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. Nutrient management studies in biofuel cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Research was conducted to determine the effect of nutrient management practices on biofuel crop production, and to evaluate long term effects of biofuel crop production on selected chemical, physical and microbiological properties. Experimental plots for research on biofuel crop production were esta...

  3. Biofuels barometer: Crops pending

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The actors and production capacities have changed only little in the biofuel sector from year to another. Nevertheless, it is interesting to take stock of the development of this sector at the end of 2002, so as to update the more complete barometer published in issue 144 of Systemes Solaires. Indeed, European ethanol production grew by 13% and that of bio-diesel by more than 20% in 2001. (authors)

  4. 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.

  5. Sustainable production of grain crops for biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grain crops of the Gramineae are grown for their edible, starchy seeds. Their grain is used directly for human food, livestock feed, and as raw material for many industries, including biofuels. Using grain crops for non-food uses affects the amount of food available to the world. Grain-based biofuel...

  6. Energy Crop and Biotechnology for Biofuel Production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liangcai Peng; Neal Gutterson

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Suresh

    2013-12-01

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

  9. Assessing the environmental sustainability of biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazamia, Elena; Smith, Alison G

    2014-10-01

    Biofuels vary in their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when displacing fossil fuels. Savings depend primarily on the crop used for biofuel production, and on the effect that expanding its cultivation has on land use. Evidence-based policies should be used to ensure that maximal sustainability benefits result from the development of biofuels. PMID:25281367

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. Biofuel Feedstock Assessment For Selected Countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kline, Keith L [ORNL; Oladosu, Gbadebo A [ORNL; Wolfe, Amy K [ORNL; Perlack, Robert D [ORNL; Dale, Virginia H [ORNL

    2008-02-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  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. Water Use and Quality Footprints of Biofuel Crops in Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    As crop and non-crop lands are increasingly 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...

  2. The Impact of Biofuel Production on Crop Production in the Southern Plains

    OpenAIRE

    Ragan, Holly R.; Kenkel, Philip L.

    2007-01-01

    The objective of the study is to determine how grain-based ethanol, cellulosic-based ethanol, and biodiesel production could influence cropping patterns in the Southern Plains. The study analyzes current and potential biofuel crop production and projects cropping changes at various biofuel prices.

  3. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Agro‐biofuels are expected to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases because CO2 emitted during the combustion of the biofuels has recently been taken from the atmosphere by the energy crop. Thus, when replacing fossil fuels with biofuels we reduce the emission of fossil fuel‐derived CO2...

  5. 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

  6. Assessment of Peruvian biofuel resources and alternatives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1979-08-01

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

  7. 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...

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sesmero, Juan P

    2014-11-01

    This study develops a model of crop residue (i.e. stover) supply and derived demand for irrigation water accounting for non-linear effects of soil organic matter on soil's water holding capacity. The model is calibrated for typical conditions in central Nebraska, United States, and identifies potential interactions between water and biofuel policies. The price offered for feedstock by a cost-minimizing plant facing that stover supply response is calculated. Results indicate that as biofuel production volumes increase, soil carbon depletion per unit of biofuel produced decreases. Consumption of groundwater per unit of biofuel produced first decreases and then increases (after a threshold of 363 dam(3) of biofuels per year) due to plants' increased reliance on the extensive margin for additional biomass. The analysis reveals a tension between biofuel and water policies. As biofuel production raises the economic benefits of relaxing water conservation policies (measured by the "shadow price" of water) increase. PMID:24956467

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  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. 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.

  3. Short-rotation woody crops for bioenergy and biofuels applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinchee, Maud; Rottmann, William; Mullinax, Lauren; Zhang, Chunsheng; Chang, Shujun; Cunningham, Michael; Pearson, Leslie; Nehra, Narender

    2009-12-01

    Purpose-grown trees will be part of the bioenergy solution in the United States, especially in the Southeast where plantation forestry is prevalent and economically important. Trees provide a "living biomass inventory" with existing end-use markets and associated infrastructure, unlike other biomass species such as perennial grasses. The economic feasibility of utilizing tree biomass is improved by increasing productivity through alternative silvicultural systems, improved breeding and biotechnology. Traditional breeding and selection, as well as the introduction of genes for improved growth and stress tolerance, have enabled high growth rates and improved site adaptability in trees grown for industrial applications. An example is the biotechnology-aided improvement of a highly productive tropical Eucalyptus hybrid, Eucalyptus grandis x Eucalyptus urophylla. This tree has acquired freeze tolerance by the introduction of a plant transcription factor that up-regulates the cold-response pathways and makes possible commercial plantings in the Southeastern United States. Transgenic trees with reduced lignin, modified lignin, or increased cellulose and hemicellulose will improve the efficiency of feedstock conversion into biofuels. Reduced lignin trees have been shown to improve efficiency in the pre-treatment step utilized in fermentation systems for biofuels production from lignocellulosics. For systems in which thermochemical or gasification approaches are utilized, increased density will be an important trait, while increased lignin might be a desired trait for direct firing or co-firing of wood for energy. Trees developed through biotechnology, like all transgenic plants, need to go through the regulatory process, which involves biosafety and risk assessment analyses prior to commercialization. PMID:19936031

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Washington biofuel feedstock crop supply under output price and quantity uncertainty

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Subsidized development of an in-state biofuels industry has received some political support in the state of Washington, USA. Utilizing in-state feedstock supplies could be an efficient way to stimulate biofuel industries and the local economy. In this paper we estimate supply under output price and quantity uncertainty for major biofuel feedstock crops in Washington. Farmers are expected to be risk averse and maximize the utility of profit and uncertainty. We estimate very large Washington price elasticities for corn and sugar beets but a small price elasticity for a third potential feedstock, canola. Even with the large price elasticities for two potential feedstocks, their current and historical production levels in the state are so low that unrealistically large incentives would likely be needed to obtain sufficient feedstock supply for a Washington biofuel industry. Based on our examination of state and regional data, we find low likelihood that a Washington biofuels industry will develop in the near future primarily using within-state biofuel feedstock crops. - Highlights: ► Within-state feedstock crop supplies insufficient for Washington biofuel industry. ► Potential Washington corn and sugar beet supplies very responsive to price changes. ► Feedstock supplies more responsive to higher expected profit than lower risk. ► R and D for conversion of waste cellulosic feedstocks is potentially important policy.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Health impact assessment of liquid biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, Rok; Medved, Sašo

    2013-01-01

    Bioethanol and biodiesel as potential substitutes for fossil fuels in the transportation sector have been analyzed for environmental suitability. However, there could be impacts on human health during the production, therefore adverse health effects have to be analyzed. The aim of this study is to analyze to what health risk factors humans are exposed to in the production of biofuels and what the size of the health effects is. A health impact assessment expressed as disability adjusted life years (DALYs) was conducted in SimaPro 7.1 software. The results show a statistically significant lower carcinogenic impact of biofuels (p energy sources, this does not necessary mean that they do not represent any health hazards. PMID:22774773

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  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)

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

    2015-04-01

    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. 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

  15. 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

    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 by microbes in the soil when the nitrogen availability is high, for instance following fertilization or......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...... 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...

  16. Greenhouse gas emissions from traditional and biofuels cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropping systems can have a tremendous effect on the greenhouse gas emissions from soils. The objectives of this study were to compare greenhouse gas emissions from traditional (continuous corn or corn/soybean rotation) and biomass (miscanthus, sorghum, switchgrass) cropping systems. Biomass croppin...

  17. Assessments of biofuel sustainability: air pollution and health impacts

    OpenAIRE

    Tsao, Chi-Chung

    2012-01-01

    Accelerating biofuel production has been promoted as an opportunity to enhance energy security, offset greenhouse gas emissions and support rural economies. However, large uncertainties remain in the impacts of biofuels, particularly, on air quality and human health. Sugarcane ethanol is one of the most widely used biofuels, and Brazil is its largest producer. Here a systematic framework, including emission modeling, air quality simulation, and health impact assessment was developed to quanti...

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-11-15

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

  5. 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)

  6. Biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biofuels are fuels made from non-fossil vegetal or animal materials (biomass). They belong to the renewable energy sources as they do not contribute to worsen some global environmental impacts, like the greenhouse effect, providing that their production is performed in efficient energy conditions with low fossil fuel consumption. This article presents: 1 - the usable raw materials: biomass-derived resources, qualitative and quantitative aspects, biomass uses; 2 - biofuels production from biomass: alcohols and ethers, vegetable oils and their esters, synthetic liquid or gaseous biofuels, biogas; 3 - characteristics of liquid biofuels and comparison with gasoline and diesel fuel; 4 - biofuel uses: alcohols and their esters, biofuels with oxygenated compounds; vegetable oils and their derivatives in diesel engines, biogas, example of global environmental impact: the greenhouse effect. (J.S.)

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Heděnec, Petr; Novotný, D.; Usťak, S.; Honzík, R.; Kovářová, M.; Šimáčková, H.; Frouz, J.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 63, July (2014), s. 14-20. ISSN 1164-5563 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) 7E08081 Grant ostatní: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/12/1288 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : allelopathic effect * biofuel crops * invasive plant species * plant biomass chemistry * seedling germination Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.719, year: 2014

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Background Camelina sativa is an oilseed crop with great potential for biofuel production on marginal land. The seed oil from camelina has been converted to jet fuel and improved fuel efficiency in commercial and military test flights. Hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel from camelina is environmentally superior to that from canola due to lower agricultural inputs, and the seed meal is FDA approved for animal consumption. However, relatively low yield makes its farming less profitable. Our...

  9. 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...... wastewater. Algae capture CO2 from atmosphere and industrial flue gases and transform it in to organic biomass that can be used for the production of biofuels. Like other biomass, algal biomass is also a carbon neutral source for the production of bioenergy. Therefore cultivation of algal biomass provides...... 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...

  10. Restoration of soil organic carbon with cultivation of perennial biofuel crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, S. C.; Yannarell, A.; Masters, M.; Anderson-Teixeira, K.; Drake, J. E.; Darmody, R.; Mackie, R.; David, M.; Delucia, E. H.

    2009-12-01

    A biofuel crop that can restore soil quality and maximize terrestrial carbon (C) sequestration would add substantial value to the sustainability of biofuel production chains. Currently in the Midwestern USA, Zea mays is the dominant biofuel feedstock despite a history of soil degradation associated with this crop. We compared soil organic carbon (SOC) storage and microbial communities in Zea mays L. (corn), Panicum virgatum L. (switchgrass), Miscanthus x giganteus Greef et Deuter (miscanthus), and native prairie sites at seven locations that spanned a range of temperatures, precipitation, and soil types in Illinois, USA. By comparing annually harvested switchgrass and miscanthus plots to conventional corn agro-ecosystems and native prairies, we determined the SOC restoration potential of perennial biofuel crops. We also calculated SOC accumulation using the δ13C isotope composition of the soil as a tracer for C4 plant-derived SOC additions. SOC differences among plant species varied significantly among sites, but on average, seven-year-old plots of miscanthus and switchgrass had 73% and 57% greater SOC in the top meter of soil than conventional corn crops, respectively, and had 50-63% greater SOC than the younger (four-year-old) miscanthus and switchgrass plots. The δ13C isotope signature of soil in miscanthus and switchgrass plots also indicated an accumulation of SOC. Plant species and SOC variability among sites explained 40-62% of the variation in microbial communities across sites. Microbial communities associated with annually harvested switchgrass and miscanthus differ from communities found in conventional corn agriculture and prairies. Thus, the potential to restore SOC to agriculturally depleted soils of the Midwest is not dependent on a soil microbial community that mimics prairie soil communities. Planting perennial grasses as biofuel crops can lead to an increase in SOC and a change in soil microbial communities. Conventional agricultural soils might

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  14. 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

  15. Limits to biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, S.

    2013-06-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Proper accounting for time increases crop-based biofuels' greenhouse gas deficit versus petroleum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The global warming intensities of crop-based biofuels and fossil fuels differ not only in amount but also in their discharge patterns over time. Early discharges, for example, from market-mediated land use change, will have created more global warming by any time in the future than later discharges, owing to the slow decay of atmospheric CO2. A spreadsheet model of this process, BTIME, captures this important time pattern effect using the Bern CO2 decay model to allow fuels to be compared for policy decisions on the basis of their real warming effects with a variety of user-supplied parameter values. The model also allows economic discounting of climate effects extended far into the future. Compared to approaches that simply sum greenhouse gas emissions over time, recognizing the physics of atmospheric CO2 decay significantly increases the deficit relative to fossil fuel of any biofuel causing land use change.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singh, A.; Irving Olsen, S.

    2011-05-15

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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Plant cell walls represent an enormous biomass resource for the generation of biofuels and chemicals. As lignocellulose property principally determines biomass recalcitrance, the genetic modification of plant cell walls has been posed as a powerful solution. Here, we review recent progress in understanding the effects of distinct cell wall polymers (cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, pectin, wall proteins) on the enzymatic digestibility of biomass under various physical and chemical pretreatments in herbaceous grasses, major agronomic crops and fast-growing trees. We also compare the main factors of wall polymer features, including cellulose crystallinity (CrI), hemicellulosic Xyl/Ara ratio, monolignol proportion and uronic acid level. Furthermore, the review presents the main gene candidates, such as CesA, GH9, GH10, GT61, GT43 etc., for potential genetic cell wall modification towards enhancing both biomass yield and enzymatic saccharification in genetic mutants and transgenic plants. Regarding cell wall modification, it proposes a novel groove-like cell wall model that highlights to increase amorphous regions (density and depth) of the native cellulose microfibrils, providing a general strategy for bioenergy crop breeding and biofuel processing technology. PMID:27269671

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kløverpris, Jesper; Wenzel, Henrik

    2007-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. Sunflower as a biofuels crop: An analysis of lignocellulosic chemical properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Four accessions of cultivated sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and silverleaf sunflower (Helianthus argophyllus), were each grown in three locations (Georgia, British Columbia, and Iowa) at different planting densities and phenotyped for biomass-related traits and wood biochemistry. In most environments, H. argophyllus produced significantly more biomass than H. annuus. Cell wall chemistry for a subset of plants grown in Georgia and Iowa was assessed using analytical wet chemistry methods to measure lignin and sugar content/composition. The analysis of lignin and the S/G-lignin ratios for a larger number of samples (n > 250) was also assessed by high-throughput pyrolysis Molecular Beam Mass Spectrometry. Average pyMBMS estimated lignin content (i.e., dry weight fraction) for 60 °C dried basal stem samples of H. annuus and H. argophyllus was 29.6% (range, 24.0%–34.6%) and 28.6% (range, 24.6%–33.3%), respectively when averaged across all environments. The average S/G lignin mass ratio was 1.5 (range, 1.0–2.0) for H. annuus and 1.7 (range, 1.0–2.4) in H. argophyllus. Stem samples from these two species only differed statistically for a few cell wall chemistry traits; however, accession level differences within each species were apparent. Cell wall chemistry in both species was significantly affected by both location and planting density, thus demonstrating the need to select for these traits in the environment for which the crop will be produced. Overall, these results show that cultivated sunflower and silverleaf sunflower both possess the necessary phenotypic diversity to facilitate the development of a hybrid sunflower with improved lignocellulosic biofuels traits, namely increased biomass, decreased lignin, and increased glucan. -- Highlights: • Stems of cultivated and silverleaf sunflower have similar lignocellulosic chemistry. • Intraspecific variation for lignocellulosic chemistry and biomass traits was high. • Plant growth and cell wall chemistry

  8. An assessment of Thailand's biofuel development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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...

