WorldWideScience

Sample records for biofuel crop invasiveness

  1. Assessing biofuel crop invasiveness: a case study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Evan Buddenhagen

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

  2. 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, food security and transgenic crops].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, Orlando; Chaparro-Giraldo, Alejandro

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Energy Crop and Biotechnology for Biofuel Production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liangcai Peng; Neal Gutterson

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Suresh

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Trace Gas Exchange of Biofuel Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graus, M.; Warneke, C.; Williams, E. J.; Lerner, B. M.; Gilman, J. B.; Li, R.; Eller, A. S.; Gray, C.; Fierer, N.; Fall, R.; Harley, P. C.; Roberts, J. M.; Yuan, B.; Qian, Y.; Westra, P.; Fryrear, C.; Collins, M.; Whitman, K.; De Gouw, J. A.

    2011-12-01

    In 2010 leaf level gas exchange and VOC fluxes from switchgrass and corn grown at the CSU horticultural farm in Ft Collins (CO) were measured using a PTR-MS coupled to a modified Li6400 cuvette system. Both species are C4 plants with corn currently being the dominant biofuel crop in the USA whilst switchgrass being a promising candidate for cellulosic fuel ethanol production. Amongst the strongest VOC emissions from both plants were methanol, acetic acid, acetaldehyde, acetone and toluene. The switchgrass VOC emissions compare reasonably well with the only published data measured from potted plants in a whole plant enclosure (Eller et al. 2011). VOC emission studies on corn are almost as scarce as those of switchgrass. Considering the acreage of corn grown in the USA every year, VOC flux measurements of this plant species are largely under-represented in the literature. The emission rates that do exist in the literature do not compare well with the numbers found in this study (e.g. Das et al. 2003; 35μg methanol per hour per gram biomass). To investigate the biosphere atmosphere exchange of corn fields in more detail the field campaign BioCORN 2011 was initiated. In summer 2011 an eddy covariance system was set up in a corn field at ARDEC (CSU, Ft Collins, CO) to investigate the energy flux and the trace gas exchange of the US' dominant biofuel crop. Besides energy flux, evapotranspiration and CO2 flux a comprehensive suite of volatile organic compounds and inorganic species (O3, NO, NO2, CO) are measured for virtual disjunct eddy covariance (vDEC) analysis and true eddy covariance (EC) fluxes, respectively. VOCs are monitored by PTR-MS and, for the first time, fluxes of formic acid are measured utilizing NI-CIMS data for vDEC analysis. Besides the EC approach leaf level flux measurements and soil flux measurements are performed using a GC-MS system (TACOH) coupled to a modified Li6400 system and to soil chambers, respectively. Ethanol and methanol are amongst the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    While much attention has focused on the climate change mitigation potential of biofuels, research from the social sciences increasingly highlights the social and livelihood impacts of their expanded production. Policy and governance measures aimed at improving the social effects of biofuels have...... proliferated but questions remain about their effectiveness across the value chain. This paper performs three tasks building on emerging insights from social science research on the deployment of biofuel crops. First, we identify livelihood dimensions that are particularly likely to be affected...... by their cultivation in the global South – income, food security, access to land-based resources, and social assets – revealing that distributional effects are crucial to evaluating the outcomes of biofuel production across these dimensions. Second, we ask how well selected biofuel governance mechanisms address...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  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. Closing the Carbon Budget in Perennial Biofuel Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. Impacts of biofuel cultivation on mortality and crop yields

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    Biofuel crops as an alternative to fossil fuels are a component of the energy mix in many countries. Many of them are introduced plants, so they pose a serious threat of biological invasions. Production of allelopathic compounds can increase invasion success by limiting co-occurring species in the invaded environment (novel weapons hypothesis). In this study, we focused on plant chemistry and production of allelopathic compounds by biofuel crops (hybrid sorrel Rumex tianschanicus x Rumex patientia and miscanthus Miscanthus sinensis) in comparison with invasive knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis) and cultural meadow species. First, we tested the impact of leachates isolated from hybrid sorrel, miscanthus, knotweed and cultural meadow species compared to deionized water, used as a control, on seed germination of mustard (Sinapis arvensis) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) cultivated on sand and soil. Secondly, we studied the effect of leachates on the growth of soil fungal pathogens Fusarium culmorum, Rhizoctonia solani, Sclerotinia solani and Cochliobolus sativus. Finally, we tested the effect of litter of hybrid sorrel, miscanthus, knotweed and cultural meadow litter mixed with soil on population growth of Enchytraeus crypticus and Folsomia candida. Miscanthus and knotweed litter had a higher C:N ratio than the control meadow and hybrid sorrel litter. Miscanthus and hybrid sorrel litter had a higher content of phenols than knotweed and cultural meadow litter. Leachates from hybrid sorrel, miscanthus and knotweed biomass significantly decreased seed germination of wheat and mustard in both substrates. Soil fungal pathogens grew less vigorously on agar enriched by leachates from both biofuel crops than on agar enriched by knotweed and leachates. Litter from hybrid sorrel, miscanthus and knotweed significantly altered (both ways) the population growth of the soil mesofauna.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    -clover) and three scenarios for conversion of biomass to biofuel. The scenarios are 1) bioethanol production, 2) biogas production and 3) co-production of bioethanol and biogas, where the energy crops are first used for bioethanol fermentation and subsequently the residues from this process are utilized for biogas......Agro-biofuels are expected to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases because CO2 emitted during the combustion of the biofuels has recently been taken from the atmosphere by the energy crop. Thus, when replacing fossil fuels with biofuels we reduce the emission of fossil fuel-derived CO2...... or incorporation of crop residues. In this study we relate measured field emissions of N2O to the reduction in fossil fuel-derived CO2, which is obtained when energy crops are used for biofuel production. The analysis includes five organically managed crops (viz. maize, rye, rye-vetch, vetch and grass...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    ‐clover) and three scenarios for conversion of biomass to biofuel. The scenarios are 1) bioethanol production, 2) biogas production and 3) co‐production of bioethanol and biogas, where the energy crops are first used for bioethanol fermentation and subsequently the residues from this process are utilized for biogas......Agro‐biofuels are expected to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases because CO2 emitted during the combustion of the biofuels has recently been taken from the atmosphere by the energy crop. Thus, when replacing fossil fuels with biofuels we reduce the emission of fossil fuel‐derived CO2...... or incorporation of crop residues. In this study we relate measured field emissions of N2O to the reduction in fossil fuel‐derived CO2, which is obtained when energy crops are used for biofuel production. The analysis includes five organically managed crops (viz. maize, rye, rye‐vetch, vetch and grass...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sesmero, Juan P

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Terry; Berenbaum, May R

    2013-06-01

    The expanding demand for biofuel feedstock may lead to large-scale conscription of land for monoculture production of biofuel crops with concomitant substantial negative impacts on biodiversity. We compared moth diversity in light-trap samples from corn, miscanthus, switchgrass and native prairie, to determine whether there is an observable relationship between plant species diversity and moth abundance and diversity. Moth alpha diversity was highest in prairie and was higher in switchgrass than in the other two biofuel crops. Beta diversity generally was low among the biofuel crops, and prairie shared lower beta diversity with switchgrass than with corn or miscanthus. Analysis of variance showed no significant differences in moth abundance per species among treatments. The alpha and beta diversity index findings are consistent with those of other studies on arthropods in biofuel crops and provide evidence to suggest that large-scale conversion of acreage to biofuel crops may have substantial negative effects on arthropod biodiversity both within the cropping systems and in the surrounding landscape.

  2. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Terry Harrison; May R.Berenbaum

    2013-01-01

    The expanding demand for biofuel feedstock may lead to large-scale conscription of land for monoculture production ofbiofuel crops with concomitant substantial negative impacts on biodiversity.We compared moth diversity in light-trap samples from corn,miscanthus,switchgrass and native prairie,to determine whether there is an observable relationship between plant species diversity and moth abundance and diversity.Moth alpha diversity was highest in prairie and was higher in switchgrass than in the other two biofuel crops.Beta diversity generally was low among the biofuel crops,and prairie shared lower beta diversity with switchgrass than with corn or miscanthus.Analysis of variance showed no significant differences in moth abundance per species among treatments.The alpha and beta diversity index findings are consistent with those of other studies on arthropods in biofuel crops and provide evidence to suggest that large-scale conversion of acreage to biofuel crops may have substantial negative effects on arthropod biodiversity both within the cropping systems and in the surrounding landscape.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    As crop and non-crop lands are increasingly becoming converted to biofuel feedstock production, it is of interest to identify potential impacts of annual and perennial feedstocks on soil ecosystem services. Soil samples obtained from 6 regional sets of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and 3 regiona...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frouz, Jan; Hedenec, Petr

    2016-04-01

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

  7. 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)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Ecological effects of feral biofuel crops in constructed oak savannah communities - June 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather A Hager

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

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-11-15

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guosheng Xie; Liangcai Peng

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Litter Inputs and Soil Aggregation in Midwestern Biofuel Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Å. Kasimir Klemedtsson

    2011-07-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijnders, L.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Uffe

    2011-01-01

    The giant C4 grasses of the genus Miscanthus holds promise as candidates for the optimal bioenergy crop in the temperate zone with their high yield, cold tolerance, low environmental impact, resistance to pests and diseases, ease of harvesting and handling, and non-invasiveness. The latter is...... invader. Other risks to consider are fire in the mature crop, the spread of pests and diseases and increased water use. These years, the first commercial large scale crop production results are coming through and will show if the promises are to be fulfilled and the risks can be handled. However, breeding......, further development of the production chain, and stewardship programmes to avoid potential risks are still needed if Miscanthus is to compete with fossil fuel use and be widely produced....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reijnders, L

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Exploring the Potential Use of Camelina sativa as a Biofuel crop for Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharjee, Tapas Chandra

    2011-12-01

    The objective of this research is to explore the feasibility of using Camelina sativa, an oilseed crop as an alternative feedstock for biodiesel production. To establish it as a potential biofuel crop in Nevada, C. sativa seeds were treated with ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) and twenty-five randomly selected lines of an M3 generation EMS population were evaluated for fatty acid composition. Increased variation in fatty acid composition was observed when compared with the control, wildtype cultivar. Most importantly, lines demonstrated putative decreases in relative linolenic acid content, a desirable outcome for biodiesel quality. To select the best variety of C. sativa for local production, an analysis of oil content, germination rate, 1000 seed weight was performed among different varieties and significant differences in seed quality was observed. Transcriptome analysis of C. sativa was performed using 454 pyrosequencing to characterize expressed genes in roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and developing seeds of mature plants subjected to drought, cold and high salinity stress Some contig assemblies corresponding to stress-inducible gene and genes involved in fatty acid biosynthesis were observed in this study.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-02-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  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.

  20. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Acheampong, Kwame; Dicks, Michael R.

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Soil CO2, N2O and Nox Flux Responses to Biofuel Crop Plantation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, L.; Eberwein, J.; Allsman, L.; Grantz, D. A.; Jenerette, D.

    2014-12-01

    Biofuel crops in high temperature environments, e.g, sorghum in southern California, USA, have a high capacity to assimilate atmospheric CO2. Photosynthates from the canopy may provide extra labile carbon source to feed soil microorganisms and influence trace gas fluxes, including CO2, N2O and NOx. Understanding how soil microorganisms balance the carbon (energy) and nitrogen (nutrients) allocation between growing microbial biomass and respiration is critical for evaluating the GHG emissions and emissions of regional air quality pollutants. We conducted experiments in a high temperature agroecosystem both in fallow and sorghum production fields with an experimental nitrogen gradient (0,50 and 100 kg/ha, marked as control, low and high with triplicate repeat) to investigate the CO2, N2O and NOx flux responses. All gas fluxes were measured simultaneously from three replicate locations for each treatment in the field biweekly. Measurements were performed 2-5 days after irrigation. We found that planting sorghum has significant effects on soil CO2 (p<0.0001), N2O (p<0.0001) and NOx (p=0.04) fluxes, but nitrogen amendments only have marginally significant effects on CO2 flux (p=0.07). Surprisingly, no significant response of N2O (p=0.27) and NOx (p=0.61) were observed in responses to N amendments. Compared to the fallow field, the CO2 flux in sorghum field increased 77%, 134% and 202% in control, low and high N level amendments, respectively. N2O flux from the sorghum field are consistently higher than from fallow field, with 207%, 174% and 1064% increase in control, low and high N level amendments, respectively. For the NOx flux, no significant difference was found between fallow and sorghum field. Although nitrogen amendments did not show significant effects on CO2, N2O and NOx flux, the high N treatment in sorghum field continuously gains the highest flux rates. Our results suggested additional C inputs may be an important factor regulating CO2, N2O and NOx fluxes in

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  7. Using satellite vegetation and compound topographic indices to map highly erodible cropland buffers for cellulosic biofuel crop developments in eastern Nebraska, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2015-01-01

    Cultivating annual row crops in high topographic relief waterway buffers has negative environmental effects and can be environmentally unsustainable. Growing perennial grasses such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) for biomass (e.g., cellulosic biofuel feedstocks) instead of annual row crops in these high relief waterway buffers can improve local environmental conditions (e.g., reduce soil erosion and improve water quality through lower use of fertilizers and pesticides) and ecosystem services (e.g., minimize drought and flood impacts on production; improve wildlife habitat, plant vigor, and nitrogen retention due to post-senescence harvest for cellulosic biofuels; and serve as carbon sinks). The main objectives of this study are to: (1) identify cropland areas with high topographic relief (high runoff potentials) and high switchgrass productivity potential in eastern Nebraska that may be suitable for growing switchgrass, and (2) estimate the total switchgrass production gain from the potential biofuel areas. Results indicate that about 140,000 hectares of waterway buffers in eastern Nebraska are suitable for switchgrass development and the total annual estimated switchgrass biomass production for these suitable areas is approximately 1.2 million metric tons. The resulting map delineates high topographic relief croplands and provides useful information to land managers and biofuel plant investors to make optimal land use decisions regarding biofuel crop development and ecosystem service optimization in eastern Nebraska.

  8. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Variation in canopy duration in the perennial biofuel crop Miscanthus reveals complex associations with yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robson, Paul R H; Farrar, Kerrie; Gay, Alan P; Jensen, Elaine F; Clifton-Brown, John C; Donnison, Iain S

    2013-05-01

    Energy crops can provide a sustainable source of power and fuels, and mitigate the negative effects of CO2 emissions associated with fossil fuel use. Miscanthus is a perennial C4 energy crop capable of producing large biomass yields whilst requiring low levels of input. Miscanthus is largely unimproved and therefore there could be significant opportunities to increase yield. Further increases in yield will improve the economics, energy balance, and carbon mitigation of the crop, as well as reducing land-take. One strategy to increase yield in Miscanthus is to maximize the light captured through an extension of canopy duration. In this study, canopy duration was compared among a diverse collection of 244 Miscanthus genotypes. Canopy duration was determined by calculating the number of days between canopy establishment and senescence. Yield was positively correlated with canopy duration. Earlier establishment and later senescence were also both separately correlated with higher yield. However, although genotypes with short canopy durations were low yielding, not all genotypes with long canopy durations were high yielding. Differences of yield between genotypes with long canopy durations were associated with variation in stem and leaf traits. Different methodologies to assess canopy duration traits were investigated, including visual assessment, image analysis, light interception, and different trait thresholds. The highest correlation coefficients were associated with later assessments of traits and the use of quantum sensors for canopy establishment. A model for trait optimization to enable yield improvement in Miscanthus and other bioenergy crops is discussed.

  13. Preliminary Results on Growing Second Generation Biofuel Crop Miscanthus X Giganteus at The Polluted Military Site in Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pidlisnyuk Valentina

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The semi-field research on using second-generation biofuel crop Miscanthus x giganteus for restoration of former military site in Kamenetz-Podilsky, Ukraine was carried out during two vegetation seasons. Despite high metal pollution of soil, in particular, by Fe, Mn, Ti, and Zr, no growth inhibition was observed. The concentrations followed pattern soil > roots > stems > leaves. Accumulation of particular metals in roots was different: Fe, Mn and Ti were accumulated rather palpably after the first vegetation season and less tangible after the second one. Cu, Pb and Zn were less accumulative in both vegetation seasons, and for As and Pb the accumulative concentrations were very small. Accumulations in the aboveground parts of the plant in comparison to roots were significantly lower in case of Fe, Ti, Mn, Cu, Zn, Sr and even statistically comparable to zero in case of As, Pb and Zr. Calculated translocation ratio of metals in the plant’s parts preferably indicated lack of metals’ hyper accumulation. Generally, no correlations were observed between concentrations of metals in the soil and in the upper plant’s parts. The research confirmed the ability of Miscanthus x giganteus to grow on the military soils predominantly contaminated by metals.

  14. Biofuels, poverty, and growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arndt, Channing; Benfica, Rui; Tarp, Finn

    2010-01-01

    This paper assesses the implications of large-scale investments in biofuels for growth and income distribution. We find that biofuels investment enhances growth and poverty reduction despite some displacement of food crops by biofuels. Overall, the biofuel investment trajectory analyzed increases...... Mozambique's annual economic growth by 0.6 percentage points and reduces the incidence of poverty by about 6 percentage points over a 12-year phase-in period. Benefits depend on production technology. An outgrower approach to producing biofuels is more pro-poor, due to the greater use of unskilled labor...

  15. 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)

  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. Thermophysical characterization of the seeds of invasive Chinese tallow tree: importance for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picou, Laura; Boldor, Doran

    2012-10-16

    The limited supply of traditional fossil based fuels, and increased concern about their environmental impact has driven the interest in the utilization of biomass based energy sources, including those that are underutilized or otherwise nuisance species such as Chinese tallow trees (Triadica sebifera [L.]). This species is a prolific seeds producer, and this paper shows that they contain more than 50% lipids by mass that are suitable for conversion into biodiesel. We present here, for the first time, the seeds' thermophysical properties important for biofuel production. The seeds were characterized using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and ultimate analysis; their thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and specific heat were determined. The characterization results were correlated to fatty acid composition and lipid content for whole seeds and individual layers, as well as to the protein, hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin content. The TGA analysis indicated the presence, in addition to lipids, of hemicellulose, cellulose, lignin, and proteins, depending on the layer analyzed. Thermal conductivity and specific heat were, respectively 0.14 ± 0.007 W/mK and 3843.5 ± 171.16 J/kgK for wax, 0.20 ± 0.002 W/mK and 2018.7 ± 5.18 J/kgK for shells, 0.13 ± 0.0 W/mK and 1237 ± 3.15 J/kgK for internal kernel, and 0.13 ± 0.000 W/mK and 2833.9 ± 104.11 J/kgK for whole seeds. These properties and characterization method can be further used in engineering analysis used to determine the most optimum processing method for production of biofuels from this feedstock.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob N Barney

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The use of cover crops to control tree invasion on a right-of-way near Tobermory Illinois: Crop establishment and tree invasion following the second growing season

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, D.

