministry of Agricultural Development. A correlation analysis will be carried out between the backward difference filtered climate parameters and the backward difference filtered rice yield. This study will also analyze average monthly and annual rainfall, and, min, max and mean temperature during the period of 1981-2010 based on 15 synoptic stations of Nepal. This study will visualize rainfall and temperature distribution over Nepal, and also evaluate the effect of change in rainfall and temperature in the paddy yield. While evaluating the impacts of climate on crop yield, this study will not consider the impact of irrigation in crop yield. The major results, climate distribution and its local/regional impacts on agriculture, could be utilized by planners, decision makers, and climate and agricultural scientists as a basis in formulating/implementing future plans, policies and projects.

  1. BIOFUELS: FROM HOPES TO REALITY

    OpenAIRE

    Carioca,José Osvaldo Beserra; Friedrich, Horst E.; Ehrenberger, Simone

    2011-01-01

    This paper combines the research for biofuels processing development with the vehicle conception to focus on realistic scenarios for biofuels to attend vehicle specifications and future green mobility. Actually, these are two important segments of fuels and biofuels context which should converge to a sustainable and realistic model. Recently, due to the climate changes versus fossil fuels use, and its consequences, the United Nations System addressed to the world a report on green economy ind...

  2. Biofuels and the global food balance: bioenergy and agriculture promises and challenges

    OpenAIRE

    Rosegrant, Mark W.; Msangi, Siwa; Sulser, Timothy B.; Valmonte-Santos, Rowena

    2006-01-01

    "Rising world fuel prices, the growing demand for energy, and concerns about global warming are the key factors driving the increasing interest in renewable energy sources, and in biofuels in particular. But some policymakers and analysts have voiced concern that aggressive growth in biofuel production could “crowd out” production of food crops in some developing countries, creating a tension between the need for energy and the need for food and feed. This brief investigates the interaction b...

  3. A comprehensive review of biomass resources and biofuel production in Nigeria: potential and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokan-Adeaga, Adewale Allen; Ana, Godson R E E

    2015-01-01

    The quest for biofuels in Nigeria, no doubt, represents a legitimate ambition. This is so because the focus on biofuel production has assumed a global dimension, and the benefits that may accrue from such effort may turn out to be enormous if the preconditions are adequately satisfied. As a member of the global community, it has become exigent for Nigeria to explore other potential means of bettering her already impoverished economy. Biomass is the major energy source in Nigeria, contributing about 78% of Nigeria's primary energy supply. In this paper, a comprehensive review of the potential of biomass resources and biofuel production in Nigeria is given. The study adopted a desk review of existing literatures on major energy crops produced in Nigeria. A brief description of the current biofuel developmental activities in the country is also given. A variety of biomass resources exist in the country in large quantities with opportunities for expansion. Biomass resources considered include agricultural crops, agricultural crop residues, forestry resources, municipal solid waste, and animal waste. However, the prospects of achieving this giant stride appear not to be feasible in Nigeria. Although the focus on biofuel production may be a worthwhile endeavor in view of Nigeria's development woes, the paper argues that because Nigeria is yet to adequately satisfy the preconditions for such program, the effort may be designed to fail after all. To avoid this, the government must address key areas of concern such as food insecurity, environmental crisis, and blatant corruption in all quarters. It is concluded that given the large availability of biomass resources in Nigeria, there is immense potential for biofuel production from these biomass resources. With the very high potential for biofuel production, the governments as well as private investors are therefore encouraged to take practical steps toward investing in agriculture for the production of energy crops and the

  4. Forests, food, and fuel in the tropics: the uneven social and ecological consequences of the emerging political economy of biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauvergne, Peter; Neville, Kate J

    2010-01-01

    The global political economy of biofuels emerging since 2007 appears set to intensify inequalities among the countries and rural peoples of the global South. Looking through a global political economy lens, this paper analyses the consequences of proliferating biofuel alliances among multinational corporations, governments, and domestic producers. Since many major biofuel feedstocks - such as sugar, oil palm, and soy - are already entrenched in industrial agricultural and forestry production systems, the authors extrapolate from patterns of production for these crops to bolster their argument that state capacities, the timing of market entry, existing institutions, and historical state-society land tenure relations will particularly affect the potential consequences of further biofuel development. Although the impacts of biofuels vary by region and feedstock, and although some agrarian communities in some countries of the global South are poised to benefit, the analysis suggests that already-vulnerable people and communities will bear a disproportionate share of the costs of biofuel development, particularly for biofuels from crops already embedded in industrial production systems. A core reason, this paper argues, is that the emerging biofuel alliances are reinforcing processes and structures that increase pressures on the ecological integrity of tropical forests and further wrest control of resources from subsistence farmers, indigenous peoples, and people with insecure land rights. Even the development of so-called 'sustainable' biofuels looks set to displace livelihoods and reinforce and extend previous waves of hardship for such marginalised peoples.

  5. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srikanth Reddy Medipally

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technically and economically viable and cost competitive, require no additional lands, require minimal water use, and mitigate atmospheric CO2. However, commercial production of microalgae biodiesel is still not feasible due to the low biomass concentration and costly downstream processes. The viability of microalgae biodiesel production can be achieved by designing advanced photobioreactors, developing low cost technologies for biomass harvesting, drying, and oil extraction. Commercial production can also be accomplished by improving the genetic engineering strategies to control environmental stress conditions and by engineering metabolic pathways for high lipid production. In addition, new emerging technologies such as algal-bacterial interactions for enhancement of microalgae growth and lipid production are also explored. This review focuses mainly on the problems encountered in the commercial production of microalgae biofuels and the possible techniques to overcome these difficulties.

