WorldWideScience

Sample records for biofuel crop invasiveness

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

    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. (letter)

  2. Alternative Crops and Biofuel Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  3. Biofuels barometer: Crops pending

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    2002-01-01

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

  4. Sustainable production of grain crops for biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. [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.

  6. Crop residues for advanced biofuels workshop: A synposis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop residues are being harvested for a variety of purposes including their use as livestock feed and to produce advanced biofuels. Crop residue harvesting, by definition, reduces the potential annual carbon input to the soil from aboveground biomass but does not affect input from plant roots. The m...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swinton, Scott M.; Babcock, Bruce A.; James, Laura K.; Bandaru, Varaprasad

    2011-01-01

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Ecological effects of feral biofuel crops in constructed oak ...

    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 mesocosm held three tubs. One had six native plant species; one had five native species with the annual crop Sorghum bicolor and one had five native species along with the weedy perennial Sorghum halepense. The experimental treatments were ambient (control), elevated temperature, drought, or a combination of elevated temperature and drought. Total aboveground biomass of the community was greatest in the control and drought treatments, lowest with elevated temperature + drought, and intermediate in high temperature treatments (Pbacterial biomass. Active bacterial biomass was lowest in the drought and elevated temperature and drought treatments (P<0.05). Active soil fungal biomass was highest in the tubs containing S. bicolor. Percent total carbon in the soil increased between 2010 and 2011 (P=0.0054); it was lowest in the elevated temperature and drought mesocosms (P<0.05). Longer term studi

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agoramoorthy, Govindasamy; Hsu, Minna J.; Chaudhary, Sunita; Shieh, Po-Chuen

    2009-01-01

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-11-15

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. Switchgrass as a biofuels crop for the upper Southeast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parrish, D.J.; Wolf, D.D. [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg, VA (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been identified in DOE-sponsored studies as a widely adapted, productive herbaceous candidate for biofuels cropping. It is a perennial that has been planted using no-till procedures, and it appears to have positive effects on the soils in which it grows. We have been looking at this species as a potential fuelcrop (as well as a valuable forage) for several years. In this presentation, we note several {open_quotes}lessons learned{close_quotes} about switchgrass establishment and management as an energy crop. Data include results from recent plantings in the upper Southeast USA and from cutting management studies. Six varieties of switchgrass (Alamo, Cave-in-Rock, Kanlow, Shelter, and two breeder`s lines) varied markedly in the success of their no-till establishment at eight locations across the upper Southeast. Better weed control, which was achieved at later planting dates, seemed to be the key. Yields obtained in the establishment stands revealed that two harvests per season are more productive (by 2 to 3 Mg/ha) than one, but the date of first cutting is crucial. First cutting should be from late-June to mid-July. A two-cut system may not be economically advantageous, however. Another cutting-management study detected losses of standing biomass at the end of the growing season. As much as 15% of the above-ground biomass present in early-September was no longer harvestable in early-November. We think this loss results from translocation of dry matter to below-ground parts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-08

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

  20. 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...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng Qiujie; Shumway, C. Richard

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Life cycle assessment of various cropping systems utilized for producing biofuels: Bioethanol and biodiesel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Seungdo; Dale, Bruce E.

    2005-01-01

    A life cycle assessment of different cropping systems emphasizing corn and soybean production was performed, assuming that biomass from the cropping systems is utilized for producing biofuels (i.e., ethanol and biodiesel). The functional unit is defined as 1 ha of arable land producing biomass for biofuels to compare the environmental performance of the different cropping systems. The external functions are allocated by introducing alternative product systems (the system expansion allocation approach). Nonrenewable energy consumption, global warming impact, acidification and eutrophication are considered as potential environmental impacts and estimated by characterization factors given by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA-TRACI). The benefits of corn stover removal are (1) lower nitrogen related environmental burdens from the soil, (2) higher ethanol production rate per unit arable land, and (3) energy recovery from lignin-rich fermentation residues, while the disadvantages of corn stover removal are a lower accumulation rate of soil organic carbon and higher fuel consumption in harvesting corn stover. Planting winter cover crops can compensate for some disadvantages (i.e., soil organic carbon levels and soil erosion) of removing corn stover. Cover crops also permit more corn stover to be harvested. Thus, utilization of corn stover and winter cover crops can improve the eco-efficiency of the cropping systems. When biomass from the cropping systems is utilized for biofuel production, all the cropping systems studied here offer environmental benefits in terms of nonrenewable energy consumption and global warming impact. Therefore utilizing biomass for biofuels would save nonrenewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gases. However, unless additional measures such as planting cover crops were taken, utilization of biomass for biofuels would also tend to increase acidification and eutrophication, primarily because large nitrogen (and phosphorus

  3. Integrating future scenario‐based crop expansion and crop conditions to map switchgrass biofuel potential in eastern Nebraska, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2018-01-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been evaluated as one potential source for cellulosic biofuel feedstocks. Planting switchgrass in marginal croplands and waterway buffers can reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and improve regional ecosystem services (i.e. it serves as a potential carbon sink). In previous studies, we mapped high risk marginal croplands and highly erodible cropland buffers that are potentially suitable for switchgrass development, which would improve ecosystem services and minimally impact food production. In this study, we advance our previous study results and integrate future crop expansion information to develop a switchgrass biofuel potential ensemble map for current and future croplands in eastern Nebraska. The switchgrass biomass productivity and carbon benefits (i.e. NEP: net ecosystem production) for the identified biofuel potential ensemble areas were quantified. The future scenario‐based (‘A1B’) land use and land cover map for 2050, the US Geological Survey crop type and Compound Topographic Index (CTI) maps, and long‐term (1981–2010) averaged annual precipitation data were used to identify future crop expansion regions that are suitable for switchgrass development. Results show that 2528 km2 of future crop expansion regions (~3.6% of the study area) are potentially suitable for switchgrass development. The total estimated biofuel potential ensemble area (including cropland buffers, marginal croplands, and future crop expansion regions) is 4232 km2 (~6% of the study area), potentially producing 3.52 million metric tons of switchgrass biomass per year. Converting biofuel ensemble regions to switchgrass leads to potential carbon sinks (the total NEP for biofuel potential areas is 0.45 million metric tons C) and is environmentally sustainable. Results from this study improve our understanding of environmental conditions and ecosystem services of current and future cropland systems in eastern Nebraska and provide

  4. Crop diversification can contribute to disease risk control in sustainable biofuels production

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, VH; McBride, RC; Shurin, JB; Bever, JD; Crews, TE; Tilman, GD

    2015-01-01

    © The Ecological Society of America. Global demand for transportation fuels will increase rapidly during the upcoming decades, and concerns about fossil-fuel consumption have stimulated research on renewable biofuels that can be sustainably produced from biological feedstocks. However, if unchecked, pathogens and parasites are likely to infect these cultivated biofuel feedstocks, greatly reducing crop yields and potentially threatening the sustainability of renewable bioenergy production effo...

  5. Smallholder farmers’ awareness of biofuel crops in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Cheteni, Priviledge

    2016-01-01

    In this study, 157 smallholder farmers from the OR Tambo and Chris Hani district municipality in South Africa were purposively sampled to participate in a survey. The objective was to identify the factors that influence smallholder farmers’ awareness of biofuel crops. Using a binary logistic model it was found that the variables; gender, household income, membership in association; land utilisation and qualification were statistically significant in influencing farmers’ awareness of biofuel c...

  6. 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

    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...... or incorporation of crop residues. In this study we relate measured field emissions of N2O to the reduction in fossil fuel-derived CO2, which is obtained when energy crops are used for biofuel production. The analysis includes five organically managed crops (viz. maize, rye, rye-vetch, vetch and grass......-clover) and three scenarios for conversion of biomass to biofuel. The scenarios are 1) bioethanol production, 2) biogas production and 3) co-production of bioethanol and biogas, where the energy crops are first used for bioethanol fermentation and subsequently the residues from this process are utilized for biogas...

  7. Transport biofuel yields from food and lignocellulosic C{sub 4} crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reijnders, L. [IBED University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    2010-01-15

    In the near future, the lignocellulosic C{sub 4} crops Miscanthus and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) are unlikely to outcompete sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) in net energetic yearly yield of transport biofuel ha{sup -1}. This holds both for the thermochemical conversion into liquid hydrocarbons and the enzymatic conversion into ethanol. Currently, Miscanthus and switchgrass would also not seem able to outcompete corn (Zea mays) in net energetic yearly yield of liquid transport biofuel ha{sup -1}, but further development of these lignocellulosic crops may gradually lead to a different outcome. (author)

  8. 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

  9. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sesmero, Juan P

    2014-11-01

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

  11. Spatio-temporal availability of field crop residues for biofuel production in Northwest and Southwest China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Han, L.; Wang, X.; Spiertz, J.H.J.; Yang, L.; Zhou, Y.; Liu, J.; Xie, G.

    2015-01-01

    Developing bioenergy from plant feedstocks is considered an opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and secure biofuel supply. This study is an assessment of the availability of field crop residues for bioenergy feedstocks in northwest China (NWC) and southwest China (SWC). The amount of

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castellanos-Navarrete, Antonio; Jansen, Kees

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, Mark; Hartzell, Samantha; Porporato, Amilcare

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hager, Heather A; Sinasac, Sarah E; Gedalof, Ze'ev; Newman, Jonathan A

    2014-01-01

    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. Biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poitrat, E.

    2009-01-01

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

  17. 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)

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

    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)

  1. Estimating Soil and Root Parameters of Biofuel Crops using a Hydrogeophysical Inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhl, A.; Kendall, A. D.; Van Dam, R. L.; Hyndman, D. W.

    2017-12-01

    Transpiration is the dominant pathway for continental water exchange to the atmosphere, and therefore a crucial aspect of modeling water balances at many scales. The root water uptake dynamics that control transpiration are dependent on soil water availability, as well as the root distribution. However, the root distribution is determined by many factors beyond the plant species alone, including climate conditions and soil texture. Despite the significant contribution of transpiration to global water fluxes, modelling the complex critical zone processes that drive root water uptake remains a challenge. Geophysical tools such as electrical resistivity (ER), have been shown to be highly sensitive to water dynamics in the unsaturated zone. ER data can be temporally and spatially robust, covering large areas or long time periods non-invasively, which is an advantage over in-situ methods. Previous studies have shown the value of using hydrogeophysical inversions to estimate soil properties. Others have used hydrological inversions to estimate both soil properties and root distribution parameters. In this study, we combine these two approaches to create a coupled hydrogeophysical inversion that estimates root and retention curve parameters for a HYDRUS model. To test the feasibility of this new approach, we estimated daily water fluxes and root growth for several biofuel crops at a long-term ecological research site in Southwest Michigan, using monthly ER data from 2009 through 2011. Time domain reflectometry data at seven depths was used to validate modeled soil moisture estimates throughout the model period. This hydrogeophysical inversion method shows promise for improving root distribution and transpiration estimates across a wide variety of settings.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-15

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Screening boreal energy crops and crop residues for methane biofuel production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehtomaeki, A.; Rintala, J.A. [Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyvaeskylae, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 Jyvaeskylae (Finland); Viinikainen, T.A. [Department of Chemistry, University of Jyvaeskylae, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 Jyvaeskylae (Finland)

    2008-06-15

    The purpose of the study was to screen potential boreal energy crops and crop residues for their suitability in methane production and to investigate the effect of harvest time on the methane production potential of different crops. The specific methane yields of crops, determined in 100-200 d methane potential assays, varied from 0.17 to 0.49 m{sup 3} CH{sub 4} kg{sup -1} VS{sub added} (volatile solids added) and from 25 to 260 m{sup 3} CH{sub 4} t{sub ww}{sup -1} (tonnes of wet weight). Jerusalem artichoke, timothy-clover grass and reed canary grass gave the highest potential methane yields of 2900-5400 m{sup 3} CH{sub 4} ha{sup -1}, corresponding to a gross energy yield of 28-53 MWh ha{sup -1} and ca. 40,000-60,000 km ha{sup -1} in passenger car transport. The effect of harvest time on specific methane yields per VS of crops varied a lot, whereas the specific methane yields per t{sub ww} increased with most crops as the crops matured. (author)

  8. New feedstocks for biofuels. Alternative 1st generation of energy crops; Nieuwe Grondstoffen voor Biobrandstoffen. Alternatieve 1e Generatie Energiegewassen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elbersen, W. [Agrotechnology and Food Sciences Group, WUR-AFSG, Wageningen (Netherlands); Oyen, L. [Plant Resources of Tropical Africa, WUR-PROTA, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2009-08-15

    A brief overview is provided of a number of alternative crops that can supply feedstocks for 1st generation biofuels and a brief analysis is conducted of the option for renewable biofuel production. [Dutch] Er wordt een kort overzicht gegeven van een aantal alternatieve gewassen die grondstoffen voor 1e generatie biobrandstoffen kunnen leveren en wordt er een korte analyse gegeven van de mogelijkheid voor duurzame biobrandstofproductie.

  9. 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

  10. Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Biofuel Crops and Atmospheric Aerosols: Associations with Air Quality and Regional Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillai, Priya Ramachandran

    Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and primary release and secondary formation of aerosols alter the earth's radiative balance and therefore have important climatic implications. Savings in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions accomplished by replacing fossil fuels with biofuels may increase the nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Among various atmospheric trace gases, N2O, irrespective of its low atmospheric concentration, is the fourth most important gas in causing the global greenhouse effect. Major processes, those affect the concentration of atmospheric N2O, are soil microbial activities leading to nitrification and denitrification. Therefore, anthropogenic activities such as industrial emissions, and agricultural practices including application of nitrogenous fertilizers, land use changes, biomass combustion all contribute to the atmospheric N2O concentration. The emission rates of N2O related to biofuel production depend on the nitrogen (N) fertilizer uptake efficiency of biofuel crops. However, crops with less N demand, such as switchgrass may have more favorable climate impacts when compared to crops with high N demands, such as corn. Despite its wide environmental tolerance, the regional adaptability of the potential biofuel crop switch grass varies considerably. Therefore, it is important to regionally quantify the GHG emissions and crop yield in response to N-fertilization. A major objective of this study is to quantify soil emissions of N2O from switchgrass and corn fields as a function of N-fertilization. The roles of soil moisture and soil temperature on N2O fluxes were analyzed. These N2O observations may be used to parameterize the biogeochemical models to better understand the impact of different N2O emission scenarios. This study allows for improvements in climate models that focus on understanding the environmental impacts of the climate change mitigation strategy of replacing fossil fuels with biofuels. As a second major objective, the top of the

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-10-01

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

  13. 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......, further development of the production chain, and stewardship programmes to avoid potential risks are still needed if Miscanthus is to compete with fossil fuel use and be widely produced....

  14. Sugar Release and Growth of Biofuel Crops are Improved by Downregulation of Pectin Biosynthesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donohoe, Bryon S [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Sykes, Robert W [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Gjersing, Erica L [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Ziebell, Angela [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Turner, Geoffrey [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Decker, Steve [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Davis, Mark F [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Biswal, Ajaya K. [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Atmodjo, Melani A. [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Li, Mi [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Biological Sciences; Baxter, Holly L. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Tennessee; Yoo, Chang Geun [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Biological Sciences; Pu, Yunqiao [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Biological Sciences; Lee, Yi-Ching [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Noble Research Institute; Mazarei, Mitra [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Tennessee; Black, Ian M. [University of Georgia; Zhang, Ji-Yi [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Noble Research Institute; Ramanna, Hema [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Noble Research Institute; Bray, Adam L. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Georgia; King, Zachary R. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Georgia; LaFayette, Peter R. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Georgia; Pattathil, Sivakumar [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Mohanty, Sushree S. [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Ryno, David [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Yee, Kelsey [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Thompson, Olivia A. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Rodriguez Jr., Miguel [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Dumitrache, Alexandru [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Natzke, Jace [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Winkeler, Kim [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; ArborGen, Inc.; Collins, Cassandra [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; ArborGen, Inc.; Yang, Xiaohan [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Tan, Li [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Hahn, Michael G. [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Davison, Brian H. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Udvardi, Michael K. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Noble Research Institute; Mielenz, Jonathan R. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Nelson, Richard S. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Noble Research Institute; Parrott, Wayne A. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Georgia; Ragauskas, Arthur J. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Biological Sciences; University of Tennessee; Stewart Jr., C. Neal [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Tennessee; Mohnen, Debra [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    2018-02-12

    Cell walls in crops and trees have been engineered for production of biofuels and commodity chemicals, but engineered varieties often fail multi-year field trials and are not commercialized. We engineered reduced expression of a pectin biosynthesis gene (Galacturonosyltransferase 4, GAUT4) in switchgrass and poplar, and find that this improves biomass yields and sugar release from biomass processing. Both traits were maintained in a 3-year field trial of GAUT4-knockdown switchgrass, with up to sevenfold increased saccharification and ethanol production and sixfold increased biomass yield compared with control plants. We show that GAUT4 is an a-1,4-galacturonosyltransferase that synthesizes homogalacturonan (HG). Downregulation of GAUT4 reduces HG and rhamnogalacturonan II (RGII), reduces wall calcium and boron, and increases extractability of cell wall sugars. Decreased recalcitrance in biomass processing and increased growth are likely due to reduced HG and RGII cross-linking in the cell wall.

  15. MicroRNA expression analysis in the cellulosic biofuel crop switchgrass (Panicum virgatum under abiotic stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guiling Sun

    Full Text Available Switchgrass has increasingly been recognized as a dedicated biofuel crop for its broad adaptation to marginal lands and high biomass. However, little is known about the basic biology and the regulatory mechanisms of gene expression in switchgrass, particularly under stress conditions. In this study, we investigated the effect of salt and drought stress on switchgrass germination, growth and the expression of small regulatory RNAs. The results indicate that salt stress had a gradual but significant negative effect on switchgrass growth and development. The germination rate was significantly decreased from 82% for control to 36% under 1% NaCl treatment. However, drought stress had little effect on the germination rate but had a significant effect on the growth of switchgrass under the severest salinity stress. Both salt and drought stresses altered the expression pattern of miRNAs in a dose-dependent manner. However, each miRNA responded to drought stress in a different pattern. Salt and drought stress changed the expression level of miRNAs mainly from 0.9-fold up-regulation to 0.7-fold down-regulation. miRNAs were less sensitive to drought treatment than salinity treatment, as evidenced by the narrow fold change in expression levels. Although the range of change in expression level of miRNAs was similar under salt and drought stress, no miRNAs displayed significant change in expression level under all tested salt conditions. Two miRNAs, miR156 and miR162, showed significantly change in expression level under high drought stress. This suggests that miR156 and miR162 may attribute to the adaption of switchgrass to drought stress and are good candidates for improving switchgrass as a biofuel crop by transgenic technology.

  16. Barriers and Incentives to Potential Adoption of Biofuels Crops by Smallholder Farmers in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Cheteni, Priviledge; Mushunje, Abbyssinia; Taruvinga, Amon

    2014-01-01

    The main objective of this study was to identify barriers and incentives that influence the potential adoption of biofuel crops by smallholder farmers. The study utilized a semi-structured questionnaire to record responses from 129 smallholder farmers that were identified through a snowballing sampling technique. The respondents were from the Oliver Tambo and Chris Hani District Municipalities in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. A Heckman two-step model was applied to analyze the dat...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Oil crops in biofuel applications: South Africa gearing up for a bio-based economy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BB Marvey

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Large fluctuations in crude oil prices and the diminishing oil supply have left economies vulnerable to energy shortages thus placing an enormous pressure on nations around the world to seriously consider alternative renewable resources as feedstock in biofuel applications. Apart from energy security reasons, biofuels offer other advantages over their petroleum counterparts in that they contribute to the reduction in green- house gas emissions and to sustainable development. Just a few decades after discontinuing its large scale production of bioethanol for use as en- gine fuel, South Africa (SA is again on its way to resuscitating its biofuel industry. Herein an overview is presented on South Africa’s oilseed and biofuel production, biofuels industrial strategy, industry readiness, chal- lenges in switching to biofuels and the strategies to overcome potential obstacles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, Rebecca A; Ort, Donald R

    2015-06-01

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

  20. 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)

  1. 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.

  2. Oil crops in biofuel applications: South Africa gearing up for a bio-based economy

    OpenAIRE

    Marvey, B B

    2009-01-01

    Large fluctuations in crude oil prices and the diminishing oil supply have left economies vulnerable to energy shortages thus placing an enormous pressure on nations around the world to seriously consider alternative renewable resources as feedstock in biofuel applications. Apart from energy security reasons, biofuels offer other advantages over their petroleum counterparts in that they contribute to the reduction in green- house gas emissions and to sustainable development. Just a few decade...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    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

  5. 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...

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Gush, Mark B

    2005-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-12-15

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demirbas, Ayhan

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Energy performance and efficiency of two sugar crops for the biofuel supply chain. Perspectives for sustainable field management in southern Italy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garofalo, Pasquale; D'Andrea, Laura; Vonella, A. Vittorio; Rinaldi, Michele; Palumbo, A. Domenico

    2015-01-01

    Improvement of the energy balance and efficiency for reduced input of cropping systems is one of the main goals for the cultivation of energy crops. In this field study, two sugar crops for bioethanol production were cultivated under different soil tillage management (conventional; no tillage) and mineral nitrogen application (0, 75, 150 kg N ha"−"1): sweet sorghum and sugar beet. The energy performance and efficiency along the bioethanol supply chain were analysed and compared. Both of these crops showed good growth adaptation to the different soil and nitrogen management, and thus the energy return, resource and energy efficiencies were significantly improved in the low-input system. Sweet sorghum provided better responses in terms of water and nitrogen use efficiency for biomass accumulation, as well as its energy yield and net gain, compared to sugar beet, whereas sugar beet showed higher energy efficiency than sorghum. According to these data, both of these crops can be cultivated in a Mediterranean environment with low energy input, which guarantees good crop and energy performances for biofuel strategy planning. - Highlights: • Two sugar crops for the bioethanol supply chain were evaluated. • Energy performances and efficiencies were assessed under different energy input. • Sugar yield resulted not compromised by the different crop management. • The energy gain was improved with low energy input at field level. • Sweet sorghum gave the highest energy yield, sugar beet the energy efficiency.

  14. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Limits to biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johansson S.