    1991-02-20

    In the past two decades Ontario Hydro has relied on selective herbicide applications to remove compatible trees from its transmission and distribution rights-of-way. This approach was designed to encourage a type of biological control, where the compatible ground cover slows the invasion of tree species via competitive interaction. The success is dependent upon the occurrence of species in the area which are able to successfully interfere with tree establishment and/or growth. An alternative method of establishing this control is by replacing the existing vegetation with species that have a demonstrated ability to interfere with tree establishment. A distribution line in the Tobermory area of the Bruce Peninsula became available for an experimental cover crop planting. The line was cleared of incompatible species during the winter of 1988. A random block experimental design was used to test 6 treatments at 6 sites along this right-of-way. The treatments consisted of soil scarification and seeding with Festuca rubra, Lotus corniculatus, Dactylis glomerata, Coronilla varia and Lotium multiflorum; soil scarification and no seeding; and no soil scarification and no seeding. At the end of the 1990 growing season, the crops were established in their respective plots with good frequencies (ranging from 20 to 100%). F. rubra and D. glomerata had a mean cover of 25% and could be considered as the dominant ground cover in their treatment plots. C. varia and L. corniculatus had relatively low covers of 5 and 2%. Incompatible trees were found at the study area, with densities varying at each site. Densities were not statistically affected by the treatment, but had not increased from last year. 32 refs., 11 figs., 5 tabs.

  2. The use of cover crops to control tree invasion on a right-of-way near Tobermory. IV. Crop persistance and tree invasion in the third growing season

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, D.

    1992-04-08

    A study was carried out to determine the ability of grasses, legumes, and the natural right-of-way vegetation cover to interfere with tree invasion. The location, in the Tobermory area of the Bruce Peninsula, was used to test 6 treatments at 6 sites, consisting of: soil scarification and seeding with creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra); soil scarification and seeding with juno orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata); soil scarification and seeding with birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus); soil scarification and seeding with a mixture of penngift crown vetch (Coronilla varia) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum); soil scarification with no seeding; and no soil scarification and no seeding. A design change in 1991 involved the addition of a slow release fertilizer and planting of green ash (Flaxinus pennsylvanica), sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and hybrid poplar (Populus sp.) to directly measure the interference potential of the crops. Orchard grass had the highest frequency (93[plus minus]3%), the largest cover (32[plus minus]7%) and the tallest canopy. Red fescue was present with a similarly high frequency and cover but did not appear to be as vigorous as the orchard grass. The frequencies of birdsfoot trefoil and crown vetch declined, and had extremely poor covers. The density of incompatible trees varied at each site but was not affected by the treatments. 41 refs., 6 figs., 7 tabs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘祖昕; 谢光辉

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwit, Charles; Stewart, C Neal

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Environmental authorities and biofuel controversies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mol, A.P.J.

    2010-01-01

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

  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. Effects of future urban and biofuel crop expansions on the riverine export of phosphorus to the Laurentian Great Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaBeau, Meredith B.; Robertson, Dale M.; Mayer, Alex S.; Pijanowski, Bryan C.; Saad, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Increased phosphorus (P) loadings threaten the health of the world’s largest freshwater resource, the Laurentian Great Lakes (GL). To understand the linkages between land use and P delivery, we coupled two spatially explicit models, the landscape-scale SPARROW P fate and transport watershed model and the Land Transformation Model (LTM) land use change model, to predict future P export from nonpoint and point sources caused by changes in land use. According to LTM predictions over the period 2010–2040, the GL region of the U.S. may experience a doubling of urbanized areas and agricultural areas may increase by 10%, due to biofuel feedstock cultivation. These land use changes are predicted to increase P loadings from the U.S. side of the GL basin by 3.5–9.5%, depending on the Lake watershed and development scenario. The exception is Lake Ontario, where loading is predicted to decrease by 1.8% for one scenario, due to population losses in the drainage area. Overall, urban expansion is estimated to increase P loadings by 3.4%. Agricultural expansion associated with predicted biofuel feedstock cultivation is predicted to increase P loadings by an additional 2.4%. Watersheds that export P most efficiently and thus are the most vulnerable to increases in P sources tend to be found along southern Lake Ontario, southeastern Lake Erie, western Lake Michigan, and southwestern Lake Superior where watershed areas are concentrated along the coastline with shorter flow paths. In contrast, watersheds with high soil permeabilities, fractions of land underlain by tile drains, and long distances to the GL are less vulnerable.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartz, Robert; Heink, Ulrich; Kowarik, Ingo

    2010-06-01

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

  13. Biofuel seeks endorsement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongeneel, C.; Rentmeester, S.

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Deep Sequencing of the Fruit Transcriptome and Lipid Accumulation in a Non-Seed Tissue of Chinese Tallow, a Potential Biofuel Crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Divi, Uday K; Zhou, Xue-Rong; Wang, Penghao; Butlin, Jamie; Zhang, Dong-Mei; Liu, Qing; Vanhercke, Thomas; Petrie, James R; Talbot, Mark; White, Rosemary G; Taylor, Jennifer M; Larkin, Philip; Singh, Surinder P

    2016-01-01

    Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera) is a valuable oilseed-producing tree that can grow in a variety of conditions without competing for food production, and is a promising biofuel feedstock candidate. The fruits are unique in that they contain both saturated and unsaturated fat present in the tallow and seed layer, respectively. The tallow layer is poorly studied and is considered only as an external fatty deposition secreted from the seed. In this study we show that tallow is in fact a non-seed cellular tissue capable of triglyceride synthesis. Knowledge of lipid synthesis and storage mechanisms in tissues other than seed is limited but essential to generate oil-rich biomass crops. Here, we describe the annotated transcriptome assembly generated from the fruit coat, tallow and seed tissues of Chinese tallow. The final assembly was functionally annotated, allowing for the identification of candidate genes and reconstruction of lipid pathways. A tallow tissue-specific paralog for the transcription factor gene WRINKLED1 (WRI1) and lipid droplet-associated protein genes, distinct from those expressed in seed tissue, were found to be active in tallow, underpinning the mode of oil synthesis and packaging in this tissue. Our data have established an excellent knowledge base that can provide genetic and biochemical insights for engineering non-seed tissues to accumulate large amounts of oil. In addition to the large data set of annotated transcripts, the study also provides gene-based simple sequence repeat and single nucleotide polymorphism markers.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Transgenic woody plants for biofuel

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei Tang; Anna Y.Tang

    2014-01-01

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

  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. Arid Lands Biofuel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neupane, B. P.

    2013-05-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Microalgae biofuel potentials (review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghasemi, Y; Rasoul-Amini, S; Naseri, A T; Montazeri-Najafabady, N; Mobasher, M A; Dabbagh, F

    2012-01-01

    With the decrease of fossil based fuels and the environmental impact of them over the planet, it seems necessary to seek the sustainable sources of clean energy. Biofuels, is becoming a worldwide leader in the development of renewable energy resources. It is worthwhile to say that algal biofuel production is thought to help stabilize the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and decrease global warming impacts. Also, among algal fuels' attractive characteristics, algal biodiesel is non toxic, with no sulfur, highly biodegradable and relatively harmless to the environment if spilled. Algae are capable of producing in excess of 30 times more oil per acre than corn and soybean crops. Currently, algal biofuel production has not been commercialized due to high costs associated with production, harvesting and oil extraction but the technology is progressing. Extensive research was conducted to determine the utilization of microalgae as an energy source and make algae oil production commercially viable.

  2. Biofuels and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John; Fargione, Joseph; Hill, Jason

    2011-06-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Is biofuel policy harming biodiversity in Europe?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eggers, J.; Tröltzsch, K.; Falcucci, A.; Verburg, P.H.; Ozinga, W.A.

    2009-01-01

    We assessed the potential impacts of land-use changes resulting from a change in the current biofuel policy on biodiversity in Europe. We evaluated the possible impact of both arable and woody biofuel crops on changes in distribution of 313 species pertaining to different taxonomic groups. Using spe

  5. 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

  6. Biofuels worldwide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    His, St

    2004-07-01

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. 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.

  10. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

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

  11. An Outlook on Microalgal Biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijffels, R.H.; Barbosa, M.J.

    2010-01-01

    Microalgae are considered one of the most promising feedstocks for biofuels. The productivity of these photosynthetic microorganisms in converting carbon dioxide into carbon-rich lipids, only a step or two away from biodiesel, greatly exceeds that of agricultural oleaginous crops, without competing

  12. Biorefineries for chemical and biofuel production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjerbæk Søtoft, Lene

      Today sustainability, production potential and politics i.e. taxation, subsidies and ethical concerns are hot topics within renewable energy from biomass. Decision making in this area is complicated and decisions are influenced by both the history of the data behind the decisions...... crops for biofuel production is research in biorefineries using a whole-crop approach with the aim of having an optimal use of all the components of the specific crop. Looking at rape as a model crop, the components can be used for i.e. bioethanol, biodiesel, biogas, biohydrogen, feed, food and plant...... with traditional land based food or feed crops, but can be grown to produce oil or biomass for biofuels as well as a long range of products with huge potential as food, feed or nutritionals. This with smaller requirements towards feed nutrients and land use. Value: If biofuels are to be used as a substitute...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  14. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castellanos-Navarrete, A.

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Biofuels Barometer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-07-15

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

  19. 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.

  20. Assessing the environmental sustainability of biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    This is the accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1360138514002039. Biofuels vary in their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when displacing fossil fuels. Savings depend primarily on the crop used for biofuel production, and on the effect that expanding its cultivation has on land use. Evidence-based policies should be used to ensure that maximal sustainability benefits result from the development o...

  1. REFUEL: an EU road map for biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-05-15

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

  2. 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.

  3. Global future food supply and possibilities for biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Terefe Tucho, Gudina

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shi Yuanchun; Li Shizhong; Zhang Hanxing

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Have Indirect Emissions from Biofuels Been Exaggerated?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-23

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

  10. Will EU Biofuel Policies affect Global Agricultural Markets?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-04-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. E. Stockwell

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available During the fourth Fire Lab at Missoula Experiment (FLAME-4, October–November~2012 a~large variety of regionally and globally significant biomass fuels was burned at the US Forest Service Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, Montana. The particle emissions were characterized by an extensive suite of instrumentation that measured aerosol chemistry, size distribution, optical properties, and cloud-nucleating properties. The trace gas measurements included high resolution mass spectrometry, one- and two-dimensional gas chromatography, and open-path Fourier transform infrared (OP-FTIR spectroscopy. This paper summarizes the overall experimental design for FLAME-4 including the fuel properties, the nature of the burn simulations, the instrumentation employed, and then focuses on the OP-FTIR results. The OP-FTIR was used to measure the initial emissions of 20 trace gases: CO2, CO, CH4, C2H2, C2H4, C3H6, HCHO, HCOOH, CH3OH, CH3COOH, glycolaldehyde, furan, H2O, NO, NO2, HONO, NH3, HCN, HCl, and SO2. These species include most of the major trace gases emitted by biomass burning and for several of these compounds it is the first time their emissions are reported for important fuel types. The main fuel types included: African grasses, Asian rice straw, cooking fires (open (3-stone, rocket, and gasifier stoves, Indonesian and extratropical peat, temperate and boreal coniferous canopy fuels, US crop residue, shredded tires, and trash. Comparisons of the OP-FTIR emission factors (EF and emission ratios (ER to field measurements of biomass burning verify that the large body of FLAME-4 results can be used to enhance the understanding of global biomass burning and its representation in atmospheric chemistry models.

  12. 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

  13. The Danish Biofuel Debate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Janus

    2014-01-01

    biofuels. In Denmark two distinct scientific perspectives about biofuels map onto the policy debates through articulation by two competing advocacy coalitions. One is a reductionist biorefinery perspective originating in biochemistry and neighbouring disciplines. This perspective works upwards from...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Streamflow impacts of biofuel policy-driven landscape change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanal, Sami; Anex, Robert P; Anderson, Christopher J; Herzmann, Daryl E

    2014-01-01

    Likely changes in precipitation (P) and potential evapotranspiration (PET) resulting from policy-driven expansion of bioenergy crops in the United States are shown to create significant changes in streamflow volumes and increase water stress in the High Plains. Regional climate simulations for current and biofuel cropping system scenarios are evaluated using the same atmospheric forcing data over the period 1979-2004 using the Weather Research Forecast (WRF) model coupled to the NOAH land surface model. PET is projected to increase under the biofuel crop production scenario. The magnitude of the mean annual increase in PET is larger than the inter-annual variability of change in PET, indicating that PET increase is a forced response to the biofuel cropping system land use. Across the conterminous U.S., the change in mean streamflow volume under the biofuel scenario is estimated to range from negative 56% to positive 20% relative to a business-as-usual baseline scenario. In Kansas and Oklahoma, annual streamflow volume is reduced by an average of 20%, and this reduction in streamflow volume is due primarily to increased PET. Predicted increase in mean annual P under the biofuel crop production scenario is lower than its inter-annual variability, indicating that additional simulations would be necessary to determine conclusively whether predicted change in P is a response to biofuel crop production. Although estimated changes in streamflow volume include the influence of P change, sensitivity results show that PET change is the significantly dominant factor causing streamflow change. Higher PET and lower streamflow due to biofuel feedstock production are likely to increase water stress in the High Plains. When pursuing sustainable biofuels policy, decision-makers should consider the impacts of feedstock production on water scarcity.

  16. 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.

  17. Biofuel production in Vietnam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thanh, le L.

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Estimating Sugarcane Water Requirements for Biofuel Feedstock Production in Maui, Hawaii Using Satellite Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Water availability is one of the limiting factors for sustainable production of biofuel crops. A common method for determining crop water requirement is to multiply daily potential evapotranspiration (ETo) calculated from meteorological parameters by a crop coefficient (Kc) to obtain actual crop eva...

  19. The bucket and the searchlight: formulating and testing risk hypotheses about the weediness and invasiveness potential of transgenic crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raybould, Alan

    2010-01-01

    The bucket and the searchlight are metaphors for opposing theories of the growth of scientific knowledge. The bucket theory proposes that knowledge is gained by observing the world without preconceptions, and that knowledge emerges from the accumulation of observations that support a hypothesis. There are many problems with this theory, the most serious of which is that it does not appear to offer a means to distinguish between the many hypotheses that could explain a particular set of observations. The searchlight theory proposes that preconceptions are unavoidable and that knowledge advances through the improvement of our preconceptions - our hypotheses - by continuous criticism and revision. A hypothesis is a searchlight that illuminates observations that test the hypothesis and reveal its flaws, and knowledge thereby increases through the elimination of false hypotheses. Research into the risks posed by the cultivation of transgenic crops often appears to apply the bucket theory; many data are produced, but knowledge of risk is not advanced. Application of the searchlight theory, whereby risk assessments test hypotheses that transgenic crops will not be harmful, seems to offer a better way to characterise risk. The effectiveness of an environmental risk assessment should not be measured by the size of the bucket of observations on a transgenic crop, but by the power of the risk hypothesis searchlights to clarify the risks that may arise from cultivation of that crop. These points are illustrated by examples of hypotheses that could be tested to assess the risks from transgenic crops and their hybrids becoming weeds or invading non-agricultural habitats.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 75 FR 6263 - Biomass Crop Assistance Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-08

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

  3. 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.

  4. Sustainable Biofuel Crops Project, Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-05-28

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

  5. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Verhagen, M.

    2007-11-12

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tajana Krička

    2008-09-01

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

  10. Essays concerning the cellulosic biofuel industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosburg, Alicia Sue

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibis Sepúlveda González

    2012-06-01

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

  13. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hellmann, F.; Verburg, P.H.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castellanos-Navarrete, A.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uslu, A.; Bole, T.; Londo, M. [ECN Policy Studies, Petten (Netherlands); Pelkmans, L. [VITO, Mol (Belgium); Berndes, G. [Chalmers University, Gothenburg (Sweden); Prieler, S.; Fischer, G. [International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IIASA, Laxenburg (Austria); Cueste Cabal, H. [CIEMAT, Madrid (Spain)

    2010-06-15

    Increasing fossil fuel prices, energy security considerations and environmental concerns, particularly concerning climate change, have motivated countries to explore alternative energy sources including biofuels. Global demand for biofuels has been rising rapidly due to biofuel support policies established in many countries. However, proposed strong links between biofuels demand and recent years' high food commodity prices, and notions that increasing biofuels production might bring about serious negative environmental impacts, in particularly associated with the land use change to biofuel crops, have shifted public enthusiasm about biofuels. In this context, the ELOBIO project aims at shedding further light to these aspects of biofuel expansion by collecting and reviewing the available data, and also developing strategies to decrease negative effects of biofuels while enabling their positive contribution to climate change, security of supply and rural development. ELOBIO considers aspects associated with both 1st and 2nd generation biofuels, hence analyses effects on both agricultural commodity markets and lignocellulosic markets. This project, funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme, consists of a review of current experiences with biofuels and other renewable energy policies and their impacts on other markets, iterative stakeholder-supported development of low-disturbing biofuels policies, model supported assessment of these policies' impacts on food, feed and lignocellulosic markets, and finally an assessment of the effects of selected optimal policies on biofuels costs and potentials. Results of the ELOBIO study show that rapid biofuel deployment without careful monitoring of consequences and implementation of mitigating measures risks leading to negative consequences. Implementing ambitious global biofuel targets for 2020, based on current 1st generation technologies, can push international agricultural commodity prices upwards and

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Screening for an Allergic Response to 2nd Generation Biofuel Sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract for March 2014 Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting The use of cellulosic biofuels crops can potentially reduce our carbon footprint. However, they may have unintended ecological and health effects such as increased competitiveness and allergenicity...

  5. Printed biofuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Joseph; Windmiller, Joshua Ray; Jia, Wenzhao

    2016-11-22

    Methods, systems, and devices are disclosed for implementing a biofuel cell device for extracting energy from a biofuel. In one aspect, a biofuel cell device includes a substrate, an anode including a catalyst to facilitate the conversion of a fuel in a biological fluid in an oxidative process that releases electrons captured at the anode, thereby extracting energy from the fuel substance, a cathode configured on the substrate adjacent to the anode and separated from the anode by a spacing region, and a load electrically coupled to the anode and cathode via electrical interconnects to obtain the extracted energy as electrical energy.

  6. Biofuels: not so bad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornley, Patricia; Morris, Trevor

    2008-09-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. An overview of second generation biofuel technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-08-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-08-15

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

  12. 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.

