WorldWideScience

Sample records for biofuel crop invasiveness

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, Orlando; Chaparro-Giraldo, Alejandro

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Energy Crop and Biotechnology for Biofuel Production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liangcai Peng; Neal Gutterson

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Suresh

    2013-12-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hunsberger, Carol; Bolwig, Simon; Corbera, Esteve;

    2014-01-01

    While much attention has focused on the climate change mitigation potential of biofuels, research from the social sciences increasingly highlights the social and livelihood impacts of their expanded production. Policy and governance measures aimed at improving the social effects of biofuels have...... by their cultivation in the global South – income, food security, access to land-based resources, and social assets – revealing that distributional effects are crucial to evaluating the outcomes of biofuel production across these dimensions. Second, we ask how well selected biofuel governance mechanisms address...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-15

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

  12. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frouz, Jan; Hedenec, Petr

    2016-04-01

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

  14. 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)

  15. Predicting potential global distributions of two Miscanthus grasses: implications for horticulture, biofuel production, and biological invasions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather A Hager

    Full Text Available In many regions, large proportions of the naturalized and invasive non-native floras were originally introduced deliberately by humans. Pest risk assessments are now used in many jurisdictions to regulate the importation of species and usually include an estimation of the potential distribution in the import area. Two species of Asian grass (Miscanthus sacchariflorus and M. sinensis that were originally introduced to North America as ornamental plants have since escaped cultivation. These species and their hybrid offspring are now receiving attention for large-scale production as biofuel crops in North America and elsewhere. We evaluated their potential global climate suitability for cultivation and potential invasion using the niche model CLIMEX and evaluated the models' sensitivity to the parameter values. We then compared the sensitivity of projections of future climatically suitable area under two climate models and two emissions scenarios. The models indicate that the species have been introduced to most of the potential global climatically suitable areas in the northern but not the southern hemisphere. The more narrowly distributed species (M. sacchariflorus is more sensitive to changes in model parameters, which could have implications for modelling species of conservation concern. Climate projections indicate likely contractions in potential range in the south, but expansions in the north, particularly in introduced areas where biomass production trials are under way. Climate sensitivity analysis shows that projections differ more between the selected climate change models than between the selected emissions scenarios. Local-scale assessments are required to overlay suitable habitat with climate projections to estimate areas of cultivation potential and invasion risk.

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    ‐clover) and three scenarios for conversion of biomass to biofuel. The scenarios are 1) bioethanol production, 2) biogas production and 3) co‐production of bioethanol and biogas, where the energy crops are first used for bioethanol fermentation and subsequently the residues from this process are utilized for biogas...... production. The net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is calculated as the avoided fossil fuel‐derived CO2, where the N2O emission has been subtracted. This value does not include farm machinery CO2 emissions and fuel consumption during biofuel production. Thus, the actual net greenhouse gas reduction...... will be lower than indicated by our data. We obtained the greatest net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by co‐production of bioethanol and biogas or by biogas alone produced from either fresh grass‐clover or whole crop maize. Here the net reduction corresponded to about 8 tons CO2 per hectare per year...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    -clover) and three scenarios for conversion of biomass to biofuel. The scenarios are 1) bioethanol production, 2) biogas production and 3) co-production of bioethanol and biogas, where the energy crops are first used for bioethanol fermentation and subsequently the residues from this process are utilized for biogas...... production. The net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is calculated as the avoided fossil fuel-derived CO2, where the N2O emission has been subtracted. This value does not include farm machinery CO2 emissions and fuel consumption during biofuel production. Thus, the actual net greenhouse gas reduction...... will be lower than indicated by our data. We obtained the greatest net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by co-production of bioethanol and biogas or by biogas alone produced from either fresh grass-clover or whole crop maize. Here the net reduction corresponded to about 8 tons CO2 per hectare per year...

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Converting biomass to biofuels is a key strategy in substituting fossil fuels to mitigate climate change. Conventional strategies to convert lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol address the fermentation of cellulose-derived glucose. Here we used super-resolution fluorescence microscopy to uncover the nanoscale structure of cell walls in the energy crops maize and Miscanthus where the typical polymer cellulose forms an unconventional layered architecture with the atypical (1, 3)-β-glucan polymer callose. This raised the question about an unused potential of (1, 3)-β-glucan in the fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass. Engineering biomass conversion for optimized (1, 3)-β-glucan utilization, we increased the ethanol yield from both energy crops. The generation of transgenic Miscanthus lines with an elevated (1, 3)-β-glucan content further increased ethanol yield providing a new strategy in energy crop breeding. Applying the (1, 3)-β-glucan-optimized conversion method on marine biomass from brown macroalgae with a naturally high (1, 3)-β-glucan content, we not only substantially increased ethanol yield but also demonstrated an effective co-fermentation of plant and marine biomass. This opens new perspectives in combining different kinds of feedstock for sustainable and efficient biofuel production, especially in coastal regions. PMID:26324382

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Å. Kasimir Klemedtsson

    2011-07-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Uffe

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, Rebecca A; Ort, Donald R

    2015-06-01

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

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  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. 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

    The recently expanded Renewable Fuel Standard, which now requires 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, has increased demand for biofuel refinery feedstocks. Currently, biofuel production consists mainly of corn-based ethanol, but concern over increasing nitrate levels resulting from increased corn crop fertilization has prompted research into alternative biofuel feedstocks. Of these, high-yielding biomass crops such as Miscanthus have been suggested for cellulose-based ethanol production. Because these perennial crops require less fertilization and do not need tilling, increasing land area in the Midwest planted with Miscanthus would result in less nitrate pollution to the Gulf of Mexico. There is a tradeoff, however, as Miscanthus also has higher water requirements than conventional crops in the region. This could pose a serious problem for riparian ecosystems and other streamflow users such as municipalities and biofuel refineries themselves, as the lowest natural flows in this region coincide with the peak of the growing season. Moreover, low flow reduction may eventually cut off the water quality benefit that planting Miscanthus provides. Therefore, for large-scale cellulosic ethanol production to be sustainable, it is important to understand how the watershed will respond to this change in land and water use. To this end a detailed data analysis of current watershed conditions has been combined with hydrologic modeling to gain deeper insights into how catchments in the highly agricultural central IL watershed of the Sangamon River respond to current and future land and water usage, with the focus on the summer low-flow season. In addition, an integrated systems optimization model has been developed that combines hydrologic, agro-biologic, engineering infrastructural, and economic inputs to provide optimal scenarios of crop type and area and corresponding refinery locations and capacities. Through this integrated modeling framework, we address the key

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. From biomass to sustainable biofuels in southern Africa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-12-15

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

  19. 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. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  2. Host growth can cause invasive spread of crops by soilborne pathogens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melen Leclerc

    Full Text Available Invasive soilborne plant pathogens cause substantial damage to crops and natural populations, but our understanding of how to prevent their epidemics or reduce their damage is limited. A key and experimentally-tested concept in the epidemiology of soilborne plant diseases is that of a threshold spacing between hosts below which epidemics (invasive spread can occur. We extend this paradigm by examining how plant-root growth may alter the conditions for occurrence of soilborne pathogen epidemics in plant populations. We hypothesise that host-root growth can 1 increase the probability of pathogen transmission between neighbouring plants and, consequently, 2 decrease the threshold spacing for epidemics to occur. We predict that, in systems initially below their threshold conditions, root growth can trigger soilborne pathogen epidemics through a switch from non-invasive to invasive behaviour, while in systems above threshold conditions root growth can enhance epidemic development. As an example pathosystem, we studied the fungus Rhizoctonia solani on sugar beet in field experiments. To address hypothesis 1, we recorded infections within inoculum-donor and host-recipient pairs of plants with differing spacing. We translated these observations into the individual-level concept of pathozone, a host-centred form of dispersal kernel. To test hypothesis 2 and our prediction, we used the pathozone to parameterise a stochastic model of pathogen spread in a host population, contrasting scenarios of spread with and without host growth. Our results support our hypotheses and prediction. We suggest that practitioners of agriculture and arboriculture account for root system expansion in order to reduce the risk of soilborne-disease epidemics. We discuss changes in crop design, including increasing plant spacing and using crop mixtures, for boosting crop resilience to invasion and damage by soilborne pathogens. We speculate that the disease-induced root growth

  3. 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

  4. Global climate niche estimates for bioenergy crops and invasive species of agronomic origin: potential problems and opportunities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob N Barney

    Full Text Available The global push towards a more biomass-based energy sector is ramping up efforts to adopt regionally appropriate high-yielding crops. As potential bioenergy crops are being moved around the world an assessment of the climatic suitability would be a prudent first step in identifying suitable areas of productivity and risk. Additionally, this assessment also provides a necessary step in evaluating the invasive potential of bioenergy crops, which present a possible negative externality to the bioeconomy. Therefore, we provide the first global climate niche assessment for the major graminaceous (9, herbaceous (3, and woody (4 bioenergy crops. Additionally, we contrast these with climate niche assessments for North American invasive species that were originally introduced for agronomic purposes as examples of well-intentioned introductions gone awry. With few exceptions (e.g., Saccharum officinarum, Pennisetum purpureum, the bioenergy crops exhibit broad climatic tolerance, which allows tremendous flexibility in choosing crops, especially in areas with high summer rainfall and long growing seasons (e.g., southeastern US, Amazon Basin, eastern Australia. Unsurprisingly, the invasive species of agronomic origin have very similar global climate niche profiles as the proposed bioenergy crops, also demonstrating broad climatic tolerance. The ecoregional evaluation of bioenergy crops and known invasive species demonstrates tremendous overlap at both high (EI≥30 and moderate (EI≥20 climate suitability. The southern and western US ecoregions support the greatest number of invasive species of agronomic origin, especially the Southeastern USA Plains, Mixed Woods Plains, and Mediterranean California. Many regions of the world have a suitable climate for several bioenergy crops allowing selection of agro-ecoregionally appropriate crops. This model knowingly ignores the complex biotic interactions and edaphic conditions, but provides a robust assessment of

  5. Local Crop Planting Systems Enhance Insecticide-Mediated Displacement of Two Invasive Leafminer Fly

    OpenAIRE

    Yulin Gao; Stuart R Reitz; Qingbo Wei; Wenyan Yu; Zhi Zhang; Zhongren Lei

    2014-01-01

    Liriomyza sativae and L. trifolii are highly invasive leafminer pests of vegetable crops that have invaded southern China in recent years. Liriomyza sativae was the first of these species to invade China, but it is now being displaced by L. trifolii. The rate and extent of this displacement vary across southern China. In Hainan, monocultures of highly valuable cowpea are planted and treated extensively with insecticides in attempts to control leafminer damage. In Guangdong, cowpea fields are ...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-01-15

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

  7. 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.

  8. Metagenomic analysis of the microbiota from the crop of an invasive snail reveals a rich reservoir of novel genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander M Cardoso

    Full Text Available The shortage of petroleum reserves and the increase in CO(2 emissions have raised global concerns and highlighted the importance of adopting sustainable energy sources. Second-generation ethanol made from lignocellulosic materials is considered to be one of the most promising fuels for vehicles. The giant snail Achatina fulica is an agricultural pest whose biotechnological potential has been largely untested. Here, the composition of the microbial population within the crop of this invasive land snail, as well as key genes involved in various biochemical pathways, have been explored for the first time. In a high-throughput approach, 318 Mbp of 454-Titanium shotgun metagenomic sequencing data were obtained. The predominant bacterial phylum found was Proteobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Viruses, Fungi, and Archaea were present to lesser extents. The functional analysis reveals a variety of microbial genes that could assist the host in the degradation of recalcitrant lignocellulose, detoxification of xenobiotics, and synthesis of essential amino acids and vitamins, contributing to the adaptability and wide-ranging diet of this snail. More than 2,700 genes encoding glycoside hydrolase (GH domains and carbohydrate-binding modules were detected. When we compared GH profiles, we found an abundance of sequences coding for oligosaccharide-degrading enzymes (36%, very similar to those from wallabies and giant pandas, as well as many novel cellulase and hemicellulase coding sequences, which points to this model as a remarkable potential source of enzymes for the biofuel industry. Furthermore, this work is a major step toward the understanding of the unique genetic profile of the land snail holobiont.

  9. DMF - A New Biofuel Candidate

    OpenAIRE

    Tian, Guohong; Daniel, Ritchie; Xu, Hongming

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Local crop planting systems enhance insecticide-mediated displacement of two invasive leafminer fly.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yulin Gao

    Full Text Available Liriomyza sativae and L. trifolii are highly invasive leafminer pests of vegetable crops that have invaded southern China in recent years. Liriomyza sativae was the first of these species to invade China, but it is now being displaced by L. trifolii. The rate and extent of this displacement vary across southern China. In Hainan, monocultures of highly valuable cowpea are planted and treated extensively with insecticides in attempts to control leafminer damage. In Guangdong, cowpea fields are interspersed with other less valuable crops, such as towel gourd (Luffa cylindrica, which receive significantly fewer insecticide applications than cowpea. To determine how differences in cropping systems influence the Liriomyza species composition, we conducted field trials in 2011 and 2012 in Guangdong where both species were present. We replicated conditions in Hainan by planting cowpea monocultures that were isolated from other agricultural fields, and we replicated conditions in Guangdong by planting cowpea in a mixed crop environment with towel gourd planted in neighboring plots. We then compared leafminer populations in cowpea treated with the insecticide avermectin and untreated cowpea. We also monitored leafminer populations in the untreated towel gourd. Untreated cowpea and towel gourd had comparatively low proportions of L. trifolii, which remained relatively stable over the course of each season. Avermectin applications led to increases in the proportions of L. trifolii, and after three weekly applications populations were >95% L. trifolii in both crop systems. However, the rate of change and persistence of L. trifolii in the mixed crop system were less than in the monocrop. These results indicate that L. trifolii is much less susceptible to avermectin than is L. sativae. Further, L. sativae was able to persist in the untreated towel gourd, which probably enabled it to recolonize treated cowpea.

  11. Local crop planting systems enhance insecticide-mediated displacement of two invasive leafminer fly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yulin; Reitz, Stuart R; Wei, Qingbo; Yu, Wenyan; Zhang, Zhi; Lei, Zhongren

    2014-01-01

    Liriomyza sativae and L. trifolii are highly invasive leafminer pests of vegetable crops that have invaded southern China in recent years. Liriomyza sativae was the first of these species to invade China, but it is now being displaced by L. trifolii. The rate and extent of this displacement vary across southern China. In Hainan, monocultures of highly valuable cowpea are planted and treated extensively with insecticides in attempts to control leafminer damage. In Guangdong, cowpea fields are interspersed with other less valuable crops, such as towel gourd (Luffa cylindrica), which receive significantly fewer insecticide applications than cowpea. To determine how differences in cropping systems influence the Liriomyza species composition, we conducted field trials in 2011 and 2012 in Guangdong where both species were present. We replicated conditions in Hainan by planting cowpea monocultures that were isolated from other agricultural fields, and we replicated conditions in Guangdong by planting cowpea in a mixed crop environment with towel gourd planted in neighboring plots. We then compared leafminer populations in cowpea treated with the insecticide avermectin and untreated cowpea. We also monitored leafminer populations in the untreated towel gourd. Untreated cowpea and towel gourd had comparatively low proportions of L. trifolii, which remained relatively stable over the course of each season. Avermectin applications led to increases in the proportions of L. trifolii, and after three weekly applications populations were >95% L. trifolii in both crop systems. However, the rate of change and persistence of L. trifolii in the mixed crop system were less than in the monocrop. These results indicate that L. trifolii is much less susceptible to avermectin than is L. sativae. Further, L. sativae was able to persist in the untreated towel gourd, which probably enabled it to recolonize treated cowpea. PMID:24651465

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Biofuels, poverty, and growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    This paper assesses the implications of large-scale investments in biofuels for growth and income distribution. We find that biofuels investment enhances growth and poverty reduction despite some displacement of food crops by biofuels. Overall, the biofuel investment trajectory analyzed increases...... Mozambique's annual economic growth by 0.6 percentage points and reduces the incidence of poverty by about 6 percentage points over a 12-year phase-in period. Benefits depend on production technology. An outgrower approach to producing biofuels is more pro-poor, due to the greater use of unskilled labor...... and accrual of land rents to smallholders, compared with the more capital-intensive plantation approach. Moreover, the benefits of outgrower schemes are enhanced if they result in technology spillovers to other crops. These results should not be taken as a green light for unrestrained biofuels development...

  17. 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.

  18. Proposed definition of environmental damage illustrated by the cases of genetically modified crops and invasive species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartz, Robert; Heink, Ulrich; Kowarik, Ingo

    2010-06-01

    The introduction of non-native plant species and the release of genetically modified (GM) crops can induce environmental changes at gene to ecosystem levels. Regulatory frameworks such as the Convention on Biological Diversity or the EU Deliberate Release Directive aim to prevent environmental damage but do not define the term. Although ecologists and conservationists often refer to environmental effects of GM crops or invasive species as damage, most authors do not disclose their normative assumptions or explain why some environmental impacts are regarded as detrimental and others are not. Thus far, a concise definition of environmental damage is missing and is necessary for a transparent assessment of environmental effects or risks. Therefore, we suggest defining environmental damage as a significant adverse effect on a biotic or abiotic conservation resource (i.e., a biotic or abiotic natural resource that is protected by conservational or environmental legislation) that has an impact on the value of the conservation resource, the conservation resource as an ecosystem component, or the sustainable use of the conservation resource. This definition relies on three normative assumptions: only concrete effects on a conservation resource can be damages; only adverse effects that lead to a decrease in the value of the conservation resource can be damages; and only significant adverse effects constitute damage to a conservation resource. Applying this definition within the framework of environmental risk assessment requires further normative determinations, for example, selection of a threshold to distinguish between adverse and significant adverse effects and approaches for assessing the environmental value of conservation resources. Such determinations, however, are not part of the definition of environmental damage. Rather they are part of the definition's operationalization through assessment procedures, which must be grounded in a comprehensible definition of

  19. Different Growth Responses of an Invasive Weed and a Native Crop to Nitrogen Pulse and Competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ping; Li, Jingxin; Jin, Chenggong; Jiang, Baiwen; Bai, Yamei

    2016-01-01

    Resource pulses are a common event in agro-ecosystems. A pot experiment was conducted to assess the effects of nitrogen (N) pulses and competition on the growth of an invasive weed, Amaranthus retroflexus, and a native crop, Glycine max. A. retroflexus and G. max were planted in pure culture with two individuals of one species in each pot and in mixed culture with one A. retroflexus and one G. max individual and subjected to three N pulse treatments. The N treatments included a no-peak treatment (NP) with N applied stably across the growing period, a single-peak treatment (SP) with only one N addition on the planting date, and a double-peak treatment (DP) with two N additions, one on the planting date and the other on the flowering date. N pulse significantly impacted biomass and height of the two species across the whole growing season. However, only the relative growth rate (RGR) of A. retroflexus was significantly affected by N pulse. A. retroflexus had the greatest biomass and height in the SP treatment at the first harvest, and in the DP treatment at the last three harvests. Pure culture G. max produced the greatest biomass in the DP treatment. In mixed culture, G. max produced the greatest biomass in the NP treatment. Biomass production of both species was significantly influenced by species combination, with higher biomass in mixed culture than in pure culture at most growth stages. Relative yield total (RYT) values were all greater than 1.0 at the last three harvests across the three N treatments, suggesting partial resource complementarity occurred when A. retroflexus is grown with G. max. These results indicate that A. retroflexus has a strong adaptive capacity to reduce interspecific competition, likely leading to its invasion of G. max cropland in China. PMID:27280410

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwit, Charles; Stewart, C Neal

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwit, Charles; Stewart, C Neal

    2012-01-01

    There currently exists a large push for the use, improvement, and expansion via landscape modification of dedicated biofuel crops (feedstocks) in the United States and in many parts of the world. Ecological concerns have been voiced because many biofuel feedstocks exhibit characteristics associated with invasiveness, and due to potential negative consequences of agronomic genes in native wild populations. Seed purity concerns for biofuel feedstock cultivars whose seeds would be harvested in agronomic fields also exist from the agribusiness sector. The common thread underlying these concerns, which have regulatory implications, is gene flow; thus detailed knowledge of gene flow in biofuel crop plants is important in the formulation of environmental risk management plans. Here, we synthesize the current state of knowledge of gene flow in an exemplary biofuel crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), which is native to eastern North America and is currently experiencing conventional and technological advances in biomass yields and ethanol production. Surprisingly little is known regarding aspects of switchgrass pollen flow and seed dispersal, and whether native populations of conspecific or congeneric relatives will readily cross with current agronomic switchgrass cultivars. We pose that filling these important gaps will be required to confront the sustainability challenges of widespread planting of biofuel feedstocks. PMID:22471071

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Assessing the environmental sustainability of biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazamia, Elena; Smith, Alison G

    2014-10-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L. Reijnders

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Bad seeds produce bad crops: a single stage-process of prostate tumor invasion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan-gao Man, William A. Gardner

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available It is a commonly held belief that prostate carcinogenesis is a multi-stage process and that tumor invasion is triggered by the overproduction of proteolytic enzymes. This belief is consistent with data from cell cultures and animal models, whereas is hard to interpret several critical facts, including the presence of cancer in “healthy” young men and cancer DNA phenotype in morphologically normal prostate tissues. These facts argue that alternative pathways may exist for prostate tumor invasion in some cases. Since degradation of the basal cell layer is the most distinct sign of invasion, our recent studies have attempted to identify pre-invasive lesions with focal basal cell layer alterations. Our studies revealed that about 30% of prostate cancer patients harbored normal appearing duct or acinar clusters with a high frequency of focal basal cell layer disruptions. These focally disrupted basal cell layers had significantly reduced cell proliferation and tumor suppressor expression, whereas significantly elevated degeneration, apoptosis, and infiltration of immunoreactive cells. In sharp contrast, associated epithelial cell had significantly elevated proliferation, expression of malignancy-signature markers, and physical continuity with invasive lesions. Based on these and other findings, we have proposed that these normal appearing duct or acinar clusters are derived from monoclonal proliferation of genetically damaged stem cells and could progress directly to invasion through two pathways: 1 clonal in situ transformation (CIST and 2 multi-potential progenitor mediated “budding” (MPMB. These pathways may contribute to early onset of prostate cancer at young ages, and to clinically more aggressive prostate tumors.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Virginia A.

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

  17. Natural enemies in control of invasive species Diabrotica virgifera Virgifera from maize crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grozea, Ioana; Carabet, Alin; Chirita, Ramona; Badea, Ana Maria

    2008-01-01

    The invasive Diabrotico virgifera virgifera Le Conte (western corn rootworm) species has become a very important pest of maize growing areas from Europe. Incidence of this pest in Europe and Romania attract the specialist's attention and European organisms regarding substantial changes which save the yield. Current trends in control regard the using natural enemies' because non-pollutants effects. In this way it follows protection of useful scale from agroecosystems and their exploitation in control of invasive population. It were take the soil and surface samples for establish the presence of control biological agents. The maximum appearance period of invasive species (July, August) is very important in establishing the analogy with appearance of predator's species. From natural enemies of Diabrotica virgifera can be notice follow species: Speira diademata, Argiope bruennichi, Theridion impressum (Arachnida: Araneae), Coccinella sp., Pseudophomus rufipes (Insecta: Coleoptera). The spider species Argiope bruennichi (Araneae: Araneidae) and Theridion impressum (Araneae: Theriidae) are able to diminish significantly population of adults, especially in appearance of maize silk. The aim of the theme we approach is to find solutions to the issues created by invasive species Diabrotica virgifera virgifera using an ecological alternative of the chemical methods, as an-polluting biological methods. In a period when easily apply to chemical substances we consider that is absolutely necessary the introduction of these biological methods. PMID:19226790

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Biofuels combustion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westbrook, Charles K

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. Suppression of the invasive plant mile-a-minute (Mikania micrantha) by local crop sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) by means of higher growth rate and competition for soil nutrients

    OpenAIRE

    Shen, Shicai; Xu, Gaofeng; Clements, David Roy; Jin, Guimei; Chen, Aidong; Zhang, Fudou; Kato-Noguchi, Hisashi

    2015-01-01

    Background There are a variety of ways of increasing crop diversity to increase agricultural sustainability and in turn having a positive influence on nearby natural ecosystems. Competitive crops may provide potent management tools against invasive plants. To elucidate the competitive mechanisms between a sweet potato crop (Ipomoea batatas) and an invasive plant, mile-a-minute (Mikania micrantha), field experiments were carried out in Longchuan County of Yunnan Province, Southwest China, util...

  4. Biofuels and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John; Fargione, Joseph; Hill, Jason

    2011-06-01

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

  5. Making biofuels sustainable

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    . Previous land use is also recorded. The indirect effects of biofuel production - such as land displacement - have recently been examined by a review commissioned by the U.K. Government and carried out by the Renewable Fuels Agency. It confirmed the concerns, and work is now under way to measure the indirect effects and incorporate them in reporting and analysis. It concluded that we need to be more cautious and discriminating in our use of biofuels and called for a slowing of targets until, in particular, the indirect efforts could be monitored and evaluated properly. But it also saw a way forward for a sustainable biofuels industry. If this is to happen, biofuels should use the right feedstocks, be grown on the right land and use the least energy intensive production processes. Thus, ethanol derived from sugar cane, grown on land not needed for food production, farmed with an efficient use of fertilisers and produced using bagasse (sugar cane waste) as a source of energy, would be a sustainable biofuel. However, ethanol derived from maize using highly intensive farming processes, grown on land needed for food, and using energy from coal-fired power stations, would be an unsustainable one. The Review recommended that biofuel production should be concentrated on idle agricultural land - areas that have been previously farmed but which would remain uncultivated if not used in this way - and on marginal areas which are unproductive when used for food crops or livestock. It also recommended increasing the use of wastes and residues for feedstocks and creating incentives for second generation biofuels using new technologies, such as cellulosic ethanol from woody plants or biodiesel from algae. The Review also concluded that, left to itself, the market was unlikely to develop in a sustainable way, and so recommended more research into both indirect and direct effects and introducing internationally agreed mandatory sustainability standards. These should be accompanied by full

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Private governance in the biofuel industry

    OpenAIRE

    Partzsch, Lena

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Impacts of Type of Fallow and Invasion by Chromolaena odorata on Weed Communities in Crop Fields in Cameroon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morag McDonald

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available In the humid forest regions of southern Cameroon in central Africa, sectoral and macroeconomic policy reforms introduced in the late 1980s have led to intensified land use, which in turn has resulted in, among other environmental consequences, shortened fallow systems dominated by the Asteraceae shrub, Chromolaena odorata (L. King and Robinson, rather than by secondary forest species. A trial was established to determine the effect of shortened fallow duration and invasion by C. odorata on the weed flora in subsequent mixed food cropping systems. Plots were established in cleared 5- to 7-year-old fallow fields in which the vegetation was either dominated by C. odorata or not, and in which the dominant fallow vegetation in the previous crop–fallow rotation had been either C. odorata, forest, or herbaceous (not dominated by C. odorata. Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz, maize (Zea mays L., and groundnuts (Arachis hypogaea L. were intercropped and weed species were assessed 6, 14, and 30 weeks after crop planting. Soil analyses were conducted to assess the influence of edaphic traits on the distribution and abundance of dominant weed species. The results clearly indicated an enrichment of the weed flora with time after planting, but little difference between fallow histories. Two groups of weed species corresponded with soil characteristics: C. odorata, Cyathula prostrata, Mariscus alternifolius, Mikania cordata, Musanga cecropioides, and Trema orientalis were preponderant on soils with high clay, N, and C contents, and Ageratum conyzoides, Cyperus sp., Haumania danckelmaniana, Paspalum conjugatum, Pouzolzia guineensis, Richardia brasiliensis, Sida rhombifolia, Stachytarpheta cayennensis, Talinum triangulare, and Triumfetta cordifolia were preponderant on sandier soils with high pH, P, and Mg contents.

  9. 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

  10. Determining the global maximum biofuel production potential without conflicting with food and feed consumption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pumkaew, Watcharapol

    This study tries to resolve the competition between food and biofuel by balancing the allocation between food and feed areas and biofuel areas for the entire world. The maximum energy production is calculated by determining the theoretical amount of energy that can be grown, once food and feed consumption is taken into account, based on the assumption that unprotected grass and woody lands and forest lands can be converted into cultivated lands. The total optimum land area for biofuel energy, 4,926.49 Mha, consists of corn, rapeseed, sugar beet, sugar cane, and grasses. When considering energy conversion efficiency, the maximum energy production is 520.5 EJ. Of this amount, 5.9 EJ can be identified with food and feed energy and 514.6 EJ can be identified with biofuel energy. This result is a theoretical value to illustrate the potential global land area for biofuel. The biofuel energy production per area of land in this study is calculated to be 0.12 EJ/Mha. With regards to the limitation in the degree of invasion by grass and woody land and forest land areas, if it is not more than 10 percent, the biofuel energy production can serve about 76 percent of energy demand for transportation in 2009. The total optimum land area is about 45 percent of global cultivated land area. Sensitivity analysis shows that the land area of corn, sweet sorghum, sugarcane, grass, and woody crops is sensitive to energy content. The land area of sweet sorghum and soybeans is sensitive to the land area for food and feed consumption. Also, the land area of corn, sugar beet, and sugarcane is sensitive to the potential crop land area. This study, done at the global level, can also apply in a local area by using local constraints.

  11. 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...

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  15. 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...

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. Algal biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razeghifard, Reza

    2013-11-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castellanos-Navarrete, A.

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-10-15

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Classical Biological Control of Invasive Legacy Crop Pests: New Technologies Offer Opportunities to Revisit Old Pest Problems in Perennial Tree Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoddle, Mark S; Warner, Keith; Steggall, John; Jetter, Karen M

    2014-12-23

    Advances in scientific disciplines that support classical biological control have provided "new tools" that could have important applications for biocontrol programs for some long-established invasive arthropod pests. We suggest that these previously unavailable tools should be used in biological control programs targeting "legacy pests", even if they have been targets of previously unsuccessful biocontrol projects. Examples of "new tools" include molecular analyses to verify species identities and likely geographic area of origin, climate matching and ecological niche modeling, preservation of natural enemy genetic diversity in quarantine, the use of theory from invasion biology to maximize establishment likelihoods for natural enemies, and improved understanding of the interactions between natural enemy and target pest microbiomes. This review suggests that opportunities exist for revisiting old pest problems and funding research programs using "new tools" for developing biological control programs for "legacy pests" could provide permanent suppression of some seemingly intractable pest problems. As a case study, we use citricola scale, Coccus pseudomagnoliarum, an invasive legacy pest of California citrus, to demonstrate the potential of new tools to support a new classical biological control program targeting this insect.