    2013-06-01

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

  17. Limits to biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, S.

    2013-06-01

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

  18. [Research of the Bt crop biomass dynamics upon the invasion of Bt-resistant pests. A mathematical model].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusakov, A V; Medvinskiĭ, A B; Li, B -L; Gonik, M M

    2009-01-01

    The results of simulations of some consequences of the invasion of Bt-resistant pests into an agricultural ecosystem containing a Bt crop are presented. It is shown that the invasion of Bt-resistant pests leads to changes in the plant biomass dynamics, a decrease in the Bt crop production, and the deterioration of the predictability of the Bt crop production. We show that the parameter values at which the badly predictable Bt crop production takes place, occupy a minor area in the model parameter space. The size of the area depends on the insect reproduction period and the duration of the growing season.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mosnier, A.; Havlík, P.; Valin, H.; Baker, J.; Murray, B.; Feng, S.; Obersteiner, M.; McCarl, B.A.; Rose, S.K.; Schneider, U.A.

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Metagenomic Analysis of the Microbiota from the Crop of an Invasive Snail Reveals a Rich Reservoir of Novel Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Alexander M.; Cavalcante, Janaína J. V.; Cantão, Maurício E.; Thompson, Claudia E.; Flatschart, Roberto B.; Glogauer, Arnaldo; Scapin, Sandra M. N.; Sade, Youssef B.; Beltrão, Paulo J. M. S. I.; Gerber, Alexandra L.; Martins, Orlando B.; Garcia, Eloi S.; de Souza, Wanderley; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R.

    2012-01-01

    The shortage of petroleum reserves and the increase in CO2 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. PMID:23133637

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-15

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

  4. An overview of biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qureshi, I.H.; Ahmad, S.

    2007-01-01

    Biofuels for transport have received considerable attention due to rising oil prices and growing concern about greenhouse gas emissions. Biofuels namely ethanol and esters of fatty acids have the potential to displace a substantial amount of petroleum fuel in the next few decades which will help to conserve fossil fuel resources. Life cycle analyses show that biofuels release lesser amount of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. Thus biofuels are seen as a pragmatic step towards reducing carbon dioxide emission from transport sector. Biofuels are compatible with petroleum and combustion engines can easily operate with 10% ethanol and 20% biodiesel blended fuel with no modification. However higher concentrations require 'flex-fuel' engines which automatically adjust fuel injection depending upon fuel mix. Biofuels are derived from renewable biomass and can be produced from a variety of feedstocks. The only limiting factors are the availability of cropland, growth of plants and the climate. Countries with warmer climate can get about five times more biofuel crops from each acre of land than cold climate countries. Genetically modified crops and fast growing trees are being developed increase the production of energy crops. (author)

  5. Fuelling biofuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Collison, M.

    2006-01-01

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

  6. Sustainability development: Biofuels in agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Cheteni, Priviledge

    2017-01-01

    Biofuels are socially and politically accepted as a form of sustainable energy in numerous countries. However, cases of environmental degradation and land grabs have highlighted the negative effects to their adoption. Smallholder farmers are vital in the development of a biofuel industry. The study sort to assess the implications in the adoption of biofuel crops by smallholder farmers. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 129 smallholder farmers who were sampled from the Easter...

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, Daijiro

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KRISHAN MOHAN RAI

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available 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, 53 tandem duplication events involving 146 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 publicly 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.

  10. Plant Water Stress Affects Interactions Between an Invasive and a Naturalized Aphid Species on Cereal Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foote, N E; Davis, T S; Crowder, D W; Bosque-Pérez, N A; Eigenbrode, S D

    2017-06-01

    In cereal cropping systems of the Pacific Northwestern United States (PNW), climate change is projected to increase the frequency of drought during summer months, which could increase water stress for crop plants. Yet, it remains uncertain how interactions between herbivore species are affected by drought stress. Here, interactions between two cereal aphids present in PNW cereal systems, Metopolophium festucae (Theobald) subsp. cerealium (a newly invasive species) and Rhopalosiphum padi L. (a naturalized species), were tested relative to wheat water stress. When aphids were confined in leaf cages on wheat, asymmetrical facilitation occurred; per capita fecundity of R. padi was increased by 46% when M. festucae cerealium was also present, compared to when only R. padi was present. Imposed water stress did not influence this interaction. When aphids were confined on whole wheat plants, asymmetrical competition occurred; cocolonization inhibited M. festucae cerealium population growth but did not affect R. padi population growth. Under conditions of plant water stress, however, the inhibitory effect of R. padi on M. festucae cerealium was not observed. We conclude that beneficial effects of cocolonization on R. padi are due to a localized plant response to M. festucae cerealium feeding, and that cocolonization of plants is likely to suppress M. festucae cerealium populations under ample water conditions, but not when plants are water stressed. This suggests that plant responses to water stress alter the outcome of competition between herbivore species, with implications for the structure of pest communities on wheat during periods of drought. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  11. Assessing the environmental sustainability of biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazamia, Elena; Smith, Alison G

    2014-10-01

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

  12. Overview on Biofuels from a European Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponti, Luigi; Gutierrez, Andrew Paul

    2009-01-01

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

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Blanchard, R

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available stream_source_info Blanchard_2012.pdf.txt stream_content_type text/plain stream_size 8098 Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 stream_name Blanchard_2012.pdf.txt Content-Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 K-10032 [www..., conservation areas have often been proclaimed in areas with poor agricultural potential, thereby avoiding likely trade-offs with agriculture or other potential land uses. However, energy crop cultivation threatens to bring a wider range of land types...

  14. Anticipating potential biodiversity conflicts for future biofuel crops in South Africa: incorporating spatial filters with species distribution models

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Blanchard, R

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available @csir.co.za; 14 15 Keywords: Bioenergy crops, Land suitability, Biodiversity, Spatial analysis, MaxEnt, 16 Conflict, Agricultural land, Spatial filters 17 18 Primary research article 19 Page 1 of 48 GCB Bioenergy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17... habitat transformation and provides 21 an objective means of mitigating potential conflict with existing land use and biodiversity. 22 23 Page 2 of 48GCB Bioenergy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32...

  15. Biofuel seeks endorsement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongeneel, C.; Rentmeester, S.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Biorefineries for chemical and biofuel production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjerbæk Søtoft, Lene

    crops for biofuel production is research in biorefineries using a whole-crop approach with the aim of having an optimal use of all the components of the specific crop. Looking at rape as a model crop, the components can be used for i.e. bioethanol, biodiesel, biogas, biohydrogen, feed, food and plant...

  19. Biofuels, poverty, and growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arndt, Channing; Benfica, Rui; Tarp, Finn

    2010-01-01

    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...... 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...

  20. Bio-fuel barometer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2015-01-01

    After a year of doubt and decline the consumption of bio-fuel resumed a growth in 2014 in Europe: +6.1% compared to 2013, to reach 14 millions tep (Mtep) that is just below the 2012 peak. This increase was mainly due to bio-diesel. By taking into account the energy content and not the volume, the consumption of bio-diesel represented 79.7% of bio-fuel consumption in 2014, that of bio-ethanol only 19.1% and that of biogas 1%. The incorporating rate of bio-fuels in fuels used for transport were 4.6% in 2013 and 4.9% in 2014. The trend is good and the future of bio-fuel seems clearer as the European Union has set a not-so-bad limit of 7% for first generation bio-fuels in order to take into account the CASI effect. The CASI effect shows that an increase of the consumption of first generation bio-fuels (it means bio-fuels produced from food crops like rape, soy, cereals, sugar beet,...) implies in fact a global increase in greenhouse gas release that is due to a compensation phenomenon. More uncultivated lands (like forests, grasslands, bogs are turned into cultivated lands in order to compensate lands used for bio-fuel production. In most European countries the consumption of bio-diesel increased in 2014 while it was a bad year for the European industry of ethanol because ethanol prices dropped by 16 %. Oil companies are now among the most important producers of bio-diesel in Europe.

  1. Biofuels combustion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westbrook, Charles K

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  5. Biofuels worldwide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    His, St.

    2004-01-01

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

  6. Biofuels barometer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    2008-01-01

    Biofuels represent 2,6% of the energy content of all the fuels used in road transport in Europe today. Nearly half of the target of 5,75% for 2010 set by the directive on biofuels has thus been reached in four years time. To achieve 5,75%, the european union is going to have to increase its production and doubtless call even more on imports, at a moment when biofuels are found at the core of complex ecological and economic issues. This analysis provided data and reflexions on the biofuels situation in the european union: consumption, bio-diesel, bio-ethanol, producers, environmental problems, directives. (A.L.B.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ajanovic, Amela

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Biofuels and WTO Disciplines

    OpenAIRE

    Brühwiler, Claudia Franziska; Hauser, Heinz

    2008-01-01

    Given the sharp rise in crude oil prices and growing awareness of climate change, the potential of biofuels, particularly of bioethanol, has become an ubiquitous topic of public debate and has induced ambitious policy initiatives. The latter are mostly paired with protectionist measures as the examples of the European Union and the United States show, where domestic producers of energy crops are put at an advantage thanks to subsidisation, direct payments and/or favourable tax schemes.Moreove...

  10. Advancing environmental risk assessment for transgenic biofeedstock crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolt Jeffrey D

    2009-11-01

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

  11. Next generation of liquid biofuel production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Batidzirai, B.

    2012-01-01

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

  12. World Biofuels Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alfstad,T.

    2008-10-01

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

  13. Biofuels barometer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    2011-01-01

    In 2010 bio-fuel continued to gnaw away at petrol and diesel consumption in the European Union (EU). However its pace backs the assertion that bio-fuel consumption growth in EU slackened off in 2010. In the transport sector, it increased by only 1.7 Mtoe compared to 2.7 Mtoe in 2009. The final total bio-fuel consumption figure for 2010 should hover at around 13.9 Mtoe that can be broken down into 10.7 Mtoe for bio-diesel, 2.9 Mtoe for bio-ethanol and 0.3 Mtoe for others. Germany leads the pack for the consumption of bio-fuels and for the production of bio-diesel followed by France and Spain

  14. 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.

  15. Biofuels barometer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    2012-01-01

    The European Union governments no longer view the rapid increase in biofuel consumption as a priority. Between 2010 and 2011 biofuel consumption increased by only 3%, which translates into 13.6 million tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) used in 2011 compared to 13.2 million toe in 2010. In 2011 6 European countries had a biofuel consumption in transport that went further 1 million toe: Germany (2,956,746 toe), France (2,050,873 toe), Spain (1,672,710 toe), Italy (1,432,455 toe), United Kingdom (1,056,105 toe) and Poland (1,017,793 toe). The breakdown of the biofuel consumption for transport in the European Union in 2011 into types of biofuels is: bio-diesel (78%), bio-ethanol (21%), biogas (0.5%) and vegetable oil (0.5%). In 2011, 4 bio-diesel producers had a production capacity in Europe that passed beyond 900,000 tonnes: Diester Industrie International (France) with 3,000,000 tonnes, Neste Oil (Finland) with 1,180,000 tonnes, ADM bio-diesel (Germany) with 975,000 tonnes, and Infinita (Spain) with 900,000 tonnes. It seems that the European Union's attention has shifted to setting up sustainability systems to verify that the biofuel used in the various countries complies with the Renewable Energy Directive's sustainability criteria

  16. Multi-frequency electrical impedance tomography as a non-invasive tool to characterize and monitor crop root systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weigand, Maximilian; Kemna, Andreas

    2017-02-01

    A better understanding of root-soil interactions and associated processes is essential in achieving progress in crop breeding and management, prompting the need for high-resolution and non-destructive characterization methods. To date, such methods are still lacking or restricted by technical constraints, in particular the charactization and monitoring of root growth and function in the field. A promising technique in this respect is electrical impedance tomography (EIT), which utilizes low-frequency (response in alternating electric-current fields due to electrical double layers which form at cell membranes. This double layer is directly related to the electrical surface properties of the membrane, which in turn are influenced by nutrient dynamics (fluxes and concentrations on both sides of the membranes). Therefore, it can be assumed that the electrical polarization properties of roots are inherently related to ion uptake and translocation processes in the root systems. We hereby propose broadband (mHz to hundreds of Hz) multi-frequency EIT as a non-invasive methodological approach for the monitoring and physiological, i.e., functional, characterization of crop root systems. The approach combines the spatial-resolution capability of an imaging method with the diagnostic potential of electrical-impedance spectroscopy. The capability of multi-frequency EIT to characterize and monitor crop root systems was investigated in a rhizotron laboratory experiment, in which the root system of oilseed plants was monitored in a water-filled rhizotron, that is, in a nutrient-deprived environment. We found a low-frequency polarization response of the root system, which enabled the successful delineation of its spatial extension. The magnitude of the overall polarization response decreased along with the physiological decay of the root system due to the stress situation. Spectral polarization parameters, as derived from a pixel-based Debye decomposition analysis of the multi

  17. Towards Sustainable Production of Biofuels from Microalgae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans Ragnar Giselrød

    2008-07-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Employment effects of biofuels development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Danielsson, B.O.; Hektor, B.

    1992-01-01

    Effects on employment - national and regional - from an expanding market for biofuels in Sweden are estimated in this article. The fuels considered are: Peat, straw, energy crops, silviculture, forestry waste, wood waste, by-products from paper/wood industry and processed fuels from these sources. (22 refs., tabs.)

  20. Current status: biomass valorisation and biofuels in Singapore

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guermont, C.; Barbi, A.P.

    2010-05-01

    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

  1. 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...

  2. Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Biofuels feedstock development program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  5. Modifying plants for biofuel and biomaterial production.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Janssen, Rainer; Rutz, Dominik Damian

    2011-01-01

    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.

  8. Making biofuels sustainable

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gallagher, Ed

    2008-01-01

    . 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

  9. 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.

  10. Panorama 2011: Water and bio-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lorne, D.

    2011-01-01

    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)

  11. Second generation biofuels: Economics and policies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carriquiry, Miguel A.; Du Xiaodong; Timilsina, Govinda R.

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Second generation biofuels: Economics and policies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carriquiry, Miguel A., E-mail: miguelc@iastate.edu [Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University (United States); Du Xiaodong, E-mail: xdu23@wisc.edu [Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison (United States); Timilsina, Govinda R., E-mail: gtimilsina@worldbank.org [Development Research Group, The World Bank (United States)

    2011-07-15

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

  13. Health effects of biofuel exhaust

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Land availability for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Ximing; Zhang, Xiao; Wang, Dingbao

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Biofuels and biodiversity in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. O’Farrell

    2011-05-01

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

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

  16. Transgenic perennial biofuel feedstocks and strategies for bioconfinement

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Land and agronomic potential for biofuel production in Southern Africa

    OpenAIRE

    von Maltitz, Graham; van der Merwe, Marna

    2017-01-01

    The Southern African region, from a purely biophysical perspective, has huge potential for biofuel production, especially in Mozambique and Zambia. Although many of the soils are sandy and acidic, with careful management and correct fertilization, they should be highly productive. We suggest that sugarcane is the crop most easily mobilized for biofuel. A number of other crops, such as sweet sorghum, cassava, and tropical sugar beet, have good potential but will need further agronomic and proc...

  20. Biofuels securing the planet's future energy needs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demirbas, Ayhan

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Opportunity for profitable investments in cellulosic biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Babcock, Bruce A.; Marette, Stephan; Treguer, David

    2011-01-01

    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. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goh, Chun Sheng; Lee, Keat Teong

    2010-01-01

    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.

  3. Implications of the Biofuels Boom for the Global Livestock Industry: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Taheripour, Farzad; Hertel, Thomas W.; Tyner, Wallace E.

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we offer a general equilibrium analysis of the impacts of US and EU biofuel mandates for the global livestock sector. Our simulation boosts biofuel production in the US and EU from 2006 levels to mandated 2015 levels. We show that mandates will encourage crop production in both biofuel and non biofuel producing regions, while reducing livestock and livestock production in most regions of the world. The non-ruminant industry curtails its production more than other livestock indu...

  4. biofuel development in California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varaprasad Bandaru

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Biofuels are expected to play a major role in meeting California's long-term energy needs, but many factors influence the commercial viability of the various feedstock and production technology options. We developed a spatially explicit analytic framework that integrates models of plant growth, crop adoption, feedstock location, transportation logistics, economic impact, biorefinery costs and biorefinery energy use and emissions. We used this framework to assess the economic potential of hybrid poplar as a feedstock for jet fuel production in Northern California. Results suggest that the region has sufficient suitable croplands (2.3 million acres and nonarable lands (1.5 million acres for poplar cultivation to produce as much as 2.26 billion gallons of jet fuel annually. However, there are major obstacles to such large-scale production, including, on nonarable lands, low poplar yields and broad spatial distribution and, on croplands, competition with existing crops. We estimated the production cost of jet fuel to be $4.40 to $5.40 per gallon for poplar biomass grown on nonarable lands and $3.60 to $4.50 per gallon for biomass grown on irrigated cropland; the current market price is $2.12 per gallon. Improved poplar yields, use of supplementary feedstocks at the biorefinery and economic supports such as carbon credits could help to overcome these barriers.

  5. Will EU Biofuel Policies affect Global Agricultural Markets?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-04-01

    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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Jianjun; Chen, Yang; Rao, Yongheng

    2017-01-01

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

  7. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kiran, Bala; Kumar, Ritunesh; Deshmukh, Devendra

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Microalgae offer solution of wastewater treatment, CO 2 sequestration, and energy crises. • Microalgal biofuel is renewable, nontoxic and environmentally friendly option. • Integration of wastewater treatment with biofuels production has made them more cost effective. • This article details out the potential production process and benefits of microalgal biofuels. - Abstract: Excessive use of fossil fuels to satisfy our rapidly increasing energy demand has created severe environmental problems, such as air pollution, acid rain and global warming. Biofuels are a potential alternative to fossil fuels. First- and second-generation biofuels face criticism due to food security and biodiversity issues. Third-generation biofuels, based on microalgae, seem to be a plausible solution to the current energy crisis, as their oil-producing capability is many times higher than that of various oil crops. Microalgae are the fastest-growing plants and can serve as a sustainable energy source for the production of biodiesel and several other biofuels by conversion of sunlight into chemical energy. Biofuels produced from microalgae are renewable, non-toxic, biodegradable and environment friendly. Microalgae can be grown in open pond systems or closed photobioreactors. Microalgal biofuels are a potential means to keep the development of human activities in synchronization with the environment. The integration of wastewater treatment with biofuel production using microalgae has made microalgal biofuels more attractive and cost effective. A biorefinery approach can also be used to improve the economics of biofuel production, in which all components of microalgal biomass (i.e., proteins, lipids and carbohydrates) are used to produce useful products. The integration of various processes for maximum economic and environmental benefits minimizes the amount of waste produced and the pollution level. This paper presents an overview of various aspects associated with

  9. Biofuel from "humified" biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Panorama 2007: Biofuels Worldwide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prieur-Vernat, A.; His, St.

    2007-01-01

    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)

  14. Environmental and energy aspects of liquid biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Boo, W.

    1993-02-01

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

  15. Energy balance of solid biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scholz, V.; Berg, W.; Kaulfuss, P.

    1998-01-01

    The input and output of energy are two important factors used to determine the energetic and ecological usefulness of a fuel or its production technology. In this paper, a number of different methods for the production of five biofuels which can be produced in agriculture and forestry are analysed and energetic balances are presented. The results show that the energetic input is relatively low compared to the output, especially for by-products and residual substances such as cereal straw and forest pruning timber (thinning). Whenever fuel crops are cultivated, the energetic efficiency is critically determined by the quantity of nitrogen applied. Depending on the crop and technology, each gigajoule of energy input can provide 7-30 GJ or with by-products up to 50 GJ of thermally utilizable energy without any additional CO 2 pollution. (author)

  16. Sustainable Biofuel Crops Project, Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-05-28

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Next generation biofuel engineering in prokaryotes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronenberg, Luisa S.; Marcheschi, Ryan J.; Liao, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Next-generation biofuels must be compatible with current transportation infrastructure and be derived from environmentally sustainable resources that do not compete with food crops. Many bacterial species have unique properties advantageous to the production of such next-generation fuels. However, no single species possesses all characteristics necessary to make high quantities of fuels from plant waste or CO2. Species containing a subset of the desired characteristics are used as starting points for engineering organisms with all desired attributes. Metabolic engineering of model organisms has yielded high titer production of advanced fuels, including alcohols, isoprenoids and fatty acid derivatives. Technical developments now allow engineering of native fuel producers, as well as lignocellulolytic and autotrophic bacteria, for the production of biofuels. Continued research on multiple fronts is required to engineer organisms for truly sustainable and economical biofuel production. PMID:23623045

  20. Life Cycle Assessment for Biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    A presentation based on life cycle assessment (LCA) for biofuels is given. The presentation focuses on energy and biofuels, interesting environmental aspects of biofuels, and how to do a life cycle assessment with some examples related to biofuel systems. The stages of a (biofuel...

  1. Time for commercializing non-food biofuel in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Qiang

    2011-01-01

    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)

  2. Biomass, biogas and biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colonna, P.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verhagen, M.

    2007-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. The Danish Biofuel Debate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Janus

    2014-01-01

    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...

  6. Biofuels in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jumbe, Charles B.L.; Msiska, Frederick B.M.; Madjera, Michael

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-11-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-11-15

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

  10. 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.

  11. Bio-fuel production potential in Romania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laurentiu, F.; Silvian, F.; Dumitru, F.

    2006-01-01

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

  12. Forecast for biofuel trade in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hektor, B.; Vinterbaeck, J.; Toro, A.de; Nilsson, Daniel

    1993-01-01

    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

  13. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ajanovic, Amela; Haas, Reinhard

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Market prospects of biofuels are investigated up to 2030 for Brazil, the US and EU. • 1st generation biofuels are cost-effective under current tax policies. • Their potentials are restricted especially due to limited crops areas. • R and D especially for second generation biofuels has to be intensified. - Abstract: In the early 2000s high expectations existed regarding the potential contribution of biofuels to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and substitution of fossil fuels in transport. In recent years sobering judgments prevailed. The major barriers for a further expansion of biofuels are their high costs (compared to fossil fuels), moderate ecological performances, limited feedstocks for biofuel production and their competition with food production. The objective of this paper is to investigate the market prospects of biofuels up to the year 2030. It focuses on the three currently most important regions for biofuels production and use: the US, EU and Brazil which in 2010 accounted together for almost three-quarters of global biofuel supply. Our method of approach is based on a dynamic economic framework considering the major cost components of biofuels and corresponding technological learning with respect to capital costs. Moreover, for the analysis of the competitiveness of biofuels with fossil fuels also taxes are considered. The most important result is that under existing tax policies biofuels are cost-effective today and also for the next decades in the regions investigated. However, their potentials are restricted especially due to limited crops areas, and their environmental performance is currently rather modest. The major final conclusions are: (i) To reveal the real future market value of biofuels, a CO 2 based tax system should be implemented for all types of fuels providing a neutral environmental incentive for competition between all types of fossil and renewable fuels; (ii) Moreover, the research and development for

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cortes S, Simon; Chavarriaga, Paul; Lopez, Camilo

    2010-01-01

    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.