  13. IDB Biofuels Sustainability Scorecard

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

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

  14. The potential of C4 grasses for cellulosic biofuel production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anker Yaakov

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-08-14

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ren, Jingzheng; An, Da; Liang, Hanwei

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Andrew

    2008-01-01

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

  3. BioFuels Atlas (Presentation)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moriarty, K.

    2011-02-01

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

  4. System for determining biofuel concentration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-09-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  6. Modeling biofuel expansion effects on land use change dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Outlook for advanced biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamelinck, Carlo Noël

    2004-01-01

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

  12. Biofuel consumption rates and patterns in Kenya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-07-01

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

  13. Estimating Nitrogen Load Resulting from Biofuel Mandates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Alshawaf

    2016-05-01

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

  14. Halophytes As Bioenergy Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rulli, Maria Cristina; Bellomi, Davide; Cazzoli, Andrea; de Carolis, Giulia; D'Odorico, Paolo

    2016-03-01

    Recent energy security strategies, investment opportunities and energy policies have led to an escalation in biofuel consumption at the expenses of food crops and pastureland. To evaluate the important impacts of biofuels on food security, the food-energy nexus needs to be investigated in the context of its linkages with the overall human appropriation of land and water resources. Here we provide a global assessment of biofuel crop production, reconstruct global patterns of biofuel crop/oil trade and determine the associated displacement of water and land use. We find that bioethanol is mostly produced with domestic crops while 36% of biodiesel consumption relies on international trade, mainly from Southeast Asia. Altogether, biofuels rely on about 2-3% of the global water and land used for agriculture, which could feed about 30% of the malnourished population. We evaluate the food-energy tradeoff and the impact an increased reliance on biofuel would have on the number of people the planet can feed.

  16. Biofuel Feedstock Assessment For Selected Countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  17. 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)

  18. Global Impacts of European Agricultural and Biofuel Policies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Gerdien Prins

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Improving EU biofuels policy?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swinbank, Alan; Daugbjerg, Carsten

    2013-01-01

    in the WTO, as there would be a clearer link between policy measures and the objective of reductions in GHG emissions; and the combination of the revised RED and the FQD would lessen the commercial incentive to import biofuels with modest GHG emission savings, and thus reduce the risk of trade tension.......Both the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and Article 7a of its Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) seek to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport fuels. The RED mandates a 10% share of renewable energy in transport fuels by 2020, whilst the FQD requires a 6% reduction in GHG emissions...... (from a 2010 base) by the same date. In practice, it will mainly be biofuels that economic operators will use to meet these requirements, but the different approaches can lead to either the RED, or the FQD, acting as the binding constraint. A common set of environmental sustainability criteria apply...

  2. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2009-11-15

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

  4. 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.

  5. Biofuels from microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-11-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. BIOFUELS: FROM HOPES TO REALITY

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2006-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-10-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-01-31

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

  20. Bioprocessing for biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanch, Harvey W

    2012-06-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert McCormack

    2008-09-01

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

  6. Climate, Biofuels and Water: Projections and Sustainability Implications for the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deb, D.; Tuppad, P.; Daggupati, P.; Srinivasan, R.; Varma, D.

    2014-12-01

    Impact of climate change on the water resources of the United States exposes the vulnerability of feedstock-specific mandated fuel targets to extreme weather conditions that could become more frequent and intensify in the future. Consequently, a sustainable biofuel policy should consider a) how climate change would alter both water supply and demand and, b) in turn, how related changes in water availability will impact the production of biofuel crops and c) the environmental implications of large scale biofuel productions. Since, understanding the role of biofuels in the water cycle is key to understanding many of the environmental impacts of biofuels, the focus of this study is on modeling the rarely explored interactions between land use, climate change, water resources and the environment in future biofuel production systems to explore the impacts of the US biofuel policy and climate change on water and agricultural resources. More specifically, this research will address changes in the water demand and availability, soil erosion and water quality driven by both climate change and biomass feedstock production in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. We used the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) hydrologic model to analyze the water quantity and quality consequences of land use and land management related changes in cropping conditions (e.g. more use of marginal lands, greater residue harvest, increased yields), plus management practices due to biofuel crops to meet the RFS target on water quality and quantity. Results show that even if the Upper Mississippi River Basin is a region of low water stress, it contributes to high nutrient load in Gulf of Mexico through seasonal shifts in streamflow, changes in extreme high and low flow events, changes in loadings and transport of sediments and nutrients due to changes in precipitation patterns and intensity, changes in frequency of occurrence of floods and drought, early melting of snow and ice, increasing

  7. Analysis of advanced biofuels.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  8. First generation biofuels compete.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Marshall A

    2010-11-30

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

  9. 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

  10. Sustainable Process Design of Lignocellulose based Biofuel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mangnimit, Saranya; Malakul, Pomthong; Gani, Rafiqul

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

  11. Feeding outside the forest: the importance of crop raiding and an invasive weed in the diet of gallery forest ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) following a cyclone at the Beza Mahafaly special reserve, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaFleur, M; Gould, L

    2009-01-01

    In January 2005, a cyclone hit southern Madagascar, including the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, disrupting the flowering/fruiting cycle of Tamarindus indica, leaving Lemur catta without its major food resource during reproductive periods. We studied two adjacent groups of L. catta during the late gestation period, and both groups ventured outside the reserve to feed. The Red group (RG) fed daily on cultivated sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaves in a nearby field, and both groups consumed leaves and stems of the invasive terrestrial flowering herb Mexican prickly poppy (Argemone mexicana), growing outside the reserve. The Green group (GG) spent significantly more time feeding than did RG, and more time feeding inside the forest compared to outside. The members of RG spent half of their time feeding in the crops, and nearly half of their diet consisted of easy-to-process sweet potato leaves. Additionally, RG defended and restricted GG's access to the crop territory. Of the two non-forest foods, A. mexicana leaves were higher in protein and most minerals (P, Mg, K and Na, but not Ca) and lower in fiber than sweet potato leaves, but sweet potato leaves were preferred by RG. L. catta is a markedly flexible primate with respect to diet, and switches to fallback foods from outside the forest during periods of low food availability. In the highly seasonal and unpredictable climate of southern Madagascar, such behavioral adaptations are important to the survival of this species.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barney, Jacob N.; DiTomaso, Joseph M. [One Shields Ave, Mailstop 4, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (United States)

    2010-01-15

    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{sup 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)

  13. Advancing environmental risk assessment for transgenic biofeedstock crops

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Transgenic modification of plants is a key enabling technology for developing sustainable biofeedstocks for biofuels production. Regulatory decisions and the wider acceptance and development of transgenic biofeedstock crops are considered from the context of science-based risk assessment. The risk assessment paradigm for transgenic biofeedstock crops is fundamentally no different from that of current generation transgenic crops, except that the focus of the assessment must consider t...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2010-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Climate effects of biofuels: measuring some key parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  18. Production of biofuels from synthesis gas using microbial catalysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirado-Acevedo, Oscar; Chinn, Mari S; Grunden, Amy M

    2010-01-01

    World energy consumption is expected to increase 44% in the next 20 years. Today, the main sources of energy are oil, coal, and natural gas, all fossil fuels. These fuels are unsustainable and contribute to environmental pollution. Biofuels are a promising source of sustainable energy. Feedstocks for biofuels used today such as grain starch are expensive and compete with food markets. Lignocellulosic biomass is abundant and readily available from a variety of sources, for example, energy crops and agricultural/industrial waste. Conversion of these materials to biofuels by microorganisms through direct hydrolysis and fermentation can be challenging. Alternatively, biomass can be converted to synthesis gas through gasification and transformed to fuels using chemical catalysts. Chemical conversion of synthesis gas components can be expensive and highly susceptible to catalyst poisoning, limiting biofuel yields. However, there are microorganisms that can convert the CO, H(2), and CO(2) in synthesis gas to fuels such as ethanol, butanol, and hydrogen. Biomass gasification-biosynthesis processing systems have shown promise as some companies have already been exploiting capable organisms for commercial purposes. The discovery of novel organisms capable of higher product yield, as well as metabolic engineering of existing microbial catalysts, makes this technology a viable option for reducing our dependency on fossil fuels.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Is an increased use of biofuels the road to sustainability?. Consequences of the methodological approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, Sheshti; Rydberg, Torbjörn

    2017-02-01

    The global area of planted biofuel crops has been increasing rapidly, but the environmental and social consequences of widespread adoption of biofuel production remain largely unexplored. How do we measure efficiency and net energy of a complex system, such as the interaction between agriculture, human society and technology? This paper provides background and identifies assumptions in its overview of competing and overlapping methods. We emphasize that biofuels, as well as all other resources with their associated processes, should be analyzed as embedded in complex systems. The reason why society looks at biofuels favorably is because the methodological approaches used in the present scientific literature are narrow and far from holistic. What is excluded from the analysis has crucial implications on what is regarded as sustainable.

  2. Resources, policy, and research activities of biofuel in Indonesia: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanuandri Putrasari

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Fossil fuels as the main energy source of every country now predicted will be ended no more than 40 years. Therefore, alternative fuel such as biofuel has been developed by many countries including Indonesia. Indonesia as one of the highest populated country and has wide areas of agriculture, forest and crop field is potential to be the highest biofuel production in the world. However, after one decade since the Government of Indonesia launched the energy Policy in 2006, appears to be interesting that the biofuels progress in Indonesia seen not well developed. One of the basic weaknesses is the program only applied to the specific area with a high biofuel resource by central government without support by local government. Furthermore, the target of biofuel programs seems to be very high or too ambitious, while the condition of the people still very traditional which can be seen from the lifestyle and their energy consumption. This paper provides in detail a review of several topics related to resource, energy consumption, policy and the research and development activities of biofuel in Indonesia. As a discussion, some recommendation provided to encourage the biofuel development in the near future.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babović Nada V.

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Midwest U.S. Landscape Change to 2020 Driven by Biofuel Mandates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meeting future biofuel targets set by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), without a loss of animal feedstock or grain for human consumption, will require a substantial increase in production of corn. The Midwest, which has the highest overall crop production ap...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Crop physiology calibration in CLM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Bilionis

    2014-10-01

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

  11. 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. %.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Theoretical Calculations on the Feasibility of Microalgal Biofuels: Utilization of Marine Resources Could Help Realizing the Potential of Microalgae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hanwool; Lee, Choul-Gyun

    2016-11-01

    Microalgae have long been considered as one of most promising feedstocks with better characteristics for biofuels production over conventional energy crops. There have been a wide range of estimations on the feasibility of microalgal biofuels based on various productivity assumptions and data from different scales. The theoretical maximum algal biofuel productivity, however, can be calculated by the amount of solar irradiance and photosynthetic efficiency (PE), assuming other conditions are within the optimal range. Using the actual surface solar irradiance data around the world and PE of algal culture systems, maximum algal biomass and biofuel productivities were calculated, and feasibility of algal biofuel were assessed with the estimation. The results revealed that biofuel production would not easily meet the economic break-even point and may not be sustainable at a large-scale with the current algal biotechnology. Substantial reductions in the production cost, improvements in lipid productivity, recycling of resources, and utilization of non-conventional resources will be necessary for feasible mass production of algal biofuel. Among the emerging technologies, cultivation of microalgae in the ocean shows great potentials to meet the resource requirements and economic feasibility in algal biofuel production by utilizing various marine resources.

  16. Theoretical Calculations on the Feasibility of Microalgal Biofuels: Utilization of Marine Resources Could Help Realizing the Potential of Microalgae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hanwool

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Microalgae have long been considered as one of most promising feedstocks with better characteristics for biofuels production over conventional energy crops. There have been a wide range of estimations on the feasibility of microalgal biofuels based on various productivity assumptions and data from different scales. The theoretical maximum algal biofuel productivity, however, can be calculated by the amount of solar irradiance and photosynthetic efficiency (PE), assuming other conditions are within the optimal range. Using the actual surface solar irradiance data around the world and PE of algal culture systems, maximum algal biomass and biofuel productivities were calculated, and feasibility of algal biofuel were assessed with the estimation. The results revealed that biofuel production would not easily meet the economic break‐even point and may not be sustainable at a large‐scale with the current algal biotechnology. Substantial reductions in the production cost, improvements in lipid productivity, recycling of resources, and utilization of non‐conventional resources will be necessary for feasible mass production of algal biofuel. Among the emerging technologies, cultivation of microalgae in the ocean shows great potentials to meet the resource requirements and economic feasibility in algal biofuel production by utilizing various marine resources. PMID:27782372

  17. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. 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.

  20. Green chemistry, biofuels, and biorefinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-09-15

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

  9. 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.

  10. Advancing Biofuels: Balancing for Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farzad Taheripour

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Biofuel availability and domestic use patterns in Kenya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-11-01

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

  14. An assessment of Thailand's biofuel development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jenkins, A.; Newman, R.

    2002-07-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. CROPS Clever Robots for Crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bontsema, J.; Hemming, J.; Pekkeriet, E.J.

    2015-01-01

    In the EU-funded CROPS project robots are developed for site-specific spraying and selective harvesting of fruit
    and fruit vegetables. The robots are being designed to harvest crops, such as greenhouse vegetables, apples,
    grapes and for canopy spraying in orchards and for precision target sp

  2. 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

  3. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

    In the coming few decades, global freshwater demand will increase to meet the growing demand for food, fibre and biofuel crops. Raising water productivity in agriculture, that is reducing the water footprint (WF) per unit of production, will contribute to reducing the pressure on the limited global

  5. U.S. Biofuel Policies and Domestic Shifts in Agricultural Land Use and Water Balances

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    Policies promoting domestic biofuels production could lead to significant changes in cropping patterns. Types of direct and indirect land use change include: switching among crops (displacement), expanding cropped area (extensification), and altering water/soil management practices (e.g. irrigation, tillage) (intensification). Most studies of biofuels water use impacts calculate the water intensity of biofuels in liters of irrigated/total evapotranspired water per unit energy of biofuels. But estimates based on this approach are sensitive to assumptions (e.g. co-product allocation, system boundaries), and do not convey policy-relevant information, as highlighted by the issue of land use change. We address these shortcomings by adopting a scenario-based approach that combines economic modeling with crop-water modeling of major crops and biofuel feedstocks. This allows us to holistically compare differences in water balances across policy scenarios in an integrated economic/agricultural system. We compare high spatial resolution water balance estimates under three hypothetical policy scenarios: 1) a counterfactual no-policy scenario, 2) modified Renewable Fuels Standard mandates (M-RFS2), & 3) a national Low Carbon Fuel Standard plus a modified RFS2 scenario (LCFS+RFS2). Differences between scenarios in crop water balances (i.e. transpiration, evaporation, runoff, groundwater infiltration, & irrigation) are regional and are a function of changes in land use patterns (i.e. displacement, intensification, & extensification), plus variation in crop water-use characteristics. Cropped land area increases 6.2% and 1.6% under M-RFS2 and LCFS+RFS2 scenarios, respectively, by 2030. Both policy scenarios lead to reductions in net irrigation volumes nationally compared to the no-policy scenario, though more irrigation occurs in regions of the Midwest and West. The LCFS+RFS2 reduces net irrigation water use by 3.5 times more than M-RFS2. However, both policies drive

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-11-15

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

  9. 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.

  10. Liquid biofuels from blue biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kádár, Zsófia; Jensen, Annette Eva; Bangsø Nielsen, Henrik

    2011-01-01

    medium, light as energy source and they capture CO2 for the synthesis of new organic material, thus can grow on non-agricultural land, without increasing food prices, or using fresh water. Due to all these advantages in addition to very high biomass yield with high carbohydrate content, macroalgaes can......Marine (blue) biomasses, such as macroalgaes, represent a huge unexploited amount of biomass. With their various chemical compositions, macroalgaes can be a potential substrate for food, feed, biomaterials, pharmaceuticals, health care products and also for bioenergy. Algae use seawater as a growth...... be the well suited candidates as feedstock for biofuel production in the future. The aim of our studies is to examine the possibility producing liquid biofuel (ethanol and butanol) from macroalgaes....

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-12-15

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

  12. 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

  13. Biofuels: balancing risks and rewards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornley, Patricia; Gilbert, Paul

    2013-02-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  15. Multiple applications of ion chromatography oligosaccharide fingerprint profiles to solve a variety of sugar and sugar-biofuel industry problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugar crops contain a broad variety of carbohydrates used for human consumption and the production of biofuels and bioproducts. Ion chromatography with integrated pulsed amperometric detection (IC-IPAD), also known as high performance anion exchange chromatography (HPAEC), can be used to simultaneo...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Optimization of Biofuel Production From Transgenic Microalgae

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-27

    AFRL-OSR-VA-TR-2013-0145 OPTIMIZATION OF BIOFUEL PRODUCTION FROM TRANSGENIC MICROALGAE Richard Sayre Donald Danforth...Technical 20080815 to 20120630 OPTIMIZATION OF BIOFUEL PRODUCTION FROM TRANSGENIC MICROALGAE FA9550-08-1-0451 Richard Sayre Donald Danforth Plant...BIOFUEL PRODUCTION FROM TRANSGENIC MICROALGAE Grant/Contract Number: FA9550-08-1-0451 Reporting Period: Final Report Abstract: We have compared the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaiswal, D.