  10. Classical Biological Control of Invasive Legacy Crop Pests: New Technologies Offer Opportunities to Revisit Old Pest Problems in Perennial Tree Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark S. Hoddle

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Advances in scientific disciplines that support classical biological control have provided “new tools” that could have important applications for biocontrol programs for some long-established invasive arthropod pests. We suggest that these previously unavailable tools should be used in biological control programs targeting “legacy pests”, even if they have been targets of previously unsuccessful biocontrol projects. Examples of “new tools” include molecular analyses to verify species identities and likely geographic area of origin, climate matching and ecological niche modeling, preservation of natural enemy genetic diversity in quarantine, the use of theory from invasion biology to maximize establishment likelihoods for natural enemies, and improved understanding of the interactions between natural enemy and target pest microbiomes. This review suggests that opportunities exist for revisiting old pest problems and funding research programs using “new tools” for developing biological control programs for “legacy pests” could provide permanent suppression of some seemingly intractable pest problems. As a case study, we use citricola scale, Coccus pseudomagnoliarum, an invasive legacy pest of California citrus, to demonstrate the potential of new tools to support a new classical biological control program targeting this insect.

  11. 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...

  12. 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)

  13. Contemporary evolution and the dynamics of invasion in crop-wild hybrids with heritable variation for two weedy life-histories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Lesley G; Teitel, Zachary; Miriti, Maria N

    2016-06-01

    Gene flow in crop-wild complexes between phenotypically differentiated ancestors may transfer adaptive genetic variation that alters the fecundity and, potentially, the population growth (λ) of weeds. We created biotypes with potentially invasive traits, early flowering or long leaves, in wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) and F5 crop-wild hybrid (R. sativus × R. raphanistrum) backgrounds and compared them to randomly mated populations, to provide the first experimental estimate of long-term fitness consequences of weedy life-history variation. Using a life table response experiment design, we modeled λ of experimental, field populations in Pellston, MI, and assessed the relative success of alternative weed strategies and the contributions of individual vital rates (germination, survival, seed production) to differences in λ among experimental populations. Growth rates (λ) were most influenced by seed production, a trait altered by hybridization and selection, compared to other vital rates. More seeds were produced by wild than hybrid populations and by long-leafed than early-flowering lineages. Although we did not detect a biotype by selection treatment effect on lambda, lineages also exhibited contrasting germination and survival strategies. Identifying life-history traits affecting population growth contributes to our understanding of which portions of the crop genome are most likely to introgress into weed populations. PMID:27247620

  14. 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.

  15. Biorefineries for chemical and biofuel production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjerbæk Søtoft, Lene

    with traditional land based food or feed crops, but can be grown to produce oil or biomass for biofuels as well as a long range of products with huge potential as food, feed or nutritionals. This with smaller requirements towards feed nutrients and land use. Value: If biofuels are to be used as a substitute...... for fossil fuel, the efficiency of the production process and product use must be increased substantially for the process to pay off as well economically as environmentally. Our knowledge base must thus be expanded and improved to include large production systems of i.e. whole-crop systems. Such research...

  16. Global future food supply and possibilities for biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Terefe Tucho, Gudina

    2009-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Impacts of Type of Fallow and Invasion by Chromolaena odorata on Weed Communities in Crop Fields in Cameroon

    OpenAIRE

    Morag McDonald; Martine Ngobo; Stephan Weise

    2004-01-01

    In the humid forest regions of southern Cameroon in central Africa, sectoral and macroeconomic policy reforms introduced in the late 1980s have led to intensified land use, which in turn has resulted in, among other environmental consequences, shortened fallow systems dominated by the Asteraceae shrub, Chromolaena odorata (L.) King and Robinson, rather than by secondary forest species. A trial was established to determine the effect of shortened fallow duration and invasion by C. odorata on t...

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Will EU Biofuel Policies affect Global Agricultural Markets?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-04-15

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

  2. 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

  3. Aerial Imagery and Other Non-invasive Approaches to Detect Nitrogen and Water Stress in a Potato Crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nigon, Tyler John

    Post-emergence nitrogen (N) fertilizer is typically split applied to irrigated potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) in Minnesota in order to minimize the likelihood of nitrate leaching and to best match N availability to crop demands. Petiole nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentration is often used as a diagnostic test to determine the rate and timing of split applications, but using this approach for variable rate applications is difficult. Canopy-level spectral measurements, such as hyperspectral and multispectral imagery, have the potential to be a reliable tool for making in-season N management decisions for precision agriculture applications. The objectives of this two year field study were to evaluate the effects of variety, N treatment, and water stress on growth characteristics and the ability of and canopy-level reflectance to predict N stress in potato. Treatments included two irrigation regimes (unstressed and stressed), five N regimes categorized by three N rates (34 kg N ha-1, 180 kg N ha-1, and 270 kg N ha-1) in which the 270 kg N ha-1 rate had post-emergence N either split applied or applied early in the season, and two potato varieties (Russet Burbank and Alpine Russet). Higher N rates and split applications generally resulted in higher tuber yield for both varieties. Insufficient supplemental water was found to reduce tuber yield and plant N uptake. Of the broadband indices, narrowband indices, and partial least squares regression (PLS) models evaluated, the best predictor of N stress as measured by leaf N concentration was the PLS model using derivative reflectance (r2 of 0.79 for RB and 0.77 for AR). However, the best technique for determining N stress level for variable rate application of N fertilizer was MTCI (MERIS Terrestrial Chlorophyll Index) due to its good relationship with leaf N concentration and high accuracy. As a final aspect of the study, results from the experimental plots were used to predict N stress in a commercial potato field using

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Determination of Allelopathic Effect of Some Invasive Weed Species on Germination and Initial Development of Grain Legume Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Plamen Marinov-Serafimov

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available During the 2006-2007 period, the allelopathic effect of cold water extracts from Amaranthus retroflexus L., Chenopodium album L., Erigeron canadensis L. and Solanum nigrum L. on seed germinationand initial development of Glycine max L., Pisum sativum L. and Vicia sativa L. was studied under laboratory conditions in the Institute of Forage Crops, Pleven. It was found that: waterextracts from fresh and dry biomass of A. retroflexus, Ch. album, E. canadensis and S. nigrum had an inhibitory effect on seed ermination of G. max, P. sativum and V. sativa, the inhibition rate for the extracts from fresh biomass varying from 28.8 to 81.5% and for the extracts from dry weed biomass it was from 26.8 tо 89.2%; The values of LC50 varied from 13.5 tо 72.2 g l-1 for the extracts from fresh biomass and from 7.0 tо 84.1 g l-1 for the extracts from dry weed biomass and they could be conditionally grouped in the following ascending order: A. retroflexus < S. nigrum < E.canadensis

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Sustainable Biofuels Development Center

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    SRIVASTAVA, PREM

    2015-03-02

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

  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. 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.

  18. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tajana Krička

    2008-09-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hellmann, F.; Verburg, P.H.

    2010-01-01

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

  15. Center for Advanced Biofuel Systems (CABS) Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kutchan, Toni M. [Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, MO (United States)

    2015-12-02

    One of the great challenges facing current and future generations is how to meet growing energy demands in an environmentally sustainable manner. Renewable energy sources, including wind, geothermal, solar, hydroelectric, and biofuel energy systems, are rapidly being developed as sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. Biofuels are particularly attractive to the U.S., given its vast agricultural resources. The first generation of biofuel systems was based on fermentation of sugars to produce ethanol, typically from food crops. Subsequent generations of biofuel systems, including those included in the CABS project, will build upon the experiences learned from those early research results and will have improved production efficiencies, reduced environmental impacts and decreased reliance on food crops. Thermodynamic models predict that the next generations of biofuel systems will yield three- to five-fold more recoverable energy products. To address the technological challenges necessary to develop enhanced biofuel systems, greater understanding of the non-equilibrium processes involved in solar energy conversion and the channeling of reduced carbon into biofuel products must be developed. The objective of the proposed Center for Advanced Biofuel Systems (CABS) was to increase the thermodynamic and kinetic efficiency of select plant- and algal-based fuel production systems using rational metabolic engineering approaches grounded in modern systems biology. The overall strategy was to increase the efficiency of solar energy conversion into oils and other specialty biofuel components by channeling metabolic flux toward products using advanced catalysts and sensible design:1) employing novel protein catalysts that increase the thermodynamic and kinetic efficiencies of photosynthesis and oil biosynthesis; 2) engineering metabolic networks to enhance acetyl-CoA production and its channeling towards lipid synthesis; and 3) engineering new metabolic networks for the

  16. 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

  17. Biofuels Feedstock Development Program annual progress report for 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L.L.; Cushman, J.H.; Ehrenshaft, A.R.; McLaughlin, S.B.; McNabb, W.A.; Ranney, J.W.; Tuskan, G.A.; Turhollow, A.F.

    1992-12-01

    This report provides an overview of the ongoing research funded in 1991 by the Department of Energy's Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP). The BFDP is managed by the Environmental Sciences Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and encompasses the work formerly funded by the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program and the Herbaceous Energy Crops Program. The combined program includes crop development research on both woody and herbaceous energy crop species, cross-cutting energy and environmental analysis and integration, and information management activities. Brief summaries of 26 different program activities are included in the report.

  18. Biofuels Feedstock Development Program annual progress report for 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L.L.; Cushman, J.H.; Ehrenshaft, A.R.; McLaughlin, S.B.; McNabb, W.A.; Ranney, J.W.; Tuskan, G.A.; Turhollow, A.F.

    1992-12-01

    This report provides an overview of the ongoing research funded in 1991 by the Department of Energy`s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP). The BFDP is managed by the Environmental Sciences Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and encompasses the work formerly funded by the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program and the Herbaceous Energy Crops Program. The combined program includes crop development research on both woody and herbaceous energy crop species, cross-cutting energy and environmental analysis and integration, and information management activities. Brief summaries of 26 different program activities are included in the report.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Biofuels and sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Barry D

    2010-01-01

    Interest in liquid biofuels production and use has increased worldwide as part of government policies to address the growing scarcity and riskiness of petroleum use, and, at least in theory, to help mitigate adverse global climate change. The existing biofuels markets are dominated by U.S. ethanol production based on cornstarch, Brazilian ethanol production based on sugarcane, and European biodiesel production based on rapeseed oil. Other promising efforts have included programs to shift toward the production and use of biofuels based on residues and waste materials from the agricultural and forestry sectors, and perennial grasses, such as switchgrass and miscanthus--so-called cellulosic ethanol. This article reviews these efforts and the recent literature in the context of ecological economics and sustainability science. Several common dimensions for sustainable biofuels are discussed: scale (resource assessment, land availability, and land use practices); efficiency (economic and energy); equity (geographic distribution of resources and the "food versus fuel" debate); socio-economic issues; and environmental effects and emissions. Recent proposals have been made for the development of sustainable biofuels criteria, culminating in standards released in Sweden in 2008 and a draft report from the international Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels. These criteria hold promise for accelerating a shift away from unsustainable biofuels based on grain, such as corn, and toward possible sustainable feedstock and production practices that may be able to meet a variety of social, economic, and environmental sustainability criteria. PMID:20146765

  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. An overview of second generation biofuel technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

    The recently identified limitations of 1st-generation biofuels produced from food crops (with perhaps the exception of sugarcane ethanol) have caused greater emphasis to be placed on 2nd-generation biofuels produced from ligno-cellulosic feedstocks. Although significant progress continues to be made to overcome the technical and economic challenges, 2nd-generation biofuels production will continue to face major constraints to full commercial deployment. The logistics of providing a competitive, all-year-round, supply of biomass feedstock to a commercial-scale plant is challenging, as is improving the performance of the conversion process to reduce costs. The biochemical route, being less mature, probably has a greater cost reduction potential than the thermo-chemical route, but here a wider range of synthetic fuels can be produced to better suit heavy truck, aviation and marine applications. Continued investment in research and demonstration by both public and private sectors, coupled with appropriate policy support mechanisms, are essential if full commercialisation is to be achieved within the next decade. After that, the biofuel industry will grow only at a steady rate and encompass both 1st- and 2nd-generation technologies that meet agreed environmental, sustainability and economic policy goals. PMID:19963372

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-08-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-08-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  7. Biofuel Production by Fermentation of Water Plants and Agricultural Lignocellulosic by-Products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anker Yaakov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available While at present most energy crops are depriving human feedstock, fermentation of agricultural residues and fast growing water plants possesses a good prospect to become a significant source for bio-fuel; as both substrates are widely available and do not require agricultural areas. Water hyacinth for instance can be cultivated in fresh, brackish or wastewater and owing to its rapid growth and availability. Since owing to its natural abundance it is considered to be an invasive plant in most continents, its utilization and use as a renewable energy source may also contribute for its dilution and control. Agricultural lignocellulosic surplus by-products are also a promising fermentable substrate for bioethanol production, as it decreases both disposal expenses and greenhouse gases emissions. This paper describes a scheme and methodology for transformation of any lignocellulosic biomass into biofuel by simple cost effective operation scheme, integrating an innovative process of mechanochemical activation pre-treatment followed by fermentation of the herbal digest and ethanol production through differential distillation. Under this approach several complex and costly staged of conventional ethanol production scheme may be replaced and by genetic engineering of custom fermenting microorganisms the fermentation process becomes a fully continuous industrial process.

  8. The changing dynamics between biofuels and commodity markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  9. An Assessment of Thailand’s Biofuel Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pujan Shrestha

    2013-04-01

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

  10. The changing dynamics between biofuels and commodity markets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-06-15

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

  11. 我国蔬菜作物重大入侵害虫发生、危害与控制%Occurrence,damage and control of important invasive insect pests on the vegetable crops in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张友军; 朱国仁; 褚栋; 吴青君; 王少丽

    2011-01-01

    Vegetables are important economic crops in China. Alien invasive insect pests have caused great losses to vegetable production in China in recent years. This review used three kinds of important invasive insects on vegetable crops in China as examples, namely Bemisia tabaci, Frankliniella occidentalis and Liriomyza, and summarized the important achievements in this area, including discoveries of alien insects, species identification, distribution and dispersal, outbreak mechanisms, and technical system for sustainable control of these pests.%蔬菜是我国重要的经济作物,近年来外来入侵害虫给我国蔬菜生产造成了重大损失.本文以严重危害我国蔬菜作物的3类重大入侵害虫-烟粉虱、西花蓟马和斑潜蝇为例,从入侵昆虫的发现、种群鉴定、分布扩散趋势及其规律、灾变机制以及可持续治理技术体系的研究与应用等方面概述了我国蔬菜入侵害虫研究的主要成就.

  12. The Danish Biofuel Debate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Janus

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Microalgae: biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    Babita Kumari; Vinay Sharma

    2013-01-01

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

  14. The biofuels, situation, perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  15. The potential of C4 grasses for cellulosic biofuel production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijde, van der R.T.; Alvim Kamei, C.L.; Torres Salvador, A.F.; Vermerris, W.; Dolstra, O.; Visser, R.G.F.; Trindade, L.M.

    2013-01-01

    With the advent of biorefinery technologies enabling plant biomass to be processed into biofuel, many researchers set out to study and improve candidate biomass crops. Many of these candidates are C4 grasses, characterized by a high productivity and resource use efficiency. In this review the potent

  16. Halophytes As Bioenergy Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Halophytes As Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Shrinking arable land due to soil salinization and, depleting fresh water resources pose serious worldwide constraints to crop productivity. A vision of using plant feedstock for biofuel production can only be realized if we can identify alternate species that can be grown on saline soils and therefore, would not compete for the resources required for conventional agriculture. Halophytes have remarkable ability to grow under high salinity conditions. They can be irrigated with seawater without compromising their biomass and seed yields making them good alternate candidates as bioenergy crops. Both oil produced from the seeds and the lignocellulosic biomass of halophytes can be utilized for biofuel production. Several researchers across the globe have recognized this potential and assessed several halophytes for their tolerance to salt, seed oil contents and composition of their lignocellulosic biomass. Here, we review current advances and highlight the key species of halophytes analyzed for this purpose. We have critically assessed the challenges and opportunities associated with using halophytes as bioenergy crops. PMID:27679645

  18. Life Cycle Energy and CO2 Emission Optimization for Biofuel Supply Chain Planning under Uncertainties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ren, Jingzheng; An, Da; Liang, Hanwei;

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to develop a model for the decision-makers/stakeholders to design biofuel supply chain under uncertainties. Life cycle energy and CO2 emission of biofuel supply chain are employed as the objective functions, multiple feedstocks, multiple transportation modes, multiple...... sites for building biofuel plants, multiple technologies for biofuel production, and multiple markets for biofuel distribution are considered, and the amount of feedstocks in agricultural system, transportation capacities, yields of crops, and market demands are considered as uncertainty variables...... in this study. A bi-objective interval mix integer programming model has been developed for biofuel supply chain design under uncertainties, and the bio-objective interval programming method has been developed to solve this model. An illustrative case of a multiple-feedstock-bioethanol system has been studied...

  19. Meeting the Demand for Biofuels: Impact on Land Use and Carbon Mitigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khanna, Madhu; Jain, Atul; Onal, Hayri; Scheffran, Jurgen; Chen, Xiaoguang; Erickson, Matt; Huang, Haixiao; Kang, Seungmo.

    2011-08-14

    The purpose of this research was to develop an integrated, interdisciplinary framework to investigate the implications of large scale production of biofuels for land use, crop production, farm income and greenhouse gases. In particular, we examine the mix of feedstocks that would be viable for biofuel production and the spatial allocation of land required for producing these feedstocks at various gasoline and carbon emission prices as well as biofuel subsidy levels. The implication of interactions between energy policy that seeks energy independence from foreign oil and climate policy that seeks to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions for the optimal mix of biofuels and land use will also be investigated. This project contributes to the ELSI research goals of sustainable biofuel production while balancing competing demands for land and developing policy approaches needed to support biofuel production in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.

  20. Biofuels and Biotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mielenz, Jonathan R [ORNL

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Bio-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report presents an overview of the technologies which are currently used or presently developed for the production of bio-fuels in Europe and more particularly in France. After a brief history of this production since the beginning of the 20. century, the authors describe the support to agriculture and the influence of the Common Agricultural Policy, outline the influence of the present context of struggle against the greenhouse effect, and present the European legislative context. Data on the bio-fuels consumption in the European Union in 2006 are discussed. An overview of the evolution of the activity related to bio-fuels in France, indicating the locations of ethanol and bio-diesel production facilities, and the evolution of bio-fuel consumption, is given. The German situation is briefly presented. Production of ethanol by fermentation, the manufacturing of ETBE, the bio-diesel production from vegetable oils are discussed. Second generation bio-fuels are then presented (cellulose enzymatic processing), together with studies on thermochemical processes and available biomass resources

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  3. 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

  4. BioFuels Atlas (Presentation)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moriarty, K.

    2011-02-01

    Presentation for biennial merit review of Biofuels Atlas, a first-pass visualization tool that allows users to explore the potential of biomass-to-biofuels conversions at various locations and scales.

  5. System for determining biofuel concentration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-09-13

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

  6. Biofuels: making tough choices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vermeulen, Sonja; Dufey, Annie; Vorley, Bill

    2008-02-15

    The jury is still out on biofuels. But one thing at least is certain: serious trade-offs are involved in the production and use of these biomass-derived alternatives to fossil fuels. This has not been lost on the European Union. The year kicked off with an announcement from the EU environment commissioner that it may be better for the EU to miss its target of reaching 10 per cent biofuel content in road fuels by 2020 than to compromise the environment and human wellbeing. The 'decision tree' outlined here can guide the interdependent processes of deliberation and analysis needed for making tough choices in national biofuels development.

  7. Challenge of biofuel: filling the tank without emptying the stomach?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajagopal, D.; Sexton, S. E.; Roland-Holst, D.; Zilberman, D.

    2007-10-01

    Biofuels have become a leading alternative to fossil fuel because they can be produced domestically by many countries, require only minimal changes to retail distribution and end-use technologies, are a partial response to global climate change, and because they have the potential to spur rural development. Production of biofuel has increased most rapidly for corn ethanol, in part because of government subsidies; yet, corn ethanol offers at most a modest contribution to society's climate change goals and only a marginally positive net energy balance. Current biofuels pose long-run consequences for the provision of food and environmental amenities. In the short run, however, when gasoline supply and demand are inelastic, they serve as a buffer supply of energy, helping to reduce prices. Employing a conceptual model and with back-of-the-envelope estimates of wealth transfers resulting from biofuel production, we find that ethanol subsidies pay for themselves. Adoption of second-generation technologies may make biofuels more beneficial to society. The large-scale production of new types of crops dedicated to energy is likely to induce structural change in agriculture and change the sources, levels, and variability of farm incomes. The socio-economic impact of biofuel production will largely depend on how well the process of technology adoption by farmers and processors is understood and managed. The confluence of agricultural policy with environmental and energy policies is expected.

  8. Challenge of biofuel: filling the tank without emptying the stomach?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biofuels have become a leading alternative to fossil fuel because they can be produced domestically by many countries, require only minimal changes to retail distribution and end-use technologies, are a partial response to global climate change, and because they have the potential to spur rural development. Production of biofuel has increased most rapidly for corn ethanol, in part because of government subsidies; yet, corn ethanol offers at most a modest contribution to society's climate change goals and only a marginally positive net energy balance. Current biofuels pose long-run consequences for the provision of food and environmental amenities. In the short run, however, when gasoline supply and demand are inelastic, they serve as a buffer supply of energy, helping to reduce prices. Employing a conceptual model and with back-of-the-envelope estimates of wealth transfers resulting from biofuel production, we find that ethanol subsidies pay for themselves. Adoption of second-generation technologies may make biofuels more beneficial to society. The large-scale production of new types of crops dedicated to energy is likely to induce structural change in agriculture and change the sources, levels, and variability of farm incomes. The socio-economic impact of biofuel production will largely depend on how well the process of technology adoption by farmers and processors is understood and managed. The confluence of agricultural policy with environmental and energy policies is expected

  9. Improving EU biofuels policy?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swinbank, Alan; Daugbjerg, Carsten

    2013-01-01

    (from a 2010 base) by the same date. In practice, it will mainly be biofuels that economic operators will use to meet these requirements, but the different approaches can lead to either the RED, or the FQD, acting as the binding constraint. A common set of environmental sustainability criteria apply...... in the WTO, as there would be a clearer link between policy measures and the objective of reductions in GHG emissions; and the combination of the revised RED and the FQD would lessen the commercial incentive to import biofuels with modest GHG emission savings, and thus reduce the risk of trade tension....

  10. The Brazilian biofuels industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goldemberg José

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Ethanol is a biofuel that is used as a replacement for approximately 3% of the fossil-based gasoline consumed in the world today. Most of this biofuel is produced from sugarcane in Brazil and corn in the United States. We present here the rationale for the ethanol program in Brazil, its present 'status' and its perspectives. The environmental benefits of the program, particularly the contribution of ethanol to reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, are discussed, as well as the limitations to its expansion.

  11. Biofuels and the Future of Food: Competition and Complementarities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simla Tokgoz

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we draw the key linkages between future biofuels growth on agricultural commodity prices, and highlight some of the key uncertainties over OECD fuel and energy policies, and their implications for global agricultural markets and the world food situation. Our results show some of the implications that biofuels expansion has on crop area expansion in regions where environmental concerns exist over land use change and the possible impacts on the environment. We also point to some promising areas for future research and specify some implications for policy interventions.

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Biofuel consumption rates and patterns in Kenya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-07-01

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

  17. Technology Roadmaps: Biofuels for Transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2011-07-01

    Biofuels could provide up to 27% of total transport fuel worldwide by 2050. The use of transport fuels from biomass, when produced sustainably, can help cut petroleum use and reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector, especially in heavy transport. Sustainable biofuel technologies, in particular advanced biofuels, will play an important role in achieving this roadmap vision. The roadmap describes the steps necessary to realise this ambitious biofuels target; identifies key actions by different stakeholders, and the role for government policy to adopt measures needed to ensure the sustainable expansion of both conventional and advanced biofuel production.

  18. Outlook for advanced biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamelinck, Carlo Noël

    2004-01-01

    Modern use of biomass can play an important role in a sustainable energy supply. Biomass abounds in most parts of the world and substantial amounts could be produced at low costs. Motor biofuels seem a sensible application of biomass: they are among the few sustainable alternatives to the tran

  19. Biofuels in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This article contains a short overview of biomass consumption in Eu countries. The market share of biomass comparing with the other renewable energy sources, analysis, figures of development options and potential barriers are presented. Some special paragraphs were devoted to liquid biofuels like ethanol, methanol and bio-diesel oils. Lacking of the distribution system of liquid biofuels is one of the barriers in implementation. The granulated wood pellets is going to be one of the most widespread bio fuel for households in Austria and Southern Germany and for small scale district heating in Denmark and Sweden. From the analyse follows, that in countries with the state support and subsidies, the biomass consumption is much more developed and is competing with the fossil fuels in heat and power market. But in countries without this support the share of biofuels is decreasing. The last paragraph is describing the situation of biomass consumption in Estonia. Up to now here are positive as well as negative examples of biomass boilers implementation. Comparison of the heat prices in Estonia and in E U countries is presented in Fig. 2. Considering that our heat prices are about 2 times less than the E U average, implementation of the quite expensive western burning technology in Estonia would be more complicated than in E U countries. This points out even bigger necessity of the state support or subsidizing in Estonia. But there is another, economically more feasible way for subsidizing - to start the production of the small bio-fuelled boilers and the fuel handling technology in Estonia. This should reduce the total investment cost of the bio-fuelled heating systems. (author)

  20. Competitive liquid biofuels from biomass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-01-15

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

  1. Biofuel Feedstock Assessment For Selected Countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  2. Global Impacts of European Agricultural and Biofuel Policies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willem Rienks

    2011-03-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  8. Fermentative biofuels production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The limited reserves and increasing prices of fossil carbohydrates, as well as the global warming due to their utilization, impose the finding of renewable energy sources. Because of this, since decades an increasing interest in production of alcohols, which can be used as a fuel additives or fuels for direct replacement in gasoline engines, is observed. Alcohols can be obtained chemically or as products of microbial metabolism of different species in fermentation of sugars or starchy materials. In the present review are summarized different fermentative pathways for production of all alcohols, which are or could be used as biofuels. The focus of the paper is on production limitations, strains development and economical perspectives. Key words: fermentation, biofuel, alcohols

  9. Biofuels made easy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Much has been said and written in Australia since the Federal Government introduced its Clean Fuels Policy in September 2001. Various biofuel projects are now being considered in different states of Australia for the manufacture of bioethanol and biodiesel from renewable resources. However, the economic viability required to establish an Australian liquid biofuels industry is predicated on supportive government legislation and an encouraging fuel excise regime. On the other hand, the benefits of such an industry are also in debate. In an attempt to clarify some of the concerns being raised, this paper endeavours to provide an overview of the current use of bioethanol and biodiesel around the world, to summarise the process technologies involved, to review the benefits and non-benefits of renewable fuels to the transport industry and to address the issues for such an industry here in Australia

  10. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauvergne, Peter; Neville, Kate J

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Benchmarking biofuels; Biobrandstoffen benchmarken

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-03-15

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

  13. 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.

  14. Biofuels: The African experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carrillo, L.A.; Nkolo, M. [German Agency for Technical Cooperation GTZ, Delegation Regionale des Eaux et Forets, Bertoua (Cameroon)

    2009-07-01

    In July 2006, the African Non-Petroleum Producers Association was formed in Senegal, Africa to develop alternative energy sources. It involved 13 of Africa's poorest nations, who joined forces to become global suppliers of biofuels, and some have set mandatory mixing of ethanol into gasoline. Although several biofuel production projects have been launched in western Africa, many of the new projects and plantations have not yet reached maturity due to the time lag between plantation and full-scale production, which is about 6 years. Major projects that could be producing significant quantities of biofuels in the next few years are not yet reflected in production statistics. Although ethanol is not yet being produced in large quantities in Africa, short-term opportunities exist. Countries in the South African Development Community are using molasses from the sugar can industry to produce ethanol. Biodiesel is also not currently produced on a significant scale in western Africa, but several other countries are gaining experience with cotton and palm oil resources, and Jatropha. Biomass residue also represents a large potential for all African countries involved in timber production. Unlike biodiesel production, land use conflicts are not an issue with biomass residue production.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technically and economically viable and cost competitive, require no additional lands, require minimal water use, and mitigate atmospheric CO2. However, commercial production of microalgae biodiesel is still not feasible due to the low biomass concentration and costly downstream processes. The viability of microalgae biodiesel production can be achieved by designing advanced photobioreactors, developing low cost technologies for biomass harvesting, drying, and oil extraction. Commercial production can also be accomplished by improving the genetic engineering strategies to control environmental stress conditions and by engineering metabolic pathways for high lipid production. In addition, new emerging technologies such as algal-bacterial interactions for enhancement of microalgae growth and lipid production are also explored. This review focuses mainly on the problems encountered in the commercial production of microalgae biofuels and the possible techniques to overcome these difficulties. PMID:25874216

  16. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srikanth Reddy Medipally

    2015-01-01

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

  17. BIOFUELS: FROM HOPES TO REALITY

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  20. Agricultural Residues and Biomass Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-06-01

    There are many opportunities to leverage agricultural resources on existing lands without interfering with production of food, feed, fiber, or forest products. In the recently developed advanced biomass feedstock commercialization vision, estimates of potentially available biomass supply from agriculture are built upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Long-Term Forecast, ensuring that existing product demands are met before biomass crops are planted. Dedicated biomass energy crops and agricultural crop residues are abundant, diverse, and widely distributed across the United States. These potential biomass supplies can play an important role in a national biofuels commercialization strategy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    This review studies biofuel expansion in terms of competition between conventional and advanced biofuels based on bioenergy potential. Production of advanced biofuels is generally more expensive than current biofuels because products are not yet cost competitive. What is overlooked in the discussion about biofuel is the contribution the industry makes to the global animal feed supply and land use for cultivation of feedstocks. The global ethanol industry produces 44 million metric tonnes of high-quality feed, however, the co-products of biodiesel production have a moderate impact on the feed market contributing to just 8-9 million tonnes of protein meal output a year. By economically displacing traditional feed ingredients co-products from biofuel production are an important and valuable component of the biofuels sector and the global feed market. The return of co-products to the feed market has agricultural land use (and GHG emissions) implications as well. The use of co-products generated from grains and oilseeds can reduce net land use by 11% to 40%. The proportion of global cropland used for biofuels is currently some 2% (30-35 million hectares). By adding co-products substituted for grains and oilseeds the land required for cultivation of feedstocks declines to 1.5% of the global crop area. PMID:26938514

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-01-31

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert McCormack

    2008-09-01

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

  5. CONNECTICUT BIOFUELS TECHNOLOGY PROJECT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    BARTONE, ERIK

    2010-09-28

    DBS Energy Inc. (“DBS”) intends on using the Connecticut Biofuels Technology Project for the purpose of developing a small-scale electric generating systems that are located on a distributed basis and utilize biodiesel as its principle fuel source. This project will include research and analysis on the quality and applied use of biodiesel for use in electricity production, 2) develop dispatch center for testing and analysis of the reliability of dispatching remote generators operating on a blend of biodiesel and traditional fossil fuels, and 3) analysis and engineering research on fuel storage options for biodiesel of fuels for electric generation.

