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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  3. [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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Suresh

    2013-12-01

    Burning fossil-fuels to meet the global energy requirements by human being has intensified the concerns of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. Therefore, serious efforts are required to develop nonfossil-based renewable energy sources. Plants are more efficient in utilizing solar energy to convert it into biomass which can be used as feedstocks for biofuel production. Hence with the increasing demands of energy and the needs of cost-effective, sustainable production of fuels, it has become necessary to switch over to plant biomass as a renewable source of energy. Biofuels derived from more sustainable biological materials such as lignocellulosic plant residues, considered as second generation biofuels, are more dependable. However, there are technical challenges such as pretreatment and hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass to convert it into fermentable sugars. Plant genetic engineering has already proven its potential in modifying cell wall composition of plants for enhancing the efficiency of biofuel production. Interest and potential in the area are very much evident from the growing number of patents in the recent years on the subject. In this review, recent trends in genetic engineering of energy crops for biofuel production have been introduced, and strategies for the future developments have been discussed. PMID:24456235

  8. 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. PMID:25281367

  9. Higher US crop prices trigger little area expansion so marginal land for biofuel crops is limited

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    By expanding energy biomass production on marginal lands that are not currently used for crops, food prices increase and indirect climate change effects can be mitigated. Studies of the availability of marginal lands for dedicated bioenergy crops have focused on biophysical land traits, ignoring the human role in decisions to convert marginal land to bioenergy crops. Recent history offers insights about farmer willingness to put non-crop land into crop production. The 2006-09 leap in field crop prices and the attendant 64% gain in typical profitability led to only a 2% increase in crop planted area, mostly in the prairie states. At this rate, a doubling of expected profitability from biomass crops would expand cropland supply by only 3.2%. Yet targets for cellulosic ethanol production in the US Energy Independence and Security Act imply boosting US planted area by 10% or more with perennial biomass crops. Given landowner reluctance to expand crop area with familiar crops in the short run, large scale expansion of the area in dedicated bioenergy crops will likely be difficult and costly to achieve. - Highlights: → Biofuel crops on cropland can displace food crops, reducing food supply and triggering indirect land use. → Growing biofuel crops on non-crop marginal land avoids these problems. → But US farmers expanded cropland by only 2% when crop profitability jumped 64% during 2006-09. → So medium-term availability of marginal lands for biofuel crops is limited and costly.

  10. Experimental approaches for evaluating the invasion risk of biofuel crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flory, S. Luke; Lorentz, Kimberly A.; Gordon, Doria R.; Sollenberger, Lynn E.

    2012-12-01

    There is growing concern that non-native plants cultivated for bioenergy production might escape and result in harmful invasions in natural areas. Literature-derived assessment tools used to evaluate invasion risk are beneficial for screening, but cannot be used to assess novel cultivars or genotypes. Experimental approaches are needed to help quantify invasion risk but protocols for such tools are lacking. We review current methods for evaluating invasion risk and make recommendations for incremental tests from small-scale experiments to widespread, controlled introductions. First, local experiments should be performed to identify conditions that are favorable for germination, survival, and growth of candidate biofuel crops. Subsequently, experimental introductions in semi-natural areas can be used to assess factors important for establishment and performance such as disturbance, founder population size, and timing of introduction across variable habitats. Finally, to fully characterize invasion risk, experimental introductions should be conducted across the expected geographic range of cultivation over multiple years. Any field-based testing should be accompanied by safeguards and monitoring for early detection of spread. Despite the costs of conducting experimental tests of invasion risk, empirical screening will greatly improve our ability to determine if the benefits of a proposed biofuel species outweigh the projected risks of invasions.

  11. 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

  12. 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)

  13. Biofuel Feedstock Assessment For Selected Countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  18. An assessment of Thailand's biofuel development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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...

  19. Water Use Efficiency for Establishing Biofuel Crops in Central Illinois

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernacchi, C. J.; Zeri, M.; Hussain, M. Z.; Anderson-Teixeira, K. J.; Masters, M.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2012-12-01

    The production of biofuels from cellulosic plant material is expected to increase worldwide as countries look for alternative sources of energy. The choice of feedstocks suitable for ethanol production from cellulosic material must take into account several factors, such as productivity, response to local climate, and environmental impacts on the carbon, nitrogen and water cycles. With regards to the carbon cycle, the best options for biofuel crops are species that are highly productive in terms of harvestable biomass, but without depleting the soil carbon pools by requiring annual tillage before planting, as is the case of corn (Zea mays), the current dominant biofuel in the US. Perennial species such as miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) have many advantages over annual crops due to the reduced use of fertilizer and less irrigation requirements relative to maize. The efficiency of plants in using water while accumulating biomass is an important factor when choosing the best biofuel crop to be planted in a certain location. Water use efficiency (WUE) is the term generally used to refer to the ratio of carbon accumulated over water used during a certain period of time. Water use efficiency is an important metric when cellulosic biofuels are considered, since it takes into account the benefits (carbon accumulated in soils or harvested) and the environmental impact (the use of water). This quantity is derived in many ways based on the metric of carbon for an ecosystem. Net ecosystem production (NEP) is the net balance of carbon derived from GPP - Re, where GPP is the gross primary production and Re is the ecosystem respiration. The ratio of NEP over total water used during the year (TWU) will be referred as EWUE, from "ecosystem" WUE. The value of EWUE represents ecological benefit of the feedstock, since it accounts for the carbon that might be accumulated in soils. Another metric is the HWUE, after "harvest" WUE, which

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  4. Perspective directions for the energy crops market development to produce biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    О.О. Kravchuk

    2014-01-01

    This paper deals with main factors underlying the formation of liquid biofuels market and possible prospects of development. Perspective directions for the market development of energy crops for biofuel production have been defined. Tools to stimulate the production of liquid biofuels and suggested ways of economic impact on the relations between agricultural and energy markets have been substantiated

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hellmann, F.; Verburg, P.H.

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Historical deforestation due to expansion of crop demand: implications for biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Edwards, Robert; PADELLA MONICA; VORKAPIC VELJKO; Marelli, Luisa

    2013-01-01

    The report presents an independent estimate of the part of LUC emissions due to deforestation, starting from the 29% of historical deforestation area (and estimated emissions) caused by expansion of different crops. The deforestation area and emissions per tonne of extra crop are converted to emissions per MJ biofuel from that crop. The average global deforestation caused by increase in production of a crop or biofuel is estimated, making no geographical differentiation in where t...

  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. The development of biofuel crops on mine tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Posadowski, T. [Laurentian Univ., Sudbury, ON (Canada). Centre for Environmental Monitoring; Laurentian Univ., Sudbury, ON (Canada). Dept. of Biology; Spiers, G.A. [Laurentian Univ., Sudbury, ON (Canada). Centre for Environmental Monitoring; Laurentian Univ., Sudbury, ON (Canada). Dept. of Chemistry; Beckett, P.J. [Laurentian Univ., Sudbury, ON (Canada). Dept. of Biology

    2010-07-01

    An experiment was conducted in which barren mine tailings waste amended with organic residual material from the pulp and paper industry was used to grow biofuel crops. Corn and canola were grown on 2 sites, one with amended mine tailings and the other an agricultural field. Each site was divided into 4 plots (2 for corn and 2 for canola) and managed using traditional agricultural practices. The crops were monitored and sampled throughout the growing season. Biomass yields and plant heights were measured. The corn and canola grown on the tailings site had significantly higher biomass yields and were also taller than those grown on the agricultural site. Within sites, the tailings site had significant differences in plant heights while the agricultural site did not, but with respect to biomass the tailings site had no significant differences. It was concluded that the data from the tailings site were much more variable than the data from the agricultural site even though the amended tailings site produced higher biomass results. The project was conceived to explore alternatives to the use of agricultural land for the production of biofuels, about which ethical concerns have been raised.

  9. Biofuels of tomorrow. Concepts and their assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mueller-Langer, Franziska [DBFZ - Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnuetzige GmbH, Leipzig (Germany); Kaltschmitt, Martin [Hamburg Univ. of Technology (Germany). Inst. for Environmental and Technology and Energy Economics (IUE)

    2013-06-01

    Globally, due to rising mobility in the future the fuel demand will continue to increase significantly. In addition to other options, like efficiency increase, traffic reduction and relocation of transportation tasks as well as electro mobility, biofuels are strongly required to compensate at least a part of the prospected additional consumption in the years to come. But the respective options are controversially discussed. Against this background an instrument for the technical, economic and environmental analysis and evaluation of future biofuel concepts has been developed. This instrument will be applied here for selected biofuel options based on lignocellulosic biomass (i.e. bioethanol, Fischer-Tropsch diesel, Bio-SNG). For each of these investigated biofuel options reference concepts have been generated relevant for the short-, medium- and long-term taking into account technical development prospects along the overall fuel supply chain. They are analysed and evaluated according to technical, economic and environmental parameters. From a technical view point certain criteria like conversion and overall concept efficiency are taken into consideration. Regarding competitiveness of biofuels, economic aspects (e.g. cost structures, investments for biofuel plants, biofuel production costs, potentials for cost reductions) and environmental criteria (esp. GHG emissions) have been considered. Finally an overall assessment is done for all concepts. (orig.)

  10. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Associations in Biofuel Cropping Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, K.

    2012-12-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are soil microorganisms that play an important role in delivering nutrients to plant roots via mutualistic symbiotic relationships. AMF root colonization was compared between four different biofuel cropping systems in an effort to learn more about the factors that control colonization. The four biofuel systems sampled were corn, switchgrass, prairie, and fertilized prairie. We hypothesized that prairie systems would have the highest levels of AMF colonization and that fertilization would result in lower AMF colonization rates. Roots were sampled from each system in early June and mid-July. Soil P and pH were also measured. In contrast to our hypothesis, corn systems had 70-80% colonization and the unfertilized prairie system had ~35% (P=0.001) in June. In July, all systems saw an increase in colonization rate, but corn roots still had significantly more AMF colonization than unfertilized prairie (P=0.001). AMF colonization in the unfertilized prairie system increased ~55% from June to July. In contrast to previous work, AMF colonization rates were highest in systems with the greatest availability on P and N (corn systems). These results indicate that seasonal differences in root growth were more influential to AMF root colonization than soil nutrient availability.

  11. Evaluating silicon concentrations in biofuel feedstock crops Miscanthus and switchgrass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silicon (Si) concentrations in biofuel feedstock crops have a critical role in combustion processes. The purpose of this study was to quantify Si concentrations in plant biomass samples and to evaluate the contributing factors for Si concentrations. We determined total Si concentrations in Miscanthus x giganteus (M. x giganteus) collected from various research trial plots in the eastern U.S. and in Miscanthus spp. and Panicum virgatum, 'Cave-in-Rock' (switchgrass) from an additional eight trial plots established across Illinois. Whole aboveground plant biomass at each site were air-dried and ground. Total Si concentrations in plant samples were determined by dry-ashing plant tissue in a muffle furnace, followed by alkaline fusion and then colorimetric analysis. Average Si concentrations in statewide M. x giganteus plant samples ranged from 0.72% to 1.6% and samples from within Illinois ranged from 0.55% to 2.4%. The overall median value of concentrations in M. x giganteus samples among all sites was 1.08%. The median value in switchgrass samples (1.5%) was 1.4 times higher than that for M. x giganteus. Among six other Miscanthus spp. samples from the Urbana trial plot in Illinois, Si concentrations were about 1/3 that of M. x giganteus. Variation in Si concentrations tended to be associated with temperature and precipitation of the location where the biofuel crops are being grown. We did not find any relationship between soil type and plant Si concentrations. Long-term evaluations of soil mineral concentrations and additional environmental factors are required to better understand the contributing factors for Si concentrations. -- Highlights: → Si concentrations were determined in Miscanthus and switchgrass biomass. → Biomass samples were from trials in the eastern USA. → Median switchgrass Si concentration was 1.4 times higher than Miscanthus. → Temperature and precipitation seemed to control Si concentrations. → Soil mineral and additional environmental

  12. 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.

  13. Reduced nitrogen losses after conversion of row crop agriculture to perennial biofuel crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Candice M; David, Mark B; Mitchell, Corey A; Masters, Michael D; Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J; Bernacchi, Carl J; Delucia, Evan H

    2013-01-01

    Current biofuel feedstock crops such as corn lead to large environmental losses of N through nitrate leaching and NO emissions; second-generation cellulosic crops have the potential to reduce these N losses. We measured N losses and cycling in establishing miscanthus (), switchgrass ( L. fertilized with 56 kg N ha yr), and mixed prairie, along with a corn ( L.)-corn-soybean [ (L.) Merr.] rotation (corn fertilized at 168-202 kg N ha). Nitrous oxide emissions, soil N mineralization, mid-profile nitrate leaching, and tile flow and nitrate concentrations were measured. Perennial crops quickly reduced nitrate leaching at a 50-cm soil depth as well as concentrations and loads from the tile systems (year 1 tile nitrate concentrations of 10-15 mg N L declined significantly by year 4 in all perennial crops to <0.6 mg N L, with losses of <0.8 kg N ha yr). Nitrous oxide emissions were 2.2 to 7.7 kg N ha yr in the corn-corn-soybean rotation but were <1.0 kg N ha yr by year 4 in the perennial crops. Overall N balances (atmospheric deposition + fertilization + soybean N fixation - harvest, leaching losses, and NO emissions) were positive for corn and soybean (22 kg N ha yr) as well as switchgrass (9.7 kg N ha yr) but were -18 and -29 kg N ha yr for prairie and miscanthus, respectively. Our results demonstrate rapid tightening of the N cycle as perennial biofuel crops established on a rich Mollisol soil. PMID:23673757

  14. Evapotranspiration dynamics of biofuel crops with different land use histories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraha, M. G.; Chen, J.; Chu, H.; Hamilton, S. K.; Zenone, T.; John, R.; Su, Y.; Robertson, G. P.

    2013-12-01

    Land use is increasingly being converted for biofuel crop production, both globally and nationally. Previous studies have focused on the dynamics and changes in carbon fluxes following land conversion, but few have studied water fluxes. We employ eddy covariance methods to examine the long-term dynamics (2009-2012) of evapotranspiration (ET) in response to land use conversion and management practices in cellulosic and grain biofuel crops in the Midwest US. Four of the converted fields had been managed under the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for 22 years and three had been in conventional agriculture (AGR) soybean/corn rotation prior to conversion. In 2009, all sites were planted to no-till soybean except one CRP grassland that was left undisturbed as a reference site, and in 2010 three of the former CRP sites and the three former AGR sites were planted to corn, switchgrass and prairie. Daily ET responded to seasonal changes in weather variables, soil water content, canopy structure and management practices. During the initial land conversion period following herbicide application, a larger dip in ET was observed at the CRP sites than at the AGR sites because the CRP sites had a larger aboveground biomass that stopped contributing to ET after herbicide application. ET of the AGR fields (482 mm yr-1) was much greater than that of the CRP fields (399 mm yr-1) in the first two years after conversion. This was attributed to the mulch effect of preexisting grass thatch and the aboveground biomass that was killed by herbicide application on the CRP fields. However, as the crop residue and killed aboveground biomass were depleted through decomposition in the following two years, the ET of the CRP fields (467 mm yr-1) became slightly higher than that of the AGR fields (456 mm yr-1). ET at the reference grassland was significantly greater than at both the converted CRP and AGR fields in all four years. This study showed how the response of ET to land use conversion

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-10-15

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:23955892

  2. 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...... 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving

    2011-01-01

    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...

  4. 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.

  5. Modeling Regional Groundwater Implications of Biofuel Crop Production in the Great Lakes Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parish, A.; Kendall, A. D.; Basso, B.; Hyndman, D. W.

    2013-12-01

    In response to a growing call for renewable sources of energy that do not compete directly with food resources, the use of second-generation 'cellulosic' biofuel feedstocks has gained much attention in recent years. The push to advance the technologies that would make such a transformation possible is motivated by the United States Renewable Fuel Standard mandate to produce 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022, an increase of 334 percent from 2009. Many different crops, including maize, miscanthus, switchgrass, and poplar have shown promise as cellulosic feedstocks, and in an attempt to supply the needed biomass to meet the 2022 mandate, production of these crops have been on the rise. Yet little is known about the sustainability of large-scale conversion of land to cellulosic biofuel crop production; more research is needed to understand the effects that these crops will have on the quality and quantity of groundwater. This study presents a model scale-up approach to address three questions: What are the hydrologic and nutrient demands of the primary biofuel crops? Which biofuel crops are more water efficient in terms of demand verses energy produced? What are the types and availabilities of land to expand production of these biofuel crops? To answer these questions, we apply a point-based crop dynamics model in combination with a regional-scale hydrologic model, parameterized using stream discharge and chemistry data collected from two representative watersheds in Wisconsin. Approximately 17 stream sites in each watershed are selected for data collection for model parameterization, including stream discharge, nutrient concentrations, and basic chemical characteristics. We then use the System Approach to Land Use Sustainability (SALUS) model, which predicts crop growth under varying soil and climate conditions, to drive vegetation dynamics and groundwater transport of nutrients within the Integrated Landscape Hydrology Model (ILHM). ILHM predictions of stream

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Carter, Mette Sustmann; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Heiske, Stefan; Thomsen, Sune Tjalfe; Jensen, Morten; Schmidt, Jens Ejbye; Johansen, Anders; Ambus, Per

    2011-01-01

    Agro-biofuels are expected to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases because CO2 emitted during the combustion of the biofuels has recently been taken from the atmosphere by the energy crop. Thus, when replacing fossil fuels with biofuels we reduce the emission of fossil fuel-derived CO2 into the atmosphere. However, cultivation of the soil results in emission of other greenhouse gasses, especially nitrous oxide (N2O). Agricultural activity is the dominant source of N2O, which is produced b...

  11. Mitigating Land Use Changes From Biofuel Expansion: An Assessment of Biofuel Feedstock Yield Potential in APEC Economies

    OpenAIRE

    Elobeid, Amani E.; Tokgoz, Simla; Yu, Tun-Hsiang

    2009-01-01

    The emerging biofuel sector has drawn great interest as an alternative source of fuel for transportation. The expansion of biofuels greatly impacts world agricultural markets, since currently, the primary feedstocks for ethanol and biodiesel production are field crops and their derived products. There is great interest in the potential of countries to expand their biofuel sectors through increased production of feedstocks. The long-term potential for developing first-generation biofuels in ma...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  16. Biofuel cropping system impacts on soil C, microbial communities and N2O emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Andrew R.

    Substitution of cellulosic biofuel in place of gasoline or diesel could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation. However, emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) and changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) could have a large impact on the GHG balance of cellulosic biofuel, thus there is a need to quantify these responses in cellulosic biofuel crops. The objectives of this study were to: (i) measure changes in yield, SOC and microbial communities in potential cellulosic biofuel cropping systems (ii) measure and characterize the temporal variation in N2O emissions from these systems (iii) characterize the yield and N2O response of switchgrass to N fertilizer and to estimate the costs of production. Sweet sorghum, photoperiod-sensitive sorghum, and miscanthus yielded the highest aboveground biomass (20-32 Mg ha-1). The perennial grasses sequestered SOC over 4 yrs, while SOC stocks did not change in the annual crops. Root stocks were 4-8 times higher in the perennial crops, suggesting greater belowground C inputs. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) abundance and aggregate mean weight diameter were higher in the perennials. No consistent significant differences were found in N2O emissions between crops, though miscanthus tended to have the lowest emissions. Most N2O was emitted during large events of short duration (1-3 days) that occurred after high rainfall events with high soil NO3-. There was a weak relationship between IPCC Tier 1 N2O estimates and measured emissions, and the IPCC method tended to underestimate emissions. The response of N2O to N rate was nonlinear in 2 of 3 years. Fertilizer induced emission factor (EF) increased from 0.7% at 50 kg N ha-1 to 2.6% at 150 kg N ha-1. Switchgrass yields increased with N inputs up to 100-150 kg N ha-1, but the critical N level for maximum yields decreased each year, suggesting N was being applied in excess at higher N rates. Yield-scaled costs of production were minimized at 100 kg N ha-1 ($70.91 Mg-1

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...... production. The net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is calculated as the avoided fossil fuel‐derived CO2, where the N2O emission has been subtracted. This value does not include farm machinery CO2 emissions and fuel consumption during biofuel production. Thus, the actual net greenhouse gas reduction...... will be lower than indicated by our data. We obtained the greatest net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by co‐production of bioethanol and biogas or by biogas alone produced from either fresh grass‐clover or whole crop maize. Here the net reduction corresponded to about 8 tons CO2 per hectare per year...

