WorldWideScience

Sample records for biofuel crop miscanthus

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  2. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  4. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Uffe

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  7. Miscanthus: practical aspects of biofuel development. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Newman, R.

    2003-11-01

    This report summarises the results of a study examining the production and harvesting of the non-straw biofuel miscanthus in the light of the UK government's objective regarding the contribution of renewable energy sources to electricity production. Details are given of the modification to the Elean Power Station to allow use of baled miscanthus as fuel, the mechanical handling system, the capital costs, and the production, harvesting and combustion trials. Plant emission, availability and sustainability of combustion, and the financial implications of miscanthus use are discussed.

  8. Miscanthus plants used as an alternative biofuel material. The basic studies on ecology and molecular evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chou, Chang-Hung [Graduate Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, College of Life Sciences, China Medical University, Taichung 404 (China)

    2009-08-15

    Miscanthus Anderss, widely distributed in Asia and Pacific Islands, possesses 20 species. Of which 8 species and 1 variety were recorded in Chinese Mainland; 6 species and 1 variety found in Japan; 5 species and 3 varieties distributed in Taiwan; 3 species documented in the Philippines; and rest of species have been recorded in Jawa, eastern Himalaya, and Sikkim. The plant is a C{sub 4} perennial grass with high productivity of biomass. In the 19th and early 20th centuries in Taiwan, Miscanthus was a very important crop used for forage grass, clothing, and shelter, etc. The relatively high germination, and high yield of biomass made the plant available for people of Taiwan including aboriginal. The taxonomic study of Miscanthus plants was much done by several scientists, and its ecological study has been only taken by the present author since 1972. Chou and his associates paid a great attention to elucidate the mechanism of dominance of Miscanthus vegetation and found that allelopathy plays an important role. In addition, the population biology of Miscanthus taxa by using polyacrylamide gel electrophoreses technique to examine the patterns of peroxidase and esterase among populations (over 100) of Miscanthus in Taiwan were conducted. They also elucidated the phylogenetic relationship among species and varieties in Taiwan. Chou and Ueng proposed an evolutionary trend of Miscanthus species, indicating that the Miscanthus sinensis was assumed to be the origin of Miscanthus Anderss, which evolved to M. sinensis var. formosana, and M. sinensis var. flavidus, and M. sinensis var. transmorrisonensis, and Miscanthus floridulus was thought to be an out group of M. sinensis complex. Moreover, molecular phylogeny was attempted to clarify the population heterogeneity of M. sinensis complex, resulting in a substantial information. It would be available for making hybridization between Miscanthus species and its related species, such as Saccharum (sugar cane) spp. which is a

  9. 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

  10. Miscanthus: A Review of European Experience with a Novel Energy Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scurlock, J.M.O.

    1999-02-01

    Miscanthus is a tall perennial grass which has been evaluated in Europe over the past 5-10 years as a new bioenergy crop. The sustained European interest in miscanthus suggests that this novel energy crop deserves serious investigation as a possible candidate biofuel crop for the US alongside switchgrass. To date, no agronomic trials or trial results for miscanthus are known from the conterminous US, so its performance under US conditions is virtually unknown. Speculating from European data, under typical agricultural practices over large areas, an average of about 8t/ha (3t/acre dry weight) may be expected at harvest time. As with most of the new bioenergy crops, there seems to be a steep ''learning curve.'' Establishment costs appear to be fairly high at present (a wide range is reported from different European countries), although these may be expected to fall as improved management techniques are developed.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Babović Nada V.; Dražić Gordana D.; Đorđević Ana M.

    2012-01-01

    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 t...

  12. Spatial variation in soil carbon stocks under a miscanthus crop

    OpenAIRE

    Hayes, Ciara

    2010-01-01

    Soils play an important role in the sequestration of soil carbon. Land management uses such as afforestation, grassland management etc can play a vital role in the mitigation of carbon from the atmosphere. Bioenergy crops are not only considered carbon neutral but may enhance the amount of C sequestered in the soils over time. In Ireland, field trials conducted using Miscanthus grass have estimated the soil organic carbon sequestration rate to be 0.6 t C ha-1.This study aims to investigate th...

  13. Impact of Different Lignin Fractions on Saccharification Efficiency in Diverse Species of the Bioenergy Crop Miscanthus

    OpenAIRE

    Weijde, van der, A.H.; Torres Salvador, Andres Francisco; Dolstra, Oene; Dechesne, Annemarie; Visser, Richard G. F.; Trindade, Luisa M.

    2016-01-01

    Lignin is a key factor limiting saccharification of lignocellulosic feedstocks. In this comparative study, various lignin methods—including acetyl bromide lignin (ABL), acid detergent lignin (ADL), Klason lignin (KL), and modified ADL and KL determination methods—were evaluated for their potential to assess saccharification efficiency. Six diverse accessions of the bioenergy crop miscanthus were used for this analysis, which included accessions of Miscanthus sinensis, Miscanthus saccharifloru...