  6. Biofuels: Project summaries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-07-01

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

  7. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doshi, Rupak; Nguyen, Tuan; Chang, Geoffrey

    2013-05-01

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

  8. 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

  9. National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  10. Biofuels. An overview. Final Report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The overall objective of this desk study is to get an overview of the most relevant liquid biofuels especially in the African context, and more specifically in the Netherlands' relevant partner countries. The study will focus on biofuels for transport, but will also consider biofuels for cooking and power generation. Biogas as the result of anaerobic fermentation which can be used for cooking, lighting and electricity generation will not be considered in this study. Liquid biofuels are usually divided into alcohols that are used to substitute for gasoline and oils that are used to substitute for diesel and are often called Biodiesel, and this division will be followed in this study. In chapter 2 we will analyse several aspects of the use of alcohols particularly ethanol, in chapter 3 the same analysis will be done for oils, using as example the very promising Jatropha oil. In chapter we will analyse socio-economic issues of the use of these biofuels

  11. Bio-fuel co-products in France: perspectives and consequences for cattle food; Coproduits des biocarburants en France: perspectives et consequences en alimentation animale

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-07-01

    The development of bio-fuels goes along with that of co-products which can be used to feed animals. After having recalled the political context which promotes the development of renewable energies, this document aims at giving an overview of the impact of bio-fuel co-products on agriculture economy. It discusses the production and price evolution for different crops

  12. Microalgae as a raw material for biofuels production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouveia, Luisa; Oliveira, Ana Cristina

    2009-02-01

    Biofuels demand is unquestionable in order to reduce gaseous emissions (fossil CO(2), nitrogen and sulfur oxides) and their purported greenhouse, climatic changes and global warming effects, to face the frequent oil supply crises, as a way to help non-fossil fuel producer countries to reduce energy dependence, contributing to security of supply, promoting environmental sustainability and meeting the EU target of at least of 10% biofuels in the transport sector by 2020. Biodiesel is usually produced from oleaginous crops, such as rapeseed, soybean, sunflower and palm. However, the use of microalgae can be a suitable alternative feedstock for next generation biofuels because certain species contain high amounts of oil, which could be extracted, processed and refined into transportation fuels, using currently available technology; they have fast growth rate, permit the use of non-arable land and non-potable water, use far less water and do not displace food crops cultures; their production is not seasonal and they can be harvested daily. The screening of microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris, Spirulina maxima, Nannochloropsis sp., Neochloris oleabundans, Scenedesmus obliquus and Dunaliella tertiolecta) was done in order to choose the best one(s), in terms of quantity and quality as oil source for biofuel production. Neochloris oleabundans (fresh water microalga) and Nannochloropsis sp. (marine microalga) proved to be suitable as raw materials for biofuel production, due to their high oil content (29.0 and 28.7%, respectively). Both microalgae, when grown under nitrogen shortage, show a great increase (approximately 50%) in oil quantity. If the purpose is to produce biodiesel only from one species, Scenedesmus obliquus presents the most adequate fatty acid profile, namely in terms of linolenic and other polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, the microalgae Neochloris oleabundans, Nannochloropsis sp. and Dunaliella tertiolecta can also be used if associated with other

  13. Potential uses of biomass from fast-growing crop miscanthus×giganteus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babović Nada V.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available There is an increasing interest in perennial grasses as a renewable source of bioenergy and feedstock for second-generation cellulosic biofuels. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum and miscanthus (Miscanthus×giganteus, belonging to the parennial grasses group, are the major lignocellulosic materials being studied today as sources for direct energy production, biofuels, bioremediation and other. They have the ability to grow at low cost on marginal land where they will not compete with the traditional food crops. Miscanthus×giganteus possesses a number of advantages in comparison with the other potential energy crops such as are: high yields, low moisture content at harvest, high water and nitrogen use efficiencies, low need for annual agronomic inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides, high cellulose content, non-invasive character, low susceptibility to pests and diseases and broad adaptation to temperate growing environments. The main problems are low rate of survival during the first winter after the creation of plantation and the relatively high establishment costs. Miscanthus×giganteus is grown primarily for heat and electricity generation but can also be used to produce transport fuels. Miscanthus biomass has a very good combustion quality due to its low water concentration as well as its low Cl, K, N, S and ash concentrations compared to other lignocellulose plants. It is expected that miscanthus will provide cheaper and more sustainable source of cellulose for production of bioethanol than annual crops such as corn. Miscanthus has great promise as a renewable energy source, but it can only be realised when the grass production has been optimised for large-scale commercial cultivation. However, further research is still needed to optimise agronomy of miscanthus, to develop the production chain and pre-treatment as well as to optimise energy conversation route to produce heat, electricity, and/or fuels from biomass, if miscanthus is to

  14. Crop physiology calibration in CLM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Bilionis

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Farming is using more terrestrial ground, as population increases and agriculture is increasingly used for non-nutritional purposes such as biofuel production. This agricultural expansion exerts an increasing impact on the terrestrial carbon cycle. In order to understand the impact of such processes, the Community Land Model (CLM has been augmented with a CLM-Crop extension that simulates the development of three crop types: maize, soybean, and spring wheat. The CLM-Crop model is a complex system that relies on a suite of parametric inputs that govern plant growth under a given atmospheric forcing and available resources. CLM-Crop development used measurements of gross primary productivity and net ecosystem exchange from AmeriFlux sites to choose parameter values that optimize crop productivity in the model. In this paper we calibrate these parameters for one crop type, soybean, in order to provide a faithful projection in terms of both plant development and net carbon exchange. Calibration is performed in a Bayesian framework by developing a scalable and adaptive scheme based on sequential Monte Carlo (SMC.

  15. Analysis of advanced biofuels.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  16. Energy and carbon accounting to compare bioenergy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borak, Brian; Ort, Donald R; Burbaum, Jonathan J

    2013-06-01

    To compare the utility of current and future biofuels and biofuel feedstocks in an objective manner can be extremely challenging. This challenge exists because agricultural data are inherently variable, experimental techniques are crop-dependent, and the literatures usually report relative, rather than absolute, values. Here, we discuss the 'PETRO approach', a systematic approach to evaluate new crops. This approach accounts for not only the capture of solar energy but also the capture of atmospheric carbon (as CO2) to generate a final carbon-based liquid fuel product. The energy yield, per unit area, of biofuel crops grown in different climate zones can thus be benchmarked and quantitatively compared in terms of both carbon gain and solar energy conversion efficiency. PMID:23518005

  17. Sustainable Process Design of Lignocellulose based Biofuel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mangnimit, Saranya; Malakul, Pomthong; Gani, Rafiqul

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

  18. 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.

  19. Alternative crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Surplus cereal production in the EEC and decreasing product prices, mainly for cereals, has prompted considerable interest for new earnings in arable farming. The objective was to examine whether suggested new crops (fibre, oil, medicinal and alternative grains crops) could be considered as real alternatives. Whether a specific crop can compete economically with cereals and whether there is a market demand for the crop is analyzed. The described possibilities will result in ca. 50,000 hectares of new crops. It is expected that they would not immediately provide increased earnings, but in the long run expected price developments are more positive than for cereals. The area for new crops will not solve the current surplus cereal problem as the area used for new crops is only 3% of that used for cereals. Preconditions for many new crops is further research activities and development work as well as the establishment of processing units and organizational initiatives. Presumably, it is stated, there will then be a basis for a profitable production of new crops for some farmers. (AB) (47 refs.)

  20. International Trade of Biofuels (Brochure)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2013-05-01

    In recent years, the production and trade of biofuels has increased to meet global demand for renewable fuels. Ethanol and biodiesel contribute much of this trade because they are the most established biofuels. Their growth has been aided through a variety of policies, especially in the European Union, Brazil, and the United States, but ethanol trade and production have faced more targeted policies and tariffs than biodiesel. This fact sheet contains a summary of the trade of biofuels among nations, including historical data on production, consumption, and trade.

  1. Algal Biofuels; Algal Biofuels R&D at NREL (Brochure)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2010-09-01

    An overview of NREL's algal biofuels projects, including U.S. Department of Energy-funded work, projects with U.S. and international partners, and Laboratory Directed Research and Development projects.

  2. Biofuels production for smallholder producers in the Greater Mekong Sub-region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malik, Urooj S.; Ahmed, Mahfuz [Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank, 6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550 (Philippines); Sombilla, Mercedita A. [Southeast Asian Center for Graduate Studies and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), Consulting Services Department, 4031 College, Laguna (Philippines); Cueno, Sarah L. [Agricultural Economist and Regional Program Coordinator Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program Working Group on Agriculture, Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank, 6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550 (Philippines)

    2009-11-15

    Looming concerns on rising food prices and food security has slowed down the impetus in biofuel production. The development of the sub-sector, however, remains an important agenda among developing countries like those of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) that have abundant labour and natural resources but have limited supply of fossil fuels which continues to serve as a constraint to economic growth. Five crops have been selected to be further developed and use for biofuel production in the GMS, namely sugarcane, cassava, oil palm, sweet sorghum and Jathropa curcas. The expanded use of sugarcane, cassava, and oil palm for biofuel production can cause problems in the food sector. The other two crops, sweet sorghum and J. curcas, are non-food crops but could still compete with the food crops in terms of resource use for production. In all cases, the GMS needs to formulate a sustainable strategy for the biofuel development that will not compete with the food sector but will rather help achieve energy security, promote rural development and protect the environment. Except for People's Republic of China (PRC) and Thailand that already have fairly developed biofuel sub-sector, the other GMS countries are either poised to start (Lao PDR and Cambodia) or ready to enhance existing initiatives on biofuel production (Myanmar and Vietnam), with support from their respective governments. Biofuel development in these countries has to be strongly integrated with smallholder producers in order to have an impact on improving livelihood. At this initial stage, the sub-sector does not need to compete on a price basis but should rather aim to put up small-scale biofuel processing plants in remote rural areas that can offer an alternative to high-priced diesel and kerosene for local electricity grids serving homes and small enterprises. The social and economic multiplier effects are expected to be high when farmers that produce the energy crops also produce the biofuels to

  3. Biofuels production for smallholder producers in the Greater Mekong Sub-region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Looming concerns on rising food prices and food security has slowed down the impetus in biofuel production. The development of the sub-sector, however, remains an important agenda among developing countries like those of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) that have abundant labour and natural resources but have limited supply of fossil fuels which continues to serve as a constraint to economic growth. Five crops have been selected to be further developed and use for biofuel production in the GMS, namely sugarcane, cassava, oil palm, sweet sorghum and Jathropa curcas. The expanded use of sugarcane, cassava, and oil palm for biofuel production can cause problems in the food sector. The other two crops, sweet sorghum and J. curcas, are non-food crops but could still compete with the food crops in terms of resource use for production. In all cases, the GMS needs to formulate a sustainable strategy for the biofuel development that will not compete with the food sector but will rather help achieve energy security, promote rural development and protect the environment. Except for People's Republic of China (PRC) and Thailand that already have fairly developed biofuel sub-sector, the other GMS countries are either poised to start (Lao PDR and Cambodia) or ready to enhance existing initiatives on biofuel production (Myanmar and Vietnam), with support from their respective governments. Biofuel development in these countries has to be strongly integrated with smallholder producers in order to have an impact on improving livelihood. At this initial stage, the sub-sector does not need to compete on a price basis but should rather aim to put up small-scale biofuel processing plants in remote rural areas that can offer an alternative to high-priced diesel and kerosene for local electricity grids serving homes and small enterprises. The social and economic multiplier effects are expected to be high when farmers that produce the energy crops also produce the biofuels to generate

  4. Climate effects of biofuels: measuring some key parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobell, D.; Campbell, E.; Fernandez, L.; Loarie, S.; Georgescu, M.; Asner, G.; Field, C.

    2008-12-01

    Many of the recent changes in the global food system have been associated, directly or indirectly, with a rapid expansion of biofuel production. One of the main scientific challenges associated with these changes is to understand the effects on the climate system, and in particular whether there are hotspots where biofuel production is especially good or bad for climate protection. The climate effects of biofuels depend on both net changes in greenhouse gas balance and direct biophysical effects of land cover changes. Recent work has shown that the first of these depends critically on assumptions about indirect land use changes that result from biofuel-induced price increases, and in particular on assumptions about how productive biomass agriculture in marginal areas will be. The biophysical effects depend largely on albedo and evapotranspiration changes that can be location and crop specific. Here we will present recent research results on each of these topics, with a focus on marginal land productivity in the United States and land use changes in Brazil.

  5. Implementing the Bio-fuel Plan while considering water resource protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report recalls the objectives of the 'Bio-fuel Plan', and analyses firstly their implications in terms of cultivated surfaces either by using land fallows, or by substitution to other crops, or by intensification, and secondly, the consequences of these different options for water resources. The authors finally discusses the agronomic issue related to the protection of colza, the content of the environmental charter for the cultivation of winter colza, and some financial and practical conditions for the development of energetic crops

  6. Competition between biofuels. Modeling technological learning and cost reductions over time

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A key aspect in modeling the (future) competition between biofuels is the way in which production cost developments are computed. The objective of this study was threefold: (1) to construct a (endogenous) relation between cost development and cumulative production (2) to implement technological learning based on both engineering study insights and an experience curve approach, and (3) to investigate the impact of different technological learning assumptions on the market diffusion patterns of different biofuels. The analysis was executed with the European biofuel model BioTrans, which computes the least cost biofuel route. The model meets an increasing demand, reaching a 25% share of biofuels of the overall European transport fuel demand by 2030. Results show that 1st generation biodiesel is the most cost competitive fuel, dominating the early market. With increasing demand, modestly productive oilseed crops become more expensive rapidly, providing opportunities for advanced biofuels to enter the market. While biodiesel supply typically remains steady until 2030, almost all additional yearly demands are delivered by advanced biofuels, supplying up to 60% of the market by 2030. Sensitivity analysis shows that (a) overall increasing investment costs favour biodiesel production, (b) separate gasoline and diesel subtargets may diversify feedstock production and technology implementation, thus limiting the risk of failure and preventing lock-in and (c) the moment of an advanced technology's commercial market introduction determines, to a large degree, its future chances for increasing market share.

  7. Competition between biofuels: Modeling technological learning and cost reductions over time

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A key aspect in modeling the (future) competition between biofuels is the way in which production cost developments are computed. The objective of this study was threefold: (i) to construct a (endogenous) relation between cost development and cumulative production (ii) to implement technological learning based on both engineering study insights and an experience curve approach, and (iii) to investigate the impact of different technological learning assumptions on the market diffusion patterns of different biofuels. The analysis was executed with the European biofuel model BioTrans, which computes the least cost biofuel route. The model meets an increasing demand, reaching a 25% share of biofuels of the overall European transport fuel demand by 2030. Results show that 1st generation biodiesel is the most cost competitive fuel, dominating the early market. With increasing demand, modestly productive oilseed crops become more expensive rapidly, providing opportunities for advanced biofuels to enter the market. While biodiesel supply typically remains steady until 2030, almost all additional yearly demands are delivered by advanced biofuels, supplying up to 60% of the market by 2030. Sensitivity analysis shows that (i) overall increasing investment costs favour biodiesel production, (ii) separate gasoline and diesel subtargets may diversify feedstock production and technology implementation, thus limiting the risk of failure and preventing lock-in and (iii) the moment of an advanced technology's commercial market introduction determines, to a large degree, its future chances for increasing market share. (author)

  8. Regional greenhouse gas emissions from cultivation of winter wheat and winter rapeseed for biofuels in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elsgaard, Lars; Olesen, Jørgen E; Hermansen, John Erik;

    2013-01-01

    by such regional factors as soil conditions, climate and input of agrochemicals. Here we analysed at a regional scale the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with cultivation of winter wheat for bioethanol and winter rapeseed for rapeseed methyl ester (RME) under Danish conditions. Emitted CO2 equivalents...... (CO2eq) were quantified from the footprints of CO2, CH4 and N2O associated with cultivation and the emissions were allocated between biofuel energy and co-products. Greenhouse gas emission at the national level (Denmark) was estimated to 22.1 g CO2eq MJ−1 ethanol for winter wheat and 26.0 g CO2eq MJ−1......Biofuels from bioenergy crops may substitute a significant part of fossil fuels in the transport sector where, e.g., the European Union has set a target of using 10% renewable energy by 2020. Savings of greenhouse gas emissions by biofuels vary according to cropping systems and are influenced...

  9. Crop Biotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    The influence of crop biotechnology on outcomes of agricultural practices and economics is readily evidenced by the escalating acreage of genetically engineered crops, all occurring in a relatively short time span. Until the mid 1990s, virtually no acreage was planted with commercial genetically mo...

  10. 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.

  11. Conventional and advanced liquid biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đurišić-Mladenović Nataša L.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Energy security and independence, increase and fluctuation of the oil price, fossil fuel resources depletion and global climate change are some of the greatest challanges facing societies today and in incoming decades. Sustainable economic and industrial growth of every country and the world in general requires safe and renewable resources of energy. It has been expected that re-arrangement of economies towards biofuels would mitigate at least partially problems arised from fossil fuel consumption and create more sustainable development. Of the renewable energy sources, bioenergy draws major and particular development endeavors, primarily due to the extensive availability of biomass, already-existence of biomass production technologies and infrastructure, and biomass being the sole feedstock for liquid fuels. The evolution of biofuels is classified into four generations (from 1st to 4th in accordance to the feedstock origin; if the technologies of feedstock processing are taken into account, than there are two classes of biofuels - conventional and advanced. The conventional biofuels, also known as the 1st generation biofuels, are those produced currently in large quantities using well known, commercially-practiced technologies. The major feedstocks for these biofuels are cereals or oleaginous plants, used also in the food or feed production. Thus, viability of the 1st generation biofuels is questionable due to the conflict with food supply and high feedstocks’ cost. This limitation favoured the search for non-edible biomass for the production of the advanced biofuels. In a general and comparative way, this paper discusses about various definitions of biomass, classification of biofuels, and brief overview of the biomass conversion routes to liquid biofuels depending on the main constituents of the biomass. Liquid biofuels covered by this paper are those compatible with existing infrastructure for gasoline and diesel and ready to be used in

  12. The extraterritorial dimensions of biofuel policies and the politics of scale: live and let die?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.G. Bastos Lima; J. Gupta

    2014-01-01

    Despite criticism, global biofuel production continues to rise, using primarily food crops. Between 2001 and 2012 it increased nearly six-fold, driven primarily by domestic policies, yet raising strong international concerns, eg over impacts on global food prices. Nevertheless, little international

  13. Governing biofuels in Brazil: A comparison of ethanol and biodiesel policies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stattman, S.L.; Hospes, O.; Mol, A.P.J.

    2013-01-01

    Over the last decade Brazil has implemented a new and ambitious biofuel program: the National Program of Production and Use of Biodiesel (PNPB). When launching this program in 2004 the government stated that it wanted to avoid the same kind of geographical concentration, single crop focus, dominance

  14. Investigating Invasives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lightbody, Mary

    2008-01-01

    Invasive species, commonly known as "invasives," are nonnative plants, animals, and microbes that completely take over and change an established ecosystem. The consequences of invasives' spread are significant. In fact, many of the species that appear on the Endangered Species list are threatened by invasives. Therefore, the topic of invasive…

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

    OpenAIRE

    Debjani Deb; Pushpa Tuppad; Prasad Daggupati; Raghavan Srinivasan; Deepa Varma

    2015-01-01

    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...

  16. Comparing biobased products from oil crops versus sugar crops with regard to non-renewable energy use, GHG emissions and land use

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, Harriëtte L.; Meesters, Koen P.H.; Conijn, Sjaak G.; Corré, Wim J.; Patel, Martin K.

    2016-01-01

    Non-renewable energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and land use of two biobased products and biofuel from oil crops is investigated and compared with products from sugar crops. In a bio-based economy chemicals, materials and energy carriers will be produced from biomass. Next to side streams, als

  17. SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS AND ADOPTION OF ENERGY CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haluk Gedikoglu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Current study analyzes the socio-economic factors that impact farmers’ willingness to grow switchgrass and miscanthus in Missouri and Iowa. The results of the current study show that current level of farmers’ willingness to grow for either crop is low. Hence, there are barriers to accomplishing the goal of producing 21 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuel by 2022. It is also found that currently growing energy crops is more attractive to small farms as a source of crop diversification, rather than an alternative crop production system in the big scale by large farms.

  18. Second-generation pilot biofuel units worldwide - Panorama 2008

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The production of biofuels from agricultural raw material is attracting great interest for many reasons, among them global warming, oil price hikes, the depletion of oil reserves and the development of new agricultural markets. However, the technologies currently under development are hindered by the fact that available land is limited and by a risk of competition with food crops. In the last few years, research and development efforts have sought to alleviate these limitations by exploring new pathways to convert little-used plant feedstocks to biofuels with better efficiencies. Large-scale research programs concentrating on these new technologies are underway in the U.S. and Europe, with industrial development expected between 2012 and 2020

  19. Molecular Breeding of Advanced Microorganisms for Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroshi Sakuragi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Large amounts of fossil fuels are consumed every day in spite of increasing environmental problems. To preserve the environment and construct a sustainable society, the use of biofuels derived from different kinds of biomass is being practiced worldwide. Although bioethanol has been largely produced, it commonly requires food crops such as corn and sugar cane as substrates. To develop a sustainable energy supply, cellulosic biomass should be used for bioethanol production instead of grain biomass. For this purpose, cell surface engineering technology is a very promising method. In biobutanol and biodiesel production, engineered host fermentation has attracted much attention; however, this method has many limitations such as low productivity and low solvent tolerance of microorganisms. Despite these problems, biofuels such as bioethanol, biobutanol, and biodiesel are potential energy sources that can help establish a sustainable society.

  20. Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-COMM) Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mayfield, Stephen P. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States)

    2015-12-04

    The Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-Comm) was established in 2010 to conduct research to enable commercial viability of alternative liquid fuels produced from algal biomass. The main objective of CAB-Comm was to dramatically improve the viability of algae as a source of liquid fuels to meet US energy needs, by addressing several significant barriers to economic viability. To achieve this goal, CAB-Comm took a diverse set of approaches on three key aspects of the algal biofuels value chain: crop protection; nutrient utilization and recycling; and the development of genetic tools. These projects have been undertaken as collaboration between six academic institutions and two industrial partners: University of California, San Diego; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Rutgers University; University of California, Davis; Johns Hopkins University; Sapphire Energy; and Life Technologies.

  1. Strategies for 2nd generation biofuels in EU - Co-firing to stimulate feedstock supply development and process integration to improve energy efficiency and economic competitiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The present biofuel policies in the European Union primarily stimulate 1st generation biofuels that are produced based on conventional food crops. They may be a distraction from lignocellulose based 2nd generation biofuels - and also from biomass use for heat and electricity - by keeping farmers' attention and significant investments focusing on first generation biofuels and the cultivation of conventional food crops as feedstocks. This article presents two strategies that can contribute to the development of 2nd generation biofuels based on lignocellulosic feedstocks. The integration of gasification-based biofuel plants in district heating systems is one option for increasing the energy efficiency and improving the economic competitiveness of such biofuels. Another option, biomass co-firing with coal, generates high-efficiency biomass electricity and reduces CO2 emissions by replacing coal. It also offers a near-term market for lignocellulosic biomass, which can stimulate development of supply systems for biomass also suitable as feedstock for 2nd generation biofuels. Regardless of the long-term priorities of biomass use for energy, the stimulation of lignocellulosic biomass production by development of near term and cost-effective markets is judged to be a no-regrets strategy for Europe. Strategies that induce a relevant development and exploit existing energy infrastructures in order to reduce risk and reach lower costs, are proposed an attractive complement the present and prospective biofuel policies. (author)

  2. Strategies for 2nd generation biofuels in EU - Co-firing to stimulate feedstock supply development and process integration to improve energy efficiency and economic competitiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The present biofuel policies in the European Union primarily stimulate 1st generation biofuels that are produced based on conventional food crops. They may be a distraction from lignocellulose based 2nd generation biofuels - and also from biomass use for heat and electricity - by keeping farmers' attention and significant investments focusing on first generation biofuels and the cultivation of conventional food crops as feedstocks. This article presents two strategies that can contribute to the development of 2nd generation biofuels based on lignocellulosic feedstocks. The integration of gasification-based biofuel plants in district heating systems is one option for increasing the energy efficiency and improving the economic competitiveness of such biofuels. Another option, biomass co-firing with coal, generates high-efficiency biomass electricity and reduces CO2 emissions by replacing coal. It also offers a near-term market for lignocellulosic biomass, which can stimulate development of supply systems for biomass also suitable as feedstock for 2nd generation biofuels. Regardless of the long-term priorities of biomass use for energy, the stimulation of lignocellulosic biomass production by development of near term and cost-effective markets is judged to be a no-regrets strategy for Europe. Strategies that induce a relevant development and exploit existing energy infrastructures in order to reduce risk and reach lower costs, are proposed an attractive complement the present and prospective biofuel policies.

  3. Water Footprints of Cellulosic Bioenergy Crops: Implications for Production on Marginal Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, S. K.; Hussain, M. Z.; Bhardwaj, A. K.; Basso, B.; Abraha, M. G.; Robertson, G. P.

    2014-12-01

    Water availability often limits crop production, even in relatively humid climates, and crops vary in their water demand and water use efficiency. Crop production for biofuel (ethanol or biodiesel) offers an alternative to fossil energy sources but requires large amounts of land, and is therefore a more viable option if such crops could be produced on marginal lands that often have soils of poor water-holding capacity. The selection of an appropriate crop requires information on its water demand, water use efficiency, and drought tolerance, but such information is incompletely available for the suite of cellulosic biofuel crops currently under consideration. This study analyzed soil moisture profiles (time-domain reflectometry) to estimate evapotranspiration and water use efficiency of three leading candidate crops for cellulosic bioenergy production (switchgrass, Miscanthus, and maize) grown in a relatively humid climate (Midwestern United States) over four years (2010-13). These field observations of water use by these annual and perennial crops reveal their water use efficiency for biomass and biofuel production. Total growing season water use was remarkably consistent among crops and across years of varying soil water availability, including very favorable precipitation years as well as a drought year (2012). Water use efficiency was more variable and, for maize, depends on whether the maize serves for both grain and cellulosic biofuel production.

  4. Biofuels from algae for sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Microalgae are photosynthetic microorganisms that can produce lipids, proteins and carbohydrates in large amounts over short periods of time. These products can be processed into both biofuels and useful chemicals. Two algae samples (Cladophora fracta and Chlorella protothecoid) were studied for biofuel production. Microalgae appear to be the only source of renewable biodiesel that is capable of meeting the global demand for transport fuels. Microalgae can be converted to biodiesel, bioethanol, bio-oil, biohydrogen and biomethane via thermochemical and biochemical methods. Industrial reactors for algal culture are open ponds, photobioreactors and closed systems. Algae can be grown almost anywhere, even on sewage or salt water, and does not require fertile land or food crops, and processing requires less energy than the algae provides. Microalgae have much faster growth-rates than terrestrial crops. the per unit area yield of oil from algae is estimated to be from 20,000 to 80,000 liters per acre, per year; this is 7-31 times greater than the next best crop, palm oil. Algal oil can be used to make biodiesel for cars, trucks, and airplanes. The lipid and fatty acid contents of microalgae vary in accordance with culture conditions. The effect of temperature on the yield of hydrogen from two algae (C. fracta and C. protothecoid) by pyrolysis and steam gasification were investigated in this study. In each run, the main components of the gas phase were CO2, CO, H2, and CH4.The yields of hydrogen by pyrolysis and steam gasification processes of the samples increased with temperature. The yields of gaseous products from the samples of C. fracta and C. protothecoides increased from 8.2% to 39.2% and 9.5% to 40.6% by volume, respectively, while the final pyrolysis temperature was increased from 575 to 925 K. The percent of hydrogen in gaseous products from the samples of C. fracta and C. protothecoides increased from 25.8% to 44.4% and 27.6% to 48.7% by volume, respectively

  5. Ecological considerations in the sustainable development of terrestrial biofuel crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    With potential benefits including the development of carbon-neutral energy sources, energy independence, production of novel bio-products and renewal or rural economies, the emerging bioeconomy is likely to result in the single largest reconfiguration of the agricultural landscape since the advent o...

  6. Energy production study of crops with biofuel potential in Argentina

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donato, Lidia; Huerga, Ignacio; Hilbert, Jorge [Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (CIA/INTA), Buenos Aires (Argentina). Centro de Investigacion de Agroindustria. Inst. de Ingenieria Rural], Emails: ingdonato@cnia.inta.gov.ar, ihuerga@cnia.inta.gov.ar, hilbert@cnia.inta.gov.ar

    2008-07-01

    The present study is focus on the final energy balance of bioenergy production in Argentina using soybean, sunflower, rapeseed, corn and sorghum as feedstocks. The balance considers the difference between the energy contained per unit and the amount used for its generation in all the different steps from sowing to final destination. For direct energy consumption Costo Maq software was employed using local fuel consumption forecast for each field labor. Particular attention is paid to the energy consumption in the agricultural steps considering the distinctive no till system spread out in Argentina that has a very low energy input. Direct and indirect energy were considered in the different steps of bioethanol and biodiesel generation. Industrial conversion consumption was based on international literature data. Comparisons were made between tilled and no till practices and considering or not the energy contained in co products. Results indicate a balance ranging from 0.96 to 1.54 not considering the co products. If co products were introduced the balances ranged between 1.09 and 4.67. (author)

  7. CANOLA CROP TAKES UP SELENIUM PROVIDES BIOFUEL AND FEED SUPPLEMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Many of the Brassica plant taxi that are candidates for phytoremediation of selenium also produce products that be used for refining into biodiesel, as well as selenium enriched animal feeds. These include canola (Brassica napus) that is planted in the Westside soils of central California (Oxalis si...