  9. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

    This article assesses the implications of European Union (EU) biofuel policies based on a general equilibrium framework with endogenous land supply. The results show that, without policy intervention to stimulate the use of biofuel crops, the targets set by the EU Biofuels Directive will not be met. European biofuel policies boosting demand for biofuel crops have a strong impact on agriculture globally and within Europe, leading to an increase in land use. On the other hand, the long–term dec...

  11. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Cristina Rulli; Davide Bellomi; Andrea Cazzoli; Giulia De Carolis; Paolo D’Odorico

    2016-01-01

    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 t...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-10-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement. PMID:24092674

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-01-01

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

  15. An integrated modeling framework for exploring flow regime and water quality changes with increasing biofuel crop production in the U.S. Corn Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaeger, Mary A.; Housh, Mashor; Cai, Ximing; Sivapalan, Murugesu

    2014-12-01

    To better address the dynamic interactions between human and hydrologic systems, we develop an integrated modeling framework that employs a System of Systems optimization model to emulate human development decisions which are then incorporated into a watershed model to estimate the resulting hydrologic impacts. The two models are run interactively to simulate the coevolution of coupled human-nature systems, such that reciprocal feedbacks between hydrologic processes and human decisions (i.e., human impacts on critical low flows and hydrologic impacts on human decisions on land and water use) can be assessed. The framework is applied to a Midwestern U.S. agricultural watershed, in the context of proposed biofuels development. This operation is illustrated by projecting three possible future coevolution trajectories, two of which use dedicated biofuel crops to reduce annual watershed nitrate export while meeting ethanol production targets. Imposition of a primary external driver (biofuel mandate) combined with different secondary drivers (water quality targets) results in highly nonlinear and multiscale responses of both the human and hydrologic systems, including multiple tradeoffs, impacting the future coevolution of the system in complex, heterogeneous ways. The strength of the hydrologic response is sensitive to the magnitude of the secondary driver; 45% nitrate reduction target leads to noticeable impacts at the outlet, while a 30% reduction leads to noticeable impacts that are mainly local. The local responses are conditioned by previous human-hydrologic modifications and their spatial relationship to the new biofuel development, highlighting the importance of past coevolutionary history in predicting future trajectories of change.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Assessment of biofuels supporting policies using the BioTrans model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The introduction of advanced, 2nd generation biofuels is a difficult to forecast process. Policies may impact the timing of their introduction and the future biofuels mix. The least-cost optimization model BioTrans supports policy analyses on these issues. It includes costs for all parts of the supply chain, and endogenous learning for all biofuels technologies, including cost reductions through scale. BioTrans shows that there are significant lock-in effects favouring traditional biofuels, and that the optimal biofuels mix by 2030 is path dependent. The model captures important barriers for the introduction of emerging technologies, thereby providing valuable quantitative information that can be used in analyses of biofuels supporting policies. It is shown that biodiesel from oil crops will remain a cost effective way of producing biofuels in the medium term at moderate target levels. Aiming solely at least-cost biofuel production is in conflict with a longer term portfolio approach on biofuels, and the desire to come to biofuels with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. Lowering the targets because of environmental constraints delays the development of 2nd generation biofuels, unless additional policy measures (such as specific sub targets for these fuels) are implemented.

  19. Assessment of biofuels supporting policies using the BioTrans model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The introduction of advanced, 2nd generation biofuels is a difficult process to forecast. Policies may impact the timing of their introduction and the future biofuels mix. The least-cost optimization model BioTrans supports policy analyses on these issues. It includes costs for all parts of the supply chain, and endogenous learning for all biofuels technologies, including cost reductions through scale. BioTrans shows that there are significant lock-in effects favouring traditional biofuels, and that the optimal biofuels mix by 2030 is path dependent. The model captures important barriers for the introduction of emerging technologies, thereby providing valuable quantitative information that can be used in analyses of biofuels supporting policies. It is shown that biodiesel from oil crops will remain a cost effective way of producing biofuels in the medium term at moderate target levels. Aiming solely at least-cost biofuel production is in conflict with a longer term portfolio approach on biofuels, and the desire to come to biofuels with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. Lowering the targets because of environmental constraints delays the development of 2nd generation biofuels, unless additional policy measures (such as specific sub-targets for these fuels) are implemented.

  20. Modeling poplar growth as a short rotation woody crop for biofuels in the Pacific Northwest

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Predicting the economic viability and environmental sustainability of a biofuels industry based on intensively cultivated short rotation woody crops (SRWC) requires spatial predictions of growth and yield under various environmental conditions and across large regions. The Physiological Principles in Predicting Growth (3PG) model was modified to evaluate the growth and yield of coppiced poplar (Populus spp). This included an additional biomass partitioning method and developing a sub-model which takes into account the impact of coppicing on post harvest regeneration, extending the applicability of the 3PG model to coppice management regimes. The parameterized model was applied to the entire Pacific Northwest of the United States, using appropriate climate and soil input data. Results predict the yield of poplar cultivation at a spatial resolution of ≈64 km2 throughout the ≈8,000,000 km2 of the study region. Existing agricultural cultivation patterns were used to estimate regional water availability for irrigation, and for non-irrigated regions, land cover features including ownership, slope, soil salinity and water table depth where used to select areas with a real potential to support a SRWC plantation. Results can be integrated with other models that allow for optimizing crop selection and biorefinery site selection. Important results include; an updated 3PG model for coppiced SRWC plantings, estimates of biomass feedstock yields under different irrigation patterns and weather conditions, and estimates for feedstock availability when combined with crop adoption scenarios. - Highlights: • A poplar growth model was applied to the Pacific Northwest of the US. • We included a coppicing module to the exsiting 3PG growth model. • We investigated growth under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions. • We developed Geospatial yield estimates. • We discuss changes in yield from climate change

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-20

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

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ragettli, M.

    2007-02-15

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

  6. Assessing the social impacts of the biofuel lifecycle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Andreas; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

    . The indicators address a wide variety of issues; some approaches focus on impacts created in the very close proximity of the processes included in the product system, whereas others focus on the more remote societal consequences. The perception of social impacts is thus very varying. An assessment...... and maybe ownership of a company and thereby in some cases give a reasonable impression of the social impacts that can be expected from the company performing the assessed process. SLCA is in an early stage of development where consensus building seems premature. Nevertheless, some agreement regarding......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...

  7. The Colombian biofuel supply chains: The assessment of current and promising scenarios based on environmental goals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Colombian biofuels are used in the transportation sector at low-percentage blends of biofuel–fossil fuel (until 8:92, volume basis). Since energy policies encourage the increment of Bioenergy percentage in energy matrix, the biofuels production and use should be increased during the next years. In this work, the environmental assessment of several scenarios involving current and promising biofuel supply chains was made. The aim of this paper was the assessment of several possible alternatives to increase the biofuels production from current agricultural supply chains. Sugarcane, cassava, oil-palm and jatropha were considered as feedstocks for the analysis. The environmental assessment included calculations of the greenhouse gas emissions and the potential environmental impacts, using the life cycle assessment approach. The results indicated that the current biofuels production mitigates environmental impacts in comparison to fossil fuels production and use. Additionally, biofuels production using promising feedstocks could be environmentally competitive if the production processes are improved. - Highlights: • The environmental assessment of current and promising Colombian biofuels was made. • Current Colombian biofuel supply chains show 5–8% of GHG emissions savings. • Jatropha and cassava are potential feedstocks for Colombian biofuels production. • Suitable biofuels in Colombia can be achieved by feedstock integration

  8. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-02-15

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pablo Pacheco; George C. Schoneveld; Laura German

    2011-01-01

    The 2000s witnessed the rapid expansion of biofuel plantations in the global South in the context of a growing trend of crop plantation expansion. This trend has been spurred by policies in the European Union, United States, Brazil, and other countries favoring the use of biofuels in the transport sector to enhance energy security and reduce carbon emissions, as well as by the desire of governments in developing countries to harness the stimulus that new commercial investments provide to the ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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, ...

  16. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincentz Michel

    2010-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. Potential use of MODIS imagery for operational crop yield assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monitoring crop condition and yields at regional scales remains a challenge. Ground-based sampling for assessment of crop yields at regional and national scales require enormous resources. Crop yield simulation models have shown great success in predicting crop yields at field and small scales; how...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Pacheco

    2011-12-01

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

  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. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  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 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.

  9. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Uffe

    invader. Other risks to consider are fire in the mature crop, the spread of pests and diseases and increased water use. These years, the first commercial large scale crop production results are coming through and will show if the promises are to be fulfilled and the risks can be handled. However, breeding...

  11. Mitigating the potential for invasive spread of the exotic biofuel crop, Miscanthus x giganteus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbaceous perennial crops are becoming a larger component of bioenergy production both in the United States and worldwide. However, there is growing concern that perennial crops pose a substantial risk of biological invasion as a result of the same traits that make them ideal for bioenergy producti...

  12. Biofuel potential of cellulosic double crops across the U.S. corn-soybean belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Interest in renewable energy sources derived from plant biomass is increasing, raising concern over fuel versus food competition. One strategy to produce additional cellulosic biomass without reducing food-harvest potential is to grow winter cover crops after harvest of the primary summer crop. Thi...

  13. The biofuel support policy. Public thematic report. Assessing a public policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In its first part, this detailed report gives an overview of some key facts regarding biofuels: energy context, biofuels and energy, biofuels and agriculture, multiple and superimposed regulation levels, financial data, and international comparisons. The second part analyses the positions of the different actors (oil industry and dealers, car manufacturers, bio-diesel producers, ethanol producers, farmers producing raw materials, consumer associations, defenders of the environment, public bodies). The third part reports the assessment of the French public policy in terms of efficiency. Some recommendations are made

  14. Physico-chemical characterization and antimicrobial activity from seed oil of Pongamia pinnata, a potential biofuel crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kesari, Vigya; Das, Archana; Rangan, Latha [Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, North Guwahati 781 039, Assam (India)

    2010-01-15

    Oil analysis and antimicrobial activity from seeds of elite genotype of Pongamia pinnata was carried out in the current study. The highest oil yield (33%) from seeds was recovered in n-Hexane. Physico-chemical properties of crude oil established suitability of P. pinnata for its use as a potential biofuel crop. The total mono unsaturated fatty acid (oleic acid 46%) present in seed oil was more in comparison to polyunsaturated fatty acid (33%) as analyzed by GC-MS. Seed oil also showed inhibition against the tested fungal and bacterial cultures. However, the efficacy of antimicrobial activity of the seed oil at four concentration levels (50%, 80%, 90% and 100%) against various pathogenic indicators was found to be concentration-dependent. The obtained results confirmed the use of seed oil from well characterized elite genotype of Pongamia as diesel fuel and in pharmaceuticals. (author)

  15. 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...

  16. Environmental assessment of mild bisulfite pretreatment of forest residues into fermentable sugars for biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    Nwaneshiudu, Ikechukwu C; Ganguly, Indroneil; Pierobon, Francesca; Bowers, Tait; Eastin, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Background Sugar production via pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic feedstock, in this case softwood harvest residues, is a critical step in the biochemical conversion pathway towards drop-in biofuels. Mild bisulfite (MBS) pretreatment is an emerging option for the breakdown and subsequent processing of biomass towards fermentable sugars. An environmental assessment of this process is critical to discern its future sustainability in the ever-changing biofuels landscape. Result...

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Camelina sativa is an oilseed with desirable agronomic and oil-quality attributes for a viable industrial oil platform crop. Here we generate the first chromosome-scale high-quality reference genome sequence for C. sativa and annotated 89,418 protein-coding genes, representing a whole-genome triplication event relative to the crucifer model Arabidopsis thaliana. C. sativa represents the first crop species to be sequenced from lineage I of the Brassicaceae. The well-preserved hexaploid genome structure of C. sativa surprisingly mirrors those of economically important amphidiploid Brassica crop species from lineage II as well as wheat and cotton. The three genomes of C. sativa show no evidence of fractionation bias and limited expression-level bias, both characteristics commonly associated with polyploid evolution. The highly undifferentiated polyploid genome of C. sativa presents significant consequences for breeding and genetic manipulation of this industrial oil crop. PMID:24759634

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Camelina sativa is an oilseed with desirable agronomic and oil-quality attributes for a viable industrial oil platform crop. Here we generate the first chromosome-scale high-quality reference genome sequence for C. sativa and annotated 89,418 protein-coding genes, representing a whole-genome triplication event relative to the crucifer model Arabidopsis thaliana. C. sativa represents the first crop species to be sequenced from lineage I of the Brassicaceae. The well-preserved hexaploid genome ...