  20. 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...... production. The net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is calculated as the avoided fossil fuel-derived CO2, where the N2O emission has been subtracted. This value does not include farm machinery CO2 emissions and fuel consumption during biofuel production. Thus, the actual net greenhouse gas reduction...... will be lower than indicated by our data. We obtained the greatest net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by co-production of bioethanol and biogas or by biogas alone produced from either fresh grass-clover or whole crop maize. Here the net reduction corresponded to about 8 tons CO2 per hectare per year...

  1. What is the future for biofuels and bio-energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This seminar is part of the Ifri research program on agricultural policies. It aims to evaluate the future prospects for the development of bio-energy crops in light of the new energetic and environmental order. Within one generation the hydrocarbon market will likely be under great pressure. The prospect of a lasting high oil price will lead to the use of renewable resources like biofuels. Moreover growing environmental concern about global warming give one more credibility to the development of biofuels. These fuels emit a limited amount of greenhouse gas compared to standard fuels. We have to therefore examine the development possibility of these fuels taking into account the agronomic features of the crops used, the technology of the transformation process and existing initiative policies with respect to the regions studied. Also, we have to evaluate the impact of the energy crisis on food supply via the substitution effect in land allocation. (author)

  2. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-15

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Biofuels, poverty, and growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arndt, Channing; Benfica, Rui; Tarp, Finn;

    2010-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Metal uptake and partitioning in biofuel crops grown on amended mine tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Posadowski, T. [Laurentian Univ., Sudbury, ON (Canada). Centre for Environmental Monitoring; Laurentian Univ., Sudbury, ON (Canada). Dept. of Biology; Spiers, G.A. [Laurentian Univ., Sudbury, ON (Canada). Centre for Environmental Monitoring; Laurentian Univ., Sudbury, ON (Canada). Dept. of Chemistry; Beckett, P.J. [Laurentian Univ., Sudbury, ON (Canada). Dept. of Biology

    2010-07-01

    A major concern for growing biofuel crops on mine tailings waste is the potential uptake of metals into the crop and the subsequent release of metals during fuel consumption. This paper discussed a study in which corn and canola were grown on nickel/copper tailings amended with organic residual material from the pulp and paper industry for analysis to determine the metal uptake. The crop metal and nutrient content was compared to that of crops grown in an agricultural field. The crops were monitored and sampled throughout the growing season. Both above- and below-ground plant components were collected and sorted into roots, shoots, cobs, and pods. The corn cobs were further subdivided into fruit, husk, and bract, whereas the canola pods were subdivided into bract and seed. For inseparable immature cobs, the husk and fruit will be analyzed together, as with the canola pods. The total nutrient and metal content will be determined by acid digestion following separation. The partitioning of the metals within the crops will be determined by plasma spectroscopy.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26324382

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  15. 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. PMID:27269671

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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…

  19. Partitioning evapotranspiration via continuous sampling of water vapor isotopes over common row crops and candidate biofuel crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, J. N.; Black, C. K.; Bernacchi, C.

    2014-12-01

    Global demand for renewable energy is accelerating land conversion from common row crops such as maize and soybean to cellulosic biofuel crops such as miscanthus and switchgrass. This land conversion is expected to alter ecohydrology via changes in evapotranspiration (ET). However, the direction in which evapotranspiration will shift, either partitioning more moisture through soil evaporation (E) or through plant transpiration (T) is uncertain. To investigate how land conversion from maize to miscanthus affects ET partitioning we measured the isotopic composition of water vapor via continuous air sampling. We obtained continuous diurnal measurements of δ2H and δ18O for miscanthus and maize on multiple days over the course of the growing season. Water vapor isotopes drawn from two heights were measured at 2 Hz using a cavity ringdown spectrometer and partitioned into components of E and T using a simple mixing equation. A second approach to partitioning was accomplished by subtracting transpiration measurements, obtained through sap flow sensors, from total ET, measured via eddy covariance. Preliminary results reveal that both methods compare favorably and that transpiration dominates variations in ET in miscanthus fields more so than in fields of maize.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Assessing the sustainability of liquid biofuels from evolving technologies. A Finnish approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soimakallio, S.; Antikainen, R. (Finnish Environment Inst., Helsinki (Finland)); Thun, R. (MTT, Jokioinen (Finland)) (eds.)

    2009-05-15

    makes investment less attractive. While the effects of increased domestic biofuel productio n are slightly negative at the level of the whole economy, the increased demand for crops and wood obviously increase activity in agriculture and in particular, in forestry. Further research work is certainly required in various areas and dimensions related to the sustainability of biofuels. Topics that should be further elaborated include e.g. the assessment procedure of sustainability, case studies of current and new technologies and raw materials, uncertainties related to these, site-specificity and perceived harmful effects. More data and knowledge is also required for socio-economic dimension of sustainability and economic implications of biofuels towards a specific reference scenario. The need for case-specific and more comprehensive analysis with different perspectives and indicators is obvious.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-20

    Sustainable energy is the need of the 21st century, not because of the numerous environmental and political reasons but because it is necessary to human civilization's energy future. Sustainable energy is loosely grouped into renewable energy, energy conservation, and sustainable transport disciplines. In this review, we deal with the renewable energy aspect focusing on the biomass from bioenergy crops to microalgae to produce biofuels to the utilization of high-throughput omics technologies, in particular proteomics in advancing our understanding and increasing biofuel production. We look at biofuel production by plant- and algal-based sources, and the role proteomics has played therein. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Translational Plant Proteomics. PMID:23792822

  6. A High-Resolution National Microalgae Biofuel Production and Resource Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigmosta, M.; Coleman, A.; Skaggs, R.; Venteris, E.

    2012-12-01

    Microalgae are receiving increased global attention as a potential sustainable "energy crop" for biofuel production. An important step to realizing the potential of algae is quantifying the demands commercial-scale algal biofuel production will place on available resources. We present a high-resolution national-scale spatiotemporal assessment that begins to answer fundamental questions of where sustainable production can occur, what types and quantities of water, land, and nutrients are required, and how much energy is produced. A series of coupled model components were developed at a high spatiotemporal scale on the basis of the dominant biophysical processes affecting algal growth. Land suitable for open pond microalgae production consisting of 1200 acres per unit farm is identified using a multi-criteria land suitability model. Physics-based biomass growth and pond temperature models are then are used with location-specific meteorological and topographic data at 89,756 suitable unit farms to estimate 30-years of hourly biofuel production, nutrient requirements, and multi-source consumptive water demand. These resource requirements are compared with available resource supply and transport constraints to prioritize potential locations for sustainable microalgae feedstock production and evaluate the associated tradeoffs between production, resources, and economics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  8. World crop residues production and implications of its use as a biofuel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lal, R

    2005-05-01

    Reducing and off-setting anthropogenic emissions of CO(2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) are important strategies of mitigating the greenhouse effect. Thus, the need for developing carbon (C) neutral and renewable sources of energy is more than ever before. Use of crop residue as a possible source of feedstock for bioenergy production must be critically and objectively assessed because of its positive impact on soil C sequestration, soil quality maintenance and ecosystem functions. The amount of crop residue produced in the US is estimated at 367x10(6) Mg/year for 9 cereal crops, 450x10(6) Mg/year for 14 cereals and legumes, and 488x10(6) Mg/year for 21 crops. The amount of crop residue produced in the world is estimated at 2802x10(6) Mg/year for cereal crops, 3107x10(6) Mg/year for 17 cereals and legumes, and 3758x10(6) Mg/year for 27 food crops. The fuel value of the total annual residue produced is estimated at 1.5x10(15) kcal, about 1 billion barrels (bbl) of diesel equivalent, or about 8 quads for the US; and 11.3x10(15) kcal, about 7.5 billion bbl of diesel or 60 quads for the world. However, even a partial removal (30-40%) of crop residue from land can exacerbate soil erosion hazard, deplete the SOC pool, accentuate emission of CO(2) and other GHGs from soil to the atmosphere, and exacerbate the risks of global climate change. Therefore, establishing bioenergy plantations of site-specific species with potential of producing 10-15 Mg biomass/year is an option that needs to be considered. This option will require 40-60 million hectares of land in the US and about 250 million hectares worldwide to establish bioenergy plantations. PMID:15788197

  9. What is the Social Value of Second-Generation Biofuels?

    OpenAIRE

    Hertel, Thomas W.; Steinbuks, Jevgenijs; Tyner, Wallace E.

    2014-01-01

    What is second-generation biofuel technology worth to global society? A dynamic, computable partial equilibrium model (called FABLE) is used to assess changes in global land use for crops, livestock, biofuels, forestry, and environmental services, as well as greenhouse gas emissions, with and without second-generation biofuels technology. The difference in the discounted stream of global v...

  10. 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.

  11. Comparison of soil microbial respiration and carbon turnover under perennial and annual biofuel crops in two agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szymanski, L. M.; Marin-Spiotta, E.; Sanford, G. R.; Jackson, R. D.; Heckman, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    Bioenergy crops have the potential to provide a low carbon-intensive alternative to fossil fuels. More than a century of agricultural research has shown that conventional cropping systems can reduce soil organic matter (SOM) reservoirs, which cause long-term soil nutrient loss and C release to the atmosphere. In the face of climate change and other human disruptions to biogeochemical cycles, identifying biofuel crops that can maintain or enhance soil resources is desirable for the sustainable production of bioenergy. The objective of our study was to compare the effects of four biofuel crop treatments on SOM dynamics in two agricultural soils: Mollisols at Arlington Agricultural Research Station in Wisconsin and Alfisols at Kellogg Biological Station in Michigan, USA. We used fresh soils collected in 2013 and archived soils from 2008 to measure the effects of five years of crop management. Using a one-year long laboratory soil incubation coupled with a regression model and radiocarbon measurements, we separated soils into three SOM pools and their corresponding C turnover times. We found that the active pool, or biologically available C, was more sensitive to management and is an earlier indicator of changes to soil C dynamics than bulk soil C measurements. There was no effect of treatment on the active pool size at either site; however, the percent C in the active pool decreased, regardless of crop type, in surface soils with high clay content. At depth, the response of the slow pool differed between annual and perennial cropping systems. The distribution of C among SOM fractions varied between the two soil types, with greater C content associated with the active fraction in the coarser textured-soil and greater C content associated with the slow-cycling fraction in the soils with high clay content. These results suggest that the effects of bioenergy crops on soil resources will vary geographically, with implications for the carbon-cost of biocrop production.

  12. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-05-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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 (peffects 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 high temperature agroecosystems.

  17. Safety assessment of genetically modified crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The development of genetically modified (GM) crops has prompted widespread debate regarding both human safety and environmental issues. Food crops produced by modern biotechnology using recombinant techniques usually differ from their conventional counterparts only in respect of one or a few desirable genes, as opposed to the use of traditional breeding methods which mix thousands of genes and require considerable efforts to select acceptable and robust hybrid offspring. The difficulties of applying traditional toxicological testing and risk assessment procedures to whole foods are discussed along with the evaluation strategies that are used for these new food products to ensure the safety of these products for the consumer

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

    OpenAIRE

    Mela, Giulio

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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,

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

    OpenAIRE

    Akinbo, Olalekan; Hancock, James F.; Makinde, Diran

    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...

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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)

  8. 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. PMID:19553106

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Performance assessment of biofuel production via biomass fast pyrolysis and refinery technologies

    OpenAIRE

    Shemfe, Mobolaji B.

    2016-01-01

    Biofuels have been identified as one of several GHG emission strategies to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the transport sector. Fast pyrolysis of biomass is one approach to producing second generation biofuels. The bio-oil product of fast pyrolysis can be upgraded into essential gasoline and diesel range products with conventional refinery technologies. Thus, it is important to assess their techno- economic and environmental performance at an early stage prior to commerci...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    The expansion of land used for crop production causes variable direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, and other economic, social and environmental effects. We analyse the use of life cycle analysis (LCA) for estimating the carbon intensity of biofuel production from indirect land-use change (ILUC). Two approaches are critiqued: direct, attributional life cycle analysis and consequential life cycle analysis (CLCA). A proposed hybrid ‘combined model’ of the two approaches for ILUC analys...

  15. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Can sunflower provide biofuel for inland demand? An integrated assessment of sustainability at regional scale

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biofuels could reduce reliance on fossil oil, while helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promoting rural development. This study assessed the viability of using local biodiesel production from sunflower in Tuscany (Italy) to meet inland demand for diesel fuel in compliance with the European Directives. A crop growth model, GIS and geostatistics were used to identify suitable areas for biodiesel production, considering potential sunflower yields alongside essential sustainability criteria: energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) savings throughout the supply chain. Simulation results indicate that biodiesel potential, estimated at 95,000 t/year, corresponds to 104,400 tCO2 eq/year of GHG saved and to 26,500 TOE/year of fossil energy saved. Two scenarios of biodiesel requirement, derived from EU targets, were evaluated. The results of the evaluation indicated that the 2010 target of replacing 5.75% of transportation diesel fuel can be met, while the 2020 target (reaching a 10% of replacement) cannot be met, since local biodiesel production could replace only 4.78% of diesel fuel requirement. A third scenario considered replacing diesel fuel currently used in the agricultural sector. Results showed that the fuel requirement of this sector cannot be fulfilled since biodiesel could cover only approximately 36% of the expected demand.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Uffe

    2011-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving

    2011-01-01

    In recent years research activities are intensively focused on renewable fuels in order to fulfill the increasing energy demand and to reduce the fossil fuels consumption and external oil dependency either in order to provide local energetic resources and or as a means for reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions to reduce the climate change effects. Among the various renewable energy sources algal biofuels is a very promising source of biomass as algae sequester huge quantities of carbon fr...

  1. Global Evaluation of Biofuel Potential from Microalgae

    OpenAIRE

    Moody, Jeffrey W.

    2014-01-01

    Traditional terrestrial crops are currently being utilized as a feedstock for biofuels but resource requirements and low yields limit the sustainability and scalability. Comparatively, next generation feedstocks, such as microalgae, have inherent advantages such as higher solar energy efficiencies, larger lipid fractions, utilization of waste carbon dioxide, and cultivation on poor quality land. The assessment of microalgae-based biofuel production systems through lifecycle, technoeconomic, a...

  2. Increase of Biofuel Crop Production in Romania over the Last Decades - Possible Impacts on Environment, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Land Use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasilica STAN

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The interest in biofuels is growing globally and the demand for bioenergy throughout the European Union will expand considerably in the following years. Numerous studies have shown that energy resulted from green plants has much to offer, as it is renewable and largely carbon-neutral compared with fossil fuel combustion. However, this is an increasingly controversial issue due to its strong impact on economy, environment and land use. Romania is one of the European Union Member States with a large biofuel production resources, owing to its high land agricultural area and good conditions for cereal and oilseed growth. There has been an increasing tendency to grow biofuels in the Romanian cultivated areas over the last decades; however, it is difficult to know if biofuel production is sustainable in this part of Europe and what impact may have unsustainable production since there is no or scientific research on this topic. The aim of this paper is to present the dynamics of biofuel crops (biodiesel areas in Romania over the last decade, and to introduce a short review on the possible impacts on the environment, greenhouse gas emissions (GES and land use in order to defend the need of information for our particular situation.

  3. 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)

  4. 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

  5. Making biofuels sustainable

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: As the twentieth century drew to a close, there was considerable support for the use of biofuels as a source of renewable energy. To many people, they offered significant savings in greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels, an opportunity for reduced dependency on oil for transport, and potential as a counter weight to increasing oil prices. They also promised an opportunity for rural economies to benefit from a new market for their products and a chance of narrowing the gap between rich and poor nations. Biofuel development was encouraged by government subsidies, and rapid growth occurred in many parts of the world. Forty per cent of Brazilian sugar cane is used for biofuel production, for example, as is almost a quarter of maize grown in the United States. Although only around 1 per cent of arable land is cultivated to grow feedstock for biofuels, there has been increasing concern over the way a largely unchecked market has developed, and about its social and environmental consequences. Recent research has confirmed that food prices have been driven significantly higher by competition for prime agricultural land and that savings in greenhouse gas emissions are much smaller - and in some cases entirely eliminated - when environmentally important land, such as rainforest, is destroyed to grow biofuels. As a result, many now believe that the economic benefits of biofuels have been obtained at too high a social and environmental price, and they question whether they can be a truly sustainable source of energy. The United Kingdom has always had sustainability at the heart of its biofuel policies and set up the Renewable Fuels Agency to ensure that this goal was met. The direct effects of biofuel production are already being assessed through five measures of environmental performance and two measures of social performance, as well as measures of the energy efficiency of the production processes used and of the greenhouse gas savings achieved

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. DMF - A New Biofuel Candidate

    OpenAIRE

    Tian, Guohong; Daniel, Ritchie; Xu, Hongming

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Rapid Prototyping of NASA's Solar and Meteorological Data For Regional Level Modeling of Agricultural and Bio-fuel Crop Phenology and Yield Potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoell, J. M.; Stackhouse, P. W.; Eckman, R. S.

    2006-12-01

    Global demand for food, feedstock and bio-fuel crops is expanding rapidly due to population growth, increasing consumption of these products (especially in developing countries), and more recently skyrocketing use of these crops to produce ethanol as a bio-fuel. As a result, there are growing concerns, both in the US and world wide, about the ability to meet the projected demand for agricultural/bio-fuel crops without expanding production areas into environmentally sensitive regions. Concurrently, there are increasing concerns over the negative impact of global warming on crop yields. Accurate ecophysiological crop models have been developed for many of the food and bio-fuel crops and serve as the back-bone in sophisticated Decision Support Systems (DSS). These DSS's are increasingly being used to address the balance between the need to increase production/efficiency and environmental concerns, as well as the impact of global warming on crop production. Realistic application of these agricultural DSS's requires accurate environmental data on time scales ranging from hours to decades. To date only sparse surface measurements are used that typically do not measure solar irradiance. NASA's Prediction of Worldwide Energy Resource (POWER) project, which has as one of its objectives the development of data products for agricultural applications, currently provides a climatological data base of meteorological parameters and surface solar energy fluxes on a global 1-degree latitude by 1- degree longitude grid. NASA is also developing capabilities to produce near-real time data sets specifically designed for application by agricultural DSS's. In this presentation, we discuss the development of 1-degree global data products which combine the climatological data in the POWER project archive (http://earth-www.larc.nasa.gov/power), near real time (2 to 3 day lag) meteorological data from the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) quick-look products, and global solar energy

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2012-06-01

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

  17. 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

    2012-06-01

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

  18. Using stable isotopes to characterize differential depth of water uptake based on environmental conditions in perennial biofuel and traditional annual crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, J. N.; Nystrom, R.; Bernacchi, C.

    2013-12-01

    Global climate change related to fossil fuel consumption coupled with the necessity for secure, cost-effective, and renewable domestic energy is continuing to drive the development of a bioenergy industry. Numerous second-generation biofuel crops have been identified that hold promise as sustainable feedstocks for the industry, including perennial grasses that utilize the highly water and energy efficient C4 photosynthetic pathway. Among the perennial grasses, miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) stand out as having high biomass, minimal maintenance, low nutrient input requirements, and positive environmental benefits. These grasses are able to withstand a wide range of growing season temperatures and precipitation regimes, particularly in reference to the annual row crops that they are likely to replace. During the drought of 2012 traditional row crops suffered major reductions in yield whereas the perennial grasses retained relatively high biomass yields. We hypothesize that this is due to the ability of the perennial grasses to access water from deeper soil water relative to the annual row crops. To test this hypothesis, we use isotopic techniques to determine the soil depth from which the various species obtain water. Data from summer 2013 suggests that the perennial grasses preferentially use surface water when available but can extract water from depths that the annual row crops are unable to reach. These results indicate that perennial grasses, with deeper roots, will likely sustain growth under conditions when annual row crops are unable.

  19. Alternative U.S. biofuel mandates and global GHG emissions: The role of land use change, crop management and yield growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We investigate the impacts of the U.S. renewable fuel standard (RFS2) and several alternative biofuel policy designs on global GHG emissions from land use change and agriculture over the 2010–2030 horizon. Analysis of the scenarios relies on GLOBIOM, a global, multi-sectoral economic model based on a detailed representation of land use. Our results reveal that RFS2 would substantially increase the portion of agricultural land needed for biofuel feedstock production. U.S. exports of most agricultural products would decrease as long as the biofuel target would increase leading to higher land conversion and nitrogen use globally. In fact, higher levels of the mandate mean lower net emissions within the U.S. but when the emissions from the rest of the world are considered, the US biofuel policy results in almost no change on GHG emissions for the RFS2 level and higher global GHG emissions for higher levels of the mandate or higher share of conventional corn-ethanol in the mandate. Finally, we show that if the projected crop productivity would be lower globally, the imbalance between domestic U.S. GHG savings and additional GHG emissions in the rest of the world would increase, thus deteriorating the net global impact of U.S. biofuel policies. - Highlights: ► We model the impact of the U.S. renewable fuel standard (RFS2). ► RFS2 would require more agricultural land and nitrogen globally. ► Increasing the mandates reduce GHG emissions within the U.S. ► Increasing the mandates increase GHG emissions in the rest of the world. ► Total GHG emissions increase with higher levels of mandate; higher share of corn-ethanol; lower productivity growth

  20. Safety assessment of foods derived from genetically modified crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleter, G.A.; Kuiper, H.A.