  6. Microalgae as sustainable renewable energy feedstock for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medipally, Srikanth Reddy; Yusoff, Fatimah Md; Banerjee, Sanjoy; Shariff, M

    2015-01-01

    The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technically and economically viable and cost competitive, require no additional lands, require minimal water use, and mitigate atmospheric CO2. However, commercial production of microalgae biodiesel is still not feasible due to the low biomass concentration and costly downstream processes. The viability of microalgae biodiesel production can be achieved by designing advanced photobioreactors, developing low cost technologies for biomass harvesting, drying, and oil extraction. Commercial production can also be accomplished by improving the genetic engineering strategies to control environmental stress conditions and by engineering metabolic pathways for high lipid production. In addition, new emerging technologies such as algal-bacterial interactions for enhancement of microalgae growth and lipid production are also explored. This review focuses mainly on the problems encountered in the commercial production of microalgae biofuels and the possible techniques to overcome these difficulties.

  7. Presence of potential allergy-related linear epitopes in novel proteins from conventional crops and the implication for the safety assessment of these crops with respect to the current testing of genetically modified crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleter, G.A.; Peijnenburg, A.A.C.M.

    2003-01-01

    Mitochondria of cytoplasmic male sterile crop plants contain novel, chimeric open reading frames. In addition, a number of crops carry endogenous double-stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA). In this study, the novel proteins encoded by these genetic components were screened for the presence of potentia

  8. Heuristic Methodology for Estimating the Liquid Biofuel Potential of a Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorel Dusmanescu

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a heuristic methodology for estimating the possible variation of the liquid biofuel potential of a region, an appraisal made for a future period of time. The determination of the liquid biofuel potential has been made up either on the account of an average (constant yield of the energetic crops that were used, or on the account of a yield that varies depending on a known trend, which can be estimated through a certain method. The proposed methodology uses the variation of the yield of energetic crops over time in order to simulate a variation of the biofuel potential for a future ten year time period. This new approach to the problem of determining the liquid biofuel potential of a certain land area can be useful for investors, as it allows making a more realistic analysis of the investment risk and of the possibilities of recovering the investment. On the other hand, the presented methodology can be useful to the governmental administration in order to elaborate strategies and policies to ensure the necessity of fuels and liquid biofuels for transportation, in a certain area. Unlike current methods, which approach the problem of determining the liquid biofuel potential in a deterministic way, by using econometric methods, the proposed methodology uses heuristic reasoning schemes in order to reduce the great number of factors that actually influence the biofuel potential and which usually have unknown values.

  9. Nation-wide assessment of climate change impacts on crops in the Philippines and Peru as part of multi-disciplinary modelling framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisawa, Mariko; Kanamaru, Hideki

    2016-04-01

    Agriculture is vulnerable to environmental changes, and climate change has been recognized as one of the most devastating factors. In many developing countries, however, few studies have focused on nation-wide assessment of crop yield and crop suitability in the future, and hence there is a large pressure on science to provide policy makers with solid predictions for major crops in the countries in support of climate risk management policies and programmes. FAO has developed the tool MOSAICC (Modelling System for Agricultural Impacts of Climate Change) where statistical climate downscaling is combined with crop yield projections under climate change scenarios. Three steps are required to get the results: 1. The historical meteorological data such as temperature and precipitation for about 30 years were collected, and future climates were statistically downscaled to the local scale, 2. The historical crop yield data were collected and regression functions were made to estimate the yield by using observed climatic data and water balance during the growing period for each crop, and 3. The yield changes in the future were estimated by using the future climate data, produced by the first step, as an input to the yield regression functions. The yield was first simulated at sub-national scale and aggregated to national scale, which is intended to provide national policies with adaptation options. The methodology considers future changes in characteristics of extreme weather events as the climate projections are on daily scale while crop simulations are on 10-daily scale. Yields were simulated with two greenhouse gas concentration pathways (RCPs) for three GCMs per crop to account for uncertainties in projections. The crop assessment constitutes a larger multi-disciplinary assessment of climate change impacts on agriculture and vulnerability of livelihoods in terms of food security (e.g. water resources, agriculture market, household-level food security from socio

  10. Gene flow matters in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a potential widespread biofuel feedstock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwit, Charles; Stewart, C Neal

    2012-01-01

    There currently exists a large push for the use, improvement, and expansion via landscape modification of dedicated biofuel crops (feedstocks) in the United States and in many parts of the world. Ecological concerns have been voiced because many biofuel feedstocks exhibit characteristics associated with invasiveness, and due to potential negative consequences of agronomic genes in native wild populations. Seed purity concerns for biofuel feedstock cultivars whose seeds would be harvested in agronomic fields also exist from the agribusiness sector. The common thread underlying these concerns, which have regulatory implications, is gene flow; thus detailed knowledge of gene flow in biofuel crop plants is important in the formulation of environmental risk management plans. Here, we synthesize the current state of knowledge of gene flow in an exemplary biofuel crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), which is native to eastern North America and is currently experiencing conventional and technological advances in biomass yields and ethanol production. Surprisingly little is known regarding aspects of switchgrass pollen flow and seed dispersal, and whether native populations of conspecific or congeneric relatives will readily cross with current agronomic switchgrass cultivars. We pose that filling these important gaps will be required to confront the sustainability challenges of widespread planting of biofuel feedstocks.