  16. A roadmap for biofuels...

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faaij, A.P.C.; Londo, H.M.

    2009-01-01

    Biofuels have been in the eye of the storm, in particular since 2008, when the food crisis was considered by many to be caused by the increased production of biofuels. Heavy criticism in public media made various governments, including the European Commission, reconsider their targets and ambitions

  17. Biofuels for sustainable transportation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neufeld, S.

    2000-05-23

    Biomass is an attractive energy source, and transportation fuels made from biomass offer a number of benefits. Developing the technology to produce and use biofuels will create transportation fuel options that can positively impact the national energy security, the economy, and the environment. Biofuels include ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, biocrude, and methane.

  18. Algal Biofuels | Bioenergy | NREL

    Science.gov (United States)

    biofuels and bioproducts, Algal Research (2016) Process Design and Economics for the Production of Algal cyanobacteria, Nature Plants (2015) Acid-catalyzed algal biomass pretreatment for integrated lipid and nitrogen, we can indefinitely maintain the genetic state of the sample for future research in biofuels

  19. Recent Inventions and Trends in Algal Biofuels Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karemore, Ankush; Nayak, Manoranjan; Sen, Ramkrishna

    2016-01-01

    In recent times, when energy crisis compounded by global warming and climate change is receiving worldwide attention, the emergence of algae, as a better feedstock for third-generation biofuels than energy crops or plants, holds great promise. As compared to conventional biofuels feedstocks, algae offer several advantages and can alone produce a significant amount of biofuels sustainably in a shorter period to fulfill the rising demand for energy. Towards commercialisation, there have been numerous efforts put for- ward for the development of algae-derived biofuel. This article reviews and summarizes the recent inventions and the current trends that are reported and captured in relevant patents pertaining to the novel methods of algae biomass cultivation and processing for biofuels and value-added products. In addition, the recent advancement in techniques and technologies for microalgal biofuel production has been highlighted. Various steps involved in the production of algal biofuels have been considered in this article. Moreover, the work that advances to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the processes for the manufacture of biofuels has been presented. Our survey was conducted in the patent databases: WIPO, Spacenet and USPTO. There are still some technological bottlenecks that could be overcome by designing advanced photobioreactor and raceway ponds, developing new and low cost technologies for biomass cultivation, harvesting, drying and extraction. Recent advancement in algae biofuels methods is directed toward developing efficient and integrated systems to produce biofuels by overcoming the current challenges. However, further research effort is required to scale-up and improve the efficiency of these methods in the upstream and downstream technologies to make the cost of biofuels competitive with petroleum fuels.

  20. Assessment of pelletized biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samson, R.; Duxbury, P.; Drisdelle, M.; Lapointe, C.

    2000-04-01

    There has been an increased interest in the development of economical and convenient renewable energy fuels, resulting from concerns about climate change and rising oil prices. An opportunity to use agricultural land as a means of producing renewable fuels in large quantities, relying on wood and agricultural residues only has come up with recent advances in biomass feedstock development and conversion technologies. Increasing carbon storage in the landscape and displacing fossil fuels in combustion applications can be accomplished by using switchgrass and short rotation willow which abate greenhouse gas emissions. The potential of switchgrass and short rotation willow, as well as other biomass residues as new feedstocks for the pellet industry is studied in this document. Higher throughput rates are facilitated by using switchgrass, which shows potential as a pelleting feedstock. In addition, crop drying requires less energy than wood. By taking into consideration energy for switchgrass production, transportation to the conversion facility, preprocessing, pelleting, and marketing, the overall energy balance of switchgrass is 14.5:1. Research on alfalfa pelleting can be applied to switchgrass, as both exhibit a similar behaviour. The length of chop, the application of high temperature steam and the use of a die with a suitable length/diameter ratio are all factors that contribute to the successful pelleting of switchgrass. Switchgrass has a similar combustion efficiency (82 to 84 per cent) to wood (84 to 86 per cent), as determined by combustion trials conducted by the Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology (CANMET) in the Dell-Point close coupled gasifier. The energy content is 96 per cent of the energy of wood pellets on a per tonne basis. Clinker formation was observed, which necessitated some adjustments of the cleaner grate settings. While stimulating rural development and export market opportunities, the high yielding closed loop biofuels show

  1. The role of biochemical engineering in the production of biofuels from microalgae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Jorge Alberto Vieira; de Morais, Michele Greque

    2011-01-01

    Environmental changes that have occurred due to the use of fossil fuels have driven the search for alternative sources that have a lower environmental impact. First-generation biofuels were derived from crops such as sugar cane, corn and soybean, which contribute to water scarcity and deforestation. Second-generation biofuels originated from lignocellulose agriculture and forest residues, however these needed large areas of land that could be used for food production. Based on technology projections, the third generation of biofuels will be derived from microalgae. Microalgae are considered to be an alternative energy source without the drawbacks of the first- and second-generation biofuels. Depending upon the growing conditions, microalgae can produce biocompounds that are easily converted into biofuels. The biofuels from microalgae are an alternative that can keep the development of human activity in harmony with the environment. This study aimed to present the main biofuels that can be derived from microalgae. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhuang Qianlai; Qin Zhangcai; Chen Min

    2013-01-01

    The productive cellulosic crops switchgrass and Miscanthus are considered as viable biofuel sources. To meet the 2022 national biofuel target mandate, actions must be taken, e.g., maize cultivation must be intensified and expanded, and other biofuel crops (switchgrass and Miscanthus) must be cultivated. This raises questions on the use efficiencies of land and water; to date, the demand on these resources to meet the national biofuel target has rarely been analyzed. Here, we present a data-model assimilation analysis, assuming that maize, switchgrass and Miscanthus will be grown on currently available croplands in the US. Model simulations suggest that maize can produce 3.0–5.4 kiloliters (kl) of ethanol for every hectare of land, depending on the feedstock to ethanol conversion efficiency; Miscanthus has more than twice the biofuel production capacity relative to maize, and switchgrass is the least productive of the three potential sources of ethanol. To meet the biofuel target, about 26.5 million hectares of land and over 90 km 3 of water (of evapotranspiration) are needed if maize grain alone is used. If Miscanthus was substituted for maize, the process would save half of the land and one third of the water. With more advanced biofuel conversion technology for Miscanthus, only nine million hectares of land and 45 km 3 of water would probably meet the national target. Miscanthus could be a good alternative biofuel crop to maize due to its significantly lower demand for land and water on a per unit of ethanol basis. (letter)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-02

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

  4. 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.

  5. Corn stover for advanced biofuels perspectives of a soil “Lorax”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop residues like corn (Zea Mays L) stover are potential feedstock for production of advanced biofuels (e.g., cellulosic ethanol). Utilization of residue like stover for biofuel feedstock may provide economic and greenhouse gas mitigation benefits; however, harvesting these materials must be done i...

  6. Bio-fuel co-products in France: perspectives and consequences for cattle food

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijnders, L.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uslu, A.; Bole, T.; Londo, M.; Pelkmans, L.; Berndes, G.; Prieler, S.; Fischer, G.; Cueste Cabal, H.

    2010-06-01

    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

  9. 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

  10. Prospects of using algae in biofuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. I. Maltsev

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The development of industry, agriculture and the transport sector is associated with the use of various energy sources. Renewable energy sources, including biofuels, are highly promising in this respect. As shown by a number of scientific studies, a promising source for biofuel production that would meet modern requirements may be algal biomass. After activation of the third generation biodiesel production it was assumed that the algae would become the most advantageous source, because it is not only able to accumulate significant amounts of lipids, but could reduce the of agricultural land involved in biofuel production and improve air quality by sequestering CO2. However, a major problem is presented by the cost of algae biomass cultivation and its processing compared to the production of biodiesel from agricultural crops. In this regard, there are several directions of increasing the efficiency of biodiesel production from algae biomass. The first direction is to increase lipid content in algae cells by means of genetic engineering. The second direction is connected with the stimulation of increased accumulation of lipids by stressing algae. The third direction involves the search for new, promising strains of algae that will be characterized by faster biomass accumulation rate, higher content of TAG and the optimal proportions of accumulated saturated and unsaturated fatty acids compared to the already known strains. Recently, a new approach in the search for biotechnologically valuable strains of algae has been formed on the basis of predictions of capacity for sufficient accumulation of lipids by clarifying the evolutionary relationships within the major taxonomic groups of algae. The outcome of these studies is the rapid cost reduction of biofuel production based on algae biomass. All this emphasizes the priority of any research aimed at both improving the process of production of biofuels from algae, and the search for new sources for

  11. 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.

  12. Biofuels for transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2004-01-01

    In the absence of strong government policies, the IEA projects that the worldwide use of oil in transport will nearly double between 2000 and 2030, leading to a similar increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Biofuels, such as ethanol, bio-diesel, and other liquid and gaseous fuels, could offer an important alternative to petroleum over this time frame and help reduce atmospheric pollution. This book looks at recent trends in biofuel production and considers what the future might hold if such alternatives were to displace petroleum in transport. The report takes a global perspective on the nascent biofuels industry, assessing regional similarities and differences as well as the cost and benefits of the various initiatives being undertaken around the world. In the short term, conventional biofuel production processes in IEA countries could help reduce oil use and thence greenhouse gas emissions, although the costs may be high. In the longer term, possibly within the next decade, advances in biofuel production and the use of new feedstocks could lead to greater, more cost-effective reductions. Countries such as Brazil are already producing relatively low-cost biofuels with substantial reductions in fossil energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. This book explores the range of options on offer and asks whether a global trade in biofuels should be more rigorously pursued

  13. The biofuels in France

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-04-01

    The biofuels are liquid renewable energies sources resulting from vegetal matters. Today are two channels of biofuels: the ethanol channel for gasoline and the vegetal oils channel for the diesel. In the first part, the document presents the different channels and the energy efficiency of the products. It shows in the second part the advantages for the environment (CO 2 accounting) and for the energy independence. It discusses then the future developments and the projects. The fourth part is devoted to the legislation, regulations, taxes and financial incentives. The last part presents the french petroleum industry actions and attitudes in the framework of the biofuels development. (A.L.B.)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Biofuels: which interest, which perspectives?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-01-01

    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

  17. Relative Greenhouse Gas Abatement Cost Competitiveness of Biofuels in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus Millinger

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Transport biofuels derived from biogenic material are used for substituting fossil fuels, thereby abating greenhouse gas (GHG emissions. Numerous competing conversion options exist to produce biofuels, with differing GHG emissions and costs. In this paper, the analysis and modeling of the long-term development of GHG abatement and relative GHG abatement cost competitiveness between crop-based biofuels in Germany are carried out. Presently dominant conventional biofuels and advanced liquid biofuels were found not to be competitive compared to the substantially higher yielding options available: sugar beet-based ethanol for the short- to medium-term least-cost option and substitute natural gas (SNG for the medium to long term. The competitiveness of SNG was found to depend highly on the emissions development of the power mix. Silage maize-based biomethane was found competitive on a land area basis, but not on an energetic basis. Due to land limitations, as well as cost and GHG uncertainty, a stronger focus on the land use of crop-based biofuels should be laid out in policy.

  18. Biofuels - 5 disturbing questions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Legalland, J.P.; Lemarchand, J.L.

    2008-01-01

    Initially considered as the supreme weapon against greenhouse gas emissions, biofuels are today hold responsible to all harms of the Earth: leap of agriculture products price, deforestation, food crisis. Considered some time ago as the perfect clean substitute to petroleum, biofuels are now suspected to have harmful effects on the environment. Should it be just an enormous technical, environmental and human swindle? Should we abandon immediately biofuels to protect the earth and fight the threatening again starvation? Should we wait for the second generation of efficient biofuels, made from non food-derived products and cultivation wastes? This book analyses this delicate debate through 5 main questions: do they starve the world? Are they a clean energy source? Do they contribute to deforestation? Are they economically practicable? Is the second generation ready? (J.S.)

  19. Market possibilities for biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hektor, B.

    1992-01-01

    The market for biofuels in Sweden after introduction of a proposed CO 2 -tax on fossil fuels is forecast. The competition between biofuels, fossil fuels and electricity is described for important market segments such as: Paper industry, Sawmills, Other energy-intensive industry, Power and heat producers, small Heat producers, and for Space heating of one-family houses. A market increase of the use of biofuels is probable for the segment small (district) heating centrals, 10 TWh in the next ten year period and even more during a longer period. Other market segments will not be much affected. An increased use of biofuels in paper and pulp industry will not influence the fuel market, since the increase will happen in the industry's normal lumber purchase. (2 figs., 18 tabs.)

  20. The biofuels, situation, perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Acket, C.

    2007-03-01

    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.)

  1. An Assessment of Thailand’s Biofuel Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pujan Shrestha

    2013-04-01

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

  2. The changing dynamics between biofuels and commodity markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bole, T.; Londo, H.M.

    2008-06-01

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

  3. Assessment of biofuels supporting policies using the BioTrans model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lensink, Sander; Londo, Marc

    2010-01-01

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

  4. REFUEL. Potential and realizable cost reduction of 2nd generation biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Londo, H.M.; Deurwaarder, E.P.; Lensink, S.M.; Junginer, H.M.; De Wit, M.

    2007-05-01

    In the REFUEL project steering possibilities for and impacts of a greater market penetration of biofuels are assessed. Several benefits are attributed to second generation biofuels, fuels made from lignocellulosic feedstock, such as higher productivity, less impacts on land use and food markets and improved greenhouse gas emission reductions. The chances of second generation biofuels entering the market autonomously are assessed and several policy measures enhancing those changes are evaluated. It shows that most second generation biofuels might become competitive in the biofuel market, if the production of biodiesel from oil crops becomes limited by land availability. Setting high biofuel targets, setting greenhouse gas emissions caps on biofuel and setting subtargets for second generation biofuels, all have a similar impact of stimulating second generation's entrance into the biofuel market. Contrary, low biofuel targets and high imports can have a discouraging impact on second generation biofuel development, and thereby on overall greenhouse gas performance. Since this paper shows preliminary results from the REFUEL study, one is advised to contact the authors before quantitatively referring to this paper

  5. 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.

  6. 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...... materials such as agricultural residual, straw and wood chips, the residual from wood industry. However, those sugar and starchy materials can be used not only to make biofuels but they are also food sources. Thus, lignocellulosic materials are interesting feed-stocls as they are inexpensive, abundantly...... 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...

  7. Biofuels, land use change and smallholder livelihoods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    of biofuel feedstock adoption by smallholders in the northwestern Cambodian province of Banteay Meanchey, a region undergoing rapid land use change following the formal end of the Khmer Rouge era in 1989 and subsequent rural resettlement. Remote sensing data combined with field interviews pointed to three...... discrete phases of land use change in this period: first, as a result of the establishment of new settlements (mainly subsistence rice production); second, via the expansion of cash crop cultivation into forested areas (mainly grown on upland fields); and third, due to the response of smallholders...... market had severe consequences for livelihoods and food security. The paper concludes with a discussion of the probable impacts of the emerging cassava market on trajectories in land use, land ownership, and land access in rural Cambodia. The case looks at biofuel adoption in the context of other land...

  8. Microbial bio-fuels: a solution to carbon emissions and energy crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Arun; Kaushal, Sumit; Saraf, Shubhini A; Singh, Jay Shankar

    2018-06-01

    Increasing energy demand, limited fossil fuel resources and climate change have prompted development of alternative sustainable and economical fuel resources such as crop-based bio-ethanol and bio-diesel. However, there is concern over use of arable land that is used for food agriculture for creation of biofuel. Thus, there is a renewed interest in the use of microbes particularly microalgae for bio-fuel production. Microbes such as micro-algae and cyanobacteria that are used for biofuel production also produce other bioactive compounds under stressed conditions. Microbial agents used for biofuel production also produce bioactive compounds with antimicrobial, antiviral, anticoagulant, antioxidant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activity. Because of importance of such high-value compounds in aquaculture and bioremediation, and the potential to reduce carbon emissions and energy security, the biofuels produced by microbial biotechnology might substitute the crop-based bio-ethanol and bio-diesel production.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Gene Flow in Genetically Engineered Perennial Grasses: Lessons for Modification of Dedicated Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic modification of dedicated bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass, will play a major role in crop improvement for a wide range of beneficial traits specific to biofuels. One obstacle that arises regarding transgenic improvement of perennials used for biofuels is the propensity of these plants t...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Bio-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2008-01-01

    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

  15. Global options for biofuels from plantations according to IMAGE simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Battjes, J.J.

    1994-07-01

    In this report the contribution of biofuels to the renewable energy supply and the transition towards it are discussed for the energy crops miscanthus, eucalyptus, poplar, wheat and sugar cane. Bio-electricity appears to be the most suitable option regarding energetic and financial aspects and in terms of avoided CO 2 emissions. The IMAGE 2.0 model is a multi-disciplinary, integrated model designed to simulate the dynamics of the global society-biosphere-climate system, and mainly used here for making more realistic estimates. Dynamic calculations are performed to the year 2100. An IMAGE 2.0-based Conventional Wisdom scenario simulates, among other things, future energy demand and supply, future food production, future land cover patterns and future greenhouse gas emissions. Two biofuel scenarios are described in this report. The first consists of growing energy crops on set asides. According to a 'Conventional Wisdom' scenario, Canada, the U.S. and Europe and to a lesser extent Latin America will experience set asides due to a declining demand in agricultural area. The second biofuel scenario consists of growing energy crops on set asides and on 10% of the agricultural area in the developing countries. Growing energy crops on all of the areas listed above leads to an energy production that consists of about 12% of the total non-renewable energy use in 2050, according to the 'Conventional Wisdom' scenario. Furthermore, the energy related CO 2 emissions are reduced with about 15% in 2050, compared to the Conventional Wisdom scenario. Financial aspects will have great influence on the success of growing energy crops. However, energy generated from biomass derived from plantations is currently more expensive than generating it from traditional fuels. Levying taxes on CO 2 emissions and giving subsidies to biofuels will reduce the cost price difference between fossil fuels and biofuels

  16. Panorama 2018 - 2017 biofuels scoreboard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boute, Anne; Lorne, Daphne

    2018-01-01

    This note presents some 2017 statistical data about biofuels: consumption, fuel substitution rate, world ethanol and bio-diesel markets, diesel substitutes, French market, R and D investments, political measures for biofuels development

  17. 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.

  18. Integrated biofuels process synthesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torres-Ortega, Carlo Edgar; Rong, Ben-Guang

    2017-01-01

    Second and third generation bioethanol and biodiesel are more environmentally friendly fuels than gasoline and petrodiesel, andmore sustainable than first generation biofuels. However, their production processes are more complex and more expensive. In this chapter, we describe a two-stage synthesis......% used for bioethanol process), and steam and electricity from combustion (54%used as electricity) in the bioethanol and biodiesel processes. In the second stage, we saved about 5% in equipment costs and 12% in utility costs for bioethanol separation. This dual synthesis methodology, consisting of a top......-level screening task followed by a down-level intensification task, proved to be an efficient methodology for integrated biofuel process synthesis. The case study illustrates and provides important insights into the optimal synthesis and intensification of biofuel production processes with the proposed synthesis...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Negash, Martha; Swinnen, Johan F.M.

    2013-01-01

    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

  20. Modeling biofuel expansion effects on land use change dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Outlook for advanced biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamelinck, Carlo N; Faaij, Andre P.C.

    2006-01-01

    To assess which biofuels have the better potential for the short-term or the longer term (2030), and what developments are necessary to improve the performance of biofuels, the production of four promising biofuels-methanol, ethanol, hydrogen, and synthetic diesel-is systematically analysed. This present paper summarises, normalises and compares earlier reported work. First, the key technologies for the production of these fuels, such as gasification, gas processing, synthesis, hydrolysis, and fermentation, and their improvement options are studied and modelled. Then, the production facility's technological and economic performance is analysed, applying variations in technology and scale. Finally, likely biofuels chains (including distribution to cars, and end-use) are compared on an equal economic basis, such as costs per kilometre driven. Production costs of these fuels range 16-22 Euro /GJ HHV now, down to 9-13 Euro /GJ HHV in future (2030). This performance assumes both certain technological developments as well as the availability of biomass at 3 Euro /GJ HHV . The feedstock costs strongly influence the resulting biofuel costs by 2-3 Euro /GJ fuel for each Euro /GJ HHV feedstock difference. In biomass producing regions such as Latin America or the former USSR, the four fuels could be produced at 7-11 Euro /GJ HHV compared to diesel and gasoline costs of 7 and 8 Euro /GJ (excluding distribution, excise and VAT; at crude oil prices of ∼35 Euro /bbl or 5.7 Euro /GJ). The uncertainties in the biofuels production costs of the four selected biofuels are 15-30%. When applied in cars, biofuels have driving costs in ICEVs of about 0.18-0.24 Euro /km now (fuel excise duty and VAT excluded) and may be about 0.18 in future. The cars' contribution to these costs is much larger than the fuels' contribution. Large-scale gasification, thorough gas cleaning, and micro-biological processes for hydrolysis and fermentation are key major fields for RD and D efforts, next to

  3. Improving EU biofuels policy?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swinbank, Alan; Daugbjerg, Carsten

    2013-01-01

    to be 'like' a compliant biofuel. A more economically rational way to reduce GHG emissions, and one that might attract greater public support, would be for the RED to reward emission reductions along the lines of the FQD. Moreover, this modification would probably make the provisions more acceptable...... 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....

  4. Washington State Biofuels Industry Development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gustafson, Richard [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)

    2017-04-09

    The funding from this research grant enabled us to design, renovate, and equip laboratories to support University of Washington biofuels research program. The research that is being done with the equipment from this grant will facilitate the establishment of a biofuels industry in the Pacific Northwest and enable the University of Washington to launch a substantial biofuels and bio-based product research program.