    2003-01-01

    The pre-market safety assessment of foods derived from genetically modified crops is carried out according to the consensus approach of "substantial equivalence", in other words: the comparative safety assessment. Currently, the safety assessment of genetically modified foods is harmonized at the in

  1. 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…

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  3. Global assessment of research and development for algae biofuel production and its potential role for sustainable development in developing countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The possibility of economically deriving fuel from cultivating algae biomass is an attractive addition to the range of measures to relieve the current reliance on fossil fuels. Algae biofuels avoid some of the previous drawbacks associated with crop-based biofuels as the algae do not compete with food crops. The favourable growing conditions found in many developing countries has led to a great deal of speculation about their potentials for reducing oil imports, stimulating rural economies, and even tackling hunger and poverty. By reviewing the status of this technology we suggest that the large uncertainties make it currently unsuitable as a priority for many developing countries. Using bibliometric and patent data analysis, we indicate that many developing countries lack the human capital to develop their own algae industry or adequately prepare policies to support imported technology. Also, we discuss the potential of modern biotechnology, especially genetic modification (GM) to produce new algal strains that are easier to harvest and yield more oil. Controversy surrounding the use of GM and weak biosafety regulatory system represents a significant challenge to adoption of GM technology in developing countries. A range of policy measures are also suggested to ensure that future progress in algae biofuels can contribute to sustainable development. - Highlights: • Algae biofuels can make positive contribution to sustainable development in developing countries. • Bibliometric and patent data indicate that many lack the human capital to develop their own algae industry. • Large uncertainties make algae biofuels currently unsuitable as a priority for many developing countries

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-03-15

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

  5. 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.

  6. Assessing the ecological and economic sustainability of energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The production and use of biomass for energy has both positive and negative impacts on the environment. The environmental impacts of energy crops should be clarified before political choices concerning energy are made. An important aid to policy-making would be a systematic methodology to assess the environmental sustainability of energy crops. So far, most studies on the environmental aspects of energy crops deal mainly with the energy production of the crops and the possible consequences for CO2 mitigation. The Dutch Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CLM) has developed a systematic methodology to assess the ecological and socio-economic sustainability of biomass crops. The method is best described as a multicriteria analysis of process chains and is very much related to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Characteristics of our methodology are the use of: definition of functional units; analysis of the entire lifecycle; definition of yield levels and corresponding agricultural practices; analysis of both ecological and economic criteria; definition of reference systems; definition of procedures for normalisation and weighting. CLM has applied the method to assess the sustainability of ten potentially interesting energy crops in four European regions. The results are used to outline the perspectives for large scale production of biomass crops with regard to the medium and long term land availability in Europe. For the crops considered, net energy budget ranges from 85 GJ net avoided energy per ha for rape seed for fuel to 248 GJ net avoided fossil energy per ha for silage maize for electricity from gasification. The methodology of the tool and its results were discussed at the concerted action ''Environmental aspects of biomass production and routes for European energy supply'' (AIR3-94-2455), organised by CLM in 1996. Major conclusions of the research: multicriteria analyhsis of process lifecycles is at present the best available option to assess the ecological

  7. Greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels: improving Life Cycle Assessments by taking into account local production factors

    OpenAIRE

    Bessou, Cécile

    2009-01-01

    Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) make it possible to check for all polluting emissions and potential environmental impacts of biofuels throughout the product chain. However, LCA emission factors only give an estimate of average potential emissions, notably not considering the local kinetics of N2O emissions, the most important agricultural greenhouse gas. Our objective was first to analyse how soil compaction affects N2O emissions by combining field experiments and modelling. With automatic chamb...

  8. Life Cycle Assessments Applied to First Generation Biofuels Used in France. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Climatic concerns become more substantial each day. Proofs of climatic change of man-made origin accumulate. Even if the consequences of such change remain difficult to foresee for most, this major environmental problem is now the subject of great attention by governments and public opinion. In this context, biofuels have known a growing interest over the last years. This enthusiasm is essentially based on their potential to reduce non-renewable energy consumption, notably petroleum, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) for the transportation sector. Indeed, the transportation sector currently generates about 14% of the world's GHG at a growth rate of about 2% per year that is particularly difficult to reduce. The issue of biofuel balances on these two criteria (GHG emission and non-renewable energy consumption) is therefore fundamental because it justifies largely the different forms of public financial support devoted to ensure the development of these pathways. Thus, numerous studies are aimed at comparing biofuels to equivalent petroleum fuels (gasoline and diesel) in order to assess GHG emission reduction potential associated with using biofuels in transportation. The Directive 2009/28/CE of April 29, 2009 dedicated to Renewable Energies promotion (RE Directive) sets forth a compelling objective, asking each Member State to make sure that the portion of energy produced from renewable sources in all forms of transportation will be at least equal to 10% of its final energy consumption in the transportation sector by 2020. This objective is set subject to a production of sustainable nature and to second generation biofuel availability on the market. The RE Directive introduces several criteria for qualifying biofuels' sustainability. Thus, biofuels should not be produced from land recognized as of great value in terms of biological diversity: forest undisturbed by important human activity, zone assigned to nature conservation, meadows presenting a great

  9. 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.

  10. FASAL: an integrated approach for crop assessment and production forecasting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parihar, Jai Singh; Oza, Markand P.

    2006-12-01

    India has a very well developed system for collection of crop statistics covering more than 50 crops at village level and aggregating it at different administrative levels. However, need for early and in-season crop production forecasting has been strongly felt. Remote sensing for crop assessment has been explored since very beginning of space applications in India. A nation-wide project called Crop Acreage and Production Estimation (CAPE) was launched at the behest of Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India in 1988. Major growing regions in the country for wheat, rice, cotton, groundnut, rapeseed/mustard and Rabi (winter) sorghum were covered. Production forecasts were made about a month before the harvesting using multi-band remote sensing data acquired at optimum bio-window and weather data. Ministry of Agriculture, satisfied with the performance of CAPE, came out with a request to target multiple crop production forecasts starting with crop sowing to end of season. Crop identification with remote sensing data requires using the data when crop has sufficiently grown. However, forecasting of crop at sowing stage would require use of weather data and information on economic factors controlling the farmer's response. Considering these things "Forecasting Agricultural output using Space, Agrometeorological and Land based observations (FASAL)" concept was devised. FASAL aims at using econometric models to forecast the area and production before the crop sowing operations. In unirrigated areas, information on amount and distribution of rainfall is being used for forecasting the crop acreage as well as yield. Remote sensing data, both optical and microwave form the core of crop area enumeration, crop condition assessment and production forecasting. Temporal remote sensing data is being used to monitor the crop through its growing period. Vegetation indices and weather parameter derived from surface and satellite observations will be used to develop the crop growth

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennion, Edward P.

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Spectrally-Based Assessment of Crop Seasonal Performance and Yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kancheva, Rumiana; Borisova, Denitsa; Georgiev, Georgy

    The rapid advances of space technologies concern almost all scientific areas from aeronautics to medicine, and a wide range of application fields from communications to crop yield predictions. Agricultural monitoring is among the priorities of remote sensing observations for getting timely information on crop development. Monitoring agricultural fields during the growing season plays an important role in crop health assessment and stress detection provided that reliable data is obtained. Successfully spreading is the implementation of hyperspectral data to precision farming associated with plant growth and phenology monitoring, physiological state assessment, and yield prediction. In this paper, we investigated various spectral-biophysical relationships derived from in-situ reflectance measurements. The performance of spectral data for the assessment of agricultural crops condition and yield prediction was examined. The approach comprisesd development of regression models between plant spectral and state-indicative variables such as biomass, vegetation cover fraction, leaf area index, etc., and development of yield forecasting models from single-date (growth stage) and multitemporal (seasonal) reflectance data. Verification of spectral predictions was performed through comparison with estimations from biophysical relationships between crop growth variables. The study was carried out for spring barley and winter wheat. Visible and near-infrared reflectance data was acquired through the whole growing season accompanied by detailed datasets on plant phenology and canopy structural and biochemical attributes. Empirical relationships were derived relating crop agronomic variables and yield to various spectral predictors. The study findings were tested using airborne remote sensing inputs. A good correspondence was found between predicted and actual (ground-truth) estimates

  16. Impacts of Past Land Use Changes on Water Resources: An Analog for Assessing Effects of Proposed Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, B. R.; Schilling, K.; Young, M.; Duncan, I. J.; Gerbens-Leenes, P.

    2011-12-01

    Interest is increasing in renewable energy sources, including bioenergy. However, potential impacts of bioenergy crops on water resources need to be better understood before large scale expansion occurs. This study evaluates the potential for using past land use change impacts on water resources as an analog for assessing future bioenergy crop effects. Impacts were assessed for two cases and methods: (1) changes from perennial to annual crops in the Midwest U.S. using stream hydrograph separation; and (2) changes from perennial grasses and shrubs to annual crops in the Southwest U.S. using unsaturated zone and groundwater data. Results from the Midwest show that expanding the soybean production area by 80,000 km2 increased stream flow by 32%, based on data from Keokuk station in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Using these relationships, further expansion of annual corn production for biofuels by 10 - 50% would increase streamflow by up to 40%, with related increases in nitrate, phosphate, and sediment pollutant transport to the Gulf of Mexico. The changes in water partitioning are attributed to reducing evapotranspiration, increasing recharge and baseflow discharge to streams. Similar results were found in the southwestern US, where changes from native perennial grasses and shrubs to annual crops increased recharge from ~0.0 to 24 mm/yr, raising water tables by up to 7 m in some regions and flushing accumulated salts into underlying aquifers in the southern High Plains. The changes in water partitioning are related to changes in rooting depth from deep rooted native vegetation to shallow rooted crops and growing season length. Further expansion of annual bioenergy crops, such as changes from Conservation Reserve Program to corn in the Midwest, will continue the trajectory of reducing ET, thereby increasing recharge and baseflow to streams and nutrient export. We hypothesize that changing bioenergy crops from annual crops to perennial grasses, such as switchgrass

  17. [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. PMID:22373855

  18. Biofuel on contaminated land

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  19. Lifecycle assessment of microalgae to biofuel: Comparison of thermochemical processing pathways

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Well to pump environmental assessment of two thermochemical processing pathways. • NER of 1.23 and GHG emissions of −11.4 g CO2-eq (MJ)−1 for HTL pathway. • HTL represents promising conversion pathway based on use of wet biomass. • NER of 2.27 and GHG emissions of 210 g CO2-eq (MJ)−1 for pyrolysis pathway. • Pyrolysis pathway: drying microalgae feedstock dominates environmental impact. - Abstract: Microalgae is being investigated as a renewable transportation fuel feedstock based on various advantages that include high annual yields, utilization of poor quality land, does not compete with food, and can be integrated with various waste streams. This study focuses on directly assessing the environmental impact of two different thermochemical conversion technologies for the microalgae-to-biofuel process through life cycle assessment. A system boundary of “well to pump” (WTP) is defined and includes sub-process models of the growth, dewatering, thermochemical bio-oil recovery, bio-oil stabilization, conversion to renewable diesel, and transport to the pump. Models were validated with experimental and literature data and are representative of an industrial-scale microalgae-to-biofuel process. Two different thermochemical bio-oil conversion systems are modeled and compared on a systems level, hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and pyrolysis. The environmental impact of the two pathways were quantified on the metrics of net energy ratio (NER), defined here as energy consumed over energy produced, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Results for WTP biofuel production through the HTL pathway were determined to be 1.23 for the NER and GHG emissions of −11.4 g CO2-eq (MJ renewable diesel)−1. Biofuel production through the pyrolysis pathway results in a NER of 2.27 and GHG emissions of 210 g CO2-eq (MJ renewable diesel)−1. The large environmental impact associated with the pyrolysis pathway is attributed to feedstock drying requirements and

  20. 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.

  1. Assessment on the Use of Marginal Areas for Cultivation of Feedstock for Biofuel

    OpenAIRE

    Briones, Roehlano M.

    2011-01-01

    The Philippines has made a major push toward development of biofuel, enacting biofuels mandates and subsidies by the Biofuels Law. To maintain food security, biofuels policies currently restrict feedstock production to marginal lands. This raises its own issues related to commercial viability, small farmer livelihood, and environmental sustainability. This study conducts a field investigation of these issues, covering small holder feedstock producers producing sugarcane, cassava, and coconut....

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  5. Biofuels: which interest, which perspectives?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper is a synthesis of several studies concerning the production and utilization of bio-fuels: energy balance and greenhouse effect of the various bio-fuel systems; economical analysis and profitability of bio-fuel production; is the valorization of bio-fuel residues and by-products in animal feeding a realistic hypothesis?; assessment of the cost for the community due to tax exemption for bio-fuels

  6. Assessing regional hydrology and water quality implications of large-scale biofuel feedstock production in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demissie, Yonas; Yan, Eugene; Wu, May

    2012-08-21

    A recent U.S. Department of Energy study estimated that more than one billion tons of biofuel feedstock could be produced by 2030 in the United States from increased corn yield, and changes in agricultural and forest residue management and land uses. To understand the implications of such increased production on water resources and stream quality at regional and local scales, we have applied a watershed model for the Upper Mississippi River Basin, where most of the current and future crop/residue-based biofuel production is expected. The model simulates changes in water quality (soil erosion, nitrogen and phosphorus loadings in streams) and resources (soil-water content, evapotranspiration, and runoff) under projected biofuel production versus the 2006 baseline year and a business-as-usual scenario. The basin average results suggest that the projected feedstock production could change the rate of evapotranspiration in the UMRB by approximately +2%, soil-water content by about -2%, and discharge to streams by -5% from the baseline scenario. However, unlike the impacts on regional water availability, the projected feedstock production has a mixed effect on water quality, resulting in 12% and 45% increases in annual suspended sediment and total phosphorus loadings, respectively, but a 3% decrease in total nitrogen loading. These differences in water quantity and quality are statistically significant (p < 0.05). The basin responses are further analyzed at monthly time steps and finer spatial scales to evaluate underlying physical processes, which would be essential for future optimization of environmentally sustainable biofuel productions.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:19146501

  9. 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.

  10. Sustainability assessment of GM crops in a Swiss agricultural context

    OpenAIRE

    Speiser, Bernhard; Stolze, Matthias; Oehen,Bernadette; Gessler, Cesare; Weibel, Franco; Bravin, Esther; Kilchenmann, Adeline; Widmer, Albert; Charles, Raffael; Lang, Andreas; Stamm, Christian; Triloff, Peter; Tamm, Lucius

    2012-01-01

    International audience The aim of this study was to provide an ex ante assessment of the sustainability of genetically modified (GM) crops under the agricultural conditions prevailing in Switzerland. The study addressed the gaps in our knowledge relating to (1) the agronomic risks/benefits in production systems under Swiss conditions (at field and rotation/orchard level), (2) the economic and socio-economic impacts associated with altered farming systems, and (3) the agro-ecological risks/...

  11. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tonini, Davide; Astrup, Thomas Fruergaard

    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...... of municipal solid waste. Four conversion pathways were considered: combustion, fermentation-to-ethanol, fermentation-to-biogas, and thermal gasification. A total of 80 bioenergy scenarios were assessed. Consequential life-cycle assessment (CLCA) was used to quantify the environmental impacts. CLCA aimed...... 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...

  13. Assessing ecological risks and benefits of genetically modified crops

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen Junk

    2016-09-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Agricultural residues and energy crops as potentially economical and novel substrates for microbial production of butanol (a biofuel)

    Science.gov (United States)

    This review describes production of acetone butanol ethanol (ABE) from a variety of agricultural residues and energy crops employing biochemical or fermentation processes. A number of organisms are available for this bioconversion including Clostridium beijerinckii P260, C. beijerinckii BA101, C. a...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:23201905

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. The French biofuels mandates under cost uncertainty - an assessment based on robust optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper investigates the impact of primary energy and technology cost uncertainty on the achievement of renewable and especially biofuel policies - mandates and norms - in France by 2030. A robust optimization technique that allows to deal with uncertainty sets of high dimensionality is implemented in a TIMES-based long-term planning model of the French energy transport and electricity sectors. The energy system costs and potential benefits (GHG emissions abatements, diversification) of the French renewable mandates are assessed within this framework. The results of this systemic analysis highlight how setting norms and mandates allows to reduce the variability of CO2 emissions reductions and supply mix diversification when the costs of technological progress and prices are uncertain. Beyond that, we discuss the usefulness of robust optimization in complement of other techniques to integrate uncertainty in large-scale energy models. (authors)

  4. LCA of Transportation Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Adlam, Elisabeth

    2007-01-01

    An increasing need to find alternatives to fossil fuels, and a growing awareness of the global warming effect has resulted in substantial research and development on biofuels. Biofuels are being considered a potential substitution of petroleum based fuels in the transport sector.With this increasing interest in biofuels comes the need to establish the environmental effect of the fuels. Results from several life cycle assessments reviewed in this report show that there are some benefits of bio...

  5. An Assessment of Bio-Energy Crops Use in Illinois

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, A.; Khanna, M.; Barman, R.; Yang, X.; Dhungana, B.; Chen, X.

    2007-12-01

    Growing concern about climate change and energy security has led to increasing interest in developing domestically available renewable energy sources for meeting the electricity, heating and fuel needs in the United States. Illinois has a significant potential to grow perennial grasses that can provide bio-energy. Two perennial grasses, Switchgrass and Miscanthus, have been identified as among the best choices for low input bio-energy production in the US and Europe. The purpose of this talk is two fold. First, we will examine the optimal areas in Illinois to locate perennial grasses as feedstocks. These areas will be determined based on biophysical conditions (such as heterogeneity in soil quality and climatic factors) and costs of production and costs of land that differ across locations. Second, we will determine the CO2 mitigation benefits to be provided by bioenergy crops, both in the form of soil carbon sequestration and displacement of carbon emissions from gasoline. This analysis will be undertaken using detailed GIS data on soil quality, climate and land use for 0.1deg by 0.1deg grid cells in Illinois. This data will be used together with the Integrated Science Assessment Model (ISAM), a terrestrial ecosystem model, to estimate the yields of Switchgrass and Miscanthus as well as their potential to sequester carbon in the soil. Yield for row crops will be based on historical data and will be used to determine the opportunity cost of converting land currently under corn and soybean production to perennial grasses. Costs of production for the alternative crops here include expenses incurred by farmers on fertilizer inputs, machinery, harvesting and transportation and will be used to determine the profitability of alternative land uses in each grid cell. The framework developed here will be used to examine the optimal locations to grow bio-energy crops to achieve various carbon mitigation targets cost-effectively.

  6. 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

    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...... 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...

  7. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bernd, F.; Reinhardt, G.; Malavelle, J.; Faaij, A.; van Eijck, Janske; van der Hilst, Floortje; Batidzirai, Batidzirai; Fritsche, U.

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:26589268

  11. Bio-fuel production potential in Romania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The paper is based on the ESTO Study: Techno- Economic Feasibility of Large-Scale Production of Bio-Fuels in EU-Candidate Countries. Bio-fuel production has not been taken into account significantly until now in Romania, being limited to small- scale productions of ethanol, used mostly for various industrial purposes. However the climatic conditions and the quality of the soil are very suitable in the country for development of the main crops (wheat, sugar-beet, sunflower and rape-seed) used in bio-ethanol and bio-diesel production. The paper intended to consider a pertinent discussion of the present situation in Romania's agriculture stressing on the following essential items in the estimation of bio-fuels production potential: availability of feed-stock for bio-fuel production; actual productions of bio-fuels; fuel consumption; cost assessment; SWOT approach; expected trends. Our analysis was based on specific agricultural data for the period 1996-2000. An important ethanol potential (due to wheat, sugar-beet and maize cultures), as well as bio-diesel one (due to sun-flower and rape-seed) were predicted for the period 2005-2010 which could be exploited with the support of an important financial and technological effort, mainly from EU countries

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 increase crop

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

    OpenAIRE

    Reijnders, L.