  11. A Comparative Assessment of Hydroponically Grown Cereal Crops for the Purification of Aquaculture Wastewater and the Production of Fish Feed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Snow

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Hydroponically grown wheat, barley and oats were examined for their ability to remove nutrients from aquaculture wastewater. Wheat, barley and oats seeds were germinated in water in a hydroponics system. The seedlings then received wastewater from an aquaculture system stocked with Arctic charr. During the experiment, the crops grew rapidly and fairly uniformly and showed no signs of mineral deficiency although fungal growth was evident. The average crop heights and yields at harvest were 19.0, 25.5 and 25.2 cm and 64, 59 and 42 t ha-1 for wheat, barley and oats, respectively. The hydroponically grown wheat, barley and oats were able to significantly reduce the pollution load of the aquaculture wastewater. The TS, COD, NH4+-N, NO2--N, NO3--N and PO43--P reductions ranged from 53.3 to 57.7%, from 55.7 to 78.7%, from 76.0 to 80.0% from 85.1 to 92.9%, from 62.1 to 79.3% and from 74.1 to 93.0%, respectively. The compartments containing barley produced the highest quality effluent, which was suitable for reuse in aquaculture operations. The average TS, COD, NH4+-N, NO2--N, NO3--N and PO43--P concentrations and pH of the final effluent from the compartments containing barley were 442, 64, 0.50, 0.02, 5.89 and 0.61 mg L-1 and 6.65, respectively. The nutritive value of the three wastewater grown crops was assessed to determine the suitability of using the plants as a component in fish feed. The three terrestrial crops meet the energy, fat, Ca, Mg, P, Na, S and Mn dietary requirements of aquatic animals, exceed the carbohydrate, crude fiber, Cl, K, Cu, Fe, Se and Zn requirements of fish and shellfish and do not contain sufficient amounts of protein to meet the dietary requirements of fish and shellfish. The crops will require supplementation with a high protein source that contains low concentrations of carbohydrates, crude fiber, Cl, K, Cu, Fe, Se and Zn. Common protein sources that could be used for supplementation included fishmeal, bone meal and

  12. Potential impact of U.S. biofuels on regional climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgescu, M.; Lobell, D. B.; Field, C. B.

    2009-11-01

    Recent work has shown that current bio-energy policy directives may have harmful, indirect consequences, affecting both food security and the global climate system. An additional unintended but direct effect of large-scale biofuel production is the impact on local and regional climate resulting from changes in the energy and moisture balance of the surface upon conversion to biofuel crops. Using the latest version of the WRF modeling system we conducted twenty-four, midsummer, continental-wide, sensitivity experiments by imposing realistic biophysical parameter limits appropriate for bio-energy crops in the Corn Belt of the United States. In the absence of strain/crop-specific parameterizations, a primary goal of this work was to isolate the maximum regional climate impact, for a trio of individual July months, due to land-use change resulting from bio-energy crops and to identify the relative importance of each biophysical parameter in terms of its individual effect. Maximum, local changes in 2 m temperature of the order of 1°C occur for the full breadth of albedo (ALB), minimum canopy resistance (RCMIN), and rooting depth (ROOT) specifications, while the regionally (105°W-75°W and 35°N-50°N) and monthly averaged response of 2 m temperature was most pronounced for the ALB and RCMIN experiments, exceeding 0.2°C. The full range of albedo variability associated with biofuel crops may be sufficient to drive regional changes in summertime rainfall. Individual parameter effects on 2 m temperature are additive, highlight the cooling contribution of higher leaf area index (LAI) and ROOT for perennial grasses (e.g., Miscanthus) versus annual crops (e.g., maize), and underscore the necessity of improving location- and vegetation-specific representation of RCMIN and ALB.

  13. Water Footprint and Impact of Water Consumption for Food, Feed, Fuel Crops Production in Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shabbir H. Gheewala

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The proliferation of food, feed and biofuels demands promises to increase pressure on water competition and stress, particularly for Thailand, which has a large agricultural base. This study assesses the water footprint of ten staple crops grown in different regions across the country and evaluates the impact of crop water use in different regions/watersheds by the water stress index and the indication of water deprivation potential. The ten crops include major rice, second rice, maize, soybean, mungbean, peanut, cassava, sugarcane, pineapple and oil palm. The water stress index of the 25 major watersheds in Thailand has been evaluated. The results show that there are high variations of crop water requirements grown in different regions due to many factors. However, based on the current cropping systems, the Northeastern region has the highest water requirement for both green water (or rain water and blue water (or irrigation water. Rice (paddy farming requires the highest amount of irrigation water, i.e., around 10,489 million m3/year followed by the maize, sugarcane, oil palm and cassava. Major rice cultivation induces the highest water deprivation, i.e., 1862 million m3H2Oeq/year; followed by sugarcane, second rice and cassava. The watersheds that have high risk on water competition due to increase in production of the ten crops considered are the Mun, Chi and Chao Phraya watersheds. The main contribution is from the second rice cultivation. Recommendations have been proposed for sustainable crops production in the future.

  14. Historical Perspective on How and Why Switchgrass was Selected as a "Model" High-Potential Energy Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, Lynn L [ORNL

    2007-11-01

    A review of several publications of the Biofuels Feedstock Development Program, and final reports from the herbaceous crop screening trials suggests that there were several technical and non-technical factors that influenced the decision to focus on one herbaceous "model" crop species. The screening trials funded by the U.S. Department of Energy in the late 1980's to early 1990's assessed a wide range of about 34 species with trials being conducted on a wide range of soil types in 31 different sites spread over seven states in crop producing regions of the U.S. While several species, including sorghums, reed canarygrass and other crops, were identified as having merit for further development, the majority of institutions involved in the herbaceous species screening studies identified switchgrass as having high priority for further development. Six of the seven institutions included switchgrass among the species recommended for further development in their region and all institutions recommended that perennial grasses be given high research priority. Reasons for the selection of switchgrass included the demonstration of relatively high, reliable productivity across a wide geographical range, suitability for marginal quality land, low water and nutrient requirements, and positive environmental attributes. 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