  14. Seasonal nutrient dynamics and biomass quality of giant reed (Arundo donax L. and miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus Greef et Deuter as energy crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicoletta Nassi o Di Nasso

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The importance of energy crops in displacing fossil fuels within the energy sector in Europe is growing. Among energy crops, the use of perennial rhizomatous grasses (PRGs seems promising owing to their high productivity and their nutrient recycling that occurs during senescence. In particular, nutrient requirements and biomass quality have a fundamental relevance to biomass systems efficiency. The objective of our study was to compare giant reed (Arundo donax L. and miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deuter in terms of nutrient requirements and cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin content. This aim was to identify, in the Mediterranean environment, the optimal harvest time that may combine, beside a high biomass yield, high nutrient use efficiency and a good biomass quality for second generation biofuel production. The research was carried out in 2009, in San Piero a Grado, Pisa (Central Italy; latitude 43°41’ N, longitude 10°21’ E, on seven-year-old crops in a loam soil characterised by good water availability. Maximum above-ground nutrient contents were generally found in summer. Subsequently, a decrease was recorded; this suggested a nutrient remobilisation from above-ground biomass to rhizomes. In addition, miscanthus showed the highest N, P, and K use efficiency, probably related to its higher yield and its C4 pathway. Regarding biomass quality, stable values of cellulose (38%, hemicelluloses (25% and lignin (8% were reported from July onwards in both crops. Hence, these components appear not to be discriminative parameters in the choice of the harvest time in the Mediterranean environment. In conclusion, our results highlighted that, in our environment, a broad harvest period (from late autumn to winter seems suitable for these PRGs. However, further research is required to evaluate the role of rhizomes in nutrient storage and supply during the growing season, as well as ecological and productive performances in marginal

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  17. Biology, pretreatment and genetic development of Miscanthus sinensis, a biomass crop with great potential in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junhua Peng

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Climate changes and energy crisis accelerate the exploration on traditional energy production and new alternative energy sources. Biofuels are important because they could replace petroleum fuels. With high yield production, wide distribution and dramatically high tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress, Miscanthus sinensis was considered as one of the most potential energy plants in China. As a relatively new biomass plant, its background knowledge in physiological, pretreatment and genetic investigation is scarce. This review aimed at physiological and characteristics description, as well as pretreatment for ethanol production and genetic improvement of M. sinensis. The achievements of genomic and epigenomic research programs in other plants are of great help to better understand the nature of this promising biomass crop species in China. Meanwhile further researches on deconstruction enzymes, genetics and breeding would accelerate the application of M. sinensis, with higher yield, better quality, and wider adaption.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  19. Nutrient management studies in biofuel cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. Biofuels barometer: Crops pending

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Terry; Berenbaum, May R

    2013-06-01

    The expanding demand for biofuel feedstock may lead to large-scale conscription of land for monoculture production of biofuel crops with concomitant substantial negative impacts on biodiversity. We compared moth diversity in light-trap samples from corn, miscanthus, switchgrass and native prairie, to determine whether there is an observable relationship between plant species diversity and moth abundance and diversity. Moth alpha diversity was highest in prairie and was higher in switchgrass than in the other two biofuel crops. Beta diversity generally was low among the biofuel crops, and prairie shared lower beta diversity with switchgrass than with corn or miscanthus. Analysis of variance showed no significant differences in moth abundance per species among treatments. The alpha and beta diversity index findings are consistent with those of other studies on arthropods in biofuel crops and provide evidence to suggest that large-scale conversion of acreage to biofuel crops may have substantial negative effects on arthropod biodiversity both within the cropping systems and in the surrounding landscape. PMID:23955892

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. Sustainable production of grain crops for biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Potential productivity of the Miscanthus energy crop in the Loess Plateau of China under climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    With a vast area of marginal land, the Loess Plateau of China is a promising region for large-scale production of second-generation energy crops. However, it remains unknown whether such production is sustainable in the long run, especially under climate change. Using a regional climate change model, PRECIS, we analyzed the impact of climate change on Miscanthus production in the Loess Plateau. Under three emission scenarios, A2, B2, and A1B, both the average yield and total area capable of supporting Miscanthus production would increase continuously in the future period (2011–2099). As a result, the total yield potential in the region would increase by about 20% in this future period from the baseline period (1961–1990). This was explained primarily by predicted increases in temperature and precipitation across the Loess Plateau, which improved the yield of the perennial C4 plants relying exclusively on rainfed production. The areas that are currently too dry or too cold to support Miscanthus production could be turned into energy crop fields, especially along the arid–semiarid transition zone. Thus the Loess Plateau would become increasingly desirable for growing second-generation energy crops in this century, which could in turn contribute to soil improvement and ecological restoration of the region. (letter)

  10. Greenhouse gas emissions from traditional and biofuels cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. 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).