    2011-01-01

    Life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions associated with biofuels should not only consider fossil fuel inputs, but also N2O emissions and changes in carbon stocks of (agro) ecosystems linked to the cultivation of biofuel crops. When this is done, current plant oils such as European rapeseed oil and oil from soybeans and oil palms cultivated on recently deforested soils have higher life cycle greenhouse gas emissions than conventional diesel.

  14. Assessing ecological risks and benefits of genetically modified crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bošković Jelena V.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Genetically modified (GM crops and biotechnology are providing new opportunities for increasing crop productivity and tackling agriculture problems, such as diseases, pests and weeds, abiotic stress and nutritional limitations of staple food crops. As GM crops are being adopted in various locations with different ecosystems, a scientifically based understanding of the environmental effects of cultivations of GM crops would assist decision makers worldwide in ensuring environmental safety and sustainability. In this paper are discussed some of the most important problems related to the GM crops into the environment such as: plant protection, hybridisation, ecological effects of HRCs, gene flow, biodiversity, stress, ecological risks (ERA, effects on the soil ecosystem etc.

  15. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L. Reijnders

    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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Assessment of Carbon Sequestration in German Alley Cropping Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsonkova, P. B.; Quinkenstein, A.; Böhm, C.; Freese, D.

    2012-04-01

    Alley cropping systems (ACS) are agroforestry practices in which perennial trees or shrubs are grown in wide rows and arable crops are cultivated in the alleys between the tree rows. Recently, ACS which integrate stripes of short rotation coppices into conventional agricultural sites have gained interest in Germany. These systems can be used for simultaneous production of crops and woody biomass which enables farmers to diversify the provision of market goods. Adding trees into the agricultural landscape creates additional benefits for the farmer and society also known as ecosystem services. An ecosystem service provided by land use systems is carbon sequestration. The literature indicates that ACS are able to store more carbon compared to agriculture and their implementation may lead to greater benefits for the environment and society. Moreover, carbon sequestration in ACS could be included in carbon trading schemes and farmers rewarded additionally for the provision of this ecosystem service. However, methods are required which are easy to use and provide reliable information regarding change in carbon sequestration with change of the land use practice. In this context, our aim was to develop a methodology to assess carbon sequestration benefit provided by ACS in Germany. Therefore, the change of carbon in both soil and biomass had to be considered. To predict the change in soil carbon our methodology combined the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories and the soil organic carbon balance recommended by the Association of German Agricultural Investigation and Research Centers (VDLUFA). To reflect the change in biomass carbon average annual yields were adopted. The results showed that ACS established on agricultural sites can increase the carbon stored because in the new soil-plant system carbon content is higher compared to agriculture. ACS have been recommended as suitable land use systems for marginal sites, such as post-mining areas. In

  1. 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.

  2. Impacts of the EU Biofuel Target on Agricultural Markets and Land Use - A Comparative Modelling Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Blanco Fonseca, Maria; BURRELL Alison; Gay, Stephan Hubertus; Henseler, Martin; Kavallari, Aikaterini; PÉREZ DOMÍNGUEZ Ignacio; Tonini, Axel

    2010-01-01

    The Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) requires that 20% of the EU's energy needs should come from renewable sources by 2020, and includes a target for the transport sector of 10% from biofuels. This report analyses and discusses the global impacts of this biofuel target on agricultural production, markets and land use, as simulated by three agricultural sector models, AGLINK-COSIMO, ESIM and CAPRI. The impacts identified include higher EU production of ethanol and biodiesel, and of the ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:22816524

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Assessment of selenium mineralization and availability from catch crops

    OpenAIRE

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

    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. ...

  10. Land substitution effects of biofuel side products and implications on the land area requirement for EU 2020 biofuel targets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oezdemir, Enver Doruk; Haerdtlein, Marlies; Eltrop, Ludger [University of Stuttgart, Institute of Energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy, Hessbruehlstr. 49a, 70565 Stuttgart (Germany)

    2009-08-15

    The provision of biofuels today is based on energy crops rather than residual biomass, which results in the requirement of agricultural land area. The side products may serve as animal feed and thus prevent cultivation of other feedstock and the use of corresponding land area. These effects of biofuel provision have to be taken into account for a comprising assessment of land area requirement for biofuel provision. Between 18.5 and 21.1 Mio. hectares (ha) of land area is needed to meet the EU 2020 biofuel target depending on the biofuel portfolio when substitution effects are neglected. The utilization of the bioethanol side products distiller's dried grain and solubles (DDGS) and pressed beet slices may save up to 0.7 Mio. ha of maize cultivation area in the EU. The substitution effect due to the utilization of biodiesel side products (oil cakes of rape, palm and soy) as animal feed may account for up to 7.1 Mio. ha of soy cultivation area in Brazil. The results show that the substitution of land area due to use of side products might ease the pressures on land area requirement considerably and should therefore not be neglected in assessing the impacts of biofuel provision worldwide. (author)

  11. Land substitution effects of biofuel side products and implications on the land area requirement for EU 2020 biofuel targets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ozdemir, Enver Doruk [University of Stuttgart, Institute of Energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy, Hessbruehlstr. 49a, 70565 Stuttgart (Germany)], E-mail: do@ier.uni-stuttgart.de; Haerdtlein, Marlies; Eltrop, Ludger [University of Stuttgart, Institute of Energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy, Hessbruehlstr. 49a, 70565 Stuttgart (Germany)

    2009-08-15

    The provision of biofuels today is based on energy crops rather than residual biomass, which results in the requirement of agricultural land area. The side products may serve as animal feed and thus prevent cultivation of other feedstock and the use of corresponding land area. These effects of biofuel provision have to be taken into account for a comprising assessment of land area requirement for biofuel provision. Between 18.5 and 21.1 Mio. hectares (ha) of land area is needed to meet the EU 2020 biofuel target depending on the biofuel portfolio when substitution effects are neglected. The utilization of the bioethanol side products distiller's dried grain and solubles (DDGS) and pressed beet slices may save up to 0.7 Mio. ha of maize cultivation area in the EU. The substitution effect due to the utilization of biodiesel side products (oil cakes of rape, palm and soy) as animal feed may account for up to 7.1 Mio. ha of soy cultivation area in Brazil. The results show that the substitution of land area due to use of side products might ease the pressures on land area requirement considerably and should therefore not be neglected in assessing the impacts of biofuel provision worldwide.

  12. Land substitution effects of biofuel side products and implications on the land area requirement for EU 2020 biofuel targets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The provision of biofuels today is based on energy crops rather than residual biomass, which results in the requirement of agricultural land area. The side products may serve as animal feed and thus prevent cultivation of other feedstock and the use of corresponding land area. These effects of biofuel provision have to be taken into account for a comprising assessment of land area requirement for biofuel provision. Between 18.5 and 21.1 Mio. hectares (ha) of land area is needed to meet the EU 2020 biofuel target depending on the biofuel portfolio when substitution effects are neglected. The utilization of the bioethanol side products distiller's dried grain and solubles (DDGS) and pressed beet slices may save up to 0.7 Mio. ha of maize cultivation area in the EU. The substitution effect due to the utilization of biodiesel side products (oil cakes of rape, palm and soy) as animal feed may account for up to 7.1 Mio. ha of soy cultivation area in Brazil. The results show that the substitution of land area due to use of side products might ease the pressures on land area requirement considerably and should therefore not be neglected in assessing the impacts of biofuel provision worldwide.

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:26456807

  17. 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. PMID:26798073

  18. Biofuels and food security: Micro-evidence from Ethiopia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    There is considerable controversy about the impact of biofuels on food security in developing countries. A major concern is that biofuels reduce food security by increasing food prices. In this paper we use survey evidence to assess the impact of castor production on poor and food insecure rural households in Ethiopia. About 1/3 of poor farmers have allocated on average 15% of their land to the production of castor beans under contract in biofuel supply chains. Castor production significantly improves their food security: they have fewer months without food and the amount of food they consume increases. Castor cultivation is beneficial for participating households’ food security in several ways: by generating cash income from castor contracts, they can store food for the lean season; castor beans preserve well on the field which allows sales when farmers are in need of cash (or food); spillover effects of castor contracts increases the productivity of food crops. Increased food crop productivity offsets the amount of land used for castor so that the total local food supply is not affected. - Highlights: • We evaluate the impact of biofuel production contracts on farmers’ food security. • We apply endogenous switching regression method on survey data from Ethiopia. • Impact is heterogeneous across groups. • Food security significantly improved for contract participants by 25%. • Spillover effects improve food productivity that offsets the amount of land diverted to biofuel

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In several policy documents bioenergy is recognized as an important renewable energy source in Italy. The increase in energy prices represents an opportunity for lignocellulosic energy crops such as acacia and poplar. However, for Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) and Short Rotation Forestry (SRF) to be adopted by farmers, these crops must be perceived to be at least as profitable as crops that normally compete with these plantations for land use. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the economic feasibility of acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) as an energy crop in a low input production regime in Italy and, in particular, to consider its competitiveness with wheat. Our results show that neither SRC and SRF techniques using assumed production costs ( Euro 3820 and Euro 5285 ha-1 yr-1) nor biomass productions are able to obtain a positive profit (- Euro 184 and - Euro 172 ha-1 yr-1) that can convince farmers to invest in biomass plantations on their land. The results demonstrate that wheat is a more economically secure option than SRC or SRF. The viability of local biomass production in Italy and Southern Europe depends on the active support of the governments; without them, biomass is not economically competitive for the farmers when compared to crops such as wheat.

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

    OpenAIRE

    WenJun Zhang

    2012-01-01

    Controversies, development and trends of biofuel industry in the world were discussed in present article. First-generation biofuels, i.e., grain and land based biofuels, occupied large areas of arable lands and severely constrained food supplies, are widely disputed. They have been replaced by second-generation biofuels. The raw materials of the second-generation biofuels include plants, straw, grass and other crops and forest residues. However, the cost for production of the second-generatio...

  1. 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.

  2. Assessment of the energy and economic performance of second generation biofuel production processes using energy market scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: ► Consistent evaluation of biofuel processes using future energy market scenarios. ► Scenario-specific evaluation of energetic, economic and environmental performance. ► Biomass-use allocated with CO2 emissions based on reference biomass fuel user. ► Assumed CO2-neutrality of biomass overestimates the real-life GHG emission reductions. ► Synthetic natural gas production from biomass needs policy support to be economically viable. -- Abstract: In this paper performance assessment of second generation biofuel production using energy market scenarios and system-level performance indicators is proposed. During biofuel production a number of products and services can be co-generated while import of energy services (e.g. electricity and heat) in addition to the fuel supply may also be needed. This needs to be reflected by a well-defined performance indicator enabling a comparison between different process alternatives. A marginal production perspective is proposed in this study for the definition of a general energy performance indicator, recalculating all services to primary energy on a system level. The Energy Price and Carbon Balance Scenarios (ENPAC) tool developed at Chalmers is used for the definition of the energy system background. Thereby, a scenario-specific comparison of the processes’ thermodynamic, economic and carbon footprint performance is possible. The usefulness of the approach is illustrated for production of synthetic natural gas (SNG) from biomass. The shortcomings of common performance indicators are also discussed.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  8. 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. PMID:22586908

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:27679645

  12. Modelling robust crop production portfolios to assess agricultural vulnerability to climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Mitter, Hermine; Heumesser, Christine; Schmid, Erwin

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural vulnerability is assessed by (i) modelling climate change impacts on crop yields and gross margins, (ii) identifying crop production portfolios for adaptation, and (iii) analyzing the effect of agricultural policies and risk aversion on adaptive capacity. We combine, spatially explicit, a statistical climate change model, the bio-physical process model EPIC and a portfolio optimization model. Under climate change, optimal portfolios include higher shares of intensive crop managem...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Carmen Alice Teacă; Ruxanda Bodîrlău

    2008-01-01

    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 seed...

  14. Third generation biofuels from microalgae

    OpenAIRE

    Dragone, Giuliano; Fernandes, Bruno Daniel; A.A. Vicente; Teixeira, J. A.

    2010-01-01

    Biofuel production from renewable sources is widely considered to be one of the most sustainable alternatives to petroleum sourced fuels and a viable means for environmental and economic sustainability. Microalgae are currently being promoted as an ideal third generation biofuel feedstock because of their rapid growth rate, CO2 fixation ability and high production capacity of lipids; they also do not compete with food or feed crops, and can be produced on non-arable land. Microalg...

  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. PMID:20146765

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Sample Size Requirements for Assessing Statistical Moments of Simulated Crop Yield Distributions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lehmann, N.; Finger, R.; Klein, T.; Calanca, P.

    2013-01-01

    Mechanistic crop growth models are becoming increasingly important in agricultural research and are extensively used in climate change impact assessments. In such studies, statistics of crop yields are usually evaluated without the explicit consideration of sample size requirements. The purpose of t

  2. 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.

  3. Potential impacts of biofuel development on food security in Botswana: A contribution to energy policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biofuel development continues to be a critical development strategy in Africa because it promises to be an important part of the emerging bio-economy. However, there is a growing concern that the pattern of biofuel development is not always consistent with the principles of sustainable development. This paper assesses the potential of the impacts of biofuel development on food security in Botswana. Drawing on informal and semi-structured interviews, the paper concludes that there is potential for the development of biofuels in Botswana without adverse effects on food security due mainly to availability of idle land which accounted for 72% of agricultural land in the eastern part of the country in 2008. It is suggested that farmers could be incentivized to produce energy crops and more food from such land. Although it is hypothesized that the implementation of biofuel development programmes in other countries had an impact on local commodity prices during the period 2005–2008 in Botswana, it is argued that local biofuel production may not necessarily lead to a substantial increase in commodity food prices because land availability is not a major issue. The paper makes policy recommendations for sustainable biofuel development in Botswana. - Highlights: ► Biofuel development in Botswana can be pursued without harming food security. ► There is plenty idle land which could be used for biofuel and food production. ► Biofuel production will not lead to significant increases in food prices. ► There is need to define land for biofuels to avoid future scarcity of land for food production.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Private governance in the biofuel industry

    OpenAIRE

    Partzsch, Lena

    2010-01-01

    "The boom of biofuel is placing enormous demands on existing cropping systems, with most crucial consequences in the agro-food sector. For instance, spurred by the increasing use of corn for ethanol, tortilla prices in Mexico suddenly tripled in early 2007. While the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Jean Ziegler is demanding an international five-year ban on producing biofuels to combat soaring food prices, the biofuel industry is responding with first ini...

  8. 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.

  9. Sustainable Biofuels Development Center

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    SRIVASTAVA, PREM

    2015-03-02

    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.

  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. PMID:25164558

  11. 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

  12. Allergenicity assessment of genetically modified crops - what makes sense?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goodman, Richard E.; Vieths, Stefan; Sampson, Hugh A.; Hill, David; Ebisawa, Motohiro; Taylor, Steve L.; van Ree, Ronald

    2008-01-01

    GM crops have great potential to improve food quality, increase harvest yields and decrease dependency on certain chemical pesticides. Before yields and decrease dependency on certain chemical Before entering the market their safety needs to be This includes a detailed analysis of allergenic risks,

  13. Remote Sensing and Modeling Methods for Crop Grain Yield Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monitoring crop condition and yields at regional scales using satellite imagery from operational satellites remains a challenge for the developed and developing countries. Imagery from the MODIS sensor onboard NASA’s TERRA and ACQUA satellites offer an excellent opportunity for daily coverage at 25...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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, 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 similar at both depths, and POC was higher in CCS than in ICLS at 0-5 cm, while at 0-20 cm this trend was opposite. This is probably due to the presence of deep roots under pastures in ICLS. Delta

  18. 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....

  19. 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....... Therefore the European Commission supports the BioTop project in the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7). The overall objective of BioTop is to identify technical opportunities and research needs for Latin America and to create and support specific RTD cooperation...... cooperation opportunities....

  20. Next generation of liquid biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    Batidzirai, B.

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. Energy intensity, life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, and economic assessment of liquid biofuel pipelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strogen, Bret; Horvath, Arpad; Zilberman, David

    2013-12-01

    Petroleum fuels are predominantly transported domestically by pipelines, whereas biofuels are almost exclusively transported by rail, barge, and truck. As biofuel production increases, new pipelines may become economically attractive. Location-specific variables impacting pipeline viability include construction costs, availability and costs of alternative transportation modes, electricity prices and emissions (if priced), throughput, and subsurface temperature. When transporting alcohol or diesel-like fuels, pipelines have a lower direct energy intensity than rail, barge, and trucks if fluid velocity is under 1 m/s for 4-inch diameter pipelines and 2 m/s for 8-inch or larger pipelines. Across multiple hypothetical state-specific scenarios, profit-maximizing design velocities range from 1.2 to 1.9 m/s. In costs and GHG emissions, optimized pipelines outperform trucks in each state and rail and barge in most states, if projected throughput exceeds four billion liters/year. If emissions are priced, optimum design diameters typically increase to reduce pumping energy demands, increasing the cost-effectiveness of pipeline projects. PMID:24119498

  4. Linking Land Cover Data and Crop Yields for Mapping and Assessment of Pollination Services in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Luisa Paracchini

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Pollination is a key ecosystem service as many crops but in particular, fruits and vegetables are partially dependent on pollinating insects to produce food for human consumption. Here we assessed how pollination services are delivered at the European scale. We used this assessment to estimate the relative contribution of wild pollinators to crop production. We developed an index of relative pollination potential, which is defined as the relative potential or relative capacity of ecosystems to support crop pollination. The model for relative pollination potential is based on the assumption that different habitats, but in particular forest edges, grasslands rich in flowers and riparian areas, offer suitable sites for wild pollinator insects. Using data of the foraging range of wild bees with short flight distances, we linked relative pollination potential to regional statistics of crop production. At aggregated EU level, the absence of insect pollination would result in a reduction of between 25% and 32% of the total production of crops which are partially dependent on insect pollination, depending on the data source used for the assessment. This production deficit decreases to 2.5% if only the relative pollination potential of a single guild of pollinators is considered. A strength of our approach is the spatially-explicit link between land cover based relative pollination potential and crop yield which enables a general assessment of the benefits that are derived from pollination services in Europe while providing insight where pollination gaps in the landscape occur.

  5. Biofuel market and carbon modeling to evaluate French biofuel policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In order to comply with European objectives, France has set up an ambitious biofuel plan. This plan is evaluated considering two criteria: tax exemption need and GHG emission savings. An economic marginal analysis and a life cycle assessment (LCA) are provided using a coupling procedure between a partial agro-industrial equilibrium model and a refining optimization model. Thus, we are able to determine the minimum tax exemption needed to place on the market a targeted quantity of biofuel by deducing the agro-industrial marginal cost of biofuel production to the biofuel refining long-run marginal revenue. In parallel, a biofuels LCA is carried out using model outputs. Such a method avoid common allocation problems between joint products. The French biofuel plan is evaluated for 2008, 2010 and 2012 using prospective scenarios. Results suggest that biofuel competitiveness depends on crude oil prices and petroleum products demands. Consequently, biofuel tax exemption does not always appear to be necessary. LCA results show that biofuels production and use, from 'seed to wheel', would facilitate the French Government's to compliance with its 'Plan Climat' objectives by reducing up to 5% GHG emissions in the French road transport sector by 2010. (authors)

  6. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    OpenAIRE

    Srikanth Reddy Medipally; Fatimah Md. Yusoff; Sanjoy Banerjee; 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 technical...

  10. Biofuels and Sustainable Transport: A Conceptual Discussion

    OpenAIRE

    Geoffrey Gilpin; Erling Holden

    2013-01-01

    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...

  11. Do energy crops boost the economy? An assessment of the national and regional economic impacts of electricity from energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The objectives of the research on the title subject are: studying possible calculation methods to assess national and regional economic impacts and determining the most suitable method for the research under consideration; assessing the impacts on the value added and employment that occur in the Netherlands when electricity is generated using domestically produced energy crops and comparing this to the impacts of electricity generation based on a fossil fuel; assessing and comparing these impacts at a regional level; assessing the impacts on the balance of payments of the government. The methods under consideration are cost-benefit analysis, input-output analysis and social accounting analysis. A case is defined for electricity production from energy crops and from a fossil fuel that is logical in the national and regional situation of the agricultural and energy sectors. The chosen calculation method is applied to a defined case and the economic impacts are calculated. In the first chapter the methods under consideration are introduced shortly and the criteria are defined by means of which the properties of the different methods can be assessed. The theory, advantages and shortcomings of these three methods are discussed in Chapters 2, 3 and 4. In the fifth a well-founded choice between the methods, resulting in one method, suitable for all further calculations. The last chapter gives more methodological information on the chosen method, specifically with respect to the research under consideration. In Part 2 a Dutch case study is defined and calculated. The last part of Chapter 2 contains information about the role of the government in this case study. Chapter 3 describes the use that is made of the chosen economic calculation method in this specific case study. Chapter 4 presents the results from the calculations. The results of the sensitivity analysis are shown in Chapter 5. 68 refs

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. Current status: biomass valorisation and biofuels in Singapore

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    After having briefly presented the main types of biofuels (bio-ethanol, bio-diesel) and their first, second and third generation technologies to produce them (from food crops, from non food crops, and from algae), this report presents Singapore public R and D centres working in the field of biofuels development, and their activities. It also presents actors belonging to the private sector, and various realized and announced projects on biofuels

  16. 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.