  5. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-28

    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, utilizing a de Wit replacement series. The trial incorporated seven ratios of sweet potato and mile-a-minute plants in 25 m(2) plots. In monoculture, the total biomass, biomass of adventitious root, leafstalk length, and leaf area of sweet potato were all higher than those of mile-a-minute, and in mixed culture the plant height, branch, leaf, stem node, adventitious root, flowering and biomass of mile-a-minute were suppressed significantly (P competition was less than interspecific competition. The competitive balance index of sweet potato demonstrated a higher competitive ability than mile-a-minute. Except pH, other soil nutrient contents of initial soil (CK) were significantly higher than those of seven treatments. The concentrations of soil organic matter, total N, total K, available N, available P, available K, exchange Ca, exchange Mg, available Mn, and available B were significantly greater (P competition of sweet potato in the mixture. Evidently sweet potato has a competitive advantage in terms of plant growth characteristics and greater absorption of soil nutrients. Thus, planting sweet potato is a promising technique for reducing infestations of mile-a-minute, providing weed management benefits and economic returns from harvest of sweet potatoes. This study also shows the potential value of replacement control methods which may apply to other crop-weed systems or invaded natural ecosystems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

    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. Biofuelled heating plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gulliksson, Hans; Wennerstaal, L.; Zethraeus, B.; Johansson, Bert-Aake

    2001-11-01

    The purpose of this report is to serve as a basis to enable establishment and operation of small and medium-sized bio-fuel plants, district heating plants and local district heating plants. Furthermore, the purpose of this report is to serve as a guideline and basis when realizing projects, from the first concept to established plant. Taking into account all the phases, from selection of heating system, fuel type, selection of technical solutions, authorization request or application to operate a plant, planning, construction and buying, inspection, performance test, take-over and control system of the plant. Another purpose of the report is to make sure that best available technology is used and to contribute to continuous development of the technology. The report deals mainly with bio-fuelled plants in the effect range 0.3 to10 MW. The term 'plant' refers to combined power and heating plants as well as 'simpler' district heating plants. The last-mentioned is also often referred to as 'local heating plant'. In this context, the term bio fuel refers to a wide range of fuel types. The term bio fuel includes processed fractions like powders, pellets, and briquettes along with unprocessed fractions, such as by-products from the forest industry; chips and bark. Bio fuels also include straw, energy crops and cereal waste products, but these have not been expressly studied in this report. The report is structured with appendixes regarding the various phases of the projects, with the purpose of serving as a helping handbook, or manual for new establishment, helping out with technical and administrative advice and environmental requirements. Plants of this size are already expanding considerably, and the need for guiding principles for design/technology and environmental requirements is great. These guiding principles should comply with the environmental legislation requirements, and must contain advice and recommendations for bio fuel plants in this effect range, also in

  9. Technology Roadmaps: Biofuels for Transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2011-07-01

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

  10. 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) an...

  11. The biofuels in debate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rigaud, Ch.

    2007-01-01

    As the development of the biofuels is increasing in the world, many voices are beginning to rise to denounce the environmental risks and the competition of the green fuels with the alimentary farming. The debate points out the problems to solve to develop a sustainable channel. (A.L.B.)

  12. Biofuel impacts on water.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. The rationality of biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horta Nogueira, Luiz Augusto; Moreira, Jose Roberto; Schuchardt, Ulf; Goldemberg, Jose

    2013-01-01

    In an editorial of a recent issue of a known academic journal, Prof. Hartmut Michel affirmed that “…the production of biofuels constitutes an extremely inefficient land use… We should not grow plants for biofuel production.”, after comparing the area occupied with plants for bioenergy production with the one required for photovoltaic cells to supply the same amount of energy for transportation. This assertion is not correct for all situations and this comparison deserves a more careful analysis, evaluating the actual and prospective technological scenarios and other relevant aspects, such as capacity requirements, energy consumed during the life cycle of energy systems and the associated impacts. In this communication this comparison is revaluated, presenting a different perspective, more favorable for the bioenergy routes. - Highlights: • Energy systems and life cycle impacts are compared under equal conditions. • The comparison is done between biofuels and photovoltaic/battery in mobility uses. • Biofuels are a valuable option when produced sustainably by efficient routes

  14. Bio-fuels barometer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    2010-01-01

    European Union bio-fuel use for transport reached 12 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) threshold during 2009. The slowdown in the growth of European consumption deepened again. Bio-fuel used in transport only grew by 18.7% between 2008 and 2009, as against 30.3% between 2007 and 2008 and 41.8% between 2006 and 2007. The bio-fuel incorporation rate in all fuels used by transport in the E.U. is unlikely to pass 4% in 2009. We can note that: -) the proportion of bio-fuel in the German fuels market has plummeted since 2007: from 7.3% in 2007 to 5.5% in 2009; -) France stays on course with an incorporation rate of 6.25% in 2009; -) In Spain the incorporation rate reached 3.4% in 2009 while it was 1.9% in 2008. The European bio-diesel industry has had another tough year. European production only rose by 16.6% in 2009 or by about 9 million tonnes which is well below the previous year-on-year growth rate recorded (35.7%). France is leading the production of bio-ethanol fuels in Europe with an output of 1250 million liters in 2009 while the total European production reached 3700 million litters and the world production 74000 million liters. (A.C.)

  15. 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

  16. The EU's Biofuel Strategy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-01-01

    The EU is supporting biofuels, with the aim of reducing greenhouse-gas emission, encouraging the decarbonisation of fuels used in transportation, diversifying energy procurement, offering new earning opportunities in rural areas, and developing long-term replacements for oil. We publish lengthy excerpts from the recent Communication, COM(2006) 34def. which describes the strategy adopted by the Commission [it

  17. Smart choices for biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Much of the strong support for biofuels in the United States is premised on the national security advantages of reducing dependence on imported oil. In late 2007, these expected payoffs played a major role in driving an extension and expansion of the...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ozdemir, Enver Doruk; Haerdtlein, Marlies; Eltrop, Ludger

    2009-01-01

    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.

  19. Environmental effect of constructed wetland as biofuel production system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dong

    2017-04-01

    Being as a renewable energy, biofuel has attracted worldwide attention. Clean biofuel production is an effective way to mitigate global climate change and energy crisis. Biofuel may offer a promising alternative to fossil fuels, but serious concerns arise about the adverse greenhouse gas consequences from using nitrogen fertilizers. Waste-nitrogen recycling is an attractive idea. Here we advocate a win-win approach to biofuel production which takes advantage of excessive nitrogen in domestic wastewater treated via constructed wetland (CW) in China. This study will carry on environmental effect analysis of CW as a biomass generation system through field surveys and controllable simulated experiments. This study intends to evaluate net energy balance, net greenhouse effect potential and ecosystem service of CW as biomass generation system, and make comparation with traditional wastewater treatment plant and other biofuel production systems. This study can provide a innovation mode in order to solve the dilemma between energy crops competed crops on production land and excessive nitrogen fertilizer of our traditional energy plant production. Data both from our experimental CWs in China and other researches on comparable CWs worldwide showed that the biomass energy yield of CWs can reach 182.3 GJ ha-1 yr-1, which was two to eight times higher than current biofuel-production systems. Energy output from CW was ˜137% greater than energy input for biofuel production. If CWs are designed with specific goal of biofuel production, biofuel production can be greatly enhanced through the optimization of N supply, hydraulic structures, and species selection in CWs. Assuming that 2.0 Tg (1 Tg = 1012 g) waste nitrogen contained in domestic wastewater is treated by CWs, biofuel production can account for 1.2% of national gasoline consumption in China. The proportion would increase to 6.7% if extra nitrogen (9.5 Tg) from industrial wastewater and agricultural runoff was included

  20. Estimating Nitrogen Load Resulting from Biofuel Mandates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alshawaf, Mohammad; Douglas, Ellen; Ricciardi, Karen

    2016-01-01

    The Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 were enacted to reduce the U.S. dependency on foreign oil by increasing the use of biofuels. The increased demand for biofuels from corn and soybeans could result in an increase of nitrogen flux if not managed properly. The objectives of this study are to estimate nitrogen flux from energy crop production and to identify the catchment areas with high nitrogen flux. The results show that biofuel production can result in an increase of nitrogen flux to the northern Gulf of Mexico from 270 to 1742 thousand metric tons. Using all cellulosic (hay) ethanol or biodiesel to meet the 2022 mandate is expected to reduce nitrogen flux; however, it requires approximately 25% more land when compared to other scenarios. Producing ethanol from switchgrass rather than hay results in three-times more nitrogen flux, but requires 43% less land. Using corn ethanol for 2022 mandates is expected to have double the nitrogen flux when compared to the EISA-specified 2022 scenario; however, it will require less land area. Shifting the U.S. energy supply from foreign oil to the Midwest cannot occur without economic and environmental impacts, which could potentially lead to more eutrophication and hypoxia. PMID:27171101

  1. 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.

  2. Competitive liquid biofuels from biomass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demirbas, Ayhan

    2011-01-01

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

  3. 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)

  4. Biofuel Feedstock Assessment For Selected Countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  5. Biofuels and the biorefinery concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, Gail

    2008-01-01

    Liquid fuels can be made by refining a range of biomass materials, including oil-rich and sugar-rich crops such as oil-seed rape and sugar beet, biomass that consists mainly of plant cell walls (second generation lignocellulosics), macro- and micro-alga, or material that would now be discarded as waste. This can include animal bi-products as well as waste wood and other resources. In the medium-term, plant cell (lignocellulosic) material is likely to be favoured as the feedstock for biorefineries because of its availability. The UK may make use of a number of these options because of its complex agricultural landscape. There are now a range of targets for biofuel use in the UK, although their environmental effects are disputed. The technology of refining these materials is well known. Possible outputs include biodiesel and bioethanol, both of which can be used as transport fuel. Other potential products include hydrogen, polymers and a wide range of value-added chemicals, making this technology important in a post-petrochemical world. Biorefineries could use cogeneration to produce electricity. The paper identifies a range of research and development priorities which must be met if this opportunity is to be exploited fully

  6. 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.

  7. The bio-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levy, R.H.

    1993-02-01

    In France, using fallow soils for energy production may be a solution to agriculture problems. Technical and economical studies of biofuels (ethanol, methanol, ethyl tributyl ether, methyl tributyl ether and methyl ester) are presented with costs of production from the raw material to the end product, characteristics of the end product, engine consumption for pure or mixed fuels, and environmental impacts. For the author, the mixed ethanol process shows no advantages in term of energy dependency (ETBE, MTBE and colza ester give better results), ethanol production uses 90% and colza ester production 53% of the calorific power of the produced biofuels. Commercial balance: damaged, fiscal receipts: reduced, new jobs creation: inferior to 10.000 and the majority outside of the agriculture sphere, environmental impacts: slight diminution of greenhouse gases, but growth of soil and water pollution, all these points are developed by the author. Observations of some contradictors are also given. (A.B.). refs. figs., tabs

  8. Biofuels made easy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, C.

    2004-01-01

    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

  9. Biofuel market and carbon modeling to analyse French biofuel policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bernard, F.; Prieur, A.

    2007-01-01

    In order to comply with European Union objectives, France has set up an ambitious biofuel plan. This plan is evaluated on the basis of two criteria: tax exemption on fossil fuels and greenhouse gases (GHG) emission savings. An economic marginal analysis and a life cycle assessment (LCA) are provided using a coupling procedure between a partial agro-industrial equilibrium model and an oil refining optimization model. Thus, we determine the minimum tax exemption needed to place on the market a targeted quantity of biofuel by deducting the biofuel long-run marginal revenue of refiners from the agro-industrial marginal cost of biofuel production. With a clear view of the refiner's economic choices, total pollutant emissions along the biofuel production chains are quantified and used to feed an LCA. The French biofuel plan is evaluated for 2008, 2010 and 2012 using prospective scenarios. Results suggest that biofuel competitiveness depends on crude oil prices and demand for petroleum products and consequently these parameters should be taken into account by authorities to modulate biofuel tax exemption. LCA results show that biofuel production and use, from 'seed to wheel', would facilitate the French Government's compliance with its 'Plan Climat' objectives by reducing up to 5% GHG emissions in the French road transport sector by 2010

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bernard, F.; Prieur, A.

    2006-10-01

    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. Bio-fuels - biohazard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Slovak, K.

    2008-01-01

    Politicians have a clear explanation for growing commodity prices. It is all the fault of speculators. It is easy to point the finger at an imaginary enemy. It is more difficult and from the point of view of a political career suicidal to admit one's mistakes. And there are reasons for remorse. According to studies prepared by the OECD and the World Bank bio-fuels are to be blame for high food prices. The bio-fuel boom that increases the demand for agro-commodities has been created by politicians offering generous subsidies. And so farming products do not end up on the table, but in the fuel tanks of cars in the form of additives. And their only efficiency is that they make food more expensive. The first relevant indication that environmentalist tendencies in global politics have resulted in shortages and food price increases can be found in a confidential report prepared by the World Bank. Parts of the report were leaked to the media last month. According to this information growing bio-fuel production has resulted in a food price increase by 75%. The theory that this development was caused by speculators and Chinese and Indian demand received a serious blow. And the OECD report definitely contradicted the excuse used by the politicians. According to the report one of the main reasons for growing food prices are generously subsidized bio-fuels. Their share of the increase of demand for agro-commodities in 2005 -2007 was 60% according to the study. (author)

  12. Biofuels - the UFIP position

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2004-01-01

    Since 2003 a directive promote the biofuels use. The industry is then using them in ETBE (Ethyl Tertio Butyl Ether) fuels and in diesel oil of vegetal oils esters EMHV. Meanwhile some of them present technical difficulties and must free themselves from fiscal incentives which make them competitive. For these reasons, the UFIP (french union of petroleum industries) do not agree their obligatory incorporation. (A.L.B.)

  13. Hawaii Algal Biofuel

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-01

    Spirulina Algea, Swine Manure , and Digested Anaerobic Sludge." Bioresource Technology 102: 8295- 8303. Viets, John W., Narasimhan Sundaram, Bal K. Kaul, and...biofuel source. Dr. Zimmerman noted that since algae decompose easily in landfills, the nutrients produced by anaerobic digestion of biomass can be...resource requirements would be pivotal to the offices of the U.S. Navy Resource entities such as OPNAV. In order for decision makers to digest the

  14. 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.

  15. Evidence for the role of an invasive weed in widespread occurrence of phytoplasmal diseases in diverse vegetable crops: implications from lineage-specific molecular markers

    Science.gov (United States)

    During the period from 2011 to 2013, several plant diseases repeatedly occurred in vegetable crops grown in Yuanmou County, Yunnan Province, China. Affected plants included cowpea, sword bean, string bean, tomato, lettuce, and water spinach. The diseased plants exhibited symptoms of witches’-broom...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wakker, A.; Egging, R.; Van Thuijl, E.; Van Tilburg, X.; Deurwaarder, E.P.; De Lange, T.J.; Berndes, G.; Hansson, J.

    2005-11-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Biofuels from microbes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Antoni, D. [Technische Univ. Muenchen, Freising-Weihenstephan (Germany). Inst. of Resource and Energy Technology; Zverlov, V.V.; Schwarz, W.H. [Technische Univ. Muenchen, Freising-Weihenstephan (Germany). Dept. of Microbiology

    2007-11-15

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

  19. 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.

  20. European biofuel policies in retrospect

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Thuijl, E.; Deurwaarder, E.P.

    2006-05-01

    Despite the benefits of the production and use of biofuels in the fields of agriculture, security of energy supply and the environment, in India and surrounding countries, the barriers to the use of biofuels are still substantial. The project ProBios (Promotion of Biofuels for Sustainable Development in South and South East Asia) aims at promoting biofuels in the view of sustainable development in the Southern and South eastern Asian countries. The first stage of this project concerns a study, which will provide a thorough review of the complicated and sector-overarching issue of biofuels in India and surrounding countries. This report describes past experiences with the policy context for a selection of EU countries, with the purpose of identifying conclusions from the European experience that may be valuable for Indian and South East Asian policy makers and other biofuels stakeholders

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debjani Deb

    2015-06-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Biofuels: from microbes to molecules

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lu, Xuefeng

    2014-01-01

    .... The production of different biofuel molecules including hydrogen, methane, ethanol, butanol, higher chain alcohols, isoprenoids and fatty acid derivatives, from genetically engineered microbes...

  4. Biofuel technology handbook. 2. ed.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rutz, Dominik; Janssen, Rainer

    2008-01-15

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusoff, Fatimah Md.; 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorel Dusmanescu

    2016-08-01

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

  11. Crop residue inventory estimates for Texas High Plains cotton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Interest in the use of cotton crop by-products for the production of bio-fuels and value-added products is increasing. Research documenting the availability of cotton crop by-products after machine harvest is needed. The objectives of this work were to document the total biomass production for moder...

  12. Options for suitable biofuel farming: Experience from Southern Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Von Maltitz, Graham P

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available sugarcane-based ethanol project that has been operational since 1982. Furthermore, sugarcane for sugar production is a well established crop in the region, with projects operational in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Biofuel... in the sugar industry where sugarcane is grown was also investigated. Data were obtained from detailed case studies undertaken previously by the author. Further data were gathered from a wide selection of Southern African sugar projects using key informant...

  13. Molecular Breeding of Advanced Microorganisms for Biofuel Production

    OpenAIRE

    Sakuragi, Hiroshi; Kuroda, Kouichi; Ueda, Mitsuyoshi

    2011-01-01

    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 bio...

  14. The price for biofuels sustainability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pacini, Henrique; Assunção, Lucas; Dam, Jinke van; Toneto, Rudinei

    2013-01-01

    The production and usage of biofuels has increased worldwide, seeking goals of energy security, low-carbon energy and rural development. As biofuels trade increased, the European Union introduced sustainability regulations in an attempt to reduce the risks associated with biofuels. Producers were then confronted with costs of sustainability certification, in order to access the EU market. Hopes were that sustainably-produced biofuels would be rewarded with higher prices in the EU. Based on a review of recent literature, interviews with traders and price data from Platts, this paper explores whether sustainability premiums emerged and if so, did they represent an attracting feature in the market for sustainable biofuels. This article finds that premiums for ethanol and biodiesel evolved differently between 2011 and 2012, but have been in general very small or inexistent, with certified fuels becoming the new norm in the market. For different reasons, there has been an apparent convergence between biofuel policies in the EU and the US. As market operators perceive a long-term trend for full certification in the biofuels market, producers in developing countries are likely to face additional challenges in terms of finance and capacity to cope with the sustainability requirements. - Highlights: • EU biofuel sustainability rules were once thought to reward compliant producers with price-premiums. • Premiums for certified biofuels, however, have been small for biodiesel and almost non-existent for ethanol. • As sustainable biofuels became the new norm, premiums disappeared almost completely in 2012. • Early stages of supply chains concentrate the highest compliance costs, affecting specially developing country producers. • Producers are now in a market where sustainable biofuels have become the new norm

  15. Biofuels in Central America

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanders, E.

    2007-08-01

    This report presents the results of an analysis of the biofuel markets in El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica and Honduras. The aim of this report is to provide insight in the current situation and the expected developments in these markets and thus to provide investors with an image of the opportunities that could be present in this sector. An attempt has been made to provide a clear overview of this sector in the countries concerned. Due to a lack of data this has not been fully accomplished in some cases. [mk] [nl

  16. 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.

  17. Byproducts for biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bondt, N.; Meeusen, M.J.G.

    2008-02-01

    This report examines the market for residues from the Dutch food and beverage industry, and the appeal of these residues for the production of bio-ethanol and biodiesel. The firstgeneration technology is readily suited to the conversion of no more than 29% of the 7.5 million tonnes of residues into biofuels. Moreover, when non-technological criteria are also taken into account virtually none of the residues are of interest for conversion into bioethanol, although vegetable and animal fats can be used to produce biodiesel. The economic consequences for sectors such as the animal-feed sector are limited [nl

  18. Investigating biofuels through network analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Curci, Ylenia; Mongeau Ospina, Christian A.

    2016-01-01

    Biofuel policies are motivated by a plethora of political concerns related to energy security, environmental damages, and support of the agricultural sector. In response to this, much scientific work has chiefly focussed on analysing the biofuel domain and on giving policy advice and recommendations. Although innovation has been acknowledged as one of the key factors in sustainable and cost-effective biofuel development, there is an urgent need to investigate technological trajectories in the biofuel sector by starting from consistent data and appropriate methodological tools. To do so, this work proposes a procedure to select patent data unequivocally related to the investigated sector, it uses co-occurrence of technological terms to compute patent similarity and highlights content and interdependencies of biofuels technological trajectories by revealing hidden topics from unstructured patent text fields. The analysis suggests that there is a breaking trend towards modern generation biofuels and that innovators seem to focus increasingly on the ability of alternative energy sources to adapt to the transport/industrial sector. - Highlights: • Innovative effort is devoted to biofuels additives and modern biofuels technologies. • A breaking trend can be observed from the second half of the last decade. • A patent network is identified via text mining techniques that extract latent topics.

  19. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doshi, Rupak; Nguyen, Tuan; Chang, Geoffrey

    2013-05-07

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

  20. Recent developments of biofuels/bioenergy sustainability certification: A global overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scarlat, Nicolae; Dallemand, Jean-Francois

    2011-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to provide a review on the latest developments on the main initiatives and approaches for the sustainability certification for biofuels and/or bioenergy. A large number of national and international initiatives lately experienced rapid development in the view of the biofuels and bioenergy targets announced in the European Union, United States and other countries worldwide. The main certification initiatives are analysed in detail, including certification schemes for crops used as feedstock for biofuels, the various initiatives in the European Union, United States and globally, to cover biofuels and/or biofuels production and use. Finally, the possible way forward for biofuel certification is discussed. Certification has the potential to influence positively direct environmental and social impact of bioenergy production. Key recommendations to ensure sustainability of biofuels/bioenergy through certification include the need of an international approach and further harmonisation, combined with additional measures for global monitoring and control. The effects of biofuels/bioenergy production on indirect land use change (ILUC) is still very uncertain; addressing the unwanted ILUC requires sustainable land use planning and adequate monitoring tools such as remote sensing, regardless of the end-use of the product. - Research highlights: → There is little harmonisation between certification initiatives. → Certification alone is probably not able to avoid certain indirect effects. → Sustainability standards should be applied globally to all agricultural commodities. → A critical issue to certification is implementation and verification. → Monitoring and control of land use changes through remote sensing are needed.

  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

    2016-02-29

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timilsina, Govinda R

    2014-01-13

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kgathi, Donald L.; Mfundisi, K.B.; Mmopelwa, G.; Mosepele, K.

    2012-01-01

    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. Biofuels. An overview. Final Report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Castro, J.F.M.

    2007-05-01

    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

  5. 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.

  6. Biofuels and environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wihersaari, M.

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of this work was to produce more information on the environmental impacts of biomass production and use. Energy consumption and environmental impacts of different biomass and fossil fuel production techniques combined with transportation and end use figures are needed for comparing different fuel alternatives to reach a maximum environmental benefits from the total energy system. The energy demand of different biomass production chains was calculated and compared. Special attention was paid to new production techniques, developed in the ongoing Finnish BIOENERGY research programme. The energy consumption and the emissions from biomass production were compared with the corresponding parametres for fossil fuels used in Finland. The use of biomass for energy purposes provides environmental benefits compared to fossile fuels. The most notable ones are very small or none net emissions of greenhouse gases and SO 2 when burning biomass. NO x emissions from the production and transportation chain form a notable part of the total NO x emissons of the bioenergy production and utilization chain, especially for large biomass plants, and therefore attention should be paid to the possibilities to lower these emissions. Biomass fuel production is not free from fossil fuels. About 2-6 per cent of the produced energy is used in the production chain. The amount of used energy rises much higher, if the biofuel is processed to be an alternative for e.g. fossil diesel fuels. The energy demand in the fossil fuel production chain is though greater than in the production chain of basic biofuels. (52 refs.)