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Progress and recent trends in biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demirbas, Ayhan [Department of Chemical Engineering, Selcuk University, Campus, 42031 Konya (Turkey)

    2007-02-15

    In this paper, the modern biomass-based transportation fuels such as fuels from Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, bioethanol, fatty acid (m)ethylester, biomethanol, and biohydrogen are briefly reviewed. Here, the term biofuel is referred to as liquid or gaseous fuels for the transport sector that are predominantly produced from biomass. There are several reasons for bio-fuels to be considered as relevant technologies by both developing and industrialized countries. They include energy security reasons, environmental concerns, foreign exchange savings, and socioeconomic issues related to the rural sector. The term modern biomass is generally used to describe the traditional biomass use through the efficient and clean combustion technologies and sustained supply of biomass resources, environmentally sound and competitive fuels, heat and electricity using modern conversion technologies. Modern biomass can be used for the generation of electricity and heat. Bioethanol and biodiesel as well as diesel produced from biomass by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis are the most modern biomass-based transportation fuels. Bio-ethanol is a petrol additive/substitute. It is possible that wood, straw and even household wastes may be economically converted to bio-ethanol. Bio-ethanol is derived from alcoholic fermentation of sucrose or simple sugars, which are produced from biomass by hydrolysis process. Currently crops generating starch, sugar or oil are the basis for transport fuel production. 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. Biodiesel is a renewable replacement to petroleum-based diesel. Biomass energy conversion facilities are important for obtaining bio-oil. Pyrolysis is the most important process among the thermal conversion processes of biomass. Brief summaries of the basic concepts involved in the thermochemical conversions of biomass fuels are

  2. Biofuel: A Comparative Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-01

    processing mills. Grass crops include switch grass and alfalfa, while wood energy crops come from fast- growing trees such as poplar and eucalyptus ...found both programs were in essence national organizations leading commercialization efforts. The nuclear power program was spearheaded by the AEC

  3. Liquid biofuels emergence, development and prospects

    CERN Document Server

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Yi-Wen; Wu, May

    2013-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-11-15

    A resource assessment and biorefinery siting optimization model was developed and implemented to assess potential biofuel supply across the Western United States from agricultural, forest, urban, and energy crop biomass. Spatial information including feedstock resources, existing and potential refinery locations and a transportation network model is provided to a mixed integer-linear optimization model that determines the optimal locations, technology types and sizes of biorefineries to satisfy a maximum profit objective function applied across the biofuel supply and demand chain from site of feedstock production to the product fuel terminal. The resource basis includes preliminary considerations of crop and residue sustainability. Sensitivity analyses explore possible effects of policy and technology changes. At a target market price of 19.6 $ GJ{sup -1}, the model predicts a feasible production level of 610-1098 PJ, enough to supply up to 15% of current regional liquid transportation fuel demand. (author)

  8. 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

  9. Investigating Invasives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lightbody, Mary

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Life cycle analysis for the cultivation and combustion of Miscanthus for biofuel compared with natural gas

    OpenAIRE

    Ashworth, A; West, C.; Popp, M; Montrejaud-Vignoles,; Sablayrolles, C.; Gabrielle, Benoit

    2008-01-01

    As negative environmental and economic impacts of fossil fuels have escalated, so has the importance of renewable bioenergy crops whose feedstocks are noncompetitive with food supplies. Compared with fossil fuels, use of lignocellulosic feedstocks offers potential for greenhouse gas reduction and highly positive net energy returns because of low input demand and high yields per unit of land area, thus making them advantageous for the emerging biofuel industry. The aim of this study was to sim...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    into biofuel. The scenarios were (i) bioethanol, (ii) biogas and (iii) coproduction of bioethanol and biogas. In the last scenario, the biomass was first used for bioethanol fermentation and subsequently the effluent from this process was utilized for biogas production. The net GHG reduction was calculated......One way of reducing the emissions of fossil fuel-derived carbon dioxide (CO2) is to replace fossil fuels with biofuels produced from agricultural biomasses or residuals. However, cultivation of soils results in emission of other greenhouse gases (GHGs), especially nitrous oxide (N2O). Previous...... when agricultural biomasses were used for biofuel production. The analysis included five organically managed feedstocks (viz. dried straw of sole cropped rye, sole cropped vetch and intercropped rye–vetch, as well as fresh grass–clover and whole crop maize) and three scenarios for conversion of biomass...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2013-09-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amani Elobeid

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seth D. Meyer; Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes

    2010-12-02

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

  17. Water savings of redistributing global crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. COMPUTATIONAL RESOURCES FOR BIOFUEL FEEDSTOCK SPECIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-05-07

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

  3. 3 CFR - Biofuels and Rural Economic Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 3 The President 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Biofuels and Rural Economic Development Presidential Documents Other Presidential Documents Memorandum of May 5, 2009 Biofuels and Rural Economic Development... Rural Development Act of 1972 and the Rural Development Policy Act of 1980 direct the Secretary...

  4. Biofuel investment in Tanzania. Omissions in implementation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Habib-Mintz, Nazia [Land Economy, St. Edmund' s College, University of Cambridge, Kings Lane CB3 0BN (United Kingdom)

    2010-08-15

    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. (author)

  5. International Policies on Bioenergy and Biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Global nitrogen requirement for increased biofuel production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flapper, Joris

    2008-01-01

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

  7. BIOFUEL: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gong Liming

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Bounded Biofuels? Sustainability of Global Biogas Developments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mol, A.P.J.

    2014-01-01

    Compared to liquid biofuels biogas has hardly drawn any attention from social sciences researchers lately. Although the share of biogas and liquid biofuels in the energy portfolio of many countries are comparable, biogas systems are strongly place-based and are non-controversial in terms of sustaina

  9. Biofuels and Fisheries: Risks and Opportunities .

    Science.gov (United States)

    A rapidly developing biofuels industry in the U.S. and around the globe poses novel environmental challenges and opportunities, with implications for teh health and sustainability of fisheries. Changes in land uses and agricultural practices for production of biofuel feedstocks ...

  10. Biofuels. Environment, technology and food security

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Escobar, Jose C.; Lora, Electo S.; Venturini, Osvaldo J. [NEST - Excellence Group in Thermal Power and Distributed Generation, Mechanical Engineering Institute, Universidade Federal de Itajuba (Brazil); Yanez, Edgar E. [CENIPALMA, Oil Palm Research Center - Cenipalma, Calle 21 42-C-47, Bogota (Colombia); Castillo, Edgar F. [CENICANA - Sugarcane Research Center of Colombia, Calle 58 N, 3BN-110, A.A., 9138 - Cali (Colombia); Almazan, Oscar [ICIDCA - Instituto Cubano de Investigaciones de los Derivados de la Cana de Azucar, Via Blanca y Carretera Central 804, San Miguel del Padron, A.P. 4036, La Habana (Cuba)

    2009-08-15

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

  11. 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.

  12. Biofuel investment in Tanzania: Omissions in implementation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Habib-Mintz, Nazia, E-mail: nsh29@cam.ac.u [Land Economy, St. Edmund' s College, University of Cambridge, Kings Lane CB3 0BN (United Kingdom)

    2010-08-15

    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.

  13. Biofuels and Sustainable Transport: A Conceptual Discussion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey Gilpin

    2013-07-01

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

  14. Coupling of algal biofuel production with wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Scope of algae as third generation biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuvashish eBehera

    2015-02-01

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

  16. Biofuels and the conundrum of sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, John J

    2009-06-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olalekan eAkinbo

    2015-10-01

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

  19. Associative properties of {sup 137}Cs in biofuel ashes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ravila, A.; Holm, E. [Lund Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Radiation Physics

    1999-07-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Vlosky

    2011-10-01

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

  1. Nitrogen fertilization challenges the climate benefit of cellulosic biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Leilei; Bhardwaj, Ajay K.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Robertson, G. Philip

    2016-06-01

    Cellulosic biofuels are intended to improve future energy and climate security. Nitrogen (N) fertilizer is commonly recommended to stimulate yields but can increase losses of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) and other forms of reactive N, including nitrate. We measured soil N2O emissions and nitrate leaching along a switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) high resolution N-fertilizer gradient for three years post-establishment. Results revealed an exponential increase in annual N2O emissions that each year became stronger (R 2 > 0.9, P fertilizer. Nitrate leaching (and calculated indirect N2O emissions) also increased exponentially in response to N inputs, but neither methane (CH4) uptake nor soil organic carbon changed detectably. Overall, N fertilizer inputs at rates greater than crop need curtailed the climate benefit of ethanol production almost two-fold, from a maximum mitigation capacity of -5.71 ± 0.22 Mg CO2e ha-1 yr-1 in switchgrass fertilized at 56 kg N ha-1 to only -2.97 ± 0.18 Mg CO2e ha-1 yr-1 in switchgrass fertilized at 196 kg N ha-1. Minimizing N fertilizer use will be an important strategy for fully realizing the climate benefits of cellulosic biofuel production.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radojević Uroš

    2015-11-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Projections of Biofuel Growth Patterns Reveal the Potential Importance of Nitrogen Fixation for Miscanthus Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, S. C.; Parton, W. J.; Dohleman, F. G.; Gottel, N. R.; Smith, C. M.; Kent, A. D.; Delucia, E. H.

    2008-12-01

    Demand for liquid biofuels is increasing because of the disparity between fuel demand and supply. Relative to grain crops, the more intensive harvest required for second generation liquid biofuel production leads to the removal of significantly more carbon and nitrogen from the soil. These elements are conventionally litter products of crops that are returned to the soil and can accumulate over time. This loss of organic matter represents a management challenge because the energy cost associated with fertilizers or external sources of organic matter reduce the net energy value of the biofuel crops. Plants that have exceptional strategies for exploiting nutrients may be the most viable options for sustainable biofuel yields because of low management and energy cost. Miscanthus x giganteus has high N retranslocation rates, maintains high photosynthetic rates over a large temperature range, exploits a longer-than-average growing season, and yields at least twice the biomass of other candidate biofuel grass crops (i.e. switchgrass). We employed the DAYCENT model to project potential productivity of Miscanthus, corn, switchgrass, and mixed prairie communities based on our current knowledge of these species. Ecosystem process descriptions that have been validated for many crop species did not accurately predict Miscanthus yields and lead to new hypotheses about unknown N cycling mechanisms for this species. We tested the hypothesis that Miscanthus hosts N-fixing bacteria in several ways. First, we used enrichment culture and molecular methods to detect N-fixing bacteria in Miscanthus. Then, we demonstrated the plant-growth promoting effect of diazotrophs isolated from Miscanthus rhizomes on a model grass. And finally, we applied 15N2 to the soil and rooting zone of field grown Miscanthus plants to determine if atmospheric N2 was incorporated into plant tissue, a process that requires N-fixation. These experiments are the first tests of N-fixation in Miscanthus x

  6. 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

  7. Predicting Agricultural Management Influence on Long-Term Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics: Implications for Biofuel Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gollany, H. T. [USDA ARS; Rickman, R. W. [USDA ARS; Albrecht, S. L. [USDA ARS; Liang, Y. [University of Arkansas; Kang, Shujiang [ORNL; Machado, S. [Oregon State University, Corvallis

    2011-01-01

    Long-term field experiments (LTE) are ideal for predicting the influence of agricultural management on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics and examining biofuel crop residue removal policy questions. Our objectives were (i) to simulate SOC dynamics in LTE soils under various climates, crop rotations, fertilizer or organic amendments, and crop residue managements using the CQESTR model and (ii) to predict the potential of no-tillage (NT) management to maintain SOC stocks while removing crop residue. Classical LTEs at Champaign, IL (1876), Columbia, MO (1888), Lethbridge, AB (1911), Breton, AB (1930), and Pendleton, OR (1931) were selected for their documented history of management practice and periodic soil organic matter (SOM) measurements. Management practices ranged from monoculture to 2- or 3-yr crop rotations, manure, no fertilizer or fertilizer additions, and crop residue returned, burned, or harvested. Measured and CQESTR predicted SOC stocks under diverse agronomic practices, mean annual temperature (2.1 19 C), precipitation (402 973 mm), and SOC (5.89 33.58 g SOC kg 1) at the LTE sites were significantly related (r 2 = 0.94, n = 186, P < 0.0001) with a slope not significantly different than 1. The simulation results indicated that the quantities of crop residue that can be sustainably harvested without jeopardizing SOC stocks were influenced by initial SOC stocks, crop rotation intensity, tillage practices, crop yield, and climate. Manure or a cover crop/intensified crop rotation under NT are options to mitigate loss of crop residue C, as using fertilizer alone is insufficient to overcome residue removal impact on SOC stocks

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Wolf, Adam

    2009-11-15

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Supercritical fluids technology for clean biofuel production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dongsheng Wen; H.Jiang; Kai Zhang

    2009-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tao Sang

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Designer landscapes for sustainable biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  20. 75 FR 21191 - Subpart B-Advanced Biofuel Payment Program; Correction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-23

    ...--Advanced Biofuel Payment Program; Correction AGENCY: Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA. ACTION... existing advanced biofuel production and to encourage new production of advanced biofuels. As...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delucchi, Mark A

    2010-05-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Water vapor release from biofuel combustion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmar, R. S.; Welling, M.; Andreae, M. O.; Helas, G.

    2008-03-01

    We report on the emission of water vapor from biofuel combustion. Concurrent measurements of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are used to scale the concentrations of water vapor found, and are compared to carbon in the biofuel. Fuel types included hardwood (oak and African musasa), softwood (pine and spruce, partly with green needles), and African savanna grass. The session-averaged ratio of H2O to the sum of CO and CO2 in the emissions from 16 combustion experiments ranged from 1.2 to 3.7 on average, indicating the presence of water that is not chemically bound. This biofuel moisture content ranged from 33% in the dry African hardwood, musasa, to 220% in fresh pine branches with needles. The moisture content from fresh biofuel contributes distinctly to the water vapor in biomass burning emissions, and its influence on meteorology needs to be evaluated.

  5. Water vapor release from biofuel combustion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Parmar

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available We report on the emission of water vapor from biofuel combustion. Concurrent measurements of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are used to scale the concentrations of water vapor found, and are compared to carbon in the biofuel. Fuel types included hardwood (oak and African musasa, softwood (pine and spruce, partly with green needles, and African savanna grass. The session-averaged ratio of H2O to the sum of CO and CO2 in the emissions from 16 combustion experiments ranged from 1.2 to 3.7 on average, indicating the presence of water that is not chemically bound. This biofuel moisture content ranged from 33% in the dry African hardwood, musasa, to 220% in fresh pine branches with needles. The moisture content from fresh biofuel contributes distinctly to the water vapor in biomass burning emissions, and its influence on meteorology needs to be evaluated.

  6. 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.

  7. Recent development of miniatured enzymatic biofuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yin; Penmatsa, Varun; Wang, Chunlei

    2011-06-01

    Enzymatic biofuel cells (EBFCs) that oxidize biological fuels using enzyme-modified electrodes are considered a promising candidate for implantable power sources. However, there are still challenges to overcome before biofuel cells become competitive in any practical applications. Currently, the short lifespan of the catalytic enzymes and poor power density are the most critical issues in developing EBFCs. In this paper, we will review the recent development of biofuel cells and highlight the progress in Carbon-microelectromechanical system (C-MEMS) based micro biofuel cells by both computational modeling and experimental work. Also, our effort on utilizing a covalent immobilization technique for the attachment of enzymes onto the substrate which is expected to increase the enzyme loading efficiency and the power density of devices is discussed in this paper.

  8. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Constructed wetlands as biofuel production systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    We present a novel bottom-up approach to estimate biofuel-induced land-use change (LUC) and resulting CO2 emissions in the U.S. from 2010 to 2022, based on a consistent methodology across four essential components: land availability, land suitability, LUC decision-making, and induced CO2 emissions. Using highresolution geospatial data and modeling, we construct probabilistic assessments of county-, state-, and national-level LUC and emissions for macroeconomic scenarios. We use the Cropland Data Layer and the Protected Areas Database to characterize availability of land for biofuel crop cultivation, and the CERES-Maize and BioCro biophysical crop growth models to estimate the suitability (yield potential) of available lands for biofuel crops. For LUC decisionmaking, we use a county-level stochastic partial-equilibrium modeling framework and consider five scenarios involving annual ethanol production scaling to 15, 22, and 29 BG, respectively, in 2022, with corn providing feedstock for the first 15 BG and the remainder coming from one of two dedicated energy crops. Finally, we derive high-resolution above-ground carbon factors from the National Biomass and Carbon Data set to estimate emissions from each LUC pathway. Based on these inputs, we obtain estimates for average total LUC emissions of 6.1, 2.2, 1.0, 2.2, and 2.4 gCO2e/MJ for Corn-15 Billion gallons (BG), Miscanthus × giganteus (MxG)-7 BG, Switchgrass (SG)-7 BG, MxG-14 BG, and SG-14 BG scenarios, respectively.

  13. Wearable Sensor System Powered by a Biofuel Cell for Detection of Lactate Levels in Sweat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, S O; Ulyanova, Y V; Figueroa-Teran, R; Bhatt, K H; Singhal, S; Atanassov, P

    An NAD(+)-dependent enzymatic sensor with biofuel cell power source system for non-invasive monitoring of lactate in sweat was designed, developed, and tested. The sensor component, based on lactate dehydrogenase, showed linear current response with increasing lactate concentrations with limits of detection from 5 to 100 mM lactate and sensitivity of 0.2 µA.mM(-1) in the presence of target analyte. In addition to the sensor patch a power source was also designed, developed and tested. The power source was a biofuel cell designed to oxidize glucose via glucose oxidase. The biofuel cell showed excellent performance, achieving over 80 mA at 0.4 V (16 mW) in a footprint of 3.5 × 3.5 × 0.7 cm. Furthermore, in order to couple the sensor to the power source, system electronic components were designed and fabricated. These consisted of an energy harvester (EH) and a micropotentiostat (MP). The EH was employed for harvesting power provided by the biofuel cell as well as up-converting the voltage to 3.0 V needed for the operation of the MP. The sensor was attached to MP for chronoamperometric detection of lactate. The Sensor Patch System was demonstrated under laboratory conditions.

  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. 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

  16. 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).

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kløverpris, Jesper; Wenzel, Henrik; Banse, Martin

    2008-01-01

    in the identification of marginal crop production and the resulting expansion of the global agricultural area. Furthermore, the field of geography offers insights in the complexity behind new land cultivation and practical examples of where this is seen to occur on a regional scale. Results. Results presented...... caused by an increased demand for biofuels. Main Features. The main feature of the conference was the crossbreeding The main feature of the conference was the crossbreeding of experience from the different approaches to land use modelling: The field of LCA could especially benefit from economic modelling......-called yield gaps. Conclusions. Modelling the global land use implications of Modelling the global land use implications of biofuels requires an interdisciplinary approach optimally integrating economic, geographical, biophysical, social and possibly other aspects in the modelling. This interdisciplinary...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-19

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

  5. 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

  6. Simulating Stochastic Crop Management in Cropping Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Introduction -- Crop simulation models are uniquely suitable for examining long term crop responses to environmental variability due to changes in climate or other factors. Long-term studies typically emphasize variability related to weather conditions; certain weather-dependent cropping practices m...

  7. 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.

  8. Novel biofuel formulations for enhanced vehicle performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-08-30

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

  9. Changes in erosion and runoff due to replacement of pasture land with sugarcane crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    The planting of sugarcane crops has expanded in the last decade in southeast Brazil, mainly due to its use for biofuel production (alcohol). This expansion in the State of São Paulo has occupied land that was previously used for cattle production. This change in land use affects soil and water throu...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Synthetic biology and the technicity of biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackenzie, Adrian

    2013-06-01

    The principal existing real-world application of synthetic biology is biofuels. Several 'next generation biofuel' companies-Synthetic Genomics, Amyris and Joule Unlimited Technologies-claim to be using synthetic biology to make biofuels. The irony of this is that highly advanced science and engineering serves the very mundane and familiar realm of transport. Despite their rather prosaic nature, biofuels could offer an interesting way to highlight the novelty of synthetic biology from several angles at once. Drawing on the French philosopher of technology and biology Gilbert Simondon, we can understand biofuels as technical objects whose genesis involves processes of concretisation that negotiate between heterogeneous geographical, biological, technical, scientific and commercial realities. Simondon's notion of technicity, the degree of concretisation of a technical object, usefully conceptualises this relationality. Viewed in terms of technicity, we might understand better how technical entities, elements, and ensembles are coming into being in the name of synthetic biology. The broader argument here is that when we seek to identify the newness of disciplines, their newness might be less epistemic and more logistic.