  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. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  20. Assessing the Environmental Performance of Integrated Ethanol and Biogas Production: : Quantifying Industrial Symbiosis in the Biofuel Industry

    OpenAIRE

    Martin, Michael; Svensson, Niclas; Jorge FONSECA

    2011-01-01

    As the production of biofuels continues to expand worldwide, criticism about many issues, including the energy output versus input and the competition with food, has been raised andthe sustainability of biofuels in recent years has been constantly debated. However, the current biofuel systems may be optimized to increase the energy efficiency and environmentalperformance. By using concepts from industrial symbiosis, the material and energy exchangesmay be optimized to result in these performa...

  1. Sugar concentration in nectar: a quantitative metric of crop attractiveness for refined pollinator risk assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knopper, Loren D; Dan, Tereza; Reisig, Dominic D; Johnson, Josephine D; Bowers, Lisa M

    2016-10-01

    Those involved with pollinator risk assessment know that agricultural crops vary in attractiveness to bees. Intuitively, this means that exposure to agricultural pesticides is likely greatest for attractive plants and lowest for unattractive plants. While crop attractiveness in the risk assessment process has been qualitatively remarked on by some authorities, absent is direction on how to refine the process with quantitative metrics of attractiveness. At a high level, attractiveness of crops to bees appears to depend on several key variables, including but not limited to: floral, olfactory, visual and tactile cues; seasonal availability; physical and behavioral characteristics of the bee; plant and nectar rewards. Notwithstanding the complexities and interactions among these variables, sugar content in nectar stands out as a suitable quantitative metric by which to refine pollinator risk assessments for attractiveness. Provided herein is a proposed way to use sugar nectar concentration to adjust the exposure parameter (with what is called a crop attractiveness factor) in the calculation of risk quotients in order to derive crop-specific tier I assessments. This Perspective is meant to invite discussion on incorporating such changes in the risk assessment process. © 2016 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry. PMID:27197566

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Focal species of birds in European crops for higher tier pesticide risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietzen, Christian; Edwards, Peter J; Wolf, Christian; Ludwigs, Jan-Dieter; Luttik, Robert

    2014-04-01

    Focal species have been defined by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as real species that represent others in a crop resulting from their potential higher level of exposure to pesticides. As such they are the most appropriate species for refining estimates of exposure further, through, for example, radio tracking and dietary studies. Plant protection product manufacturers collectively commissioned many studies in Europe, according to the EFSA guidelines, to identify focal species in different crops that may be used in risk assessments for spray applications of pesticides. Using frequency of occurrence in crops and risk-based criteria for exposure, all studies have been reviewed to identify if possible at least 1 focal species per feeding guild, per crop in the new registration zones for southern and central Europe. Some focal species repeatedly appeared across a wide range of arable or tree crops but not both, demonstrating broad adaptation to these 2 different crop structures. Many have widespread distributions, for example, 15 of the focal species have a distribution covering all agricultural regions of Europe (northern, central, and southern zones). Three species, corn bunting, serin, and tree sparrow, are restricted to the central and southern zones, whereas another 4 species, Sardinian and fan-tailed warbler, and crested and short-toed lark, are essentially restricted to the southern zone. The authors consider the focal species identified as suitable for risk assessment in Europe at the zonal level and for further refinement of exposure through studies, such as radio tracking or diet analysis, if necessary.

  5. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Riche, A.B.

    2004-04-01

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

  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. Global warming impact assessment of a crop residue gasification project—A dynamic LCA perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • A dynamic LCA is proposed considering time-varying factors. • Dynamic LCA is used to highlight GHG emission hotspots of gasification projects. • Indicators are proposed to reflect GHG emission performance. • Dynamic LCA alters the static LCA results. • Crop residue gasification project has high GHG abatement potential. - Abstract: Bioenergy from crop residues is one of the prevailing sustainable energy sources owing to the abundant reserves worldwide. Amongst a wide variety of energy conversion technologies, crop residue gasification has been regarded as promising owing to its higher energy efficiency than that of direct combustion. However, prior to large-scale application of crop residue gasification, the lifetime environmental performance should be investigated to shed light on sustainable strategies. As traditional static life cycle assessment (LCA) does not include temporal information for dynamic processes, we proposed a dynamic life cycle assessment approach, which improves the static LCA approach by considering time-varying factors, e.g., greenhouse gas characterization factors and energy intensity. As the gasification project can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) discharge compared with traditional direct fuel combustion, trade-offs between the benefits of global warming mitigation and the impact on global warming of crop residue gasification should be considered. Therefore, indicators of net global warming mitigation benefit and global warming impact mitigation period are put forward to justify the feasibility of the crop residue gasification project. The proposed dynamic LCA and indicators were then applied to estimate the life cycle global warming impact of a crop residue gasification system in China. Results show that the crop residue gasification project has high net global warming mitigation benefit and a short global warming impact mitigation period, indicating its prominent potential in alleviating global warming impact. During

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:25707745

  12. Biofuels feedstock development program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Department of Energy's (DOE's) Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP) leads the nation in the research, development, and demonstration of environmentally acceptable and commercially viable dedicated feedstock supply systems (DFSS). The purpose of this report is to highlight the status and accomplishments of the research that is currently being funded by the BFDP. Highlights summarized here and additional accomplishments are described in more detail in the sections associated with each major program task. A few key accomplishments include (1) development of a methodology for doing a cost-supply analysis for energy crops and the application of that methodology to looking at possible land use changes around a specific energy facility in East Tennessee; (2) preliminary documentation of the relationship between woody crop plantation locations and bird diversity at sites in the Midwest, Canada, and the pacific Northwest supplied indications that woody crop plantations could be beneficial to biodiversity; (3) the initiation of integrated switchgrass variety trials, breeding research, and biotechnology research for the south/southeast region; (4) development of a data base management system for documenting the results of herbaceous energy crop field trials; (5) publication of three issues of Energy Crops Forum and development of a readership of over 2,300 individuals or organizations as determined by positive responses on questionnaires

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Crop to wild gene flow: Does more sophisticated research provide better risk assessment?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: ► Genes can sometimes flow from genetically modified crops to wild plants. ► The probability can be predicted from seed production of hybrids and backcrosses. ► Nevertheless predictions about introgression remain uncertain. ► One should be reluctant to ask too much detail in Environmental Risk Assessment. ► Instead possible harm should have a more central place. -- Abstract: Research into introgression, the permanent incorporation of alleles of one species into another, is flourishing and gives new insights into evolution and speciation. The possible transfer of transgenes from crop species to wild relatives is of major concern for regulators. Applicants that want to introduce a genetically modified (GM) crop on the European market need to indicate the likelihood of introgression and its anticipated effects in an Environmental Risk Analysis (ERA). The European Food Safety Association (EFSA) and competent authorities of different countries evaluate the ERA. Predicting which crop alleles will or will not be permanently incorporated into wild populations requires, apart from information on seed production of hybrids, information on how these crop alleles are associated with fitness. Advances in genetics open new avenues to address this question in more detail. We argue, however, that, even with the best techniques, predicting introgression from crop to wild species will always have a considerable margin of uncertainty. One must therefore be prudent to demand more detailed research for the ERA, especially since the possible harm of transgenes in natural populations remains so poorly defined by regulators

  16. 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.

  17. Quantitative microbial risk assessment applied to irrigation of salad crops with waste stabilization pond effluents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavione, D M S; Bastos, R K X; Bevilacqua, P D

    2013-01-01

    A quantitative microbial risk assessment model for estimating infection risks arising from consuming crops eaten raw that have been irrigated with effluents from stabilization ponds was constructed. A log-normal probability distribution function was fitted to a large database from a comprehensive monitoring of an experimental pond system to account for variability in Escherichia coli concentration in irrigation water. Crop contamination levels were estimated using predictive models derived from field experiments involving the irrigation of several crops with different effluent qualities. Data on daily intake of salad crops were obtained from a national survey in Brazil. Ten thousand-trial Monte Carlo simulations were used to estimate human health risks associated with the use of wastewater for irrigating low- and high-growing crops. The use of effluents containing 10(3)-10(4) E. coli per 100 ml resulted in median rotavirus infection risk of approximately 10(-3) and 10(-4) pppy when irrigating, respectively, low- and high-growing crops; the corresponding 95th percentile risk estimates were around 10(-2) in both scenarios. Sensitivity analyses revealed that variations in effluent quality, in the assumed ratios of pathogens to E. coli, and in the reduction of pathogens between harvest and consumption had great impact upon risk estimates.

  18. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  20. 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

  1. Plants producing biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Papavinasam, S. [Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada). CANMET Materials Technology Lab

    2009-08-15

    Biofuels are currently produced primarily from five plants, namely corn, canola, sugar cane, palm oil, jatropha. However, research and development efforts are underway around the world produce biofuels from other sources, particularly from algae. This paper described the characteristics of the top 5 plants and their role in the production of biofuels. Countries where these plants are cultivated were also summarized. The article indicated that producing ethanol from corn, is not very efficient since growing corn requires more fertilizer and pesticides than most other crops, plus the corn kernels have to undergo energy-intensive distillation and chemical extraction processes. China is the world's largest producer of rapeseed oil, with an annual production of 12 million tons. The countries of the European Union collectively produce another 16 million tons, of which nearly 4 million tons were used in 2006 to produce biodiesel. Brazil is the world's largest producer of sugar cane, and accounts for about 45 per cent of global ethanol production. Malaysia and Indonesia are the key players in the palm oil market, accounting for 85 per cent of global production. India has identified more than 11 million hectares that would be suitable for growing jatropha, whose seeds contain up to 40 per cent oil that can be burned in a conventional diesel engine after extraction. 1 tab.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. (letter)

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Analyzing Federal Farm Program and Crop Insurance Options to Assess Policy Design and Risk Management Implications for Crop Producers

    OpenAIRE

    Lubben, Bradley; Stockton, Matthew; Protopop, Iuliia; Jansen, Jim

    2013-01-01

    Recent changes in federal farm programs and contemporary farm program proposals highlight an evolving shift in farm policy from income support to risk management. A mix of price- and revenue-based commodity programs as well as yield- and revenue-based insurance products provide crop producers a complex portfolio of risk management tools and choices. To make effective risk management decisions, crop producers must integrate farm programs and crop insurance alternatives in a comprehensive risk ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anibal Gusso

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Assessing the MODIS crop detection algorithm for soybean crop area mapping and expansion in the Mato Grosso state, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gusso, Anibal; Arvor, Damien; Ducati, Jorge Ricardo; Veronez, Mauricio Roberto; da Silveira, Luiz Gonzaga

    2014-01-01

    Estimations of crop area were made based on the temporal profiles of the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) obtained from moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) images. Evaluation of the ability of the MODIS crop detection algorithm (MCDA) to estimate soybean crop areas was performed for fields in the Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Using the MCDA approach, soybean crop area estimations can be provided for December (first forecast) using images from the sowing period and for February (second forecast) using images from the sowing period and the maximum crop development period. The area estimates were compared to official agricultural statistics from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) and from the National Company of Food Supply (CONAB) at different crop levels from 2000/2001 to 2010/2011. At the municipality level, the estimates were highly correlated, with R (2) = 0.97 and RMSD = 13,142 ha. The MCDA was validated using field campaign data from the 2006/2007 crop year. The overall map accuracy was 88.25%, and the Kappa Index of Agreement was 0.765. By using pre-defined parameters, MCDA is able to provide the evolution of annual soybean maps, forecast of soybean cropping areas, and the crop area expansion in the Mato Grosso state.

  11. Assessing the MODIS crop detection algorithm for soybean crop area mapping and expansion in the Mato Grosso state, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gusso, Anibal; Arvor, Damien; Ducati, Jorge Ricardo; Veronez, Mauricio Roberto; da Silveira, Luiz Gonzaga

    2014-01-01

    Estimations of crop area were made based on the temporal profiles of the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) obtained from moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) images. Evaluation of the ability of the MODIS crop detection algorithm (MCDA) to estimate soybean crop areas was performed for fields in the Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Using the MCDA approach, soybean crop area estimations can be provided for December (first forecast) using images from the sowing period and for February (second forecast) using images from the sowing period and the maximum crop development period. The area estimates were compared to official agricultural statistics from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) and from the National Company of Food Supply (CONAB) at different crop levels from 2000/2001 to 2010/2011. At the municipality level, the estimates were highly correlated, with R (2) = 0.97 and RMSD = 13,142 ha. The MCDA was validated using field campaign data from the 2006/2007 crop year. The overall map accuracy was 88.25%, and the Kappa Index of Agreement was 0.765. By using pre-defined parameters, MCDA is able to provide the evolution of annual soybean maps, forecast of soybean cropping areas, and the crop area expansion in the Mato Grosso state. PMID:24983007

  12. MODELING WORLD BIOENERGY CROP POTENTIAL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagiwara, Kensuke; Hanasaki, Naota; Kanae, Shinjiro

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

  13. Assessing the uncertainties of climate policies and mitigation measures. Viewpoints on biofuel production, grid electricity consumption and differentiation of emission reduction commitments

    OpenAIRE

    Soimakallio, Sampo

    2012-01-01

    Ambitious climate change mitigation requires the implementation of effective and equitable climate policy and GHG emission reduction measures. The objective of this study was to explore the significance of the uncertainties related to GHG emission reduction measures and policies by providing viewpoints on biofuels production, grid electricity consumption and differentiation of emission reduction commitments between countries and country groups. Life cycle assessment (LCA) and macro-level scen...

  14. Ecological assessment and economic feasibility to utilize first generation biofuels in cogeneration output cycle - The case of Lithuania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raslavicius, Laurencas [Lithuanian University of Agriculture, Institute of Agro-Engineering, Department of Biotechnological Engineering, Instituto g. 20, LT-54132, Raudondvaris, Kaunas region (Lithuania); Bazaras, Zilvinas [Department of Mechanical Technology, Kaunas University of Technology, Panevezys Institute, S. Daukanto g. 12, LT-35212 Panevezys (Lithuania)

    2010-09-15

    In this article, diverse liquid biofuels of the first generation were compared as partial or infant substitutes for fossil diesel fuel applied in cogeneration plant of the average capacity of 340 kW. The study concentrates on agricultural and economic conditions as well as legislative basis distinctive to Lithuania. At the laboratory of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture Institute of Agro-Engineering an experimental diesel engine powered generator was fuelled with rapeseed oil methyl ester (pure and in the blend with fossil diesel and dyed diesel fuels) and rapeseed oil with excellent energy balances and emissions characteristics more favorable than fossil diesel. Detailed estimations were proposed in order to assess the economic feasibility of complementing renewable electricity and heat generated in the final output cycle. The carried out analysis showed, that good perspectives are forecasted for using diesel engines in cogeneration plants, if they run on rapeseed oil produced by farmers themselves. The operation of such a plant would realize 184960 EUR of annual income for sold electricity, allowing to pay annual depreciation expenses and exceed the production cost for thermal energy to be 0.033 EUR/kW h. This price lies under the established one by the centralized energy suppliers, accordingly 0.058 EUR/kW h. (author)

  15. Ecological assessment and economic feasibility to utilize first generation biofuels in cogeneration output cycle - The case of Lithuania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this article, diverse liquid biofuels of the first generation were compared as partial or infant substitutes for fossil diesel fuel applied in cogeneration plant of the average capacity of 340 kW. The study concentrates on agricultural and economic conditions as well as legislative basis distinctive to Lithuania. At the laboratory of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture Institute of Agro-Engineering an experimental diesel engine powered generator was fuelled with rapeseed oil methyl ester (pure and in the blend with fossil diesel and dyed diesel fuels) and rapeseed oil with excellent energy balances and emissions characteristics more favorable than fossil diesel. Detailed estimations were proposed in order to assess the economic feasibility of complementing renewable electricity and heat generated in the final output cycle. The carried out analysis showed, that good perspectives are forecasted for using diesel engines in cogeneration plants, if they run on rapeseed oil produced by farmers themselves. The operation of such a plant would realize 184960 EUR of annual income for sold electricity, allowing to pay annual depreciation expenses and exceed the production cost for thermal energy to be 0.033 EUR/kW h. This price lies under the established one by the centralized energy suppliers, accordingly 0.058 EUR/kW h. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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-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)

  17. Panorama 2011: Water and bio-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nowadays, water is seen as a major sustainability criterion for bio-energies. Although the biofuels being produced by food crops are subject to the same risks as the farming sector as far as water resources are concerned, future sectors have a significant potential to reduce these risks, and this potential needs to be better understood in order for biofuels as a resource and their related technologies to develop properly. (authors)

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. DNA Barcoding Simplifies Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Crops in Biodiverse Regions

    OpenAIRE

    Nzeduru, Chinyere V.; Sandra Ronca; Wilkinson, Mike J.

    2012-01-01

    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 li...

  8. Opportunity for profitable investments in cellulosic biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Research efforts to allow large-scale conversion of cellulose into biofuels are being undertaken in the US and EU. These efforts are designed to increase logistic and conversion efficiencies, enhancing the economic competitiveness of cellulosic biofuels. However, not enough attention has been paid to the future market conditions for cellulosic biofuels, which will determine whether the necessary private investment will be available to allow a cellulosic biofuels industry to emerge. We examine the future market for cellulosic biofuels, differentiating between cellulosic ethanol and 'drop-in' cellulosic biofuels that can be transported with petroleum fuels and have equivalent energy values. We show that emergence of a cellulosic ethanol industry is unlikely without costly government subsidies, in part because of strong competition from conventional ethanol and limits on ethanol blending. If production costs of drop-in cellulosic biofuels fall enough to become competitive, then their expansion will not necessarily cause feedstock prices to rise. As long as local supplies of feedstocks that have no or low-valued alternative uses exist, then expansion will not cause prices to rise significantly. If cellulosic feedstocks come from dedicated biomass crops, then the supply curves will have a steeper slope because of competition for land. - Research highlights: → The likelihood of a significant cellulosic ethanol industry in the US looks dim. → Drop-in biofuels made from cellulosic feedstocks have a more promising future. → The spatial dimension of markets for cellulosic feedstocks will be limited. → Corn ethanol will be a tough competitor for cellulosic ethanol.

  9. 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

  10. Biorefineries for chemical and biofuel production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjerbæk Søtoft, Lene

    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...... for fossil fuel, the efficiency of the production process and product use must be increased substantially for the process to pay off as well economically as environmentally. Our knowledge base must thus be expanded and improved to include large production systems of i.e. whole-crop systems. Such research...

  11. Biofuel production potentials in Europe: Sustainable use of cultivated land and pastures. Part I: Land productivity potentials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fischer, Guenther; Prieler, Sylvia; van Velthuizen, Harrij [International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) (Austria); Lensink, Sander M.; Londo, Marc [Energy Research Institute of the Netherlands (ECN), Unit Policy Studies, Westerduinweg 3, 1755 LE Petten P.O. Box 1 (Netherlands); de Wit, Marc [Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development, Utrecht University Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2010-02-15

    IIASA's agro-ecological zones modelling framework has been extended for biofuel productivity assessments distinguishing five main groups of feedstocks covering a wide range of agronomic conditions and energy production pathways, namely: woody lignocellulosic plants, herbaceous lignocellulosic plants, oil crops, starch crops and sugar crops. A uniform Pan-European land resources database was compiled at the spatial resolution of 1 km{sup 2}. Suitability and productivity assessments were carried out by matching climate characteristics with plant requirements, calculating annual biomass increments or yields including consideration of soil and terrain characteristics of each grid-cell. Potential biomass productivity and associated energy yields were calculated for each grid-cell. Spatial distributions of suitabilities of biofuel feedstocks in Europe were generated for each individual feedstock as well as for the five biofuel feedstock groups. Estimated agronomical attainable yields, both in terms of biomass (kg ha{sup -1}) as well as biofuel energy equivalent (GJ ha{sup -1}), were mapped and tabulated by agriculture and pasture land cover classes as derived from the CORINE land cover database. Results have been further aggregated by administrative units at NUTS 2 level. (author)

  12. Biofuel production potentials in Europe. Sustainable use of cultivated land and pastures. Part 1. Land productivity potentials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fischer, G; Prieler, S.; Van Velthuizen, H. [IIASA International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg (Austria); Lensink, S.M.; Londo, H.M. [ECN Policy Studies, Petten (Netherlands); De Wit, M. [Copernicus Institute, Utrecht University, Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2009-10-15

    IIASA's agro-ecological zones modelling framework has been extended for biofuel productivity assessments distinguishing five main groups of feedstocks covering a wide range of agronomic conditions and energy production pathways, namely: woody lignocellulosic plants, herbaceous lignocellulosic plants, oil crops, starch crops and sugar crops. A uniform Pan-European land resources database was compiled at the spatial resolution of 1 km{sup 2}. Suitability and productivity assessments were carried out by matching climate characteristics with plant requirements, calculating annual biomass increments or yields including consideration of soil and terrain characteristics of each grid-cell. Potential biomass productivity and associated energy yields were calculated for each gridcell. Spatial distributions of suitabilities of biofuel feedstocks in Europe were generated for each individual feedstock as well as for the five biofuel feedstock groups. Estimated agronomical attainable yields, both in terms of biomass (kg ha{sup -1}) as well as biofuel energy equivalent (GJ ha{sup -1}), were mapped and tabulated by agriculture and pasture land cover classes as derived from the CORINE land cover database. Results have been further aggregated by administrative units at NUTS 2 level.