  7. Biofuels and algae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    2011-01-01

    Bio-fuels based on micro-algae are promising, their licensing for being used in plane fuels in a mix containing 50% of fossil kerosene is expected in the coming months. In United-States research on bio-fuels has been made more important since 2006 when 2 policies were launched: 'Advanced energy initiative' and 'Twenty-in-ten', the latter aiming to develop alternative fuels. In Europe less investment has been made concerning micro-algae fuels but research programs were launched in Spain, United-Kingdom and France. In France 3 important projects were launched: SHAMASH (2006-2010) whose aim is to produce lipidic fuels from micro-algae, ALGOHUB (2008-2013) whose aim is to use micro-algae as a raw material for humane and animal food, medicine and cosmetics, SYMBIOSE (2009-2011) whose aim is the optimization of the production of methane through the anaerobic digestion of micro-algae, SALINALGUE (2010-2016) whose aim is to grow micro-algae for the production of bio-energies and bio-products. (A.C.)

  8. Biofuel impacts on world food supply: use of fossil fuel, land and water resources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pimentel, D.; Marklein, A.; Toth, M. A.; Karpoff, M.; Paul, G. S.; McCormack, R.; Kyriazis, J.; Krueger, T.

    2008-01-01

    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%. (author)

  9. 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

    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...... 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...

  10. 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

  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. 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.

  13. Bioclimatic predictions of habitat suitability for the biofuel switchgrass in North America under current and future climate scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barney, Jacob N.; DiTomaso, Joseph M.

    2010-01-01

    Dedicated biofuel crops, while providing economic and other benefits, may adversely impact biodiversity directly via land use conversion, or indirectly via creation of novel invasive species. To mitigate negative impacts bioclimatic envelope models (BEM) can be used to estimate the potential distribution and suitable habitat based on the climate and distribution in the native range. We used CLIMEX to evaluate the regions of North America suitable for agronomic production, as well as regions potentially susceptible to an invasion of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) under both current and future climate scenarios. Model results show that >8.7 million km 2 of North America has suitable to very favorable habitat, most of which occurs east of the Rocky Mountains. The non-native range of western North America is largely unsuitable to switchgrass as a crop or potential weed unless irrigation or permanent water is available. Under both the CGCM2 and HadCM3 climate models and A2 and B2 emissions scenarios, an overall increase in suitable habitat is predicted over the coming century, although the western US remains unsuitable. Our results suggest that much of North America is suitable for switchgrass cultivation, although this is likely to shift north in the coming century. Our results also agree with field collections of switchgrass outside its native range, which indicate that switchgrass is unlikely to establish unless it has access to water throughout the year (e.g., along a stream). Thus, it is the potential invasion of switchgrass into riparian habitats in the West that requires further investigation. (author)

  14. 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.

  15. Biofuel production and implications for land use, food production and environment in India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ravindranath, N.H.; Sita Lakshmi, C.; Manuvie, Ritumbra; Balachandra, P.

    2011-01-01

    There is a large interest in biofuels in India as a substitute to petroleum-based fuels, with a purpose of enhancing energy security and promoting rural development. India has announced an ambitious target of substituting 20% of fossil fuel consumption by biodiesel and bioethanol by 2017. India has announced a national biofuel policy and launched a large program to promote biofuel production, particularly on wastelands: its implications need to be studied intensively considering the fact that India is a large developing country with high population density and large rural population depending upon land for their livelihood. Another factor is that Indian economy is experiencing high growth rate, which may lead to enhanced demand for food, livestock products, timber, paper, etc., with implications for land use. Studies have shown that area under agriculture and forest has nearly stabilized over the past 2-3 decades. This paper presents an assessment of the implications of projected large-scale biofuel production on land available for food production, water, biodiversity, rural development and GHG emissions. The assessment will be largely focused on first generation biofuel crops, since the Indian program is currently dominated by these crops. Technological and policy options required for promoting sustainable biofuel production will be discussed.

  16. Biofuel production and implications for land use, food production and environment in India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ravindranath, N.H.; Sita Lakshmi, C.; Manuvie, Ritumbra [Center for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012 (India); Balachandra, P., E-mail: patilb@mgmt.iisc.ernet.in [Center for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012 (India)

    2011-10-15

    There is a large interest in biofuels in India as a substitute to petroleum-based fuels, with a purpose of enhancing energy security and promoting rural development. India has announced an ambitious target of substituting 20% of fossil fuel consumption by biodiesel and bioethanol by 2017. India has announced a national biofuel policy and launched a large program to promote biofuel production, particularly on wastelands: its implications need to be studied intensively considering the fact that India is a large developing country with high population density and large rural population depending upon land for their livelihood. Another factor is that Indian economy is experiencing high growth rate, which may lead to enhanced demand for food, livestock products, timber, paper, etc., with implications for land use. Studies have shown that area under agriculture and forest has nearly stabilized over the past 2-3 decades. This paper presents an assessment of the implications of projected large-scale biofuel production on land available for food production, water, biodiversity, rural development and GHG emissions. The assessment will be largely focused on first generation biofuel crops, since the Indian program is currently dominated by these crops. Technological and policy options required for promoting sustainable biofuel production will be discussed.

  17. Greenhouse gas emission curves for advanced biofuel supply chains

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  18. Biofuels securing the planet's future energy needs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demirbas, Ayhan [Sila Science, Univ. Mah, Mekan Sok No: 24, Trabzon (Turkey)

    2009-09-15

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

  19. Sustainability aspects of biofuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pawłowski, L.; Cel, W.; Wójcik Oliveira, K.

    2018-05-01

    Nowadays, world development depends on the energy supply. The use of fossil fuels leads to two threats: depletion of resources within a single century and climate changes caused by the emission of CO2 from fossil fuels combustion. Widespread application of renewable energy sources, in which biofuels play a major role, is proposed as a counter-measure. The paper made an attempt to evaluate to what extent biofuels meet the criteria of sustainable development. It was shown that excessive development of biofuels may threaten the sustainable development paradigms both in the aspect of: intergenerational equity, leading to an increase of food prices, as well as intergenerational equity, resulting in degradation of the environment. The paper presents the possibility of sustainable biofuels production increase.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malik, Urooj S.; Ahmed, Mahfuz; Sombilla, Mercedita A.; Cueno, Sarah L.

    2009-01-01

    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

  3. 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

  4. Growth and fecundity of fertile Miscanthus × giganteus ("PowerCane") compared to feral and ornamental Miscanthus sinensis in a common garden experiment: Implications for invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miriti, Maria N; Ibrahim, Tahir; Palik, Destiny; Bonin, Catherine; Heaton, Emily; Mutegi, Evans; Snow, Allison A

    2017-08-01

    Perennial grasses are promising candidates for bioenergy crops, but species that can escape cultivation and establish self-sustaining naturalized populations (feral) may have the potential to become invasive. Fertile Miscanthus  ×  giganteus , known as "PowerCane," is a new potential biofuel crop. Its parent species are ornamental, non-native Miscanthus species that establish feral populations and are sometimes invasive in the USA. As a first step toward assessing the potential for "PowerCane" to become invasive, we documented its growth and fecundity relative to one of its parent species ( Miscanthus sinensis ) in competition with native and invasive grasses in common garden experiments located in Columbus, Ohio and Ames, Iowa, within the targeted range of biofuel cultivation. We conducted a 2-year experiment to compare growth and reproduction among three Miscanthus biotypes-"PowerCane," ornamental M. sinensis , and feral M. sinensis -at two locations. Single Miscanthus plants were subjected to competition with a native grass ( Panicum virgatum ), a weedy grass ( Bromus inermis ), or no competition. Response variables were aboveground biomass, number of shoots, basal area, and seed set. In Iowa, all Miscanthus plants died after the first winter, which was unusually cold, so no further results are reported from the Iowa site. In Ohio, we found significant differences among biotypes in growth and fecundity, as well as significant effects of competition. Interactions between these treatments were not significant. "PowerCane" performed as well or better than ornamental or feral M. sinensis in vegetative traits, but had much lower seed production, perhaps due to pollen limitation. In general, ornamental M. sinensis performed somewhat better than feral M. sinensis . Our findings suggest that feral populations of "PowerCane" could become established adjacent to biofuel production areas. Fertile Miscanthus  ×  giganteus should be studied further to assess its

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Wit, M.; Junginger, M.; Faaij, A.; Lensink, S.M.; Londo, H.M.

    2009-10-01

    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.

  6. Effect of biofuel on environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalam, M.A; Masjuki, H.H.; Maleque, M.A.

    2001-01-01

    Biofuels are alcohols, esters, and other chemical made from cellulosic biomass such as herbaceous and woody plants, agricultural and forestry residues, and a large portion of municipal solid and industrial waste. Biofuels are renewable and mostly suitable for diesel engines due to their similar physiochemical properties as traditional diesel oil. Demand of biofuel is increasing and some European countries have started using biofuel in diesel engine. This interest has been grown in many countries mainly due to fluctuating oil prices because of diminishing availability of conventional sources and polluted environment. However, the use of biofuel for diesel engine would be more beneficial to oil importing countries by saving foreign exchange, because biofuel is domestic renewable fuels. This paper presents the evaluation results of a multi-cylinder diesel engine operated on blends of ten, twenty, thirty, forty and fifty percent of ordinary coconut oil (COCO) with ordinary diesel (OD). The test results from all the COCO blends were compared with OD. The fuels were compared based on the emissions results including, exhaust temperature, NO x , smoke, CO, HC, benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH). Carbon deposit on injector nozzles was also monitored. Exhaust emissions results showed that increasing coconut oil in blend decreases all the exhaust emissions. Carbon deposited on injector nozzles was observed where no hard carbon was found on injector tip when the engine was running on COCO blends. (Author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Impact of drought stress on growth and quality of miscanthus for biofuel production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijde, van der Tim; Huxley, Laurie M.; Hawkins, Sarah; Eben Haeser Sembiring, Eben; Farrar, Kerrie; Dolstra, Oene; Visser, Richard G.F.; Trindade, Luisa M.

    2017-01-01

    Miscanthus has a high potential as a biomass feedstock for biofuel production. Drought tolerance is an important breeding goal in miscanthus as water deficit is a common abiotic stress and crop irrigation is in most cases uneconomical. Drought may not only severely reduce biomass yields, but also

  10. Butanol biorefineries: Use of novel technologies to produce biofuel butanol from sweet sorghum bagasse (SSB)

    Science.gov (United States)

    In order to produce butanol biofuel at a competitive price, agricultural residues such as SSB should be used. This feedstock was studied as a substitute to corn to lower feedstock costs and broaden beyond a food crop. In addition, cutting edge science & technology was applied. In these studies we us...

  11. Emergence of a biofuel economy in Tanzania : local developments and global connections from an institutional perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arora, S.; Caniëls, M.C.J.; Romijn, H.A.

    2010-01-01

    Jatropha is emerging as an important biofuel crop throughout developing countries in the tropics. Initially lauded as an environmentally-benign ‘wonder crop’ suitable for arid wasteland cultivation that would avoid competition with scarce livelihood resources, it has recently begun to attract

  12. Contribution of N2O to the greenhouse gas balance of first-generation biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, D H

    2011-01-01

    This investigation examines the possible results of policy support in developed and developing economies for developing algal biodiesel through to 2040. This investigation adopts the Taiwan General Equilibrium Model-Energy for Bio-fuels (TAIGEM-EB) to predict competition among the development of algal biodiesel, bioethanol and conventional crop-based biodiesel. Analytical results show that algal biodiesel will not be the major energy source in 2040 without strong support in developed economies. In contrast, bioethanol enjoys a development advantage relative to both forms of biodiesel. Finally, algal biodiesel will almost completely replace conventional biodiesel. CO(2) reduction benefits the development of the bio-fuels industry. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2008-01-01

    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

  17. 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. %.

  18. 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.

  19. Biofuels from algae for sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demirbas, M. Fatih

    2011-01-01

    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 CO 2 , CO, H 2 , and CH 4 .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

  20. 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)

    Berndes, Goeran; Hansson, Julia; Egeskog, Andrea; Johnsson, Filip

    2010-01-01

    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 CO 2 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)

  1. Biofuels and sustainability in Africa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amigun, Bamikole; Stafford, William [Sustainable Energy Futures, Natural Resources and the Environment, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), 7599 Stellenbosch (South Africa); Musango, Josephine Kaviti [Resource Based Sustainable Development, Natural Resources and the Environment, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), 7599 Stellenbosch (South Africa)

    2011-02-15

    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

  2. Biofuels and sustainability in Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amigun, Bamikole; Stafford, William; Musango, Josephine Kaviti

    2011-01-01

    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

  3. Alternative crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreasen, L.M.; Boon, A.D.

    1992-01-01

    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.)

  4. Integrated systems optimization model for biofuel development: The influence of environmental constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Housh, M.; Ng, T.; Cai, X.

    2012-12-01

    The environmental impact is one of the major concerns of biofuel development. While many other studies have examined the impact of biofuel expansion on stream flow and water quality, this study examines the problem from the other side - will and how a biofuel production target be affected by given environmental constraints. For this purpose, an integrated model comprises of different sub-systems of biofuel refineries, transportation, agriculture, water resources and crops/ethanol market has been developed. The sub-systems are integrated into one large-scale model to guide the optimal development plan considering the interdependency between the subsystems. The optimal development plan includes biofuel refineries location and capacity, refinery operation, land allocation between biofuel and food crops, and the corresponding stream flow and nitrate load in the watershed. The watershed is modeled as a network flow, in which the nodes represent sub-watersheds and the arcs are defined as the linkage between the sub-watersheds. The runoff contribution of each sub-watershed is determined based on the land cover and the water uses in that sub-watershed. Thus, decisions of other sub-systems such as the land allocation in the land use sub-system and the water use in the refinery sub-system define the sources and the sinks of the network. Environmental policies will be addressed in the integrated model by imposing stream flow and nitrate load constraints. These constraints can be specified by location and time in the watershed to reflect the spatial and temporal variation of the regulations. Preliminary results show that imposing monthly water flow constraints and yearly nitrate load constraints will change the biofuel development plan dramatically. Sensitivity analysis is performed to examine how the environmental constraints and their spatial and the temporal distribution influence the overall biofuel development plan and the performance of each of the sub

  5. 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)

  6. PLANTS, SOURCE FOR BIOFUELS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina Ramona PECINGINĂ

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The most affordable alternative energy sources to fossil plants with hydropower are some oils that accumulate in different organs other accumulating carbohydrates with high energy value. They are known worldwide and cultivated a number of plant species entering the oilseeds, which provides significant production of edible oil (soybean, sunflower, etc. Vegetable oils or their product derived biodiesel fuels are potential diesel engines, representing an alternative to fuels. The most promising suitable for the production of oil crops "with short circuit "or biodiesel are fruits and seeds, both herbaceous and tree.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas G. Danalatos

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Technical specifications of solid biofuels are continuously improved towards the development and promotion of their market. Efforts in the Greek market are limited, mainly due to the climate particularity of the region, which hinders the growth of suitable biofuels. Taking also into account the increased oil prices and the high inputs required to grow most annual crops in Greece, cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L. is now considered the most important and promising sources for solid biofuel production in Greece in the immediate future. The reason is that cardoon is a perennial crop of Mediterranean origin, well adapted to the xerothermic conditions of southern Europe, which can be utilized particularly for solid biofuel production. This is due to its minimum production cost, as this perennial weed may perform high biomass productivity on most soils with modest or without any inputs of irrigation and agrochemicals. Within this framework, the present research work is focused on the planning and analysis of different land use scenarios involving this specific energy crop and the combustion behaviour characterization for the solid products. Such land use scenarios are based on quantitative estimates of the crop’s production potential under specific soil-climatic conditions as well as the inputs required for its realization in comparison to existing conventional crops. Concerning its decomposition behaviour, devolatilisation and char combustion tests were performed in a non-isothermal thermogravimetric analyser (TA Q600. A kinetic analysis was applied and accrued results were compared with data already available for other lignocellulosic materials. The thermogravimetric analysis showed that the decomposition process of cardoon follows the degradation of other lignocellulosic fuels, meeting high burnout rates. This research work concludes that Cynara cardunculus, under certain circumstances, can be used as a solid biofuel of acceptable quality.

  9. The second generation biofuels from the biomass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2007-01-01

    The author takes stock on the second generation biofuels in the world, the recent technologies, their advantages, the research programs and the economical and environmental impacts of the biofuels development. (A.L.B.)

  10. 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,

  11. 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. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Reducing GHG emissions in agricultural production process for production of biofuels by growing legumes and production-technical measures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gurgel, Andreas; Schiemenz, Katja

    2017-01-01

    The reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions in the supply chain for biofuels is a big challenge especially for the German and European cultivation of energy crops. The production of nitrogen fertilizers and field emissions are the main factors of GHG emissions. The amount of field emissions depends very strongly on the nitrogen effort and the intensity of tillage. The main objective is to reduce GHG emissions in field cropping systems within the biofuel production chains. An inclusion of legumes into crop rotations is particularly important because their cultivation does not require nitrogen fertilizer. Data base for the project is a complex field experiment with the biofuel crops winter rape and winter wheat. Previous crops are winter wheat, peas and lupins. ln each case tilling systems are compared with non-tilling. The first results of the field experiments are nitrogen functions depending on previous crops, sites and tilling system. Calculation models for GHG reduction models were developed on the bases of these results. By growing legumes as previous crops before wheat and rape it is possible to reduce GHG emissions from 2 to 10 g CO_2_e_q per MJ. The best reduction of GHG emissions is possible by combining legumes as previous crops with a reduced nitrogen effort.

  13. Panorama 2007: Biofuels in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prieur-Vernat, A.; His, St.

    2007-01-01

    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)

  14. 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.

  15. Biofuels, a bad thing?; Boeser Biokraftstoff?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jensen, D.; Bensmann, M.

    2008-05-15

    The discussions over biofuels are still going on. Critics claim that biofuels ruin engine components, destroy rainforests and cause high food prices and global hunger. According to this contribution, the Federal government's biofuels policy was wrong and was doomed to fail. (orig.)

  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. 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

  18. Evaluation of biofuels sustainability: can we keep biofuel appropriate and green?

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Amigun, B

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available and Industrial Research (CSIR) Pretoria, South Africa bamigun@csir.co.za Outlines • State of biofuels in Africa - Biofuels initiatives in Africa • Barriers to biofuels market penetration and policy incentives to stimulate the market. • Sustainability... are then motivated to put these ideas into practice. The end of Phase I is the political decision to invest money and other resources into biofuel research. Biofuels developmental stages in Africa…explanation © CSIR 2009 www...

  19. Biomass valorisation of Arundo donax L., Miscanthus × giganteus and Sida hermaphrodita for biofuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krička, Tajana; Matin, Ana; Bilandžija, Nikola; Jurišić, Vanja; Antonović, Alan; Voća, Neven; Grubor, Mateja

    2017-10-01

    In the context of the growing demand for biomass, which is being encouraged by the EU directives on the promotion of the use of renewable energy, recent investigations have been increasingly focused on fast-growing energy crops. The aim of this study was to investigate the energy properties of three types of agricultural energy crops: Arundo donax L., Miscanthus × giganteus and Sida hermaphrodita. This investigation looked into the content of non-combustible and combustible matter, higher and lower heating values, lignocellulose content, and biomass macro-elements. The results indicate that the energy values of these crops are comparable, while their lignocellulose content shows significant variations. Thus, Arundo donax L. can best be utilised as solid biofuel due to its highest lignin content, while Miscanthus × giganteus and Sida hermaphrodita L. can be used for both liquid and solid biofuels production. As far as Arundo donax L. is concerned, a higher ash level should be taken into consideration.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Foreign direct investment in biofuels and sustainable development: the case of jatropha in the Boeny region, Madagascar

    OpenAIRE

    Nicotra, Alberto

    2017-01-01

    The past decade has seen the rapid spread of market-based approaches to address climate change mitigation, adaptation and poverty alleviation. In the first decade of the 21st century, the enthusiasm for pursuing mitigation through green alternatives to fossil fuels contributed to a spike in global investments in biofuel crops. The tropical plant jatropha (Jatropha curcas Linn.) was promoted as the ideal ‘green’ biofuel because of its multiple qualities. It was a non-food crop that was seen to...

  3. 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

  4. Biofuel use assessments in Africa. Implications for greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation strategies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kgathi, D.L.; Zhou, P.

    1995-01-01

    The energy balances of most African countries suggest that biofuels (wood fuel, crop and wood dues, and dung) constitute the largest share of total energy consumption (up to 97% in some sub-Saharan African countries). There is, however an increasing scarcity of wood fuel (fuel wood and charcoal), the major biofuel, and a feared increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with biofuel combustion. The extent of GHG emissions is estimated from biofuel consumption levels that are in turn based on methodologies that might be inaccurate. A questionnaire, supplemented by informal interviews, are used to collect data, yielding information regarding end-uses, technologies used, scale of consumption, determinants of fuel consumption, and interfuel substitution (among other parameters). The survey revealed that cooking is the major end-use, with other common uses, such as space and water heating. Improved stoves that provide better combustion efficiency and, thus, reduce wood fuel consumption have not been widely disseminated and are associated with higher methane emissions than open fires. More than 90% of the households in Africa use open fires. Consumption is presented as per capita for households and as products and quantity of fuel in the small scale industries, commercial, and public sectors. Among the determinants for biofuel consumption are affordability, availability of the fuel, and interfuel substitutions. Flaws in estimating biofuel consumption yield large uncertainties in GHG emissions, with implications for the development of policies on energy planning and environmental protection. However, the application of scenarios can guide policy formulation. 5 tabs., 42 refs

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura German

    2011-12-01

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

  6. Biofuel use assessments in Africa: Implications for greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kgathi, D L; Zhou, P

    1995-01-01

    The energy balances of most African countries suggest that biofuels (woodfuel, crop and wood residues, and dung) constitute the largest share of total energy consumption (up to 97% in some sub-Saharan Africa countries). There is, however, an increasing scarcity of woodfuel (fuelwood and charcoal), the major biofuel, and a feared increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with biofuel combustion. The extent of GHG emissions is estimated from biofuel consumption levels that are in turn based on methodologies that might be inaccurate. A questionnaire, supplemented by informal interviews, are used to collect data, yielding information regarding end-uses, technologies used, scale of consumption, determinants of fuel consumption, and interfuel substitution (among other parameters). The survey revealed that cooking is the major end-use, with other common uses, such as space and water heating. Improved stoves that provide better combustion efficiency and, thus, reduce woodfuel consumption have not been widely disseminated and are associated with higher methane emissions than open fires. More than 90% of the households in Africa use open fires. Consumption is presented as per capita for households and as products and quantity of fuel in the small scale industries, commercial, and public sectors. Among the determinants for biofuel consumption are affordability, availability of the fuel, and interfuel substitutions. Flaws in estimating biofuel consumption yield large uncertainties in GHG emissions, with implications for the development of policies on energy planning and environmental protection. However, the application of scenarios can guide policy formulation.