  12. Establishing perennial grass energy crops in the UK: A review of current propagation options for Miscanthus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Atkinson, C.J. [East Malling Research, New Road, East Malling, Kent ME19 6BJ (United Kingdom)

    2009-05-15

    A key UK government strategy is to expand the supply of home grown biomass and facilitate the development and competitiveness of a sustainable supply chain, while promoting low-carbon technology. Analysis of the potential supply chain suggests that this can, in part, be achieved by growing energy crops. Meeting expectations is, however, reliant on developing an economically viable biomass sector which incorporates efficient, sustainable and regional supply chains to increase biomass use. This review aims to present the knowledge by which plant propagules, for the biomass supply chain, can be produced at minimum cost. It specifically addresses the potential of biomass production from the perennial grass Miscanthus. This review is part of a project to identify the causes for the apparent limitations in the establishment of UK perennial energy crops. The work reported here focuses on the knowledge available regarding the potential routes by which Miscanthus material could be mass produced. The review concludes that high density plantings must be established to maximise yields. Vegetative clonal plant propagation is required to deliver uniform crops of selected germplasm. Commercial seed production in the UK is not possible and potentially undesirable for selected germplasm. Rhizome production and division is slow, but currently does not limit increases in production because the UK industry uptake is currently small. Uptake of new germplasm will be dependent on the use of rapid and cost effective plant propagation systems, particularly vegetative systems. The germplasm collection established provides an opportunity for genotypes to be propagated by a range of techniques to determine ease of propagation in terms of cost and multiplication rates. At present the establishment rate of Miscanthus is slow and this appears limited by economics; evidence suggests that the cost of plant propagules is one factor that constrains widespread planting. New techniques are required

  13. 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.

  14. Sorghum, Miscanthus & Co: Energy crops as potential host plants of western corn rootworm larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gloyna, Kai

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In a series of greenhouse experiments the host status and quality of 49 biofuel plants for the larvae of WCR were evaluated. The plants tested (18 species and varieties of Sorghum, 16 forage grasses, 6 Miscanthus genotypes, 6 Panicum varieties and 3 broadleaf species were grown for at least three weeks before they were used in the bioassays. The insects used in the experiments were obtained from a non diapausing laboratory strain originally from the US and maintained by BTL since 2006. Only neonate larvae (not older than 24 hours were used in the bioassays. In each experiment up to six species or varieties of plants were tested each with 10 replicates (containers. A susceptible maize variety was used as a positive control in each experiment. Each plant container was infested with ten neonate WCR larvae using a fine art brush. After inoculation the plants were not watered for at least 24 hours to facilitate the establishment of the larvae. The experiments were terminated after 18 days. To extract surviving larvae the soil and roots of test plants were carefully examined by hand and then transferred to a modified MacFadyen heat extractor with an extraction temperature of 45 °C. To assess the host quality the number of larvae recovered, the widths of their head capsules and dry weights were recorded. The larvae were dried at 40 °C for at least 72 hours and then weighed on an electronic micro balance. Of the 21 forage and switch grasses examined 16 hosted WCR larvae. However, the percentage of larvae that survived for 18 days, their dry weights and head capsule widths were significantly less than that recorded for larvae that developed on maize roots. The roots of most (i.e. 15 of the 18 Sorghum species or varieties tested were unsuitable for the development of WCR larvae. For the remaining three Sorghum species a maximum of only two larvae (of 100 inoculated were recovered. These results indicate that species of Sorghum are very poor quality

  15. Potential of the beneficial fungus Trichoderma to enhance ecosystem-service provision in the biofuel grass Miscanthus x giganteus in agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chirino-Valle, Ivan; Kandula, Diwakar; Littlejohn, Chris; Hill, Robert; Walker, Mark; Shields, Morgan; Cummings, Nicholas; Hettiarachchi, Dilani; Wratten, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    The sterile hybrid grass Miscanthus x giganteus (Mxg) can produce more than 30 t dry matter/ha/year. This biomass has a range of uses, including animal bedding and a source of heating fuel. The grass provides a wide range of other ecosystem services (ES), including shelter for crops and livestock, a refuge for beneficial arthropods, reptiles and earthworms and is an ideal cellulosic feedstock for liquid biofuels such as renewable (drop-in) diesel. In this study, the effects of different strains of the beneficial fungus Trichoderma on above- and below-ground biomass of Mxg were evaluated in glasshouse and field experiments, the latter on a commercial dairy farm over two years. Other ES benefits of Trichoderma measured in this study included enhanced leaf chlorophyll content as well as increased digestibility of the dried material for livestock. This study shows, for the first time for a biofuel feedstock plant, how Trichoderma can enhance productivity of such plants and complements other recent work on the wide-ranging provision of ES by this plant species. PMID:27117716

  16. Potential of the beneficial fungus Trichoderma to enhance ecosystem-service provision in the biofuel grass Miscanthus x giganteus in agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chirino-Valle, Ivan; Kandula, Diwakar; Littlejohn, Chris; Hill, Robert; Walker, Mark; Shields, Morgan; Cummings, Nicholas; Hettiarachchi, Dilani; Wratten, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    The sterile hybrid grass Miscanthus x giganteus (Mxg) can produce more than 30 t dry matter/ha/year. This biomass has a range of uses, including animal bedding and a source of heating fuel. The grass provides a wide range of other ecosystem services (ES), including shelter for crops and livestock, a refuge for beneficial arthropods, reptiles and earthworms and is an ideal cellulosic feedstock for liquid biofuels such as renewable (drop-in) diesel. In this study, the effects of different strains of the beneficial fungus Trichoderma on above- and below-ground biomass of Mxg were evaluated in glasshouse and field experiments, the latter on a commercial dairy farm over two years. Other ES benefits of Trichoderma measured in this study included enhanced leaf chlorophyll content as well as increased digestibility of the dried material for livestock. This study shows, for the first time for a biofuel feedstock plant, how Trichoderma can enhance productivity of such plants and complements other recent work on the wide-ranging provision of ES by this plant species. PMID:27117716