  2. Can the biofuel crop, Jatropha curcas, be used as a locally-grown botanical pesticide?:a lab and field study in Zambia

    OpenAIRE

    Wilson, Ken; Maloney, Kyran; Zulu, Donald; Mutamba, Emmanuel; Vermeylen, Saskia

    2013-01-01

    Jatropha curcas is grown as a biofuel crop in the tropics, and in many parts of Africa it also has a number of domestic uses, e.g. it is frequently grown as a hedge. The collapse of the biofuels market in Zambia has inspired a search for alternative uses for this plant. Previous laboratory studies suggested that Jatropha exhibits a range of beneficial properties, including pesticidal properties. In this paper, we report a series of studies aimed at testing whether formulations of Jatropha pow...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. A life cycle assessment of biodiesel derived from the “niche filling” energy crop camelina in the USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: ► We conducted a life cycle analysis of biodiesel derived from Camelina sativa. ► Camelina biodiesel reduced GHG emissions and fossil fuel use by 40–60%. ► As a “niche filling” crop camelina can avoid land use change emissions. ► Low fertilizer use and yields >800 kg/ha are necessary for environmental viability. -- Abstract: Camelina sativa (L.) is a promising crop for biodiesel production that avoids many of the potential pitfalls of traditional biofuel crops, such as land use change (LUC) and food versus fuel. In this study the environmental viability of camelina biodiesel was assessed using life cycle analysis (LCA) methodology. The LCA was conducted using the spreadsheet model dubbed KABAM. KABAM found that camelina grown as a niche filling crop (in rotation with wheat or as a double crop) reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fossil fuel use by 40–60% when compared to petroleum diesel. Furthermore, by avoiding LUC emissions, camelina biodiesel emits fewer GHGs than traditional soybean and canola biodiesel. Finally, a sensitivity analysis concluded that in order to maintain and increase the environmental viability of camelina and other niche filling biofuel crops, researchers and policy makers should focus their efforts on achieving satisfactory yields (1000–2000 kg/ha) while reducing nitrogen fertilizer inputs.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Comparative mutagenicity assessment of aerosols in emissions from biofuel combustion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherji, Suparna; Swain, Abhay Kumar; Venkataraman, Chandra

    This study was designed to determine the mutagenicity in extracts of aerosols generated from biofuel combustion in household cooking devices commonly used in India. Wood, dung cake and biofuel briquette were used as fuel in various stoves, including both traditional and improved stoves made of mud, fired clay and metal. The combustion aerosols of particle diameter less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) were collected, and their organic extracts were tested for mutagenicity using the Ames Assay test with TA98 and TA100 strains of Salmonella typhimurium and studies were performed both with and without metabolic activation to account for direct and indirect acting mutagens. The measured mutagenicity emission factors, i.e., number of revertants per kg of fuel burnt, indicate that wood demonstrates significantly lower mutagenicity compared to dung cake and briquette. No significant stove effect was observed across all the fuels studied. The contribution of direct-acting mutagens was found to be greater than 70% in all cases. Such a high relative contribution of direct-acting mutagenicity has not been previously reported for biomass combustion aerosols.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. Biofuels sources, biofuel policy, biofuel economy and global biofuel projections

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The term biofuel is referred to liquid, gas and solid fuels predominantly produced from biomass. Biofuels include energy security reasons, environmental concerns, foreign exchange savings, and socioeconomic issues related to the rural sector. Biofuels include bioethanol, biomethanol, vegetable oils, biodiesel, biogas, bio-synthetic gas (bio-syngas), bio-oil, bio-char, Fischer-Tropsch liquids, and biohydrogen. Most traditional biofuels, such as ethanol from corn, wheat, or sugar beets, and biodiesel from oil seeds, are produced from classic agricultural food crops that require high-quality agricultural land for growth. Bioethanol is a petrol additive/substitute. Biomethanol can be produced from biomass using bio-syngas obtained from steam reforming process of biomass. Biomethanol is considerably easier to recover than the bioethanol from biomass. Ethanol forms an azeotrope with water so it is expensive to purify the ethanol during recovery. Methanol recycles easier because it does not form an azeotrope. Biodiesel is an environmentally friendly alternative liquid fuel that can be used in any diesel engine without modification. There has been renewed interest in the use of vegetable oils for making biodiesel due to its less polluting and renewable nature as against the conventional petroleum diesel fuel. Due to its environmental merits, the share of biofuel in the automotive fuel market will grow fast in the next decade. There are several reasons for biofuels to be considered as relevant technologies by both developing and industrialized countries. Biofuels include energy security reasons, environmental concerns, foreign exchange savings, and socioeconomic issues related to the rural sector. The biofuel economy will grow rapidly during the 21st century. Its economy development is based on agricultural production and most people live in the rural areas. In the most biomass-intensive scenario, modernized biomass energy contributes by 2050 about one half of total energy

  17. 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...

  18. Will EU Biofuel Policies affect Global Agricultural Markets?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  19. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-12-15

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

  1. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pu Peng

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Jiefeng

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

    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

  5. REFUEL: an EU road map for biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-05-15

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Development of a decision support tool for the assessment of biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alternative fuels for the transport sector are gaining growing attention as a means against fossil fuel dependence and towards greener forms of energy. At the same time, however, they are surrounded with doubts concerning sustainability of their production. This work presents the basic framework for a decision support tool to evaluate biofuel production pathways, with the purpose of providing the decision maker with a structured methodology that will lead him to the final decision. The tool integrates the most important aspects along the entire value chain (i.e. from biomass production to biofuel end-use), namely the technical, economic, environmental and social aspect. The tool consists of a computational part, which can be combined with the personal preferences of the user. The analysis provides a score for the respective pathway that can be used to rank different options and select among them the optimal solution. The functionality of the tool has been tested for the case of biodiesel from rapeseed in Germany. - Research highlights: → Structure and framework of a decision support tool for the assessment of biofuels. → Inclusion of economic, environmental and social aspects along the biofuel production chain. → Development of an internal database with relevant information along the chain. → Multi-criteria analysis for the consideration of all relevant criteria. → Incorporation of personal preferences and priorities in the final result.

  9. Quantitative uncertainty analysis of Life Cycle Assessment for algal biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sills, Deborah L; Paramita, Vidia; Franke, Michael J; Johnson, Michael C; Akabas, Tal M; Greene, Charles H; Tester, Jefferson W

    2013-01-15

    As a result of algae's promise as a renewable energy feedstock, numerous studies have used Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to quantify the environmental performance of algal biofuels, yet there is no consensus of results among them. Our work, motivated by the lack of comprehensive uncertainty analysis in previous studies, uses a Monte Carlo approach to estimate ranges of expected values of LCA metrics by incorporating parameter variability with empirically specified distribution functions. Results show that large uncertainties exist at virtually all steps of the biofuel production process. Although our findings agree with a number of earlier studies on matters such as the need for wet lipid extraction, nutrients recovered from waste streams, and high energy coproducts, the ranges of reported LCA metrics show that uncertainty analysis is crucial for developing technologies, such as algal biofuels. In addition, the ranges of energy return on (energy) invested (EROI) values resulting from our analysis help explain the high variability in EROI values from earlier studies. Reporting results from LCA models as ranges, and not single values, will more reliably inform industry and policy makers on expected energetic and environmental performance of biofuels produced from microalgae. PMID:23237457

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Camelina sativa L. is an emerging biofuel crop with potential applications in industry, medicine, cosmetics and human nutrition. The crop is unexploited owing to very limited availability of transcriptome and genomic data. In order to analyse the various metabolic pathways, we performed de novo assembly of the transcriptome on Illumina GAIIX platform with paired end sequencing for obtaining short reads. The sequencing output generated a FastQ file size of 2.97 GB with 10.83 million reads having a maximum read length of 101 nucleotides. The number of contigs generated was 53,854 with maximum and minimum lengths of 10,086 and 200 nucleotides respectively. These trancripts were annotated using BLAST search against the Aracyc, Swiss-Prot, TrEMBL, gene ontology and clusters of orthologous groups (KOG) databases. The genes involved in lipid metabolism were studied and the transcription factors were identified. Sequence similarity studies of Camelina with the other related organisms indicated the close relatedness of Camelina with Arabidopsis. In addition, bioinformatics analysis revealed the presence of a total of 19,379 simple sequence repeats. This is the first report on Camelina sativa L., where the transcriptome of the entire plant, including seedlings, seed, root, leaves and stem was done. Our data established an excellent resource for gene discovery and provide useful information for functional and comparative genomic studies in this promising biofuel crop. PMID:24002439

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Will Indian Farmers Respond to the Call for Increased Biofuel Production-Evidence from Northeastern India

    OpenAIRE

    Kishor Goswami

    2014-01-01

    In India, biofuel has gained in popularity in recent years because of its potential as a clean energy source and a means to stimulate rural development. Yet, growth in Jatropha, a key bio-fuel crop, is not increasing as expected. In order to better understand whether biofuel can be an alternate energy source, a SANDEE study assessed the factors that influence the adoption and continued production of Jatropha plantations in North East India.

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.K.Pandey, Pankaj Bhargava, Nivedika Gupta, Dhanshree Sharma

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tonini, Davide; Astrup, Thomas Fruergaard

    from iLUC was in the range 1.5-3.5 kg CO2-eq. kg-1 crop. Overall, bioenergy production from municipal solid waste and agricultural/industrial residues should be prioritized over cultivation of energy crops. This holds true as long as these residues are not today used as animal feed. Results also...... 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...... generation biofuels produced from residual biomass promise important environmental savings. However, since these residues are today in-use for specific purposes (e.g., feeding), a detailed modelling of the consequences (e.g., on the feed-market) induced by their diversion to energy should be performed to...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The legitimacy of biofuel certification

    OpenAIRE

    Partzsch, Lena

    2009-01-01

    Abstract The biofuel boom is placing enormous demands on existing cropping systems, with the most crucial consequences in the agri-food sector. The biofuel industry is responding by initiating private governance and certification. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Cramer Commission, among others, have formulated criteria on ?sustainable? biofuel production and processing. This article explores the legitimacy of private governance and certification by the biofuel...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. [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

  13. Assessment of the Projected One Billion Ton Biomass for Cellulosic Biofuel Production and Its Potential Implications on Regional Water Quality and Availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demissie, Y. K.; Yan, E.; Wu, M.

    2011-12-01

    The DOE and USDA joint study, also commonly referred as the "Billion-Ton" study, assessed the cellulosic feedstock resources potential in the U.S. for producing second generation biofuel to replace 30 percent of the country's transportation fuels by year 2030. The available resource is expected to come from changing cropping pattern, increasing crop yield, harvesting agricultural and forest wood residues, and developing energy crops. Such large-scale changes in land use and crop managements are likely to affect the associated water quality and resources at both regional and local scales. To address the water sustainability associated with the projected biomass production in the Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB), we have developed a SWAT watershed model that simulate the changes in water quality (nitrogen, phosphorus, and soil erosion) and resources (soil water content, evapotranspiration, and runoff) of the region due to future biomass production scenario estimated by the Billion-Ton study. The scenario is implemented by changing the model inputs and parameters at subbasin and hydrologic response unit levels, as well as by improving the SWAT model to represent spatially varying crop properties. The potential impacts on water quality and water availability were compared with the results obtained from a baseline simulation which represents current watershed conditions and existing level of feedstock production. The basin level results suggested mixed effects on the water quality. The projected large-scale biomass production scenario is expected to decrease loadings of total nitrogen and nitrate in the streams while increase total phosphorus and suspended sediment. Results indicate an increase in the rate of evapotranspiration and a decrease in the soil water content and in surface runoff. discharge to the streams. The impacts at the subbasin or local scale varies spatially and temporally depending on the types of land use change, their locations, and crop

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Climate change and biofuel wheat: A case study of Southern Saskatchewan

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study assessed potential impacts of climate change on wheat production as a biofuel crop in southern Saskatchewan, Canada. The Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer-Cropping System Model (DSSAT-CSM) was used to simulate biomass and grain yield under three climate change scenarios ...

  17. 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....

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

    OpenAIRE

    DanCheng

    2014-01-01

    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 productio...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Fuelling biofuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Canadian government has recently committed to legislation ensuring that all transportation fuels will be supplemented with biofuels by 2010. This article provided details of a position paper written by the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association in response to the legislation. Details of new research to optimize the future biodiesel industry were also presented. Guiding principles of the paper included the creation of open markets across provincial boundaries; the manipulation of tax structures to make products competitive in the United States; and establishing quality standards via the Canadian General Standards Board. It is expected that the principles will reassure petroleum producers and retailers, as ethanol behaves differently than gasoline in storage tanks. As ethanol is water-absorbing, retailers must flush and vacuum their tanks to remove water, then install 10 micron filters to protect fuel lines and dispenser filters from accumulated gasoline residue loosened by the ethanol. Refineries are concerned that the average content of ethanol remains consistent across the country, as refiners will be reluctant to make different blends for different provinces. Critics of biodiesel claim that it is not energy-intensive enough to meet demand, and biodiesel crops are not an efficient use of soils that could otherwise be used to grow food crops. However, researchers in Saskatchewan are committed to using a variety of methods such as reduced tillage systems to make biodiesel production more efficient. Laboratory research has resulted in improved refining processes and genetic manipulation of potential biodiesel crops. Membrane technology is now being used to select water from ethanol. A process developed by the Ottawa company Iogen Corporation uses enzymatic hydrolysis to break down the tough fibres found in corn stalks, leaves, wood and other biomass into sugars. Scientists are also continuing to improve oil content yields in canola and soybean crops. It was

  2. 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

  3. 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 sustainable biofuel productions. PMID:22827327

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Outlook for advanced biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Hamelinck, Carlo Noël

    2004-01-01

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

  8. 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/...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The main purpose for developing biofuel is to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, but the comprehensive environmental impact of such fuels is not clear. Life cycle analysis (LCA), as a complete comprehensive analysis method, has been widely used in bioenergy assessment studies. Great efforts have been directed toward establishing an efficient method for comprehensively estimating the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction potential from the large-scale cultivation of energy plants by combining LCA with ecosystem/biogeochemical process models. LCA presents a general framework for evaluating the energy consumption and GHG emission from energy crop planting, yield acquisition, production, product use, and postprocessing. Meanwhile, ecosystem/biogeochemical process models are adopted to simulate the fluxes and storage of energy, water, carbon, and nitrogen in the soil-plant (energy crops) soil continuum. Although clear progress has been made in recent years, some problems still exist in current studies and should be addressed. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art method for estimating GHG emission reduction through developing energy crops and introduces in detail a new approach for assessing GHG emission reduction by combining LCA with biogeochemical process models. The main achievements of this study along with the problems in current studies are described and discussed. PMID:25045736

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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

  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. Strategic system development toward biofuel, desertification, and crop production monitoring in continental scales using satellite-based photosynthesis models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, Daijiro