  13. Life cycle assessment of biofuels from an integrated Brazilian algae-sugarcane biorefinery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sugarcane ethanol biorefineries in Brazil produce carbon dioxide, electricity and heat as byproducts. These are essential inputs for algae biodiesel production. In this paper, we assessed ethanol's life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and fossil energy use produced in an integrated sugarcane and algae biorefinery where biodiesel replaces petroleum diesel for all agricultural operations. Carbon dioxide from cane juice fermentation is used as the carbon source for algae cultivation, and sugarcane bagasse is the sole source of energy for the entire facility. Glycerin produced from the biodiesel plant is consumed by algae during the mixotrophic growth phase. We assessed the uncertainties through a detailed Monte-Carlo analysis. We found that this integrated system can improve both the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and the fossil energy use of sugarcane ethanol by around 10% and 50%, respectively, compared to a traditional Brazilian sugarcane ethanol distillery. - Highlights: • A high diesel consumption is associated to the ethanol sugarcane life-cycle. • Sugarcane industry can provide sources of carbon and energy for the algae growing. • The sugarcane-algae integration can improve the ethanol life-cycle performance. • This integration is a promising pathway for the deployment of algae biodiesel. • There are still significant techno-economic barriers associated with algae biodiesel

  14. 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.

  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. A comprehensive review of biomass resources and biofuels potential in Ghana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duku, Moses Hensley [School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, S017 1BJ (United Kingdom); Institute of Industrial Research, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, P. Box LG 576, Legon (Ghana); Gu, Sai [School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, S017 1BJ (United Kingdom); Hagan, Essel Ben [Institute of Industrial Research, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, P. Box LG 576, Legon (Ghana)

    2011-01-15

    Biomass is the major energy source in Ghana contributing about 64% of Ghana's primary energy supply. In this paper, an assessment of biomass resources and biofuels production potential in Ghana is given. The broad areas of energy crops, agricultural crop residues, forest products residues, urban wastes and animal wastes are included. Animal wastes are limited to those produced by domesticated livestock. Agricultural residues included those generated from sugarcane, maize, rice, cocoa, oil palm, coconut, sorghum and millet processing. The urban category is subdivided into municipal solid waste, food waste, sewage sludge or bio-solids and waste grease. The availability of these types of biomass, together with a brief description of possible biomass conversion routes, sustainability measures, and current research and development activities in Ghana is given. It is concluded that a large availability of biomass in Ghana gives a great potential for biofuels production from these biomass resources. (author)

  17. Microalgae: biofuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babita Kumari

    2013-04-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Theoretical Assessment of Algal Biomass Potential for Carbon Mitigation and Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Sudhakar

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In view of ever increasing global demand for energy, there has been substantial interest in developing renewable biologically produced fuel. Microalgae are one such emerging resource considered as an alternative for biodiesel production. However its realistic potential is often either over estimated or underestimated. In view of this, a rigorous assessment is carried out to evaluate the realistic potential of micro algal biodiesel based on photosynthesis, thermodynamics and physical assumptions. This paper identifies six best regions in each continent for algal biomass cultivation considering both sunlight and local climatic conditions. The mean hourly meteorological data, sunlight, ambient temperature and rainfall information for the identified potential site is combined to estimate annual biomass production, lipid production and carbon mitigation potential. Maximum possible algal biomass yield and oil productivity have been estimated for six global sites at three different scenarios of photosynthetic efficiency 11.42, 6 and 3%. The upper optimistic biomass, oil yield and carbon fixation potential was calculated to be 533 T/ha/yr, 1, 25, 333 L/ha/yr. and 95 Tons CO2/ha/yr. This study provides a baseline data for theoretical maximum, minimum and best estimates of open pond microalgae production systems.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Energy technology impacts on agriculture with a bibliography of models for impact assessment on crop ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  3. 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.

  4. Assessing the greenhouse gas emissions of waste-derived ethanol in accordance with the EU RED methodology for biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sipilae, E. (Poeyry Forest Industry Consulting Oy, Vantaa (Finland)); Koponen, K.; Soimakallio, S.

    2009-10-15

    Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources in the European Union (EU), also called as RED, was published 5 June 2009 in the Official Journal of the EU (2009/28/EC). It establishes an overall binding target of a 20% share of renewable energy sources in the final energy consumption in the EU by 2020. In addition, a 10% binding minimum target for renewable energy sources in transport is set for each Member State. The RED also introduces environmental sustainability criteria for biofuels and other bioliquids. It states that the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission saving from the use of biofuels and other bioliquids taken into account for the national targets shall be at least 35% for current biofuels, at least 50% after 1 January 2017, and at least 60% after 1 January 2018 for biofuels produced in installations in which production started on or after 1 January 2017. The RED introduces a methodology to calculate the GHG emission savings of biofuels and other bioliquids compared to fossil fuels. In this report the methodology was tested with a case study based on commercial and industrial waste-derived bioethanol production integrated with a CHP plant in Finland. The aim of the report was to study whether the waste ethanol concept gains the 60% GHG emission savings according to the RED methodology or not. Four different interpretations of the RED methodology were considered possible for the studied concept. All these options were calculated with three different process values depending on the need of sterilisation of the waste material and the amount of urea used in the process. Within these four options differences in the system boundary setting and thus allocation of emissions took place resulting in differences in emission saving results. The key question was, whether the CHP plant and the biofuel process were supposed to be treated as one combined process or as two separated ones. The GHG emission savings over 60% were gained when the biofuel

  5. 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

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. Potentials of biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munack, A.; Schroder, O. [Johann Heinrich von Thunen Inst., Braunschweig (Germany); Krahl, J. [Coburg Univ. of Applied Sciences, Coburg (Germany); Bunger, J. [Inst. for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Ruhr-Univ. Inst., Bochum (Germany)

    2010-07-01

    This paper discussed the potential of biofuels with particular reference to the situation in Germany and Europe. Emphasis was on technical potential, such as biofuel production, utilization and environmental aspects. The Institute of Agricultural Technology and Biosystems Engineering ran vTI emission tests on diesel engines to evaluate the environmental impacts of biofuels. This testing facility is able to drive heavy-duty diesel engines in both stationary and dynamic test cycles, such as the European ESC and ETC. Additional analyses were conducted to determine the fine and ultra-fine particles, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), aldehydes, ketones, and the usual regulated exhaust gas compounds. Ames tests were conducted to assess the mutagenic potential of tailpipe emissions. Previous study results showed that neat vegetable oils can render the exhaust high in mutagenic potency. Some of the non-regulated exhaust gas compounds were found to vary nonlinearly with the blend composition. B20 was found to have high mutagenic potential and was subject to sedimentation.

  9. 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.

  10. Old Dog New Tricks: Use of Point-based Crop Models in Grid-based Regional Assessment of Crop Management Technologies Impact on Future Food Security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koo, J.; Wood, S.; Cenacchi, N.; Fisher, M.; Cox, C.

    2012-12-01

    HarvestChoice (harvestchoice.org) generates knowledge products to guide strategic investments to improve the productivity and profitability of smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). A keynote component of the HarvestChoice analytical framework is a grid-based overlay of SSA - a cropping simulation platform powered by process-based, crop models. Calibrated around the best available representation of cropping production systems in SSA, the simulation platform engages the DSSAT Crop Systems Model with the CENTURY Soil Organic Matter model (DSSAT-CENTURY) and provides a virtual experimentation module with which to explore the impact of a range of technological, managerial and environmental metrics on future crop productivity and profitability, as well as input use. For each of 5 (or 30) arc-minute grid cells in SSA, a stack of model input underlies it: datasets that cover soil properties and fertility, historic and future climate scenarios and farmers' management practices; all compiled from analyses of existing global and regional databases and consultations with other CGIAR centers. Running a simulation model is not always straightforward, especially when certain cropping systems or management practices are not even practiced by resource-poor farmers yet (e.g., precision agriculture) or they were never included in the existing simulation framework (e.g., water harvesting). In such cases, we used DSSAT-CENTURY as a function to iteratively estimate relative responses of cropping systems to technology-driven changes in water and nutrient balances compared to zero-adoption by farmers, while adjusting model input parameters to best mimic farmers' implementation of technologies in the field. We then fed the results of the simulation into to the economic and food trade model framework, IMPACT, to assess the potential implications on future food security. The outputs of the overall simulation analyses are packaged as a web-accessible database and published

  11. 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

  12. Breaking the Link between Food and Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Bruce A. Babcock

    2008-01-01

    Production of biofuels from feedstocks that are diverted from food production or that are grown on land that could grow crops has two important drawbacks: higher food prices and decreased reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. If U.S. policy were to change and place greater emphasis on food prices and greenhouse gas reductions, then we would transition away from current feedstocks toward those that do not reduce our ability to produce food. Examples of such feedstocks include crop residues, a...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:26093613

  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. 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. PMID:24164514

  19. Phytoextraction of heavy metals from contaminated soil by co-cropping with chelator application and assessment of associated leaching risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Z B; Guo, X F; Wu, Q T; Long, X X; Penn, C J

    2011-08-01

    Phytoextraction using hyperaccumulating plants is generally time-consuming and requires the cessation of agriculture. We coupled chelators and a co-cropping system to enhance phytoextraction rates, while allowing for agricultural production. An experiment on I m3 lysimeter beds was conducted with a co-cropping system consisting of the hyperaccumulator Sedum alfredii and low-accumulating corn (Zea Mays, cv. Huidan-4), with addition ofa mixture of chelators (MC), to assess the efficiency of chelator enhanced co-crop phytoextraction and the leaching risk caused by the chelator. The results showed that the addition of MC promoted the growth of S. alfredii in the first crop (spring-summer season) and significantly increased the metal phytoextraction. The DTPA-extractable and total metal concentrations in the topsoil were also reduced more significantly with the addition of MC compared with the control treatments. However, mono-cropped S. alfredii without MC was more suitable for maximizing S. alfredii growth and therefore phytoextraction of Zn and Cd during the autumn-winter seasons. No adverse impact to groundwater due to MC application was observed during the experiments with three crops and three MC applications. But elevated total Cd and Pb concentrations among subsoils compared to the initial subsoil concentrations were found for the co-crop + MC treatment after the third crop. PMID:21972498

  20. 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.

  1. Elicitation of expert judgments of uncertainty in the risk assessment of herbicide-tolerant oilseed crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krayer von Krauss, Martin P; Casman, Elizabeth A; Small, Mitchell J

    2004-12-01

    One of the lay public's concerns about genetically modified (GM) organisms (GMO) and related emerging technologies is that not all the important risks are evaluated or even identified yet--and that ignorance of the unanticipated risks could lead to severe environmental or public health consequences. To some degree, even the scientists who participated in the analysis of the risks from GMOs (arguably the people most qualified to critique these analyses) share some of this concern. To formally explore the uncertainty in the risk assessment of a GM crop, we conducted detailed interviews of seven leading experts on GM oilseed crops to obtain qualitative and quantitative information on their understanding of the uncertainties associated with the risks to agriculture from GM oilseed crops (canola or rapeseed). The results of these elicitations revealed three issues of potential concern that are currently left outside the scope of risk assessments. These are (1) the potential loss of the agronomic and environmental benefits of glyphosate (a herbicide widely used in no-till agriculture) due to the combined problems of glyphosate-tolerant canola and wheat volunteer plants, (2) the growing problem of seed lot contamination, and (3) the potential market impacts. The elicitations also identified two areas where knowledge is insufficient. These are: the occurrence of hybridization between canola and wild relatives and the ability of the hybrids to perpetuate themselves in nature, and the fate of the herbicide-tolerance genes in soil and their interaction with soil microfauna and -flora. The methodological contribution of this work is a formal approach to analyzing the uncertainty surrounding complex problems. PMID:15660608

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Assessment of GHG emissions of biomethane from energy cereal crops in Umbria, Italy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • GHG emissions of biomethane from energy crops cultivated in a central Italian farm were investigated. • Electricity consumption of the biogas plant was monitored. • Current scenario does not allow to achieve a GHG saving according to Renewable Energy Directive. • GHG emissions could be reduced by covering the storage tanks of digestate and installing a CHP plant. - Abstract: Biomethane from energy crops is a renewable energy carrier and therefore it potentially contributes to climate change mitigation. However, significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from cultivation and processing must be considered. Among those, the production and use of nitrogen fertilizers, the resulting nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, the methane emissions from digestate storage and the energy consumption of the biogas plant are crucial factors. In the present paper an integrated life cycle assessment (LCA) of GHG emissions from biomethane production is carried out, taking into account own measurements and experience data from a modern biogas plant located in Umbria, Italy. The study is also focused on the electricity consumption of the biogas plant, assessing the specific absorption power of each machinery. The analysis is based on the methodology defined by the European Union Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC (RED). The main result is that the biomethane chain exceeds the minimum value of GHG saving (35%) mainly due to the open storage of digestate. However by varying the system, using heat and electricity from a biogas CHP plant and covering digestate storage tank, a reduction of 68.9% could be obtained

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Biofuel from "humified" biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WenJun Zhang

    2012-09-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. DNA barcoding simplifies environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops in biodiverse regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nzeduru, Chinyere V; Ronca, Sandra; Wilkinson, Mike J

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22567120

  13. 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.

  14. Biofuel technologies. Recent developments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  15. Which future for aviation bio-fuels?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This collective report proposes a detailed overview of the evolution of aviation fuels and bio-fuels from technological, regulatory and economic points of view. It also proposes a road-map for possible future evolutions, and outlines the different assessments between American and European countries regarding the predictions for the beginning of industrial production and use of bio-jet-fuel. After having recalled international objectives, an overview of European and French commitments for technological and operational advances, and a discussion of the role of bio-fuels in the carbon cycle, the report presents various technical constraints met in aircraft industry and describes the role bio-fuels may have. The next part proposes an overview of bio-fuels which are industrially produced in the world in 2013. The authors then focus on aviation bio-fuels (main production processes, thermo-chemical processes), discuss the political context, and examine obstacles, partnerships and the role of public authorities

  16. Biofuels of the Future

    OpenAIRE

    Oxburgh, Ron

    2007-01-01

    There are good biofuels and bad biofuels. The good ones offer the prospect of transport fuels that have much lower environmental impact than fossil fuels and could before long be less expensive as well. Bad or irresponsibly produced biofuels may at best bring little environmental advantage; at worst they may also cause serious environmental damage, habitat destruction and food shortages. The biofuel industry of the future will make a significant contribution to the greening of the world’s veh...

  17. Managing water resources for biomass production in a biofuel economy

    Science.gov (United States)

    One goal of our national security policy is to become more energy independent using biofuels. The expanded production of agricultural crops for bioenergy production has introduced new challenges for management of water. Water availability has been widely presumed in the discussion of bioenergy crop ...

  18. Panorama 2007: Biofuels Worldwide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The biofuels market is booming: after more than 20 years of industrial development, global bio-fuel production is growing fast. Willingness to reduce their oil dependence and necessity to promote low-carbon energies are the two main drivers for states to support biofuels development. (author)

  19. 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

  20. Assessing biogeochemical effects and best management practice for a wheat–maize cropping system using the DNDC model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Cui

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary agriculture is shifting from a single-goal to a multi-goal strategy, which in turn requires choosing best management practice (BMP based on assessment of the biogeochemical effects of management alternatives. The bottleneck is the capacity of predicting the simultaneous effects of different management practice scenarios on multiple goals and choosing BMP among scenarios. The denitrification-decomposition (DNDC model may provide an opportunity to solve this problem. We validated the DNDC model (version 95 using the observations of soil moisture and temperature, crop yields, aboveground biomass and fluxes of net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide (N2O, nitric oxide (NO and ammonia (NH3 from a wheat-maize cropping site in northern China. The model performed well for these variables. Then we used this model to simulate the effects of management practices on the goal variables of crop yields, NO emission, nitrate leaching, NH3 volatilization and net emission of greenhouse gases in the ecosystem (NEGE. Results showed that no-till and straw-incorporated practices had beneficial effects on crop yields and NEGE. Use of nitrification inhibitors decreased nitrate leaching and N2O and NO emissions, but they significantly increased NH3 volatilization. Irrigation based on crop demand significantly increased crop yield and decreased nitrate leaching and NH3 volatilization. Crop yields were hardly decreased if nitrogen dose was reduced by 15% or irrigation water amount was reduced by 25%. Two methods were used to identify BMP and resulted in the same BMP, which adopted the current crop cultivar, field operation schedules and full straw incorporation and applied nitrogen and irrigation water at 15% and 25% lower rates, respectively, than the current use. Our study indicates that the DNDC model can be used as a tool to assess biogeochemical effects of management alternatives and identify BMP.

  1. Cultural Methods as an Alternative Approach to Assessing Mycotoxin Contamination in Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contamination with aflatoxins and other mycotoxins is a major problem worldwide for numerous types of crops in addition to tree nuts. Aflatoxins are the major determinant of crop quality in several crops in developed countries, where government regulation is extensive, and the cost of monitoring my...

  2. Can the Nigerian biofuel policy and incentives (2007) transform Nigeria into a biofuel economy?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nigeria's economy is largely dependent on petroleum, yet the country is suffering from fuel supply shortages. In response to the transportation fuel supply difficulties in Nigeria, the country released the Nigerian Biofuel Policy and Incentives in 2007 to create favorable investment climate for the entrance of Nigeria into the biofuel sector. The paper assessed the progress made thus far by Nigeria, 4 years after the Nigerian biofuel was released in an attempt to answer the question whether the policy is adequate to transform Nigeria into a biofuel economy. The study found that little progress has been made, which includes commencement of the construction of 20 bioethanol factories, installation of biofuel handling facilities at two depots (Mosimi and Atlas Cove), and selection of retail outlets for biofuel/conventional fuel mix. The site construction of the announced biofuel projects is now slow and other progress is marginal. We therefore conclude that the Nigerian biofuel policy is unlikely to transform Nigeria into a biofuel economy unless the Government revert and refocus on biofuel and include additional financial incentives such as grants and subsidy to complement the tax waivers (income, import duty, VAT), loans, and insurance cover contained in the policy. - Highlights: ► Nigeria's economy is dependent on petroleum, yet the country is suffering from fuel shortages. ► The Nigerian Biofuel Policy and Incentives was released in 2007. ► Little progress has been made since the policy was released 4 years ago. ► Hence, the policy is unlikely to transform Nigeria into a biofuel economy

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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).