  8. BIOFUEL FROM CORN STOVER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ljiljanka Tomerlin

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with production of ethyl alcohol (biofuel from corn stover acid hydrolysate by yeasts, respectively at Pichia stipitis y-7124 and Pachysolen tannophilus y-2460 and Candida shehatae y-12856. Since moist corn stover (Hybryds 619 is proving to decomposition by phyllospheric microflora. It was (conserved spattered individually by microbicids: Busan-90, Izosan-G and formalin. In form of prismatic bales, it was left in the open air during 6 months (Octobar - March. At the beginning and after 6 months the microbiological control was carried out. The only one unspattered (control and three stover corn bals being individually spattered by microbicids were fragmented and cooked with sulfur acid. The obtained four acid hydrolysates are complex substratums, containing, apart from the sugars (about 11 g dm-3 pentosa and about 5.4 g dm-3 hexose, decomposite components as lignin, caramel sugars and uronic acids. By controlling the activity of the mentioned yeasts it was confirmed that yeasts Pichia stipitis y-7124 obtained best capability of ethyl alcohol production from corn stover acid hydrolysate at 0.23 vol. % to 0.49 vol. %.

  9. Biofuels and food security

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dmitry S. STREBKOV

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The major source of energy comes from fossil fuels. The current situation in the field of fuel and energy is becoming more problematic as world population continues to grow because of the limitation of fossil fuels reserve and its pressure on environment. This review aims to find economic, reliable, renewable and non-polluting energy sources to reduce high energy tariffs in Russian Federation. Biofuel is fuel derived directly from plants, or indirectly from agricultural, commercial, domestic, and/or industrial wastes. Other alternative energy sources including solar energy and electric power generation are also discussed. Over 100 Mt of biomass available for energy purposes is produced every year in Russian. One of the downsides of biomass energy is its potential threatens to food security and forage industries. An innovative approach proved that multicomponent fuel (80% diesel oil content for motor and 64% for in stove fuel can remarkably reduce the costs. This paper proposed that the most promising energy model for future is based on direct solar energy conversion and transcontinental terawatt power transmission with the use of resonant wave-guide technology.

  10. From Biomass to Biofuels: NREL Leads the Way

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2006-08-01

    This brochure covers how biofuels can help meet future needs for transportation fuels, how biofuels are produced, U.S. potential for biofuels, and NREL's approach to efficient affordable biofuels.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    Petroleum-based fuels are nonrenewable and unsustainable. Renewable sources of energy, such as lignocellulosic biofuels and plant metabolite-based drop-in fuels, can offset fossil fuel use and reverse environmental degradation through carbon sequestration. Despite these benefits, the lignocellulosic biofuels industry still faces many challenges, including the availability of economically viable crop plants. Cell wall recalcitrance is a major economic barrier for lignocellulosic biofuels production from biomass crops. Sustainability and biomass yield are two additional, yet interrelated, foci for biomass crop improvement. Many scientists are searching for solutions to these problems within biomass crop genomes. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in almost all biological and metabolic process in plants including plant development, cell wall biosynthesis and plant stress responses. Because of the broad functions of their targets (e.g. auxin response factors), the alteration of plant miRNA expression often results in pleiotropic effects. A specific miRNA usually regulates a biologically relevant bioenergy trait. For example, relatively low miR156 overexpression leads to a transgenic feedstock with enhanced biomass and decreased recalcitrance. miRNAs have been overexpressed in dedicated bioenergy feedstocks such as poplar and switchgrass yielding promising results for lignin reduction, increased plant biomass, the timing of flowering and response to harsh environments. In this review, we present the status of miRNA-related research in several major biofuel crops and relevant model plants. We critically assess published research and suggest next steps for miRNA manipulation in feedstocks for increased biomass and sustainability for biofuels and bioproducts. PMID:25707745

  12. The economics of producing energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US agricultural sector has an immense supply of natural resources which can be used to product energy. Production of energy from these resources could stimulate economic growth, improve environmental quality, and enhance energy security. However, producing feedstocks and converting biomass to energy require large amounts of capital, equipment, labor, and processing facilities. This paper looks at the costs and benefits of producing energy crops for fuel conversion. A review of studies and crop data show that the cost of growing and converting various feedstocks with current technology is greater than the cost of producing conventional fuels. Conventional motor fuels have a price advantage over biofuels, but market prices don't always reflect the cost of negative externalities imposed on society. Government decisions to invest in alternative energy sources should be based on research that includes the environmental costs and benefits of energy production. The future of biofuels will depend on the continuation of government research and incentive programs. As new technologies advance, the costs of processing energy crops and residues will fall, making biofuels more competitive in energy markets

  13. Biofuels and sustainability in Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The combined effects of climate change, the continued volatility of fuel prices, the recent food crisis and global economic turbulence have triggered a sense of urgency among policymakers, industries and development practitioners to find sustainable and viable solutions in the area of biofuels. This sense of urgency is reflected in the rapid expansion of global biofuels production and markets over the past few years. Biofuels development offers developing countries some prospect of self-reliant energy supplies at national and local levels, with potential economic, ecological, social, and security benefits. Forty-two African countries are net oil importers. This makes them particularly vulnerable to volatility in global fuel prices and dependent on foreign exchange to cover their domestic energy needs. The goal therefore is to reduce the high dependence on imported petroleum by developing domestic, renewable energy. But can this objective be achieved while leaving a minimal social and environmental footprint? A fundamental question is if biofuels can be produced with consideration of social, economic and environmental factors without setting unrealistic expectation for an evolving renewable energy industry that holds such great promise. The overall performance of different biofuels in reducing non-renewable energy use and greenhouse gas emissions varies when considering the entire lifecycle from production through to use. The net performance depends on the type of feedstock, the production process and the amount of non-renewable energy needed. This paper presents an overview of the development of biofuels in Africa, and highlights country-specific economic, environmental and social issues. It proposes a combination framework of policy incentives as a function of technology maturity, discusses practices, processes and technologies that can improve efficiency, lower energy and water demand, and further reduce the social and environmental footprint of biofuels

  14. Short rotation Wood Crops Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L.L.; Ehrenshaft, A.R.

    1990-08-01

    This report synthesizes the technical progress of research projects in the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program for the year ending September 30, 1989. The primary goal of this research program, sponsored by the US Department of Energy's Biofuels and Municipal Waste Technology Division, is the development of a viable technology for producing renewable feedstocks for conversion to biofuels. One of the more significant accomplishments was the documentation that short-rotation woody crops total delivered costs could be $40/Mg or less under optimistic but attainable conditions. By taking advantage of federal subsidies such as those offered under the Conservation Reserve Program, wood energy feedstock costs could be lower. Genetic improvement studies are broadening species performance within geographic regions and under less-than-optimum site conditions. Advances in physiological research are identifying key characteristics of species productivity and response to nutrient applications. Recent developments utilizing biotechnology have achieved success in cell and tissue culture, somaclonal variation, and gene-insertion studies. Productivity gains have been realized with advanced cultural studies of spacing, coppice, and mixed-species trials. 8 figs., 20 tabs.

  15. 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

  16. The impact of extreme drought on the biofuel feedstock production

    Science.gov (United States)

    hussain, M.; Zeri, M.; Bernacchi, C.

    2013-12-01

    Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) have been identified as the primary targets for second-generation cellulosic biofuel crops. Prairie managed for biomass is also considered as one of the alternative to conventional biofuel and promised to provide ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration. These perennial grasses possess a number of traits that make them desirable biofuel crops and can be cultivated on marginal lands or interspersed with maize and soybean in the Corn Belt region. The U.S. Corn Belt region is the world's most productive and expansive maize-growing region, approximately 20% of the world's harvested corn hectares are found in 12 Corn Belt states. The introduction of a second generation cellulosic biofuels for biomass production in a landscape dominated by a grain crop (maize) has potential implications on the carbon and water cycles of the region. This issue is further intensified by the uncertainty in the response of the vegetation to the climate change induced drought periods, as was seen during the extreme droughts of 2011 and 2012 in the Midwest. The 2011 and 2012 growing seasons were considered driest since the 1932 dust bowl period; temperatures exceeded 3.0 °C above the 50- year mean and precipitation deficit reached 50 %. The major objective of this study was to evaluate the drought responses (2011 and 2012) of corn and perennial species at large scale, and to determine the seasonability of carbon and water fluxes in the response of controlling factors. We measured net CO2 ecosystem exchange (NEE) and water fluxes of maize-maize-soybean, and perennial species such as miscanthus, switchgrass and mixture of prairie grasses, using eddy covariance in the University of Illinois energy farm at Urbana, IL. The data presented here were for 5 years (2008- 2012). In the first two years, higher NEE in maize led to large CO2 sequestration. NEE however, decreased in dry years, particularly in 2012. On the other

  17. 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...

  18. Biofuels from food processing wastes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhanying; O'Hara, Ian M; Mundree, Sagadevan; Gao, Baoyu; Ball, Andrew S; Zhu, Nanwen; Bai, Zhihui; Jin, Bo

    2016-04-01

    Food processing industry generates substantial high organic wastes along with high energy uses. The recovery of food processing wastes as renewable energy sources represents a sustainable option for the substitution of fossil energy, contributing to the transition of food sector towards a low-carbon economy. This article reviews the latest research progress on biofuel production using food processing wastes. While extensive work on laboratory and pilot-scale biosystems for energy production has been reported, this work presents a review of advances in metabolic pathways, key technical issues and bioengineering outcomes in biofuel production from food processing wastes. Research challenges and further prospects associated with the knowledge advances and technology development of biofuel production are discussed.

  19. Green chemistry, biofuels, and biorefinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, James H; Luque, Rafael; Matharu, Avtar S

    2012-01-01

    In the current climate of several interrelated impending global crises, namely, climate change, chemicals, energy, and oil, the impact of green chemistry with respect to chemicals and biofuels generated from within a holistic concept of a biorefinery is discussed. Green chemistry provides unique opportunities for innovation via product substitution, new feedstock generation, catalysis in aqueous media, utilization of microwaves, and scope for alternative or natural solvents. The potential of utilizing waste as a new resource and the development of integrated facilities producing multiple products from biomass is discussed under the guise of biorefineries. Biofuels are discussed in depth, as they not only provide fuel (energy) but are also a source of feedstock chemicals. In the future, the commercial success of biofuels commensurate with consumer demand will depend on the availability of new green (bio)chemical technologies capable of converting waste biomass to fuel in a context of a biorefinery.

  20. Green chemistry, biofuels, and biorefinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, James H; Luque, Rafael; Matharu, Avtar S

    2012-01-01

    In the current climate of several interrelated impending global crises, namely, climate change, chemicals, energy, and oil, the impact of green chemistry with respect to chemicals and biofuels generated from within a holistic concept of a biorefinery is discussed. Green chemistry provides unique opportunities for innovation via product substitution, new feedstock generation, catalysis in aqueous media, utilization of microwaves, and scope for alternative or natural solvents. The potential of utilizing waste as a new resource and the development of integrated facilities producing multiple products from biomass is discussed under the guise of biorefineries. Biofuels are discussed in depth, as they not only provide fuel (energy) but are also a source of feedstock chemicals. In the future, the commercial success of biofuels commensurate with consumer demand will depend on the availability of new green (bio)chemical technologies capable of converting waste biomass to fuel in a context of a biorefinery. PMID:22468603

  1. Biofuels from food processing wastes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhanying; O'Hara, Ian M; Mundree, Sagadevan; Gao, Baoyu; Ball, Andrew S; Zhu, Nanwen; Bai, Zhihui; Jin, Bo

    2016-04-01

    Food processing industry generates substantial high organic wastes along with high energy uses. The recovery of food processing wastes as renewable energy sources represents a sustainable option for the substitution of fossil energy, contributing to the transition of food sector towards a low-carbon economy. This article reviews the latest research progress on biofuel production using food processing wastes. While extensive work on laboratory and pilot-scale biosystems for energy production has been reported, this work presents a review of advances in metabolic pathways, key technical issues and bioengineering outcomes in biofuel production from food processing wastes. Research challenges and further prospects associated with the knowledge advances and technology development of biofuel production are discussed. PMID:26874262

  2. 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

  3. Canaryseed Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximiliano Cogliatti

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Canaryseed (Phalaris canariensis L. is a graminaceous crop species with production practices and cycle similar to those of other winter cereal crops such as spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. and oat (Avena sativa L.. Currently its grains are used almost exclusively as feed for birds, alone or mixed with other grains like millet, sunflower seed, and flaxseed. Canaryseed is a genuine cereal with a unique composition that suggests its potential for food use. P. canariensis is cultivated in many areas of temperate climates. Currently, its production is concentrated in the southwestern provinces of Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and on a smaller scale in Argentina, Thailand and Australia. Globally it is considered to be a minor crop with regional relevance, with a production about of 250000 tonnes per year, which restricts private investment and public research on its genetic and technological improvement. For this reason, the type of crop management that is applied to this species largely depends on innovations made in other similar crops. This work provides an updated summary of the available information on the species: its requirements, distribution, genetic resources, cultivation practices, potential uses, marketing and other topics of interest to researchers and producers.

  4. Biofuels in Africa : Opportunities, Prospects, and Challenges

    OpenAIRE

    Mitchell, Donald

    2011-01-01

    Biofuels offer new opportunities for African countries. They can contribute to economic growth, employment, and rural incomes. They can become an important export for some countries and provide low-cost fuel for others. There is also a potentially large demand for biofuels to meet the rapidly growing need for local fuel. Abundant natural resources and low-cost labor make producing biofuel ...

  5. Policies promoting Biofuels in Sweden

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holmgren, Kristina [IVL Swedish Environmental Research Inst., Goeteborg (Sweden); Chalmers Univ. of Technology, Div. of Heat and Power Technology., Goeteborg (Sweden)

    2012-07-01

    This report was written as part of a course in Environmental Economics and Policy Instruments at the University of Gothenburg. It aims at summarizing the policy instruments introduced to directly affect the production and use of biofuels in Sweden. Since Sweden is part of the EU also EU policies were included. There are additional policy instruments which affect the production and utilization of biofuels in a more indirect way that are not presented here. The economic analysis in this paper is limited and could be developed from the information presented in order to draw further conclusions on necessary changes in order to reach set targets.

  6. Panorama 2007: Biofuels in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The current leader on the world bio-diesel market, Europe is, after the United States and Brazil, one of the regions driving the production and utilization of biofuels. Its ambitious bio-fuel content targets for motor fuels (5.75% by 2010 and 8% by 2015) encourage Member States to significantly develop those pathways. This raises certain questions, especially about available biomass resources. It is likely that, beyond 2010, technologies other than those in existence today, using ligno-cellulosic biomass, will have to be implemented. (author)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-09-15

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

  8. 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.

  9. Algae Derived Biofuel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jahan, Kauser [Rowan Univ., Glassboro, NJ (United States)

    2015-03-31

    One of the most promising fuel alternatives is algae biodiesel. Algae reproduce quickly, produce oils more efficiently than crop plants, and require relatively few nutrients for growth. These nutrients can potentially be derived from inexpensive waste sources such as flue gas and wastewater, providing a mutual benefit of helping to mitigate carbon dioxide waste. Algae can also be grown on land unsuitable for agricultural purposes, eliminating competition with food sources. This project focused on cultivating select algae species under various environmental conditions to optimize oil yield. Membrane studies were also conducted to transfer carbon di-oxide more efficiently. An LCA study was also conducted to investigate the energy intensive steps in algae cultivation.

  10. Biofuel supply chain, market, and policy analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Leilei

    Renewable fuel is receiving an increasing attention as a substitute for fossil based energy. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has employed increasing effort on promoting the advanced biofuel productions. Although the advanced biofuel remains at its early stage, it is expected to play an important role in climate policy in the future in the transportation sector. This dissertation studies the emerging biofuel supply chain and markets by analyzing the production cost, and the outcomes of the biofuel market, including blended fuel market price and quantity, biofuel contract price and quantity, profitability of each stakeholder (farmers, biofuel producers, biofuel blenders) in the market. I also address government policy impacts on the emerging biofuel market. The dissertation is composed with three parts, each in a paper format. The first part studies the supply chain of emerging biofuel industry. Two optimization-based models are built to determine the number of facilities to deploy, facility locations, facility capacities, and operational planning within facilities. Cost analyses have been conducted under a variety of biofuel demand scenarios. It is my intention that this model will shed light on biofuel supply chain design considering operational planning under uncertain demand situations. The second part of the dissertation work focuses on analyzing the interaction between the key stakeholders along the supply chain. A bottom-up equilibrium model is built for the emerging biofuel market to study the competition in the advanced biofuel market, explicitly formulating the interactions between farmers, biofuel producers, blenders, and consumers. The model simulates the profit maximization of multiple market entities by incorporating their competitive decisions in farmers' land allocation, biomass transportation, biofuel production, and biofuel blending. As such, the equilibrium model is capable of and appropriate for policy analysis, especially for those policies

  11. Biofuels feedstock development program. Annual progress report for 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L.L.; Cushman, J.H.; Ehrenshaft, A.R.; McLaughlin, S.B.; McNabb, W.A.; Martin, S.A.; Ranney, J.W.; Tuskan, G.A.; Turhollow, A.F.

    1993-11-01

    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.

  12. Induced Land Use Emissions due to First and Second Generation Biofuels and Uncertainty in Land Use Emission Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farzad Taheripour

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Much research has estimated induced land use changes (ILUCs and emissions for first generation biofuels. Relatively little has provided estimates for the second generation biofuels. This paper estimates ILUC emissions for the first and second generation biofuels. Estimated ILUC emissions are uncertain not only because their associated land use changes are uncertain, but also because of uncertainty in the land use emission factors (EFs. This paper also examines uncertainties related to these factors. The results suggest that converting crop residues to biofuel has no significant ILUC emissions, but that is not the case for dedicated energy crops. Use of dedicated energy crops transfers managed natural land and marginal land (cropland-pasture to crop production. Producing biogasoline from miscanthus generates the lowest land requirement among alterative pathways. The largest land requirement is associated with switchgrass. The difference is due largely to the assumed yields of switchgrass and miscanthus. The three major conclusions from uncertainty in emissions analyses are (1 inclusion or exclusion of cropland-pasture makes a huge difference; (2 changes in soil carbon sequestration due to changes in land cover vegetation play an important role; and (3 there is wide divergence among the emission factor sources, especially for dedicated crop conversion to ethanol.

  13. 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.

  14. The economic prospects of cellulosic biomass for biofuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumarappan, Subbu

    Alternative fuels for transportation have become the focus of intense policy debate and legislative action due to volatile oil prices, an unstable political environment in many major oil producing regions, increasing global demand, dwindling reserves of low-cost oil, and concerns over global warming. A major potential source of alternative fuels is biofuels produced from cellulosic biomass, which have a number of potential benefits. Recognizing these potential advantages, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 has mandated 21 billion gallons of cellulosic/advanced biofuels per year by 2022. The United States needs 220-300 million tons of cellulosic biomass per year from the major sources such as agricultural residues, forestry and mill residues, herbaceous resources, and waste materials (supported by Biomass Crop Assistance Program) to meet these biofuel targets. My research addresses three key major questions concerning cellulosic biomass supply. The first paper analyzes cellulosic biomass availability in the United States and Canada. The estimated supply curves show that, at a price of 100 per ton, about 568 million metric tons of biomass is available in the United States, while 123 million metric tons is available in Canada. In fact, the 300 million tons of biomass required to meet EISA mandates can be supplied at a price of 50 per metric ton or lower. The second paper evaluates the farmers' perspective in growing new energy crops, such as switchgrass and miscanthus, in prime cropland, in pasture areas, or on marginal lands. My analysis evaluates how the farmers' returns from energy crops compare with those from other field crops and other agricultural land uses. The results suggest that perennial energy crops yielding at least 10 tons per acre annually will be competitive with a traditional corn-soybean rotation if crude oil prices are high (ranging from 88-178 per barrel over 2010-2019). If crude oil prices are low, then energy crops will not be

  15. Reduction of the THG emissions in agricultural productions for the generation of biofuels; Senkung der THG-Emissionen in landwirtschaftlichen Produktionsverfahren zur Erzeugung von Biokraftstoffen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schiemenz, Katja; Gurgel, Andreas [Landesforschungsanstalt fuer Landwirtschaft und Fischerei Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Guelzow-Pruezen (Germany). Inst. fuer Pflanzenproduktion und Betriebswirtschaft

    2013-10-01

    The Renewable Energy Directive (RED, 2009/128/EC) sets a binding goal of substituting at least 10% of fossil fuel consumption with renewable energy from 2020 onwards. Although biofuels of the second generation promise ecological and economic advantages, they are not yet available or (as with biomethane) available only to a very limited extent. It is therefore important to produce the currently available biofuels in a more environmentally friendly manner, particularly as biofuels must show a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to the fossil fuels they replace of 50% by 2017 and 60% by 2018 as per the German Biofuel Sustainability Ordinance. This concerns emissions from the whole biofuel production chain. In energy crop production the level of GHG emissions is particularly dependent on the amount of N fertilization and the intensity of soil tillage as well as indirectly on the amount of diesel consumption. A current LFA research project aims at the reduction of GHG field emissions in cultivation systems with energy crops (rape, ethanol wheat) for biofuel production. For this, the opportunities which arise from the use of crop rotation with multiple crop types appropriate for the location with the inclusion of N-fixing grain legumes and production technology should be grasped. (orig.)

  16. Biofuel availability and domestic use patterns in Kenya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-07-01

    The annual domestic consumption levels and patterns of various common biofuels in Kenya were surveyed. The main fuelwood sources were farmland trees, indigenous forests, woodlands and timber off-cuts from plantations. In 1997, about 15.4 million tonnes of firewood (air-dried) were consumed and an equivalent of 17.1 million tonnes round wood wet weight (w/w) was converted to charcoal. In the same year, 1.4 million tonnes of a variety of crop residues were also consumed as domestic fuel. Biofuel availability was the major factor influencing the reported annual spatial species use and consumption patterns. Competing demand for the commonly-used tree species (mainly eucalyptus trees) for commercial and other purposes accounts, to a large extent, for the reported dwindling amounts, Communities in various regions have responded by gradually shifting to other available types including those in gazetted forests. Such a response strategy has implications on the long-term spatial and temporal biofuel use patterns. (Author)

  17. Estimates of US biofuels consumption, 1990

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report is the sixth in the series of publications developed by the Energy Information Administration to quantify the amount of biofuel-derived primary energy used by the US economy. It provides preliminary estimates of 1990 US biofuels energy consumption by sector and by biofuels energy resource type. The objective of this report is to provide updated annual estimates of biofuels energy consumption for use by congress, federal and state agencies, and other groups involved in activities related to the use of biofuels. 5 figs., 10 tabs

  18. Miscanthus - Practical aspects of biofuel development: Interim report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jenkins, A.; Newman, R.

    2002-07-01

    A 4-year project to plant, grow, harvest and deliver a crop of Miscanthus (a tall perennial grass) to a power station and thus evaluate its potential as a biofuel began in April 1999. Progress to March 2002 is summarised. Miscanthus is envisaged as a possible replacement for straw as a fuel, and the combustion studies are to be carried out at a straw-fired power station in Cambridgeshire England. Work carried out to March 2002 focused on: (1) modifications at the power station to accept the miscanthus as a fuel and (2) planting, growing and future harvesting of the crop. Details of the growth of the miscanthus on a two-hectare site close to the power station are given. It is intended to burn the miscanthus in March or April 2002. The study is being carried out by Energy Power Resources Ltd. on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry.

  19. Advancing Biofuels: Balancing for Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    As with most technologies, use of biofuels has both benefits and risks, which vary by feedstock. Expected benefits include increased energy independence, reduced consumption of fossil fuels, reduced emission of greenhouse gases and invigorated rural economies. Anticipated risks include potential com...

  20. Four myths surrounding U.S. biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The rapid growth of biofuels has elicited claims and predictions concerning the current and future role of these fuels in the U.S. vehicle-fuel portfolio. These assertions are at times based on a false set of assumptions concerning the biofuel's market related to the petroleum and agricultural commodities markets, and the nonmarket consequences of our automobile driving. As an aid in clarifying these market relations, the following four biofuel myths are presented: (1) biofuels will be adopted because we will soon run out of oil, (2) biofuels will solve the major external costs associated with our automobile driving, (3) biofuels cause food price inflation (the food before fuel issue), and (4) biofuels will become a major vehicle fuel. - Highlights: → Biofuels will be adopted because we will soon run out of oil. → Biofuels will solve the major external costs associated with our automobile driving. → Biofuels cause food price inflation (the food before fuel issue). → Biofuels will become a major vehicle fuel.

  1. An assessment of Thailand's biofuel development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    The paper provides an assessment of first generation biofuel (ethanol and biodiesel) development in Thailand in terms of feedstock used, production trends, planned targets and policies and discusses the biofuel sustainability issues-environmental, socio-economic and food security aspects....... The policies, measures and incentives for the development of biofuel include targets, blending mandates and favorable tax schemes to encourage production and consumption of biofuels. Biofuel development improves energy security, rural income and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but issues related...... to land and water use and food security are important considerations to be addressed for its large scale application. Second generation biofuels derived from agricultural residues perform favorably on environmental and social sustainability issues in comparison to first generation biofuel sources...

  2. The development of the biofuel and the role of genetic modified organisms on the Agriculture Portuguese Competitiveness

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oliveira, Maria de Fatima [Dep. Social and Human Sciences, CERNAS/Agrarian Scholl of Coimbra - Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Bencanta, 3040-316, Coimbra (Portugal); Avillez, Franscisco [Dep. Rural Sociology and Agrarian Economics, Agronomy Institute - Technical University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda 1349-017 Lisboa (Portugal)

    2008-07-01

    The aim of this work is to know the main guidelines for biofuels in EU, the impact on the agricultural sector and to analyze the potential role GM can play in the development of the Portuguese biofuels chain. Both the EU and the Portuguese trend appears to be Biodiesel development. Nevertheless, studies have shown that Bioethanol is more adequate for the EU and for Portugal to achieve the target, due to the future production costs and land availability. Biofuels also offer economic benefits for EU agricultural markets and rural economy by providing new outlets and market opportunities. However, the balance between energy crops, food and the environment must be guaranteed. The current biofuel potential production is encouraging, but it is not enough to achieve the ambitious target for 2010/20. The crops needs and land commitments are not realistic. GM crops can help to achieve the EU goal and the Portuguese experience on GM at the moment seems to be positive. The development of the biofuel strategy depends on political decisions.

  3. An Integrated Biogeochemical and Biophysical Analysis of Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

    Bioenergy crops are becoming increasingly important with growing concerns about the energy demand and climate change and the need to replace fossil fuels with carbon-neutral renewable sources of energy. The transition to a biofuel-based energy supply raises many questions such as: how and where to grow energy crops, what will be the impacts of growing large scale biofuel crops on climate system, the hydrological cycle and soil biogeochemistry. We are developing and applying an integrated system modeling framework to investigate the biophysical, physiological, and biogeochemical systems governing important processes that regulate crop growth such as water, energy and nutrient cycles. The framework has a two-big-leaf canopy scheme for photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, leaf temperature and energy fluxes. The soil/snow hydrology consists of 10 layers for soil and up to 5 layers for snow. The biogeochemistry component explicitly accounts for coupled carbon and nitrogen dynamics. The feedstocks currently considered include corn stover, Miscanthus and switchgrass. The parameters used for simulation of each crop have been calibrated using field experimental data from the US. The use of this modeling capability will be demonstrated through its applications to study the environmental effects (through changes in albedo and evapotranspiration) of biofuel production as well as the effective management practice in the United States.

  4. Sustainable Liquid Biofuels from Biomass Biorefining (SUNLIBB). Policy Brief No. 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2012-03-01

    The SUNLIBB project is funded under the European Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) within the Energy theme: Second Generation Biofuels -- EU Brazil Coordinated Call. SUNLIBB started on 1 October 2010 for 4 years and collaborates with a parallel project in Brazil, CeProBIO. First generation biofuels -- which are mainly produced from food crops such as grains, sugarcane and vegetable oils -- have triggered one of the most highly contentious debates on the current international sustainability agenda, given their links to energy security, transport, trade, food security, land-use impacts and climate change concerns. Developing second generation biofuels has emerged as a more attractive option, as these are manufactured from inedible sources, such as woody crops, energy grasses, or even agricultural and forestry residues. Residues from sugarcane and biomass from maize, as well as 'whole-crop' miscanthus are all potential raw material (called 'feedstock') for second generation bioethanol production. Because these three plants are all closely related, processing the biomass from these crops raises common technical challenges, which offers the opportunity for breakthroughs in one species to be rapidly exploited in the others. Despite the potential sustainability benefits of second generation bioethanol, the current inefficiency of production makes it economically uncompetitive. Taking up this challenge, the SUNLIBB consortium's multidisciplinary team of scientists -- in cooperation with CeProBIO, the sister project in Brazil -- combines European and Brazilian research strengths so as to open the way for environmentally, socially and economically sustainable second generation bioethanol production.

  5. Climate regulation enhances the value of second generation biofuel technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertel, T. W.; Steinbuks, J.; Tyner, W.