  17. Evaluation of the ECOSSE model for simulating soil organic carbon under Miscanthus and short rotation coppice-willow crops in Britain

    OpenAIRE

    Dondini, Marta; Richards, Mark; Pogson, Mark; Jones, Edwards O.; Rowe, Rebecca L.; Keith, Aidan M.; Niall P McNamara; Smith, Joanne U.; Smith, Pete

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we focus on the impact on soil organic carbon (SOC) of two dedicated energy crops: perennial grass Miscanthus x Giganteus (Miscanthus) and short rotation coppice (SRC)-willow. The amount of SOC sequestered in the soil is a function of site-specific factors including soil texture, management practices, initial SOC levels and climate; for these reasons, both losses and gains in SOC were observed in previous Miscanthus and SRC-willow studies. The ECOSSE model was developed to simu...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Andrew R.

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

  19. Regional Impacts of Miscanthus Biofuel Feedstock Production on the Hydrologic Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanloocke, A. D.; Twine, T. E.; Bernacchi, C.

    2009-12-01

    Socio-economic and scientific interest toward the use of renewable energy to offset fossil fuel dependence and greenhouse gas emissions is increasing. Currently, the majority of the US renewable energy production is focused on replacing gasoline with corn ethanol. In 2008, 18% of the US corn yield was used to displace ~5% of US gasoline consumption. This represents progress toward meeting the goals of offsetting 30% of liquid fossil fuel consumption by 2030 as established by the US government in the Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI). However, a growing body of research indicates that it may not be beneficial or even possible for corn ethanol alone to meet the AEI goals. Highly productive bioenergy feedstocks requiring fewer inputs such as Miscanthus x Giganteus (Miscanthus) are ideal candidates, relative to maize, to provide a renewable and sustainable alternative to fossil fuel. It is anticipated that Miscanthus is likely to have minimal environmental impacts and could be potentially beneficial to the environment. In order to meet the AEI goals, Miscanthus production on the scale of 1x10 ha would be needed. Before this level of production occurs, uncertainty over the environmental impacts of large-scale implementation should be addressed particularly with regards to the hydrologic cycle. We calibrated and evaluated a process-based terrestrial ecosystem model, Agro-IBIS (Integrated Biosphere Simulator, agricultural version), to simulate the impacts of land-use-change from current land-use practices to Miscanthus production on the hydrologic cycle. Simulations for the Midwestern US (0.5°grid cell resolution) were generated using the same climate forcing for current land cover and additional scenarios where Miscanthus was planted in varying densities (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%). Analyses indicate that for most of the Midwestern US, large increases in evapotranspiration (~100 to 250 mm/yr) and decreases in drainage (~ -100 to -250 mm/yr) occur when high densities

  20. Rapid liquefaction of giant miscanthus feedstock in ethanol–water system for production of biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Rapid water/ethanol liquefaction system was proposed for giant miscanthus feedstock. • The optimum liquefaction conditions were 280 °C and 15 min at water/ethanol ratio 50%. • Application of ZnCl2 catalyst enhanced liquefaction process significantly. • 52% bio-oil yield and 1% residue were obtained after 5 min when ZnCl2 catalyst used. - Abstract: Energy issues nowadays are one of the critical priorities for the United States. There is a strong desire and tremendous efforts employed towards replacing fossil fuels with sustainable alternative sources of energy. In this study, hydrothermal liquefaction with ethanol and water as co-solvents was applied on giant miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus) perennial biomass feedstock. Four temperatures and six ethanol ratios were chosen for the study. The optimum combination of temperature and water/ethanol ratio was 280 °C and 50%, respectively. The effect of time, biomass to solvent ratio and catalyst type was studied as well. The best liquefaction results without applying catalysts (53% oil yield and 8% solid residue) were obtained after 15 min. When zinc chloride was used as catalyst, more than 52% of oil yield with 1% solid residue was obtained after 5 min. The crude bio-oil chemical composition was identified by using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  2. The Coordination of Gene Expression within Photosynthesis Pathway for Acclimation of C4 Energy Crop Miscanthus lutarioriparius

    OpenAIRE

    Xing, Shilai; Kang, Lifang; Xu, Qin; Fan, Yangyang; Wei LIU; Zhu, Caiyun; Song, Zhihong; Wang, Qian; Yan, Juan; Li, Jianqiang; Sang, Tao

    2016-01-01

    As a promising candidate for the second-generation C4 energy crop, Miscanthus lutarioriparius has well acclimated to the water-limited and high-light Loess Plateau in China by improving photosynthesis rate and water use efficiency (WUE) compared to its native habitat along Yangtze River. Photosynthetic genes were demonstrated as one major category of the candidate genes underlying the physiological superiority. To further study how photosynthetic genes interact to improve the acclimation pote...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Suresh

    2013-12-01

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

  4. Energy balances of bioenergy crops (Miscanthus, maize, rapeseed) and their CO2-mitigation potential on a regional farm scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felten, D.; Emmerling, C.