    2013-10-01

    The author regards fundamental root functions as underpinning photosynthesis activities by vegetation and as affecting environmental issues, grain production, and desertification. This paper describes the present development of monitoring and near real-time forecasting of environmental projects and crop production by approaching established operational monitoring step-by-step. The author has been developing a thematic monitoring structure (named RSEM system) which stands on satellite-based photosynthesis models over several continents for operational supports in environmental fields mentioned above. Validation methods stand not on FLUXNET but on carbon partitioning validation (CPV). The models demand continuing parameterization. The entire frame system has been built using Reanalysis meteorological data, but model accuracy remains insufficient except for that of paddy rice. The author shall accomplish the system that incorporates global environmental forces. Regarding crop production applications, industrialization in developing countries achieved through direct investment by economically developed nations raises their income, resulting in increased food demand. Last year, China began to import rice as it had in the past with grains of maize, wheat, and soybeans. Important agro-potential countries make efforts to cultivate new crop lands in South America, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Trends toward less food sustainability and stability are continuing, with exacerbation by rapid social and climate changes. Operational monitoring of carbon sequestration by herbaceous and bore plants converges with efforts at bio-energy, crop production monitoring, and socio-environmental projects such as CDM A/R, combating desertification, and bio-diversity.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Overview on Biofuels from a European Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponti, Luigi; Gutierrez, Andrew Paul

    2009-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  9. Extremophiles in biofuel synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnard, Desire; Casanueva, Ana; Tuffin, Marla; Cowan, Donald

    2010-01-01

    The current global energy situation has demonstrated an urgent need for the development of alternative fuel sources to the continually diminishing fossil fuel reserves. Much research to address this issue focuses on the development of financially viable technologies for the production of biofuels. The current market for biofuels, defined as fuel products obtained from organic substrates, is dominated by bioethanol, biodiesel, biobutanol and biogas, relying on the use of substrates such as sugars, starch and oil crops, agricultural and animal wastes, and lignocellulosic biomass. This conversion from biomass to biofuel through microbial catalysis has gained much momentum as biotechnology has evolved to its current status. Extremophiles are a robust group of organisms producing stable enzymes, which are often capable of tolerating changes in environmental conditions such as pH and temperature. The potential application of such organisms and their enzymes in biotechnology is enormous, and a particular application is in biofuel production. In this review an overview of the different biofuels is given, covering those already produced commercially as well as those under development. The past and present trends in biofuel production are discussed, and future prospects for the industry are highlighted. The focus is on the current and future application of extremophilic organisms and enzymes in technologies to develop and improve the biotechnological production of biofuels. PMID:20662378

  10. 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

    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. The......-clover) and highlights the importance of analysing the whole crop rotation and including soil carbon changes when estimating carbon footprints of organic crops especially where green manure crops are included.......Many current organic arable agriculture systems are challenged by a dependency on imported livestock manure from conventional agriculture. At the same time organic agriculture aims at being climate friendly. A life cycle assessment is used in this paper to compare the carbon footprints of different...

  11. 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

  12. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26936679

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. An Assessment of the Interaction between High Tunnels and Crop Insurance for Specialty Crop Producers

    OpenAIRE

    Belasco, Eric J.; Chen, Chen; Ponnaluru, Srinivasa Sasdhar; Galinato, Suzette P.; Marsh, Thomas L.

    2011-01-01

    Protective covers, such as high tunnels, are being used by specialty crop producers to enhance production quality and yields, expand or growing seasons, and protect crops from some extreme elements. While growing in popularity, one barrier to larger utilization includes the uncertainty regarding their practices and benefits. This paper recognizes that high tunnels can be used as a form of risk management and examines the relationship with crop insurance in order to better define optimal risk ...

  17. 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.

  18. A multi-actor multi-criteria framework to assess the stakeholder support for different biofuel options: The case of Belgium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The multi-actor multi-criteria analysis (MAMCA) is a methodology to evaluate different policy measures, whereby different stakeholders' opinions are explicitly taken into account. In this paper, the framework is used to assess several biofuel options for Belgium that can contribute to the binding target of 10% renewable fuels in transport by 2020, issued by the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). Four biofuel options (biodiesel, ethanol, biogas and synthetic biodiesel (also referred to as 'biomass-to-liquid' or BTL)) together with a reference fossil fuel option, are evaluated on the aims and objectives of the different stakeholders involved in the biofuel supply chain (feedstock producers, biofuel producers, fuel distributors, end users, vehicle manufacturers, government, NGOs and North-South organizations). Overall, the MAMCA provided insights in the stakeholder's position and possible implementation problems for every biofuel option. As such, it helps decision makers in establishing a supportive policy framework to facilitate implementation and to ensure market success, once they have decided on which biofuel option (or combination of options) to implement. - Research Highlights: → Stakeholder support is an indispensable factor for market success of biofuels. → A MAMCA explicitly includes stakeholder visions in the decision-making process. → The MAMCA shows strengths and weaknesses of alternatives for different stakeholders. →Information on stakeholder's position helps to establish implementation pathways. → Policy makers should focus on combination of biofuel options to reach EU 2020 target.

  19. 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

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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

  2. Too difficult to govern? An assessment of the governability of transport biofuels in the EU

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Transport biofuels are currently the subject of heated debate in the EU. In the past decade the deployment of these technologies has been justified by claims of attractive environmental, geopolitical and rural development benefits. However, expectations have rapidly turned into deep criticism regarding the sustainability of these technologies and the desirability of pursuing the biofuel path. This situation has generated an on-going controversy and policy deadlock at EU level. This study explores these issues from a governance perspective. Employing the concept of system governability, derived from interactive governance theory, it attempts to shed some light on the problems facing the governance of biofuels and on how the quality of the governance system could be improved. The analysis showed that the governability of the system decreased substantially in the period 2003–2012 due to increasing governing needs and decreasing governing capacity. The quality of the governance system can be improved by (i) improving governing capacity by reducing conflicts among governing actors, advancing consistency among institutions and creating capacity at international and global level; and (ii) promoting advanced technologies and adjusting societal ambitions and expectations regarding biofuels. - highlights: • Biofuels in the EU are significantly more difficult to govern today than in 2003. • This is due to the qualities of the system to be governed and the governing system. • Sustainable biofuel systems are inherently difficult to govern

  3. Considering Trade Policies for Liquid Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Kojima, Masami; Mitchell, Donald; Ward, William

    2007-01-01

    This report addresses the issues associated with trade in liquid biofuels is a second Energy Sector Management Assistance Program report on biofuels, and part of a broader assessment of bioenergy undertaken by the World Bank. The report asks how liberalizing trade in liquid biofuels might affect biofuel production and consumption. Bioenergy is playing an increasingly important role as an a...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Resetting global expectations from agricultural biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aggressive renewable energy policies have helped the biofuels industry grow at a rate few could have predicted. However, while discourse on the energy balance and environmental impacts of agricultural biofuel feedstocks are common, the potential they hold for additional production has received considerably less attention. Here we present a new biofuel yield analysis based on the best available global agricultural census data. These new data give us the first opportunity to consider geographically-specific patterns of biofuel feedstock production in different regions, across global, continental, national and sub-national scales. Compared to earlier biofuel yield tables, our global results show overestimates of biofuel yields by ∼100% or more for many crops. To encourage the use of regionally-specific data for future biofuel studies, we calculated complete results for 20 feedstock crops for 238 countries, states, territories and protectorates.

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Food Aid and Biofuels: The Effects of Biofuel Policies on Procurement and Delivery

    OpenAIRE

    Cardwell, Ryan T.; Kerr, William A.

    2009-01-01

    The food-aid community almost unanimously condemns policies that encourage crop production for fuel. Both food-aid donors and recipients are concerned that biofuels will increase foodgrain prices and leave donors unable to meet commitments. The effects of biofuel-induced higher cereal prices on food-aid recipients are complicated functions of several factors, each of which must be considered in an analysis of the effects of biofuel policies. These factors include the level of biofuel-induced ...

  11. 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

  12. Using the Lashof Accounting Methodology to Assess Carbon Mitigation Projects Using LCA: Ethanol Biofuel as a Case Study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Courchesne, Alexandre; Becaert, Valerie; Rosenbaum, Ralph K.;

    2010-01-01

    As governments elaborate strategies to counter climate change, there is a need to compare the different options available on an environmental basis. This study proposes a life cycle assessment (LCA) framework integrating the Lashof Mg-year accounting methodology that allows the assessment 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...

  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 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. ...

  15. Biofuel and Bioenergy implementation scenarios. Final report of VIEWLS WP5, modelling studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report is published within the framework of the European Commission-supported project 'Clear Views on Clean Fuels' or VIEWLS. The overall objectives of this project are to provide structured and clear data on the availability and performance of biofuel and to identify the possibilities and strategies towards large-scale sustainable production, use and trading of biofuels for the transport sector in Europe, including Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC). This reports constitutes the outcome of the Work Package 5 (WP5) of the VIEWLS project. In WP5 the EU biofuels and bioenergy markets are modelled with the aim to conduct quantitative analyses on the production and costs of biofuels and on the resulting market structure and supply chains. In a bigger context, where possible, WP5 aims also to provide insight into larger socio-economic impacts of bioenergy trade within Europe. The objective of this research is to develop a cost efficient biofuel strategy for Europe in terms of biofuel production, cost and trade, and to assess its larger impact on bioenergy markets and trade up to 2030. Based on the biomass availability and associated costs within EU25, under different conditions, scenarios for biofuels production and cost can be constructed using quantitative modelling tools. Combining this with (cost) data on biofuel conversion technologies and transport of biomass and biofuels, the lowest cost biofuel supply chain given a certain demand predetermined by the biofuels Directive can be designed. In a broader context, this is supplemented by a design of a sustainable bioenergy supply chain in view of the fact that biomass-heat, biomass-electricity and biofuels are competing for the same biomass resources. In other words, the scarcity of bioenergy crops, as manifested through overall bioenergy demand, is an essential variable in bioenergy scenarios

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Biogas and biofuels barometer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    European union countries are becoming more and more interested by the characteristics of biogas in terms of environment and energy production and are developing their proper channels of valorization according to their potential. In this way, biogas production reached nearly 5,3 million tons oil equivalent in 2006, representing a 13,6% increase with respect to 2005. Statistical data are provided on the primary energy production of biogas, the electricity production from biogas, gross heat production from biogas, and the representative firms of the biogas sector. In a second part the biofuels barometer is presented. The agricultural environment and landscape of the European Union countries is redefined a little more each year by energy crops for biofuel production. According to the first estimates for 2006, biofuel consumption reached 5,38 Mtoe last year in the EU, corresponding to a 1,8% share of the total consumption of fuels devoted to transport. (A.L.B.)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 (EUR3820 and EUR5285 ha-1 yr-1) nor biomass productions are able to obtain a positive profit (-EUR184 and -EUR172 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. (author)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-01-15

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

  6. 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. PMID:23318887

  7. 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

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-10

    The production of biofuel from microalgae has been an area of great interest as microalgae have higher productivities than land plants, and certain species have high lipid constituents which are the major feedstock for biodiesel production. One way to enhance the economic feasibility of algal-based biofuel is to couple it with waste remediation. This study investigated the technical feasibility of cultivating Chlorella sp. and Nannochloropsis sp. with fish water for biofuel production. The remediation potential of Chlorella sp. was found to be higher but the lipid yield is lower, when compared to Nannochloropsis sp. Lipid productivities were found to be similar for both types of algae at 1.1-1.3mgL(-1)h(-1). The fatty acid profiles of the obtained lipids were found suitable for biofuel production, and the calorific values were high at 30-32MJ/kg. The results provide insights into lipid production in Chlorella sp. and Nannochloropsis sp., when coupled with waste remediation. PMID:26808868

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The interest in renewable energy sources has gained great importance in Europe due to the need to reduce fossil energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, as required by the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) of the European Parliament. The production of energy from energy crops appears to be consistent with RED. The environmental impact related to this kind of energy primarily originates from crop cultivation. This research aimed to evaluate the environmental impact of different crop systems for biomass production: single and double crop. The environmental performances of maize and maize plus wheat were assessed from a life cycle perspective. Two alternative scenarios considering different yields, crop management, and climatic conditions, were also addressed. One normal cubic metre of potential methane was chosen as a functional unit. Methane potential production data were obtained through lab experimental tests. For both of the crop systems, the factors that have the greatest influence on the overall environmental burden are: fertilizer emissions, diesel fuel emissions, diesel fuel production, and pesticide production. Notwithstanding the greater level of methane potential production, the double crop system appears to have the worse environmental performance with respect to its single crop counterpart. This result is due to the bigger quantity of inputs needed for the double crop system. Therefore, the greater amount of biomass (silage) obtained through the double crop system is less than proportional to the environmental burden that results from the bigger quantity of inputs requested for double crop. PMID:23994820

  14. 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...

  15. Biofuels worldwide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  16. 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...

  17. Biofuels versus food production: Does biofuels production increase food prices?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rapidly growing fossil energy consumption in the transport sector in the last two centuries caused problems such as increasing greenhouse gas emissions, growing energy dependency and supply insecurity. One approach to solve these problems could be to increase the use of biofuels. Preferred feedstocks for current 1st generation biofuels production are corn, wheat, sugarcane, soybean, rapeseed and sunflowers. The major problem is that these feedstocks are also used for food and feed production. The core objective of this paper is to investigate whether the recent increase of biofuels production had a significant impact on the development of agricultural commodity (feedstock) prices. The most important impact factors like biofuels production, land use, yields, feedstock and crude oil prices are analysed. The major conclusions of this analysis are: In recent years the share of bioenergy-based fuels has increased moderately, but continuously, and so did feedstock production, as well as yields. So far, no significant impact of biofuels production on feedstock prices can be observed. Hence, a co-existence of biofuel and food production seems possible especially for 2nd generation biofuels. However, sustainability criteria should be seriously considered. But even if all crops, forests and grasslands currently not used were used for biofuels production it would be impossible to substitute all fossil fuels used today in transport.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    , 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...

  20. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roseline Remans

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...... complex modifications. First, the paper reviews test methods developed for the risk assessment of chemicals, including food additives and pesticides, discussing which of these methods are suitable for the assessment of recombinant proteins and whole foods. Second, the paper presents a systematic approach...

  5. Assessing methanotrophy and carbon fixation for biofuel production by Methanosarcina acetivorans

    OpenAIRE

    Nazem-Bokaee, Hadi; Gopalakrishnan, Saratram; James G. Ferry; Thomas K. Wood; Maranas, Costas D.

    2016-01-01

    Background Methanosarcina acetivorans is a model archaeon with renewed interest due to its unique reversible methane production pathways. However, the mechanism and relevant pathways implicated in (co)utilizing novel carbon substrates in this organism are still not fully understood. This paper provides a comprehensive inventory of thermodynamically feasible routes for anaerobic methane oxidation, co-reactant utilization, and maximum carbon yields of major biofuel candidates by M. acetivorans....