  13. Biofuels: A win-win strategy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-12-31

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

  14. Perspectives for Sustainable Aviation Biofuels in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís A. B. Cortez

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Characterization of ashes from biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-02-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Preesman, L.

    2009-05-15

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

  17. Production of biofuels and chemicals with ionic liquids

    CERN Document Server

    Fang, Zhen; Qi, Xinhua

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Rethinking Bioenergy from an Agricultural Perspective: Ethical Issues Raised by Perennial Energy Crop and Crop Residue Production in the UK and Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shortall, Orla

    around these controversies is the production of perennial energy crops such as grasses and trees and crop residues such as straw, which are seen to require fewer inputs and less prime land. Some have analysed the controversies raised by biofuels in terms of controversies around industrial agriculture...... that regardless of the type of agricultural system used very little or no biomass should be produced for the energy sector because of the scale of resources it requires and the scale of society’s energy use. These positions can be summarised as three different ways to overcome challenges raised by food crop...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Rutz, D.; van Eijck, J.A.J.; Faaij, A.P.C.

    2011-01-01

    Many countries worldwide are increasingly engaging in the promotion of biomass production for industrial uses such as biofuels and bioproducts (chemicals, bioplastics, etc.). Until today, mainly biofuels were supported by European policies, but support for bioproducts is still lacking behind. Thus, also the public sustainability debate concentrated on biofuels, but so far not on bioproducts. Driven by the strong public debate on sustainability aspects, biofuels are confronted with many enviro...

  20. Present and future of biofuels production for sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Mitochondrial bioelectrocatalysis for biofuel cell applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arechederra, Robert L.; Boehm, Kevin [Saint Louis University, Department of Chemistry, 3501 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, MO 63103 (United States); Minteer, Shelley D., E-mail: minteers@slu.ed [Saint Louis University, Department of Chemistry, 3501 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, MO 63103 (United States)

    2009-12-01

    Mitochondria modified electrodes have been developed and characterized that utilize whole mitochondria isolated from tubers and immobilized within a quaternary ammonium modified Nafion membrane on a carbon electrode that can oxidize pyruvate and fatty acids. Detailed characterization of the performance of these mitochondria modified electrodes has been accomplished by coupling the mitochondria-based bioanode with a commercial air breathing cathode in a complete pyruvate/air biofuel cell. The studies included the effect of fuel (pyruvate) concentration, mitochondria lysing, temperature and pH on the performance of the mitochondria catalyzed, pyruvate/air biofuel cell. Effect of oxygen and cytochrome c oxidase inhibitors on biofuel cell performance has allowed us to further understand the mechanism of electron transfer with the carbon electrode.

  2. Impacts of Climate Change on Biofuels Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-04-30

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

  3. Omics in Chlamydomonas for Biofuel Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Peroxidase Biocathodes for a Biofuel Cell Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gomes, Celso; Shipovskov, Stepan; Ferapontova, Elena

    Among such efficient sustainable energy sources, as wind and solar power, photovoltaics, geothermal and water power and other1-3, biofuels are ranked as less efficient. The latest 2009 report of the International Energy Agency4 plans approximately 100% increase of the contribution of the renewable...... energy sources in the world energy consumption within the period from 2006 to 2030, with a biomass conversion mentioned only briefly. Along with this, the expedient development of new bioenergy technologies may change the future role of biological sources. One example is production of bioethanol...... as alternative fuel5,6; another example is a steadily expanding field of biofuel cells development7-10, with a number of scientific publications and patent applications increased more than 40 times during the last decade11. In terms of sustainable energy production, enzymatic biofuel cells are attractive...

  5. Biofuel and Food-Commodity Prices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Zilberman

    2012-09-01

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

  6. Algae a promising alternative for biofuel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.H. Sayadi

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Research on renewable and environmentally friendly fuel is growing rapidly and many scientists and governments are interested to grow it fast due to limitation of conventional fuel sources and their harmful effects on the environment. Biofuels are not only the best and reliably available fuels attained from renewable sources which are environment friendly. Besdies biofuels are abundantly available in all the locations easily accessible and highly sustainable. In the present review, the authors present a brief highlight of challenges that necessitates to be covered in order to make both, micro as well as macro algae a viable option to produce renewable biofuels. It is interesting to note that algae are varied, pervasive, and productive and also having less impact with plants as a food for human and animals. Further research is required to a high quantity of product innovation because most dedicated algae are faced uneconomically high costs.

  7. Lipid extraction of wet BLT0404 microalgae for biofuel application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansur, Dieni; Fitriady, Muhammad Arifuddin; Susilaningsih, Dwi; Simanungkalit, Sabar Pangihutan; Agustian, Egi

    2017-01-01

    Recently, research and development of microalgae for biodiesel production were conducted by researchers in the world. This research becomes popular because of an exponential growth of the microalgae under nutrient limitation. Lipid of microalgae grows faster than oil producing land crops. Therefore, microalgae lipid content could improve the economics of biodiesel production. The aim of this study was to investigate yield of lipid extract and chemicals compounds containing in non-acylglycerol neutral lipid from BLT 0404 microalga. The study was conducted because lipid extraction was an important step for biodiesel as well as biofuel production. The extraction was carried out using polar and non-polar mixture solvents. The polar solvent was methanol and non-polar one was chloroform. Process extraction was conducted under various stirring time between the microalgae and methanol and volume ratio between the methanol and chloroform. Methanol as a polar solvent was able to extract polar lipid (phospholipid and glycolipid) because it removed polar membrane lipid and lipid-associated to polar molecule. Moreover, the non-polar solvent was used for extraction non-acylglycerol neutral lipid (hydrocarbons, sterols, ketones, free fatty acids, carotenes, and chlorophylls) for biofuel production. Under ratio of microalgae: methanol: chloroform of 0.8: 4: 2 that stirring time of the microalgae with methanol was 30 min yielded 58% of total lipid extract. The yield value consisted of 14.5% of non-acylglycerol neutral lipid and 43.5% of polar lipid. The non-acylglycerol neutral lipid will be converted into biofuel. Therefore, analysis of its chemical compounds was required. The non-acylglycerol neutral lipid was analyzed by GCMS and found that the extract contained long chains of hydrocarbon compounds. The hydrocarbons consisted of C18-C30 that high peaks with larger percentage area were C20-C26. The results suggested that stirring between microalgae and methanol for 30 min was

  8. 75 FR 11836 - Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-12

    ... Rural Business-Cooperative Service Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels AGENCY: Rural Business... Program for Advanced Biofuels under criteria established in the prior NOCP, which was published in this... Biofuels. In response to the previously published NOCP, approximately $14.5 million in contracts...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-02

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

  10. Improving Biofuels Recovery Processes for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. Water vapor release from biofuel combustion

    OpenAIRE

    Parmar, R. S.; Welling, M.; Andreae, M. O.; G. Helas

    2008-01-01

    We report on the emission of water vapor from biofuel combustion. Concurrent measurements of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are used to scale the concentrations of water vapor found, and are compared to carbon in the biofuel. Fuel types included hardwood (oak and African musasa), softwood (pine and spruce, partly with green needles), and African savanna grass. The session-averaged ratio of H2O to the sum of CO and CO2 in the emissions from 16 ...

  12. Bioenergy from Biofuel Residues and Wastes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudri, B S; Baawain, Mahad

    2016-10-01

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

  13. Microspora Floccosa; A Potential Biofuel Producer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aisha Abdul Sattar Memon

    2016-06-01

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

  14. Invasive species

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura German

    2011-09-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Lessons from first generation biofuels and implications for the sustainability appraisal of second generation biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Aims The emergence of second generation (2G) biofuels is widely seen as a sustainable response to the increasing controversy surrounding the first generation (1G). Yet, sustainability credentials of 2G biofuels are also being questioned. Drawing on work in Science and Technology Studies, we argue that controversies help focus attention on key, often value-related questions that need to be posed to address broader societal concerns. This paper examines lessons drawn from the 1G controversy to ...

  19. Consolidated bioprocessing for biofuel production: recent advances

    OpenAIRE

    Chinn, Mari; Mbaneme,Veronica

    2015-01-01

    Veronica Mbaneme-Smith, Mari S Chinn Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA Abstract: Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP), the combination of saccharolytic enzyme production and secretion, hydrolysis of polysaccharides, and fermentation of available sugars within a single-unit operation, improves cellulose conversion efficiency and decreases lignocellulosic biomass processing costs for producing biofuels and value-added products....

  20. Biofuels. Altered sterol composition renders yeast thermotolerant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caspeta, Luis; Chen, Yun; Ghiaci, Payam;

    2014-01-01

    Ethanol production for use as a biofuel is mainly achieved through simultaneous saccharification and fermentation by yeast. Operating at ≥40°C would be beneficial in terms of increasing efficiency of the process and reducing costs, but yeast does not grow efficiently at those temperatures. We use...

  1. Boundless Biofuels? Between Environmental Sustainability and Vulnerability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mol, A.P.J.

    2007-01-01

    Biofuels currently appear to be one of the major controversies in the agriculture/environment nexus, not unlike genetically modified organisms. While some countries (such as Brazil) have for quite some time supported successful large-scale programmes to improve the production and consumption of biof

  2. [Significance and limitations of first generation biofuels].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielle, Benoît

    2008-01-01

    Formerly on the margins of the European agricultural landscape, liquid biofuels for transport have recently come into sharp focus with the help of three drivers: the depletion of oil resources and the political motto of energy independence, international negotiations on climate, and finally - in Europe at least - the overhaul of the common agricultural policy underpinning the need to diversify this sector. This political purpose has led to aggressive development targets in both Europe and the United States, implying a nearly ten-fold increase of biofuel production within ten years. This article introduces the current biofuel production technologies (so-called ;first generation'), whose common marker is the reliance on the storage organs of agricultural plants. This implies a relatively strong demand in arable areas, along with only moderately positive energy and environmental advantages compared to fossil fuels. 'Second generation' biofuels, which are based on generic biomass (ligno-cellulose) are expected to overcome these limitations, but will not be deployed on the market for another ten years.

  3. Air China conducts first biofuel test flight

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    Air China became the first Chinese carrier to conduct a demonstration flight powered in part by biofuel, indicating the alternative energy's possible use in future commercial flights in China. The Beijing-based airline company, also China's flag carrier,

  4. Future of Liquid Biofuels for APEC Economies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Milbrandt, A.; Overend, R. P.

    2008-05-01

    This project was initiated by APEC Energy Working Group (EWG) to maximize the energy sector's contribution to the region's economic and social well-being through activities in five areas of strategic importance including liquid biofuels production and development.

  5. Novel biofuel formulations for enhanced vehicle performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-08-30

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

  6. Sustainability Research: Biofuels, Processes and Supply Chains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Presentation will talk about sustainability at the EPA, summarily covering high level efforts and focusing in more detail on research in metrics for liquid biofuels and tools to evaluate sustainable processes. The presentation will also briefly touch on a new area of research, t...

  7. Designing Sustainable Supply Chains for Biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driven by the Energy and Independence Act of 2007 mandate to increase production of alternative fuels and to ensure that this increase causes minimal environmental impact, a project to design sustainable biofuel supply chains has been developed. This effort uses life cycle asses...

  8. Chlamydomonas as a model for biofuels and bio-products production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scranton, Melissa A; Ostrand, Joseph T; Fields, Francis J; Mayfield, Stephen P

    2015-05-01

    Developing renewable energy sources is critical to maintaining the economic growth of the planet while protecting the environment. First generation biofuels focused on food crops like corn and sugarcane for ethanol production, and soybean and palm for biodiesel production. Second generation biofuels based on cellulosic ethanol produced from terrestrial plants, has received extensive funding and recently pilot facilities have been commissioned, but to date output of fuels from these sources has fallen well short of what is needed. Recent research and pilot demonstrations have highlighted the potential of algae as one of the most promising sources of sustainable liquid transportation fuels. Algae have also been established as unique biofactories for industrial, therapeutic, and nutraceutical co-products. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii's long established role in the field of basic research in green algae has paved the way for understanding algal metabolism and developing genetic engineering protocols. These tools are now being utilized in C. reinhardtii and in other algal species for the development of strains to maximize biofuels and bio-products yields from the lab to the field.

  9. Interactions of woody biofuel feedstock production systems with water resources: Considerations for sustainability.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trettin, Carl,C.; Amatya, Devendra; Coleman, Mark.

    2008-07-01

    Abstract. Water resources are important for the production of woody biofuel feedstocks. It is necessary to ensure that production systems do not adversely affect the quantity or quality of surface and ground water. The effects of woody biomass plantations on water resources are largely dependent on the prior land use and the management regime. Experience from both irrigated and non-irrigated systems has demonstrated that woody biofuel production systems do not impair water quality. Water quality actually improves from conversion of idle or degraded agricultural lands to woody biomass plantations. Site water balance may be altered by cultivation of woody biomass plantations relative to agricultural use, due to increases in evapostranspiration (ET) and storage. Incorporation of woody biomass production plantations within the landscape provides an opportunity to improve the quality of runoff water and soil conservation. Given the centrality of water resources to the sustainability of ecosystem services and other values derived, the experience with woody biofuels feedstock production systems is positive. Keywords. Short rotation woody crop, forest hydrology, water quality, hardwood plantation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Engineering biofuel tolerance in non-native producing microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Hu; Chen, Lei; Wang, Jiangxin; Zhang, Weiwen

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale production of renewable biofuels through microbiological processes has drawn significant attention in recent years, mostly due to the increasing concerns on the petroleum fuel shortages and the environmental consequences of the over-utilization of petroleum-based fuels. In addition to native biofuel-producing microbes that have been employed for biofuel production for decades, recent advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have made it possible to produce biofuels in several non-native biofuel-producing microorganisms. Compared to native producers, these non-native systems carry the advantages of fast growth, simple nutrient requirements, readiness for genetic modifications, and even the capability to assimilate CO2 and solar energy, making them competitive alternative systems to further decrease the biofuel production cost. However, the tolerance of these non-native microorganisms to toxic biofuels is naturally low, which has restricted the potentials of their application for high-efficiency biofuel production. To address the issues, researches have been recently conducted to explore the biofuel tolerance mechanisms and to construct robust high-tolerance strains for non-native biofuel-producing microorganisms. In this review, we critically summarize the recent progress in this area, focusing on three popular non-native biofuel-producing systems, i.e. Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus and photosynthetic cyanobacteria.

  12. [Model-based biofuels system analysis: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Shiyan; Zhang, Xiliang; Zhao, Lili; Ou, Xunmin

    2011-03-01

    Model-based system analysis is an important tool for evaluating the potential and impacts of biofuels, and for drafting biofuels technology roadmaps and targets. The broad reach of the biofuels supply chain requires that biofuels system analyses span a range of disciplines, including agriculture/forestry, energy, economics, and the environment. Here we reviewed various models developed for or applied to modeling biofuels, and presented a critical analysis of Agriculture/Forestry System Models, Energy System Models, Integrated Assessment Models, Micro-level Cost, Energy and Emission Calculation Models, and Specific Macro-level Biofuel Models. We focused on the models' strengths, weaknesses, and applicability, facilitating the selection of a suitable type of model for specific issues. Such an analysis was a prerequisite for future biofuels system modeling, and represented a valuable resource for researchers and policy makers.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. Mosier

    2007-08-01

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

  14. Trade-offs of water use for hydropower generation and biofuel production in the Zambezi basin in Mozambique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanzel, Philipp; Kling, Harald; Nicholson, Kit

    2014-05-01

    Hydropower is the most important energy source in Mozambique, as in many other southern African countries. In the Zambezi basin, it is one of the major economic resources, and substantial hydropower development is envisaged for the next decades. In Mozambique, the extension of the large Cahora Bassa hydropower plant and the construction of several new facilities downstream are planned. Irrigated agriculture currently plays a minor role, but has a large potential due to available land and water resources. Irrigation development, especially for the production of biofuels, is an important government policy goal in Mozambique. This contribution assesses interrelations and trade-offs between these two development options with high dependence on water availability. Potential water demand for large-scale irrigated agriculture is estimated for a mix of possible biofuel crops in three scenarios with different irrigated area sizes. Impacts on river discharge and hydropower production in the Lower Zambezi and its tributaries under two projected future climates are simulated with a hydrological model and a reservoir operation and hydropower model. Trade-offs of increasing biofuel production with decreasing hydropower generation due to diminished discharge in the Zambezi River are investigated based on potential energy production, from hydropower and biofuels, and resulting gross revenues and net benefits. Results show that the impact of irrigation withdrawal on hydropower production is rather low due to the generally high water availability in the Zambezi River. In simulations with substantial irrigated areas, hydropower generation decreases by -2% as compared to a scenario with only small irrigated areas. The economic analyses suggest that the use of water for cultivation of biofuel crops in the Zambezi basin can generate higher economic benefits than the use of water for hydroelectric power production. If world oil prices stay at more than about 80 USD/barrel, then the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André L Acosta

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elsgaard, Lars; Olesen, Joergen E.; Hermansen, John E.; Kristensen, Inge T.; Boergesen, Christen D. [Dept. of Agroecology, Aarhus Univ., Tjele (Denmark)], E-mail: lars.elsgaard@agrsci.dk

    2013-04-15

    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 CO{sub 2} equivalents (CO{sub 2}eq) were quantified from the footprints of CO{sub 2}, CH{sub 4} and N{sub 2}O associated with cultivation and the emissions were allocated between biofuel energy and co-products. Greenhouse gas emission at the national level (Denmark) was estimated to 22.1 g CO{sub 2}eq MJ{sup 1} ethanol for winter wheat and 26.0 g CO{sub 2}eq MJ{sup 1} RME for winter rapeseed. Results at the regional level (level 2 according to the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics [NUTS]) ranged from 20.0 to 23.9 g CO{sub 2}eq MJ{sup 1} ethanol and from 23.5 to 27.6 g CO{sub 2}eq MJ{sup 1} RME. Thus, at the regional level emission results varied by up to 20%. Differences in area-based emissions were only 4% reflecting the importance of regional variation in yields for the emission result. Fertilizer nitrogen production and direct emissions of soil N{sub 2}O were major contributors to the final emission result and sensitivity analyses showed that the emission result depended to a large extent on the uncertainty ranges assumed for soil N{sub 2}O emissions. Improvement of greenhouse gas balances could be pursued, e.g., by growing dedicated varieties for energy purposes. However, in a wider perspective, land-use change of native ecosystems to bioenergy cropping systems could compromise the CO{sub 2} savings of bioenergy production and challenge the targets set for biofuel

  18. Soil carbon sequestration and land use change associated with biofuel production: Empirical evidence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qin, Zhangcai; Dunn, Jennifer B.; Kwon, Hoyoung; Mueller, Steffen; Wander, Michelle M.