  15. Diagnostic Methods to Assess the Nutritional Status of the Carrot Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciel Rauni Dezordi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Leaf analysis may identify nutrient deficiency or excess in plant tissue. The aim of this study was to determine reference values and generate nutritional diagnosis from the results of leaf analysis of the carrot crop (Daucus carota L. by the methods of Critical Level, Sufficiency Range, Diagnosis and Recommendation Integrated System, and Compositional Nutrient Diagnosis. Contents of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, B, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn were determined in 210 carrot fields in the 2012 and 2013 crop seasons in the Alto Paranaíba region, MG, Brazil. The whole plant shoot was sampled at harvest time to generate reference values for diagnosis. The high yielding subpopulation showed yield higher than 87.8 Mg ha-1. The four diagnostic methods generated similar reference values of nutrients, but different from those found in the literature. Leaf diagnosis through nutrient content in the shoot at harvest time indicated Mn as the most limiting nutrient for growing carrot, followed by Mg, K, and Ca.

  16. Development of agribiotechnology and biosafety regulations used to assess safety of genetically modified crops in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasiruddin, Khondoker M; Nasim, Anwar

    2007-01-01

    Bangladesh is on the verge of adopting genetically modified (GM) crops for commercial cultivation and consumption as feed and food. Most of the laboratories are engaged in tissue culture and molecular characterization on plants, whereas some have started living modified organism research with shortages of trained manpower, infrastructure, and funding. Nutritionally improved Golden Rice, biotech brinjal, and late blight-resistant potato are in contained trials in a greenhouse, and potato ring spot virus-resistant papaya is in the process of approval for a field trial. The government has taken some initiative in support of GM organism research, which include the formation of a Biotechnology Department in all institutes and the formation of the apex body, the National Task Force Committee on Biotechnology of Bangladesh under the chairpersonship of the Prime Minister. Biosafety policy guidelines and related aspects of biotechnology issues have been approved, and the laws are in the process of being promulgated. Being a party to the Cartagena Protocol, proper biosafety measures are regulated by the appropriate authority as stated. Although there are no laws made yet directly for biosafety of GM crops/foods, the relevant laws on agriculture, medicine, food, import, trade, environment, etc. may suffice and explain the situation.

  17. Vegetation cyclic shift in eutrophic lagoon. Assessment of dystrophic risk indices based on standing crop evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenzi, Mauro; Renzi, Monia; Nesti, Ugo; Gennaro, Paola; Persia, Emma; Porrello, Salvatore

    2013-11-01

    Orbetello lagoon (Tuscany, Italy) is a meso-eutrophic, shallow-water ecosystem which has undergone cyclic shifts in macrophyte dominance since 1970. Field data on the total standing crops of Chlorophyceae and Rhodophyceae (from 1983 to 2011) and Angiospermae (seagrass; from 1998 to 2007), produced each year by the ecosystem, was acquired. A general lagoon environment quality score (decay level DL, categories 0-4) was attributed (a posteriori) for each annual dataset examined. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were used to relate total macrophyte standing crops of 29 years of monitoring to the general quality score. Two indices were proposed (Abundance of Macroalgae Index, AMI, and Abundance of Seagrass Index, ASI, the latter in two versions, ASI-1 and ASI-2) and tested against DL. The results showed that biomass data did not accurately describe general environmental quality of the lagoon ecosystem, whereas the indices gave a better fit. AMI showed the best performance, demonstrating that macroalga data was much more informative than seagrass data. Values of AMI over 4.0 were significantly associated with critical general quality scores (DL > 2).

  18. The potential of agricultural practices to increase C storage in cropped soils: an assessment for France

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenu, Claire; Angers, Denis; Métay, Aurélie; Colnenne, Caroline; Klumpp, Katja; Bamière, Laure; Pardon, Lenaic; Pellerin, Sylvain

    2014-05-01

    Though large progress has been achieved in the last decades, net GHG emissions from the agricultural sector are still more poorly quantified than in other sectors. In this study, we examined i) technical mitigation options likely to store carbon in agricultural soils, ii) their potential of additional C storage per unit surface area and iii) applicable areas in mainland France. We considered only agricultural practices being technically feasible by farmers and involving no major change in either production systems or production levels. Moreover, only currently available techniques with validated efficiencies and presenting no major negative environmental impacts were taken into account. Four measures were expected to store additional C in agricultural soils: - Reducing tillage: either a switch to continuous direct seeding, direct seeding with occasional tillage once every five years, or continuous superficial (20yrs) C storage rates (MgC ha-1 y-1,) of cropping systems with and without the proposed practice. Then we analysed the conditions for potential application, in terms of feasibility, acceptance, limitation of yield losses and of other GHG emissions. According to the literature, additional C storage rates were 0.15 (0-0.3) MgC ha-1 y-1 for continuous direct seeding, 0.10 (0-0.2) MgC ha-1 y-1for occasional tillage one year in five, and 0.0 MgC ha-1 y-1 for superficial tillage. Cover crops were estimated to store 0.24 (0.13-0.37) MgC ha-1 y-1 between cash crops and 0.49 (0.23-0.72) MgC ha-1 y-1 when associated with vineyards. Hedges (i.e 60 m ha-1) stored 0.15 (0.05-0.26) Mg C ha-1 y-1. Very few estimates were available for temperate agroforestry system, and we proposed a value of 1.01 (0.11-1.36) Mg C ha-1 y-1for C stored in soil and in the tree biomass for systems comprising 30-50 trees ha-1. Increasing the life time of temporary sown grassland increased C stocls by 0.11 (0.07-0.22) Mg C ha-1 y-1. In general, practices with increased C inputs to soil through