  6. A multi-actor multi-criteria framework to assess the stakeholder support for different biofuel options. The case of Belgium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The multi-actor multi-criteria analysis (MAMCA) is a methodology to evaluate different policy measures, whereby different stakeholders' opinions are explicitly taken into account. In this paper, the framework is used to assess several biofuel options for Belgium that can contribute to the binding target of 10% renewable fuels in transport by 2020, issued by the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). Four biofuel options (biodiesel, ethanol, biogas and synthetic biodiesel (also referred to as 'biomass-to-liquid' or BTL)) together with a reference fossil fuel option, are evaluated on the aims and objectives of the different stakeholders involved in the biofuel supply chain (feedstock producers, biofuel producers, fuel distributors, end users, vehicle manufacturers, government, NGOs and North-South organizations). Overall, the MAMCA provided insights in the stakeholder's position and possible implementation problems for every biofuel option. As such, it helps decision makers in establishing a supportive policy framework to facilitate implementation and to ensure market success, once they have decided on which biofuel option (or combination of options) to implement. (author)

  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. 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

  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. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Shabbir H. Gheewala; Thapat Silalertruksa; Pariyapat Nilsalab; Rattanawan Mungkung; Perret, Sylvain R.; Nuttapon Chaiyawannakarn

    2014-01-01

    The proliferation of food, feed and biofuels demands promises to increase pressure on water competition and stress, particularly for Thailand, which has a large agricultural base. This study assesses the water footprint of ten staple crops grown in different regions across the country and evaluates the impact of crop water use in different regions/watersheds by the water stress index and the indication of water deprivation potential. The ten crops include major rice, second rice, maize, soybe...

  13. 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

  14. 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,

  15. 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...

  16. 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 ...

  17. A review of variability in indirect land use change assessment and modeling in biofuel policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: ► ILUC contributes a significant fraction of biofuel life-cycle carbon intensity. ► ILUC modeling approaches are varied and produce different results. ► The amount of forest conversion predicted has a large impact on GHG estimates. ► Conservation of forests should be a primary focus to lessen the impacts of ILUC. -- Abstract: The inclusion of indirect land use change (ILUC) can dramatically affect the calculated greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits of biofuels in comparison to conventional fuels. Due to the potential magnitude and impacts of ILUC, this concept is being included in many biofuel policies, such as the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) and California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The approaches to modeling ILUC are complex and fraught with uncertainties, and results tend to lack agreement. In this work, we have investigated the modeling approaches and emission factor databases employed to determine their effects on ILUC variability in several key studies, with particular focus on U.S. policy. The amount and location of ILUC, which is predicted by agro-economic models, vary greatly from the studies investigated: Searchinger et al. (2008) predicted more than twice the amount of land conversion compared to more recent studies that have used updated models. Even more influential, yet more understated, is the estimation of the type of land converted, since conversion of forests results in significantly greater GHG emissions than conversion from other land types, and RFS2 and LCFS have estimated only a fraction of conversion of forest in comparison to Searchinger. Additionally, many studies investigated have relied on the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) emission factor database to determine GHG emissions from ILUC, but each has applied data differently to arrive at different results. It is recognized that this database is coarse, so a more spatially explicit approach in the Winrock database, which has carbon stock data for over 750

  18. Life Cycle Assessment of Biogas/Biofuel Production from Organic Waste

    OpenAIRE

    Seldal, Tiril Jeanette

    2014-01-01

    The focus on energy production is important today and will be of even bigger importance in the future. With an increase in the world’s population and at the same time a more energy demanding one the energy issue is and will be one aspect that will involve all of us. The demand and environmental impacts will require that an increasing share of the energy will be renewable. Waste systems has therefore become of bigger interests in the resent years.This thesis has looked at biogas/biofuel p...

  19. Biofuel technology handbook. 2. ed.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rutz, Dominik; Janssen, Rainer

    2008-01-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  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. Biofuel market and carbon modeling to analyse French biofuel policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In order to comply with European Union objectives, France has set up an ambitious biofuel plan. This plan is evaluated on the basis of two criteria: tax exemption on fossil fuels and greenhouse gases (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 an oil refining optimization model. Thus, we determine the minimum tax exemption needed to place on the market a targeted quantity of biofuel by deducting the biofuel long-run marginal revenue of refiners from the agro-industrial marginal cost of biofuel production. With a clear view of the refiner's economic choices, total pollutant emissions along the biofuel production chains are quantified and used to feed an LCA. 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 demand for petroleum products and consequently these parameters should be taken into account by authorities to modulate biofuel tax exemption. LCA results show that biofuel production and use, from ''seed to wheel'', would facilitate the French Government's compliance with its ''Plan Climat'' objectives by reducing up to 5% GHG emissions in the French road transport sector by 2010. (author)

  7. 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.

  8. Wavelet-based detection of crop zinc stress assessment using hyperspectral reflectance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Meiling; Liu, Xiangnan; Wu, Ling; Duan, Liqing; Zhong, Binqing

    2011-09-01

    Accurate detection of heavy metal-induced stress on the growth of crops is essential for agricultural ecological environment and food security. This study focuses on exploring singularity parameters as indicators for a crop's Zn stress level assessment by applying wavelet analysis to the hyperspectral reflectance. The field in which the experiment was conducted is located in the Changchun City, Jilin Province, China. The hyperspectral and biochemistry data from four crops growing in Zn contaminated soils: rice, maize, soybean and cabbage were collected. We performed a wavelet transform to the hyperspectral reflectance (350-1300 nm), and explored three categories of singularity parameters as indicators of crop Zn stress, including singularity range ( SR), singularity amplitude ( SA) and a Lipschitz exponent ( α). The results indicated that (i) the wavelet coefficient of the fifth decomposition level by applying Daubechies 5 (db5) mother wavelets proved successful for identifying crop Zn stress; the SR of crop concentrated on the region was around 550-850 nm of the spectral signal under Zn stress; (ii) the SR stabilized, but SA and α had developed some variations at the growth stages of the crop; (iii) the SR, SA and α were found among four crop species differentially; and moreover the SA increased in relation to an increase in the SR of crop species; (iv) the α had a strong non-linear relationship with the Zn concentration ( R2:0.7601-0.9451); the SA had a strong linear relationship with Zn concentration ( R2:0.5141-0.8281). Singularity parameters can be used as indicators for a crop's Zn stress level as well as offer a quantitative analysis of the singularity of spectrum signal. The wavelet transform technique has been shown to be very promising in detecting crops with heavy metal stress.

  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. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. A holistic high-throughput screening framework for biofuel feedstock assessment that characterises variations in soluble sugars and cell wall composition in Sorghum bicolor

    OpenAIRE

    Martin, Antony P.; PALMER, WILLIAM M.; Byrt, Caitlin S; Furbank, Robert T.; Grof, Christopher PL

    2013-01-01

    Background A major hindrance to the development of high yielding biofuel feedstocks is the ability to rapidly assess large populations for fermentable sugar yields. Whilst recent advances have outlined methods for the rapid assessment of biomass saccharification efficiency, none take into account the total biomass, or the soluble sugar fraction of the plant. Here we present a holistic high-throughput methodology for assessing sweet Sorghum bicolor feedstocks at 10 days post-anthesis for total...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

    The hemicelluloses fraction of black liquor is an underutilized resource in many chemical pulp mills. It is possible to extract and separate the lignin and hemicelluloses from the black liquor and use the hemicelluloses for biochemical conversion into biofuels and chemicals. Precipitation of the lignin from the black liquor would consequently decrease the thermal load on the recovery boiler, which is often referred to as a bottleneck for increased pulp production. The objective of this work is to techno-economically evaluate the production of sodium-free lignin as a solid fuel and butanol to be used as fossil gasoline replacement by fractionating black liquor. The hydrolysis and fermentation processes are modeled in Aspen Plus to analyze energy and material balances as well as to evaluate the plant economics. A mathematical model of an existing pulp and paper mill is used to analyze the effects on the energy performance of the mill subprocesses. PMID:24950095

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. The impacts of biofuel targets on land-use change and food supply : a global CGE assessment

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ewert, F.; Rötter, R. P.; Bindi, M.; Weber, H.; Trnka, Miroslav; Kersebaum, K. C.; Olesen, J. E.; van Ittersum, M. K.; Janssen, S.; Rivingtom, M.; Semenov, M. A.; Wallach, D.; Porter, J. R.; Stewart, D.; Vegahen, J.; Gaiser, T.; Palouso, T.; Tao, F.; Nendel, C.; Roggero, P. P.; Bartošová, Lenka; Asseng, S.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 72, oct (2015), s. 287-303. ISSN 1364-8152 R&D Projects: GA MZe QJ1310123; GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.20.0248 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : uncertainty * scaling * integrated assessment * risk assessment * adaptation * crop models Subject RIV: GC - Agronomy Impact factor: 4.420, year: 2014

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Allica, Javier; Becerril, José M; Garbisu, Carlos

    2008-03-01

    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(-1)), Zn (10 916 mg kg(-1)), and Cd (242 mg kg(-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(-1). We concluded that the phytoextraction performance of cultivars varies depending on the screening method used. PMID:17644228

  8. Assessment of selenium mineralization and availability from catch crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    room temperature for up to 19 weeks. The results showed that Se concentrations in the leachate were higher when Se-enriched plant material was incorporated in the soil, indicating Se mineralization. When nonenriched plant material was added to the soil, Se concentrations in the leachate were generally...... 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 at...... 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, the...

  9. PERUN system and its application for assessing the crop yield potential of the Czech Republic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubrovsky, M.; Zalud, Z.; Eitzinger, J.; Trnka, M.; Semeradova, D.

    2003-04-01

    The main purpose of the first version of the computer system PERUN, which has been developed in 2001-2002 (presented in EGS 2002), is the probabilistic seasonal crop yield forecasting for a given site. The system is based on the crop growth model WOFOST (version 7, slightly modified) and the six-variate version of the stochastic weather generator Met&Roll. The system is now being enhanced to allow assessment of the crop yield potential of a larger area. As this assessment requires a great amount of meteorological, pedological and crop data to be gathered, but these data are not yet all available to the authors, the presentation will rather focus on the methodological aspects and the results of the sensitivity analysis. The presentation will consist of the following points: (i) Overview of the PERUN system. The results of the validation experiments (spring barley and winter wheat at selected Czech locations) will be presented, too. (ii) Methodology used for a spatial assessment. The assessment is based on integrating model crop yields simulated at multiple sub-regions with region-specific climatic and pedological conditions. The input daily weather series are produced by the stochastic generator. The multi-year crop model simulation is performed for each sub-region to assess the mean and variability of the model yields. (iii) Sensitivity of the regional crop production potential to uncertainties in selected input characteristics: crop cultivar, soil type, hydrological characteristics (e.g. amount of available water at the beginning of the simulation), and climatic conditions (e.g temperature, precipitation). In assessing sensitivity to climate, the climatic characteristics will be varied within the range of values typical for the territory of the Czech Republic. The crops applied in the analysis are spring barley and winter wheat. Acknowledgement: The system PERUN has been developed within the frame of project QC1316 sponsored by the Czech National Agency for

  10. 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. PMID:24046097

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2009-11-15

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

  12. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    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 tr...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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-1), Zn (10 916 mg kg-1), and Cd (242 mg kg-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-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

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Pesticide fate modeling in soils with the crop model STICS: Feasibility for assessment of agricultural practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queyrel, Wilfried; Habets, Florence; Blanchoud, Hélène; Ripoche, Dominique; Launay, Marie

    2016-01-15

    Numerous pesticide fate models are available, but few of them are able to take into account specific agricultural practices, such as catch crop, mixing crops or tillage in their predictions. In order to better integrate crop management and crop growth in the simulation of diffuse agricultural pollutions, and to manage both pesticide and nitrogen pollution, a pesticide fate module was implemented in the crop model STICS. The objectives of the study were: (i) to implement a pesticide fate module in the crop model STICS; (ii) to evaluate the model performance using experimental data from three sites with different pedoclimatic contexts, one in The Netherlands and two in northern France; (iii) to compare the simulations with several pesticide fate models; and (iv) to test the impact of specific agricultural practices on the transfer of the dissolved fraction of pesticides. The evaluations were carried out with three herbicides: bentazone, isoproturon, and atrazine. The strategy applied in this study relies on a noncalibration approach and sensitivity test to assess the operating limits of the model. To this end, the evaluation was performed with default values found in the literature and completed by sensitivity tests. The extended version of the STICS named STICS-Pest, shows similar results with other pesticide fate models widely used in the literature. Moreover, STICS-Pest was able to estimate realistic crop growth and catch crop dynamic, which thus illustrate agricultural practices leading to a reduction of nitrate and a change in pesticide leaching. The dynamic plot-scale model, STICS-Pest is able to simulate nitrogen and pesticide fluxes, when the hydrologic context is in the validity range of the reservoir (or capacity) model. According to these initial results, the model may be a relevant tool for studying the effect of long-term agricultural practices on pesticide residue dynamics in soil and the associated diffuse pollution transfer. PMID:26556743

  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. 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

  8. The Impacts of Biofuels Targets on Land-Use Change and Food Supply: A Global Cge Assessment

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

    We analyze the long-term impacts of large-scale expansion of biofuels on land-use change, food supply and prices, and the overall economy in various countries or regions using a multi-country, multi-sector global computable general equilibrium model augmented with an explicit land-use module and detailed biofuel sectors. We find that an expansion of biofuel production to meet the existing or even higher targets in various countries would slightly reduce GDP at the global level but with mixed ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. AgRISTARS: Soil moisture/early warning and crop condition assessment. Interface control document

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-01-01

    The interactions and support functions required between the early warning/crop condition assessment (EW/CCA) project and soil moisture (SM) project are defined. The EW Project aims to develop, test and evaluate techniques and procedures for adapting remote sensing technology to provide early warning of events and the timely assessment of those factors which affect the quality and quantity of production of economically important crops. Those techniques to augment and reinforce the current assessment activities are to be developed to improve the definition of the relationship between the plant(s) and its environment. This assessment and evaluation will certainly include the need for soil moisture measurement and estimation. The SM Project aims to develop, test, and evaluate techniques and procedures to measure or predict soil moisture in the root zone using both contact and remote sensors.