  6. 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...... study reveals that the system expansion scenario and the efficiency at reducing carbon emissions of the carbon mitigation project are critical factors having significant impact on results. Also, framework proves to be useful at treating land-use change emission as they are considered through...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Time for commercializing non-food biofuel in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The booming automobile in China has added additional pressure on the country that needs to import almost 50% of its oil. Non-food-based biofuel is a viable fuel alternative for cars. China already has the required-foundation to commercialize non-food-based biofuel. Chinese crop straw and stock, energy crop, and woody biomass that could potentially be converted into energy are projected to be 700 million toe (ton of oil equivalent) in the near future. Meanwhile, Chinese food-based ethanol fuel industry ranks as the world's third after United States and Brazil. Several non-food-based ethanol plants are constructed or under constructed, one of which has been licensed. However, more efforts should be directed to commercializing non-food-based biofuel, including industrialized feedstock, strengthening key technology research, supporting private enterprise, and E10 upgrading to E20. The enormous increase in private ownership of car must compel China to commercialize biofuel. (author)

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. - There is a large potential of phytotoxic risk on vegetation in Selangor State, Malaysia

  15. A Global Model for Agriculture and Bioenergy: Application to Biofuel and Food Security in Peru and Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Elbehri, Aziz; McDougall, Robert; Horridge, Mark

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes a global model for agriculture and bioenergy (GLOMAB) that incorporates biomass, biofuels and bioelectricity sectors into the GTAP-Energy model by expanding the global GTAP database, production and consumption structures. Biofuels are separated between first- generation (sugar ethanol, starch ethanol) and second- generation (cellulosic ethanol) biofuels and associated biomass feedstocks (maize, sugar cane, crop residues, woody biomass). Beside biofuels, the model also inc...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Assessing the environmental impact of changes in pesticide use on transgenic crops

    OpenAIRE

    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 genetically modified versus conventional crops. Environmental indicators for pesticides may aid in comparing the outcomes of such assays in terms of environmental impact. Previously we applied one...

  19. Assessing Crop Water Stress and Irrigation Scheduling in Cotton Through Use of Infrared Thermometry Technique

    OpenAIRE

    ÖDEMİŞ, Berkant; BAŞTUG, Ruhi

    1999-01-01

    Crop Water Strees Index (CWSI), based on canopy temperature which can be measured through use of an infrared thermometer, can be used to quantify crop water stress. However, the use of this index on farm level, require field tests for different crops. This study was carried out to evaluate the usage of CWSI for irrigation scheduling and predicting lint cotton yield under Antalya conditions. Soil water contents for different irrigation treatments were measured weekly and before each irriga...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Biofuel goes underground

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tollinsky, Norm

    2011-09-15

    Kirkland Lake Gold, a gold producer, is switching to a blend of biofuel to power the mine's underground equipment. Kirkland Lake Gold is using a soy-based product which has several advantages: less expensive: for example, the soybean-based biofuel used by Kirkland Lake Gold is 10 cents a liter less expensive than diesel; cleaner: biofuel can reduce emissions by up to 80 per cent compared to conventional diesel; and safer: biofuel is safer than miner's diesel because it has a much higher flash point. Testing with soybean-based biofuel began in the early 90s but its price was too high at that time. The federal government's regulation of renewable fuel quotas has led to the better availability of biofuel now. The supply should be doubled to meet government quotas.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Forecast for biofuel trade in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    One principal general conclusion is that the European biofuel market for the period up to the year 2000 will be competitive, dynamic and affected by technical development and innovations. That leads to the conclusion that prices will go down, which will increase the ability of biofuels to compete in the market. Still, biofuels will generally not be able to compete at the price level of fossil fuels in the world market, but will need support or protection to reach a competitive position. There are several reasons for support, e.g. offsetting the green-house effect and acid rain, conservation of the limited fossil fuel deposits, utilisation of local and domestic energy resources, etc. As energy crops in Europe are at an introductory stage, no large international trade can be expected within the next ten years. In this study it is assumed that some limited protective measures are imposed, which is a possible result of the energy and environmental policy currently discussed for the European Community, EC. The study implies that in the year 2000 it is possible to transport large quantities of biofuels to large energy consumers if taxes and other incentives now under discussion in the EC and national governments are introduced. The study also implies that in the year 2000 it is possible to utilise biofuels primarily in local and national markets. In the latter case, international trade will be reduced to minor spot quantities

  9. Corn-based feedstock for biofuels: Implications for agricultural sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Z.

    2010-12-01

    Crop residue as a source of feedstock for biofuels production must retain ecosystem services and be sustainable. The challenge is to develop cropping system management strategies that balance the demand for increasing biofuel needs with ecosystem sustainability. This study was designed to evaluate impacts of changes in land use and management caused by corn-based biofuel production (grain, cob, stover) on soil fertility and ecosystem sustainability. Our specific goal was to investigate how the levels of corn residue removal influence current soil carbon and nutrient budgets and how these budgets are maintained under proposed production scenarios. Soil organic carbon (SOC), an important carbon component in the life cycle of biofuel production, is a sensitive indicator of cropping system sustainability. We used a soil carbon and nutrient balance approach developed from published field observations and a validated mechanistic model to analyze historical corn grain yields and fertilizer usage associated with various management practices at the county scale across the United States. Our analyses show that ecosystem carbon flux demonstrates significant spatial variability, relying heavily on the total biomass production level and residue harvest intensity; SOC budgets depend mainly on the proportion of residue removal, tillage type, and previous SOC stock level. Our results also indicate that corn cob removal for biofuel has little effect on soil carbon and nutrient balances under conventional management practices, while necessary irrigation can contribute greatly to corn-based biofuel production and ecosystem sustainability in the western side of the Great Plains and the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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. 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

  14. The importance of weather data in crop growth simulation models and assessment of climatic change effects.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nonhebel, S.

    1993-01-01

    Yields of agricultural crops are largely determined by the weather conditions during the growing season. Weather data are therefore important input variables for crop growth simulation models. In practice, these data are accepted at their face value. This is not realistic. Like all measured values,

  15. Socioeconomic and environmental assessment of biodiesel crops on family farming systems in Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Belo Leitea, Dal J.G.; Barbosa Justino, F.; Nunes Vieira da Silva, J.V.; Florin, M.J.; Ittersum, van M.K.

    2015-01-01

    In Brazil, local agricultural research agendas are increasingly challenged by the search for sustainable biodiesel crop options for family farmers, especially under semi-arid conditions. The aim of this paper is to explore the suitability of different biodiesel crops (i.e. soybean, castor bean and s

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The Impact of an EU-US TTIP Agreement on Biofuel and Feedstock Markets

    OpenAIRE

    BEGHIN, JOHN C; Bureau, Jean-Christophe; Gohin, Alex

    2014-01-01

    We assess the impact of a potential TTIP bilateral free trade agreement on the EU and US bio-economies (feedstock, biofuels, by-products, and related competing crops) and major trade partners in these markets. The analysis develops a multi-market model that incorporates bilateral trade flows (US to EU, EU to US, and similarly with third countries) and is calibrated to OECD-FAO baseline for 2013–2022 to account for recent policy decisions. The major policy reforms from a TTIP involve tariff an...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Biofuels and Biotechnology: Cassava (Manihot esculenta) as a Research Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, obtained from plants and their constituents, have recently received the world's attention as a true alternative to the global energy supply, mainly because they are cheaper and less contaminant of the environment than the currently used, non-renewable fossil fuels. Due to the pushing biofuel market, the world is currently experiencing an increase of agricultural land devoted to grow crops used to obtain them, like maize and sugar cane, as well as crops that have the potential to become new sources of biofuels. Similarly, this emerging market is boosting the basic research oriented towards obtaining better quality and yield in these crops. Plants that store high quantities of starch, simple sugars or oils, are the target of the biofuel industry, although the newest technologies use also cellulose as raw material to produce fuels. Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is widely grown in the tropics and constitutes a staple food for approximately 10% of the world population. The high starch content of its storage roots, together with the use of conventional and non-conventional breeding turn this crop into an option to obtain better adapted varieties for ethanol production. This manuscript reviews the current state of biofuels worldwide and at the national level,and discusses the benefits and challenges faced in terms of effect on the environment and the human food chain. Finally, it discusses the potential of cassava as a source of raw material for obtaining biofuels in Colombia.

  2. Biofuels and Biotechnology: Cassava (Manihot esculenta) as a Research Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, obtained from plants and their constituents, have recently received the world's attention as a true alternative to the global energy supply, mainly because they are cheaper and less contaminant of the environment than the currently used, non-renewable fossil fuels. Due to the pushing biofuel market, the world is currently experiencing an increase of agricultural land devoted to grow crops used to obtain them, like maize and sugar cane, as well as crops that have the potential to become new sources of biofuels. Similarly, this emerging market is boosting the basic research oriented towards obtaining better quality and yield in these crops. Plants that store high quantities of starch, simple sugars or oils, are the target of the biofuel industry, although the newest technologies use also cellulose as raw material to produce fuels. Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is widely grown in the tropics and constitutes a staple food for approximately 10% of the world population. The high starch content of its storage roots, together with the use of conventional and non-conventional breeding turn this crop into an option to obtain better adapted varieties for ethanol production. This manuscrip reviews the current state of biofuels worldwide and at the national level, and discusses the benefits and challenges faced in terms of effect on the environment and the human food chain. Finally, it discusses the potential of cassava as a source of raw material for obtaining biofuels in Colombia.

  3. 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

  4. How Universal Is the Relationship between Remotely Sensed Vegetation Indices and Crop Leaf Area Index? A Global Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanghui Kang

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Leaf Area Index (LAI is a key variable that bridges remote sensing observations to the quantification of agroecosystem processes. In this study, we assessed the universality of the relationships between crop LAI and remotely sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs. We first compiled a global dataset of 1459 in situ quality-controlled crop LAI measurements and collected Landsat satellite images to derive five different VIs including Simple Ratio (SR, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, two versions of the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI and EVI2, and Green Chlorophyll Index (CIGreen. Based on this dataset, we developed global LAI-VI relationships for each crop type and VI using symbolic regression and Theil-Sen (TS robust estimator. Results suggest that the global LAI-VI relationships are statistically significant, crop-specific, and mostly non-linear. These relationships explain more than half of the total variance in ground LAI observations (R2 > 0.5, and provide LAI estimates with RMSE below 1.2 m2/m2. Among the five VIs, EVI/EVI2 are the most effective, and the crop-specific LAI-EVI and LAI-EVI2 relationships constructed by TS, are robust when tested by three independent validation datasets of varied spatial scales. While the heterogeneity of agricultural landscapes leads to a diverse set of local LAI-VI relationships, the relationships provided here represent global universality on an average basis, allowing the generation of large-scale spatial-explicit LAI maps. This study contributes to the operationalization of large-area crop modeling and, by extension, has relevance to both fundamental and applied agroecosystem research.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. Potential emissions reduction in road transport sector using biofuel in developing countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liaquat, A. M.; Kalam, M. A.; Masjuki, H. H.; Jayed, M. H.

    2010-10-01

    Use of biofuels as transport fuel has high prospect in developing countries as most of them are facing severe energy insecurity and have strong agricultural sector to support production of biofuels from energy crops. Rapid urbanization and economic growth of developing countries have spurred air pollution especially in road transport sector. The increasing demand of petroleum based fuels and their combustion in internal combustion (IC) engines have adverse effect on air quality, human health and global warming. Air pollution causes respiratory problems, adverse effects on pulmonary function, leading to increased sickness absenteeism and induces high health care service costs, premature birth and even mortality. Production of biofuels promises substantial improvement in air quality through reducing emission from biofuel operated automotives. Some of the developing countries have started biofuel production and utilization as transport fuel in local market. This paper critically reviews the facts and prospects of biofuel production and utilization in developing countries to reduce environmental pollution and petro dependency. Expansion of biofuel industries in developing countries can create more jobs and increase productivity by non-crop marginal lands and wastelands for energy crops plantation. Contribution of India and China in biofuel industry in production and utilization can dramatically change worldwide biofuel market and leap forward in carbon cut as their automotive market is rapidly increasing with a souring proportional rise of GHG emissions.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 type in Ivory Coast was analysed and options for efficient and sustainable land use were identified. Farmers obtained 1.8 t ha -1maize without external inputs in a three-year fallow-cropping cycle. ...

  11. An Assessment of some Fertilizer Recommendations under Different Cropping Systems in a Humid Tropical Environment

    OpenAIRE

    Fondufe, EY.; Eneji, AE.; Agboola, AA.; Yamamoto, S.; Honna, T

    2001-01-01

    Studies were carried out to determine the effects of four fertilizer recommendation systems (bianket recommendation, soil test recommendation, recommendation based on nutrient supplementation index and unfertilized control) on five cropping systems (sole cassava, maize, melon, cassava + maize and cassava + maize + melon). The experiment was a split-plot in randomised complete block design, with fertilizer recommendation systems in main plots and cropping systems in subplots. Observations were...

  12. Genome sequence of foxtail millet (Setaria italica) provides insights into grass evolution and biofuel potential

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Gengyun; Liu, Xin; Quan, Zhiwu;

    2012-01-01

    Foxtail millet (Setaria italica), a member of the Poaceae grass family, is an important food and fodder crop in arid regions and has potential for use as a C(4) biofuel. It is a model system for other biofuel grasses, including switchgrass and pearl millet. We produced a draft genome (∼423 Mb...

  13. How to manage uncertainty in future Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) scenarios addressing the effect of climate change in crop production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niero, Monia; Ingvordsen, Cathrine Heinz; Bagger Jørgensen, Rikke;

    2015-01-01

    ) level for the selected crop and performance of Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) including normalization and contribution analysis, in order to identify the focus points in terms of impact categories, unit processes and substances; (2) identification of the main deviations from the baseline scenario......When Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is used to provide insights on how to pursue future food demand, it faces the challenge to describe scenarios of the future in which the environmental impacts occur. In the case of future crop production, the effects of climate change should be considered...... climate, soil, water loss and production parameters. Secondly, the handling of these factors in the inventory modeling is discussed and finally implemented in the case study. Our approach follows a 3-step procedure consisting of: (1) definition of a baseline scenario at the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. PMID:26138875

  17. Assessment of genetically modified soybean crops and different cultivars by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and chemometric analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Glaucia Braz Alcantara; Andersson Barison; Maiara da Silva Santos; Luis P. S. Santos; José F. F. de Toledo; Antonio Gilberto Ferreira

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes the potentiality of Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy associated to chemometric analysis for assessment of conventional and genetically modified soybean crops. Recently, genetically modified organisms have been queried about their influence on the environment and their safety as food/feed. In this regard, chemical investigations are ever more required. Thus three different soybean cultivars distributed in transgenic Roundup ReadyTM soybean and theirs convent...

  18. Beyond commonplace biofuels: Social aspects of ethanol

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biofuels policies and projects may lead to environmental, economic and social impacts. A number of studies point out the need to deliver comprehensive sustainability assessments regarding biofuels, with some presenting analytical frameworks that claim to be exhaustive. However, what is often found in the literature is an overexploitation of environmental and economic concerns, by contrast to a limited appraisal of the social aspects of biofuels. Building on a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature, this paper discusses the social constraints and strengths of ethanol, with regard to the product's lifecycle stages and the actors involved. Its objective is to contribute to the development of social frameworks to be used in assessing the impact of ethanol. Main findings indicate that ethanol developments can increase the levels of social vulnerability, although there is little evidence in the literature regarding the positive and negative social impacts of 1st-generation ethanol and potential impacts of cellulosic ethanol. Further work is needed on the formulation of social criteria and indicators for a comprehensive sustainability assessment of this biofuel. Policy makers need to internalise the social dimension of ethanol in decision-making to prevent public opposition and irreversible social costs in the future. - Highlights: ► The literature lacks evidence on the social impacts of ethanol. ► Further work is needed on social criteria and indicators for assessment. ► Ethanol developments can increase the levels of social vulnerability. ► Decision-making should internalise the social dimension of biofuels sustainability

  19. 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. PMID:26857894

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. Hydrological modeling to assess capillary rise contribution to satisfy crop water requirement and groundwater recharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wassar, Fatma; Gandolfi, Claudio; chiaradia, Enrico Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Quantitative understanding of the process of groundwater recharge and capillary rise are fundamental factors on water balance and sustainable management carried out in irrigated areas with shallow groundwater tables. Two tested hydrological models (Wassar et al., 2014) SWAP (Van Dam et al., 1997) and IDRAGRA (Gandolfi et al., 2011) were applied to assess capillary rise contribution to satisfy maize water requirement and groundwater recharge from a shallow water table located in Lombardy region, northern of Italy during two agricultural seasons (2010 and 2011). At the beginning the two models were run using the daily variation of groundwater table and it was found that during 2010 season, capillary rise was similar for both and is contributing by 41% (IDRAGRA) and 46% (SWAP) of the total maize water requirement. During 2011 season, the estimated capillary flux with SWAP model was higher than that with IDRAGRA. The capillary rise was able to contribute more than 50% of the total maize requirement for both models. On the other side, both models showed a negligible deep percolation in comparison to the capillary flux and in comparison to the 2010 season. Later, groundwater table depths were fixed virtually at 0.8m, 1m, 1.5m, 2m, and 3m. The aim of considering fixed groundwater table depths was to unveil at which depth the groundwater table contributes majorly to satisfy the crop water requirement and how much we can have groundwater recharge. One major finding was that the capillary rise from groundwater decreases with the increase of the groundwater table depth. A higher contribution is observed when the water table is higher or equal to 1m. When the water table depth reached 2m the capillary was steel contributing to maize water requirement for both models and during the two agricultural seasons. As far as the groundwater recharge is concerned, we found that net recharge tended to increase as the groundwater table depth increased. For both models the net recharge was

  7. Assessment of soil phosphorus status and management of phosphatic fertilisers to optimise crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential plant nutrient, and its deficiency in soils severely restricts crop yields. Tropical and subtropical soils are predominantly acidic and often extremely deficient in phosphorus. Moreover most of these soils possess a high phosphate sorption capacity. Strongly sorbed or fixed phosphate is unavailable for plant uptake. Therefore, substantial P inputs are required for optimum plant growth and adequate food and fiber production. Manufactured water-soluble P fertilizers, like superphosphates, are the commonest P inputs. However, in most developing countries these P fertilizers are not produced locally but are imported, and their supplies to resource-poor farmers in rural areas are limited. Many phosphate-bearing mineral deposits exist worldwide. Several developing countries with P-deficient tropical acid soils have important phosphate rock deposits, that is the raw material for the production of P fertilizers. Thus, under certain soil and climatic conditions, direct application of phosphate rocks (PRs) is an agronomically and economically sound alternative to the use of expensive superphosphates. In spite of extensive research on the application of PR to acid soils in temperate regions, there is scant information on the potential of local PR sources in tropical and subtropical regions. Phosphate rocks vary widely in their mineralogical, chemical and physical properties and consequently in their reactivity and agronomic potential. It is, therefore, necessary to assess the relative agronomic effectiveness of the indigenous and imported PRs using the commercially available superphosphate as a reference. Also, changes in the soil available P when amended with PR products and water-soluble P fertilizers need to be properly monitored with suitable soil P testing methods for the provision of adequate P fertilizer recommendations. During the 1980's, some local PR sources were evaluated in the FAO Fertilizer Programme. The idea of a project on PR

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Pesticide runoff from energy crops: A threat to aquatic invertebrates?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunzel, Katja; Schäfer, Ralf B; Thrän, Daniela; Kattwinkel, Mira

    2015-12-15

    The European Union aims to reach a 10% share of biofuels in the transport sector by 2020. The major burden is most likely to fall on already established annual energy crops such as rapeseed and cereals for the production of biodiesel and bioethanol, respectively. Annual energy crops are typically cultivated in intensive agricultural production systems, which require the application of pesticides. Agricultural pesticides can have adverse effects on aquatic invertebrates in adjacent streams. We assessed the relative ecological risk to aquatic invertebrates associated with the chemical pest management from six energy crops (maize, potato, sugar beet, winter barley, winter rapeseed, and winter wheat) as well as from mixed cultivation scenarios. The pesticide exposure related to energy crops and cultivation scenarios was estimated as surface runoff for 253 small stream sites in Central Germany using a GIS-based runoff potential model. The ecological risk for aquatic invertebrates, an important organism group for the functioning of stream ecosystems, was assessed using acute toxicity data (48-h LC50 values) of the crustacean Daphnia magna. We calculated the Ecological Risk from potential Pesticide Runoff (ERPR) for all three main groups of pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides). Our findings suggest that the crops potato, sugar beet, and rapeseed pose a higher ecological risk to aquatic invertebrates than maize, barley, and wheat. As maize had by far the lowest ERPR values, from the perspective of pesticide pollution, its cultivation as substrate for the production of the gaseous biofuel biomethane may be preferable compared to the production of, for example, biodiesel from rapeseed. PMID:26282752

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:19963372

  14. Model-based tolerance intervals derived from cumulative historical composition data: application for substantial equivalence assessment of a genetically modified crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Bonnie; Fisher, Tracey L; Sult, Theresa S; Maxwell, Carl A; Mickelson, James A; Kishino, Hirohisa; Locke, Mary E H

    2014-10-01

    Compositional analysis is a requisite component of the substantial equivalence framework utilized to assess genetically modified (GM) crop safety. Statistical differences in composition data between GM and non-GM crops require a context in which to determine biological relevance. This context is provided by surveying the natural variation of key nutrient and antinutrient levels within the crop population with a history of safe use. Data accumulated from various genotypes with a history of safe use cultivated in relevant commercial crop-growing environments over multiple seasons are discussed as the appropriate data representative of this natural variation. A model-based parametric tolerance interval approach, which accounts for the correlated and unbalanced data structure of cumulative historical data collected from multisite field studies conducted over multiple seasons, is presented. This paper promotes the application of this tolerance interval approach to generate reference ranges for evaluation of the biological relevance of statistical differences identified during substantial equivalence assessment of a GM crop.