    2016-01-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) change can be a major impact of land use change (LUC) associated with biofuel feedstock production. By collecting and analyzing data from worldwide field observations with major LUCs from cropland, grassland and forest to lands producing biofuel crops (i.e., corn, switchgrass, Miscanthus, poplar and willow), we were able to estimate SOC response ratios and sequestration rates and evaluate the effects of soil depth and time scale on SOC change. Both the amount and rate of SOC change were highly dependent on the specific land transition. Irrespective of soil depth or time horizon, cropland conversions resulted in an overall SOC gain of 6-14% relative to initial SOC level, while conversion from grassland or forest to corn (without residue removal) or poplar caused significant carbon loss (9-35%). No significant SOC changes were observed in land converted from grasslands or forests to switchgrass, Miscanthus or willow. The SOC response ratios were similar in both 0-30 and 0-100 cm soil depths in most cases, suggesting SOC changes in deep soil and that use of top soil only for SOC accounting in biofuel life cycle analysis (LCA) might underestimate total SOC changes. Soil carbon sequestration rates varied greatly among studies and land transition types. Generally, the rates of SOC change tended to be the greatest during the 10 years following land conversion, and had declined to approach 0 within about 20 years for most LUCs. Observed trends in SOC change were generally consistent with previous reports. Soil depth and duration of study significantly influence SOC change rates and so should be considered in carbon emission accounting in biofuel LCA. High uncertainty remains for many perennial systems, field trials and modeling efforts are needed to determine the site- and system-specific rates and direction of change associated with their production.

  19. Land use and second-generation biofuel feedstocks: The unconsidered impacts of Jatropha biodiesel in Rajasthan, India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Findlater, K.M. [Institute for Resources Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, 429-2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T1Z4 (Canada); Kandlikar, M., E-mail: milind.k@ubc.ca [Liu Institute for Global Studies, University of British Columbia, 6476 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC, V6T1Z2 (Canada)

    2011-06-15

    Governments around the world see biofuels as a common solution to the multiple policy challenges posed by energy insecurity, climate change and falling farmer incomes. The Indian government has enthusiastically adopted a second-generation feedstock - the oilseed-bearing shrub, Jatropha curcas - for an ambitious national biodiesel program. Studies estimating the production capacity and potential land use implications of this program have typically assumed that the 'waste land' slated for Jatropha production has no economic value and that no activities of note will be displaced by plantation development. Here we examine the specific local impacts of rapid Jatropha plantation development on rural livelihoods and land use in Rajasthan, India. We find that in Jhadol Tehsil, Jatropha is planted on both government and private land, and has typically displaced grazing and forage collection. For those at the socioeconomic margins, these unconsidered impacts counteract the very benefits that the biofuel programs aim to create. The Rajasthan case demonstrates that local land-use impacts need to be integrated into decision-making for national targets and global biofuel promotion efforts. - Highlights: > Hardy biofuel crops like Jatropha replace edible feedstocks that use arable land. > In Rajasthan, Jatropha displaces grazing and forage on both public and private land. > As Jatropha plantations mature, the loss of grass becomes more pronounced. > Unconsidered impacts negate the benefits that the biodiesel program aims to create. > Local land-use impacts need to be integrated into decision-making.

  20. Greenhouse gas mitigation on marginal land: a quantitative review of the relative benefits of forest recovery versus biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Samuel G; Ramage, Benjamin S; DiRocco, Tara L; Potts, Matthew D

    2015-02-17

    Decisions concerning future land-use/land cover change stand at the forefront of ongoing debates on how to best mitigate climate change. In this study, we compare the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation value over a 30-year time frame for a range of forest recovery and biofuel production scenarios on abandoned agricultural land. Carbon sequestration in recovering forests is estimated based on a statistical analysis of tropical and temperate studies on marginal land. GHGs offset by biofuel production are analyzed for five different production pathways. We find that forest recovery is superior to low-yielding biofuel production scenarios such as oil palm and corn. Biofuel production scenarios with high yields, such as sugarcane or high-yielding energy grasses, can be comparable or superior to natural forest succession and to reforestation in some cases. This result stands in contrast to previous research suggesting that restoring degraded ecosystems to their native state is generally superior to agricultural production in terms of GHG mitigation. Further work is needed on carbon stock changes in forests, soil carbon dynamics, and bioenergy crop production on degraded/abandoned agricultural land. This finding also emphasizes the need to consider the full range of social, economic, and ecological consequences of land-use policies.

  1. Evaluation of attached periphytical algal communities for biofuel feedstock generation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandefur, H.N.; Matlock, M.D.; Costello, T.A. [Arkansas Univ., Division of Agriculture, Fayetteville, AR (United States). Dept. of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability

    2010-07-01

    This paper reported on a study that investigated the feasibility of using algal biomass as a feedstock for biofuel production. Algae has a high lipid content, and with its high rate of production, it can produce more oil on less land than traditional bioenergy crops. In addition, algal communities can remove nutrients from wastewater. Enclosed photobioreactors and open pond systems are among the many different algal growth systems that can be highly productive. However, they can also be difficult to maintain. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the ability of a pilot scale algal turf scrubber (ATS) to facilitate the growth of attached periphytic algal communities for the production of biomass feedstock and the removal of nutrients from a local stream in Springdale, Arizona. The ATS operated for a 9 month sampling period, during which time the system productivity averaged 26 g per m{sup 2} per day. The removal of total phosphorus and total nitrogen averaged 48 and 13 per cent, respectively.

  2. Atmospheric emission of reactive nitrogen during biofuel ethanol production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Cristine M D; Cardoso, Arnaldo A; Allen, Andrew G

    2008-01-15

    This paper evaluates emissions to the atmosphere of biologically available nitrogen compounds in a region characterized by intensive sugar cane biofuel ethanol production. Large emissions of NH3 and NOx, as well as particulate nitrate and ammonium, occur at the harvest when the crop is burned, with the amount of nitrogen released equivalent to approximately 35% of annual fertilizer-N application. Nitrogen oxides concentrations show a positive association with fire frequency, indicating that biomass burning is a major emission source, with mean concentrations of NOx doubling in the dry season relative to the wetseason. During the dry season biomass burning is a source of NH3, with other sources (wastes, soil, biogenic) predominant during the wet season. Estimated NO2-N, NH3-N, NO3- -N and NH4+ -N emission fluxes from sugar cane burning in a planted area of ca. 2.2 x 10(6) ha are 11.0, 1.1, 0.2, and 1.2 Gg N yr(-1), respectively.

  3. Genetic Improvement of Willow for Bioenergy and Biofuels

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Angela Karp; Steve J.Hanley; Sviatlana O.Trybush; William Macalpine; Ming Pei; lan Shield

    2011-01-01

    Willows(Salix spp.)are a very diverse group of catkin-bearing trees and shrubs that are widely distributed across temperate regions of the globe.Some species respond well to being grown in short rotation coppice(SRC)cycles,which are much shorter than conventional forestry.Coppicing reinvigorates growth and the biomass rapidly accumulated can be used as a source of renewable carbon for bioenergy and biofuels.As SRC willows re-distribute nutrients during the perennial cycle they require only minimal nitrogen fertilizer for growth.This results in fuel chains with potentially high greenhouse gas reductions.To exploit their potential for renewable energy,willows need to be kept free of pests and diseases and yields need to be improved without significantly increasing the requirements for fertilizers and water.The biomass composition needs to be optimized for different end-uses.Yields also need to be sustainable on land less productive for food crops to reduce conflicts over land use.Advances in understanding the physiology and growth of willow,and in the identification of genes underlying key traits,are now at the stage where they can start to be used in breeding programs to help achieve these goals.

  4. Trading in Discursive Commodities: Biofuel Brokers’ Roles in Perpetuating the Jatropha Hype in Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline Vel

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Hypes about wonder crops raise critical questions about the actors and mechanisms that link optimistic narratives about the crops’ potentials to actual production in the field. Jatropha curcas has been such a wonder crop, with a wide discrepancy between plans and reality. While many studies focus on agronomic or technological explanations of discrepancy and how to decrease it, much less is known about the influence of specific actors on creating a gap between high expectations and actual production in the field. This paper highlights the role of commercial brokers, who link potential investors and their capital to land and labor in the production areas. How have such commercial brokers contributed to perpetuating the optimism regarding the potentials of Jatropha plantations? The article presents the results of ethnographic research in a case study of commercial biofuel brokers at work in Sumba, one of the marginal areas in Indonesia targeted by policy makers for Jatropha cultivation. The study indicates that these actors have assembled their own short-term projects, translated narratives about future potential activities into the objects of trade in the present and produced optimistic figures about their projects to attract investors. In the conclusion, the paper warns against the unintended effects of green biofuel policies and discourses, when the latter get translated into a business opportunity for short-term private benefits instead of for the social and environmental goals for which the policies were originally intended.

  5. The Effects of Biofuel Feedstock Production on Farmers’ Livelihoods in Ghana: The Case of Jatropha curcas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel Acheampong

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The widespread acquisition of land for large-scale/commercial production of biofuel crops in Ghana has raised concerns from civil society organizations, local communities and other parties, regarding the impact of these investments on local livelihoods. This paper assessed the effect of large-scale acquisition of land for production of Jatropha curcas on farmers’ livelihoods in Ghana. The study was conducted in 11 communities spanning the major agro-ecological zones and political divisions across Ghana. Methods of data collection included questionnaire survey, interviews and focus group discussions. Results show that several households have lost their land to Jatropha plantations leading, in some cases, to violent conflicts between biofuel investors, traditional authorities and the local communities. Most people reported that, contrary to the belief that Jatropha does well on marginal lands, the lands acquired by the Jatropha Companies were productive lands. Loss of rights over land has affected households’ food production and security, as many households have resorted to reducing the area they have under cultivation, leading to shortening fallow periods and declining crop yields. In addition, although the cultivation of Jatropha led to the creation of jobs in the communities where they were started, such jobs were merely transient. The paper contends that, even though the impact of Jatropha feedstock production on local livelihoods in Ghana is largely negative, the burgeoning industry could be developed in ways that could support local livelihoods.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-07

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

  7. Rainfed intensive crop systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Jørgen E

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Identifying potential areas for biofuel production and evaluating the environmental effects: a case study of the James River Basin in the Midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yiping; Liu, Shu-Guang; Li, Zhengpeng

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels are now an important resource in the United States because of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Both increased corn growth for ethanol production and perennial dedicated energy crop growth for cellulosic feedstocks are potential sources to meet the rising demand for biofuels. However, these measures may cause adverse environmental consequences that are not yet fully understood. This study 1) evaluates the long-term impacts of increased frequency of corn in the crop rotation system on water quantity and quality as well as soil fertility in the James River Basin and 2) identifies potential grasslands for cultivating bioenergy crops (e.g. switchgrass), estimating the water quality impacts. We selected the soil and water assessment tool, a physically based multidisciplinary model, as the modeling approach to simulate a series of biofuel production scenarios involving crop rotation and land cover changes. The model simulations with different crop rotation scenarios indicate that decreases in water yield and soil nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) concentration along with an increase in NO3-N load to stream water could justify serious concerns regarding increased corn rotations in this basin. Simulations with land cover change scenarios helped us spatially classify the grasslands in terms of biomass productivity and nitrogen loads, and we further derived the relationship of biomass production targets and the resulting nitrogen loads against switchgrass planting acreages. The suggested economically efficient (planting acreage) and environmentally friendly (water quality) planting locations and acreages can be a valuable guide for cultivating switchgrass in this basin. This information, along with the projected environmental costs (i.e. reduced water yield and increased nitrogen load), can contribute to decision support tools for land managers to seek the sustainability of biofuel development in this region.

  9. Micronutrients in cereal crops

    OpenAIRE

    Hamnér, Karin

    2016-01-01

    Seven elements essential for plants are defined as micronutrients: boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn). Deficiency of these nutrients can cause yield losses in crops and impaired crop quality. The overall aim of this thesis work was to increase the knowledge how micronutrients in Swedish cereal crops are affected by nutrient management and soil properties in order to improve crop status and avoid yield losses. Data from long term and s...

  10. Sorghums as energy crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipinsky, E. S.; Kresovich, S.

    1980-01-01

    The botanical, physiological, and agronomic characteristics of sorghum are described. Integration concepts to improve sorghum prospects are discussed as follows: multiple sweet sorghum crops each year, integration with sugarcane, integration with sugar beets, integration with starch crops, sweet stemmed grain sorghum, and integration with lignocellulosic crops. (MHR)

  11. The Evolutionary Dynamics of Biofuel Value Chains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ponte, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    In this paper I propose to push the frontier of global value chain (GVC) governance analysis through the concept of ‘polarity’. Much of the existing GVC literature has focused on ‘unipolar’ value chains, where one group of ‘lead firms’ inhabiting a specific function in a chain plays a dominant role...... and multipolarity. Empirically, I do so by examining the evolutionary dynamics of governance in biofuel value chains, with specific focus on the key regulatory and institutional features that facilitated their emergence and expansion. First, I examine the formation, evolution, and governance of three national....../regional value chains (in Brazil, the US, and the EU); then, I provide evidence to support a trend towards the increasing but still partial formation of a global biofuel value chain and examine its governance traits....

  12. Indirect emissions from biofuels: how important?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melillo, Jerry M; Reilly, John M; Kicklighter, David W; Gurgel, Angelo C; Cronin, Timothy W; Paltsev, Sergey; Felzer, Benjamin S; Wang, Xiaodong; Sokolov, Andrei P; Schlosser, C Adam

    2009-12-04

    A global biofuels program will lead to intense pressures on land supply and can increase greenhouse gas emissions from land-use changes. Using linked economic and terrestrial biogeochemistry models, we examined direct and indirect effects of possible land-use changes from an expanded global cellulosic bioenergy program on greenhouse gas emissions over the 21st century. Our model predicts that indirect land use will be responsible for substantially more carbon loss (up to twice as much) than direct land use; however, because of predicted increases in fertilizer use, nitrous oxide emissions will be more important than carbon losses themselves in terms of warming potential. A global greenhouse gas emissions policy that protects forests and encourages best practices for nitrogen fertilizer use can dramatically reduce emissions associated with biofuels production.

  13. Growing duckweed for biofuel production: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, W; Cheng, J J

    2015-01-01

    Duckweed can be utilised to produce ethanol, butanol and biogas, which are promising alternative energy sources to minimise dependence on limited crude oil and natural gas. The advantages of this aquatic plant include high rate of nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) uptake, high biomass yield and great potential as an alternative feedstock for the production of fuel ethanol, butanol and biogas. The objective of this article is to review the published research on growing duckweed for the production of the biofuels, especially starch enrichment in duckweed plants. There are mainly two processes affecting the accumulation of starch in duckweed biomass: photosynthesis for starch generation and metabolism-related starch consumption. The cost of stimulating photosynthesis is relatively high based on current technologies. Considerable research efforts have been made to inhibit starch degradation. Future research need in this area includes duckweed selection, optimisation of duckweed biomass production, enhancement of starch accumulation in duckweeds and use of duckweeds for production of various biofuels.

  14. Cyanofuels: biofuels from cyanobacteria. Reality and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarsekeyeva, Fariza; Zayadan, Bolatkhan K; Usserbaeva, Aizhan; Bedbenov, Vladimir S; Sinetova, Maria A; Los, Dmitry A

    2015-08-01

    Cyanobacteria are represented by a diverse group of microorganisms that, by virtue of being a part of marine and freshwater phytoplankton, significantly contribute to the fixation of atmospheric carbon via photosynthesis. It is assumed that ancient cyanobacteria participated in the formation of earth's oil deposits. Biomass of modern cyanobacteria may be converted into bio-oil by pyrolysis. Modern cyanobacteria grow fast; they do not compete for agricultural lands and resources; they efficiently convert excessive amounts of CO2 into biomass, thus participating in both carbon fixation and organic chemical production. Many cyanobacterial species are easier to genetically manipulate than eukaryotic algae and other photosynthetic organisms. Thus, the cyanobacterial photosynthesis may be directed to produce carbohydrates, fatty acids, or alcohols as renewable sources of biofuels. Here we review the recent achievements in the developments and production of cyanofuels-biofuels produced from cyanobacterial biomass.

  15. Field-based estimates of global warming potential in bioenergy systems of Hawaii: Crop choice and deficit irrigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Replacing fossil fuel with biofuel is environmentally viable only if the net greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of the system is reduced. The effects of replacing annual arable crops with perennial bioenergy feedstocks on net GHG production and soil carbon (C) stock are critical to the system-level bal...

  16. Investigating Impacts of Alternative Crop Market Scenarios on Land Use Change with an Agent-Based Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deng Ding

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available We developed an agent-based model (ABM to simulate farmers’ decisions on crop type and fertilizer application in response to commodity and biofuel crop prices. Farm profit maximization constrained by farmers’ profit expectations for land committed to biofuel crop production was used as the decision rule. Empirical parameters characterizing farmers’ profit expectations were derived from an agricultural landowners and operators survey and integrated in the ABM. The integration of crop production cost models and the survey information in the ABM is critical to producing simulations that can provide realistic insights into agricultural land use planning and policy making. Model simulations were run with historical market prices and alternative market scenarios for corn price, soybean to corn price ratio, switchgrass price, and switchgrass to corn stover ratio. The results of the comparison between simulated cropland percentage and crop rotations with satellite-based land cover data suggest that farmers may be underestimating the effects that continuous corn production has on yields. The simulation results for alternative market scenarios based on a survey of agricultural land owners and operators in the Clear Creek Watershed in eastern Iowa show that farmers see cellulosic biofuel feedstock production in the form of perennial grasses or corn stover as a more risky enterprise than their current crop production systems, likely because of market and production risks and lock in effects. As a result farmers do not follow a simple farm-profit maximization rule.

  17. National Biofuels Action Plan, October 2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    none,

    2008-10-01

    To help industry achieve the aggressive national goals, Federal agencies will need to continue to enhance their collaboration. The Biomass Research and Development (R&D) Board was created by Congress in the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000. The National Biofuels Action Plan outlines areas where interagency cooperation will help to evolve bio-based fuel production technologies from promising ideas to competitive solutions.