  19. Biofuels in the long-run global energy supply mix for transportation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timilsina, Govinda R

    2014-01-13

    Various policy instruments along with increasing oil prices have contributed to a sixfold increase in global biofuels production over the last decade (2000-2010). This rapid growth has proved controversial, however, and has raised concerns over potential conflicts with global food security and climate change mitigation. To address these concerns, policy support is now focused on advanced or second-generation biofuels instead of crop-based first-generation biofuels. This policy shift, together with the global financial crisis, has slowed the growth of biofuels production, which has remained stagnant since 2010. Based upon a review of the literature, this paper examines the potential long-run contribution of biofuels to the global energy mix, particularly for transportation. We find that the contribution of biofuels to global transportation fuel demand is likely to be limited to around 5% over the next 10-15 years. However, a number of studies suggest that biofuels could contribute up to a quarter of global transportation fuel demand by 2050, provided technological breakthroughs reduce the costs of sustainably produced advanced biofuels to a level where they can compete with petroleum fuels.

  20. Biofuels and Their Co-Products as Livestock Feed: Global Economic and Environmental Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popp, József; Harangi-Rákos, Mónika; Gabnai, Zoltán; Balogh, Péter; Antal, Gabriella; Bai, Attila

    2016-02-29

    This review studies biofuel expansion in terms of competition between conventional and advanced biofuels based on bioenergy potential. Production of advanced biofuels is generally more expensive than current biofuels because products are not yet cost competitive. What is overlooked in the discussion about biofuel is the contribution the industry makes to the global animal feed supply and land use for cultivation of feedstocks. The global ethanol industry produces 44 million metric tonnes of high-quality feed, however, the co-products of biodiesel production have a moderate impact on the feed market contributing to just 8-9 million tonnes of protein meal output a year. By economically displacing traditional feed ingredients co-products from biofuel production are an important and valuable component of the biofuels sector and the global feed market. The return of co-products to the feed market has agricultural land use (and GHG emissions) implications as well. The use of co-products generated from grains and oilseeds can reduce net land use by 11% to 40%. The proportion of global cropland used for biofuels is currently some 2% (30-35 million hectares). By adding co-products substituted for grains and oilseeds the land required for cultivation of feedstocks declines to 1.5% of the global crop area.

  1. Global land-use implications of first and second generation biofuel targets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Havlik, Petr, E-mail: havlik.petr@gmail.com [International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Forestry Program, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg (Austria); Schneider, Uwe A. [University of Hamburg, Centre for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Sustainability and Global Change (FNU) (Germany); Schmid, Erwin [University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Institute of Sustainable Economic Development (Austria); Boettcher, Hannes; Fritz, Steffen [International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Forestry Program, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg (Austria); Skalsky, Rastislav [Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute, Bratislava (Slovakia); Aoki, Kentaro [International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Forestry Program, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg (Austria); Cara, Stephane De [INRA, UMR 210 Economie Publique INRA-AgroParisTech, Thiverval-Grignon (France); Kindermann, Georg; Kraxner, Florian; Leduc, Sylvain; McCallum, Ian; Mosnier, Aline [International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Forestry Program, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg (Austria); Sauer, Timm [University of Hamburg, Centre for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Sustainability and Global Change (FNU) (Germany); Obersteiner, Michael [International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Forestry Program, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg (Austria)

    2011-10-15

    Recently, an active debate has emerged around greenhouse gas emissions due to indirect land use change (iLUC) of expanding agricultural areas dedicated to biofuel production. In this paper we provide a detailed analysis of the iLUC effect, and further address the issues of deforestation, irrigation water use, and crop price increases due to expanding biofuel acreage. We use GLOBIOM - an economic partial equilibrium model of the global forest, agriculture, and biomass sectors with a bottom-up representation of agricultural and forestry management practices. The results indicate that second generation biofuel production fed by wood from sustainably managed existing forests would lead to a negative iLUC factor, meaning that overall emissions are 27% lower compared to the 'No biofuel' scenario by 2030. The iLUC factor of first generation biofuels global expansion is generally positive, requiring some 25 years to be paid back by the GHG savings from the substitution of biofuels for conventional fuels. Second generation biofuels perform better also with respect to the other investigated criteria; on the condition that they are not sourced from dedicated plantations directly competing for agricultural land. If so, then efficient first generation systems are preferable. Since no clear technology champion for all situations exists, we would recommend targeting policy instruments directly at the positive and negative effects of biofuel production rather than at the production itself.

  2. Final report on the potential of local biofuels development to the Environmental and Renewable Industries Committee

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-01-31

    There is significant interest in renewable and sustainable energy technologies, particularly biofuels, because of the growing crisis in the agricultural and forestry sectors, rising fuel prices, dwindling energy supply and growing awareness of the impact of traditional energy resources on the environment. Biofuels represent a possible opportunity to move towards a sustainable bio-economy in which agricultural and forestry products, co-products, and waste materials are utilized to produce energy. This report discussed the policy context for biofuels. The key local drivers for biofuel development in Prince Edward Island (PEI) were presented. These include rising energy prices; dependence on fossil fuels; climate change; and agricultural industry challenges. Biofuel policies and initiatives in a federal context, in central and western Canada, in New England, and in Atlantic Canada were also addressed. Prince Edward Island feedstocks such as forestry, agriculture, marine-based, and waste resources were examined. The report also identified the biofuel potential in PEI with reference to biocombustibles; pure plant oils; biodiesel; ethanol; and biogas. Last, the report outlined several biofuel projects, proposal, and initiatives and presented conclusions and recommendations. Several appendices were also included on resource materials; federal funding programs; Canadian renewable fuel standards and tax incentives; and the PEI biofuels evaluation framework. It was concluded that biomass feedstocks such as wood, cereals, straw, grasses, and crop residues offer significant potential for space and water heating applications and electricity generation. refs., tabs.