    2014-12-01

    Commercial scale implementation of second generation (2G) biofuels has long been 'just over the horizon - perhaps a decade away'. However, with recent innovations, and higher oil prices, we appear to be on the verge of finally seeing commercial scale implementations of cellulosic to liquid fuel conversion technologies. Interest in this technology derives from many quarters. Environmentalists see this as a way of reducing our carbon footprint, however, absent a global market for carbon emissions, private firms will not factor this into their investment decisions. Those interested in poverty and nutrition see this as a channel for lessening the biofuels' impact on food prices. But what is 2G technology worth to society? How valuable are prospective improvements in this technology? And how are these valuations affected by future uncertainties, including climate regulation, climate change impacts, and energy prices? This paper addresses all of these questions. We employ FABLE, a dynamic optimization model for the world's land resources which characterizes the optimal long run path for protected natural lands, managed forests, crop and livestock land use, energy extraction and biofuels over the period 2005-2105. By running this model twice for each future state of the world - once with 2G biofuels technology available and once without - we measure the contribution of the technology to global welfare. Given the uncertainty in how these technologies are likely to evolve, we consider a range cost estimates - from optimistic to pessimistic. In addition to technological uncertainty, there is great uncertainty in the conditions characterizing our baseline for the 21st century. For each of the 2G technology scenarios, we therefore also consider a range of outcomes for key drivers of global land use, including: population, income, oil prices, climate change impacts and climate regulation. We find that the social valuation of 2G technologies depends critically on climate change

  6. Water savings of redistributing global crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Kyle; Seveso, Antonio; Rulli, Maria Cristina; D'Odorico, Paolo

    2016-04-01

    Human demand for crop production is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades as a result of population growth, richer diets and biofuel use. For food production to keep pace, unprecedented amounts of resources - water, fertilizers, energy - will be required. This has led to calls for 'sustainable intensification' in which yields are increased on existing croplands while seeking to minimize impacts on water and other agricultural resources. Recent studies have quantified aspects of this, showing that there is a large potential to improve crop yields and increase harvest frequencies to better meet human demand. Though promising, both solutions would necessitate large additional inputs of water and fertilizer in order to be achieved under current technologies. However, the question of whether the current distribution of crops is, in fact, the best for realizing maximized production has not been considered to date. To this end, we ask: Is it possible to minimize water demand by simply growing crops where soil and climate conditions are best suited? Here we use maps of agro-ecological suitability - a measure of physical and chemical soil fertility - for 15 major food crops to identify differences between current crop distributions and where they can most suitably be planted. By redistributing crops across currently cultivated lands, we determine what distribution of crops would maintain current calorie production and agricultural value while minimizing the water demand of crop production. In doing this, our study provides a novel tool for policy makers and managers to integrate food security, environmental sustainability, and rural livelihoods by improving the use of freshwater resources without compromising crop calorie production or rural livelihoods.

  7. Biogas and biofuels barometer; Le barometre du biogaz et des biocarburants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon

    2007-05-15

    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.)

  8. 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.

  9. Scenarios for biofuels in the road transport sector - environmental and welfare economic consequences. Synthesis report from the REBECa project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frederiksen, P.

    2013-01-15

    The project, Renewable energy in the transport sector using biofuel as energy carrier (REBECa), aimed to investigate the potentials for providing biofuels for the road transport sector based on domestically cultivated bioenergy crops, and to analyse the consequences for air quality, land use, GHG emission and welfare economy. Moreover, a review of international perspectives on sustainability of biofuels was carried out. Different scenarios for the introduction of biofuels were developed - one aiming at 10 % share of biofuels in 2020, and another aiming at 25 % share in 2030. A forecast of the road transport until 2030 was produced and ensuing energy demand modelled. Estimates of the resulting demand for biomass, based on wheat grain, straw and rape, were introduced in agricultural scenarios of production and land use, and the possibilities for responding to the biomass requirements were analysed. Wellto-wheel emissions to air were calculated and impacts on air quality and health hazard investigated. Welfare economic effects corresponding to the well-to-wheel analytical framework were analysed. Results show that changes in air emissions (apart from CO{sub 2}) resulting from substitution of fossil fuel with biofuel were small, due to the general reduction of air emissions owing to EU policy implementation and technological development. The provision of sufficient home-grown bioenergy crops would at some stage influence the production of fodder. The overall results for fossil fuel reductions, CO{sub 2} emissions and the welfare economic costs using rape, wheat grain and straw as bioenergy crops, may point in opposite directions for the different fuels. While the largest gains in fossil fuel saving is related to the Rape Methyl Ester (RME) production chain, the welfare economic benefits show the largest positive results for 2{sup nd} generation biofuel. Results are highly dependent on decisions related to the analysis of co-products, and the prices of oil and wheat

  10. From first generation biofuels to advanced solar biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aro, Eva-Mari

    2016-01-01

    Roadmaps towards sustainable bioeconomy, including the production of biofuels, in many EU countries mostly rely on biomass use. However, although biomass is renewable, the efficiency of biomass production is too low to be able to fully replace the fossil fuels. The use of land for fuel production also introduces ethical problems in increasing the food price. Harvesting solar energy by the photosynthetic machinery of plants and autotrophic microorganisms is the basis for all biomass production. This paper describes current challenges and possibilities to sustainably increase the biomass production and highlights future technologies to further enhance biofuel production directly from sunlight. The biggest scientific breakthroughs are expected to rely on a new technology called "synthetic biology", which makes engineering of biological systems possible. It will enable direct conversion of solar energy to a fuel from inexhaustible raw materials: sun light, water and CO2. In the future, such solar biofuels are expected to be produced in engineered photosynthetic microorganisms or in completely synthetic living factories.

  11. From first generation biofuels to advanced solar biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aro, Eva-Mari

    2016-01-01

    Roadmaps towards sustainable bioeconomy, including the production of biofuels, in many EU countries mostly rely on biomass use. However, although biomass is renewable, the efficiency of biomass production is too low to be able to fully replace the fossil fuels. The use of land for fuel production also introduces ethical problems in increasing the food price. Harvesting solar energy by the photosynthetic machinery of plants and autotrophic microorganisms is the basis for all biomass production. This paper describes current challenges and possibilities to sustainably increase the biomass production and highlights future technologies to further enhance biofuel production directly from sunlight. The biggest scientific breakthroughs are expected to rely on a new technology called "synthetic biology", which makes engineering of biological systems possible. It will enable direct conversion of solar energy to a fuel from inexhaustible raw materials: sun light, water and CO2. In the future, such solar biofuels are expected to be produced in engineered photosynthetic microorganisms or in completely synthetic living factories. PMID:26667057

  12. 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.

  13. 75 FR 20085 - Subpart B-Advanced Biofuel Payment Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-16

    ... Rural Business-Cooperative Service 7 CFR Part 4288 RIN 0570-AA75 Subpart B--Advanced Biofuel Payment... biofuels to support existing advanced biofuel production and to encourage new production of advanced biofuels. The Agency would enter into contracts with advanced biofuel producers to pay such producers...

  14. Impact of Technology and Feedstock Choice on the Environmental Footprint of Biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, P. B.; Dodder, R. S.

    2012-12-01

    The implementation of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard program (RFS2) has led to a dramatic shift in the use of biofuel in the U.S. transportation system over the last decade. To satisfy this demand, the production of U.S. corn-based ethanol has grown rapidly, with an average increase of over 25% annually from 2002 to 2010. RFS2 requires a similarly steep increase in the production of advanced biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol. Unlike corn-based ethanol, which is derived from the biochemical fermentation of sugars in wet and dry mills, it is likely that a more diverse suite of technologies will need to be developed to be able to meet the advanced biofuel RFS2 targets, including biochemical as well as thermochemical (e.g., gasification and pyrolysis) approaches. Rather than relying on energy crops, a potential advantage of thermochemical approaches is the ability to use a wider variety of feedstocks, including municipal solid waste and wood waste. In this work, we conduct a system-level analysis to understand how technology and feedstock choice can impact the environmental footprint of biofuels in the U.S. We use a least-cost optimization model of the U.S. energy system to account for interactions between various components of the energy system: industrial, transportation, electric, and residential/commercial sectors. The model was used to understand the scale of feedstock demand required from dedicated energy crops, as well as other biomass feedstocks, in order to meet the RFS2 mandate. On a regional basis, we compare the overall water-consumption and land requirements for biofuels production given a suite of liquid-fuel production technologies. By considering a range of scenarios, we examine how the use of various feedstocks (e.g., agricultural residues, wood wastes, mill residues and municipal wastes) can be used to off-set environmental impacts as compared to relying solely on energy crops.

  15. Synthetic Biology Guides Biofuel Production

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    The advancement of microbial processes for the production of renewable liquid fuels has increased with concerns about the current fuel economy. The development of advanced biofuels in particular has risen to address some of the shortcomings of ethanol. These advanced fuels have chemical properties similar to petroleum-based liquid fuels, thus removing the need for engine modification or infrastructure redesign. While the productivity and titers of each of these processes remains to be improve...

  16. Optimal Distribution of Biofuel Feedstocks within Marginal Land in the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaiswal, D.

    2015-12-01

    The United States can have 43 to 123 Mha of marginal land to grow second generation biofuel feedstocks. A physiological and biophysical model (BioCro) was run using 30 yr climate data (NARR) and SSURGO soil data for the conterminous United Stated to simulate growth of miscanthus, switchgrass, sugarcane, and short rotation coppice. Overlay analyses of the regional maps of predicted yields and marginal land suggest maximum availability of 0.33, 1.15, 1.13, and 1.89 PG year-1 of biomass from sugarcane, willow, switchgrass, and miscanthus, respectively. Optimal distribution of these four biofuel feedstocks within the marginal land in the USA can provide up to 2 PG year-1 of biomass for the production of second generation of biofuel without competing for crop land used for food production. This approach can potentially meet a significant fraction of liquid fuel demand in the USA and reduce greenhouse gas emission while ensuring that current crop land under food production is not used for growing biofuel feedstocks.

  17. Tradeoffs and synergies between biofuel production and large-scale solar infrastructure in deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravi, S.; Lobell, D. B.; Field, C. B.

    2012-12-01

    Solar energy installations in deserts are on the rise, fueled by technological advances and policy changes. Deserts, with a combination of high solar radiation and availability of large areas unusable for crop production are ideal locations for large scale solar installations. For efficient power generation, solar infrastructures require large amounts of water for operation (mostly for cleaning panels and dust suppression), leading to significant moisture additions to desert soil. A pertinent question is how to use the moisture inputs for sustainable agriculture/biofuel production. We investigated the water requirements for large solar infrastructures in North American deserts and explored the possibilities for integrating biofuel production with solar infrastructure. In co-located systems the possible decline in yields due to shading by solar panels may be offsetted by the benefits of periodic water addition to biofuel crops, simpler dust management and more efficient power generation in solar installations, and decreased impacts on natural habitats and scarce resources in deserts. In particular, we evaluated the potential to integrate solar infrastructure with biomass feedstocks that grow in arid and semi-arid lands (Agave Spp), which are found to produce high yields with minimal water inputs. To this end, we conducted detailed life cycle analysis for these coupled agave biofuel - solar energy systems to explore the tradeoffs and synergies, in the context of energy input-output, water use and carbon emissions.

  18. 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)

  19. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Yi-Wen; Wu, May

    2013-09-01

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

  1. External governance and the EU policy for sustainable biofuels, the case of Mozambique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Growing demand for transport biofuels in the EU is driving an expansion of the industry in developing countries. Large-scale production of energy crops for biofuel, if mismanaged, could cause detrimental environmental and social impacts. The aim of this study is to examine whether the newly adopted EU Directive 2009/28/EC and its sustainability certification system can effectively ensure sustainable production of biofuels outside the EU. Mozambique, a least developed country with biofuels ambitions, is selected as empirical case. The effectiveness of the EU policy in analysed employing ideal models of external governance (hierarchical, market and network governance) as analytical framework. The findings show that the EU attempts to impose its rules and values on sustainable biofuels using its leverage through trade. The market approach adopted by the EU is expected to produce only unstable (subject to abrupt changes of market prices and demand) and thin (limited to climate and biodiversity issues) policy results. Stronger emphasis on a network oriented approach based on substantial involvement of foreign actors, and on international policy legitimacy is suggested as a way forward. (author)

  2. Contrasts and synergies in different biofuel reports

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    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...

  3. National Geo-Database for Biofuel Simulations and Regional Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Zhang, Xuesong; Sahajpal, Ritvik; Manowitz, David H.

    2012-04-01

    The goal of this project undertaken by GLBRC (Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center) Area 4 (Sustainability) modelers is to develop a national capability to model feedstock supply, ethanol production, and biogeochemical impacts of cellulosic biofuels. The results of this project contribute to sustainability goals of the GLBRC; i.e. to contribute to developing a sustainable bioenergy economy: one that is profitable to farmers and refiners, acceptable to society, and environmentally sound. A sustainable bioenergy economy will also contribute, in a fundamental way, to meeting national objectives on energy security and climate mitigation. The specific objectives of this study are to: (1) develop a spatially explicit national geodatabase for conducting biofuel simulation studies; (2) model biomass productivity and associated environmental impacts of annual cellulosic feedstocks; (3) simulate production of perennial biomass feedstocks grown on marginal lands; and (4) locate possible sites for the establishment of cellulosic ethanol biorefineries. To address the first objective, we developed SENGBEM (Spatially Explicit National Geodatabase for Biofuel and Environmental Modeling), a 60-m resolution geodatabase of the conterminous USA containing data on: (1) climate, (2) soils, (3) topography, (4) hydrography, (5) land cover/ land use (LCLU), and (6) ancillary data (e.g., road networks, federal and state lands, national and state parks, etc.). A unique feature of SENGBEM is its 2008-2010 crop rotation data, a crucially important component for simulating productivity and biogeochemical cycles as well as land-use changes associated with biofuel cropping. We used the EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) model to simulate biomass productivity and environmental impacts of annual and perennial cellulosic feedstocks across much of the USA on both croplands and marginal lands. We used data from LTER and eddy-covariance experiments within the study region to test the

  4. Consequences of field N2O emissions for the environmental sustainability of plant-based biofuels produced within an organic farming system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    studies on biofuel production systems showed that emissions of N2O may counterbalance a substantial part of the global warming reduction, which is achieved by fossil fuel displacement. In this study, we related measured field emissions of N2O to the reduction in fossil fuel-derived CO2, which was obtained...... when agricultural biomasses were used for biofuel production. The analysis included five organically managed feedstocks (viz. dried straw of sole cropped rye, sole cropped vetch and intercropped rye–vetch, as well as fresh grass–clover and whole crop maize) and three scenarios for conversion of biomass...... into biofuel. The scenarios were (i) bioethanol, (ii) biogas and (iii) coproduction of bioethanol and biogas. In the last scenario, the biomass was first used for bioethanol fermentation and subsequently the effluent from this process was utilized for biogas production. The net GHG reduction was calculated...

  5. 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

  6. Liquid biofuels emergence, development and prospects

    CERN Document Server

    Domingos Padula, Antonio; Benedetti Santos, Omar Inácio; Borenstein, Denis

    2014-01-01

    Discusses the debate on the emergence and diffusion of liquid biofuels as an energy source Presents the different elements that compose the debate on public policy, industry organization, competitiveness and sustainability of different systems for the production of liquid biofuels Covers the Brazilian experience of producing Ethanol and Biodiesel, as well as the experiences of other leading countries in the production of biofuels Bioenergy is coming to be seen as a priority on the international agenda, with the use of liquid biofuels a key strategy in the attempt to meet both the

  7. Biofuels from algae: technology options, energy balance and GHG emissions: Insights from a literature review

    OpenAIRE

    ROCCA STEFANIA; AGOSTINI ALESSANDRO; GIUNTOLI JACOPO; MARELLI Luisa

    2015-01-01

    During the last decade(s), algal biomass received increasing interest as a potential source of advanced biofuels production resulting in a considerable attention from research, industry and policy makers. In fact, algae are expected to offer several advantages compared to land-based biomass crops, including: better photosynthetic efficiency; higher oil yield; growth on non-fertile land; tolerance to a variety of water sources (i.e. fresh, brackish, saline) and CO2 re-using potential. The alga...

  8. A Baseline Study of Biofuel Feedstock Growth on Non-Traditional Agronomic Land in Utah

    OpenAIRE

    Hanks, Dallas A.

    2012-01-01

    The goal of the Non-Traditional Agronomic Land (NTAL) Project is to develop sustainable, agronomic, crop growth methods that will allow biofuel feedstock production to occur on marginal or non-traditional plots of land, e.g., roadways, railroads, airports, and military installations. Recent economic feasibility models by Utah State University (USU) indicate these lands could, in theory, produce one billion gallons of economically viable new feedstock annually. Specifically, USU models show th...

  9. 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...

  10. Toward the Domestication of Lignocellulosic Energy Crops: Learning from Food Crop Domestication

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tao Sang

    2011-01-01

    Domestication of cereal crops has provided a stable source of food for thousands of years. The extent to which lignocellulosic crops will contribute to the world's renewable energy depends largely on how the new crops will be domesticated. Growing miscanthus as biofuel feedstocks on marginal and degraded land in northern and northwestern China offers an example for developing theoretical framework and practical strategies for energy crop domestication. The domestication should incorporate the highest possible genetic diversity from wild species, focus on the improvement of drought and cold tolerance especially in the stage of crop establishment, increase the efficiencies of water and nutrient uses and photosynthesis, adjust vegetative growing season according to local temperature and precipitation,and reduce or prevent seed production. Positive ecological effects on soil conservation, landscape restoration, carbon sequestration, and hydrological cycles should be maximized, while negative impact on biodiversity needs to be minimized. With the development of other sources of renewable energy,the role of lignocellulosic crops may evolve from primarily energy production to increasingly ecological restoration and biomaterial development. The integration of this new cropping system into the existing agriculture may open a new avenue to the long-term sustainabiiity of our society.

  11. Herbaceous energy crops: a general survey and a microeconomic analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liquid fuels (bioethanol and biooil) derived from herbaceous crops are considered beneficial for the environment and human health especially if they are used as fuels for motor vehicles. The choice of the most suited crop to be cultivated for liquid biofuel production depends on many factors; the most important being the economic convenience for farmers to cultivate the new energy crop in place of the traditional ones. In order to analyse the conditions which favour the cultivation and selling of specific energy crops, a simple methodology is proposed, based on the calculation of the ''threshold price'' of the energy crop products. The ''threshold price'' is the minimum price at which the primary products of the energy crop, i.e., roots, tubers, seeds, etc., must be sold in order to obtain a gross margin equal to that usually obtained from the traditional crop which is replaced by the energy crop. As a case-study, this methodology has been applied to twelve Italian provinces where the cultivation of six energy crops, both in productive lands and set-aside lands, is examined. The crops considered are sugar beet, sweet sorghum and topinambour, useful for bioethanol production; and rapeseed, sunflower and soya, which are usually employed for the production of biooil. (Author)

  12. Biofuel intercropping effects on soil carbon and microbial activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, Michael S; Leggett, Zakiya H; Sucre, Eric B; Bradford, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    Biofuels will help meet rising demands for energy and, ideally, limit climate change associated with carbon losses from the biosphere to atmosphere. Biofuel management must therefore maximize energy production and maintain ecosystem carbon stocks. Increasingly, there is interest in intercropping biofuels with other crops, partly because biofuel production on arable land might reduce availability and increase the price of food. One intercropping approach involves growing biofuel grasses in forest plantations. Grasses differ from trees in both their organic inputs to soils and microbial associations. These differences are associated with losses of soil carbon when grasses become abundant in forests. We investigated how intercropping switchgrass (Panicum virgalum), a major candidate for cellulosic biomass production, in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations affects soil carbon, nitrogen, and microbial dynamics. Our design involved four treatments: two pine management regimes where harvest residues (i.e., biomass) were left in place or removed, and two switchgrass regimes where the grass was grown with pine under the same two biomass scenarios (left or removed). Soil variables were measured in four 1-ha replicate plots in the first and second year following switchgrass planting. Under switchgrass intercropping, pools of mineralizable and particulate organic matter carbon were 42% and 33% lower, respectively. These declines translated into a 21% decrease in total soil carbon in the upper 15 cm of the soil profile, during early stand development. The switchgrass effect, however, was isolated to the interbed region where switchgrass is planted. In these regions, switchgrass-induced reductions in soil carbon pools with 29%, 43%, and 24% declines in mineralizable, particulate, and total soil carbon, respectively. Our results support the idea that grass inputs to forests can prime the activity of soil organic carbon degrading microbes, leading to net reductions in stocks

  13. Biofuel intercropping effects on soil carbon and microbial activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, Michael S; Leggett, Zakiya H; Sucre, Eric B; Bradford, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    Biofuels will help meet rising demands for energy and, ideally, limit climate change associated with carbon losses from the biosphere to atmosphere. Biofuel management must therefore maximize energy production and maintain ecosystem carbon stocks. Increasingly, there is interest in intercropping biofuels with other crops, partly because biofuel production on arable land might reduce availability and increase the price of food. One intercropping approach involves growing biofuel grasses in forest plantations. Grasses differ from trees in both their organic inputs to soils and microbial associations. These differences are associated with losses of soil carbon when grasses become abundant in forests. We investigated how intercropping switchgrass (Panicum virgalum), a major candidate for cellulosic biomass production, in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations affects soil carbon, nitrogen, and microbial dynamics. Our design involved four treatments: two pine management regimes where harvest residues (i.e., biomass) were left in place or removed, and two switchgrass regimes where the grass was grown with pine under the same two biomass scenarios (left or removed). Soil variables were measured in four 1-ha replicate plots in the first and second year following switchgrass planting. Under switchgrass intercropping, pools of mineralizable and particulate organic matter carbon were 42% and 33% lower, respectively. These declines translated into a 21% decrease in total soil carbon in the upper 15 cm of the soil profile, during early stand development. The switchgrass effect, however, was isolated to the interbed region where switchgrass is planted. In these regions, switchgrass-induced reductions in soil carbon pools with 29%, 43%, and 24% declines in mineralizable, particulate, and total soil carbon, respectively. Our results support the idea that grass inputs to forests can prime the activity of soil organic carbon degrading microbes, leading to net reductions in stocks

  14. Sustainable Liquid Biofuels from Biomass Biorefining (SUNLIBB). Policy Brief No. 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2013-09-15

    The SUNLIBB project is funded under the European Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) within the Energy theme: Second Generation Biofuels -- EU Brazil Coordinated Call. SUNLIBB started on 1 October 2010 for 4 years and collaborates with a parallel project in Brazil, CeProBIO. This is the second in a series of policy briefs providing an update on the project. The first brief was issued in March 2012. The project focus is on looking at developing second generation biofuels that hope to improve on issues seen with the first generation options. Second generation biofuels are manufactured from inedible sources, such as woody crops, energy grasses, or even agricultural and forestry residues. Residues from sugarcane and biomass from maize, as well as 'whole-crop' miscanthus are all potential raw material (called 'feedstock') for second generation bioethanol production. Because these three plants are all closely related, processing the biomass from these crops raises common technical challenges, which offers the opportunity for breakthroughs in one species to be rapidly exploited in the others. Despite the potential sustainability benefits of second generation bioethanol, the current inefficiency of production makes it economically uncompetitive. Taking up this challenge, the SUNLIBB consortium's multidisciplinary team of scientists -- in cooperation with CeProBIO, the sister project in Brazil -- combines European and Brazilian research strengths so as to open the way for environmentally, socially and economically sustainable second generation bioethanol production.

  15. Biofuel Expansion, Fertilizer Use, and GHG Emissions: Unintended Consequences of Mitigation Policies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amani Elobeid

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Increased biofuel production has been associated with direct and indirect land-use change, changes in land management practices, and increased application of fertilizers and pesticides. This has resulted in negative environmental consequences in terms of increased carbon emissions, water quality, pollution, and sediment loads, which may offset the pursued environmental benefits of biofuels. This study analyzes two distinct policies aimed at mitigating the negative environmental impacts of increased agricultural production due to biofuel expansion. The first scenario is a fertilizer tax, which results in an increase in the US nitrogen fertilizer price, and the second is a policy-driven reversion of US cropland into forestland (afforestation. Results show that taxing fertilizer reduces US production of nitrogen-intensive crops, but this is partially offset by higher fertilizer use in other countries responding to higher crop prices. In the afforestation scenario, crop production shifts from high-yielding land in the United States to low-yielding land in the rest of the world. Important policy implications are that domestic policy changes implemented by a large producer like the United States can have fairly significant impacts on the aggregate world commodity markets. Also, the law of unintended consequences results in an inadvertent increase in global greenhouse gas emissions.

  16. Growth in Biofuels Markets: Long Term Environmental and Socioeconomic Impacts (Final Report)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seth D. Meyer; Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes

    2010-12-02

    Over the last several years increasing energy and petroleum prices have propelled biofuels and the feedstocks used to produce them, to the forefront of alternative energy production. This growth has increased the linkages between energy and agricultural markets and these changes around the world are having a significant effect on agricultural markets as biofuels begin to play a more substantial role in meeting the world's energy needs. Biofuels are alternatively seen as a means to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy independence, support rural development and to raise farm income. However, concern has arisen that the new demand for traditional commodities or alternative commodities which compete for land can lead to higher food prices and the environmental effects from expanding crop acreage may result in uncertain changes in carbon emissions as land is converted both in the US and abroad. While a number of studies examine changes in land use and consumption from changes in biofuels policies many lack effective policy representation or complete coverage of land types which may be diverted in to energy feedstock production. Many of these biofuels and renewable energy induced land use changes are likely to occur in developing countries with at-risk consumers and on environmentally sensitive lands. Our research has improved the well known FAPRI-MU modeling system which represents US agricultural markets and policies in great detail and added a new model of land use and commodity markets for major commodity producers, consumers and trade dependent and food insecure countries as well as a rest of the world aggregate. The international modules include traditional annual crop lands and include perennial crop land, pasture land, forest land and other land uses from which land may be drawn in to biofuels or renewable energy feedstock production. Changes in calorie consumption in food insecure countries from changes in renewable energy policy can also be examined

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. Invasive species

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is a summary of management activities and research related to invasive species on Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge between 1992 and 2009. As part of the...

  20. 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

  1. Biofuels and biodiversity: principles for creating better policies for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groom, Martha J; Gray, Elizabeth M; Townsend, Patricia A

    2008-06-01

    Biofuels are a new priority in efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels; nevertheless, the rapid increase in production of biofuel feedstock may threaten biodiversity. There are general principles that should be used in developing guidelines for certifying biodiversity-friendly biofuels. First, biofuel feedstocks should be grown with environmentally safe and biodiversity-friendly agricultural practices. The sustainability of any biofuel feedstock depends on good growing practices and sound environmental practices throughout the fuel-production life cycle. Second, the ecological footprint of a biofuel, in terms of the land area needed to grow sufficient quantities of the feedstock, should be minimized. The best alternatives appear to be fuels of the future, especially fuels derived from microalgae. Third, biofuels that can sequester carbon or that have a negative or zero carbon balance when viewed over the entire production life cycle should be given high priority. Corn-based ethanol is the worst among the alternatives that are available at present, although this is the biofuel that is most advanced for commercial production in the United States. We urge aggressive pursuit of alternatives to corn as a biofuel feedstock. Conservation biologists can significantly broaden and deepen efforts to develop sustainable fuels by playing active roles in pursuing research on biodiversity-friendly biofuel production practices and by helping define biodiversity-friendly biofuel certification standards.

  2. Biofuels and biodiversity: principles for creating better policies for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groom, Martha J; Gray, Elizabeth M; Townsend, Patricia A

    2008-06-01

    Biofuels are a new priority in efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels; nevertheless, the rapid increase in production of biofuel feedstock may threaten biodiversity. There are general principles that should be used in developing guidelines for certifying biodiversity-friendly biofuels. First, biofuel feedstocks should be grown with environmentally safe and biodiversity-friendly agricultural practices. The sustainability of any biofuel feedstock depends on good growing practices and sound environmental practices throughout the fuel-production life cycle. Second, the ecological footprint of a biofuel, in terms of the land area needed to grow sufficient quantities of the feedstock, should be minimized. The best alternatives appear to be fuels of the future, especially fuels derived from microalgae. Third, biofuels that can sequester carbon or that have a negative or zero carbon balance when viewed over the entire production life cycle should be given high priority. Corn-based ethanol is the worst among the alternatives that are available at present, although this is the biofuel that is most advanced for commercial production in the United States. We urge aggressive pursuit of alternatives to corn as a biofuel feedstock. Conservation biologists can significantly broaden and deepen efforts to develop sustainable fuels by playing active roles in pursuing research on biodiversity-friendly biofuel production practices and by helping define biodiversity-friendly biofuel certification standards. PMID:18261147

  3. Synthetic Biology Guides Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R. Connor

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The advancement of microbial processes for the production of renewable liquid fuels has increased with concerns about the current fuel economy. The development of advanced biofuels in particular has risen to address some of the shortcomings of ethanol. These advanced fuels have chemical properties similar to petroleum-based liquid fuels, thus removing the need for engine modification or infrastructure redesign. While the productivity and titers of each of these processes remains to be improved, progress in synthetic biology has provided tools to guide the engineering of these processes through present and future challenges.

  4. International Policies on Bioenergy and Biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rajcaniova, M.; Ciaian, P.; Drabik, D.

    2015-01-01

    This chapter provides an overview of international biofuel polices and their main impacts on food prices and land use. Global biofuel production has experienced a rapid growth by increasing from almost a zero level in 1970 to 29 billion gallons in 2011; the United States, the European Union, and Bra

  5. COMPUTATIONAL RESOURCES FOR BIOFUEL FEEDSTOCK SPECIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buell, Carol Robin [Michigan State University; Childs, Kevin L [Michigan State University

    2013-05-07

    While current production of ethanol as a biofuel relies on starch and sugar inputs, it is anticipated that sustainable production of ethanol for biofuel use will utilize lignocellulosic feedstocks. Candidate plant species to be used for lignocellulosic ethanol production include a large number of species within the Grass, Pine and Birch plant families. For these biofuel feedstock species, there are variable amounts of genome sequence resources available, ranging from complete genome sequences (e.g. sorghum, poplar) to transcriptome data sets (e.g. switchgrass, pine). These data sets are not only dispersed in location but also disparate in content. It will be essential to leverage and improve these genomic data sets for the improvement of biofuel feedstock production. The objectives of this project were to provide computational tools and resources for data-mining genome sequence/annotation and large-scale functional genomic datasets available for biofuel feedstock species. We have created a Bioenergy Feedstock Genomics Resource that provides a web-based portal or clearing house for genomic data for plant species relevant to biofuel feedstock production. Sequence data from a total of 54 plant species are included in the Bioenergy Feedstock Genomics Resource including model plant species that permit leveraging of knowledge across taxa to biofuel feedstock species.We have generated additional computational analyses of these data, including uniform annotation, to facilitate genomic approaches to improved biofuel feedstock production. These data have been centralized in the publicly available Bioenergy Feedstock Genomics Resource (http://bfgr.plantbiology.msu.edu/).