  18. Renewable energy progress and biofuels sustainability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamelinck, C.; De Lovinfosse, I.; Koper, M.; Beestermoeller, C.; Nabe, C.; Kimmel, M.; Van den Bos, A.; Yildiz, I.; Harteveld, M. [Ecofys Netherlands, Utrecht (Netherlands); Ragwitz, M.; Steinhilber, S. [Fraunhofer Institut fuer System- und Innovationsforschung ISI, Karlsruhe (Germany); Nysten, J.; Fouquet, D. [Becker Buettner Held BBH, Munich (Germany); Resch, G.; Liebmann, L.; Ortner, A.; Panzer, C. [Energy Economics Group EEG, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna (Austria); Walden, D.; Diaz Chavez, R.; Byers, B.; Petrova, S.; Kunen, E. [Winrock International, Brussels (Belgium); Fischer, G.

    2013-03-15

    On 27 March 2013, the European Commission published its first Renewable Energy Progress Report under the framework of the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive. Since the adoption of this directive and the introduction of legally binding renewable energy targets, most Member States experienced significant growth in renewable energy consumption. 2010 figures indicate that the EU as a whole is on its trajectory towards the 2020 targets with a renewable energy share of 12.7%. Moreover, in 2010 the majority of Member States already reached their 2011/2012 interim targets set in the Directive. However, as the trajectory grows steeper towards the end, more efforts will still be needed from the Member States in order to reach the 2020 targets. With regard to the EU biofuels and bioliquids sustainability criteria, Member States' implementation of the biofuels scheme is considered too slow. In accordance with the reporting requirements set out in the 2009 Directive on Renewable Energy, every two years the European Commission publishes a Renewable Energy Progress Report. The report assesses Member States' progress in the promotion and use of renewable energy along the trajectory towards the 2020 renewable energy targets. The report also describes the overall renewable energy policy developments in each Member State and their compliance with the measures outlined in the Directive and the National Renewable Energy Action Plans. Moreover, in accordance with the Directive, it reports on the sustainability of biofuels and bioliquids consumed in the EU and the impacts of this consumption. A consortium led by Ecofys was contracted by the European Commission to perform support activities concerning the assessment of progress in renewable energy and sustainability of biofuels.

  19. Pretreatment techniques for biofuels and biorefineries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fang, Zhen (ed.) [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, YN (China). Xishuangbanna Tropical Botonical Garden

    2013-02-01

    The first book focused on pretreatment techniques for biofuels contributed by the world's leading experts. Extensively covers the different types of biomass, various pretreatment approaches and methods that show the subsequent production of biofuels and chemicals. In addition to traditional pretreatment methods, novel techniques are also introduced and discussed. An accessible reference work for students, researchers, academicians and industrialists in biorefineries. This book includes 19 chapters contributed by the world's leading experts on pretreatment methods for biomass. It extensively covers the different types of biomass (e.g. molasses, sugar beet pulp, cheese whey, sugarcane residues, palm waste, vegetable oil, straws, stalks and wood), various pretreatment approaches (e.g. physical, thermal, chemical, physicochemical and biological) and methods that show the subsequent production of biofuels and chemicals such as sugars, ethanol, extracellular polysaccharides, biodiesel, gas and oil. In addition to traditional methods such as steam, hot-water, hydrothermal, diluted-acid, organosolv, ozonolysis, sulfite, milling, fungal and bacterial, microwave, ultrasonic, plasma, torrefaction, pelletization, gasification (including biogas) and liquefaction pretreatments, it also introduces and discusses novel techniques such as nano and solid catalysts, organic electrolyte solutions and ionic liquids. This book offers a review of state-of-the-art research and provides guidance for the future paths of developing pretreatment techniques of biomass for biofuels, especially in the fields of biotechnology, microbiology, chemistry, materials science and engineering. It intends to provide a systematic introduction of pretreatment techniques. It is an accessible reference work for students, researchers, academicians and industrialists in biorefineries.

  20. A review on algal biofuel production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Ling; ZHU jing

    2016-01-01

    Culturing of microalgae has be established as an alternative feedstock for biofuel production due to their fast growth rate and ability to accumulate high quantity of lipid and carbohydrate respectively. However, using this bioresource is still limited duo to low productivity and higher cultivation cost. Genetic and metabolic engineering,photobioreactors play significant role in algal biomass production. Hence, this review is focused on these, aiming at providing useful informations.

  1. Global evaluation of biofuel potential from microalgae

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Research into microalgae as a feedstock for biofuels continues to increase because of the inherent potential advantages it holds over traditional terrestrial feedstocks. However, the true near-term large-scale productivity of microalgae remains uncertain. This study integrates a large-scale, outdoor growth model with historical meteorological data from 4,388 global locations to estimate the current near-term lipid and biomass productivity potential from microalgae cultivated in a photobioreac...

  2. Water Savings of Crop Redistribution in the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle Frankel Davis

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Demographic growth, changes in diet, and reliance on first-generation biofuels are increasing the human demand for agricultural products, thereby enhancing the human pressure on global freshwater resources. Recent research on the food-water nexus has highlighted how some major agricultural regions of the world lack the water resources required to sustain current growth trends in crop production. To meet the increasing need for agricultural commodities with limited water resources, the water use efficiency of the agricultural sector must be improved. In this regard, recent work indicates that the often overlooked strategy of changing the crop distribution within presently cultivated areas offers promise. Here we investigate the extent to which water in the United States could be saved while improving yields simply by replacing the existing crops with more suitable ones. We propose crop replacement criteria that achieve this goal while preserving crop diversity, economic value, nitrogen fixation, and food protein production. We find that in the United States, these criteria would greatly improve calorie (+46% and protein (+34% production and economic value (+208%, with 5% water savings with respect to the present crop distribution. Interestingly, greater water savings could be achieved in water-stressed agricultural regions of the US such as California (56% water savings, and other western states.

  3. Evaluation of fresh and preserved herbaceous field crops for biogas and ethanol production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pakarinen, A.

    2012-07-01

    In the future, various forms of bioenergy will be increasingly required to replace fossil energy. Globally, transportation uses almost one third of fossil energy resources, and it is thus of great importance to find ethically, economically, and environmentally viable biofuels in near future. Fieldgrown biomass, including energy crops and crop residues, are alternatives to supplement other non-food biofuel raw materials. The aim of this work was to evaluate the potential of five crops, maize (Zea mays L.), fiber hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), faba bean (Vicia faba L.), white lupin (Lupinus albus L.), and Jerusalem artichoke (Heliantus tuborosus L.) cultivated in boreal conditions as raw materials for methane and ethanol. Climate, cultivation requirements, chemical composition, and recalcitrance are some of the parameters to be considered when choosing energy crops for cultivation and for efficient conversion into biofuels. Among the studied crops, protein-rich legumes (faba bean and white lupin) were attractive options for methane, while hemp and Jerusalem artichoke had high theoretical potential for ethanol. Maize was, however, equally suitable for production of both energy carriers. Preservation of crop materials is essential to preserve and supply biomass material throughout the year. Preservation can be also considered as a mild pretreatment prior to biofuel production. Ensiling was conducted on maize, hemp, and faba bean in this work and additionally hemp was preserved in alkali conditions. Ensiling was found to be most beneficial for hemp when converted to methane, increasing the methane yield by more than 50%, whereas preservation with urea increased the energy yield of hemp as ethanol by 39%. Maize, with a high content of water-soluble carbohydrates (20% of DM), required an acid additive in order to preserve the sugars. Interestingly, hydrothermal pretreatment for maize and hemp prior to methane production was less efficient than ensiling. Enzymatic hydrolysis

  4. Developing symbiotic consortia for lignocellulosic biofuel production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zuroff, Trevor R.; Curtis, Wayne R. [Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States). Dept. of Chemical Engineering

    2012-02-15

    The search for petroleum alternatives has motivated intense research into biological breakdown of lignocellulose to produce liquid fuels such as ethanol. Degradation of lignocellulose for biofuel production is a difficult process which is limited by, among other factors, the recalcitrance of lignocellulose and biological toxicity of the products. Consolidated bioprocessing has been suggested as an efficient and economical method of producing low value products from lignocellulose; however, it is not clear whether this would be accomplished more efficiently with a single organism or community of organisms. This review highlights examples of mixtures of microbes in the context of conceptual models for developing symbiotic consortia for biofuel production from lignocellulose. Engineering a symbiosis within consortia is a putative means of improving both process efficiency and stability relative to monoculture. Because microbes often interact and exist attached to surfaces, quorum sensing and biofilm formation are also discussed in terms of consortia development and stability. An engineered, symbiotic culture of multiple organisms may be a means of assembling a novel combination of metabolic capabilities that can efficiently produce biofuel from lignocellulose. (orig.)

  5. Plant biotechnology for lignocellulosic biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Quanzi; Song, Jian; Peng, Shaobing; Wang, Jack P; Qu, Guan-Zheng; Sederoff, Ronald R; Chiang, Vincent L

    2014-12-01

    Lignocelluloses from plant cell walls are attractive resources for sustainable biofuel production. However, conversion of lignocellulose to biofuel is more expensive than other current technologies, due to the costs of chemical pretreatment and enzyme hydrolysis for cell wall deconstruction. Recalcitrance of cell walls to deconstruction has been reduced in many plant species by modifying plant cell walls through biotechnology. These results have been achieved by reducing lignin content and altering its composition and structure. Reduction of recalcitrance has also been achieved by manipulating hemicellulose biosynthesis and by overexpression of bacterial enzymes in plants to disrupt linkages in the lignin-carbohydrate complexes. These modified plants often have improved saccharification yield and higher ethanol production. Cell wall-degrading (CWD) enzymes from bacteria and fungi have been expressed at high levels in plants to increase the efficiency of saccharification compared with exogenous addition of cellulolytic enzymes. In planta expression of heat-stable CWD enzymes from bacterial thermophiles has made autohydrolysis possible. Transgenic plants can be engineered to reduce recalcitrance without any yield penalty, indicating that successful cell wall modification can be achieved without impacting cell wall integrity or plant development. A more complete understanding of cell wall formation and structure should greatly improve lignocellulosic feedstocks and reduce the cost of biofuel production.

  6. Rapidly evolving microorganisms with high biofuel tolerance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyawahare, Saurabh; Zhang, Qiucen; Lang, Wendy; Austin, Robert

    2012-02-01

    Replacing non-renewable energy sources is one of the biggest and most exciting challenges of our generation. Algae and bacteria are poised to become major renewable biofuels if strains can be developed that provide a high,consistent and robust yield of oil. One major stumbling block towards this goal is the lack of tolerance to high concentrations of biofuels like isobutanol. Using traditional bioengineering techniques to remedy this face the hurdle of identifying the correct pathway or gene to modify. But the multiplicity of interactions inside a cell makes it very hard to determine what to modify a priori. Instead, we propose a technology that does not require prior knowledge of the genes or pathways to modify. In our approach that marries microfabrication and ecology, spatial heterogeneity is used as a knob to speed up evolution in the desired direction. Recently, we have successfully used this approach to demonstrate the rapid emergence of bacterial antibiotic resistance in as little as ten hours. Here, we describe our experimental results in developing new strains of micro-organisms with high oil tolerance. Besides biofuel production, our work is also relevant to oil spill clean-ups.

  7. [Tobacco--a source of biofuels].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budzianowska, Anna; Budzianowski, Jaromir

    2012-01-01

    One of the concepts of global protection of environment is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mainly carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere by replacing fossil fuels by the so-called biofuels, which can be obtained from cultivated plants or any plant waste biomass. Currently applied industrial technologies allow the production of biofuels to receive ethanol, mostly from the reserve carbohydrates of sugar cane and corn as well as biodiesel from oil, mainly from rapeseed or oil palm. Tobacco, which provides a high biomass, can be used to produce biogas, bioethanol and biodiesel. The latter derived from oil from seeds and leaves of tobacco has proved useful for driving cars. Modest oil content in tobacco leaves can be increased by the expression of foreign genes encoding its biosynthesis. Promising future source of biofuels is a waste plant biomass consisting mainly of cell walls, which can be subjected to the degradation to produce sugars suitable for fermentation and the production of bioethanol. A number of enzymes needed for efficient degradation of plant cell walls can be produced using recombinant DNA technology in a variety of plants, particularly in chloroplasts of tobacco.

  8. New Insights in Polymer-Biofuels Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richaud Emmanuel

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with polymer-fuel interaction focusing on specific effects of biofuels on polyethylene (PE in automotive applications. The practical objective is to develop a predictable approach for durability of polyethylene tanks in contact of ethanol based or biofuel based fuels. In the case of ethanol, the main consequence on PE durability is a reduction of the rate of stabilizer extraction; this latter phenomenon can be modeled by first order kinetics with a rate constant that obeys the Arrhenius equation. Concerning biodiesels, the study was focused on soy and rapeseed methyl ester which were compared to methyl oleate and methyl linoleate used as model compounds. Here, PE-fuel interactions can be described as well as physical interaction, linked to the oil penetration into the polymer, as chemical interaction linked to an eventual co-oxidation of PE and oil. Both aspects were investigated. Concerning biofuel transport in PE, it appeared that the oil diffusivity depends only of temperature and oil molar mass. Some aspects of the temperature dependence of the oil solubility in PE are discussed. About chemical interaction between oil and PE, it was put in evidence that unsaturated fatty esters promote and accelerate PE oxidation. A co-oxidation kinetic model was proposed to describe this process.

  9. Application of Electroporation Technique in Biofuel Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yousuf Abu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Biofuels production is mostly oriented with fermentation process, which requires fermentable sugar as nutrient for microbial growth. Lignocellulosic biomass (LCB represents the most attractive, low-cost feedstock for biofuel production, it is now arousing great interest. The cellulose that is embedded in the lignin matrix has an insoluble, highly-crystalline structure, so it is difficult to hydrolyze into fermentable sugar or cell protein. On the other hand, microbial lipid has been studying as substitute of plant oils or animal fat to produce biodiesel. It is still a great challenge to extract maximum lipid from microbial cells (yeast, fungi, algae investing minimum energy.Electroporation (EP of LCB results a significant increase in cell conductivity and permeability caused due to the application of an external electric field. EP is required to alter the size and structure of the biomass, to reduce the cellulose crystallinity, and increase their porosity as well as chemical composition, so that the hydrolysis of the carbohydrate fraction to monomeric sugars can be achieved rapidly and with greater yields. Furthermore, EP has a great potential to disrupt the microbial cell walls within few seconds to bring out the intracellular materials (lipid to the solution. Therefore, this study aims to describe the challenges and prospect of application of EP technique in biofuels processing.

  10. Engineering microbes for tolerance to next-generation biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunlop Mary J

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A major challenge when using microorganisms to produce bulk chemicals such as biofuels is that the production targets are often toxic to cells. Many biofuels are known to reduce cell viability through damage to the cell membrane and interference with essential physiological processes. Therefore, cells must trade off biofuel production and survival, reducing potential yields. Recently, there have been several efforts towards engineering strains for biofuel tolerance. Promising methods include engineering biofuel export systems, heat shock proteins, membrane modifications, more general stress responses, and approaches that integrate multiple tolerance strategies. In addition, in situ recovery methods and media supplements can help to ease the burden of end-product toxicity and may be used in combination with genetic approaches. Recent advances in systems and synthetic biology provide a framework for tolerance engineering. This review highlights recent targeted approaches towards improving microbial tolerance to next-generation biofuels with a particular emphasis on strategies that will improve production.

  11. Biofuels: stakes, perspectives and researches; Biocarburants: enjeux, perspectives et recherches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Appert, O.; Ballerin, D.; Montagne, X.

    2004-07-01

    The French institute of petroleum (IFP) is a major intervener of the biofuels sector, from the production to the end-use in engines. In this press conference, the IFP takes stock of the technological, environmental and economical stakes of today and future biofuel production processes and of their impact on transports. This document gathers 2 presentations dealing with: IFP's research strategy on biofuels (transparencies: context; today's processes: ethanol, ETBE, bio-diesel; tomorrows processes: biomass to liquid; perspectives), bio-diesel fuel: the Axens process selected by Diester Industrie company for its Sete site project of bio-diesel production unit. The researches carried out at the IFP on biofuels and biomass are summarized in an appendix: advantage and drawbacks of biofuels, the ethanol fuel industry, the bio-diesel industry, biomass to liquid fuels, French coordinated research program, statistical data of biofuel consumption in France, Spain and Germany. (J.S.)

  12. Biomass, biogas and biofuels; Biomasse, biogaz et biocarburants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Colonna, P. [Institut National de Recherches Agronomique (INRA), 45 - Ardon-Orleans (France)

    2011-05-15

    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.)

  13. Biofuel Combustion Fly Ash Influence on the Properties of Concrete

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurelijus Daugėla

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Cement as the binding agent in the production of concrete can be replaced with active mineral admixtures. Biofuel combustion fly ash is one of such admixtures. Materials used for the study: Portland cement CEM I 42.5 R, sand of 0/4 fraction, gravel of 4/16 fraction, biofuel fly ash, superplasticizer, water. Six compositions of concrete were designed by replacing 0%, 5%, 10%, 15% 20%, and 25% of cement with biofuel fly ash. The article analyses the effect of biofuel fly ash content on the properties of concrete. The tests revealed that the increase of biofuel fly ash content up to 20% increases concrete density and compressive strength after 7 and 28 days of curing and decreases water absorption, with corrected water content by using plasticizing admixture. It was found that concrete where 20% of cement is replaced by biofuel ash has higher frost resistance.

  14. A viable technology to generate third-generation biofuel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving; Nigam, Poonam Singh

    2011-01-01

    not have direct competition with food but requires several energy intensive processes to produce them and also increase the land use change, which reduces its environmental and economical feasibility. The third generation biofuels production avoids issues with first and second generation biofuels, viz...... of organic waste and carbon dioxide in flue gases for the production of biomass further increases the sustainability of third generation biofuels, as it does minimize greenhouse gases emission and disposal problems.......First generation biofuels are commercialized at large as the production technologies are well developed. However, to grow the raw materials, there is a great need to compromise with food security, which made first generation biofuels not so much promising. The second generation of biofuels does...