  3. Bioprocessing for biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanch, Harvey W

    2012-06-01

    While engineering of new biofuels pathways into microbial hosts has received considerable attention, innovations in bioprocessing are required for commercialization of both conventional and next-generation fuels. For ethanol and butanol, reducing energy costs for product recovery remains a challenge. Fuels produced from heterologous aerobic pathways in yeast and bacteria require control of aeration and cooling at large scales. Converting lignocellulosic biomass to sugars for fuels production requires effective biomass pretreatment to increase surface area, decrystallize cellulose and facilitate enzymatic hydrolysis. Effective means to recover microalgae and extract their intracellular lipids remains a practical and economic bottleneck in algal biodiesel production.

  4. Biofuels: Project summaries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-07-01

    The US DOE, through the Biofuels Systems Division (BSD) is addressing the issues surrounding US vulnerability to petroleum supply. The BSD goal is to develop technologies that are competitive with fossil fuels, in both cost and environmental performance, by the end of the decade. This document contains summaries of ongoing research sponsored by the DOE BSD. A summary sheet is presented for each project funded or in existence during FY 1993. Each summary sheet contains and account of project funding, objectives, accomplishments and current status, and significant publications.

  5. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doshi, Rupak; Nguyen, Tuan; Chang, Geoffrey

    2013-05-07

    Engineering microorganisms to produce biofuels is currently among the most promising strategies in renewable energy. However, harvesting these organisms for extracting biofuels is energy- and cost-intensive, limiting the commercial feasibility of large-scale production. Here, we demonstrate the use of a class of transport proteins of pharmacological interest to circumvent the need to harvest biomass during biofuel production. We show that membrane-embedded transporters, better known to efflux lipids and drugs, can be used to mediate the secretion of intracellularly synthesized model isoprenoid biofuel compounds to the extracellular milieu. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion sustainably maintained an approximate three- to fivefold boost in biofuel production in our Escherichia coli test system. Because the transporters used in this study belong to the ubiquitous ATP-binding cassette protein family, we propose their use as "plug-and-play" biofuel-secreting systems in a variety of bacteria, cyanobacteria, diatoms, yeast, and algae used for biofuel production. This investigation showcases the potential of expressing desired membrane transport proteins in cell factories to achieve the export or import of substances of economic, environmental, or therapeutic importance.

  6. Toward a more comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions assessment of biofuels: the case of forest-based fischer-tropsch diesel production in Finland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soimakallio, Sampo

    2014-01-01

    Increasing the use of biofuels influences atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Although widely recognized, uncertainties related to the particular impacts are typically ignored or only partly considered. In this paper, various sources of uncertainty related to the GHG emission savings of biofuels are considered comprehensively and transparently through scenario analysis and stochastic simulation. Technology and feedstock production chain-specific factors, market-mediated factors and climate policy time frame issues are reflected using as a case study Fischer-Tropsch diesel derived from boreal forest biomass in Finland. This case study shows that the GHG emission savings may be positive or negative in many of the cases studied, and are subject to significant uncertainties, which are mainly determined by market-mediated factors related to fossil diesel substitution. Regardless of the considerable uncertainties, some robust conclusions could be drawn; it was likely of achieving some sort of but unlikely of achieving significant savings in the GHG emissions within the 100 year time frame in many cases. Logging residues (branches) performed better than stumps and living stem wood in terms of the GHG emission savings, which could be increased mainly by blocking carbon leakage. Forest carbon stock changes also significantly contributed to the GHG emission savings.

  7. National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferrell, John [Dept. of Energy (DOE), Washington DC (United States); Sarisky-Reed, Valerie [Dept. of Energy (DOE), Washington DC (United States)

    2010-05-01

    The framework for National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap was constructed at the Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap Workshop, held December 9-10, 2008, at the University of Maryland-College Park. The Workshop was organized by the Biomass Program to discuss and identify the critical challenges currently hindering the development of a domestic, commercial-scale algal biofuels industry. This Roadmap presents information from a scientific, economic, and policy perspectives that can support and guide RD&D investment in algal biofuels. While addressing the potential economic and environmental benefits of using algal biomass for the production of liquid transportation fuels, the Roadmap describes the current status of algae RD&D. In doing so, it lays the groundwork for identifying challenges that likely need to be overcome for algal biomass to be used in the production of economically viable biofuels.

  8. Biomass logistics analysis for large scale biofuel production: case study of loblolly pine and switchgrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xiaoming; Withers, Mitch R; Seifkar, Navid; Field, Randall P; Barrett, Steven R H; Herzog, Howard J

    2015-05-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the costs, energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the biomass supply chain for large scale biofuel production. Two types of energy crop were considered, switchgrass and loblolly pine, as representative of herbaceous and woody biomass. A biomass logistics model has been developed to estimate the feedstock supply system from biomass production through transportation. Biomass in the form of woodchip, bale and pellet was investigated with road, railway and waterway transportation options. Our analysis indicated that the farm or forest gate cost is lowest for loblolly pine whole tree woodchip at $39.7/dry tonne and highest for switchgrass round bale at $72.3/dry tonne. Switchgrass farm gate GHG emissions is approximately 146kgCO2e/dry tonne, about 4 times higher than loblolly pine. The optimum biomass transportation mode and delivered form are determined by the tradeoff between fixed and variable costs for feedstock shipment.