  6. Global nitrogen requirement for increased biofuel production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flapper, Joris

    2008-01-01

    Biofuels are thought to be one of the options to substitute fossil fuels and prevent global warming by the greenhouse gas (GHG) effect as they are seen as a renewable form of energy. However, biofuels are almost solely subjected to criticism from an energ

  7. BIOFUEL: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gong Liming

    2007-01-01

    @@ Since the worsening global climate has worried people around the world,there is a rush to find answers.Many countries begin to substitute the greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels with biofuel,a kind of new energy processed from plants.There are two kinds of biofuel:ethanol,processed from sugarcane or corn,and biodiesel,made from biomass.

  8. Fibre optic grating sensors for biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, M.; Fabris, J. L.; Kalinowski, H. J.

    2010-09-01

    Biofuels will have more intense impact on the energetic grid of the planet, because known fossil fuels reserves are being exhausted. The biofuel production relies on the transformation process of some organic material in the desired hydrocarbon product. Because of the natural characteristics of the related processes, fibre optic sensors appear to be adequate candidates to be used.

  9. Biofuel investment in Tanzania: Omissions in implementation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Increasing demand for biofuels as a component of climate change mitigation, energy security, and a fossil fuel alternative attracts investors to developing countries like Tanzania. Ample unused land is critical for first generation biofuels production and an important feature to attract foreign direct investments that can contribute towards agricultural modernization and poverty reduction initiatives. Despite the economic justifications, the existing institutional and infrastructural capacities dictate the impacts of biofuels market penetrations. Furthermore, exogenous factors like global recessionary pressure depressed oil prices below the level at which biofuel production were profitable in 2007, making Tanzania's competitiveness and potential benefits questionable. This paper investigates the extent that first generation, jatropha-based biofuels industry development in Tanzania observed during fieldwork in Kisarawe and Bahi may fulfill policy objectives. This paper argues that without strong regulatory frameworks for land, investment management, and rural development, biofuel industrialization could further exacerbate poverty and food insecurity in Tanzania. The paper concludes with policy recommendations for first generation biofuel development while keeping in mind implications of second generation production. Since the topic is broad and multifaceted, a multidisciplinary approach is used that includes political, institutional, and agricultural economics to analyze and conceptualize biofuel industry development and food security.

  10. A Brief Global Perspective on Biomass for Bioenergy and Biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Vlosky

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Biomass has a large energy potential. A comparison between the available potential with the current use shows that, on a worldwide level, about two-fifths of the existing biomass energy potential is used. In most areas of the world the current biomass use is clearly below the available potential. Only for Asia does the current use exceed the available potential, i.e. non-sustainable biomass use. Therefore, increased biomass use, e.g. for upgrading is possible in most countries. A possible alternative is to cover the future demand for renewable energy, by increased utilization of forest residues and residues from the wood processing industry, e.g. for production of densified biofuels (Parrika, 2004.If carried out on a large scale, the increased use of agricultural resources for energy will have the effect of raising the prices of most commodity crops and reducing the need for subsidies – with particular benefit for producers of commodity crops in developing countries. An aggressive program of bioenergy development could lead to reductions in government support to farmers without any loss of income. The long-term success of bio-based facilities and markets is dependent in part on the level of commitment of feedstock from forest landowners and farmers.  Forest, crop, and animal residues present considerable potential as a biomass feedstock.  They are renewable, sustainable, locally available, and often considered carbon-neutral when compared to fossil fuels (Hoogwijk, 2004; Mathews, 2008.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-02-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-10-15

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

  13. Coupling of algal biofuel production with wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, Neha Chamoli; Panwar, Amit; Bisht, Tara Singh; Tamta, Sushma

    2014-01-01

    Microalgae have gained enormous consideration from scientific community worldwide emerging as a viable feedstock for a renewable energy source virtually being carbon neutral, high lipid content, and comparatively more advantageous to other sources of biofuels. Although microalgae are seen as a valuable source in majority part of the world for production of biofuels and bioproducts, still they are unable to accomplish sustainable large-scale algal biofuel production. Wastewater has organic and inorganic supplements required for algal growth. The coupling of microalgae with wastewater is an effective way of waste remediation and a cost-effective microalgal biofuel production. In this review article, we will primarily discuss the possibilities and current scenario regarding coupling of microalgal cultivation with biofuel production emphasizing recent progress in this area.

  14. 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

  15. Scope of algae as third generation biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuvashish eBehera

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available An initiative has been taken to develop different solid, liquid and gaseous biofuels as the alternative energy resources. The current research and technology based on the third generation biofuels derived from algal biomass have been considered as the best alternative bioresource that avoids the disadvantages of first and second generation biofuels. Algal biomass have been investigated for the implementation of economic conversion processes producing different biofuels such as biodiesel, bioethanol, biogas, biohydrogen and other valuable co-products. In the present review, the recent findings and advance developments in algal biomass for improved biofuel production. This review discusses about the importance of the algal cell contents, various strategies for product formation through various conversion technologies, and its future scope as an energy security.

  16. Biofuel Induced Land Use Change effects on Watershed Hydrology and Water Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaubey, I.; Cibin, R.; Frankenberger, J.; Cherkauer, K. A.; Volenec, J. J.; Brouder, S. M.

    2015-12-01

    High yielding perennial grasses such as Miscanthus and switchgrass, and crop residues such as corn stover are expected to play a significant role in meeting US biofuel production targets. We have evaluated the potential impacts of biofuel induced land use changes on hydrology, water quality, and ecosystem services. The bioenergy production scenarios, included: production of Miscanthus × giganteus and switchgrass on highly erodible landscape positions, agricultural marginal land areas, and pastures; removal of corn stover at various rates; and combinations of these scenarios. The hydrology and water quality impacts of land use change scenarios were estimated for two watersheds in Midwest USA (1) Wildcat Creek watershed (drainage area of 2,083 km2) located in north-central Indiana and (2) St. Joseph River watershed (drainage area of 2,809 km2) located in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. We have also simulated the impacts of climate change and variability on environmental sustainability and have compared climate change impacts with land use change impacts. The study results indicated improved water quality with perennial grass scenarios compared to current row crop production impacts. Erosion reduction with perennial energy crop production scenarios ranged between 0.2% and 59%. Stream flow at the watershed outlet were reduced between 0.2 and 8% among various bioenergy crop production scenarios. Stover removal scenarios indicated increased erosion compared to baseline condition due reduced soil cover after stover harvest. Stream flow and nitrate loading were reduced with stover removal due to increased soil evaporation and reduced mineralization. A comparison of land use and climate change impacts indicates that land use changes will have considerably larger impacts on hydrology, water quality and environmental sustainability compared to climate change and variability. Our results indicate that production of biofuel crops can be optimized at the landscape level to provide

  17. Associative properties of 137Cs in biofuel ashes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The present study aims to reveal how radiocesium is associated to the ash particles derived from biofuel combustion. A sequential extraction procedure was carried out for the characterisation of radiocesium speciation in ash generated by different fuels and burner types. The ash types considered were fly ash and bottom ash collected from Swedish district heating plants using bark wood or peat as fuel. A fraction of the radiocesium in biofuel ash can easily become solubilised and mobilised by water and also, a significant fraction of the radionuclides can be bound to the ash particles in cation-exchangeable forms. Therefore, at using the ash derived from biofuels to recycle mineral nutrients for forestry or short rotation coppicing, radiocesium solubilised and leached from the ash by rains has a potential to rather quickly enter the rooting zone of forest vegetation or energy crops. On the other hand, radiocesium strongly bound to the ash will migrate slowly into the soil column with the successive accumulation of litter and in the process act to maintain the external dose rate at an elevated level for a long time. The results of the sequential extraction procedure and activity determination of the different extracted fractions implies that the bioavailable fraction of radiocesium in ash from bark, wood or peat is in the range between 20-85% of the total ash contents. Peat ash collected from a powder burner strongly retained a large fraction (70-90%) of its radiocesium content while the peat ash from a continuos fluidized bed type burner retained nearly 100% of the radiocesium in the bottom ash and only about 15% in the fly ash

  18. A comprehensive analysis of the current and future role of biofuels for transport in the European Union (EU)

    OpenAIRE

    Massimo Raboni; Paolo Viotti; Andrea G. Capodaglio

    2015-01-01

    The production of biofuels is strongly supported all over the world as a renewable energy source for reducing dependence on the unstable oil market. Bioethanol, the main biofuel produced in the world, is widely used to power vehicles in both the USA and Brazil, but concerns exist in both places regarding its sustainability. In Brazil, it is produced from a by-product of the sugar cane industry, while in the USA it is manufactured from food crops. The production of biogas and biodiesel is grow...

  19. Biofuels, land use change, and greenhouse gas emissions: some unexplored variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyungtae; Kim, Seungdo; Dale, Bruce E

    2009-02-01

    Greenhouse gas release from land use change (the so-called "carbon debt") has been identified as a potentially significant contributor to the environmental profile of biofuels. The time required for biofuels to overcome this carbon debt due to land use change and begin providing cumulative greenhouse gas benefits is referred to as the "payback period" and has been estimated to be 100-1000 years depending on the specific ecosystem involved in the land use change event. Two mechanisms for land use change exist: "direct" land use change, in which the land use change occurs as part of a specific supply chain for a specific biofuel production facility, and "indirect" land use change, in which market forces act to produce land use change in land that is not part of a specific biofuel supply chain, including, for example, hypothetical land use change on another continent. Existing land use change studies did not consider many of the potentially important variables that might affect the greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels. We examine here several variables that have not yet been addressed in land use change studies. Our analysis shows that cropping management is a key factor in estimating greenhouse gas emissions associated with land use change. Sustainable cropping management practices (no-till and no-till plus cover crops) reduce the payback period to 3 years for the grassland conversion case and to 14 years for the forest conversion case. It is significant that no-till and cover crop practices also yield higher soil organic carbon (SOC) levels in corn fields derived from former grasslands or forests than the SOC levels that result if these grasslands or forests are allowed to continue undisturbed. The United States currently does not hold any of its domestic industries responsible for its greenhouse gas emissions. Thus the greenhouse gas standards established for renewable fuels such as corn ethanol in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 set a

  20. Biofuels, land use change, and greenhouse gas emissions: some unexplored variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyungtae; Kim, Seungdo; Dale, Bruce E

    2009-02-01

    Greenhouse gas release from land use change (the so-called "carbon debt") has been identified as a potentially significant contributor to the environmental profile of biofuels. The time required for biofuels to overcome this carbon debt due to land use change and begin providing cumulative greenhouse gas benefits is referred to as the "payback period" and has been estimated to be 100-1000 years depending on the specific ecosystem involved in the land use change event. Two mechanisms for land use change exist: "direct" land use change, in which the land use change occurs as part of a specific supply chain for a specific biofuel production facility, and "indirect" land use change, in which market forces act to produce land use change in land that is not part of a specific biofuel supply chain, including, for example, hypothetical land use change on another continent. Existing land use change studies did not consider many of the potentially important variables that might affect the greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels. We examine here several variables that have not yet been addressed in land use change studies. Our analysis shows that cropping management is a key factor in estimating greenhouse gas emissions associated with land use change. Sustainable cropping management practices (no-till and no-till plus cover crops) reduce the payback period to 3 years for the grassland conversion case and to 14 years for the forest conversion case. It is significant that no-till and cover crop practices also yield higher soil organic carbon (SOC) levels in corn fields derived from former grasslands or forests than the SOC levels that result if these grasslands or forests are allowed to continue undisturbed. The United States currently does not hold any of its domestic industries responsible for its greenhouse gas emissions. Thus the greenhouse gas standards established for renewable fuels such as corn ethanol in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 set a

  1. Biofuels: Project summaries. Research summaries, Fiscal year 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-05-01

    Domestic transportation fuels are almost exclusively derived from petroleum and account for about two-thirds of total US petroleum consumption. In 1990, more than 40% of the petroleum used domestically was imported. Because the United States has only 5% of the world`s petroleum reserves, and the countries of the Middle East have about 75%, US imports are likely to continue to increase. With our heavy reliance on oil and without suitable substitutes for petroleum-based transportation fuels, the United States is extremely vulnerable, both strategically and economically, to fuel supply disruptions. In addition to strategic and economic affairs, the envirorunental impacts of our use of petroleum are becoming increasingly evident and must be addressed. The US Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE), through its Biofuels Systems Division (BSD), is addressing these issues. The BSD is aggressively pursuing research on biofuels-liquid and gaseous fuels produced from renewable domestic feedstocks such as forage grasses, oil seeds, short-rotation tree crops, agricultural and forestry residues, algae, and certain industrial and municipal waste streams.

  2. AN OVERVIEW OF BIOFUELS PROCESS DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH CAROLINA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sherman, S.; French, T.

    2010-02-03

    The South Carolina Bio-Energy Research Collaborative is working together on the development and demonstration of technology options for the production of bio-fuels using renewable non-food crops and biomass resources that are available or could be made available in abundance in the southeastern United States. This collaboration consists of Arborgen LLC, Clemson University, Savannah River National Laboratory, and South Carolina State University, with support from Dyadic, Fagen Engineering, Renewed World Energies, and Spinx. Thus far, most work has centered on development of a fermentation-based process to convert switchgrass into ethanol, with the concomitant generation of a purified lignin stream. The process is not feed-specific, and the work scope has recently expanded to include sweet sorghum and wood. In parallel, the Collaborative is also working on developing an economical path to produce oils and fuels from algae. The Collaborative envisions an integrated bio-fuels process that can accept multiple feedstocks, shares common equipment, and that produces multiple product streams. The Collaborative is not the only group working on bio-energy in South Carolina, and other companies are involved in producing biomass derived energy products at an industrial scale.

  3. Identification Of Marginal Land Suitable For Biofuel Production In Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radojević Uroš

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The use of biomass as a potential energy source has both advantages and disadvantages. Biomass is a potential source of fuel energy that provides economic and environmental benefits such as less expensive and less energy intensive production, carbon sequestration and soil preservation. However, the main concern associated with biofuels is that land needed for food will be used for biofuel crops. One potential solution is the use of marginal lands which are not suited for food production. Marginal lands generally refer to the areas not only with low production, but also with limitations that make them unsuitable for agricultural practices and ecosystem functions. This can be due to various forms of land degradation such as pollution, surface exploitation of mineral resources, erosion, overexploitation and others. We used remotely sensed data, environmental data and field survey data to identify possible marginal lands in Serbia. All gathered data was transferred to GIS in order to create maps and database of potential marginal lands which could be used for biomass production.

  4. Evaluating environmental consequences of producing herbaceous crops for bioenergy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The environmental costs and benefits of producing bioenergy crops can be measured both in kterms of the relative effects on soil, water, and wildlife habitat quality of replacing alternate cropping systems with the designated bioenergy system, and in terms of the quality and amount of energy that is produced per unit of energy expended. While many forms of herbaceous and woody energy crops will likely contribute to future biofuels systems, The Dept. of Energy's Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP), has chosen to focus its primary herbaceous crops research emphasis on a perennial grass species, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), as a bioenergy candidate. This choice was based on its high yields, high nutrient use efficiency, and wide geographic distribution, and also on its poistive environmental attributes. The latter include its positive effects on soil quality and stabiity, its cover value for wildlife, and the lower inputs of enerty, water, and agrochemicals required per unit of energy produced. A comparison of the energy budgets for corn, which is the primary current source of bioethanol, and switchgrass reveals that the efficiency of energy production for a perennial grass system can exceed that for an energy intensive annual row crop by as much as 15 times. In additions reductions in CO2 emission, tied to the energetic efficiency of producing transportation fuels, are very efficient with grasses. Calculated carbon sequestration rates may exceed those of annual crops by as much as 20--30 times, due in part to carbon storage in the soil. These differences have major implications for both the rate and efficiency with which fossil energy sources can be replaced with cleaner burning biofuels

  5. Biomass fuel from woody crops for electric power generation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perlack, R.D.; Wright, L.L.; Huston, M.A.; Schramm, W.E.

    1995-06-22

    This report discusses the biologic, environmental, economic, and operational issues associated with growing wood crops in managed plantations. Information on plantation productivity, environmental issues and impacts, and costs is drawn from DOE`s Biofuels Feedstock Development as well as commercial operations in the US and elsewhere. The particular experiences of three countries--Brazil, the Philippines, and Hawaii (US)--are discussed in considerable detail.

  6. Midwest U.S. landscape change to 2020 driven by biofuel mandates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehaffey, Megan; Smith, Elizabeth; Van Remortel, Rick

    2012-01-01

    Meeting future biofuel targets set by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) will require a substantial increase in production of corn. The Midwest, which has the highest overall crop production capacity, is likely to bear the brunt of the biofuel-driven changes. In this paper, we set forth a method for developing a possible future landscape and evaluate changes in practices and production between base year (BY) 2001 and biofuel target (BT) 2020. In our BT 2020 Midwest landscape, a total of 25 million acres (1 acre = 0.40 ha) of farmland was converted from rotational cropping to continuous corn. Several states across the Midwest had watersheds where continuous corn planting increased by more than 50%. The output from the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) econometric model predicted that corn grain production would double. In our study we were able to get within 2% of this expected corn production. The greatest increases in corn production were in the Corn Belt as a result of conversion to continuous corn planting. In addition to changes to cropping practices as a result of biofuel initiatives we also found that urban growth would result in a loss of over 7 million acres of productive farmland by 2020. We demonstrate a method which successfully combines economic model output with gridded land cover data to create a spatially explicit detailed classification of the landscape across the Midwest. Understanding where changes are likely to take place on the landscape will enable the evaluation of trade-offs between economic benefits and ecosystem services allowing proactive conservation and sustainable production for human well-being into the future. PMID:22471072

  7. External governance and the EU policy for sustainable biofuels, the case of Mozambique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Growing demand for transport biofuels in the EU is driving an expansion of the industry in developing countries. Large-scale production of energy crops for biofuel, if mismanaged, could cause detrimental environmental and social impacts. The aim of this study is to examine whether the newly adopted EU Directive 2009/28/EC and its sustainability certification system can effectively ensure sustainable production of biofuels outside the EU. Mozambique, a least developed country with biofuels ambitions, is selected as empirical case. The effectiveness of the EU policy in analysed employing ideal models of external governance (hierarchical, market and network governance) as analytical framework. The findings show that the EU attempts to impose its rules and values on sustainable biofuels using its leverage through trade. The market approach adopted by the EU is expected to produce only unstable (subject to abrupt changes of market prices and demand) and thin (limited to climate and biodiversity issues) policy results. Stronger emphasis on a network oriented approach based on substantial involvement of foreign actors, and on international policy legitimacy is suggested as a way forward. - Research highlights: →The EU attempts to impose its rules and values on sustainable biofuels using its leverage through trade. →The market approach adopted by the EU is expected to produce only unstable (subject to abrupt changes of market prices and demand) and thin (limited to climate and biodiversity issues) policy results.→In order to promote simultaneously stable and substantial impacts, the EU governance approach based on market access should be integrated with a network mode of governance based on policy legitimacy.

  8. Soil carbon sequestration or biofuel production: new land-use opportunities for mitigating climate over abandoned Soviet farmlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Wolf, Adam

    2009-11-15

    Although the CO(2) mitigation potential of biofuels has been studied by extrapolation of small-scale studies, few estimates exist of the net regional-scale carbon balance implications of biofuel cultivations programs, either growing conventional biofuel crops or applying new advanced technologies. Here we used a spatially distributed process-driven model over the 20 Mha of recently abandoned agricultural lands of the Former Soviet Union to quantify the GHG mitigation by biofuel production from Low Input/High Diversity (LIHD) grass-legume prairies and to compare this GHG mitigation with the one of soil C sequestration as it currently occurs. LIHD has recently received a lot of attention as an emerging opportunity to produce biofuels over marginal lands leading to a good energy efficiency with minimal adverse consequences on food security and ecosystem services. We found that, depending on the time horizon over which one seeks to maximize the GHG benefit, the optimal time for implementing biofuel production shifts from "never" (short-term horizon) to "as soon as possible" (longer-term horizon). These results highlight the importance of reaching agreement a priori on the target time interval during which biofuels are expected to play a role within the global energy system, to avoid deploying biofuel technology over a time interval for which it has a detrimental impact on the GHG mitigation objective. The window of opportunity for growing LIHD also stresses the need to reduce uncertainties in soil C inputs, turnover, and soil organic matter stability under current and future climate and management practices.

  9. 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

    In the coming decades, growing demand for energy and water and the need to address climate change will create huge challenges for energy policy and natural resource management. Synergistic strategies must be developed to conserve and use both resources more efficiently. California (CA) is a prime example of a region where policymakers have began to incorporate water planning in energy infrastructure development. But more must be done as CA transforms its energy system to meet its climate target. We analyze lifecycle water use of current and future transport fuel consumption to evaluate impacts & formulate mitigation strategies for the state at the watershed scale. Four 'bounding cases' for CA's future transportation demand to year 2030 are projected for analysis: two scenarios that only meet the 2020 climate target (business-as-usual, BAU) with high / low water use intensity, and two that meet long-term climate target with high / low water use intensity (Fig 1). Our study focuses on the following energy supply chains: (a) liquid fuels from conventional/unconventional oil & gas, (b) thermoelectric and renewable generation technologies, and (c) biofuels (Fig 2-3). We develop plausible siting scenarios that bound the range of possible water sources, impacts, and dispositions to provide insights into how to best allocate water and limit water impacts of energy development. We further identify constraints & opportunities to improve water use efficiency and highlight salient policy relevant lessons. For biofuels we extend our scope to the entire US as most of the biofuels consumed in California are and will be produced from outside of the state. We analyze policy impacts that capture both direct & indirect land use effects across scenarios, thus addressing the major shortcomings of existing studies, which ignore spatial heterogeneity as well as economic effects of crop displacement and the effects of crop intensification and extensification. We use the agronomic

  10. The green, blue and grey water footprint of crops and derived crop products

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

    This study quantifies the green, blue and grey water footprint of global crop production in a spatially-explicit way for the period 1996-2005. The assessment improves upon earlier research by taking a high-resolution approach, estimating the water footprint of 126 crops at a 5 by 5 arc minute grid. We have used a grid-based dynamic water balance model to calculate crop water use over time, with a time step of one day. The model takes into account the daily soil water balance and climatic conditions for each grid cell. In addition, the water pollution associated with the use of nitrogen fertilizer in crop production is estimated for each grid cell. The crop evapotranspiration of additional 20 minor crops is calculated with the CROPWAT model. In addition, we have calculated the water footprint of more than two hundred derived crop products, including various flours, beverages, fibres and biofuels. We have used the water footprint assessment framework as in the guideline of the Water Footprint Network. Considering the water footprints of primary crops, we see that the global average water footprint per ton of crop increases from sugar crops (roughly 200 m3 ton-1), vegetables (300 m3 ton-1), roots and tubers (400 m3 ton-1), fruits (1000 m3 ton-1), cereals (1600 m3 ton-1), oil crops (2400 m3 ton-1) to pulses (4000 m3 ton-1). The water footprint varies, however, across different crops per crop category and per production region as well. Besides, if one considers the water footprint per kcal, the picture changes as well. When considered per ton of product, commodities with relatively large water footprints are: coffee, tea, cocoa, tobacco, spices, nuts, rubber and fibres. The analysis of water footprints of different biofuels shows that bio-ethanol has a lower water footprint (in m3 GJ-1) than biodiesel, which supports earlier analyses. The crop used matters significantly as well: the global average water footprint of bio-ethanol based on sugar beet amounts to 51 m3 GJ-1

  11. Potential of biofuels for shipping. Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Florentinus, A.; Hamelinck, C.; Van den Bos, A.; Winkel, R.; Cuijpers, M. [Ecofys Netherlands, Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2012-01-15

    Biofuels could be one of the options to realize a lower carbon intensity in the propulsion of ships and also possibly reduce the effect of ship emissions on local air quality. Therefore, EMSA, the European Maritime Safety Agency, is evaluating if and how biofuels could be used in the shipping sector as an alternative fuel. To determine the potential of biofuels for ships, a clearer picture is needed on technical and organizational limitations of biofuels in ships, both on board of the ship as in the fuel supply chain to the ship. Economic and sustainability analysis of biofuels should be included in this picture, as well as an overview on current and potential policy measures to stimulate the use of biofuels in shipping. Ecofys has determined the potential of biofuels, based on analysis of collected data through literature review, own expertise and experiences, direct communication with EMSA, research publications, market developments based on press and other media, and consultations with relevant stakeholders in the shipping market.

  12. The Third Pacific Basin Biofuels Workshop: Proceedings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Among the many compelling reasons for the development of biofuels on remote Pacific islands, several of the most important include: (1) a lack of indigenous fossil fuels necessitates their import at great economic loss to local island economics, (2) ideal conditions for plant growth exist on many Pacific islands to produce yields of biomass feedstocks, (3) gaseous and liquid fuels such as methane, methanol and ethanol manufactured locally from biomass feedstocks are the most viable alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuels for transportation, and (4) the combustion of biofuels is cleaner than burning petroleum products and contributes no net atmospheric CO2 to aggravate the greenhouse effect and the subsequent threat of sea level rise to low islands. Dr. Vic Phillips, HNEI Program Manager of the Hawaii Integrated Biofuels Research Program welcomed 60 participants to the Third Pacific Basin Biofuels Workshop at the Sheraton Makaha Hotel, Waianae, Oahu, on March 27 and 28, 1989. The objectives of the workshop were to update progress since the Second Pacific Basin Biofuels Workshop in April 1987 and to develop a plan for action for biofuels R and D, technology transfer, and commercialization now (immediate attention), in the near-term (less than two years), in the mid-term (three to five years), and in the long-term (more than six years). An emerging theme of the workshop was how the production, conversion, and utilization of biofuels can help increase environmental and economic security locally and globally. Individual papers are processed separately for the data base.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.)

  15. Supercritical fluids technology for clean biofuel production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dongsheng Wen; H.Jiang; Kai Zhang

    2009-01-01

    Biofuels are liquid or gaseous fuels that are predominantly produced from biomass for transport sector applications.As biofuels are renewable,sustainable,carbon neutral and environmentally benign,they have been proposed as promising alternative fuels for gasoline and diesel engines.This paper reviews state-of-the-art application of the supercritical fluid(SCF)technique in biofuels production that includes biodiesel from vegetable oils via the transesterification process,bio-hydrogen from the gasification and bio-oil from the lique-faction of biomass,with biodiesel production as the main focus. The global biofuel situation and biofuel economics are also reviewed.The SCF has been shown to be a promising technique for future large-scale biofuel production,especially for biodiesel production from waster oil and fat.Compared with conventional biofuel production methods,the SCF technology possesses a number of advantages that includes fast inetics,high fuel production rate,ease of continuous operation and elimination of the necessity of catalysts.The harsh operation environment,i.e. the high temperature and high pressure,and its request on the materials and associated cost are the main concerns for its wide application.

  16. External noise when using biofuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The aim of this study has been to cover sources of noise dealing with all steps in a biofuel chain; producing, transporting, storing and firing the biofuel. When the availability of relevant test results from noise surveys is not so good and mostly badly documented, the study has been concentrated on estimation of external noise for planning and design purposes, from a prospective biofuel-fired plant. A synoptic tabulation of estimated acoustic power levels from different noise sources, has been done. The results from measurements of external noise from different existing combined power and heating plants are tabulated. The Nordic model for simulation of external noise has been used for a prospective plant - VEGA - designed by Vattenfall. The aim has been to estimate its noise pollutions at critical points at the nearest residential area (250 m from the fenced industry area). The software - ILYD - is easy to handle, but knowledge about the model is necessary. A requisite for the reliability is the access to measurements or estimations of different sources of noise, at different levels of octaves from 63 to 8000 Hz. The degree of accuracy increases with the number of broad band sources, that are integrated. Using ILYD with available data, a night limit of 40 dB(A) should be possible to fulfill with good degree of accuracy at VEGA, between 10 pm and 7 am, with good planning and under normal operation conditions. A demand for 35 dB(A) as a limit can be harder to fulfill, especially at mornings from 6 to 7. Noise from heavy vehicles within the plant area is classified as industrial noise and not as road traffic noise. This type of noise depends very much on the way of driving and assumed acceleration. Concerning wheel-mounted loaders, they may then only be used during daytime. The simulations show, that even at daytime from 7 to 6 pm, it would be possible to use an acoustically damped chipping machine, inside the power industry area. 31 refs, 13 figs, tabs, 8

  17. Metabolomics of Clostridial Biofuel Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rabinowitz, Joshua D [Princeton Univ., NJ (United States); Aristilde, Ludmilla [Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States); Amador-Noguez, Daniel [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)

    2015-09-08

    Members of the genus Clostridium collectively have the ideal set of the metabolic capabilities for fermentative biofuel production: cellulose degradation, hydrogen production, and solvent excretion. No single organism, however, can effectively convert cellulose into biofuels. Here we developed, using metabolomics and isotope tracers, basic science knowledge of Clostridial metabolism of utility for future efforts to engineer such an organism. In glucose fermentation carried out by the biofuel producer Clostridium acetobutylicum, we observed a remarkably ordered series of metabolite concentration changes as the fermentation progressed from acidogenesis to solventogenesis. In general, high-energy compounds decreased while low-energy species increased during solventogenesis. These changes in metabolite concentrations were accompanied by large changes in intracellular metabolic fluxes, with pyruvate directed towards acetyl-CoA and solvents instead of oxaloacetate and amino acids. Thus, the solventogenic transition involves global remodeling of metabolism to redirect resources from biomass production into solvent production. In contrast to C. acetobutylicum, which is an avid fermenter, C. cellulolyticum metabolizes glucose only slowly. We find that glycolytic intermediate concentrations are radically different from fast fermenting organisms. Associated thermodynamic and isotope tracer analysis revealed that the full glycolytic pathway in C. cellulolyticum is reversible. This arises from changes in cofactor utilization for phosphofructokinase and an alternative pathway from phosphoenolpyruvate to pyruvate. The net effect is to increase the high-energy phosphate bond yield of glycolysis by 150% (from 2 to 5) at the expense of lower net flux. Thus, C. cellulolyticum prioritizes glycolytic energy efficiency over speed. Degradation of cellulose results in other sugars in addition to glucose. Simultaneous feeding of stable isotope-labeled glucose and unlabeled pentose sugars

  18. Biochemical Disincentives to Fertilizing Cellulosic Ethanol Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, M. E.; Hockaday, W. C.; Snapp, S.; McSwiney, C.; Baldock, J.