  15. Ozone Damages to Mediterranean Crops: Physiological Responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo Fagnano

    2011-02-01

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

  16. POTENTIAL OF GREENHOUSE GASES REDUCTION BY FUEL CROP CULTIVATION UTILIZING SEWAGE SLUDGE IN JAPAN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, Ryo; Fukushi, Kensuke

    Potential of greenhouse gases (GHG) reduction was estimated and compared in six scenarios of fuel crop cultivation by utilizing sewage sludge in Japan. Bioethanol from corn and biodiesel fuel from soybean was selected as biofuel produced. When all the sludge discharged from sewage treatment plants in 18 major cities was utilized for soybean cultivation and subsequent biodiesel fuel production, produced biofuel corresponded to 4.0% of GHG emitted from sewage treatment in Japan. On the other hand, cultivation area for fuel crop cultivation was found to be the regulating factor. When fuel crop was cultivated only in abandoned agricultural fields, produced biofuel corresponded to 0.60% and 0.62%, respectively, in the case that corn and soybean was cultivated. Production of biodiesel fuel from soybean was estimated to have more net reduction potential than bioehanol production from corn when sludge production is limited, because required sewage sludge compost was 2.5-times larger in corn although reduction potential per crop area was 2-times larger in bioethanol production from corn.

  17. Minimally Invasive Dentistry

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. Limitation of Biofuel Production in Europe from the Forest Market

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leduc, Sylvain; Wetterlund, Elisabeth; Dotzauer, Erik; Kindermann, Georg

    2013-04-01

    The European Union has set a 10% target for the share of biofuel in the transportation sector to be met by 2020. To reach this target, second generation biofuel is expected to replace 3 to 5% of the transport fossil fuel consumption. But the competition on the feedstock is an issue and makes the planning for the second generation biofuel plant a challenge. Moreover, no commercial second generation biofuel production plant is under operation, but if reaching commercial status, this type of production plants are expected to become very large. In order to minimize the tranportation costs and to takle the competetion for the feedstock against the existing woody based industries, the geographical location of biofuel production plants becomes an issue. This study investigates the potential of second generation biofuel economically feasible in Europe by 2020 in regards with the competition for the feedsstock with the existing woody biomass based industries (CHP, pulp and paper mills, sawmills...). To assess the biofuel potential in Europe, a techno-economic, geographically explicit model, BeWhere, is used. It determines the optimal locations of bio-energy production plants by minimizing the costs and CO2 emissions of the entire supply chain. The existing woody based industries have to first meet their wood demand, and if the amount of wood that remains is suficiant, new bio-energy production plants if any can be set up. Preliminary results show that CHP plants are preferably chosen over biofuel production plants. Strong biofuel policy support is needed in order to consequently increase the biofuel production in Europe. The carbon tax influences the emission reduction to a higher degree than the biofuel support. And the potential of second generation biofuel would at most reach 3% of the European transport fuel if the wood demand does not increase from 2010.

  19. 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review Fact Sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-06-01

    Algae-based biofuels and bioproducts offer great promise in contributing to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) vision of a thriving and sustainable bioeconomy fueled by innovative technologies. The state of technology for producing algal biofuels continues to mature with ongoing investment by DOE and the private sector, but additional research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) is needed to achieve widespread deployment of affordable, scalable, and sustainable algal biofuels.

  20. Determination of calorific values of some renewable biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, Jothi V.; Pratt, Benjamin C. [Department of Chemistry, North Carolina A and T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina (United States)

    1996-06-01

    Thermal methods such as differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and elemental analysis (EA) were employed to determine the calorific values of some renewable biofuels either directly or indirectly. The biofuels tested were the common milkweed, dogbane, kudzu, and eucalyptus tree. The purpose of this work was to optimize the experimental conditions for DSC analysis of biofuels, improve the calorific values by adding metal oxides as catalysts, and compare the heat values between DSC and EA analyses

  1. Prospective and development of butanol as an advanced biofuel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Chuang; Zhao, Xin-Qing; Liu, Chen-Guang; Chen, Li-Jie; Bai, Feng-Wu

    2013-12-01

    Butanol has been acknowledged as an advanced biofuel, but its production through acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation by clostridia is still not economically competitive, due to low butanol yield and titer. In this article, update progress in butanol production is reviewed. Low price and sustainable feedstocks such as lignocellulosic residues and dedicated energy crops are needed for butanol production at large scale to save feedstock cost, but processes are more complicated, compared to those established for ABE fermentation from sugar- and starch-based feedstocks. While rational designs targeting individual genes, enzymes or pathways are effective for improving butanol yield, global and systems strategies are more reasonable for engineering strains with stress tolerance controlled by multigenes. Compared to solvent-producing clostridia, engineering heterologous species such as Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae with butanol pathway might be a solution for eliminating the formation of major byproducts acetone and ethanol so that butanol yield can be improved significantly. Although batch fermentation has been practiced for butanol production in industry, continuous operation is more productive for large scale production of butanol as a biofuel, but a single chemostat bioreactor cannot achieve this goal for the biphasic ABE fermentation, and tanks-in-series systems should be optimized for alternative feedstocks and new strains. Moreover, energy saving is limited for the distillation system, even total solvents in the fermentation broth are increased significantly, since solvents are distilled to ~40% by the beer stripper, and more than 95% water is removed with the stillage without phase change, even with conventional distillation systems, needless to say that advanced chemical engineering technologies can distil solvents up to ~90% with the beer stripper, and the multistage pressure columns can well balance energy consumption for solvent fraction

  2. The feasibility of switchgrass for biofuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass research has been conducted cooperatively by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the University of Nebraska since the mid-1930’s with a primary focus on its development as a bioenergy crop since 1990. Additional research on switchgrass as a biomass energy crop also has been p...

  3. Algae biofuels: versatility for the future of bioenergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Carla S; Mayfield, Stephen P

    2012-06-01

    The world continues to increase its energy use, brought about by an expanding population and a desire for a greater standard of living. This energy use coupled with the realization of the impact of carbon dioxide on the climate, has led us to reanalyze the potential of plant-based biofuels. Of the potential sources of biofuels the most efficient producers of biomass are the photosynthetic microalgae and cyanobacteria. These versatile organisms can be used for the production of bioethanol, biodiesel, biohydrogen, and biogas. In fact, one of the most economic methods for algal biofuels production may be the combined biorefinery approach where multiple biofuels are produced from one biomass source.

  4. Synthetic biology for microbial production of lipid-based biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Espaux, Leo; Mendez-Perez, Daniel; Li, Rachel; Keasling, Jay D

    2015-12-01

    The risks of maintaining current CO2 emission trends have led to interest in producing biofuels using engineered microbes. Microbial biofuels reduce emissions because CO2 produced by fuel combustion is offset by CO2 captured by growing biomass, which is later used as feedstock for biofuel fermentation. Hydrocarbons found in petroleum fuels share striking similarity with biological lipids. Here we review synthetic metabolic pathways based on fatty acid and isoprenoid metabolism to produce alkanes and other molecules suitable as biofuels. We further discuss engineering strategies to optimize engineered biosynthetic routes, as well as the potential of synthetic biology for sustainable manufacturing.

  5. Metabolic engineering of microbial pathways for advanced biofuels production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fuzhong; Rodriguez, Sarah; Keasling, Jay D

    2011-12-01

    Production of biofuels from renewable resources such as cellulosic biomass provides a source of liquid transportation fuel to replace petroleum-based fuels. This endeavor requires the conversion of cellulosic biomass into simple sugars, and the conversion of simple sugars into biofuels. Recently, microorganisms have been engineered to convert simple sugars into several types of biofuels, such as alcohols, fatty acid alkyl esters, alkanes, and terpenes, with high titers and yields. Here, we review recently engineered biosynthetic pathways from the well-characterized microorganisms Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the production of several advanced biofuels.

  6. Energy properties of solid fossil fuels and solid biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holubcik, Michal; Kolkova, Zuzana; Jandacka, Jozef

    2016-06-01

    The paper deals about the problematic of energy properties of solid biofuels in comparison with solid fossil fuels. Biofuels are alternative to fossil fuels and their properties are very similar. During the experiments were done in detail experiments to obtain various properties of spruce wood pellets and wheat straw pellets like biofuels in comparison with brown coal and black coal like fossil fuels. There were tested moisture content, volatile content, fixed carbon content, ash content, elementary analysis (C, H, N, S content) and ash fusion temperatures. The results show that biofuels have some advantages and also disadvantages in comparison with solid fossil fuels.

  7. [Progress in synthesis technologies and application of aviation biofuels].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiaoying; Liu, Xiang; Zhao, Xuebing; Yang, Ming; Liu, Dehua

    2013-03-01

    Development of aviation biofuels has attracted great attention worldwide because that the shortage of fossil resources has become more and more serious. In the present paper, the development background, synthesis technologies, current application status and existing problems of aviation biofuels were reviewed. Several preparation routes of aviation biofuels were described, including Fischer-Tropsch process, catalytic hydrogenation and catalytic cracking of bio-oil. The status of flight tests and commercial operation were also introduced. Finally the problems for development and application of aviation biofuels were stated, and some accommodation were proposed.

  8. 75 FR 42745 - Production Incentives for Cellulosic Biofuels: Notice of Program Intent

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-22

    ... of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Production Incentives for Cellulosic Biofuels: Notice of..., biofuels producers and other interested parties are invited to submit pre-auction eligibility information..., ``Production Incentives for Cellulosic Biofuels; Reverse Auction Procedures and Standards,'' (74 FR...

  9. Estimating soil carbon change and biofuel life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions with economic, ecosystem and life-cycle models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Z.; Dunn, J.; Kwon, H. Y.; Mueller, S.; Wander, M.

    2015-12-01

    Land-use change (LUC) resulting from biofuel feedstock production can alter soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks of lands producing those crops and the crops they displace, possibly resulting in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. LUC GHG emissions included in biofuel life cycle analysis (LCA) have at times been estimated to be so great that biofuels did not offer a greenhouse gas reduction compared to conventional fossil fuels. To improve the accuracy of emissions estimates, SOC changes must be considered at a finer spatial resolution and take into account climate, soil, land use and management factors. This study reports on the incorporation of global LUC as predicted by a computable general equilibrium model (i.e., GTAP) and spatially-explicit modeled SOC estimates (using surrogate CENTURY) for various biofuel feedstock scenarios into a widely-used LCA model (i.e., GREET). Resulting estimates suggest: SOC changes associated with domestic corn production might contribute 2-6% or offset as much as 5% of total corn ethanol life-cycle GHG emissions. On the other hand, domestic LUC GHG emissions for switchgrass ethanol have the potential offset up to 60% of GHG emissions in the fuel's life cycle. Further, large SOC sequestration is predicted for Miscanthus feedstock production, enabling Miscanthus-based ethanol systems to offset all life-cycle GHG emissions and create a net carbon sink. LUC GHG emissions for ethanol derived from corn stover are small compared to other sources. Total life-cycle GHG emissions (g CO2eq MJ-1, 100cm soil) were estimated to be 59-66 for corn ethanol, 14 for stover ethanol, 18-26 for switchgrass ethanol, and -7 - -0.6 for Miscanthus ethanol.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppina M. D’Agosta

    2011-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppina M. D’Agosta

    2008-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  13. Better greenhouse gas emissions accounting for biofuels : A key to biofuels sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peeters, Marjan; Yue, Taotao

    2016-01-01

    Biofuels are promoted by governments as a replacement for fossil fuels in the transport sector. However, according to current scientific evidence, their use does not necessarily significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This article examines issues related to the regulation of biofuels’ life-cy

  14. Policies for second generation biofuels: current status and future challenges

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Egger, Haakan; Greaker, Mads; Potter, Emily

    2011-07-01

    Current state-of-the-art knowledge concludes that green house gas (GHG) emissions must be controlled and reduced within the next 30-40 years. The transport sector contributes almost a fifth of the current global emissions, and its share is likely to increase in the future. The US and a number of European countries have therefore introduced various support schemes for research and development (RandD) of low emission fuels that can potentially replace the current fossil fuels. One such alternative is biofuels. The advantage of biofuels are that it is easy to introduce into the transport sector. On the other hand, recent research papers question whether the supply of feedstock is sufficient, and to what extent biofuels lead to GHG emission reductions. This report reviews the current status of second generation biofuels. Second generation biofuels are made from cellulose, which according to our survey of the literature, is in more abundant supply than the first generation biofuels feedstocks. Furthermore, it seems to have the potential to reduce GHG emissions from the transport sector without leading to devastating land use changes, which recent critique has held against first generation biofuels. Given that governments have decided to support RandD of low emission fuels, we ask the following questions: Should second generation biofuels receive RandD support to the same extent as other low emission fuels like hydrogen? How should support schemes for second generation biofuels be designed? Second generation biofuels can be divided according to the production process into thermo-chemical and bio-chemical. With respect to the thermo-chemical process the potential for cost reductions seems to be low. On the other hand, ethanol made from cellulose using the biochemical conversion process is far from a ripe technology. Expert reports point to several potential technological breakthroughs which may reduce costs substantially. Hence, cellulosic ethanol, should receive direct

  15. Numerical simulation of cropping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tvergaard, Viggo; Hutchinson, John W.

    2014-01-01

    Cropping is a cutting process whereby opposing aligned blades create a shearing failure by exerting opposing forces normal to the surfaces of a metal sheet or plate. Building on recent efforts to quantify cropping, this paper formulates a plane strain elastic-plastic model of a plate subject...... shearing accompanying the cutting process. Specifically, it provides insight into the influence of the material's microscopic shear strength and toughness on the total work of cropping. The computational model does not account for deformation of the cropping tool, friction between sliding surfaces...

  16. Value Added Products from Renewable Biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blum, Paul [Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE (United States)

    2014-07-31

    Cellulosic ethanol is an emerging biofuel that will make strong contributions to American domestic energy needs. In the US midwest the standard method for pretreatment of biomass uses hot acid to deconstruct lignocellulose. While other methods work, they are not in common use. Therefore it is necessary to work within this context to achieve process improvements and reductions in biofuel cost. Technology underlying this process could supplement and even replace commodity enzymes with engineered microbes to convert biomass-derived lignocellulose feedstocks into biofuels and valueadded chemicals. The approach that was used here was based on consolidated bioprocessing. Thermoacidophilic microbes belonging to the Domain Archaea were evaluated and modfied to promote deconvolution and saccharification of lignocellulose. Biomass pretreatment (hot acid) was combined with fermentation using an extremely thermoacidophilic microbial platform. The identity and fate of released sugars was controlled using metabolic blocks combined with added biochemical traits where needed. LC/MS analysis supported through the newly established Nebraska Bioenergy Facility provided general support for bioenergy researchers at the University of Nebraska. The primary project strategy was to use microbes that naturally flourish in hot acid (thermoacidophiles) with conventional biomass pretreatment that uses hot acid. The specific objectives were: to screen thermoacidophilic taxa for the ability to deconvolute lignocellulose and depolymerize associated carbohydrates; evaluate and respond to formation of “inhibitors” that arose during incubation of lignocellulose under heated acidic conditions; identify and engineer “sugar flux channeling and catabolic blocks” that redirect metabolic pathways to maximize sugar concentrations; expand the hydrolytic capacity of extremely thermoacidophilic microbes through the addition of deconvolution traits; and establish the Nebraska Bioenergy Facility (NBF

  17. 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barry, Amanda [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Bioenergy Technologies Office, Washington, DC (United States); Wolfe, Alexis [Oak Ridge Inst. for Science and Education (ORISE), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); English, Christine [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Bioenergy Technologies Office, Washington, DC (United States); Ruddick, Colleen [BCS, Incorporated, Washington, DC (United States); Lambert, Devinn [Bioenergy Technologies Office, Washington, DC (United States)

    2016-06-01

    The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, is committed to advancing the vision of a viable, sustainable domestic biomass industry that produces renewable biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower; enhances U.S. energy security; reduces our dependence on fossil fuels; provides environmental benefits; and creates economic opportunities across the nation. BETO’s goals are driven by various federal policies and laws, including the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). To accomplish its goals, BETO has undertaken a diverse portfolio of research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities, in partnership with national laboratories, academia, and industry.

  18. Chemical Kinetic Modeling of Biofuel Combustion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarathy, Subram Maniam

    Bioalcohols, such as bioethanol and biobutanol, are suitable replacements for gasoline, while biodiesel can replace petroleum diesel. Improving biofuel engine performance requires understanding its fundamental combustion properties and the pathways of combustion. This study's contribution is experimentally validated chemical kinetic combustion mechanisms for biobutanol and biodiesel. Fundamental combustion data and chemical kinetic mechanisms are presented and discussed to improve our understanding of biofuel combustion. The net environmental impact of biobutanol (i.e., n-butanol) has not been studied extensively, so this study first assesses the sustainability of n-butanol derived from corn. The results indicate that technical advances in fuel production are required before commercializing biobutanol. The primary contribution of this research is new experimental data and a novel chemical kinetic mechanism for n-butanol combustion. The results indicate that under the given experimental conditions, n-butanol is consumed primarily via abstraction of hydrogen atoms to produce fuel radical molecules, which subsequently decompose to smaller hydrocarbon and oxygenated species. The hydroxyl moiety in n-butanol results in the direct production of the oxygenated species such as butanal, acetaldehyde, and formaldehyde. The formation of these compounds sequesters carbon from forming soot precursors, but they may introduce other adverse environmental and health effects. Biodiesel is a mixture of long chain fatty acid methyl esters derived from fats and oils. This research study presents high quality experimental data for one large fatty acid methyl ester, methyl decanoate, and models its combustion using an improved skeletal mechanism. The results indicate that methyl decanoate is consumed via abstraction of hydrogen atoms to produce fuel radicals, which ultimately lead to the production of alkenes. The ester moiety in methyl decanoate leads to the formation of low molecular

  19. Ignition and combustion features of biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryzhkov, A. F.; Silin, V. E.; Bogatova, T. F.; Nadir, S. M.

    2011-07-01

    This paper presents the results of experimental investigations of the ignition and combustion of plant biofuels (wood particles, date stones) and products of their mechanical and thermal treatment (pellets, charcoal) at temperatures typical of the burning process in nonforced furnaces and fixed-bed and fluidized-bed gas producers. The influence of the furnace heat treatment of a fuel on its inflammation and combustion has been revealed. The results have been compared with the known data on the burning of pellets, brown coals, and anthracites and with the calculation by the classical diffusion-kinetic model.

  20. Cyanobacteria as a platform for biofuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole E Nozzi

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria have great potential as a platform for biofuel production because of their fast growth, ability to fix carbon dioxide gas, and their genetic tractability. Furthermore they do not require fermentable sugars or arable land for growth and so competition with cropland would be greatly reduced. In this perspective we discuss the challenges and areas for improvement most pertinent for advancing cyanobacterial fuel production, including: improving genetic parts, carbon fixation, metabolic flux, nutrient requirements on a large scale, and photosynthetic efficiency using natural light.