  15. Will biofuel projects in Southeast Asia become white elephants?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-08-15

    Southeast Asia's attempt to join the global biofuel development has not been very successful, despite the large amount of subsidies and incentives allotted for biofuel projects. The outcome of these projects has failed to meet expectation due to overrated assumptions and shortsighted policies. Utilization of edible feedstock such as palm oil and sugar cane for biofuel has disrupted the fragile industry due to the fluctuations of feedstock prices. The appropriate research on jatropha to prove its economic and environmental feasibility as energy crop has not been performed. Biofuel development in Southeast Asia remains at an early stage of development and requires highly intensive monitoring and strict legal enforcement to ensure future success. (author)

  16. Will biofuel projects in Southeast Asia become white elephants?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goh, Chun Sheng [School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia); Lee, Keat Teong, E-mail: chktlee@eng.usm.m [School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia)

    2010-08-15

    Southeast Asia's attempt to join the global biofuel development has not been very successful, despite the large amount of subsidies and incentives allotted for biofuel projects. The outcome of these projects has failed to meet expectation due to overrated assumptions and shortsighted policies. Utilization of edible feedstock such as palm oil and sugar cane for biofuel has disrupted the fragile industry due to the fluctuations of feedstock prices. The appropriate research on jatropha to prove its economic and environmental feasibility as energy crop has not been performed. Biofuel development in Southeast Asia remains at an early stage of development and requires highly intensive monitoring and strict legal enforcement to ensure future success.

  17. Nuclear techniques to assess irrigation schedules for field crops. Results of a co-ordinated research programme

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This TECDOC summarizes the results of a Co-ordinated Research Programme on The Use of Nuclear and Related Techniques in Assessment of Irrigation Schedules of Field Crops to Increase Effective Use of Water in Irrigation Projects. The programme was carried out between 1990 and 1995 through the technical co-ordination of the Soil Fertility, Irrigation and Crop Production Section of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Fourteen Member States of the IAEA and FAO carried out a series of field experiments aimed at improving irrigation water use efficiency through a type of irrigation scheduling known as deficit irrigation. Refs, figs, tabs

  18. The development, validation and application of a crop growth model to assess the potential of Solanum sisymbriifolium as a trap crop for potato cyst nematodes in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Timmermans, B.G.H.; Vos, J.; Stomph, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    Solanum sisymbriifolium (Lam.), a plant that was introduced as a trap crop for potato cyst nematodes, shows strong temperature limitation of its growth. Previous research indicated that the crop needs to accumulate at least 700 g m¿2 dry matter to achieve sufficient nematode control. In that context

  19. Double- and relay-cropping oilseed and biomass crops for sustainable energy production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Double- and relay-cropping offers a means to produce a biofuel and food or forage crop in a single season on the same land without sacrificing food security, while potentially boosting profits. Field studies were conducted between 2009 and 2012 in Morris, Minnesota (MN), and Prosper and Carrington, ...

  20. 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

  1. The changing dynamics between biofuels and commodity markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The recent development of the biofuel industries coincides with significant increases in prices of basic commodities such as food and feed. Against popular perception, it appears that there is not a straightforward causal relationship between the two; there are a number of factors that determine the level and strength of the impact of the biofuels sector on other commodities. For the case of markets of agricultural raw material these factors include the amount of feedstock claimed by the biofuels industry, its relative purchasing power, the responsiveness of the agricultural sector to price incentives and availability of substitutes. For consumer food markets we must additionally consider the relative share of agricultural input costs in the retail food price and the demand elasticity. Based on the analysis of these factors and estimates of other studies that attempted to quantify the price impacts of biofuels on crop prices, we conclude that the impact of biofuels is relatively small, especially when compared with other causes that triggered the recent price increases. We end the paper with a recommendation for future efforts in curbing food price inflations while keeping ambitious biofuel targets and suggest a shift in focus of the debate around the social costs of biofuels

  2. The changing dynamics between biofuels and commodity markets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bole, T.; Londo, H.M. [ECN Policy Studies, Petten (Netherlands)

    2008-06-15

    The recent development of the biofuel industries coincides with significant increases in prices of basic commodities such as food and feed. Against popular perception, it appears that there is not a straightforward causal relationship between the two; there are a number of factors that determine the level and strength of the impact of the biofuels sector on other commodities. For the case of markets of agricultural raw material these factors include the amount of feedstock claimed by the biofuels industry, its relative purchasing power, the responsiveness of the agricultural sector to price incentives and availability of substitutes. For consumer food markets we must additionally consider the relative share of agricultural input costs in the retail food price and the demand elasticity. Based on the analysis of these factors and estimates of other studies that attempted to quantify the price impacts of biofuels on crop prices, we conclude that the impact of biofuels is relatively small, especially when compared with other causes that triggered the recent price increases. We end the paper with a recommendation for future efforts in curbing food price inflations while keeping ambitious biofuel targets and suggest a shift in focus of the debate around the social costs of biofuels.

  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. Sustainable Production of Crop Residue as a Cellulosic Ethanol Feedstock: REAP – Renewable Energy Assessment Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domestic ethanol production is a strategy for reducing dependence on imported energy and release of greenhouse gases from use of fossil-energy-derived motor vehicle fuel. Federal and state governments are encouraging the use of ethanol. Initially energy crops, such as switchgrass, willow, and poplar...

  5. Assessing crop injury caused by aerially applied glyphosate drift using spray sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop injury caused by off-target drift of aerially applied glyphosate is of great concern to farmers and aerial applicators. An experiment was conducted in 2009 to determine the extent of injury due to near-field glyphosate drift from aerial application to glyphosate-sensitive cotton, corn and soybe...

  6. 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

  7. Assessing the impact of crops on regional CO{sub 2} fluxes and atmospheric concentrations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corbin, K. D. (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale (Australia)), e-mail: katherine.corbin@csiro.au; Denning, A. S.; Lokupitiya, E. Y.; Schuh, A. E.; Baker, I. T. (Dept. of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)); Miles, N. L.; Davis, K. J.; Richardson, S. (Dept. of Meteorology, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States))

    2010-11-15

    Human conversion of natural ecosystems to croplands modifies not only the exchange of water and energy between the surface and the atmosphere, but also carbon fluxes. To investigate the impacts of crops on carbon fluxes and resulting atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations in the mid-continent region of the United States, we coupled a crop-specific phenology and physiology scheme for corn, soybean and wheat to the coupled ecosystem-atmosphere model SiB3-RAMS. Using SiBcrop-RAMS improved carbon fluxes at the local scale and had regional impacts, decreasing the spring uptake and increasing the summer uptake over the mid-continent. The altered fluxes changed the mid-continent atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration field at 120 m compared to simulations without crops: concentrations increased in May and decreased >20 ppm during July and August, summer diurnal cycle amplitudes increased, synoptic variability correlations improved and the gradient across the mid-continent region increased. These effects combined to reduce the squared differences between the model and high-precision tower CO{sub 2} concentrations by 20%. Synoptic transport of the large-scale N-S gradient caused significant day-to-day variability in concentration differences measured between the towers. This simulation study shows that carbon exchange between crops and the atmosphere significantly impacts regional CO{sub 2} fluxes and concentrations

  8. The Danish Biofuel Debate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Janus

    2014-01-01

    What role does scientific claims-making play in the worldwide promotion of biofuels for transport, which continues despite serious concerns about its potentially adverse social and environmental effects? And how do actors with very different and conflicting viewpoints on the benefits and drawbacks...... of biofuels enrol scientific authority to support their positions? The sociological theory of functional differentiation combined with the concept of advocacy coalition can help in exploring this relationship between scientific claims-making and the policy stance of different actors in public debates about...... biofuels. In Denmark two distinct scientific perspectives about biofuels map onto the policy debates through articulation by two competing advocacy coalitions. One is a reductionist biorefinery perspective originating in biochemistry and neighbouring disciplines. This perspective works upwards from...

  9. ASSESSMENT OF SOIL COMPACTION UNDER CENTER PIVOT IRRIGATION SYSTEMS AND ITS EFFECT ON CROP PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khalid Ali Al-Gaadi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A field study on two 12.5 ha plots cultivated with wheat and alfalfa was conducted to determine Soil Compaction (SC, its spatial variability and its effect on crop performance under center pivot irrigation systems. Considering compaction at two tested soil depths, results revealed that the soil of the alfalfa plot exhibited significantly (p<0.01 and p<0.05 for 0 to 10 cm and 0 to 30 cm soil depth, respectively higher compaction values (an average of 1730.328 and 2329.604 kPa, respectively compared to those exhibited by the soil of the wheat plot (averaging at 1339.685 and 2088.903 kPa, respectively. Significant spatial variation of SC was observed within each of the tested plots. SC around pivot wheel tracks was also investigated at a soil depth of 0 to 30 cm for 5.5 m wide strips on both sides of the tracks. Results revealed that the Coefficient of Variation (CV of the SC around the tracks was 9.33 and 16.53% for alfalfa and wheat plots, respectively, suggesting that the SC was not laterally influenced by the wheel tracks. The effect of SC on crop performance, expressed as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, was investigated on the two plots. Results showed that the NDVI was, in general, inversely proportional to the SC. For both crops, the NDVI was more affected by SC at the top soil layer (0-10 cm depth. Moreover, the alfalfa crop was shown to be significantly influenced by the SC (an average R2 value of 0.3165 and P value of 0.0287, unlike the wheat crop (an average R2 value of 0.0725 and P value of 0.4646.

  10. 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.

  11. Assessment of reclaimed water irrigation on growth, yield, and water-use efficiency of forage crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkhamisi, S. A.; Abdelrahman, H. A.; Ahmed, M.; Goosen, M. F. A.

    2011-09-01

    Field experiments were conducted to determine the effect of water quality (reclaimed and fresh water), water quantity, and their interactions on the growth, yield, and water use efficiency of forage maize during two winter seasons in the Arabian Gulf. The plants irrigated with the reclaimed water had higher plant height than those irrigated with the fresh water. The leaf length and leaf area (cm2) did not show any significant differences among the interaction. Reclaimed water had shorter time for 50% male and female flowering of forage maize plants, indicating earlier maturity. Plants irrigated with reclaimed water had higher chlorophyll content for all levels of water applications. A significant difference in green forage yield was found among the interactions. Reclaimed water gave the highest green forage yield of 72.12 and 59.40 t/ha at 1.4ETo and 1.0ETo, respectively. Plants irrigated with the reclaimed water used water more efficiently [3.65 kg/m3 of DM (dry matter)] than those irrigated with the fresh water [2.91 kg/m3 of DM (dry matter)] for all water quantities. The enhanced growth in wastewater-irrigated crops, compared with fresh water-irrigated crops, was attributed primarily to higher nutrient content (e.g., nitrogen) and lower salinity of the reclaimed water. The study concluded that treated wastewater irrigation increased yields of forage crops and their water use efficiency. Cost-benefit analysis, studies on the use these forage crops as animal feed, and more in depth evaluation of possible crop and soil contamination were recommended.

  12. Microalgae: biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    Babita Kumari; Vinay Sharma

    2013-01-01

    In the present day, microalgae feedstocks are gaining interest in energy scenario due to their fast growth potential coupled with relatively high lipid, carbohydrate and nutrients contents. All of these properties render them an excellent source for biofuels such as biodiesel, bioethanol and biomethane; as well as a number of other valuable pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. The present review is a critical appraisal of the commercialization potential of microalgae biofuels....

  13. The biofuels, situation, perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The climatic change with the fight against the greenhouse effect gases, sees the development of ''clean'' energy sources. Meanwhile the biofuels remain penalized by their high production cost, the interest is increasing. Facing their development ecologists highlight the environmental and social negative impacts of the development of the biofuels. The author aims to take stock on the techniques and the utilizations. (A.L.B.)

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. For assessing yields under extreme climatic events using crop simulation models: aerosol layer effects on growth and yield of wheat, rice, and sugarcane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalra, Naveen; Chakraborty, D.; Sahoo, R. N.; Sehgal, V. K.; Singh, Manish

    2006-12-01

    Aerosol presence reduces sunshine hours and the amount of radiation received. The extent of reduction in radiation during this extreme event (January-March 1999) was relatively lower, as the extent of the diffused radiation increases. During this time, the reduction ranged from 5-12%. The differential response of the crops (wheat, rice and sugarcane) under changed proportion of direct and diffused radiation due to haze was seen through using crop simulation models (WTGROWS for wheat, DSSAT for rice and sugarcane). The growing conditions were optimal. Regions chosen for simulation were north-west India for wheat, coastal and southern regions for rice and north-eastern, western and southern regions for sugarcane. Simulation results were obtained in terms of phenology, biomass and economic yield at harvest. There was slight reduction in the yield of these three crops due to reduction in the radiation, but coupled weather changes (lowering of temperature, etc.) due to cloudy condition could benefit the crops through phenology modifications and other crop process activities, which can some times give higher yields of crops under the aerosol layer when compared to no haze layer situation. Diffused radiation is more photo-synthetically active, and this feature has still to be included in most of the existing crop growth models, as the existing crop models do not differentiate between direct and diffused radiation. The scope of using remote sensing for assessing the haze layer (spatial and temporal extent) could be employed in the crop simulation models for regional impact analysis.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. The effect of cellulosic biofuel production on water resources at a regional scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher, S. F.; Scheonholtz, S. H.; Nettles, J. E.

    2012-12-01

    The U.S. government has mandated production of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, of which 16 billion gallons are required to be cellulosic biofuels. Production of cellulosic biomass offers a promising alternative to corn-based systems because large-scale production of corn-based ethanol often requires irrigation and is associated with increased erosion, excess sediment export, and enhanced leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus. Although cultivation of switchgrass using standard agricultural practices is one option being considered for production of cellulosic biomass, intercropping cellulosic biofuel crops within managed forests could provide feedstock without primary land use change or the water resources impacts associated with annual crops. There are data sets and models that have been used to evaluate effects of agriculturally-based biofuel options on water quantity and quality, but the evaluation - from instrumentation through data analysis - is designed for these more disturbed systems and is not appropriate for the more subtle changes anticipated from a pine/switchgrass systems. Currently, there is no known hydrologic model that can explicitly assess the effect of intercropping on water resources. However, these models can evaluate the effects of growing switchgrass on water resources and would be useful in identifying the "worst case scenario". We used the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a physically-based hydrologic model, to examine effects of large scale conversion of pine plantations to switchgrass biofuel production on water resources in the ~ 5 mil ha Tombigbee Watershed in the southeastern U.S. Publically available datasets were used as input to the model and for calibration. To improve calibration statistics, five tree age classes were added to the model to more appropriately represent existing forested systems in the region, which are not included within the standard model set-up. Results suggest land use conversions result in 4 and

  20. Assessing the Use of Remote Sensing and a Crop Growth Model to Improve Modeled Streamflow in Central Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richey, A. S.; Richey, J. E.; Tan, A.; Liu, M.; Adam, J. C.; Sokolov, V.

    2015-12-01

    Central Asia presents a perfect case study to understand the dynamic, and often conflicting, linkages between food, energy, and water in natural systems. The destruction of the Aral Sea is a well-known environmental disaster, largely driven by increased irrigation demand on the rivers that feed the endorheic sea. Continued reliance on these rivers, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, often place available water resources at odds between hydropower demands upstream and irrigation requirements downstream. A combination of tools is required to understand these linkages and how they may change in the future as a function of climate change and population growth. In addition, the region is geopolitically complex as the former Soviet basin states develop management strategies to sustainably manage shared resources. This complexity increases the importance of relying upon publically available information sources and tools. Preliminary work has shown potential for the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model to recreate the natural water balance in the Amu Darya and Syr Darya basins by comparing results to total terrestrial water storage changes observed from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission. Modeled streamflow is well correlated to observed streamflow at upstream gauges prior to the large-scale expansion of irrigation and hydropower. However, current modeled results are unable to capture the human influence of water use on downstream flow. This study examines the utility of a crop simulation model, CropSyst, to represent irrigation demand and GRACE to improve modeled streamflow estimates in the Amu Darya and Syr Darya basins. Specifically we determine crop water demand with CropSyst utilizing available data on irrigation schemes and cropping patterns. We determine how this demand can be met either by surface water, modeled by VIC with a reservoir operation scheme, and/or by groundwater derived from GRACE. Finally, we assess how the

  1. Assessing the uncertainties of climate policies and mitigation measures. Viewpoints on biofuel production, grid electricity consumption and differentiation of emission reduction commitments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soimakallio, S.

    2012-08-15

    Ambitious climate change mitigation requires the implementation of effective and equitable climate policy and GHG emission reduction measures. The objective of this study was to explore the significance of the uncertainties related to GHG emission reduction measures and policies by providing viewpoints on biofuels production, grid electricity consumption and differentiation of emission reduction commitments between countries and country groups. Life cycle assessment (LCA) and macro-level scenario analysis through top-down and bottom-up modelling and cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) were used as methods. The uncertainties were propagated in a statistical way through parameter variation, scenario analysis and stochastic modelling. This study showed that, in determining GHG emissions at product or process level, there are significant uncertainties due to parameters such as nitrous oxide emissions from soil, soil carbon changes and emissions from electricity production; and due to methodological choices related to the spatial and temporal system boundary setting and selection of allocation methods. Furthermore, the uncertainties due to modelling may be of central importance. For example, when accounting for biomass-based carbon emissions to and sequestration from the atmosphere, consideration of the temporal dimension is critical. The outcomes in differentiation of GHG emission reduction commitments between countries and country groups are critically influenced by the quality of data and criteria applied. In both LCA and effort sharing, the major issues are equitable attribution of emissions and emission allowances on the one hand and capturing consequences of measures and policies on the other. As LCA and system level top-down and bottom-up modelling results are increasingly used to justify various decisions by different stakeholders such as policy-makers and consumers, harmonization of practices, transparency and the handling of uncertainties related to

  2. Assessing the uncertainties of climate policies and mitigation measures. Viewpoints on biofuel production, grid electricity consumption and differentiation of emission reduction commitments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soimakallio, S.

    2012-11-01

    Ambitious climate change mitigation requires the implementation of effective and equitable climate policy and GHG emission reduction measures. The objective of this study was to explore the significance of the uncertainties related to GHG emission reduction measures and policies by providing viewpoints on biofuels production, grid electricity consumption and differentiation of emission reduction commitments between countries and country groups. Life cycle assessment (LCA) and macro-level scenario analysis through top-down and bottom-up modelling and cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) were used as methods. The uncertainties were propagated in a statistical way through parameter variation, scenario analysis and stochastic modelling. This study showed that, in determining GHG emissions at product or process level, there are significant uncertainties due to parameters such as nitrous oxide emissions from soil, soil carbon changes and emissions from electricity production; and due to methodological choices related to the spatial and temporal system boundary setting and selection of allocation methods. Furthermore, the uncertainties due to modelling may be of central importance. For example, when accounting for biomass-based carbon emissions to and sequestration from the atmosphere, consideration of the temporal dimension is critical. The outcomes in differentiation of GHG emission reduction commitments between countries and country groups are critically influenced by the quality of data and criteria applied. In both LCA and effort sharing, the major issues are equitable attribution of emissions and emission allowances on the one hand and capturing consequences of measures and policies on the other. As LCA and system level top-down and bottom-up modelling results are increasingly used to justify various decisions by different stakeholders such as policy-makers and consumers, harmonization of practices, transparency and the handling of uncertainties related to

  3. 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.

  4. 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.)

  5. 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.

  6. Potential of Using Remote Sensing Techniques for Global Assessment of Water Footprint of Crops

    OpenAIRE

    Mireia Romaguera; Hoekstra, Arjen Y.; Zhongbo Su; Maarten S. Krol; Mhd. Suhyb Salama

    2010-01-01

    Remote sensing has long been a useful tool in global applications, since it provides physically-based, worldwide, and consistent spatial information. This paper discusses the potential of using these techniques in the research field of water management, particularly for ‘Water Footprint’ (WF) studies. The WF of a crop is defined as the volume of water consumed for its production, where green and blue WF stand for rain and irrigation water usage, respectively. In this paper evapotranspiration,...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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 o