    2010-12-01

    Corn grain biofuel crops produce the highest yields when the cropping ecosystem is not nitrogen (N)-limited, achieved by application of fertilizer. There are environmental consequences for excessive fertilizer application to crops, including greenhouse gas emissions, hypoxic “dead zones,” and health problems from N runoff into groundwater. The increase in corn acreage in response to demand for alternative fuels (i.e. ethanol) could exacerbate these problems, and divert food supplies to fuel production. A potential substitute for grain ethanol that could reduce some of these impacts is cellulosic ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol feedstocks include grasses (switchgrass), hardwoods, and crop residues (e.g. corn stover, wheat straw). It has been assumed that these feedstocks will require similar N fertilization rates to grain biofuel crops to maximize yields, but carbohydrate yield versus N application has not previously been monitored. We report the biochemical stocks (carbohydrate, protein, and lignin in Mg ha-1) of a corn ecosystem grown under varying N levels. We measured biochemical yield in Mg ha-1 within the grain, leaf and stem, and reproductive parts of corn plants grown at seven N fertilization rates (0-202 kg N ha-1), to evaluate the quantity and quality of these feedstocks across a N fertilization gradient. The N fertilization rate study was performed at the Kellogg Biological Station-Long Term Ecological Research Site (KBS-LTER) in Michigan. Biochemical stocks were measured using 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), combined with a molecular mixing model (Baldock et al. 2004). Carbohydrate and lignin are the main biochemicals of interest in ethanol production since carbohydrate is the ethanol feedstock, and lignin hinders the carbohydrate to ethanol conversion process. We show that corn residue carbohydrate yields respond only weakly to N fertilization compared to grain. Grain carbohydrate yields plateau in response to fertilization at

  19. Worldwide Alien Invasion: A Methodological Approach to Forecast the Potential Spread of a Highly Invasive Pollinator.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André L Acosta

    Full Text Available The ecological impacts of alien species invasion are a major threat to global biodiversity. The increasing number of invasion events by alien species and the high cost and difficulty of eradicating invasive species once established require the development of new methods and tools for predicting the most susceptible areas to invasion. Invasive pollinators pose serious threats to biodiversity and human activity due to their close relationship with many plants (including crop species and high potential competitiveness for resources with native pollinators. Although at an early stage of expansion, the bumblebee species Bombus terrestris is becoming a representative case of pollinator invasion at a global scale, particularly given its high velocity of invasive spread and the increasing number of reports of its impacts on native bees and crops in many countries. We present here a methodological framework of habitat suitability modeling that integrates new approaches for detecting habitats that are susceptible to Bombus terrestris invasion at a global scale. Our approach did not include reported invaded locations in the modeling procedure; instead, those locations were used exclusively to evaluate the accuracy of the models in predicting suitability over regions already invaded. Moreover, a new and more intuitive approach was developed to select the models and evaluate different algorithms based on their performance and predictive convergence. Finally, we present a comprehensive global map of susceptibility to Bombus terrestris invasion that highlights priority areas for monitoring.

  20. Worldwide Alien Invasion: A Methodological Approach to Forecast the Potential Spread of a Highly Invasive Pollinator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, André L; Giannini, Tereza C; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L; Saraiva, Antonio M

    2016-01-01

    The ecological impacts of alien species invasion are a major threat to global biodiversity. The increasing number of invasion events by alien species and the high cost and difficulty of eradicating invasive species once established require the development of new methods and tools for predicting the most susceptible areas to invasion. Invasive pollinators pose serious threats to biodiversity and human activity due to their close relationship with many plants (including crop species) and high potential competitiveness for resources with native pollinators. Although at an early stage of expansion, the bumblebee species Bombus terrestris is becoming a representative case of pollinator invasion at a global scale, particularly given its high velocity of invasive spread and the increasing number of reports of its impacts on native bees and crops in many countries. We present here a methodological framework of habitat suitability modeling that integrates new approaches for detecting habitats that are susceptible to Bombus terrestris invasion at a global scale. Our approach did not include reported invaded locations in the modeling procedure; instead, those locations were used exclusively to evaluate the accuracy of the models in predicting suitability over regions already invaded. Moreover, a new and more intuitive approach was developed to select the models and evaluate different algorithms based on their performance and predictive convergence. Finally, we present a comprehensive global map of susceptibility to Bombus terrestris invasion that highlights priority areas for monitoring. PMID:26882479

  1. Global Economic Effects of USA Biofuel Policy and the Potential Contribution from Advanced Biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gbadebo Oladosu; Keith Kline; Paul Leiby; Rocio Uria-Martinez; Maggie Davis; Mark Downing; Laurence Eaton

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluates the global economic effects of the USA renewable fuel standards (RFS2), and the potential contribution from advanced biofuels. Our simulation results imply that these mandates lead to an increase of 0.21 percent in the global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022, including an increase of 0.8 percent in the USA and 0.02 percent in the rest of the world (ROW); relative to our baseline, no-RFS scenario. The incremental contributions to GDP from advanced biofuels in 2022 are estimated at 0.41 percent and 0.04 percent in the USA and ROW, respectively. Although production costs of advanced biofuels are higher than for conventional biofuels in our model, their economic benefits result from reductions in oil use, and their smaller impacts on food markets compared with conventional biofuels. Thus, the USA advanced biofuels targets are expected to have positive economic benefits.

  2. Direct nitrous oxide emissions from oilseed rape cropping - a meta-analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Walter, Katja; Don, Axel; Fuß, Roland; Kern, Jürgen; Drewer, Julia; Flessa, Heinz

    2015-01-01

    Oilseed rape is one of the leading feedstocks for biofuel production in Europe. The climate change mitigation effect of rape methyl ester (RME) is particularly challenged by the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during crop production, mainly as nitrous oxide (N2O) from soils. Oilseed rape requires high nitrogen fertilization and crop residues are rich in nitrogen, both potentially causing enhanced N2O emissions. However, GHG emissions of oilseed rape production are often estimated using emissio...

  3. Greenhouse gas emissions from cultivation of energy crops – is it important?

    OpenAIRE

    Carter, Mette S.; Ambus, Per

    2009-01-01

    Replacing fossil fuel-derived energy with biomass-derived energy is commonly emphasized as a means to reduce CO2 emissions. However, our study highlights the risk of large greenhouse gas emissions when wastes from bioenergy production are recycled as fertilizer for energy crops. Crop management affects the magnitude of these emissions, which in some cases negate a considerable fraction of the global warming savings associated with biofuels.

  4. Designer landscapes for sustainable biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Lian Pin; Levang, Patrice; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2009-08-01

    Oil palm is one of the most extensively cultivated biodiesel feedstocks worldwide, and expansion of its cultivation poses a significant threat to ecosystems, biodiversity and potentially the global climate. We evaluate the prospects of land sparing and wildlife-friendly farming, two contrasting approaches for reducing the impacts of oil palm agriculture. We draw on concepts from both approaches to suggest more sustainable production systems and argue that landscapes under threat from oil palm expansion need to be designed in recognition of biodiversity, economic and livelihood needs. Specifically, we advocate agroforestry zones between high conservation value areas and intensive oil palm plantations to create a more heterogeneous landscape benefiting both biodiversity and rural communities. Similar principles could apply to biofuel systems elsewhere.

  5. 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

  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. Efficient Eucalypt Cell Wall Deconstruction and Conversion for Sustainable Lignocellulosic Biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healey, Adam L; Lee, David J; Furtado, Agnelo; Simmons, Blake A; Henry, Robert J

    2015-01-01

    In order to meet the world's growing energy demand and reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from fossil fuel combustion, renewable plant-based feedstocks for biofuel production must be considered. The first-generation biofuels, derived from starches of edible feedstocks, such as corn, create competition between food and fuel resources, both for the crop itself and the land on which it is grown. As such, biofuel synthesized from non-edible plant biomass (lignocellulose) generated on marginal agricultural land will help to alleviate this competition. Eucalypts, the broadly defined taxa encompassing over 900 species of Eucalyptus, Corymbia, and Angophora are the most widely planted hardwood tree in the world, harvested mainly for timber, pulp and paper, and biomaterial products. More recently, due to their exceptional growth rate and amenability to grow under a wide range of environmental conditions, eucalypts are a leading option for the development of a sustainable lignocellulosic biofuels. However, efficient conversion of woody biomass into fermentable monomeric sugars is largely dependent on pretreatment of the cell wall, whose formation and complexity lend itself toward natural recalcitrance against its efficient deconstruction. A greater understanding of this complexity within the context of various pretreatments will allow the design of new and effective deconstruction processes for bioenergy production. In this review, we present the various pretreatment options for eucalypts, including research into understanding structure and formation of the eucalypt cell wall. PMID:26636077

  8. Mapping grasslands suitable for cellulosic biofuels in the Greater Platte River Basin, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, Bruce K.; Gu, Yingxin

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels are an important component in the development of alternative energy supplies, which is needed to achieve national energy independence and security in the United States. The most common biofuel product today in the United States is corn-based ethanol; however, its development is limited because of concerns about global food shortages, livestock and food price increases, and water demand increases for irrigation and ethanol production. Corn-based ethanol also potentially contributes to soil erosion, and pesticides and fertilizers affect water quality. Studies indicate that future potential production of cellulosic ethanol is likely to be much greater than grain- or starch-based ethanol. As a result, economics and policy incentives could, in the near future, encourage expansion of cellulosic biofuels production from grasses, forest woody biomass, and agricultural and municipal wastes. If production expands, cultivation of cellulosic feedstock crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and miscanthus (Miscanthus species), is expected to increase dramatically. The main objective of this study is to identify grasslands in the Great Plains that are potentially suitable for cellulosic feedstock (such as switchgrass) production. Producing ethanol from noncropland holdings (such as grassland) will minimize the effects of biofuel developments on global food supplies. Our pilot study area is the Greater Platte River Basin, which includes a broad range of plant productivity from semiarid grasslands in the west to the fertile corn belt in the east. The Greater Platte River Basin was the subject of related U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) integrated research projects.

  9. Efficient Eucalypt Cell Wall Deconstruction and Conversion for Sustainable Lignocellulosic Biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healey, Adam L; Lee, David J; Furtado, Agnelo; Simmons, Blake A; Henry, Robert J

    2015-01-01

    In order to meet the world's growing energy demand and reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from fossil fuel combustion, renewable plant-based feedstocks for biofuel production must be considered. The first-generation biofuels, derived from starches of edible feedstocks, such as corn, create competition between food and fuel resources, both for the crop itself and the land on which it is grown. As such, biofuel synthesized from non-edible plant biomass (lignocellulose) generated on marginal agricultural land will help to alleviate this competition. Eucalypts, the broadly defined taxa encompassing over 900 species of Eucalyptus, Corymbia, and Angophora are the most widely planted hardwood tree in the world, harvested mainly for timber, pulp and paper, and biomaterial products. More recently, due to their exceptional growth rate and amenability to grow under a wide range of environmental conditions, eucalypts are a leading option for the development of a sustainable lignocellulosic biofuels. However, efficient conversion of woody biomass into fermentable monomeric sugars is largely dependent on pretreatment of the cell wall, whose formation and complexity lend itself toward natural recalcitrance against its efficient deconstruction. A greater understanding of this complexity within the context of various pretreatments will allow the design of new and effective deconstruction processes for bioenergy production. In this review, we present the various pretreatment options for eucalypts, including research into understanding structure and formation of the eucalypt cell wall.

  10. Mitigating secondary aerosol generation potentials from biofuel use in the energy sector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiwary, Abhishek; Colls, Jeremy

    2010-01-01

    This paper demonstrates secondary aerosol generation potential of biofuel use in the energy sector from the photochemical interactions of precursor gases on a life cycle basis. The paper is divided into two parts-first, employing life cycle analysis (LCA) to evaluate the extent of the problem for a typical biofuel based electricity production system using five baseline scenarios; second, proposing adequate mitigation options to minimise the secondary aerosol generation potential on a life cycle basis. The baseline scenarios cover representative technologies for 2010 utilising energy crop (miscanthus), short rotation coppiced chips and residual/waste wood in different proportions. The proposed mitigation options include three approaches-biomass gasification prior to combustion, delaying the harvest of biomass, and increasing the geographical distance between the biomass plant and the harvest site (by importing the biofuels). Preliminary results indicate that the baseline scenarios (assuming all the biomass is sourced locally) bear significant secondary aerosol formation potential on a life cycle basis from photochemical neutralisation of acidic emissions (hydrogen chloride and sulphur dioxide) with ammonia. Our results suggest that gasification of miscanthus biomass would provide the best option by minimising the acidic emissions from the combustion plant whereas the other two options of delaying the harvest or importing biofuels from elsewhere would only lead to marginal reduction in the life cycle aerosol loadings of the systems. PMID:19878969

  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. Biogas from ley crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report describes the cost of producing biogas from energy crops. Five process systems, sized 0.25-8 MW are studied. The cultivation of biogas-crops is made in three regions in Sweden. Also valued are the positive cultivation effects obtained when cereal dominated crop rotation is broken by biogas crops. 8 refs, 40 figs, 10 tabs

  13. 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.

  14. Field emissions of N2O during biomass production may affect the sustainability of agro-biofuels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    relate measured field emissions of N2O to the reduction in fossil fuel‐derived CO2, which is obtained when agricultural biomasses are used for biofuel production. The analysis includes five organically managed crops (viz. maize, rye, rye‐vetch, vetch and grass‐clover) and three scenarios for conversion...... of biomass to biofuel. The scenarios are 1) bioethanol, 2) biogas and 3) co‐production of bioethanol and biogas. In scenarios 3, the biomass is first used for bioethanol fermentation and subsequently the residue from this process is utilized for biogas production. The net reduction in greenhouse gas...... that field emissions of N2O contribute significantly to total greenhouse gas emissions during biofuel production, and in terms of global warming N2O emissions may counterbalance a considerable part of the avoided fossil CO2 emissions that are achieved by fossil fuel displacement. In the present study, we...

  15. Land use competition for production of food and liquid biofuels. An analysis of the arguments in the current debate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This article analyses the current state of the debate over competition for land use, by means of an index of the main arguments in favor and against the production of liquid biofuels and the impacts on food production. Based on this index, an analytic framework is constructed to establish the causal relations indicated by the existing studies on this competition. We find that the emergence of agro-energy has altered the land use dynamic, albeit not yet significantly, with a shift of areas traditionally used to grow foods over to crops to produce biofuels. This has been contributing to raise food prices in the short run. However, it is probable that this is not the only factor determining this trend, nor will it last over the long run. The challenge is to conciliate the production of biofuels with the production of foods in sustainable form. (author)

  16. 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.

  17. Host plant preference of Lygus hesperus exposed to three desert-adapted industrial crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    The desert-adapted crops vernonia (Centrapalus pauciflorus), lesquerella (Physaria fendleri), and camelina (Camelina sativa) are being grown in the arid southwestern USA as potential feedstock for biofuel and/or other environmentally friendly products. A plant feeding choice test was conducted to de...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. ILUC mitigation case studies Tanzania. Applying the Low Indirect Impact Biofuel (LIIB) Methodology to Tanzanian projects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van de Staaij, J.; Spoettle, M.; Weddige, U.; Toop, G. [Ecofys, Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2012-10-15

    the previous users of the feedstock (e.g. food markets) do not reduce their feedstock demand and/or demand-induced yield increases are insufficient to produce the additional demand. ILUC can lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions and loss of biodiversity. Jatropha curcas (in the report referred to as 'jatropha') is a perennial drought resistant oil-bearing shrub or small tree. Originally from Central America it is nowadays known in sub-tropical and tropical countries. Traditionally jatropha has been used as living fence and for the production of soap, medicine and fuel for lamps. The seeds of jatropha contain between 30-35% of non-edible oil, making the crop interesting for biofuel production.

  20. Peroxidase Biocathodes for a Biofuel Cell Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gomes, Celso; Shipovskov, Stepan; Ferapontova, Elena

    Among such efficient sustainable energy sources, as wind and solar power, photovoltaics, geothermal and water power and other1-3, biofuels are ranked as less efficient. The latest 2009 report of the International Energy Agency4 plans approximately 100% increase of the contribution of the renewable...... as alternative fuel5,6; another example is a steadily expanding field of biofuel cells development7-10, with a number of scientific publications and patent applications increased more than 40 times during the last decade11. In terms of sustainable energy production, enzymatic biofuel cells are attractive...... for a number of special applications, such as disposable implantable power suppliers for medical sensor-transmitters and drug delivery/activator systems and self-powered enzyme-based biosensors; they do offer practical advantages of using abundant organic raw materials as biofuels for clean and sustainable...

  1. Third Generation Biofuels via Direct Cellulose Fermentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David B. Levin

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP is a system in which cellulase production, substrate hydrolysis, and fermentation are accomplished in a single process step by cellulolytic microorganisms. CBP offers the potential for lower biofuel production costs due to simpler feedstock processing, lower energy inputs, and higher conversion efficiencies than separate hydrolysis and fermentation processes, and is an economically attractive near-term goal for “third generation” biofuel production. In this review article, production of third generation biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks will be addressed in respect to the metabolism of cellulolytic bacteria and the development of strategies to increase biofuel yields through metabolic engineering.

  2. IEA Energy Technology Essentials: Biofuel Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2007-01-15

    The IEA Energy Technology Essentials series offers concise four-page updates on the different technologies for producing, transporting and using energy. Biofuel Production is the topic covered in this edition.

  3. Energy crops for biogas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This investigation aims at describing the effects on cropping systems, containing a.o. leguminosae plant leys for biogas production. Problems treated are effects on soil physics, circulation of crop nutrients, use of chemical pesticides, preceding crop effects, and the possibility of utilizing catch crops for methane production. It is observed that the studied biogas-crop sequences gives positive effects on soil structure, reduced need for artificial fertilizers and chemical pesticides. 26 refs, 28 tabs

  4. Multiple Peril Crop Insurance

    OpenAIRE

    Edwards, William M.; Hofstrand, Donald

    2003-01-01

    Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) is a broad-based crop insurance program regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and subsidized by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation(FCIC). Crops eligible for MPCI coverage in Iowa include corn, sobyeans, oats, wheat, seed corn, popcorn, barley, potatoes, sweet corn, canning beans, dry beans, forages, grain sorghum, green peas, tomatoes, and nursery stocks. Not all of these crops can be insured in all counties.

  5. PERSPECTIVE: Climate change, biofuels, and global food security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassman, Kenneth G.

    2007-03-01

    There is a new urgency to improve the accuracy of predicting climate change impact on crop yields because the balance between food supply and demand is shifting abruptly from surplus to deficit. This reversal is being driven by a rapid rise in petroleum prices and, in response, a massive global expansion of biofuel production from maize, oilseed, and sugar crops. Soon the price of these commodities will be determined by their value as feedstock for biofuel rather than their importance as human food or livestock feed [1]. The expectation that petroleum prices will remain high and supportive government policies in several major crop producing countries are providing strong momentum for continued expansion of biofuel production capacity and the associated pressures on global food supply. Farmers in countries that account for a majority of the world's biofuel crop production will enjoy the promise of markedly higher commodity prices and incomesNote1. In contrast, urban and rural poor in food-importing countries will pay much higher prices for basic food staples and there will be less grain available for humanitarian aid. For example, the developing countries of Africa import about 10 MMt of maize each year; another 3 5 MMt of cereal grains are provided as humanitarian aid (figure 1). In a world where more than 800 million are already undernourished and the demand for crop commodities may soon exceed supply, alleviating hunger will no longer be solely a matter of poverty alleviation and more equitable food distribution, which has been the situation for the past thirty years. Instead, food security will also depend on accelerating the rate of gain in crop yields and food production capacity at both local and global scales. Maize imports and cereal donations as humanitarian aid to the developing countries of Africa Figure 1. Maize imports (yellow bar) and cereal donations as humanitarian aid to the developing countries of Africa, 2001 2003. MMT = million metric tons. Data

  6. Minimally Invasive Dentistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... to your desktop! more... What Is Minimally Invasive Dentistry? Article Chapters What Is Minimally Invasive Dentistry? Minimally ... techniques. Reviewed: January 2012 Related Articles: Minimally Invasive Dentistry Minimally Invasive Veneers Dramatically Change Smiles What Patients ...

  7. The Evolutionary Dynamics of Biofuel Value Chains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ponte, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    and multipolarity. Empirically, I do so by examining the evolutionary dynamics of governance in biofuel value chains, with specific focus on the key regulatory and institutional features that facilitated their emergence and expansion. First, I examine the formation, evolution, and governance of three national....../regional value chains (in Brazil, the US, and the EU); then, I provide evidence to support a trend towards the increasing but still partial formation of a global biofuel value chain and examine its governance traits....

  8. Biofuels: The hidden cause of deforestation?

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Alison; Lebensohn, Ignacio; Lickacz, Lindsay; Clarke, Louise

    2009-01-01

    The objective of the project is to establish a causal relationship between the biofuel market in the USA and the Amazonic Deforestation. The project parts from an objectivist approach and uses economic as well as environmental theories as a starting point. It attempts to demonstrate that biofuels are not as environmentally friendly as advertised, but instead have a detrimental effect on the Amazon Rainforest. The project utilizes statistics as a main source for empirical data, as well vari...

  9. Constructed wetlands as biofuel production systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dong; Wu, Xu; Chang, Jie; Gu, Baojing; Min, Yong; Ge, Ying; Shi, Yan; Xue, Hui; Peng, Changhui; Wu, Jianguo

    2012-03-01

    Clean biofuel production is an effective way to mitigate global climate change and energy crisis. Progress has been made in reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and nitrogen fertilizer consumption through biofuel production. Here we advocate an alternative approach that efficiently produces cellulosic biofuel and greatly reduces GHG emissions using waste nitrogen through wastewater treatment with constructed wetlands in China. Our combined experimental and literature data demonstrate that the net life-cycle energy output of constructed wetlands is higher than that of corn, soybean, switchgrass, low-input high-diversity grassland and algae systems. Energy output from existing constructed wetlands is ~237% of the input for biofuel production and can be enhanced through optimizing the nitrogen supply, hydrologic flow patterns and plant species selection. Assuming that all waste nitrogen in China could be used by constructed wetlands, biofuel production can account for 6.7% of national gasoline consumption. We also find that constructed wetlands have a greater GHG reduction than the existing biofuel production systems in a full life-cycle analysis. This alternative approach is worth pursuing because of its great potential for straightforward operation, its economic competitiveness and many ecological benefits.

  10. A comprehensive analysis of the current and future role of biofuels for transport in the European Union (EU

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo Raboni1

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The production of biofuels is strongly supported all over the world as a renewable energy source for reducing dependence on the unstable oil market. Bioethanol, the main biofuel produced in the world, is widely used to power vehicles in both the USA and Brazil, but concerns exist in both places regarding its sustainability. In Brazil, it is produced from a by-product of the sugar cane industry, while in the USA it is manufactured from food crops. The production of biogas and biodiesel is growing rapidly, but neither has outpaced the production of bioethanol. The European Union (EU is greatly interested in this issue, and in 2011 adopted an extensive strategy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions related to transport by 60% by the year 2050. In order to achieve this result, the current European transportation system must be transformed. This ambitious goal will require the implementation of complex measures including the reduction of fossil fuels in favor of renewable fuels. This program has various options regarding the development of biofuels (e. g., biogas, bioethanol and biodiesel and their related technologies, which are still on trial (mainly regarding the bioethanol production, and must also analyze their sustainability from a social and economic standpoint. The paper discusses the use of biofuels for transport in the European setting, and shows that their sustainability may result in relevant negative social effects due mainly to the use of land for energy crops (e.g., change of food price and world food shortage.

  11. Third-generation biofuels: current and future research on microalgal lipid biotechnology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-Beisson Yonghua

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available One pressing issue faced by modern societies is to develop renewable energy for transportation. Microalgal biomass offers an attractive solution due to its high (annual surface biomass productivity, efficient conversion of solar energy into chemical energy and the ability to grow on non-agricultural land. Despite these considerable advantages, microalgal biofuels are not yet commercially sustainable. Major challenges lie in improving both cultivation technologies and microalgal strains. A microalgal crop species is yet to emerge. In this review, we focus on researches aiming at understanding and harnessing lipid metabolism in microalgae in view of producing lipid-based biofuels such as biodiesel. Current biotechnological challenges and key progresses made in the development of algal models, genetic tools and lipid metabolic engineering strategies are reviewed. Possible future research directions to increase oil yields in microalgae are also highlighted.

  12. Global Land Use Implications of Biofuels: State-of-the-Art

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kløverpris, Jesper; Wenzel, Henrik; Banse, Martin;

    2008-01-01

    caused by an increased demand for biofuels. Main Features. The main feature of the conference was the crossbreeding The main feature of the conference was the crossbreeding of experience from the different approaches to land use modelling: The field of LCA could especially benefit from economic modelling...... in the identification of marginal crop production and the resulting expansion of the global agricultural area. Furthermore, the field of geography offers insights in the complexity behind new land cultivation and practical examples of where this is seen to occur on a regional scale. Results. Results presented...... at the conference showed that the Results presented at the conference showed that the magnitude and location of land use changes caused by biofuels demand depend on where the demand arises. For instance, man- datory blending in the EU will increase land use both within and outside of Europe, especially in South...

  13. Privileged Biofuels, Marginalized Indigenous Peoples: The Coevolution of Biofuels Development in the Tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montefrio, Marvin Joseph F.

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels development has assumed an important role in integrating Indigenous peoples and other marginalized populations in the production of biofuels for global consumption. By combining the theories of commoditization and the environmental sociology of networks and flows, the author analyzed emerging trends and possible changes in institutions…

  14. Biofuels Fuels Technology Pathway Options for Advanced Drop-in Biofuels Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kevin L Kenney

    2011-09-01

    Advanced drop-in hydrocarbon biofuels require biofuel alternatives for refinery products other than gasoline. Candidate biofuels must have performance characteristics equivalent to conventional petroleum-based fuels. The technology pathways for biofuel alternatives also must be plausible, sustainable (e.g., positive energy balance, environmentally benign, etc.), and demonstrate a reasonable pathway to economic viability and end-user affordability. Viable biofuels technology pathways must address feedstock production and environmental issues through to the fuel or chemical end products. Potential end products include compatible replacement fuel products (e.g., gasoline, diesel, and JP8 and JP5 jet fuel) and other petroleum products or chemicals typically produced from a barrel of crude. Considering the complexity and technology diversity of a complete biofuels supply chain, no single entity or technology provider is capable of addressing in depth all aspects of any given pathway; however, all the necessary expert entities exist. As such, we propose the assembly of a team capable of conducting an in-depth technology pathway options analysis (including sustainability indicators and complete LCA) to identify and define the domestic biofuel pathways for a Green Fleet. This team is not only capable of conducting in-depth analyses on technology pathways, but collectively they are able to trouble shoot and/or engineer solutions that would give industrial technology providers the highest potential for success. Such a team would provide the greatest possible down-side protection for high-risk advanced drop-in biofuels procurement(s).

  15. Cropland expansion outpaces agricultural and biofuel policies in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lark, Tyler J.; Salmon, J. Meghan; Gibbs, Holly K.

    2015-04-01

    Cultivation of corn and soybeans in the United States reached record high levels following the biofuels boom of the late 2000s. Debate exists about whether the expansion of these crops caused conversion of grasslands and other carbon-rich ecosystems to cropland or instead replaced other crops on existing agricultural land. We tracked crop-specific expansion pathways across the conterminous US and identified the types, amount, and locations of all land converted to and from cropland, 2008-2012. We found that crop expansion resulted in substantial transformation of the landscape, including conversion of long-term unimproved grasslands and land that had not been previously used for agriculture (cropland or pasture) dating back to at least the early 1970s. Corn was the most common crop planted directly on new land, as well as the largest indirect contributor to change through its displacement of other crops. Cropland expansion occurred most rapidly on land that is less suitable for cultivation, raising concerns about adverse environmental and economic costs of conversion. Our results reveal opportunities to increase the efficacy of current federal policy conservation measures by modifying coverage of the 2014 US Farm Bill Sodsaver provision and improving enforcement of the US Renewable Fuels Standard.

  16. Trace gas and particle emissions from domestic and industrial biofuel use and garbage burning in central Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Christian, T. J; R. J. Yokelson; B. Cárdenas; Molina, L. T.; G. Engling; Hsu, S.-C.

    2009-01-01

    In central Mexico during the spring of 2007 we measured the initial emissions of 12 gases and the aerosol speciation for elemental and organic carbon (EC, OC), anhydrosugars, Cl, NO3, and 20 metals from 10 cooking fires, four garbage fires, three brick making kilns, three charcoal making kilns, and two crop residue fires. Global biofuel use has been estimated at over 2600 Tg/y. With several simple case ...

  17. Chromatin landscaping in algae reveals novel regulation pathway for biofuels production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ngan, Chew Yee; Wong, Chee-Hong; Choi, Cindy; Pratap, Abhishek; Han, James; Wei, Chia-Lin

    2013-02-19

    The diminishing reserve of fossil fuels calls for the development of biofuels. Biofuels are produced from renewable resources, including photosynthetic organisms, generating clean energy. Microalgae is one of the potential feedstock for biofuels production. It grows easily even in waste water, and poses no competition to agricultural crops for arable land. However, little is known about the algae lipid biosynthetic regulatory mechanisms. Most studies relied on the homology to other plant model organisms, in particular Arabidopsis or through low coverage expression analysis to identify key enzymes. This limits the discovery of new components in the biosynthetic pathways, particularly the genetic regulators and effort to maximize the production efficiency of algal biofuels. Here we report an unprecedented and de novo approach to dissect the algal lipid pathways through disclosing the temporal regulations of chromatin states during lipid biosynthesis. We have generated genome wide chromatin maps in chlamydomonas genome using ChIP-seq targeting 7 histone modifications and RNA polymerase II in a time-series manner throughout conditions activating lipid biosynthesis. To our surprise, the combinatory profiles of histone codes uncovered new regulatory mechanism in gene expression in algae. Coupled with matched RNA-seq data, chromatin changes revealed potential novel regulators and candidate genes involved in the activation of lipid accumulations. Genetic perturbation on these candidate regulators further demonstrated the potential to manipulate the regulatory cascade for lipid synthesis efficiency. Exploring epigenetic landscape in microalgae shown here provides powerful tools needed in improving biofuel production and new technology platform for renewable energy generation, global carbon management, and environmental survey.