  9. Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Wheat Plant Traits across Environments by Combining Crop Modeling and Global Sensitivity Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casadebaig, Pierre; Zheng, Bangyou; Chapman, Scott; Huth, Neil; Faivre, Robert; Chenu, Karine

    2016-01-01

    A crop can be viewed as a complex system with outputs (e.g. yield) that are affected by inputs of genetic, physiology, pedo-climatic and management information. Application of numerical methods for model exploration assist in evaluating the major most influential inputs, providing the simulation model is a credible description of the biological system. A sensitivity analysis was used to assess the simulated impact on yield of a suite of traits involved in major processes of crop growth and development, and to evaluate how the simulated value of such traits varies across environments and in relation to other traits (which can be interpreted as a virtual change in genetic background). The study focused on wheat in Australia, with an emphasis on adaptation to low rainfall conditions. A large set of traits (90) was evaluated in a wide target population of environments (4 sites × 125 years), management practices (3 sowing dates × 3 nitrogen fertilization levels) and CO2 (2 levels). The Morris sensitivity analysis method was used to sample the parameter space and reduce computational requirements, while maintaining a realistic representation of the targeted trait × environment × management landscape (∼ 82 million individual simulations in total). The patterns of parameter × environment × management interactions were investigated for the most influential parameters, considering a potential genetic range of +/- 20% compared to a reference cultivar. Main (i.e. linear) and interaction (i.e. non-linear and interaction) sensitivity indices calculated for most of APSIM-Wheat parameters allowed the identification of 42 parameters substantially impacting yield in most target environments. Among these, a subset of parameters related to phenology, resource acquisition, resource use efficiency and biomass allocation were identified as potential candidates for crop (and model) improvement.

  10. Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Wheat Plant Traits across Environments by Combining Crop Modeling and Global Sensitivity Analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre Casadebaig

    Full Text Available A crop can be viewed as a complex system with outputs (e.g. yield that are affected by inputs of genetic, physiology, pedo-climatic and management information. Application of numerical methods for model exploration assist in evaluating the major most influential inputs, providing the simulation model is a credible description of the biological system. A sensitivity analysis was used to assess the simulated impact on yield of a suite of traits involved in major processes of crop growth and development, and to evaluate how the simulated value of such traits varies across environments and in relation to other traits (which can be interpreted as a virtual change in genetic background. The study focused on wheat in Australia, with an emphasis on adaptation to low rainfall conditions. A large set of traits (90 was evaluated in a wide target population of environments (4 sites × 125 years, management practices (3 sowing dates × 3 nitrogen fertilization levels and CO2 (2 levels. The Morris sensitivity analysis method was used to sample the parameter space and reduce computational requirements, while maintaining a realistic representation of the targeted trait × environment × management landscape (∼ 82 million individual simulations in total. The patterns of parameter × environment × management interactions were investigated for the most influential parameters, considering a potential genetic range of +/- 20% compared to a reference cultivar. Main (i.e. linear and interaction (i.e. non-linear and interaction sensitivity indices calculated for most of APSIM-Wheat parameters allowed the identification of 42 parameters substantially impacting yield in most target environments. Among these, a subset of parameters related to phenology, resource acquisition, resource use efficiency and biomass allocation were identified as potential candidates for crop (and model improvement.

  11. Trace gas emissions from combustion of peat, crop residue, domestic biofuels, grasses, and other fuels: configuration and Fourier transform infrared (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.

    2014-09-01

    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, and 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, this is the first time their emissions are reported for important fuel types. The main fire types included African grasses, Asian rice straw, cooking fires (open (three-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 (EFs) and emission ratios (ERs) 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. Crop residue fires are widespread globally and account for the most burned area in the US, but their emissions were previously poorly characterized. Extensive results are presented for burning rice and wheat straw: two major global crop residues

  12. Biofuel Impacts on World Food Supply: Use of Fossil Fuel, Land and Water Resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert McCormack

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The rapidly growing world population and rising consumption of biofuels are increasing demand for both food and biofuels. This exaggerates both food and fuel shortages. Using food crops such as corn grain to produce ethanol raises major nutritional and ethical concerns. Nearly 60% of humans in the world are currently malnourished, so the need for grains and other basic foods is critical. Growing crops for fuel squanders land, water and energy resources vital for the production of food for human consumption. Using corn for ethanol increases the price of U.S. beef, chicken, pork, eggs, breads, cereals, and milk more than 10% to 30%.

  13. Analysis of advanced biofuels.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dec, John E.; Taatjes, Craig A.; Welz, Oliver; Yang, Yi

    2010-09-01

    Long chain alcohols possess major advantages over ethanol as bio-components for gasoline, including higher energy content, better engine compatibility, and less water solubility. Rapid developments in biofuel technology have made it possible to produce C{sub 4}-C{sub 5} alcohols efficiently. These higher alcohols could significantly expand the biofuel content and potentially replace ethanol in future gasoline mixtures. This study characterizes some fundamental properties of a C{sub 5} alcohol, isopentanol, as a fuel for homogeneous-charge compression-ignition (HCCI) engines. Wide ranges of engine speed, intake temperature, intake pressure, and equivalence ratio are investigated. The elementary autoignition reactions of isopentanol is investigated by analyzing product formation from laser-photolytic Cl-initiated isopentanol oxidation. Carbon-carbon bond-scission reactions in the low-temperature oxidation chemistry may provide an explanation for the intermediate-temperature heat release observed in the engine experiments. Overall, the results indicate that isopentanol has a good potential as a HCCI fuel, either in neat form or in blend with gasoline.