  7. The economics of producing energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shapouri, H.; Duffield, J.

    1993-01-01

    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

  8. Industrial-strength ecology: trade-offs and opportunities in algal biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shurin, Jonathan B; Abbott, Rachel L; Deal, Michael S; Kwan, Garfield T; Litchman, Elena; McBride, Robert C; Mandal, Shovon; Smith, Val H

    2013-11-01

    Microalgae represent one of the most promising groups of candidate organisms for replacing fossil fuels with contemporary primary production as a renewable source of energy. Algae can produce many times more biomass per unit area than terrestrial crop plants, easing the competing demands for land with food crops and native ecosystems. However, several aspects of algal biology present unique challenges to the industrial-scale aquaculture of photosynthetic microorganisms. These include high susceptibility to invading aquatic consumers and weeds, as well as prodigious requirements for nutrients that may compete with the fertiliser demands of other crops. Most research on algal biofuel technologies approaches these problems from a cellular or genetic perspective, attempting either to engineer or select algal strains with particular traits. However, inherent functional trade-offs may limit the capacity of genetic selection or synthetic biology to simultaneously optimise multiple functional traits for biofuel productivity and resilience. We argue that a community engineering approach that manages microalgal diversity, species composition and environmental conditions may lead to more robust and productive biofuel ecosystems. We review evidence for trade-offs, challenges and opportunities in algal biofuel cultivation with a goal of guiding research towards intensifying bioenergy production using established principles of community and ecosystem ecology. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  9. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schut, Marc; Paassen, Annemarie van; Leeuwis, Cees; Bos, Sandra; Leonardo, Wilson; Lerner, Anna

    2011-01-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Estimates of US biofuels consumption, 1990

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1991-10-01

    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.

  13. Estimates of US biofuels consumption, 1990

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-10-01

    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

  14. Biofuel production by recombinant microorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, James C.; Atsumi, Shota; Cann, Anthony F.

    2017-07-04

    Provided herein are metabolically-modified microorganisms useful for producing biofuels. More specifically, provided herein are methods of producing high alcohols including isobutanol, 1-butanol, 1-propanol, 2-methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol and 2-phenylethanol from a suitable substrate.

  15. Biofuels for automobiles - an overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaub, G. [Universitaet Karlsruhe, Engler-Bunte-Institut, Karlsruhe (Germany); Vetter, A. [Thueringer Landesanstalt fuer Landwirtschaft, Dornburg (Germany)

    2008-05-15

    Due to increasing oil prices and climate change concerns, biofuels have become more important as potential alternative energy sources. It is an open question as to which types of biofuels have the best yield potentials, characteristic properties and environmental consequences for providing the largest contribution to future energy requirements. Apart from the quality aspects, the question of quantity is very important, i.e., yields of biomass raw materials from agriculture and forestry as well as the conversion efficiencies/yields of the conversion process to automotive fuels. The most widely used biofuel forms today are fatty acid methyl esters and ethanol. However, in the future it is possible that synthetic hydrocarbons and hydrogen, produced via biotechnological or chemical processes may become feasible as fuel sources. Limitations in quantity are caused by net productivities of photosynthesis, which are limited by several factors, e.g., by the supply of water, limited availability of land, and conversion losses. As a consequence, biofuels as they exist can only contribute to a limited extent to securing raw material supplies for energy requirements in the future. Efficiency improvements in processing technologies and changes in consumer behavior and attitude will also be required. (Abstract Copyright [2008], Wiley Periodicals, Inc.)

  16. Biofuels: What potential for development?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alazard-Toux, Nathalie

    2010-01-01

    The current production chain of the first generation of biofuels has quite real limits. To overcome them, efforts are being made to develop processes for converting vegetable resources of little worth into fuel. This research focuses both on these resources and on the technology and processes for turning them into fuel

  17. Cadmium in the biofuel system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aabyhammar, T.; Fahlin, M.; Holmroos, S.

    1993-12-01

    Removal of biofuel depletes the soil of important nutrients. Investigations are being made of possibilities to return most of these nutrients by spreading the ashes remaining after combustion in the forest or on field. Return of ashes implies that both beneficial and harmful substances are returned. This study has been conducted to illustrate that the return of cadmium implies the greatest risk for negative influences. The occurrence, utilization, emissions and effects of cadmium are discussed. The behaviour of cadmium in soil is discussed in detail. Flows and quantities of cadmium in Swedish society are reviewed. Flows and quantities of both total and plant available cadmium in the entire forest and arable areas of Sweden are given. A scenario for a bioenergy system of max 100 TWh is discussed. The cadmium flow in different biofuels and forest raw products, and anticipated amounts of ashes and cadmium concentrations, are calculated. Power production from biofuels is surveyed. Possibilities to clean ashes have been examined in laboratory experiments. Ashes and trace elements occurring as a result of the gasification of biofuels are reviewed. Strategies for handling ashes are discussed. Proposals on continued inputs in both the biological and technical sciences are made. 146 refs, 23 figs, 38 tabs

  18. Protecting innovation: genomics-based intellectual property for the development of feedstock for second-generation biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harfouche, Antoine; Grant, Kannan; Selig, Marcus; Tsai, Daniel; Meilan, Richard

    2010-06-01

    One of the many controversies surrounding large-scale biofuel production is the diversion of land and other resources that might otherwise be used for food crops. Recent innovations will lead to a second generation of biofuel crops that can co-exist with food crops with little or no competition. Feedstocks from these bio-energy crops will be used to produce liquid fuel from cellulose, the most abundant polymer on the planet. Cell walls of higher plants are mainly composed of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin polymers. Cellulose and hemicellulose are polysaccharides with obvious value for biofuel production. However, lignin, while vital for plant growth and development, is widely known to negatively impact conversion efficiencies. Biomass pre-treatment, which is aimed at lignin removal, is not straightforward, and presents one of the major scientific and technical challenges and expenses associated with secondgeneration biofuel production. Scientific breakthroughs associated with altering the expression of key genes in the lignin biosynthetic pathway of biomass crops is a promising path toward solving this problem, and will likely impact the feedstock patent landscape in the near future. This review summarizes some of the recent and most important issued patents and patent applications associated with lignin-modification genes and methods of developing transgenic plants with altered lignin content and composition.

  19. Four myths surrounding U.S. biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wetzstein, M.; Wetzstein, H.

    2011-01-01

    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.

  20. Biofuels Refining Engineering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lobban, Lance [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States)

    2017-03-28

    The goal of this project is the development of novel catalysts and knowledge of reaction pathways and mechanisms for conversion of biomass-based compounds to fuels that are compatible with oil-based fuels and with acceptable or superior fuel properties. The research scope included both catalysts to convert lignocellulosic biomass-based molecules (from pyrolysis) and vegetable oil-based molecules (i.e., triglycerides and fatty acid methyl esters). This project comprised five technical tasks. Each task is briefly introduced below, and major technical accomplishments summarized. Technical accomplishments were described in greater detail in the quarterly progress reports, and in even more detail in the >50 publications acknowledging this DoE project funding (list of publications and presentations included at the end of this report). The results of this research added greatly to the knowledge base necessary for upgrading of pyrolysis oil to hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals, and for conversion of vegetable oils to fungible diesel fuel. Numerous new catalysts and catalytic reaction systems were developed for upgrading particular compounds or compound families found in the biomass-based pyrolysis oils and vegetable oils. Methods to mitigate catalyst deactivation were investigated, including novel reaction/separation systems. Performance and emission characteristics of biofuels in flames and engines were measured. Importantly, the knowledge developed from this project became the basis for a subsequent collaborative proposal led by our research group, involving researchers from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Pittsburg, and the Idaho National Lab, for the DoE Carbon, Hydrogen and Separations Efficiency (CHASE) program, which was subsequently funded (one of only four projects awarded in the CHASE program). The CHASE project examined novel catalytic processes for lignocellulosic biomass conversion as well as technoeconomic analyses for process options for maximum

  1. Indirect land-use changes can overcome carbon savings from biofuels in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapola, David M.; Schaldach, Ruediger; Alcamo, Joseph; Bondeau, Alberte; Koch, Jennifer; Koelking, Christina; Priess, Joerg A.

    2010-01-01

    The planned expansion of biofuel plantations in Brazil could potentially cause both direct and indirect land-use changes (e.g., biofuel plantations replace rangelands, which replace forests). In this study, we use a spatially explicit model to project land-use changes caused by that expansion in 2020, assuming that ethanol (biodiesel) production increases by 35 (4) x 109 liter in the 2003-2020 period. Our simulations show that direct land-use changes will have a small impact on carbon emissions because most biofuel plantations would replace rangeland areas. However, indirect land-use changes, especially those pushing the rangeland frontier into the Amazonian forests, could offset the carbon savings from biofuels. Sugarcane ethanol and soybean biodiesel each contribute to nearly half of the projected indirect deforestation of 121,970 km2 by 2020, creating a carbon debt that would take about 250 years to be repaid using these biofuels instead of fossil fuels. We also tested different crops that could serve as feedstock to fulfill Brazil’s biodiesel demand and found that oil palm would cause the least land-use changes and associated carbon debt. The modeled livestock density increases by 0.09 head per hectare. But a higher increase of 0.13 head per hectare in the average livestock density throughout the country could avoid the indirect land-use changes caused by biofuels (even with soybean as the biodiesel feedstock), while still fulfilling all food and bioenergy demands. We suggest that a closer collaboration or strengthened institutional link between the biofuel and cattle-ranching sectors in the coming years is crucial for effective carbon savings from biofuels in Brazil. PMID:20142492

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Kaltschmitt

    2016-12-01

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

  3. MAFF overview - the present policy on energy crops, the effect of GATT and CAP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, Richard

    1992-01-01

    This item outlines current United Kingdom government policy on energy crops. A representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food describes the effect of current international trade agreement negotiations on policy on energy crops, particularly cereals and oilseeds. The success of biofuels is thought to depend chiefly on the prevailing fiscal climate. (UK)

  4. Genetic Modification in Dedicated Bioenergy Crops and Strategies for Gene Confinement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic modification of dedicated bioenergy crops is in its infancy; however, there are numerous advantages to the use of these tools to improve crops used for biofuels. Potential improved traits through genetic engineering (GE) include herbicide resistance, pest, drought, cold and salt tolerance, l...

  5. 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.

  6. The hard choice for alternative biofuels to diesel in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carioca, J O B; Hiluy Filho, J J; Leal, M R L V; Macambira, F S

    2009-01-01

    This paper selects biofuel scenarios to substitute diesel in Brazil based on oil reserves increase, diesel imports, CO(2) emissions, crops agronomic yields, byproducts marketing and social impacts. This hard task still considers that agricultural practices in developing countries have large social impacts. Brazil presents high consumption of diesel oil in transport; low agronomic yield of traditional vegetable oil crops, which demand large cultivation areas contrasting with microalgae and palm oils which present high productivity. Concerning technologies, thermal cracking and transesterification of vegetable oils present a difficult economic situation related to vegetable oils price, food competition and glycerin market; BTL technology, meaning thermal gasification of biomass to liquids, faces problems related to low density of biomaterials and low viscosity of synthetic biodiesel produced. Biorefinery algal integrated systems and co-solvent technology to introduce up to 8% of ethanol into diesel seem to be feasible routes to reduce diesel consumption.

  7. Woody biomass from short rotation energy crops. Chapter 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.S., Jr. Zalesny Jr.; M.W. Cunningham; R.B. Hall; J. Mirck; D.L. Rockwood; J.A. Stanturf; T.A. Volk

    2011-01-01

    Short rotation woody crops (SRWCs) are ideal for woody biomass production and management systems because they are renewable energy feedstocks for biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts that can be strategically placed in the landscape to conserve soil and water, recycle nutrients, and sequester carbon. This chapter is a synthesis of the regional implications of producing...

  8. 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.)

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Total employment effect of biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stridsberg, S.

    1998-08-01

    The study examined the total employment effect of both direct production of biofuel and energy conversion to heat and electricity, as well as the indirect employment effect arising from investments and other activities in conjunction with the production organization. A secondary effect depending on the increased capital flow is also included in the final result. The scenarios are based on two periods, 1993-2005 and 2005-2020. In the present study, the different fuels and the different applications have been analyzed individually with regard to direct and indirect employment within each separate sector. The greatest employment effect in the production chain is shown for logging residues with 290 full-time jobs/TWh, whereas other biofuels range between 80 and 280 full-time jobs/TWh. In the processing chain, the corresponding range is 200-300 full-time jobs per each additional TWh. Additionally and finally, there are secondary effects that give a total of 650 full-time jobs/TWh. Together with the predicted increase, this suggests that unprocessed fuel will provide an additional 16 000 annual full-time jobs, and that fuel processing will contribute with a further 5 000 full-time jobs. The energy production from the fuels will provide an additional 13 000 full-time jobs. The total figure of 34 000 annual full-time jobs must then be reduced by about 4000 on account of lost jobs, mainly in the oil sector and to some extent in imports of biofuel. In addition, the anticipated increase in capital turnover that occurs within the biofuel sector, will increase full-time jobs up to year 2020. Finally, a discussion is given of the accomplishment of the programmes anticipated by the scenario, where it is noted that processing of biofuel to wafers, pellets or powder places major demands on access to raw material of good quality and that agrarian fuels must be given priority if they are to enter the system sufficiently fast. Straw is already a resource but is still not accepted by

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-11-15

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

  16. Learning from our mistakes: minimizing problems with invasive biofuel plants

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Richardson, DM

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available -legume service trees (e.g., Cecropia spp.); 168  Fast-growing timber trees (e.g., Eucalyptus spp., Casuarina spp.); 169  High-value timber trees (e.g., Cedrela odorata, Cordia alliodora); 170  Fruit trees (e.g., Citrus spp., Psidium guajava). 171 172...

  17. Toward nitrogen neutral biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huo, Yi-Xin; Wernick, David G; Liao, James C

    2012-06-01

    Environmental concerns and an increasing global energy demand have spurred scientific research and political action to deliver large-scale production of liquid biofuels. Current biofuel processes and developing approaches have focused on closing the carbon cycle by biological fixation of atmospheric carbon dioxide and conversion of biomass to fuels. To date, these processes have relied on fertilizer produced by the energy-intensive Haber-Bosch process, and have not addressed the global nitrogen cycle and its environmental implications. Recent developments to convert protein to fuel and ammonia may begin to address these problems. In this scheme, recycling ammonia to either plant or algal feedstocks reduces the demand for synthetic fertilizer supplementation. Further development of this technology will realize its advantages of high carbon fixation rates, inexpensive and simple feedstock processing, in addition to reduced fertilizer requirements. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Algal biofuels: challenges and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leite, Gustavo B; Abdelaziz, Ahmed E M; Hallenbeck, Patrick C

    2013-10-01

    Biodiesel production using microalgae is attractive in a number of respects. Here a number of pros and cons to using microalgae for biofuels production are reviewed. Algal cultivation can be carried out using non-arable land and non-potable water with simple nutrient supply. In addition, algal biomass productivities are much higher than those of vascular plants and the extractable content of lipids that can be usefully converted to biodiesel, triacylglycerols (TAGs) can be much higher than that of the oil seeds now used for first generation biodiesel. On the other hand, practical, cost-effective production of biofuels from microalgae requires that a number of obstacles be overcome. These include the development of low-cost, effective growth systems, efficient and energy saving harvesting techniques, and methods for oil extraction and conversion that are environmentally benign and cost-effective. Promising recent advances in these areas are highlighted. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Trade-offs between Biofuels Energy Production, Land Use and Water Use in Florida

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fidler, Michal [Intelligentsia International Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States); Capece, John [Intelligentsia International Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States); Hanlon, Edward [Univ. of Florida, Immokalee, FL (United States); Alsharif, Kamal [Univ. of South Florida, Tampa, FL (United States)

    2014-02-11

    Objective of the presentation is to document land use and water use implications of biomass production to demonstrate the overall resources implications associated with bioethanol production for Florida’s transportation sector needs. Rationale for using biofuels (BF) is explained, so are advantages & challenges of BF production and use. Land use changes (LUC) in Florida are presented and consequences outlined. It is documented that Florida’s agricultural land is a very limited resource, with only 0.43 ac/person comparing to the global average of 1.71 ac/person. The direct relation of increased biofuels production causing increased water use is explained. Favorable climate, water resources, advanced research, traditional leading agricultural role, minor oil reserves, no refineries and increasing energy demands are the main reasons why Florida considers pursuing BF production in large scale. Eight various bioethanol crops produced in Florida were considered in this study (Miscanthus, Switchgrass, Sweet Sorghum, Corn, Elephantgrass, Sugarcane, Energycane, Eucalyptus). Biomass yield and bioethanol yield of these crops are documented. Bioethanol needs of Florida are estimated and related land requirements for the needed bioethanol production calculated. Projections for various bioethanol blends (E15 to E85) are then presented. Finally, water demand for biofuels production is quantified. It is concluded that land use requirement for production of all ethanol in E85 fuel blend in Florida is roughly the same as the total available ag land in Florida for the best yielding biofuels crops (energycane, eucalyptus). Water demand for production of all ethanol needed for E100 would increase current overall water consumption in Florida between 65% and 100% for the most common biofuels crops. Vehicular energy is only 33% of Floridians energy consumption, so even all Florida’s agricultural land was given up for biofuels, it would still produce only 33% of Florida’s total

  2. How policies affect international biofuel price linkages

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rajcaniova, Miroslava; Drabik, Dusan; Ciaian, Pavel

    2013-01-01

    We estimate the role of biofuel policies in determining which country is the price leader in world biofuel markets using a cointegration analysis and a Vector Error Correction (VEC) model. Weekly prices are analyzed for the EU, US, and Brazilian ethanol and biodiesel markets in the 2002–2010 and 2005–2010 time periods, respectively. The US blender's tax credit and Brazil's consumer tax exemption are found to play a role in determining the ethanol prices in other countries. For biodiesel, our results demonstrate that EU policies – the consumer tax exemption and blending target – tend to determine the world biodiesel price. - Highlights: • We estimate the role of biofuel policies in determining biofuel prices. • We use a cointegration analysis and the Vector Error Correction (VEC) model. • The biofuel policies in US and Brazil determine the world ethanol prices. • EU biofuel policies tend to form the world biodiesel price

  3. Frames in the Ethiopian Debate on Biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigitte Portner

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Biofuel production, while highly contested, is supported by a number of policies worldwide. Ethiopia was among the first sub-Saharan countries to devise a biofuel policy strategy to guide the associated demand toward sustainable development. In this paper, I discuss Ethiopia’s biofuel policy from an interpretative research position using a frames approach and argue that useful insights can be obtained by paying more attention to national contexts and values represented in the debates on whether biofuel production can or will contribute to sustainable development. To this end, I was able to distinguish three major frames used in the Ethiopian debate on biofuels: an environmental rehabilitation frame, a green revolution frame and a legitimacy frame. The article concludes that actors advocating for frames related to social and human issues have difficulties entering the debate and forming alliances, and that those voices need to be included in order for Ethiopia to develop a sustainable biofuel sector.

  4. Promoting biofuels: Implications for developing countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peters, Joerg; Thielmann, Sascha

    2008-01-01

    Interest in biofuels is growing worldwide as concerns about the security of energy supply and climate change are moving into the focus of policy makers. With the exception of bioethanol from Brazil, however, production costs of biofuels are typically much higher than those of fossil fuels. As a result, promotion measures such as tax exemptions or blending quotas are indispensable for ascertaining substantial biofuel demand. With particular focus on developing countries, this paper discusses the economic justification of biofuel promotion instruments and investigates their implications. Based on data from India and Tanzania, we find that substantial biofuel usage induces significant financial costs. Furthermore, acreage availability is a binding natural limitation that could also lead to conflicts with food production. Yet, if carefully implemented under the appropriate conditions, biofuel programs might present opportunities for certain developing countries

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    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-, NO-3 , 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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-, NO-3 , and 20 metals from 10 cooking fires, four garbage fires, three brick making kilns, three charcoal making kilns, and two crop residue fires. Biofuel use has been estimated at over 2600...

  9. 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.

  10. Oil price, biofuels and food supply

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Timilsina, Govinda R.; Mevel, Simon; Shrestha, Ashish

    2011-01-01

    The price of oil could play a significant role in influencing the expansion of biofuels, but this issue has yet to be fully investigated in the literature. Using a global computable general equilibrium (CGE) model, this study analyzes the impact of oil price on biofuel expansion, and subsequently, on food supply. The study shows that a 65% increase in oil price in 2020 from the 2009 level would increase the global biofuel penetration to 5.4% in 2020 from 2.4% in 2009. If oil prices rise 150% from their 2009 levels by 2020, the resulting penetration of biofuels would be 9%, which is higher than that would be caused by current mandates and targets introduced in more than forty countries around the world. The study also shows that aggregate agricultural output drops due to an oil price increase, but the drop is small in major biofuel producing countries as the expansion of biofuels would partially offset the negative impacts of the oil price increase on agricultural outputs. An increase in oil price would reduce global food supply through direct impacts as well as through the diversion of food commodities and cropland towards the production of biofuels. - Highlights: ► A global CGE model to analyze impacts of oil price on biofuels and food supply. ► Global biofuel penetration increases from 2.4% (2009) to 5.4% (2020) in baseline. ► A 150% rise of oil price boosts biofuels more than current mandates and targets do. ► Biofuels partially offset drops in agricultural outputs caused by oil price rise. ► Biofuels as well as oil price rise negatively affect global food supply.