    2012-04-01

    Increasing cultivation of energy crops in agriculture reveals the progressive substitution of fossil fuels, such as crude oil or brown coal. For the future development of renewable resources, the efficiency of different cropping systems will be crucial, as energy crops differ in terms of the energy needed for crop cultivation and refinement and the respective energy yield, e.g. per area. Here, balancing is certainly the most suitable method for the assessment of cropping system efficiency, contrasting energy inputs with energy outputs and the related CO2 emissions with potential CO2 credits due to substitution of fossil fuels, respectively. The aim of the present study was to calculate both energy and CO2 balances for rapeseed and maize, representing the recently most often cultivated energy crops in Germany, on a regional farm scale. Furthermore, special emphasis was made on perennial Miscanthus x giganteus, which is commonly used as a solid fuel for combustion. This C4-grass is of increasing interest due to its high yield potential accompanied by low requirements for soil tillage, weed control, and fertilization as well as long cultivation periods up to 25 years. In contrast to more general approaches, balances were calculated with local data from commercial farms. The site-specific consumption of diesel fuel was calculated using an online-based calculator, developed by the German Association for Technology and Structures in Agriculture (KTBL). By balancing each of the aforementioned cropping systems, our research focused on (i) the quantification of energy gains and CO2 savings due to fossil fuel substitution and (ii) the assessment of energy efficiency, expressed as the ratio of energy output to input. The energy input was highest for maize sites (33.8 GJ ha-1 yr-1), followed by rapeseed (18.2 GJ ha-1 yr-1), and Miscanthus (1.1 GJ ha-1 yr-1); corresponding energy yields were 129.5 GJ ha-1 yr-1 (maize), 83.6 GJ ha-1 yr-1 (rapeseed), and 259.7 GJ ha-1 yr-1

  5. 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

  6. Ultrastructure of the Rust Fungus Puccinia miscanthi in the Teliospore Stage Interacting with the Biofuel Plant Miscanthus sinensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ki Woo Kim

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Interaction of the the rust fungus Puccinia miscanthi with the biofuel plant Miscanthus sinensis during the teliospore phase was investigated by light and electron microscopy. P. miscanthi telia were oval-shaped and present on both the adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces. Teliospores were brown, one-septate (two-celled, and had pedicels attached to one end. Transmission electron microscopy revealed numerous electron-translucent lipid globules in the cytoplasm of teliospores. Extensive cell wall dissolution around hyphae was not observed in the host tissues beneath the telia. Hyphae were found between mesophyll cells in the leaf tissues as well as in host cells. Intracellular hyphae, possibly haustoria, possessed electron-dense fungal cell walls encased by an electron-transparent fibrillar extrahaustorial sheath that had an electron-dense extrahaustorial membrane. The infected host cells appeared to maintain their membrane-bound structures such as nuclei and chloroplasts. These results suggest that the rust fungus maintains its biotrophic phase with most mesophyll cells of M. sinensis. Such a nutritional mode would permit the rust fungus to obtain food reserves for transient growth in the course of host alteration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  9. Genetic Variability and Population Structure of the Potential Bioenergy Crop Miscanthus sinensis (Poaceae in Southwest China Based on SRAP Markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang Nie

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The genus Miscanthus has great potential as a biofuel feedstock because of its high biomass, good burning quality, environmental tolerance, and good adaptability to marginal land. In this study, the genetic diversity and the relationship of 24 different natural Miscanthus sinensis populations collected from Southwestern China were analyzed by using 33 pairs of Sequence Related Amplified Polymorphism (SRAP primers. A total of 688 bands were detected with 646 polymorphic bands, an average of 19.58 polymorphic bands per primer pair. The average percentage of polymorphic loci (P, gene diversity (H, and Shannon’s diversity index (I among the 24 populations are 70.59%, 0.2589, and 0.3836, respectively. The mean value of total gene diversity (HT was 0.3373 ± 0.0221, while the allelic diversity within populations (HS was 0.2589 ± 0.0136 and the allelic diversity among populations (DST was 0.0784. The mean genetic differentiation coefficient (Gst = 0.2326 estimated from the detected 688 loci indicated that there was 76.74% genetic differentiation within the populations, which is consistent with the results from Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA analysis. Based upon population structure and phylogenetic analysis, five groups were formed and a special population with mixed ancestry was inferred indicating that human-mediated dispersal may have had a significant effect on population structure of M. sinensis. Evaluating the genetic structure and genetic diversity at morphological and molecular levels of the wild M. sinensis in Southwest China is critical to further utilize the wild M. sinensis germplasm in the breeding program. The results in this study will facilitate the biofuel feedstock breeding program and germplasm conservation.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  14. Assessing Impacts of 20 yr Old Miscanthus on Soil Organic Carbon Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yaxian; Schäfer, Gerhard; Kuhn, Nikolaus