  14. First generation biofuels compete.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Marshall A

    2010-11-30

    Rising petroleum prices during 2005-2008, and passage of the 2007 U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act with a renewable fuel standard of 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022, encouraged massive investments in U.S. ethanol plants. Consequently, corn demand increased dramatically and prices tripled. This created a strong positive correlation between petroleum, corn, and food prices resulting in an outcry from U.S. consumers and livestock producers, and food riots in several developing countries. Other factors contributed to higher grain and food prices. Economic growth, especially in Asia, and a weaker U.S. dollar encouraged U.S. grain exports. Investors shifted funds into the commodity's future markets. Higher fuel costs for food processing and transportation put upward pressure on retail food prices. From mid-2008 to mid-2009, petroleum prices fell, the U.S. dollar strengthened, and the world economy entered a serious recession with high unemployment, housing market foreclosures, collapse of the stock market, reduced global trade, and a decline in durable goods and food purchases. Agricultural commodity prices declined about 50%. Biotechnology has had modest impacts on the biofuel sector. Seed corn with traits that help control insects and weeds has been widely adopted by U.S. farmers. Genetically engineered enzymes have reduced ethanol production costs and increased conversion efficiency.

  15. An assessment of crop water deficits of the plants growing on the Małopolska Upland (Poland

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    Kowalczyk Agnieszka

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The problem of water scarcity is unfavourable for the economy, with the most significant water deficits felt by agriculture. In Poland water deficits in agriculture are occurring more frequently, causing losses in yield, not only in the Lowland areas but also in the Uplands. This paper presents an assessment of the water deficits at various excedance probability levels for four varieties of field crop and for soil types with various water retention capacity, which occur in the Małopolska Upland. Calculations were performed by balancing the amount of available soil water in the root zone. The study was based on the meteorological data from the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management for the years 1971–2010. Daily precipitation data from six rainfall stations: Borusowa, Igołomia, Książ Wielki, Miechów, Olewin and Sielec was utilised as well as average decadal air temperature, water vapour pressure, wind speed and sunshine hours from the meteorological station at Kraków–Balice. The water deficits at an excedance probability level of 20% fluctuated during the growing season from 5 mm (Phaeozems to 190 mm (Leptosols. In the Małopolska Upland in soils with a medium capacity to retain water (110–160 mm, water deficits have occurred even in years of average rainfall (with probability 50%. This study confirms the considerable impact of the high variability of the soil and pluvial conditions in the region on the water deficits of the field crops.

  16. Do whole-food animal feeding studies have any value in the safety assessment of GM crops?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Rod A; Ekmay, Ricardo

    2014-02-01

    The use of whole-food (grain meal contained in feed) animal-feeding studies to support the safety assessment of genetically modified crops has been contentious. This may be, in part, a consequence of poorly agreed upon study objectives. Whole-food animal-feeding studies have been postulated to be useful in detecting both expected and unexpected effects on the composition of genetically modified crops. While the justification of animal feeding studies to detect unexpected effects may be inadequately supported, there may be better justification to conduct such studies in specific cases to investigate the consequences of expected compositional effects including expression of transgenic proteins. Such studies may be justified when (1) safety cannot reasonably be predicted from other evidence, (2) reasonable hypothesis for adverse effects are postulated, (3) the compositional component in question cannot be isolated or enriched in an active form for inclusion in animal feeding studies, and (4) reasonable multiples of exposure can be accomplished relative to human diets. The study design for whole-food animal-feeding studies should be hypotheses-driven, and the types of data collected should be consistent with adverse effects that are known to occur from dietary components of biological origin.

  17. Heavy metals health risk assessment for population via consumption of food crops and fruits in Owerri, South Eastern, Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orisakwe Orish

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background 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. Samples were washed, oven-dried at 70–80°C for 24 h and powdered. Samples were digested with perchloric acid and nitric acid. Metals were analysed with Unicam Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Result The concentration of Pb, Cd, and Ni in Ohaji exceeded the maximum allowable concentrations for agricultural soil as recommended by EU. Lead, Cd, and Ni in the food crops were highest in Oryza sativa, Glycine max, and Pentabacta microfila respectively. Highest levels of Pb, Cd, and Ni, in fruits were detected in Canarium schweinfurthii, Citrus reticulata, Ananas comosus respectively. The true lead and cadmium intake for the rice based meal were 3.53 and 0.034 g/kg respectively. Whereas the true intake of lead and cadmium for the cassava based meal were 19.42 and 0.049 g/kg respectively. Conclusion Local food stuff commonly available in South Eastern Nigeria villages may contribute to the body burden of heavy metal. This is of public health importance.

  18. Local Productive Arrangements for Biodiesel Production in Brazil – Environmental Assessment of Small-holder’s Integrated Oleaginous Crops Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geraldo Stachetti Rodrigues

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Sustainability assessments were carried out in small-holders’ farms in four territories where productive arrangements have been organized for production of minor oleaginous crops under the Brazilian biodiesel program. The study aimed at checking local impacts of the biodiesel productive chains at the rural establishment scale, and promoting the environmental performance of the selected farms, henceforth proposed as sustainable management demonstration units. Assessments were carried out with the APOIA-NovoRural system, which integrates 62 objective and quantitative indicators related to five sustainability dimensions: i Landscape Ecology, ii Environmental Quality (Atmosphere, Water and Soil, iii Socio-cultural Values, iv Economic Values and v Management and Administration. The main results point out that, in general, the ecological dimensions of sustainability, that is, the Landscape Ecology and Atmosphere, Water, and Soil quality indicators, show adequate field conditions, seemingly not yet negatively affected by increases in chemical inputs and natural resources use predicted as important potential impacts of the agro-energy sector. The Economic Values indicators have been favorably influenced in the studied farms,