  18. Design of a GIS-Based Web Application for Simulating Biofuel Feedstock Yields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Prilepova

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Short rotation woody crops (SRWC, such as hybrid poplar, have the potential to serve as a valuable feedstock for cellulosic biofuels. Spatial estimates of biomass yields under different management regimes are required for assisting stakeholders in making better management decisions and to establish viable woody cropping systems for biofuel production. To support stakeholders in their management decisions, we have developed a GIS-based web interface using a modified 3PG model for spatially predicting poplar biomass yields under different management and climate conditions in the U.S. Pacific Northwest region. The application is implemented with standard HTML5 components, allowing its use in a modern browser and dynamically adjusting to the client screen size and device. In addition, cloud storage of the results makes them accessible on any Internet-enabled device. The web interface appears simple, but is powerful in parameter manipulation and in visualizing and sharing the results. Overall, this application comprises dynamic features that enable users to run SRWC crop growth simulations based on GIS information and contributes significantly to choosing appropriate feedstock growing locations, anticipating the desired physiological properties of the feedstock and incorporating the management and policy analysis needed for growing hybrid poplar plantations.

  19. Primary productivity and the prospects for biofuels in the United Kingdom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, G. J.; Callaghan, T. V.

    1983-09-01

    Estimates of land use and plant productivity are combined to predict total annual primary production in the UK as 252 million tonnes dry matter (10.5 t ha-1yr-1). Annual above ground production is predicted to be 165 Mt (6.9 t ha-1yr-1). Within these totals, intensive agriculture contributes 60%, productive woodland 8%, natural vegetation 26% and urban vegetation 5%. However, only 25% of total plant production is cropped by man and animals, and most of this is subsequently discarded as wastes and residues. 2112 PJ of organic material is available for fuel without reducing food or fibre production, but since much of this could not be economically collected, 859 PJ is calculated as a more realistic biofuel contribution by the year 2000. After deducting 50% conversion losses, this could save P1 billion (1979 prices) in oil imports. Short rotation energy plantations, forest residues, coppice woodlands, animal and crop wastes, industrial and domestic wastes, catch crops, natural vegetation and urban vegetation all have immediate or short term potential as biofuel sources. Sensitive planning is required to reduce environmental impact, but in some cases more diverse wildlife habitats may be created.

  20. Defining invasiveness and invasibility in ecological networks

    OpenAIRE

    C. Hui; Richardson, D. M.; Landi, P; H.O. Minoarivelo; Garnas, J.; Roy, H.E.

    2016-01-01

    The success of a biological invasion is context dependent, and yet two key concepts—the invasiveness of species and the invasibility of recipient ecosystems—are often defined and considered separately. We propose a framework that can elucidate the complex relationship between invasibility and invasiveness. It is based on trait-mediated interactions between species and depicts the response of an ecological network to the intrusion of an alien species, drawing on the concept of community satura...

  1. Potential of Underutilized Traditional Vegetables and Legume Crops to Contribute to Food and Nutritional Security, Income and More Sustainable Production Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Andreas W Ebert

    2014-01-01

    Agriculture is under pressure to produce greater quantities of food, feed and biofuel on limited land resources. Current over-reliance on a handful of major staple crops has inherent agronomic, ecological, nutritional and economic risks and is probably unsustainable in the long run. Wider use of today’s underutilized minor crops provides more options to build temporal and spatial heterogeneity into uniform cropping systems and will enhance resilience to both biotic and abiotic stress. Many ...

  2. Novel biofuel formulations for enhanced vehicle performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, Dennis [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Narayan, Ramani [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Berglund, Kris [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Lira, Carl [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Schock, Harold [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Jaberi, Farhad [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Lee, Tonghun [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Anderson, James [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Wallington, Timothy [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Kurtz, Eric [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Ruona, Will; Hass, Heinz

    2013-08-30

    This interdisciplinary research program at Michigan State University, in collaboration with Ford Motor Company, has explored the application of tailored or designed biofuels for enhanced vehicle performance and reduced emissions. The project has included a broad range of experimental research, from chemical and biological formation of advanced biofuel components to multicylinder engine testing of blended biofuels to determine engine performance parameters. In addition, the project included computation modeling of biofuel physical and combustion properties, and simulation of advanced combustion modes in model engines and in single cylinder engines. Formation of advanced biofuel components included the fermentation of five-carbon and six-carbon sugars to n-butanol and to butyric acid, two four-carbon building blocks. Chemical transformations include the esterification of the butyric acid produced to make butyrate esters, and the esterification of succinic acid with n-butanol to make dibutyl succinate (DBS) as attractive biofuel components. The conversion of standard biodiesel, made from canola or soy oil, from the methyl ester to the butyl ester (which has better fuel properties), and the ozonolysis of biodiesel and the raw oil to produce nonanoate fuel components were also examined in detail. Physical and combustion properties of these advanced biofuel components were determined during the project. Physical properties such as vapor pressure, heat of evaporation, density, and surface tension, and low temperature properties of cloud point and cold filter plugging point were examined for pure components and for blends of components with biodiesel and standard petroleum diesel. Combustion properties, particularly emission delay that is the key parameter in compression ignition engines, was measured in the MSU Rapid Compression Machine (RCM), an apparatus that was designed and constructed during the project simulating the compression stroke of an internal combustion

  3. Rainfed intensive crop systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Jørgen E

    2014-01-01

    This chapter focuses on the importance of intensive cropping systems in contributing to the world supply of food and feed. The impact of climate change on intensive crop production systems is also discussed.......This chapter focuses on the importance of intensive cropping systems in contributing to the world supply of food and feed. The impact of climate change on intensive crop production systems is also discussed....

  4. Stakeholder perceptions of biofuels from microalgae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this paper we focus on stakeholder views around the development of advanced biofuels from microalgae. Research for the development of microalgal-derived biofuels was initiated by the US Department of Energy (DOE) more than 30 years ago. However, interest in this eco-innovation has been growing significantly over the last five years in various countries. The high productivity of algae indicates that algal biofuels could contribute to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while avoiding the undesired impacts of first generation biofuels. There are still numerous challenges that need nevertheless to be addressed. The aim of this paper is to explore stakeholder perceptions of the current barriers and opportunities associated with this promising emergent technology. - Research highlights: → There are still many questions about how microalgae biofuels will reduce our demand of fossil fuels. → Many of the obstacles discussed by participants are related to the technological and economic barriers. → There are still competing visions on the aspects of the technology where efforts have to be applied. → Years of intensive, continuous and large-scale research and a favorable environment are needed. → The careful protection of the innovation may avoid failure experiences.

  5. Perspectives for Sustainable Aviation Biofuels in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís A. B. Cortez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The aviation industry has set ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions in coming decades. The strategy involves the use of sustainable biofuels, aiming to achieve benefits from environmental, social, and economic perspectives. In this context, Brazilian conditions are favorable, with a mature agroindustry that regularly produces automotive biofuel largely adopted by Brazilian road vehicles, while air transportation has been growing at an accelerating pace and a modern aircraft industry is in place. This paper presents the main conclusions and recommendations from a broad assessment of the technological, economic, and sustainability challenges and opportunities associated with the development of drop-in aviation biofuels in Brazil. It was written by a research team that prepared the initial reports and conducted eight workshops with the active participation of more than 30 stakeholders encompassing the private sector, government institutions, NGOs, and academia. The main outcome was a set of guidelines for establishing a new biofuels industry, including recommendations for (a filling the identified research and development knowledge gaps in the production of sustainable feedstock; (b overcoming the barriers in conversion technology, including scaling-up issues; (c promoting greater involvement and interaction between private and government stakeholders; and (d creating a national strategy to promote the development of aviation biofuels.

  6. Biofuels: A win-win strategy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-12-31

    This article looks at the overall goal of stabilizing global climate change while achieving a sustainable energy future. On Earth Day 1993, President Clinton announced that the U.S. would comply with the Rio accord and bring U.S. greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by the year 2000. Since the transportation sector accounts for over 30 percent of domestic CO{sub 2} emissions, the large-scale use and deployment of biofuels would be a useful tool in achieving the Administration`s goals of limiting greenhouse gases. Biofuels such as ethanol, methanol, and biodiesel are expected to have lower emissions of greenhouse gases than those derived from petroleum or other fossil fuels. This marked difference is due to the {open_quotes}CO{sub 2} recycling effect{close_quotes} associated with the growth process of biomass renewable resources such as trees and grasses. This article covers the following topics: global climate change an future energy consumption, reducing greenhouse transportation sector emissions: improving fuel economy and switching to low-carbon emission fuel sources; integration of fuel economy and alternative fuels; biofuels as a transportation strategy for mitigating global climate change; a win-win strategy: biofuels reduce carbon dioxide while promoting sustainable economic growth; increasing biofuels utilization through government and industry cooperation. 5 figs.

  7. Beyond commonplace biofuels: Social aspects of ethanol

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  8. A resilience perspective on biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Dongyan; Seager, Thomas P; Rao, P Suresh C; Park, Jeryang; Zhao, Fu

    2011-07-01

    The recent investment boom and collapse of the corn ethanol industry calls into question the long-term sustainability of traditional approaches to biofuel technologies. Compared with petroleum-based transportation fuels, biofuel production systems are more closely connected to complex and variable natural systems. Especially as biofeedstock production itself becomes more independent of fossil fuel-based supports, stochasticity will become an increasingly important, inherent feature of biofuel feedstock production systems. Accordingly, a fundamental change in design philosophy is necessary to ensure the long-term viability of the biofuels industry. To respond effectively to unexpected disruptions, the new approach will require systems to be designed for resilience (indicated by diversity, efficiency, cohesion, and adaptability) rather than more narrowly defined measures of efficiency. This paper addresses important concepts in the design of coupled engineering-ecological systems (resistance, resilience, adaptability, and transformability) and examines biofuel conversion technologies from a resilience perspective. Conversion technologies that can accommodate multiple feedstocks and final products are suggested to enhance the diversity and flexibility of the entire industry. PMID:21309075

  9. Optimization of Seoul-Fluor-based lipid droplet bioprobes and their application in microalgae for bio-fuel study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Youngjun; Na, Sangcheol; Lee, Sanghee; Jeon, Noo Li; Park, Seung Bum

    2013-05-01

    We synthesized a series of Seoul-Fluor-based lipid droplet bioprobes with a linear range of lipophilicity and identified SF44 and SF58 as SF-based LD bioprobes in microalgae for biofuel research as well as in mammalian cells. Unlike Nile Red, SF-based bioprobes can stain algal LDs with excellent efficiency under the non-invasive and non-cytotoxic conditions.

  10. Calorie increase and water savings of redistributing global crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, K. F.; Seveso, A.; Rulli, M. C.; D'Odorico, P.

    2015-12-01

    Human demand for crop production is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades as a result of population growth, richer diets and biofuel use. In order for food production to keep pace, unprecedented amounts of resources - water, fertilizers, energy - will be required. This has led to calls for 'sustainable intensification' in which yields are increased on existing croplands while seeking to minimize impacts on water and other agricultural resources. Recent studies have quantified aspects of this, showing that there is a large potential to improve crop yields and increase harvest frequencies to better meet human demand. Though promising, both solutions would necessitate large additional inputs of water and fertilizer in order to be achieved under current technologies. However, the question of whether the current distribution of crops is, in fact, the best for realizing maximized production has not been considered to date. To this end, we ask: Is it possible to increase calorie production and minimize water demand by simply growing crops where soil and climate conditions are best suited? Here we use maps of agro-ecological suitability - a measure of physical and chemical soil fertility - for 15 major food crops to identify differences between current crop distributions and where they can most suitably be planted. By redistributing crops across currently cultivated lands, we determine the potential improvement in calorie production as well as the associated change in water demand. We also consider what distribution of crops would maintain current calorie production while minimizing crop water demand. In doing all of this, our study provides a novel tool for improving crop calorie production without necessarily increasing resource demands.

  11. Impact of Corn Residue Removal on Crop and Soil Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. M.; Wilhelm, W. W.; Hatfield, J. L.; Voorhees, W. B.; Linden, D.

    2003-12-01

    Over-reliance on imported fuels, increasing atmospheric levels of greenhouses and sustaining food production for a growing population are three of the most important problems facing society in the mid-term. The US Department of Energy and private enterprise are developing technology necessary to use high cellulose feedstock, such as crop residues, for ethanol production. Based on production levels, corn (Zea mays L.) residue has potential as a biofuel feedstock. Crop residues are a renewable and domestic fuel source, which can reduce the rate of fossil fuel use (both imported and domestic) and provide an additional farm commodity. Crop residues protect the soil from wind and water erosion, provide inputs to form soil organic matter (a critical component determining soil quality) and play a role in nutrient cycling. Crop residues impact radiation balance and energy fluxes and reduce evaporation. Therefore, the benefits of using crop residues as fuel, which removes crop residues from the field, must be balanced against negative environmental impacts (e.g. soil erosion), maintaining soil organic matter levels, and preserving or enhancing productivity. All ramifications of new management practices and crop uses must be explored and evaluated fully before an industry is established. There are limited numbers of long-term studies with soil and crop responses to residue removal that range from negative to negligible. The range of crop and soil responses to crop residue removal was attributed to interactions with climate, management and soil type. Within limits, corn residue can be harvested for ethanol production to provide a renewable, domestic source of energy feedstock that reduces greenhouse gases. Removal rates must vary based on regional yield, climatic conditions and cultural practices. Agronomists are challenged to develop a protocol (tool) for recommending maximum permissible removal rates that ensure sustained soil productivity.

  12. Competitivity of biofuels in heating

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The competitivity of indigenous fuels in heating of residential houses in comparison with imported fuels, and both electricity and district heating, has been studied in this research, ordered by the Finnish Ministry of Trade and Industry. Heating plants of residential house scale (20-1000 kW) have been investigated in the research. Only the new heating plants are included in the investigation. The heat generation calculations concerning the residential heating plants have been made for following indigenous fuels: sod peat, fuel-chips, peat and wood pellets, firewood and straw. In addition to these, the calculations have been made for light fuel-oil, electric heating, district heating and natural gas. The local energy tariffs have to be taken into account in electric heating, district heating and natural gas heating. A calculation model, based on flowsheet calculation, forms the main result of the project. By using the model it is possible to update the competitivity data rapidly. Of all the indigenous fuels, sod peat and fuel-chips appeared to be competitive with electric and district heating costs in nearly all scales investigated. The construction of the heat generation costs of solid indigenous fuels differs remarkably from those of electric and district heating. The main part of the heating costs of wood chips and sod peat is formed of fixed costs; i.e. of investment costs and of the costs of heating and control work. The energy costs are the highest costs items in electric an district heating, as well as in the oil heating. It is possible to improve the competitivity of biofuels by developing cheaper boilers and fuel processing and storage devices

  13. Import of biofuels and peat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In areas neighbouring Sweden, i.e., foremost the Baltic States, it is probable that a large part of the available amounts will be consumed on the domestic market. Studies of the possible use of wood fuel in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are being made by the World Bank. Considerable investments will probably be made in the near future to replace existing coal- and oil-fired boiler plants with plants burning wood fuel. Consequently, the opportunities for exports of wood fuel will probably be small. In a global perspective, peat is used only to a limited extent as fuel. In the former Soviet Union alone it is estimated that the amount of peat that is economically feasible to extract is about 166x109 tonnes at a moisture content of 40%. Among the most interesting bio products that can be used in energy production from different food processing industries are nut-shells and fruit stones. Some stones, such as those in olives, plums and peaches, are excellent as fuels. The advantage with olive stones, in comparison with chips is that the bulk weight is high and the moisture content is low. Olive stones are thus similar to processed biofuels such as pellets. Due to their high energy content the olive stones can replace coal, which cannot be done by unprocessed fuels without expensive investments in materials handling equipment. Our survey shows that processed forest fuels and crushed olive stones are the products of greatest interest for the Swedish market. It also shows that both chips and peat-based products from the Baltic States are competitive

  14. Characterization of ashes from biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frandsen, F.J.; Hansen, L.A. [Technical Univ. of Denmark. Dept. of Chemical Engineering (Denmark); Soerensen, H.S. [Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (Denmark); Hjuler, K. [dk-TEKNIK. Energy and Environment (Denmark)

    1998-02-01

    One motivation for initiating the present project was that the international standard method of estimating the deposit propensity of solid fuels, of which a number of variants exist (e.g. ISO, ASTM, SD, DIN), has shown to be unsuitable for biomass ashes. This goal was addressed by the development of two new methods for the detection of ash fusibility behaviour based on Simultaneous Thermal Analysis (STA) and High Temperature Light Microscopy (HTLM), respectively. The methods were developed specifically for ashes from biofuels, but are suitable for coal ashes as well. They have been tested using simple salt mixtures, geological standards and samples from straw CHP and coal-straw PF combustion plants. All samples were run in a nitrogen atmosphere at a heating rate of 10 deg. C/min. In comparison with the standard method, the new methods are objective and have superior repeatability and sensitivity. Furthermore, the two methods enable the melting behavior to be characterized by a continuous measurement of melt fraction versus temperature. Due to this two-dimensional resolution of the results, the STA and HTLM methods provide more information than the standard method. The study of bottom ash and fly ash as well as deposit samples from straw test firings at the Haslev and Slagelse Combined Heat and Power plants resulted in a better understanding of mineral behaviour during straw grate firing. In these tests a number of straws were fired which had been carefully selected for having different qualities with respect to sort and potassium and chlorine contents. By studying bottom ashes from Slagelse it was found that the melting behaviour correlated with the deposition rate on a probe situated at the outlet part of the combustion zone. (EG)

  15. Ozone Damages to Mediterranean Crops: Physiological Responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo Fagnano

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available In this brief review we analyzed some aspects of tropospheric ozone damages to crop plants. Specifically, we addressed this issue to Mediterranean environments, where plant response to multiple stresses may either exacerbate or counteract deleterious ozone effects. After discussing the adequacy of current models to predict ozone damages to Mediterranean crops, we present a few examples of physiological responses to drought and salinity stress that generally overlap with seasonal ozone peaks in Southern Italy. The co-existence of multiple stresses is then analyzed in terms of stomatal vs. non-stomatal control of ozone damages. Recent results on osmoprotectant feeding experiments, as a non-invasive strategy to uncouple stomatal vs. non stomatal contribution to ozone protection, are also presented. In the final section, we discuss critical needs in ozone research and the great potential of plant model systems to unravel multiple stress responses in agricultural crops.

  16. Alternative energies. Sustainable biofuels technically near take-off

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Preesman, L.

    2009-05-15

    The aircraft company Boeing says it has proven the technical viability of biofuels for use in commercial aircraft. Now the company wants to speed up the process of making biofuels available on a commercial scale.

  17. 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...

  18. Production of biofuels and chemicals with ionic liquids

    CERN Document Server

    Fang, Zhen; Qi, Xinhua

    2013-01-01

    This book explores the application of ionic liquids to biomass for producing biofuels and chemicals. Covers pretreatment, fermentation, cellulose transformation, reaction kinetics and more, as well as subsequent production of biofuels and platform chemicals.

  19. Biogas production from energy crops and crop residues

    OpenAIRE

    Lehtomäki, Annimari

    2006-01-01

    The feasibility of utilising energy crops and crop residues in methane production through anaerobic digestion in boreal conditions was evaluated in this thesis. Potential boreal energy crops and crop residues were screened for their suitability for methane production, and the effects of harvest time and storage on the methane potential of crops was evaluated. Co-digestion of energy crops and crop residues with cow manure, as well as digestion of energy crops alone in batch leach bed reactors ...

  20. An integrated renewable energy park approach for algal biofuel production in United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Algal biomass provides viable third generation feedstock for liquid transportation fuel that does not compete with food crops for cropland. However, fossil energy inputs and intensive water usage diminishes the positive aspects of algal energy production. An integrated renewable energy park (IREP) approach is proposed for aligning renewable energy industries in resource-specific regions in United States for synergistic electricity and liquid biofuel production from algal biomass with net zero carbon emissions. The benefits, challenges and policy needs of this approach are discussed.

  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. Institutional analysis of biofuel production in Northern Ghana

    OpenAIRE

    Kwoyiga, Lydia

    2013-01-01

    The thesis studied the nature of institutional arrangement around biofuel production and how this arrangement has shaped the production outcome of biofuel companies and community development. The study was conducted in two communities of the Yendi Municipal Assembly of the Northern Region of Ghana. In this area, a biofuel company called Biofuel Africa Limited has acquired areas of land and cultivated Jatropha plantations. A total of 32 informants were interviewed to arrive at information ne...

  3. Biofuels barometer - EurObserv'ER - July 2011

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    13,6 % the increase in EU biofuel consumption in 2010. In 2010 biofuel continued to gnaw away at petrol and diesel consumption in the European Union. However its pace backs the assertion that EU biofuel consumption growth slackened off. In the transport sector, it increased by only 1.7 Mtoe compared to 2.7 Mtoe in 2009. The final total biofuel consumption figure for 2010 should hover at around 13,9 Mtoe

  4. Sustainability Opportunities and Challenges of the Biofuels Industry

    OpenAIRE

    França, Cesar L.; Maddigan, Kate; White, Kyle

    2005-01-01

    Liquid biofuels are being produced to displace fossil fuels for transportation, with bioethanol and biodiesel being the primary biofuels produced for this purpose in the world today. While there is consensus on the need for a sustainable biofuels industry, there is little consensus on how to proceed to avoid environmental and social degradation with global biofuel production. A literature review of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) data, and the generic Strategic Life-Cycle Management (SLCM) and Temp...

  5. Biofuel and Food-Commodity Prices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Zilberman

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper summarizes key findings of alternative lines of research on the relationship between food and fuel markets, and identifies gaps between two bodies of literature: one that investigates the relationship between food and fuel prices, and another that investigates the impact of the introduction of biofuels on commodity-food prices. The former body of literature suggests that biofuel prices do not affect food-commodity prices, but the latter suggests it does. We try to explain this gap, and then show that although biofuel was an important contributor to the recent food-price inflation of 2001–2008, its effect on food-commodity prices declined after the recession of 2008/09. We also show that the introduction of cross-price elasticity is important when explaining soybean price, but less so when explaining corn prices.

  6. Omics in Chlamydomonas for Biofuel Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aucoin, Hanna R; Gardner, Joseph; Boyle, Nanette R

    2016-01-01

    In response to demands for sustainable domestic fuel sources, research into biofuels has become increasingly important. Many challenges face biofuels in their effort to replace petroleum fuels, but rational strain engineering of algae and photosynthetic organisms offers a great deal of promise. For decades, mutations and stress responses in photosynthetic microbiota were seen to result in production of exciting high-energy fuel molecules, giving hope but minor capability for design. However, '-omics' techniques for visualizing entire cell processing has clarified biosynthesis and regulatory networks. Investigation into the promising production behaviors of the model organism C. reinhardtii and its mutants with these powerful techniques has improved predictability and understanding of the diverse, complex interactions within photosynthetic organisms. This new equipment has created an exciting new frontier for high-throughput, predictable engineering of photosynthetically produced carbon-neutral biofuels.

  7. Impacts of Climate Change on Biofuels Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Melillo, Jerry M. [Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (United States)

    2014-04-30

    The overall goal of this research project was to improve and use our biogeochemistry model, TEM, to simulate the effects of climate change and other environmental changes on the production of biofuel feedstocks. We used the improved version of TEM that is coupled with the economic model, EPPA, a part of MIT’s Earth System Model, to explore how alternative uses of land, including land for biofuels production, can help society meet proposed climate targets. During the course of this project, we have made refinements to TEM that include development of a more mechanistic plant module, with improved ecohydrology and consideration of plant-water relations, and a more detailed treatment of soil nitrogen dynamics, especially processes that add or remove nitrogen from ecosystems. We have documented our changes to TEM and used the model to explore the effects on production in land ecosystems, including changes in biofuels production.

  8. Bio-fuels of the first generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    After having briefly recalled the objective of use of renewable energies and the role bio-fuels may play, this publication briefly presents various bio-fuels: bio-diesel (from colza, soybean or sunflower oil), and ethanol (from beet, sugar cane, wheat or corn). Some key data regarding bio-fuel production and use in France are briefly commented. The publication outlines strengths (a positive energy assessment, a decreased dependency on imported fossil fuels and a higher supply safety, a diversification of agriculture revenues and prospects, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions) and weaknesses (uncertainty regarding the evolution of soil use, an environmental impact related to farming methods) of this sector. Actions undertaken by the ADEME in collaboration with other agencies and institutions are briefly overviewed

  9. 76 FR 24343 - Advanced Biofuel Payment Program; Correction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-02

    ... Service Rural Utilities Service 7 CFR Part 4288 RIN 0570-AA75 Advanced Biofuel Payment Program; Correction... Advanced Biofuel Payment Program authorized under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. This... contracts with advanced biofuel producers to pay such producers for the production of eligible...

  10. Improving Biofuels Recovery Processes for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biofuels are made from living or recently living organisms. For example, ethanol can be made from fermented plant materials. Biofuels have a number of important benefits when compared to fossil fuels. Biofuels are produced from renewable energy sources such as agricultural resou...

  11. Gas Emissions in Combustion of Biofuel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitázek Ivan

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, biomass or more precisely biofuel is more and more being exploited as a substitute for fossil fuels for heating as well as for example for heating a drying environment. This contribution focuses on assessing a heat source by combusting various types of solid biofuels. It is a boiler VIGAS 25 with AK 2000 regulation for heating a family house. Gaseous emissions were measured using a device TESTO 330-2LL. Firewood, peat briquettes, bark briquettes and hardwood briquettes were burnt. Results of experimental measurements concerning the production of gaseous emissions are processed in tables and graphs depending on boiler performance and combustion time.

  12. Bioenergy from Biofuel Residues and Wastes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudri, B S; Baawain, Mahad

    2016-10-01

    This review includes works published in the general scientific literature during 2015 on the production of bioenergy and biofuel from waste residues generated during bioethanol and biodiesel production with a brief overview of current and emerging feedstocks. A section of this review summarizes literature on culturing algae for biofuels including bioreactors and open pond cultivation systems with the utilization of inorganic and organic sources of nutrients. New methods applicable to the mass culture of algae are highlighted. Algal cell harvesting and oil extraction techniques tested and developed for algae discussed alongwith policies and economics are also provided.

  13. Microspora Floccosa; A Potential Biofuel Producer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aisha Abdul Sattar Memon

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The current study is focused on biofuel production from local specie of algae. Initially samples were observed to identify the algal specie. Afterward oil was extracted from algae by Soxhlet extraction method, retention time was optimized to improve the yield of oil at different intervals. The recovered oil from algae was subjected to qualitative analysis by Gas Chromatography. Four major peaks were appeared on GC chromatogram which correspond to methyl esters of Dodecanoic acid, Tetradecanoic acid, 8,11,14-Eicosadienoic acid and 9,10-Dihydroxy octadecanoic. The results reflect that Microspora floccosa algae considered to be favorable for biofuel production.

  14. Bioenergy from Biofuel Residues and Wastes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudri, B S; Baawain, Mahad

    2016-10-01

    This review includes works published in the general scientific literature during 2015 on the production of bioenergy and biofuel from waste residues generated during bioethanol and biodiesel production with a brief overview of current and emerging feedstocks. A section of this review summarizes literature on culturing algae for biofuels including bioreactors and open pond cultivation systems with the utilization of inorganic and organic sources of nutrients. New methods applicable to the mass culture of algae are highlighted. Algal cell harvesting and oil extraction techniques tested and developed for algae discussed alongwith policies and economics are also provided. PMID:27620098

  15. The Social and Environmental Impacts of Biofuel Feedstock Cultivation: Evidence from Multi-Site Research in the Forest Frontier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Pacheco

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Preoccupation with global energy supplies and climate change in the global North, and a desire to improve the balance of trade and capture value in the emerging carbon market by developing countries, together place biofuels firmly on the map of global land use change. Much of this recent land use change is occurring in developing countries where large agro-ecologically suitable tracts of land may be accessed at lower economic and opportunity cost. This is leading to the gradual penetration of commercial crops that provide suitable biofuel feedstocks (e.g., sugarcane, soybean, oil palm, jatropha into rural communities and forested landscapes throughout many areas of the global South. Expansion of biofuel feedstock cultivation in developing countries is widely embraced by producer country governments as a means to achieve energy security and stimulate rural economic development through employment and smallholder market integration. It is also expected that foreign and domestic investments in biofuel feedstock cultivation will lead to positive economic spillovers from knowledge transfer and investor contributions to social and physical infrastructure. While biofuel feedstocks are expanding through large industrial-scale plantations and smallholder production alike, the expansion of industrial-scale production systems has been countered by a critical response by civil society actors concerned about the implications for rural livelihoods, customary land rights, and the environmental effects of biofuel feedstock cultivation. To date, however, limited data exist to demonstrate the conditions under which widely anticipated economic and climate change mitigation benefits accrue in practice, and the implications of these developments for forests, local livelihoods, and the climate change mitigation potential of biofuels. In such a situation, debates are easily polarized into those for and against biofuels. This special issue seeks to nuance this debate by

  16. Sustainable Energy Crop Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biofuels currently supply a small portion of the world’s energy needs but this is increasing due to mandates intended to reduce use of fossil fuels and the associated environmental impacts. However, the potentials of plant based feedstocks to substitute for fossil fuels and mitigate environmental im...

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. Mosier

    2007-08-01

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

  19. Esophagectomy - minimally invasive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minimally invasive esophagectomy; Robotic esophagectomy; Removal of the esophagus - minimally invasive; Achalasia - esophagectomy; Barrett esophagus - esophagectomy; Esophageal cancer - esophagectomy - laparoscopic; Cancer of the ...

  20. Organisms for biofuel production: natural bioresources and methodologies for improving their biosynthetic potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Guangrong; Ji, Shiqi; Yu, Yanchong; Wang, Shi'an; Zhou, Gongke; Li, Fuli

    2015-01-01

    In order to relieve the pressure of energy supply and environment contamination that humans are facing, there are now intensive worldwide efforts to explore natural bioresources for production of energy storage compounds, such as lipids, alcohols, hydrocarbons, and polysaccharides. Around the world, many plants have been evaluated and developed as feedstock for bioenergy production, among which several crops have successfully achieved industrialization. Microalgae are another group of photosynthetic autotroph of interest due to their superior growth rates, relatively high photosynthetic conversion efficiencies, and vast metabolic capabilities. Heterotrophic microorganisms, such as yeast and bacteria, can utilize carbohydrates from lignocellulosic biomass directly or after pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis to produce liquid biofuels such as ethanol and butanol. Although finding a suitable organism for biofuel production is not easy, many naturally occurring organisms with good traits have recently been obtained. This review mainly focuses on the new organism resources discovered in the last 5 years for production of transport fuels (biodiesel, gasoline, jet fuel, and alkanes) and hydrogen, and available methods to improve natural organisms as platforms for the production of biofuels.