    2015-04-01

    The use of biomass as a renewable energy source has become increasingly popular in Upper Rhine Region to meet the demand for renewable energy. Miscanthus is one of the most favorite biofuel crops, due to its long life and large yields, as well as low energy and fertilizer inputs. However, current research on Miscanthus is mostly focused on the techniques and economics to produce biofuel or the impacts of side products such as ash and sulfur emissions to human health. Research on the potential impacts of Miscanthus onto soil quality, especially carbon quality after long-term adoption, is very limited. Some positive benefits, such as sequestrating organic carbon, have been repeatedly reported in previous research. Yet the quality of newly sequestrated organic carbon and its potential impacts onto global carbon cycling remain unclear. To fully account for the risks and benefits of Miscanthus, it is required to investigate the quality as well as the potential CO2 emissions of soil organic carbon on Miscanthus fields. As a part of the Interreg Project to assess the environmental impacts of biomass production in the Upper Rhine Region, this study aims to evaluate the carbon quality and the potential CO2 emissions after long-term Miscanthus adoption. Soils were sampled at 0-10, 10-40, 40-70, and 70-100 cm depths on three Miscanthus fields with up to 20 years of cultivation in Ammerzwiller France, Münchenstein Switzerland, and Farnsburg Switzerland. Soil texture, pH, organic carbon and nitrogen content were measured for each sampled layer. Topsoils of 0-10 cm and subsoils of 10-40 cm were also incubated for 40 days to determine the mineralization potential of the soil organic matter. Our results show that: 1) only in top soils of 0-10 cm, the 20 year old Miscanthus field has significantly higher soil organic carbon concentrations, than the control site. No significant differences were observed in deeper soil layers. Similar tendencies were also observed for organic

  15. The potential of Miscanthus to harbour known cereal pathogens

    OpenAIRE

    Glynn, E.; Brennan, J. M.; Walsh, Eilín; Feechan, Angela; McDonnell, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Miscanthus holds great potential as a bioenergy crop and Ireland has ideal conditions for its cultivation, however limited information is available about the interactions between Miscanthus and soil fungi which are pathogenic to other crops grown in Ireland and the UK. Miscanthus may therefore be susceptible to soil-borne pathogens present in the soil prior to crop establishment or may harbour pathogens and facilitate transmission of disease to other crops. The response of Miscanthus to a num...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  17. Impacts of biofuel cultivation on mortality and crop yields

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  19. Miscanthus production field trials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, B. [University Coll., Dublin (Ireland)

    1993-12-31

    Under the E.C. Joule program in 1989, a European network started on 18 sites a replicated production trial of an asian plant to produce biomass. The trials show that it is possible to successfully establish a Miscanthus crop under a wide range of climatic and edaphic conditions in Europe. Tests and results are presented. (TEC).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ragan, Holly R.; Kenkel, Philip L.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    О.О. Kravchuk

    2014-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. The development of biofuel crops on mine tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  7. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Associations in Biofuel Cropping Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, K.

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sesmero, Juan P

    2014-11-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  17. Harvesting and handling of miscanthus. Danish experiences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An increased use of biomass plays a major role in the Danish energy policy described by the action plan 'Energy 21'. So far, the effort has been concentrated on exploitation of the available biomass residues, mainly straw and wood, before initiating a major exploitation of energy crops. However, the contribution from energy crops is expected to increase steeply from 2012 to 2030. Energy crops can be divided into annual and perennial crops. Among the annual crops in Denmark, the highest interest has been in the growing of whole crop grain and rape seed. The advantages in the growing of these crops are: well-known technology, the farmers already have the requisite machines, and that the production can be changed within one year if the marketing possibilities change in favour of growing another type of crop. However, the growing of perennial crops might offer essential environmental advantages. Miscanthus is a crop that might be of interest in Denmark. It has a high yield potential and a low fertiliser demand. Besides, established miscanthus plants will have none or only a very low demand for pesticides, and the leaching of nitrate to the ground water from miscanthus fields will be very low. For future application of miscanthus within the energy sector, there will be a demand for rational techniques and systems for harvesting, handling, transport and final use. The field harvesting techniques must be in harmony with the techniques used subsequently by the end users. Purchasers of miscanthus for combustion purposes will typically be heating plants or combined heat and power plants (CHP plants). Biomass combusting plants are often designed for combustion of big baled dry straw or wood chips. Since miscanthus is a very sturdy and stiff-straw type of crop, the demands on the applied harvesting material are very high. Some machine technical solutions for the harvesting are described in the following. (au)

  18. Efficient hydrogen production from the lignocellulosic energy crop Miscanthus by the extreme thermophilic bacteria Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus and Thermotoga neapolitana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Vrije, G.J.; Bakker, R.R.; Budde, M.A.W.; Lai, M.H.; Mars, A.E.; Claassen, P.A.M. [Agrotechnology and Food Sciences Group, Wageningen University and Research Centre, PO Box 17, 6700 AA Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2009-06-17