  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. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. Assessing the Crop Growing Period According to the Climate Change Forecasts for Marina Baixa (SE Spain)

    OpenAIRE

    Herrera, Mario; Moutahir, Hassane; González, Carlos Alberto; Chirino Miranda, Esteban; Bellot Abad, Juan Francisco

    2015-01-01

    The present work aims to assess the likely effects of climate change on the length of growing period (LGP) of crops in Marina Baixa (SE, Spain). LGP can be assessed by a balance between preci- pitation and reference evapotranspiration. Less rainfall and an increased evapotranspiration, forecast by Global Climate Models (GCMs), are considered as a high risk for agriculture. This area is located in a semiarid climate region where water is a very limited resource. It is a typical example of area...

  17. 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)

  18. 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)

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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)

  1. Biofuel impacts on water.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tidwell, Vincent Carroll; Malczynski, Leonard A.; Sun, Amy Cha-Tien

    2011-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories and General Motors Global Energy Systems team conducted a joint biofuels systems analysis project from March to November 2008. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility, implications, limitations, and enablers of large-scale production of biofuels. 90 billion gallons of ethanol (the energy equivalent of approximately 60 billion gallons of gasoline) per year by 2030 was chosen as the book-end target to understand an aggressive deployment. Since previous studies have addressed the potential of biomass but not the supply chain rollout needed to achieve large production targets, the focus of this study was on a comprehensive systems understanding the evolution of the full supply chain and key interdependencies over time. The supply chain components examined in this study included agricultural land use changes, production of biomass feedstocks, storage and transportation of these feedstocks, construction of conversion plants, conversion of feedstocks to ethanol at these plants, transportation of ethanol and blending with gasoline, and distribution to retail outlets. To support this analysis, we developed a 'Seed to Station' system dynamics model (Biofuels Deployment Model - BDM) to explore the feasibility of meeting specified ethanol production targets. The focus of this report is water and its linkage to broad scale biofuel deployment.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Assessment of energy crops alternative to maize for biogas production in the Greater Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Frédéric; Gerin, Patrick A; Noo, Anaïs; Lemaigre, Sébastien; Stilmant, Didier; Schmit, Thomas; Leclech, Nathael; Ruelle, Luc; Gennen, Jerome; von Francken-Welz, Herbert; Foucart, Guy; Flammang, Jos; Weyland, Marc; Delfosse, Philippe

    2014-08-01

    The biomethane yield of various energy crops, selected among potential alternatives to maize in the Greater Region, was assessed. The biomass yield, the volatile solids (VS) content and the biochemical methane potential (BMP) were measured to calculate the biomethane yield per hectare of all plant species. For all species, the dry matter biomass yield and the VS content were the main factors that influence, respectively, the biomethane yield and the BMP. Both values were predicted with good accuracy by linear regressions using the biomass yield and the VS as independent variable. The perennial crop miscanthus appeared to be the most promising alternative to maize when harvested as green matter in autumn and ensiled. Miscanthus reached a biomethane yield of 5.5 ± 1 × 10(3)m(3)ha(-1) during the second year after the establishment, as compared to 5.3 ± 1 × 10(3)m(3)ha(-1) for maize under similar crop conditions. PMID:24929279

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    Production of both livestock and food crops are central priorities of agriculture; however, food safety concerns arise where these practices intersect. In this study, we investigated the public health risks associated with potential bioaerosol deposition to crops grown in the vicinity of manure application sites. A field sampling campaign at dairy manure application sites supported the emission, transport, and deposition modeling of bioaerosols emitted from these lands following application activities. Results were coupled with a quantitative microbial risk assessment model to estimate the infection risk due to consumption of leafy green vegetable crops grown at various distances downwind from the application area. Inactivation of pathogens ( spp., spp., and O157:H7) on both the manure-amended field and on crops was considered to determine the maximum loading of pathogens to plants with time following application. Overall median one-time infection risks at the time of maximum loading decreased from 1:1300 at 0 m directly downwind from the field to 1:6700 at 100 m and 1:92,000 at 1000 m; peak risks (95th percentiles) were considerably greater (1:18, 1:89, and 1:1200, respectively). Median risk was below 1:10,000 at >160 m downwind. As such, it is recommended that a 160-m setback distance is provided between manure application and nearby leafy green crop production. Additional distance or delay before harvest will provide further protection of public health. PMID:27065414

  6. Assessing long-term impacts of increased crop productivity on atmospheric CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavazzoni, J; Volk, T

    1996-05-01

    A full assessment of the impacts of land clearance and crop production on atmospheric CO2 requires a systems approach. By considering long-term soil carbon changes and fossil fuel energy inputs, we show that increased crop productivity will alleviate CO2 release to the atmosphere primarily by preventing additional land cultivation. Each hectare of cropland undergoing a simulated threefold crop productivity increase here prevents a net release on the order of 150-200 Mg C to the atmosphere over 100 years by avoiding additional land cultivation which would otherwise be required. This effective carbon sink would slowly diminish with time due to fossil fuel energy input requirements. However, future self-containment of the energy needs of high-yield crop production may displace on the order of 1.0 Pg C per year of fossil fuel carbon, in addition to the carbon sink attributable to avoided land cultivation. By avoiding land cultivation, high yield crop systems also preserve natural ecosystems. PMID:11539330

  7. Second generation biofuels: Economics and policies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study reviews economics of production of second generation biofuels from various feedstocks, including crop and wood/forestry residues, lignocellulosic energy crops, jatropha, and algae. The study indicates that while second generation biofuels could significantly contribute to the future energy supply mix, cost is a major barrier to its commercial production in the near to medium term. Depending upon type of biofuels, feedstock prices and conversion costs, the cost of cellulosic ethanol is found to be two to three times higher than the current price of gasoline on an energy equivalent basis. The median cost (across the studies reviewed) of biodiesel produced from microalgae, a prospective feedstock, is seven times higher than the current price of diesel, although much higher cost estimates have been reported. As compared with the case of first generation biofuels, in which feedstock can account for over two-thirds of the total costs, the share of feedstock in the total costs is relatively lower (30-50%) in the case of second generation biofuels. While significant cost reductions are needed for both types of second generation biofuels, the critical barriers are at different steps of the production process. For cellulosic ethanol, the biomass conversion costs needs to be reduced. On the other hand, feedstock cost is the main issue for biodiesel. At present, policy instruments, such as fiscal incentives and consumption mandates have in general not differentiated between the first and second generation biofuels except in the cases of the US and EU. The policy regime should be revised to account for the relative merits of different types of biofuels. - Highlights: → Second generation biofuels could significantly contribute to the future energy supply mix. → Cost is a major barrier to its the commercial production in the near to medium term. → The policy regime should be revised to account for the relative merits of different biofuels.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-11-15

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

    2016-06-01

    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. PMID:26344169

  11. 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.

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. Socio-Environmental Impact Assessment of Oleaginous Crops for Biodiesel Production in Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Geraldo Stachetti Rodrigues; Izilda Aparecida Rodrigues; Cláudio Cesar de Almeida Buschinelli; Marcos Antônio Vieira Ligo; Adriana Marlene Moreno Pires; Rosa T. S. Frighetto; Luiz José Maria Irias

    2007-01-01

    Socio-environmental impact assessments were carried out on oleaginous crops for biodiesel production under the context of expanding demand in five regions of Brazil. The study brought together representatives of the main interest groups in Delphi-type workshops. Major impacts are related with increases in demand for inputs, resources, and energy, with potential risks on water quality and habitat conservation. In some instances, management practices may improve soil quality, favoring habitats ...

  2. 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)

  3. Transgenic perennial biofuel feedstocks and strategies for bioconfinement

    Science.gov (United States)

    The use of transgenic tools for the improvement of plant feedstocks will be required to realize the full economic and environmental benefits of cellulosic and other biofuels, particularly from perennial plants. Traits that are targets for improvement of biofuels crops include he...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  5. 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

  6. A case study for assessment of microbial community dynamics in genetically modified Bt cotton crop fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapur, Manisha; Bhatia, Ranjana; Pandey, Gunjan; Pandey, Janmejay; Paul, Debarati; Jain, Rakesh K

    2010-08-01

    Bt cotton was the first genetically modified crop approved for use in India. However, only a few studies have been conducted to assess the feasibility of its commercial application. Bt cotton is genetically modified to express a proteinaceous endotoxin (Cry) encoded by cry gene of Bacillus thuringiensis that has specific insecticidal activity against bollworms. Therefore, the amount of pesticides used for growing Bt cotton is postulated to be considerably low as compared to their non-Bt counterparts. Alternatively, it is also speculated that application of a genetically modified crop may alter the bio-geochemical balance of the agriculture field(s). Microbial community composition and dynamics is an important descriptor for assessment of such alterations. In the present study, we have assessed the culturable and non-culturable microbial diversities in Bt cotton and non-Bt cotton soils to determine the ecological consequences of application of Bt cotton. The analyses of microbial community structures indicated that cropping of Bt cotton did not adversely affect the diversity of the microbial communities. PMID:20098990

  7. Assessing the sustainability of Brazilian oleaginous crops - possible raw material to produce biodiesel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The aim of this paper is to make an emergy assessment of oleaginous crops cultivated in Brazil, available to produce biodiesel, in order to determine which crop is the most sustainable. This study evaluates conventional agro-chemical farms that produce rapeseed (canola), oil palm, soybean, sunflower and cotton. Rapeseed (canola) crop uses 40.41% of renewable energy and it is the most sustainable conventional oil crop; on the other hand, it is not widely produced in Brazil, probably due to climate restrictions or low market demand. The oil palm emergy indicators are contradictory: its emergy exchange ratio (EER) value is the lower, showing the possibility of fair exchange, and the low transformity value indicates high efficiency; however, it also has low renewability (28.31%), indicating a high dependency on agro-chemicals (basically fertilizers). Oil palm is a potential energy source due to its high agricultural productivity, but appropriate management is necessary to increase its sustainability and reduce the use of non-renewable resources.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Assessment of the GHG Reduction Potential from Energy Crops Using a Combined LCA and Biogeochemical Process Models: A Review

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    The main purpose for developing biofuel is to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, but the comprehensive environmental impact of such fuels is not clear. Life cycle analysis (LCA), as a complete comprehensive analysis method, has been widely used in bioenergy assessment studies. Great efforts have been directed toward establishing an efficient method for comprehensively estimating the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction potential from the large-scale cultivation of energy plants by comb...

  16. Lifecycle Analyses of Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Delucchi, Mark

    2006-01-01

    This manuscript on lifecycle analysis (LCA) of biofuels for transportation has three major parts: * I. An analysis of greenhouse-gas emissions from biofuels, estimated using the Lifecycle Emissions Model (LEM). * II. A review of recent LCAs of biofuels. * III. A comprehensive conceptual framework for doing LCAs of biofuels.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. (letter)

  20. Re-desiging and assessing the cropping systems - The case of weed management in citrus orchards in Guadeloupe

    OpenAIRE

    Le Bellec, Fabrice

    2011-01-01

    Re-designing and assessing sustainable cropping systems has become a major challenge for agricultural researchers and farmers. In most prototyping methods, researchers are the main, or sometimes the only designers. However, more and more attempts for involving different kinds of stakeholders in participatory approaches have been accounted for. Besides, multi-criteria assessment tools are generally accepted as the solution to evaluating the overall sustainability of new cropping systems. The n...

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. Liquid biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This is a brief conference paper on the use of biofuels in vehicles, especially in Sweden. Vegetable oils replace only diesel. In Sweden, the vegetable oil most often used is rape-seed oil. These oils are not very efficient in ''raw'' form and are used as basis in esters, such as rape-seed methyl ester (RME). Although RME is renewable, biobased and reduces the atmospheric CO2 emission, it increases the emission of nitrogen oxides, it may cause startup problems in cold weather and is not stable when stored for long. Most RME available in Sweden is imported and the potential for increased Swedish production is very limited. By using methanol and ethanol both petrol and diesel can be replaced. While mixtures of petrol and alcohols are being used increasingly, mixtures of diesel and alcohols are unstable and their use requires technological development

  5. Biofuels securing the planet's future energy needs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The biofuels include bioethanol, biobutanol, biodiesel, vegetable oils, biomethanol, pyrolysis oils, biogas, and biohydrogen. There are two global biomass based liquid transportation fuels that might replace gasoline and diesel fuel. These are bioethanol and biodiesel. World production of biofuel was about 68 billion L in 2007. The primary feedstocks of bioethanol are sugarcane and corn. Bioethanol is a gasoline additive/substitute. Bioethanol is by far the most widely used biofuel for transportation worldwide. About 60% of global bioethanol production comes from sugarcane and 40% from other crops. Biodiesel refers to a diesel-equivalent mono alkyl ester based oxygenated fuel. Biodiesel production using inedible vegetable oil, waste oil and grease has become more attractive recently. The economic performance of a biodiesel plant can be determined once certain factors are identified, such as plant capacity, process technology, raw material cost and chemical costs. The central policy of biofuel concerns job creation, greater efficiency in the general business environment, and protection of the environment.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  10. RECENT STUDIES ON BIO-FUELS: INSIGHTS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH

    OpenAIRE

    A. Prasada Rao

    2015-01-01

    Research on bio-fuels gain momen tum as it replaces the use of fossil fuels and in turn claims environ mental and economic benefits. Energy crisis made remarkable change in exploration of novel energy and have started taken diverse measures worldwide. Recent studies on bio-fuels mainly focus on discovery of cellulose rich plant sources from non-food crops for generation of carbon neutral biofuels. In the recent past, research on bio-fuels mainly address on cost effective production of bio-...

  11. 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

  12. Assessing water footprint of wheat production in China using a crop-model-coupled-statistics approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. C. Cao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to estimate the green and blue water footprint of wheat, distinguishing the irrigated and rain-fed crop, from a production perspective. The assessment herein focuses on China and improves upon earlier research by taking a crop-model-coupled-statistics approach to estimate the water footprint of the crop in 30 provinces. We have calculated the water footprint at regional scale based on the actual data collected from 442 typical irrigation districts. Crop evapotranspiration and the water conveyance loss are both considered in calculating irrigated water footprint at the regional scale. We have also compared water footprint of per unit product between irrigated and rain-fed crops and analyzed the relationship between promoting yield and saving water resources. The national wheat production in the year 2010 takes about 142.5 billion cubic meters of water. The major portion of WF (80.9% comes from the irrigated farmland and the remaining 19.1% falls into the rain-fed. Green water (50.3% and blue water (49.7% carry almost equal shares of water footprint (WF in total cropland WF. Green water dominates the south of the Yangtze River, whereas low green water proportions relate themselves to the provinces located in the north China especially northwest China. Approximately 38.5% of the water footprint related to the production of wheat is not consumed in the form of crop evapotranspiration but of conveyance loss during irrigation process. Proportions of blue water for conveyance loss (BWCL in the arid Xinjiang, Ningxia and Neimenggu (Inner Mongolia exceed 40% due to low irrigation efficiency. The national average water footprint of wheat per unit of crop (WFP is 1.237 m3 kg−1 in 2010. There exists a big difference in WFP among provinces. Compared to the rain-fed cultivation (with no irrigation, irrigation has promoted crop yield, both provincially and up by about 170% nationally. As a result, more water resources are demanded in

  13. Assessing maize crop coefficient through eddy correlation technique in Northern Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horeschi, D.; Mancini, M.; Corbari, C.; Montaldo, N.