  11. Biofuels in Italy: obstacles and development opportunities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pignatelli, Vito; Clementi, Chiara

    2006-01-01

    Today biofuels are the sole realistically practical way to reduce CO 2 emissions in the transportation sector. In many countries, including Italy, biofuel production and use are already a reality corresponding to a large agro-industrial production system that uses essentially mature technologies. To significantly lower production costs and optimise land use, Italy needs to develop new, second-generation biofuel production operations that can offer significant opportunities to the nation's agro-industrial sector [it

  12. DLA Energy Biofuel Feedstock Metrics Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-11

    moderately/highly in- vasive  Metric 2: Genetically modified organism ( GMO ) hazard, Yes/No and Hazard Category  Metric 3: Species hybridization...4– biofuel distribution Stage # 5– biofuel use Metric 1: State inva- siveness ranking Yes Minimal Minimal No No Metric 2: GMO hazard Yes...may utilize GMO microbial or microalgae species across the applicable biofuel life cycles (stages 1–3). The following consequence Metrics 4–6 then

  13. The water-energy-food nexus of biofuels in a globalized world

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Odorico, P.; Rulli, M. C.

    2016-12-01

    New renewable energy policies, investment opportunities, and energy security needs, have recently led to an escalation in the reliance on first generation biofuels. This phenomenon is contributing to changes in land use, market dynamics, property rights, and systems of agricultural production, with important impacts on rural livelihoods. Despite these effects of biofuels on food security, their nexus with land and water use remains poorly understood. We investigate recent production trends of bioenergy crops, their patterns of trade, and evaluate the associated displacement of water and land use. We find that bioethanol is produced with domestic crops while biodiesel production relies also on international trade and large scale land acquisitions in the developing world, particularly in Southeast Asia. Altogether, biofuels account for about 2-3% of the global water and land use in agriculture, and 30% of the food required to eradicate malnourishment worldwide. We evaluate the food-energy tradeoffs of biofuels and their impact of the number of people the plant can feed.

  14. Strategic niche management for biofuels : analysing past experiments for developing new biofuels policy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laak, W.W.M.; Raven, R.P.J.M.; Verbong, G.P.J.

    2007-01-01

    Biofuels have gained a lot of attention since the implementation of the 2003 European Directive on biofuels. In the Netherlands the contribution of biofuels is still very limited despite several experiments in the past. This article aims to contribute to the development of successful policies for

  15. The GHG balance of biofuels taking into account land use change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lange, Mareike

    2011-01-01

    The contribution of biofuels to the saving of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has recently been questioned because of emissions resulting from land use change (LUC) for bioenergy feedstock production. We investigate how the inclusion of the carbon effect of LUC into the carbon accounting framework, as scheduled by the European Commission, impacts on land use choices for an expanding biofuel feedstock production. We first illustrate the change in the carbon balances of various biofuels, using methodology and data from the IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. It becomes apparent that the conversion of natural land, apart from grassy savannahs, impedes meeting the EU's 35% minimum emissions reduction target for biofuels. We show that the current accounting method mainly promotes biofuel feedstock production on former cropland, thus increasing the competition between food and fuel production on the currently available cropland area. We further discuss whether it is profitable to use degraded land for commercial bioenergy production as requested by the European Commission to avoid undesirable LUC and conclude that the current regulation provides little incentive to use such land. The exclusive consideration of LUC for bioenergy production minimizes direct LUC at the expense of increasing indirect LUC. - Research highlights: → We analyzed the EC's current sustainability regulations for biofuels with respect to land use change (LUC). → The current regulatory system taking LUCs into account minimizes direct LUC at the cost of increasing indirect LUC. → We propose subjecting all agricultural activities to a carbon accounting system. → In the short run, the indirect LUC risk can be reduced by promoting high energy productive crops and biofuel feedstock production on degraded land.

  16. Examining the potential for liquid biofuels production and usage in Ghana

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Afrane, George

    2012-01-01

    The perennial political and social upheavals in major oil-producing regions, the increasing energy demand from emerging economies, the global economic crisis and even environmental disasters, like the recent major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, all contribute to price fluctuations and escalations. Usually price instability affects the least-developed countries with the most fragile economies, like Ghana, the most. This paper gives a brief overview of the Ghanaian energy situation, describes the liquid biofuel production processes and examines the possibility of replacing some of the fossil fuels consumed annually, with locally produced renewable biofuels. Various scenarios for substituting different portions of petrol and diesel with biofuels derived from cassava and palm oil are examined. Based on 2009 crop production and fuel consumption data, replacement of 5% of both petrol and diesel with biofuels would require 1.96% and 17.3% of the cassava and palm oil produced in that year, respectively; while replacement of 10% of both fossil fuels would need 3.91% and 34.6% of the corresponding biofuels. Thus while petrol replacement could be initiated with little difficulty, regarding raw material availability, biodiesel would require enhanced palm oil production and/or oil supplement from other sources, including, potentially, jatropha. An implementation strategy is proposed.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-06

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

  18. 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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Biofuel's energetic paradigm and its implications: A global overview and the Colombian case

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castiblanco Rozo, Carmenza; Hortua Romero, Sonia

    2012-01-01

    In the last decade biofuels have become a feasible answer given the global need for alternative energy sources. Its increasing demand has been reflected in the expansion of raw materials' crops, with implications in several topics: land use change, ecosystem services relating hydric resources, Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG), food security and land property. The objective of this article is a critical analysis of these issues based on a revision of international literature, but also approaching the Colombian case, particularly African oil palm expansion and its social implications. The main results point out that crop expansion will occur in tropical countries. This generates negative impacts that contribute to conflicts around water and land accessibility in regions characterized by their high social and ecosystem vulnerability. Additionally, it is necessary to improve information systems and to refine methodologies and models that allow an adequate evaluation of biofuel production impacts on human well being.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-08-11

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

  4. Benefits of seasonal forecasts of crop yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurai, G.; Okada, M.; Nishimori, M.; Yokozawa, M.

    2017-12-01

    Major factors behind recent fluctuations in food prices include increased biofuel production and oil price fluctuations. In addition, several extreme climate events that reduced worldwide food production coincided with upward spikes in food prices. The stabilization of crop yields is one of the most important tasks to stabilize food prices and thereby enhance food security. Recent development of technologies related to crop modeling and seasonal weather forecasting has made it possible to forecast future crop yields for maize and soybean. However, the effective use of these technologies remains limited. Here we present the potential benefits of seasonal crop-yield forecasts on a global scale for choice of planting day. For this purpose, we used a model (PRYSBI-2) that can well replicate past crop yields both for maize and soybean. This model system uses a Bayesian statistical approach to estimate the parameters of a basic process-based model of crop growth. The spatial variability of model parameters was considered by estimating the posterior distribution of the parameters from historical yield data by using the Markov-chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method with a resolution of 1.125° × 1.125°. The posterior distributions of model parameters were estimated for each spatial grid with 30 000 MCMC steps of 10 chains each. By using this model and the estimated parameter distributions, we were able to estimate not only crop yield but also levels of associated uncertainty. We found that the global average crop yield increased about 30% as the result of the optimal selection of planting day and that the seasonal forecast of crop yield had a large benefit in and near the eastern part of Brazil and India for maize and the northern area of China for soybean. In these countries, the effects of El Niño and Indian Ocean dipole are large. The results highlight the importance of developing a system to forecast global crop yields.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-07-01

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

  6. Strategic niche management for biofuels: Analysing past experiments for developing new biofuel policies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laak, W.W.M. van der; Raven, R.P.J.M.; Verbong, G.P.J.

    2007-01-01

    Biofuels have gained a lot of attention since the implementation of the 2003 European Directive on biofuels. In the Netherlands the contribution of biofuels is still very limited despite several experiments in the past. This article aims to contribute to the development of successful policies for stimulating biofuels by analysing three experiments in depth. The approach of strategic niche management (SNM) is used to explain success and failure of these projects. Based on the analysis as well as recent innovation literature we develop a list of guidelines that is important to consider when developing biofuel policies

  7. 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.

  8. Producing biofuels using polyketide synthases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Leonard; Fortman, Jeffrey L; Keasling, Jay D

    2013-04-16

    The present invention provides for a non-naturally occurring polyketide synthase (PKS) capable of synthesizing a carboxylic acid or a lactone, and a composition such that a carboxylic acid or lactone is included. The carboxylic acid or lactone, or derivative thereof, is useful as a biofuel. The present invention also provides for a recombinant nucleic acid or vector that encodes such a PKS, and host cells which also have such a recombinant nucleic acid or vector. The present invention also provides for a method of producing such carboxylic acids or lactones using such a PKS.

  9. 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.

  10. Zinc-Laccase Biofuel Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdul Aziz Ahmad

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available A zinc-laccase biofuel cell adapting the zinc-air cell design features is investigated. A simple cell design configuration is employed: a membraneless single chamber and a freely suspended laccase in a quasi-neutral buffer electrolyte. The cell is characterised according to its open-circuit voltage, polarization profile, power density plot and discharge capacity at constant current. The biocatalytic role of laccase is evident from the polarization profile and power output plot. Performance comparison between a single chamber and dual chamber cell design is also presented. The biofuel cell possessed an open-circuit voltage of 1.2 V and delivered a maximum power density of 0.9 mW/cm2 at current density of 2.5 mA/cm2. These characteristics are comparable to biofuel cell utilising a much more complex system design.KEY WORDS (keyword:  Biofuel cell, Bioelectrochemical cell, Zinc anode, Laccase and Oxidoreductase.ABSTRAK: Sel bio-bahan api zink-laccase dengan adaptasi daripada ciri-ciri rekabentuk sel zink-udara telah dikaji. Sel dengan konfigurasi rekabentuk yang mudah digunapakai: ruangan tunggal tanpa membran dan laccase diampaikan secara bebas di dalam elektrolit pemampan quasi-neutral. Sel dicirikan berdasarkan voltan litar terbuka, profil polarisasi, plot ketumpatan kuasa dan kapasiti discas pada arus malar. Peranan laccase sebagai bio-pemangkin adalah amat ketara daripada profil polarisasi dan plot ketumpatan kuasa. Perbandingan prestasi di antara sel dengan rekabentuk ruangan tunggal and dwi-ruangan turut diketengahkan. Seperti dijangkakan, sel dengan rekabentuk ruangan tunggal menunjukkan kuasa keluaran yang lebih rendah jika dibandingkan dengan rekabentuk dwi-ruangan kemungkinan disebabkan fenomena cas bocor. Sel bio-bahan api ini mempunyai voltan litar terbuka 1.2 V dan memberikan ketumpatan kuasa maksima 0.9 mW/cm2 pada ketumpatan arus 2.5 mA/cm2. Ciri-ciri ini adalah sebanding dengan sel bio-bahan api yang menggunapakai rekabentuk sel

  11. 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

  12. Energy Primer: Solar, Water, Wind, and Biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portola Inst., Inc., Menlo Park, CA.

    This is a comprehensive, fairly technical book about renewable forms of energy--solar, water, wind, and biofuels. The biofuels section covers biomass energy, agriculture, aquaculture, alcohol, methane, and wood. The focus is on small-scale systems which can be applied to the needs of the individual, small group, or community. More than one-fourth…

  13. Montana Advanced Biofuels Great Falls Approval

    Science.gov (United States)

    This November 20, 2015 letter from EPA approves the petition from Montana Advanced Biofuels, LLC, Great Falls facility, regarding ethanol produced through a dry mill process, qualifying under the Clean Air Act for advanced biofuel (D-code 5) and renewable

  14. Increase of the investments for the biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jemain, A.

    2005-01-01

    With the construction for 2007 of six new units of biofuels (three bio-diesel and three bio-ethanol), France is developing its energy policy in favor of the biofuels. This decision benefits Diester and Sofiproteol industries which will invest in the development of their deposits. The enthusiasm is less for the bio-ethanol industries. (A.L.B.)

  15. NREL Algal Biofuels Projects and Partnerships

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2016-10-01

    This fact sheet highlights several algal biofuels research and development projects focused on improving the economics of the algal biofuels production process. These projects should serve as a foundation for the research efforts toward algae as a source of fuels and other chemicals.

  16. Biofuels. Environment, technology and food security

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Escobar, Jose C.; Lora, Electo S.; Venturini, Osvaldo J.; Yanez, Edgar E.; Castillo, Edgar F.; Almazan, Oscar

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Microalgae for biofuels production and environmental applications ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This review presents the current classification of biofuels, with special focus on microalgae and their applicability for the production of biodiesel. The paper considered issues related with the processing and culturing of microalgae, for not only those that are involved in biofuel production, but as well as the possibility of their ...

  18. Biofuel investment in Tanzania: Omissions in implementation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Habib-Mintz, Nazia

    2010-01-01

    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.

  19. 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

  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)

    Adenle, Ademola A.; Haslam, Gareth E.; Lee, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    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. Invasive Candidiasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases Mycotic Diseases Branch Invasive Candidiasis Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Global Emergence ... antifungal drugs. Learn more about C. auris Invasive candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast (a ...

  2. 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.

  3. Coupling of Algal Biofuel Production with Wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neha Chamoli Bhatt

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. Which future for aviation bio-fuels?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Botti, Jean; Combarnous, Michel; Jarry, Bruno; Monsan, Pierre; Burzynski, Jean-Pierre; Jeuland, Nicolas; Porot, Pierre; Demoment, Pascale; Gillmann, Marc; Marchand, Philippe; Kuentzmann, Paul; Kurtsoglou, Nicolas; Lombaert-Valot, Isabelle; Pelegrin, Marc; Renvier, Jacques; Rousseau, Julien; Stadler, Thierry; Tremeau, Benoit

    2014-01-01

    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

  5. Using fitness parameters to evaluate three oilseed Brassicaceae species as potential oil crops in two contrasting environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thlaspi arvense and Camelina sativa have gained considerable attention as biofuel crops. But in some areas, these species, including C. microcarpa, are becoming rare weeds because of agriculture intensification. Including them as crops could guarantee their conservation in agricultural systems. The ...

  6. Associative properties of 137Cs in biofuel ashes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ravila, A.; Holm, E.

    1999-01-01

    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

  7. High yielding tropical energy crops for bioenergy production: Effects of plant components, harvest years and locations on biomass composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surendra, K C; Ogoshi, Richard; Zaleski, Halina M; Hashimoto, Andrew G; Khanal, Samir Kumar

    2018-03-01

    The composition of lignocellulosic feedstock, which depends on crop type, crop management, locations and plant parts, significantly affects the conversion efficiency of biomass into biofuels and biobased products. Thus, this study examined the composition of different parts of two high yielding tropical energy crops, Energycane and Napier grass, collected across three locations and years. Significantly higher fiber content was found in the leaves of Energycane than stems, while fiber content was significantly higher in the stems than the leaves of Napier grass. Similarly, fiber content was higher in Napier grass than Energycane. Due to significant differences in biomass composition between the plant parts within a crop type, neither biological conversion, including anaerobic digestion, nor thermochemical pretreatment alone is likely to efficiently convert biomass components into biofuels and biobased products. However, combination of anaerobic digestion with thermochemical conversion technologies could efficiently utilize biomass components in generating biofuels and biobased products. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Changing Land Use from Cotton to Bioenergy Crops in the Southern Great Plains: Implications on Carbon and Water Vapor Fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, N.; Sharma, S.

    2016-12-01

    We are facing an unprecedented challenge in securing America's energy future. To address this challenge, increased biofuel crop production is needed. Although first-generation biofuels like corn ethanol are available, second-generation biofuels are gaining importance because they don't directly compete with food production. Second-generation biofuels are made from the by-products of intensive agriculture or from less-intensive agriculture on more marginal lands. The Southwestern U.S. Cotton Belt can play a significant role in this effort through a change from more conventional crops (like continuous cotton) to second-generation biofuel feedstocks (biomass sorghum and perennial grasses). While we believe there would be environmental benefits associated with this change in land use, their exact nature and magnitude have not been investigated for this region. The overall goal of the proposed study was to investigate the water and carbon (C) fluxes associated with the change in agricultural land use to biofuels-dominated cropping systems in the semi-arid Southwestern U.S. Cotton Belt region. Eddy covariance flux towers were established at selected producer fields (cotton, perennial grasses and biomass sorghum) in the Southern Great Plains region. The fluxes of carbon dioxide, water vapor and sensible heat between the surface and the atmosphere will be measured throughout the year. The results have demonstrated that the dynamics of C and water vapor fluxes for these agroecosystems were strongly affected by environmental variables, management factors, and crop phenology. Detailed results will be presented at the meeting.

  9. Economical analysis of biofuel products and nuclear plant hydrogen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edwaren Liun

    2011-01-01

    The increasing in oil prices over the last six years is unprecedented that should be seen as a spur to increased efficiency. The surge in oil prices on the world market today is driven by strong demand factors in the depletion of world oil reserves. To replace the fuel oil from the bowels of the earth the various alternatives should be considered, including other crops or vegetable oil production of bio-fuels and hydrogen are produced by high temperature nuclear reactors. Biofuels in the form of ethanol made from corn or sugar cane and biodiesel made from palm oil or jatropha. With the latest world oil prices, future fuel vegetable oil and nuclear hydrogen-based energy technologies become popular in various parts of the world. Economics of biodiesel will be changed in accordance with world oil prices and subsidy regulations which apply to fuel products. On the other hand the role of nuclear energy in hydrogen production with the most potential in the techno-economics is a form of high temperature steam electrolysis, using heat and electricity from nuclear reactors. The production cost of biodiesel fuel on the basis of ADO type subsidy is 10.49 US$/MMBTU, while the production cost of hydrogen as an energy carrier of high temperature reactor is 15.30 US$/MMBTU. Thus, both types seem to have strong competitiveness. (author)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caserta, G.

    1995-01-01

    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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

    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. (letter)

  15. 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.

  16. An assessment of biofuel use and burning of agricultural waste in the developing world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yevich, Rosemarie; Logan, Jennifer A.

    2003-12-01

    We present an assessment of biofuel use and agricultural field burning in the developing world. We used information from government statistics, energy assessments from the World Bank, and many technical reports, as well as from discussions with experts in agronomy, forestry, and agro-industries. We estimate that 2060 Tg biomass fuel was used in the developing world in 1985; of this, 66% was burned in Asia, and 21% and 13% in Africa and Latin America, respectively. Agricultural waste supplies about 33% of total biofuel use, providing 39%, 29%, and 13% of biofuel use in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, and 41% and 51% of the biofuel use in India and China. We find that 400 Tg of crop residues are burned in the fields, with the fraction of available residue burned in 1985 ranging from 1% in China, 16-30% in the Middle East and India, to about 70% in Indonesia; in Africa about 1% residue is burned in the fields of the northern drylands, but up to 50% in the humid tropics. We distributed this biomass burning on a spatial grid with resolution of 1° × 1°, and applied emission factors to the amount of dry matter burned to give maps of trace gas emissions in the developing world. The emissions of CO from biofuel use in the developing world, 156 Tg, are about 50% of the estimated global CO emissions from fossil fuel use and industry. The emission of 0.9 Pg C (as CO2) from burning of biofuels and field residues together is small, but nonnegligible when compared with the emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel use and industry, 5.3 Pg C. The biomass burning source of 10 Tg/yr for CH4 and 2.2 Tg N/yr of NOx are relatively small when compared with total CH4 and NOx sources; this source of NOx may be important on a regional basis.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Di Lucia, Lorenzo

    2010-01-01

    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.

  18. Indirect land use change and biofuel policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kocoloski, Matthew; Griffin, W Michael; Matthews, H Scott

    2009-01-01

    Biofuel debates often focus heavily on carbon emissions, with parties arguing for (or against) biofuels solely on the basis of whether the greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels are less than (or greater than) those of gasoline. Recent studies argue that land use change leads to significant greenhouse gas emissions, making some biofuels more carbon intensive than gasoline. We argue that evaluating the suitability and utility of biofuels or any alternative energy source within the limited framework of plus and minus carbon emissions is too narrow an approach. Biofuels have numerous impacts, and policy makers should seek compromises rather than relying solely on carbon emissions to determine policy. Here, we estimate that cellulosic ethanol, despite having potentially higher life cycle CO 2 emissions (including from land use) than gasoline, would still be cost-effective at a CO 2 price of $80 per ton or less, well above estimated CO 2 mitigation costs for many alternatives. As an example of the broader approach to biofuel policy, we suggest the possibility of using the potential cost reductions of cellulosic ethanol relative to gasoline to balance out additional carbon emissions resulting from indirect land use change as an example of ways in which policies could be used to arrive at workable solutions.

  19. 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.

  20. Biofuels - Illusion or Reality? - The european experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Furfari, A.

    2008-01-01

    Environmental issues, rising prices and security of supply are putting energy at the centre of all attentions. Policy-makers pushed by various stakeholders are struggling to find more sustainable solutions to the world legitimate demand for energy. The transport sector is especially under pressure as it relies for 98% on oil. Despite vast research and development investments, no short-term solutions appeared to be reliable. Thanks to lawmakers support to biofuels, these substitutes for oil are now seen as the potential solution for a sustainable transport. This book analyses the real possibility of biofuels. Does Europe has enough land to produce the needed feedstock? What are the real gains in terms of greenhouse gases emissions and energy efficiency? Are biofuels really a sustainable solution? Will this policy succeed? Are the targets reachable? The reader will find some indications in this book to make up his mind on this complex, multifaceted and highly political subject. Contents: Summary. Introduction. Biofuels in the U.S.A. and Brazil. Do we have enough land in Europe? Biofuels life cycle analysis. Greenhouse gases reduction and efficiency. Case of the glycerin price. Variables affecting biofuels sustainability. Standard for Biofuels. Conclusion. General Bibliography. Annexes. References

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Indirect land use change and biofuel policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocoloski, Matthew; Griffin, W. Michael; Matthews, H. Scott

    2009-09-01

    Biofuel debates often focus heavily on carbon emissions, with parties arguing for (or against) biofuels solely on the basis of whether the greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels are less than (or greater than) those of gasoline. Recent studies argue that land use change leads to significant greenhouse gas emissions, making some biofuels more carbon intensive than gasoline. We argue that evaluating the suitability and utility of biofuels or any alternative energy source within the limited framework of plus and minus carbon emissions is too narrow an approach. Biofuels have numerous impacts, and policy makers should seek compromises rather than relying solely on carbon emissions to determine policy. Here, we estimate that cellulosic ethanol, despite having potentially higher life cycle CO2 emissions (including from land use) than gasoline, would still be cost-effective at a CO2 price of 80 per ton or less, well above estimated CO2 mitigation costs for many alternatives. As an example of the broader approach to biofuel policy, we suggest the possibility of using the potential cost reductions of cellulosic ethanol relative to gasoline to balance out additional carbon emissions resulting from indirect land use change as an example of ways in which policies could be used to arrive at workable solutions.