    The production of hydrogen from biomass by fermentation is one of the routes that can contribute to a future sustainable hydrogen economy. Lignocellulosic biomass is an attractive feedstock because of its abundance, low production costs and high polysaccharide content. Batch cultures of Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus and Thermotoga neapolitana produced hydrogen, carbon dioxide and acetic acid as the main products from soluble saccharides in Miscanthus hydrolysate. The presence of fermentation inhibitors, such as furfural and 5-hydroxylmethyl furfural, in this lignocellulosic hydrolysate was avoided by the mild alkaline-pretreatment conditions at a low temperature of 75C. Both microorganisms simultaneously and completely utilized all pentoses, hexoses and oligomeric saccharides up to a total concentration of 17 g l{sup -1} in pH-controlled batch cultures. T. neapolitana showed a preference for glucose over xylose, which are the main sugars in the hydrolysate. Hydrogen yields of 2.9 to 3.4 mol H{sub 2} per mol of hexose, corresponding to 74 to 85% of the theoretical yield, were obtained in these batch fermentations. The yields were higher with cultures of C. saccharolyticus compared to T. neapolitana. In contrast, the rate of substrate consumption and hydrogen production was higher with T. neapolitana. At substrate concentrations exceeding 30 g l{sup -1}, sugar consumption was incomplete, and lower hydrogen yields of 2.0 to 2.4 mol per mol of consumed hexose were obtained. Efficient hydrogen production in combination with simultaneous and complete utilization of all saccharides has been obtained during the growth of thermophilic bacteria on hydrolysate of the lignocellulosic feedstock Miscanthus. The use of thermophilic bacteria will therefore significantly contribute to the energy efficiency of a bioprocess for hydrogen production from biomass.

  19. Efficient hydrogen production from the lignocellulosic energy crop Miscanthus by the extreme thermophilic bacteria Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus and Thermotoga neapolitana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Vrije Truus

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The production of hydrogen from biomass by fermentation is one of the routes that can contribute to a future sustainable hydrogen economy. Lignocellulosic biomass is an attractive feedstock because of its abundance, low production costs and high polysaccharide content. Results Batch cultures of Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus and Thermotoga neapolitana produced hydrogen, carbon dioxide and acetic acid as the main products from soluble saccharides in Miscanthus hydrolysate. The presence of fermentation inhibitors, such as furfural and 5-hydroxylmethyl furfural, in this lignocellulosic hydrolysate was avoided by the mild alkaline-pretreatment conditions at a low temperature of 75°C. Both microorganisms simultaneously and completely utilized all pentoses, hexoses and oligomeric saccharides up to a total concentration of 17 g l-1 in pH-controlled batch cultures. T. neapolitana showed a preference for glucose over xylose, which are the main sugars in the hydrolysate. Hydrogen yields of 2.9 to 3.4 mol H2 per mol of hexose, corresponding to 74 to 85% of the theoretical yield, were obtained in these batch fermentations. The yields were higher with cultures of C. saccharolyticus compared to T. neapolitana. In contrast, the rate of substrate consumption and hydrogen production was higher with T. neapolitana. At substrate concentrations exceeding 30 g l-1, sugar consumption was incomplete, and lower hydrogen yields of 2.0 to 2.4 mol per mol of consumed hexose were obtained. Conclusion Efficient hydrogen production in combination with simultaneous and complete utilization of all saccharides has been obtained during the growth of thermophilic bacteria on hydrolysate of the lignocellulosic feedstock Miscanthus. The use of thermophilic bacteria will therefore significantly contribute to the energy efficiency of a bioprocess for hydrogen production from biomass.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    atmosphere. However, cultivation of the soil results in emission of other greenhouse gasses, especially nitrous oxide (N2O). Agricultural activity is the dominant source of N2O, which is produced by microbes in the soil when the nitrogen availability is high, for instance following fertilization or......Agro-biofuels are expected to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases because CO2 emitted during the combustion of the biofuels has recently been taken from the atmosphere by the energy crop. Thus, when replacing fossil fuels with biofuels we reduce the emission of fossil fuel-derived CO2 into the...... production. The net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is calculated as the avoided fossil fuel-derived CO2, where the N2O emission has been subtracted. This value does not include farm machinery CO2 emissions and fuel consumption during biofuel production. Thus, the actual net greenhouse gas reduction...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  12. Biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  17. Miscanthus-derived SOC: numerically declining over soil depths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yaxian; Schäfer, Gerhard; Duplay, Joëlle; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.