    2009-04-01

    The evapotranspiration (ET), also known as latent heat (LE) in energetic terms, has a key role in eco-hydrological processes. Direct measurements of ET, owing to the technique adopted (for instance the lysimeters), were not reliable, nor immediate. For this reason new methods developed by the scientific community suggested to estimate ET from energy budget using atmospheric data and parameters. Among these methods the FAO Penman-Monteith, which is largely diffused, evaluates the potential evapotranspiration of a generic crop as a product of a reference evapotranspiration (ET0) multiplied by a coefficient kc. Kc, called crop coefficient, should embody all the physiologic characteristics of a specific plant and should allow to pass from the reference ET0 to the potential ET of each crop. Such coefficients have been evaluated only in some regions of the planet, which may be quite different from the one in which they are applied. This means that available kc coefficients in literature, despite a correction procedure to adapt them to the local meteo-climate conditions, are yet not completely reliable (Katerji and Rana, 2006). Besides in this context the Eddy correlation technique (eddy-corr for simplicity), was developed in the last years. This method, built through a dimensional analysis application, demonstrated that the latent heat is proportional to the covariance of some measurable atmospheric variables. The paper discusses the reliability of the kc of maize, assessed by the FAO method comparing it with the eddy-corr analysis.

  14. Assessing transmission of crop diseases by insect vectors in a landscape context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrière, Y; Degain, B; Hartfield, K A; Nolte, K D; Marsh, S E; Ellers-Kirk, C; Van Leeuwen, W J D; Liesner, L; Dutilleul, P; Palumbo, J C

    2014-02-01

    Theory indicates that landscape composition affects transmission of vector-borne crop diseases, but few empirical studies have investigated how landscape composition affects plant disease epidemiology. Since 2006, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) has vectored the cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV) to cantaloupe and honeydew melons (Cucumis melo L.) in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, causing significant reductions in yield of fall melons and increased use of insecticides. Here, we show that a landscape-based approach allowing simultaneous assessment of impacts of local (i.e., planting date) and regional (i.e., landscape composition) factors provides valuable insights on how to reduce crop disease risks. Specifically, we found that planting fall melon fields early in the growing season, eliminating plants germinating from seeds produced by spring melons after harvest, and planting fall melon fields away from cotton and spring melon fields may significantly reduce the incidence of CYSDV infection in fall melons. Because the largest scale of significance of the positive association between abundance of cotton and spring melon fields and CYSDV incidence was 1,750 and 3,000 m, respectively, reducing areas of cotton and spring melon fields within these distances from fall melon fields may decrease CYSDV incidence. Our results indicate that landscape-based studies will be fruitful to alleviate limitations imposed on crop production by vector-borne diseases. PMID:24665679

  15. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-02-15

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

  17. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    When Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is used to provide insights on how to pursue future food demand, it faces the challenge to describe scenarios of the future in which the environmental impacts occur. In the case of future crop production, the effects of climate change should be considered. In this...... context, the objectives of this paper are two-fold: (i) to recommend an approach to deal with uncertainty in scenario analysis for LCA of crop production in a changed climate, when the goal of the study is to suggest strategies for adaptation of crop cultivation practices towards low environmental impacts......, and (ii) to implement the suggested approach to spring barley cultivation in Denmark. First, the main implications of climate change for future crop cultivation are analyzed, and the factors which should be included when modeling the climate change effects on crops through LCA are introduced, namely...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Liquid biofuels - can they meet our expectations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glatzel, G.

    2012-04-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA. An Integrated Assessment. Part 3. Dryland Production of Grain and Forage Crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Here we simulate dryland agriculture in the United States in order to assess potential future agricultural production under a set of general circulation model (GCM)-based climate change scenarios. The total national production of three major grain crops-corn, soybeans, and winter wheat-and two forage crops-alfalfa and clover hay-is calculated for the actual present day core production area (CPA) of each of these crops. In general, higher global mean temperature (GMT) reduces production and higher atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) increases production. Depending on the climatic change scenarios employed overall national production of the crops studied changes by up to plus or minus 25% from present-day levels. Impacts are more significant regionally, with crop production varying by greater than ±50% from baseline levels. Analysis of currently possible production areas (CPPAs) for each crop indicates that the regions most likely to be affected by climate change are those on the margins of the areas in which they are currently grown. Crop yield variability was found to be primarily influenced by local weather and geographic features rather than by large-scale changes in climate patterns and atmospheric composition. Future US agronomic potential will be significantly affected by the changes in climate projected here. The nature of the crop response will depend primarily on to what extent precipitation patterns change and also on the degree of warming experienced

  4. Perspectives of microalgal biofuels as a renewable source of energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Microalgae offer solution of wastewater treatment, CO2 sequestration, and energy crises. • Microalgal biofuel is renewable, nontoxic and environmentally friendly option. • Integration of wastewater treatment with biofuels production has made them more cost effective. • This article details out the potential production process and benefits of microalgal biofuels. - Abstract: Excessive use of fossil fuels to satisfy our rapidly increasing energy demand has created severe environmental problems, such as air pollution, acid rain and global warming. Biofuels are a potential alternative to fossil fuels. First- and second-generation biofuels face criticism due to food security and biodiversity issues. Third-generation biofuels, based on microalgae, seem to be a plausible solution to the current energy crisis, as their oil-producing capability is many times higher than that of various oil crops. Microalgae are the fastest-growing plants and can serve as a sustainable energy source for the production of biodiesel and several other biofuels by conversion of sunlight into chemical energy. Biofuels produced from microalgae are renewable, non-toxic, biodegradable and environment friendly. Microalgae can be grown in open pond systems or closed photobioreactors. Microalgal biofuels are a potential means to keep the development of human activities in synchronization with the environment. The integration of wastewater treatment with biofuel production using microalgae has made microalgal biofuels more attractive and cost effective. A biorefinery approach can also be used to improve the economics of biofuel production, in which all components of microalgal biomass (i.e., proteins, lipids and carbohydrates) are used to produce useful products. The integration of various processes for maximum economic and environmental benefits minimizes the amount of waste produced and the pollution level. This paper presents an overview of various aspects associated with

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. PMID:25289698

  9. AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CROP WATER DEMAND AND IRRIGATION WATER SUPPLY AT PABBI MINOR OF WARSAK GRAVITY CANAL

    OpenAIRE

    Ehsan Inam Ullah; Himayatullah Khan; Sajjad Ali Khan

    2007-01-01

    The research study was conducted on irrigation water supply and demand at Pabbi minor of Warsak gravity canal from June to August 1998. Objectives of the research were to assess the actual supply of irrigation water, irrigation water demand of major crops, and comparison between water supply and demand for all the outlets of Pabbi minor. Actual irrigation supply was determined by cutthroam flumes. Cropping pattern was determined by interviewing the farmers by making use of proformas developed...

  10. 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

  11. Contrasts and synergies in different biofuel reports.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Assessing the impact of climate change on the crop potential productivity in Huang-Huai-Hai Plain in China based on crop model and GIS technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Zhan; Lei, Xiaotu; Gao, Zhiqiang

    2007-09-01

    The climate is changing due to higher concentrations of greenhouse gases. If concentrations continue to increase, climate models project climate change will be more severe in this century, and with significant impacts on many human sectors, particularly agriculture. Agriculture is a fundamental production sector for society, especially for highly populated countries such as China. Huang Huai-Hai Plain is regarded as the bread basket of China. With only 7.7% water resources of the whole country, it produces 39.2% of national grain production and 32.4% of gross domestic product. According to government predictions, by 2030 this area will have a net population increase of 104 million, while its urbanization rate will be greater than 50%. The total irrigated area will reach about 20 million ha, with a net increase of 2 million ha/year. In this study, DSSAT a dynamic process crop growth model, has been calibrated and validated for current production at ten sites in the major winter wheat and summer maize-growing region of Huang-Huai-Hai Plain in China The IPCC SRES greenhouse gase emission scenarios A2 and B2 were used in the simulation, combining with the Regional Climate Model (PRICES) which provides long term present and future daily weather data. Using the regional crop model and GIS technologies, the crop productivity changes of two main crops winter wheat and summer maize were for simulated 2020s, 2050s and 2080s under both IPCC SRES A2 and B2 greenhouse gases emission scenarios. Simulation results indicated the possibility of significant impacts of climate change on crop production in this region, with marked differences between rainfed and irrigated production. In conclusion, this exercise successfully tested the applicability of standard climate change impact assessment methodology to an important production region of China.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. Environmental and energy aspects of liquid biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    When spending public money to reduce CO2 emissions, it is necessary to establish which alternative energy source results in the largest reduction of CO2 emission per unit cost. Comparison of different biofuels with other energy resources is therefore important. Bioethanol is compared with leadfree gasoline, and rapeseed oil methylester (RME) is compared with diesel. Subsequently, biofuel production as a method to reduce CO2 emission will be compared with other sustainable energy resources. This comparison is based on the energy balance in chapter two and the final costs of biofuels in chapter six. The comparison of biofuels and current fossil fuels is based on emissions to the atmosphere of greenhouse gases and acidifying pollutants in chapter three. Pollution to soil and water by arable cropping is a specific characteristic of biofuel production and is difficult to compare with fossil fuels. On this subject biofuels are compared with other land uses in chapter four. This also applies to other adverse environmental aspects of agricultural production such as competition for land use with natural areas and recreation purposes. To explore future technological developments, a comparison is made in energy balances with estimated results after the year 2000. The overall conclusion is that there are far better options to achieve CO2 reduction. 2 figs., 9 tabs., 14 appendices, 28 refs

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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)

  7. 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

  8. Biofuels. Environment, technology and food security

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  9. Biofuels and biodiversity in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. O’Farrell

    2011-05-01

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

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

  10. Probabilistic tools for assessment of pest resistance risk associated to insecticidal transgenic crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maia Aline de Holanda Nunes

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the main risks associated to transgenic crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt toxins is the evolution of pest resistance. The adoption of Bt crops requires environmental risk assessment that includes resistance risk estimation, useful for definition of resistance management strategies aiming to delay resistance evolution. In this context, resistance risk is defined as the probability of the Bt toxin resistance allele frequency (RFreq exceeding a critical value (CriticalFreq. Mathematical simulation models have been used to estimate (RFreq over pest generations. In 1998, Caprio developed a deterministic simulation model with few parameters that can be used to obtain RFreq point estimates from point information about model parameters and decision variables involved in that process. In this work, the resistance risk was estimated using Caprio´s model, by incorporating uncertainty to the resistance allele initial frequency (InitialFreq. The main objective was to evaluate the influence of different probability distribution functions on the risk estimates. The simulation results showed that the influence of InitialFreq input distributions on the risk estimates changes along pest generations. The risk estimates considering input Normal distribution for InitialFreq are similar to those ones obtained considering Triangular distribution if their variances are equal. The use of Uniform distribution instead the Normal or Triangular due to the lack of information about InitialFreq leads to an overestimation of risk estimates for the initial generations and sub estimation for the generations after the one for which the critical frequency is achieved.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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).

  14. The Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) Initiative: Developing methods and best practices for global agricultural monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champagne, C.; Jarvis, I.; Defourny, P.; Davidson, A.

    2014-12-01

    Agricultural systems differ significantly throughout the world, making a 'one size fits all' approach to remote sensing and monitoring of agricultural landscapes problematic. The Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) was established in 2009 to bring together the global scientific community to work towards a set of best practices and recommendations for using earth observation data to map, monitor and report on agricultural productivity globally across an array of diverse agricultural systems. These methods form the research and development component of the Group on Earth Observation Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative to harmonize global monitoring efforts and increase market transparency. The JECAM initiative brings together researchers from a large number of globally distributed, well monitored agricultural test sites that cover a range of crop types, cropping systems and climate regimes. Each test site works independently as well as together across multiple sites to test methods, sensors and field data collection techniques to derive key agricultural parameters, including crop type, crop condition, crop yield and soil moisture. The outcome of this project will be a set of best practices that cover the range of remote sensing monitoring and reporting needs, including satellite data acquisition, pre-processing techniques, information retrieval and ground data validation. These outcomes provide the research and development foundation for GEOGLAM and will help to inform the development of the GEOGLAM "system of systems" for global agricultural monitoring. The outcomes of the 2014 JECAM science meeting will be discussed as well as examples of methods being developed by JECAM scientists.

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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...