  4. Global biofuel use, 1850-2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Suneeta D.; Trautmann, Nina M.; Streets, David G.; Roden, Christoph A.; Bond, Tami C.

    2007-06-01

    This paper presents annual, country-level estimates of biofuel use for the period 1850-2000. We estimate that global biofuel consumption rose from about 1000 Tg in 1850 to 2460 Tg in 2000, an increase of 140%. In the late 19th century, biofuel consumption in North America was very high, ˜220-250 Tg/yr, because widespread land clearing supplied plentiful fuelwood. At that time biofuel use in Western Europe was lower, ˜180-200 Tg/yr. As fossil fuels became available, biofuel use in the developed world fell. Compensating changes in other parts of the world, however, caused global consumption to remain remarkably stable between 1850 and 1950 at ˜1200 ± 200 Tg/yr. It was only after World War II that biofuel use began to increase more rapidly in response to population growth in the developing world. Between 1950 and 2000, biofuel use in Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia grew by 170%, 160%, and 130%, respectively.

  5. External noise when using biofuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kotaleski, J.

    1994-08-01

    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

  6. 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

  7. Contrasts and synergies in different biofuel reports.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-06

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

  8. 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

  9. Liquid biofuels in the aeroderivative gas turbine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DiCampli, James; Schornick, Joe; Farr, Rachel

    2010-09-15

    While there are regional economic and political incentives for using liquid biofuels for renewable power generation, several challenges must be addressed. Given the fuel volumes required, base-load operation with renewable fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol are not likely sustainable with today's infrastructure. However, blending of biofuels with fossil fuels is a more economic option to provide renewable power. In turn, this lays the foundation to increase to more power generation in the future as new generation biofuels come on line. And, much like the automotive industry, the power industry will need to institute design changes to accommodate these fuels.

  10. Biofuels development and the policy regime.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philp, Jim C; Guy, Ken; Ritchie, Rachael J

    2013-01-01

    Any major change to the energy order is certain to provoke both positive and negative societal responses. The current wave of biofuels development ignited controversies that have re-shaped the thinking about their future development. Mistakes were made in the early support for road transport biofuels in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. This article examines some of the policies that shaped the early development of biofuels and looks to the future. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Biofuel Cells – Alternative Power Sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Babanova, Sofia; Yolina Hubenova; Mario Mitov

    2009-01-01

    Energy generation from renewable sources and effective waste treatment are two key challenges for the sustainable development. Microbiological (or Bio-) Fuel Cells provide an elegant solution by linking both tasks. Biofuel cells, which can directly generate electricity from biodegradable substances, have rapidly gained increasing research attention. Widely available fuel sources and moderate operational conditions make them promising in renewable energy generation, wastewater treatment, power sources for remote devices, etc. This paper reviews the use of microorganisms as biocatalysts in microbiological fuel cells. The principle of biofuel cells and their construction elements are discussed. Keywords: alternative power sources, biofuel cells, biocatalysts

  12. Session 8: biofuels; Session 8: Les biocarburants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Botte, J.M.

    2006-01-15

    Here are given the summaries of the speeches of Mr Daniel Le Breton (Total): the transports of the future: the role of biofuels; of Mr Pierre Rouveirolles (Renault): the future expectations and needs; of Mr Frederic Monot (IFP): the developments of new generations of biofuels from biomass; of Mr Willem Jan Laan (Unilever): the use of bio resources for food and fuel: a fair competition? All these speeches have been presented at the AFTP yearly days (12-13 october 2005) on the session 8 concerning the biofuels. (O.M.)

  13. Will energy crop yields meet expectations?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Searle, Stephanie Y.; Malins, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    Expectations are high for energy crops. Government policies in the United States and Europe are increasingly supporting biofuel and heat and power from cellulose, and biomass is touted as a partial solution to energy security and greenhouse gas mitigation. Here, we review the literature for yields of 5 major potential energy crops: Miscanthus spp., Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), Populus spp. (poplar), Salix spp. (willow), and Eucalyptus spp. Very high yields have been achieved for each of these types of energy crops, up to 40 t ha −1  y −1 in small, intensively managed trials. But yields are significantly lower in semi-commercial scale trials, due to biomass losses with drying, harvesting inefficiency under real world conditions, and edge effects in small plots. To avoid competition with food, energy crops should be grown on non-agricultural land, which also lowers yields. While there is potential for yield improvement for each of these crops through further research and breeding programs, for several reasons the rate of yield increase is likely to be slower than historically has been achieved for cereals; these include relatively low investment, long breeding periods, low yield response of perennial grasses to fertilizer, and inapplicability of manipulating the harvest index. Miscanthus × giganteus faces particular challenges as it is a sterile hybrid. Moderate and realistic expectations for the current and future performance of energy crops are vital to understanding the likely cost and the potential of large-scale production. - Highlights: • This review covers Miscanthus, switchgrass, poplar, willow, and Eucalyptus. • High yields of energy crops are typically from small experimental plots. • Field scale yields are lower due to real world harvesting losses and edge effects. • The potential for yield improvement of energy crops is relatively limited. • Expectations must be realistic for successful policies and commercial production

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohimain, Elijah I.

    2013-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Tracking U.S. biofuel innovation through patents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kessler, Jeff; Sperling, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    We use biofuel patents as a proxy for biofuel innovation. Through use of natural language processing and machine-learning algorithms, we expand patent classification capabilities to better explain the history of biofuels innovation. Results indicate that after the initial establishment of the U.S. biofuel industry, there were two surges in biofuel innovation: 1995–2000, characterized by heavy patenting by 1st generation (food-based) biofuel firms; and 2005–2010, characterized by a second surge of innovation by those same large firms, complemented by a large number of biotechnology firms producing a relatively small number of 2nd generation biofuel patents. Our analysis corroborates the widespread understanding that the first surge in biofuel innovation was linked to innovations in agriculture, and that the second surge of biofuel innovation was driven by demand-pull policies mandating and incentivizing biofuels. But the slow emergence of a 2nd generation cellulose-based biofuels industry, far slower than called for by policy, suggests that technology-push policies more focused on R&D and investment may be needed to accelerate the commercialization of 2nd generation biofuels. - Highlights: • Patenting activity closely corresponds to sociotechnical shifts in biofuel innovation. • The Renewable Fuel Standard likely contributed to the rise in biofuel patenting activity after 2005. • 2nd generation biofuel technology innovation appears lacking compared to 1st generation technologies.

  17. Early detection of protozoan grazers in algal biofuel cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, John G; Thomas, Naomi J; Achilles-Day, Undine E M; Leakey, Raymond J G

    2012-06-01

    Future micro-algal biofuels will most likely be derived from open-pond production systems. These are by definition open to "invasion" by grazers, which could devastate micro-algal mass-cultures. There is an urgent requirement for methodologies capable of early detection and control of grazers in dense algal cultures. In this study a model system employing the marine alga Nannochloropsis oculata was challenged by grazers including ciliates, amoebae and a heterotrophic dinoflagellate. A FlowCAM flow-cytometer was used to detect all grazers investigated (size range 80 μm in length) in the presence of algae. Detection limits were 1.4 × 10(8) cells ml(-1) (>0.5 g l(-1) dry wt.). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Efficient eucalypt cell wall deconstruction and conversion for sustainable lignocellulosic biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam L. Healey

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available 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. First generation biofuels, derived from starches of edible feedstocks such as corn, creates 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 lends itself towards 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Figure 5, Biofuel refinery facility locations

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This workbook contains the locations and types of current and anticipated biofuel feedstock processing facilities assumed under the simulated scenarios. This dataset...

  3. Biofuel characteristics of beniseed (Sesanum indicum) oil

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SERVER

    2007-11-05

    Nov 5, 2007 ... Local method was used to extract oil from beniseed (Sesanum indicum). ... fuel properties similar to common biofuels, hence beniseed could be utilized as an .... industries for the manufacture of soap and vegetable oil –.

  4. 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.

  5. 3 CFR - Biofuels and Rural Economic Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... biofuels promise to play a key role by providing the Nation with homegrown sustainable energy options and... publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.BARACK OBAMATHE WHITE HOUSE, Washington, May 5, 2009. ...

  6. Technical solutions to make biofuels more competitive

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    2006-01-01

    With the present day environmental and economical stakes, the French government has announced in 2005 a plan for the accelerated development of biofuels. In France, two traditional ways of biofuel generation exist: the bio-ethanol way and the bio-diesel way (methyl esters of vegetable oils). Two problems limit today the development of biofuels: the available cultivation surfaces and the production costs. The challenge of the next generation of biofuels concerns the better use of the available biomass, with no competition with the food productions, and in particular the development of ethyl esters of vegetable oils or the hydrogen processing of vegetable oils. Other processes are making their way, like the biomass to liquid (BTL) process, based on the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, which allows to convert any type of biomass source into liquid fuels with a high production rate (about 5000 l/Ha). Short paper. (J.S.)

  7. 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.

  8. Biofuels and bioenergy: processes and technologies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lee, Sunggyu; Shah, Yatish T

    2013-01-01

    ... since the early twentieth century. Up until recently, however, development interest in biofuels had lessened due to the availability of relatively inexpensive fossil energy resources as well as the handling and transportation...

  9. setting sustainable standards for biofuel production

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    OLAWUYI

    Director for Research, Training and International Development, Institute for Oil, Gas, ..... Table 3 presents the five stages in the product lifecycle for biofuel production ..... Principles on Human Rights Impact Assessments of Trade and Investment.

  10. Biofuels for transportation : a climate perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-06-01

    As the United States seeks to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from motor vehicles and to lessen its dependence on imported oil, biofuels are gaining increasing attention as one possible solution. This paper offers an introduction to the current...

  11. Evaluating environmental consequences of producing herbaceous crops for bioenergy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McLaughlin, S.B.

    1995-01-01

    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 CO 2 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

  12. Evaluating environmental consequences of producing herbaceous crops for bioenergy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McLaughlin, S.B.

    1995-12-31

    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 CO{sub 2} 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.

  13. 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 various...

  14. 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.

  15. Engineering of plants with improved properties as biofuels feedstocks by vessel-specific complementation of xylan biosynthesis mutants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Pia; Lau, Jane; Ebert, Berit

    2012-01-01

    Background: Cost-efficient generation of second-generation biofuels requires plant biomass that can easily be degraded into sugars and further fermented into fuels. However, lignocellulosic biomass is inherently recalcitrant toward deconstruction technologies due to the abundant lignin and cross......-linked hemicelluloses. Furthermore, lignocellulosic biomass has a high content of pentoses, which are more difficult to ferment into fuels than hexoses. Engineered plants with decreased amounts of xylan in their secondary walls have the potential to render plant biomass a more desirable feedstock for biofuel production...... in the xylem vessels is sufficient to complement the irx phenotype of xylan deficient mutants, while maintaining low overall amounts of xylan and lignin in the cell wall. This engineering approach has the potential to yield bioenergy crop plants that are more easily deconstructed and fermented into biofuels....

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rathmann, Regis; Szklo, Alexandre; Schaeffer, Roberto [Energy Planning Program, Graduate School of Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Centro de Tecnologia, Bloco C, Sala 211, Cidade Universitaria, Ilha do Fundao, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21941-972 (Brazil)

    2010-01-15

    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)

  17. 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...... emissions is calculated as the avoided fossil fuel‐derived CO2, where the N2O emission has been subtracted. This value does not account for CO2 emissions from farm machinery and during biofuel production. We obtained the greatest net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by co‐production of bioethanol...

  18. 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.

  19. 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 pol......The paper provides an assessment of first generation biofuel (ethanol and biodiesel) development in Thailand in terms of feedstock used, production trends, planned targets and policies and discusses the biofuel sustainability issues-environmental, socio-economic and food security aspects...... to land and water use and food security are important considerations to be addressed for its large scale application. Second generation biofuels derived from agricultural residues perform favorably on environmental and social sustainability issues in comparison to first generation biofuel sources...... 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....

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. De novo assembly, functional annotation, and analysis of the giant reed (Arundo donax L.) leaf transcriptome provide tools for the development of a biofuel feedstock

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Evangelistella, Chiara; Valentini, Alessio; Ludovisi, Riccardo; Firrincieli, Andrea; Fabbrini, Francesco; Scalabrin, Simone; Cattonaro, Federica; Morgante, Michele; Mugnozza, Giuseppe Scarascia; Keurentjes, Joost J.B.; Harfouche, Antoine

    2017-01-01

    Background: Arundo donax has attracted renewed interest as a potential candidate energy crop for use in biomass-to-liquid fuel conversion processes and biorefineries. This is due to its high productivity, adaptability to marginal land conditions, and suitability for biofuel and biomaterial

  4. 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…

  5. 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).

  6. 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

  7. Biofuels done right: land efficient animal feeds enable large environmental and energy benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Bruce E; Bals, Bryan D; Kim, Seungdo; Eranki, Pragnya

    2010-11-15

    There is an intense ongoing debate regarding the potential scale of biofuel production without creating adverse effects on food supply. We explore the possibility of three land-efficient technologies for producing food (actually animal feed), including leaf protein concentrates, pretreated forages, and double crops to increase the total amount of plant biomass available for biofuels. Using less than 30% of total U.S. cropland, pasture, and range, 400 billion liters of ethanol can be produced annually without decreasing domestic food production or agricultural exports. This approach also reduces U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 670 Tg CO₂-equivalent per year, or over 10% of total U.S. annual emissions, while increasing soil fertility and promoting biodiversity. Thus we can replace a large fraction of U.S. petroleum consumption without indirect land use change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Gengyun; Liu, Xin; Quan, Zhiwu; Cheng, Shifeng; Xu, Xun; Pan, Shengkai; Xie, Min; Zeng, Peng; Yue, Zhen; Wang, Wenliang; Tao, Ye; Bian, Chao; Han, Changlei; Xia, Qiuju; Peng, Xiaohua; Cao, Rui; Yang, Xinhua; Zhan, Dongliang; Hu, Jingchu; Zhang, Yinxin; Li, Henan; Li, Hua; Li, Ning; Wang, Junyi; Wang, Chanchan; Wang, Renyi; Guo, Tao; Cai, Yanjie; Liu, Chengzhang; Xiang, Haitao; Shi, Qiuxiang; Huang, Ping; Chen, Qingchun; Li, Yingrui; Wang, Jun; Zhao, Zhihai; Wang, Jian

    2012-05-13

    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) anchored onto nine chromosomes and annotated 38,801 genes. Key chromosome reshuffling events were detected through collinearity identification between foxtail millet, rice and sorghum including two reshuffling events fusing rice chromosomes 7 and 9, 3 and 10 to foxtail millet chromosomes 2 and 9, respectively, that occurred after the divergence of foxtail millet and rice, and a single reshuffling event fusing rice chromosome 5 and 12 to foxtail millet chromosome 3 that occurred after the divergence of millet and sorghum. Rearrangements in the C(4) photosynthesis pathway were also identified.

  9. 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.

  10. Flambeau River Biofuels Demonstration Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Byrne, Robert J. [Flambeau River Biofuels, Inc., Park Falls, WI (United States)

    2012-07-30

    Flambeau River BioFuels, Inc. (FRB) proposed to construct a demonstration biomass-to-liquids (BTL) biorefinery in Park Falls, Wisconsin. The biorefinery was to be co-located at the existing pulp and paper mill, Flambeau River Papers, and when in full operation would both generate renewable energy – making Flambeau River Papers the first pulp and paper mill in North America to be nearly fossil fuel free – and produce liquid fuels from abundant and renewable lignocellulosic biomass. The biorefinery would serve to validate the thermochemical pathway and economic models for BTL production using forest residuals and wood waste, providing a basis for proliferating BTL conversion technologies throughout the United States. It was a project goal to create a compelling new business model for the pulp and paper industry, and support the nation’s goal for increasing renewable fuels production and reducing its dependence on foreign oil. FRB planned to replicate this facility at other paper mills after this first demonstration scale plant was operational and had proven technical and economic feasibility.

  11. Engineering microbes to produce biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wackett, Lawrence P

    2011-06-01

    The current biofuels landscape is chaotic. It is controlled by the rules imposed by economic forces and driven by the necessity of finding new sources of energy, particularly motor fuels. The need is bringing forth great creativity in uncovering new candidate fuel molecules that can be made via metabolic engineering. These next generation fuels include long-chain alcohols, terpenoid hydrocarbons, and diesel-length alkanes. Renewable fuels contain carbon derived from carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is derived directly by a photosynthetic fuel-producing organism(s) or via intermediary biomass polymers that were previously derived from carbon dioxide. To use the latter economically, biomass depolymerization processes must improve and this is a very active area of research. There are competitive approaches with some groups using enzyme based methods and others using chemical catalysts. With the former, feedstock and end-product toxicity loom as major problems. Advances chiefly rest on the ability to manipulate biological systems. Computational and modular construction approaches are key. For example, novel metabolic networks have been constructed to make long-chain alcohols and hydrocarbons that have superior fuel properties over ethanol. A particularly exciting approach is to implement a direct utilization of solar energy to make a usable fuel. A number of approaches use the components of current biological systems, but re-engineer them for more direct, efficient production of fuels. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. Aquatic plant Azolla as the universal feedstock for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Ana F; Biswas, Bijoy; Ramkumar, Narasimhan; Singh, Rawel; Kumar, Jitendra; James, Anton; Roddick, Felicity; Lal, Banwari; Subudhi, Sanjukta; Bhaskar, Thallada; Mouradov, Aidyn

    2016-01-01

    The quest for sustainable production of renewable and cheap biofuels has triggered an intensive search for domestication of the next generation of bioenergy crops. Aquatic plants which can rapidly colonize wetlands are attracting attention because of their ability to grow in wastewaters and produce large amounts of biomass. Representatives of Azolla species are some of the fastest growing plants, producing substantial biomass when growing in contaminated water and natural ecosystems. Together with their evolutional symbiont, the cyanobacterium Anabaena azollae, Azolla biomass has a unique chemical composition accumulating in each leaf including three major types of bioenergy molecules: cellulose/hemicellulose, starch and lipids, resembling combinations of terrestrial bioenergy crops and microalgae. The growth of Azolla filiculoides in synthetic wastewater led up to 25, 69, 24 and 40 % reduction of NH 4 -N, NO 3 -N, PO 4 -P and selenium, respectively, after 5 days of treatment. This led to a 2.6-fold reduction in toxicity of the treated wastewater to shrimps, common inhabitants of wetlands. Two Azolla species, Azolla filiculoides and Azolla pinnata, were used as feedstock for the production of a range of functional hydrocarbons through hydrothermal liquefaction, bio-hydrogen and bio-ethanol. Given the high annual productivity of Azolla, hydrothermal liquefaction can lead to the theoretical production of 20.2 t/ha-year of bio-oil and 48 t/ha-year of bio-char. The ethanol production from Azolla filiculoides, 11.7 × 10 3  L/ha-year, is close to that from corn stover (13.3 × 10 3  L/ha-year), but higher than from miscanthus (2.3 × 10 3  L/ha-year) and woody plants, such as willow (0.3 × 10 3  L/ha-year) and poplar (1.3 × 10 3  L/ha-year). With a high C/N ratio, fermentation of Azolla biomass generates 2.2 mol/mol glucose/xylose of hydrogen, making this species a competitive feedstock for hydrogen production compared with other bioenergy crops

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  16. Emissions from small-scale energy production using co-combustion of biofuel and the dry fraction of household waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedman, Björn; Burvall, Jan; Nilsson, Calle; Marklund, Stellan

    2005-01-01

    In sparsely populated rural areas, recycling of household waste might not always be the most environmentally advantageous solution due to the total amount of transport involved. In this study, an alternative approach to recycling has been tested using efficient small-scale biofuel boilers for co-combustion of biofuel and high-energy waste. The dry combustible fraction of source-sorted household waste was mixed with the energy crop reed canary-grass (Phalaris Arundinacea L.), and combusted in both a 5-kW pilot scale reactor and a biofuel boiler with 140-180 kW output capacity, in the form of pellets and briquettes, respectively. The chlorine content of the waste fraction was 0.2%, most of which originated from plastics. The HCl emissions exceeded levels stipulated in new EU-directives, but levels of equal magnitude were also generated from combustion of the pure biofuel. Addition of waste to the biofuel did not give any apparent increase in emissions of organic compounds. Dioxin levels were close to stipulated limits. With further refinement of combustion equipment, small-scale co-combustion systems have the potential to comply with emission regulations.

  17. Emissions from small-scale energy production using co-combustion of biofuel and the dry fraction of household waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hedman, Bjoern; Burvall, Jan; Nilsson, Calle; Marklund, Stellan

    2005-01-01

    In sparsely populated rural areas, recycling of household waste might not always be the most environmentally advantageous solution due to the total amount of transport involved. In this study, an alternative approach to recycling has been tested using efficient small-scale biofuel boilers for co-combustion of biofuel and high-energy waste. The dry combustible fraction of source-sorted household waste was mixed with the energy crop reed canary-grass (Phalaris Arundinacea L.), and combusted in both a 5-kW pilot scale reactor and a biofuel boiler with 140-180 kW output capacity, in the form of pellets and briquettes, respectively. The chlorine content of the waste fraction was 0.2%, most of which originated from plastics. The HCl emissions exceeded levels stipulated in new EU-directives, but levels of equal magnitude were also generated from combustion of the pure biofuel. Addition of waste to the biofuel did not give any apparent increase in emissions of organic compounds. Dioxin levels were close to stipulated limits. With further refinement of combustion equipment, small-scale co-combustion systems have the potential to comply with emission regulations

  18. Perspectives for the provision of biofuels. Classification of fuel options according to technical, economic and ecological criteria; Perspektiven der Biokraftstoffbereitstellung. Einordnung der Kraftstoffoptionen nach technischen, oekonomischen und oekologischen Kriterien

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scheftelowitz, Mattes; Mueller-Langer, Franziska [DBFZ Deutsches BiomasseForschungsZentrum gemeinnuetzige GmbH, Leipzig (Germany)

    2009-07-01

    Next to the use of more efficient, innovative technologies (including hybrid vehicles, electromobility) another important contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the traffic sector will have to come from biofuels. A wide variety of conversion pathways, each with numerous process alternatives, is available along the whole length of the ''well-to-wheel'' chain (i.e. starting from biomass cropping or recovery, through its supply and conversion to biofuel, including the necessary infrastructure, and ending with its final use). The present paper presents various biofuel options and compares them on the basis of systematic, economic and ecological criteria.

  19. Soil water infiltration affected by topsoil thickness in row crop and switchgrass production systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conversion of annual grain crop systems to biofuel production systems can restore soil hydrologic function; however, information on these effects is limited. Hence, the objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of topsoil thickness on water infiltration in claypan soils for grain and swi...