  18. The potential of C4 grasses for cellulosic biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Weijde, Tim; Alvim Kamei, Claire L; Torres, Andres F; Vermerris, Wilfred; Dolstra, Oene; Visser, Richard G F; Trindade, Luisa M

    2013-01-01

    With the advent of biorefinery technologies enabling plant biomass to be processed into biofuel, many researchers set out to study and improve candidate biomass crops. Many of these candidates are C4 grasses, characterized by a high productivity and resource use efficiency. In this review the potential of five C4 grasses as lignocellulosic feedstock for biofuel production is discussed. These include three important field crops-maize, sugarcane and sorghum-and two undomesticated perennial energy grasses-miscanthus and switchgrass. Although all these grasses are high yielding, they produce different products. While miscanthus and switchgrass are exploited exclusively for lignocellulosic biomass, maize, sorghum, and sugarcane are dual-purpose crops. It is unlikely that all the prerequisites for the sustainable and economic production of biomass for a global cellulosic biofuel industry will be fulfilled by a single crop. High and stable yields of lignocellulose are required in diverse environments worldwide, to sustain a year-round production of biofuel. A high resource use efficiency is indispensable to allow cultivation with minimal inputs of nutrients and water and the exploitation of marginal soils for biomass production. Finally, the lignocellulose composition of the feedstock should be optimized to allow its efficient conversion into biofuel and other by-products. Breeding for these objectives should encompass diverse crops, to meet the demands of local biorefineries and provide adaptability to different environments. Collectively, these C4 grasses are likely to play a central role in the supply of lignocellulose for the cellulosic ethanol industry. Moreover, as these species are evolutionary closely related, advances in each of these crops will expedite improvements in the other crops. This review aims to provide an overview of their potential, prospects and research needs as lignocellulose feedstocks for the commercial production of biofuel. PMID:23653628

  19. 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

  20. Global Simulation of Bioenergy Crop Productivity: Analytical framework and Case Study for Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nair, S. Surendran [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Nichols, Jeff A. {Cyber Sciences} [ORNL; Post, Wilfred M [ORNL; Wang, Dali [ORNL; Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL; Kline, Keith L [ORNL; Wei, Yaxing [ORNL; Singh, Nagendra [ORNL; Kang, Shujiang [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    Contemporary global assessments of the deployment potential and sustainability aspects of biofuel crops lack quantitative details. This paper describes an analytical framework capable of meeting the challenges associated with global scale agro-ecosystem modeling. We designed a modeling platform for bioenergy crops, consisting of five major components: (i) standardized global natural resources and management data sets, (ii) global simulation unit and management scenarios, (iii) model calibration and validation, (iv) high-performance computing (HPC) modeling, and (v) simulation output processing and analysis. A case study with the HPC- Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model (HPC-EPIC) to simulate a perennial bioenergy crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and global biomass feedstock analysis on grassland demonstrates the application of this platform. The results illustrate biomass feedstock variability of switchgrass and provide insights on how the modeling platform can be expanded to better assess sustainable production criteria and other biomass crops. Feedstock potentials on global grasslands and within different countries are also shown. Future efforts involve developing databases of productivity, implementing global simulations for other bioenergy crops (e.g. miscanthus, energycane and agave), and assessing environmental impacts under various management regimes. We anticipated this platform will provide an exemplary tool and assessment data for international communities to conduct global analysis of biofuel biomass feedstocks and sustainability.

  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  6. A spatial modeling framework to evaluate domestic biofuel-induced potential land use changes and emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Joshua; Sharma, Bhavna; Best, Neil; Glotter, Michael; Dunn, Jennifer B; Foster, Ian; Miguez, Fernando; Mueller, Steffen; Wang, Michael

    2014-02-18

    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 high-resolution 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 decision-making, 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. PMID:24456539

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibis Sepúlveda González

    2012-06-01

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

  11. Food Security: Crops for People Not for Cars

    OpenAIRE

    Kullander, Sven

    2010-01-01

    Humankind is currently faced with the huge challenge of securing a sustainable energy supply and biofuels constitute one of the major options. However, the commercially traded edible crops are barely sufficient to meet food demand of the present world population. Certain regions, for example EU-27, do not even have a sufficient indigenous crop production. Of this follows that motor biofuels based on edible crops should be avoided. To replace more than some percent of the fossil motor fuels, n...

  12. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Boléo, Sara Maria Tranquada

    2011-01-01

    Energy crops offer ecological advantages over fossil fuels by contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases and acidifying emissions. However, there could be ecological shortcomings related to the intensity of agricultural production. There is a risk of polluting water and air, losing soil quality, enhancing erosion and reducing biodiversity. In the scope of the project Future Crops for Food, Feed, Fiber and Fuel (4F Crops), supported by the European Union, an environmental im...

  14. 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...

  15. Biomass, biogas and biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This article reviews the different ways to produce biofuels. It appears that there are 3 generations of biofuels. The first generation was based on the use of the energetic reserves of the plants for instance sugar from beetroot or starch from cereals or oil from oleaginous plants. The second generation is based on a more complete use of the plant, the main constituents of the plant: cellulose and lignin are turned into energy. The third generation of biofuels relies on the use of energy plants and algae. The second generation of biofuels reduces drastically the competition between an alimentary use and a non-alimentary use of plants. In 2008 the production of biofuels reached 43 Mtep which represents only 2% of all the energy used in the transport sector. The international agency for energy expects that the production of biofuels would be multiplied by a factor 6 (even 10 if inciting measures are taken) by 2030. (A.C.)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Biofuels and Food Security

    OpenAIRE

    Fischer, G; Hizsnyik, E.; Prieler, S.; Shah, M; van Velthuizen, H.T.

    2009-01-01

    Biofuels development has received increased attention in recent times as a means to mitigate climate change, alleviate global energy concerns and foster rural development. Its perceived importance in these three areas has seen biofuels feature prominently on the international agenda. Nevertheless, the rapid growth of biofuels production has raised many concerns among experts worldwide, in particular with regard to sustainability issues and the threat posed to food security. The UN Secretary G...

  20. Biofuels in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Tianwei; Yu, Jianliang; Lu, Jike; Zhang, Tao

    The Chinese government is stimulating the biofuels development to replace partially fossil fuels in the transport sector, which can enhance energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate rural development. Bioethanol, biodiesel, biobutanol, biogas, and biohydrogen are the main biofuels developed in China. In this chapter, we mainly present the current status of biofuel development in China, and illustrate the issues of feedstocks, food security and conversion processes.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. On the future prospects and limits of biofuels in Brazil, the US and EU

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Market prospects of biofuels are investigated up to 2030 for Brazil, the US and EU. • 1st generation biofuels are cost-effective under current tax policies. • Their potentials are restricted especially due to limited crops areas. • R and D especially for second generation biofuels has to be intensified. - Abstract: In the early 2000s high expectations existed regarding the potential contribution of biofuels to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and substitution of fossil fuels in transport. In recent years sobering judgments prevailed. The major barriers for a further expansion of biofuels are their high costs (compared to fossil fuels), moderate ecological performances, limited feedstocks for biofuel production and their competition with food production. The objective of this paper is to investigate the market prospects of biofuels up to the year 2030. It focuses on the three currently most important regions for biofuels production and use: the US, EU and Brazil which in 2010 accounted together for almost three-quarters of global biofuel supply. Our method of approach is based on a dynamic economic framework considering the major cost components of biofuels and corresponding technological learning with respect to capital costs. Moreover, for the analysis of the competitiveness of biofuels with fossil fuels also taxes are considered. The most important result is that under existing tax policies biofuels are cost-effective today and also for the next decades in the regions investigated. However, their potentials are restricted especially due to limited crops areas, and their environmental performance is currently rather modest. The major final conclusions are: (i) To reveal the real future market value of biofuels, a CO2 based tax system should be implemented for all types of fuels providing a neutral environmental incentive for competition between all types of fossil and renewable fuels; (ii) Moreover, the research and development for

  5. Assessing crop yield benefits from in situ rainwater harvesting through contour ridges in semi-arid Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mhizha, A.; Ndiritu, J. G.

    Rainwater harvesting through modified contour ridges known as dead level contours has been practiced in Zimbabwe in the last two decades. Studies have shown marginal soil moisture retention benefits for using this technique while results on crop yield benefits are lacking. This paper presents results from a field study for assessing the impact of dead level contours on soil moisture and crop yield carried out from 2009 to 2011 within the Limpopo River Basin. The experiments were carried out on two study sites; one containing silt loam soil and another containing sandy soil. Three treatments constituting dead level contoured plots, non-contoured plots and plots with the traditional graded contours were used on each site. All the three treatments were planted with a maize crop and managed using conventional farming methods. Planting, weeding and fertiliser application in the three treatments were done at the same time. Crop monitoring was carried out on sub plots measuring 4 m by 4 m established in every treatment. The development of the crop was monitored until harvesting time with data on plant height, leaf moisture and crop yield being collected. An analysis of the data shows that in the site with silt loam soil more soil moisture accumulated after heavy rainfall in dead level contour plots compared to the control (no contours) and graded contour plots (P 0.05) higher yield in the dead level contoured treatment compared to the non-contoured treatment while a significantly (P 0.05) higher than that from the non-contoured treatment. This suggests that adopting dead level contours as an in situ rainwater harvesting technique results in crop yield benefits in fields with soil type conditions that enable runoff generation but is not likely to have benefit in soils with low runoff generation.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Biofuels in Central America, a real potential for commercial production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia, O.L. (Regional Coordinator Energy and Environmental Partnership with Central America EEP (El Salvador))

    2007-07-01

    The purpose of this paper is to show the current capabilities of the Central American countries regarding the production of biofuels, and the real potential in increasing the volumes produced and the impacts that can be generated if a non sustainable policy is followed for achieving the targets of biofuel production. Due to the world oil price crisis, and the fact that Central American counties are fully dependant on oil imports (just Guatemala and Belize produce little amounts of oil), just to mention, in some countries the imports of oil is equivalent to the 40% of the total exports, the region started to look for massive production of biofuels, something that it is not new for us. The countries have started with programs for producing ethanol from sugar cane, because it is one of the most strongest industries in Central America and they have all the infrastructure and financial sources to develop this project. The ethanol is a biofuel that can be mixed with gasoline or a complete substitute. Another biofuel that is currently under develop, is the production of biodiesel, and the main source for it nowadays is the Palm oil, where Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala have already commercial productions of crude palm oil, but the principal use of it is for the food industry, but now it is under assessment for using part of it for biodiesel. EEP is now developing pilot programs for production of biodiesel from a native plant named Jatropha curcas, and up to now we have a commercial plantation in Guatemala, and we started as well in Honduras for start spreading this plantations. In El Salvador we installed a pilot processing plant for biodiesel that can be operated with multiple feed stock, such as Jatropha, palm oil, castor oil, vegetable used oil and others. Currently we have interesting and good results regarding the production of Jatropha, we have developed a methodology for its cropping, harvesting and processing. All the vehicles and equipment involved in the

  10. Agronomic, Energetic and Environmental Aspects of Biomass Energy Crops Suitable for Italian Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppina M. D’Agosta

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The review, after a short introduction on the tendencies of the European Community Policy on biomasses, describes the agronomic, energy potential and environmental aspects of biomass crops for energy in relation to the research activity carried out in Italy on this topic, differentiating crops on the basis of the main energy use: biodiesel and bioethanol (which refers to “first generation biofuel”, heat and electricity. Currently, many of the crops for potential energy purposes are food crops (wheat, barley, corn, rapeseed, soybean, sunflower, grain sorghum, sugar beet and their production may be used as biofuel source (bioethanol and biodiesel since their crop management aspects are well known and consequently they are immediately applicable. Other species that could be used, highly productive in biomass, such as herbaceous perennial crops (Arundo donax, Miscanthus spp., cardoon, annual crops (sweet sorghum, short rotation woody crops (SRF have been carefully considered in Italy, but they still exhibit critical aspects related to propagation technique, low-input response, harvest and storage technique, cultivars and mechanization. Crops for food, however, often have negative energetic indices and environmental impacts (carbon sequestration, Life Cycle Assessment, consequent to their low productivity. Conversely, crops which are more productive in biomass, show both a more favourable energy balance and environmental impact.

  11. Agronomic, Energetic and Environmental Aspects of Biomass Energy Crops Suitable for Italian Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppina M. D’Agosta

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The review, after a short introduction on the tendencies of the European Community Policy on biomasses, describes the agronomic, energy potential and environmental aspects of biomass crops for energy in relation to the research activity carried out in Italy on this topic, differentiating crops on the basis of the main energy use: biodiesel and bioethanol (which refers to “first generation biofuel”, heat and electricity. Currently, many of the crops for potential energy purposes are food crops (wheat, barley, corn, rapeseed, soybean, sunflower, grain sorghum, sugar beet and their production may be used as biofuel source (bioethanol and biodiesel since their crop management aspects are well known and consequently they are immediately applicable. Other species that could be used, highly productive in biomass, such as herbaceous perennial crops (Arundo donax, Miscanthus spp., cardoon, annual crops (sweet sorghum, short rotation woody crops (SRF have been carefully considered in Italy, but they still exhibit critical aspects related to propagation technique, low-input response, harvest and storage technique, cultivars and mechanization. Crops for food, however, often have negative energetic indices and environmental impacts (carbon sequestration, Life Cycle Assessment, consequent to their low productivity. Conversely, crops which are more productive in biomass, show both a more favourable energy balance and environmental impact.

  12. 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,

  13. 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

  14. Cultivation and Characterization of Cynara Cardunculus for Solid Biofuels Production in the Mediterranean Region

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholas G. Danalatos; Panagiotis Basinas; Anastasia Malliopoulou; Panagiotis Grammelis

    2008-01-01

    Technical specifications of solid biofuels are continuously improved towards the development and promotion of their market. Efforts in the Greek market are limited, mainly due to the climate particularity of the region, which hinders the growth of suitable biofuels. Taking also into account the increased oil prices and the high inputs required to grow most annual crops in Greece, cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) is now considered the most important and promising sources for solid biofuel produ...

  15. 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.

  16. The economic effects of the EU biofuel target

    OpenAIRE

    Kretschmer, Bettina; Narita, Daiju; Peterson, Sonja

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we use the CGE model DART to assess the economic impacts and optimality of different aspects of the EU climate package. A special focus is placed on the 10% biofuel target in the EU. In particular we analyze the development in the biofuel sectors, the effects on agricultural production and prices, and finally overall welfare implications. One of the main findings is that the EU emission targets alone lead to onlyminor increases in biofuel production. Additional subsidies are nec...

  17. 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.

  18. Biofuel, land and water: maize, switchgrass or Miscanthus?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The productive cellulosic crops switchgrass and Miscanthus are considered as viable biofuel sources. To meet the 2022 national biofuel target mandate, actions must be taken, e.g., maize cultivation must be intensified and expanded, and other biofuel crops (switchgrass and Miscanthus) must be cultivated. This raises questions on the use efficiencies of land and water; to date, the demand on these resources to meet the national biofuel target has rarely been analyzed. Here, we present a data-model assimilation analysis, assuming that maize, switchgrass and Miscanthus will be grown on currently available croplands in the US. Model simulations suggest that maize can produce 3.0–5.4 kiloliters (kl) of ethanol for every hectare of land, depending on the feedstock to ethanol conversion efficiency; Miscanthus has more than twice the biofuel production capacity relative to maize, and switchgrass is the least productive of the three potential sources of ethanol. To meet the biofuel target, about 26.5 million hectares of land and over 90 km3 of water (of evapotranspiration) are needed if maize grain alone is used. If Miscanthus was substituted for maize, the process would save half of the land and one third of the water. With more advanced biofuel conversion technology for Miscanthus, only nine million hectares of land and 45 km3 of water would probably meet the national target. Miscanthus could be a good alternative biofuel crop to maize due to its significantly lower demand for land and water on a per unit of ethanol basis. (letter)

  19. 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 <