    2016-04-01

    Miscanthus is one of the most efficient perennial bioenergy crops for wide establishment and distribution. Most of the previous reports had shown the benefits of Miscanthus cultivation in soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) mitigation. However, some other papers pointed out that the Miscanthus-derived SOC is mainly of particulate organic matter and the labile quality of particulate organic matter may bear great uncertainties in GHGs emissions. This urges the necessity to investigate the quality and mineralization potential of Miscanthus-derived SOC. This study investigated soil profiles deep to 1 m from 20 yr Miscanthus fields in France and Switzerland. Soil organic carbon (SOC) concentration and δ13C compositions of all the soil layers (0-10, 10-40, 40-70 and 70-100 cm) were determined. Our results show that: 1) Miscanthus cultivation can in general increase the SOC stocks compared to the Grassland, while the benefits of SOC sequestration may only constrain to the surface soil. Isotopically, the Miscanthus-derived SOC ranged from 69% the top 10 cm soil down to only 7% in the 70 to 100 cm layer, cautioning the use of SOC stocks on the surface soil to estimate the total net benefits of Miscanthus cultivation in terms of sequestrating atmospheric CO2. 2) Compared to the Grassland soils, the surface soils on the Miscanthus fields tended to have a risk of acidification (pH values down to 6) and exceeded contents of P and K, adding another precaution to the environmental impacts of Miscanthus cultivation in the entire Upper Rhine Region. Overall, changes of soil characteristics must be included into Life Cycle Assessment to fully evaluate the environmental impacts of long-term Miscanthus cultivation.

  18. Examining the impact of land cover change for biofuel production on the Midwestern U.S. hydroclimate using a regional climate model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, K. J.; Twine, T. E.; VanLoocke, A.; Bagley, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    The perennial grasses miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) have been proposed as cellulosic feedstocks for U.S. biofuel production because their high productivity and low inputs could reduce net CO2 emissions. Possible biogeochemical feedbacks of widespread production have been extensively studied, but less attention has been given to the two-way biophysical interactions between the land surface and regional climate. Miscanthus uses significantly more water than maize, resulting in large evapotranspiration (ET) increases upon conversion from maize to Miscanthus that could impact regional precipitation, precipitation recycling, and soil moisture. In this study, we simulate perennial grass production in a fully coupled regional climate model with dynamic vegetation, enabling an investigation into the two-way responses between these potential biofuels and the climate over the Mississippi River Basin. We incorporated algorithms of miscanthus and switchgrass growth and management from the Agro-IBIS model into with WRF-CLM4crop, a version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled to the Community Land Model with dynamic crop growth and irrigation enabled. Using suggested production regions from the United States Department of Energy, we performed simulations driven with 10 years of NCEP-DOE Reanalysis (NCEP2) data, with 25%, 50%, and 75% of current croplands replaced by perennial grass feedstocks. Our results provide spatially explicit maps of how simulated ET increased with conversion and the resulting regional cooling, greater precipitation, and precipitation recycling over the region.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Riche, A.B.

    2004-04-01

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

  20. SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS AND ADOPTION OF ENERGY CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haluk Gedikoglu

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  3. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-10-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonin, Catherine [Ohio State University; Lal, Dr. Rattan [Ohio State University; Schmitz, Matthias [Rheinsche Friedrich/Wilhelms Universitaet Boon; Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  7. Different Growth and Physiological Responses to Cadmium of the Three Miscanthus Species

    OpenAIRE

    Guo, Haipeng; Hong, Chuntao; Chen, Xiaomin; Xu, Yanxia; Liu, Yan; Jiang, DeAn; Zheng, Bingsong

    2016-01-01

    Miscanthus has been proposed as a promising crop for phytoremediation due to its high biomass yield and remarkable adaptability to different environments. However, little is known about the resistance of Miscanthus spp. to cadmium (Cd). To determine any differences in resistance of Miscanthus to Cd, we examined plant growth, net photosynthetic rate (Pn), activities of anti-oxidant and C4 photosynthetic enzymes, concentrations of Cd in leaves and roots, and observed the chloroplast structure i...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Prospects for arable farm uptake of Short Rotation Coppice willow and miscanthus in England

    OpenAIRE

    Glithero, Neryssa J.; Wilson, Paul; Ramsden, Stephen J.

    2013-01-01

    Biomass will play a role in the UK meeting EU targets on renewable energy use. Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) and miscanthus are potential biomass feedstocks; however, supply will rely on farmer willingness to grow these crops. Despite attractive crop establishment grants for dedicated energy crops (DECs) in the UK, uptake remains low. Drawing on results from an on-farm survey with 244 English arable farmers, 81.6% (87.7%) of farmers would not consider growing miscanthus (SRC), while respective...

  12. Water use implications of biofuel scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    (2) irrigation practices, (3) feedstock water use efficiency, and (4) the longer growing season and a predominance of rainfed cultivation of dedicated biofuel feedstocks. National-level total water use is lowest in the BAU scenario and highest in the RFS2 + LCFS scenario. Figure: Million acres converted to growing miscanthus (top) & switchgrass (bottom) under the RFS + LCFS scenario in 2035. Land use classes are crop pasture (blue), idle cropland (red-purple) & prime cropland (brown).

  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. Microwave assisted acid and alkali pretreatment of Miscanthus biomass for biorefineries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zongyuan Zhu

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Miscanthus is a major bioenergy crop in Europe and a potential feedstock for second generation biofuels. Thermochemical pretreatment is a significant step in the process of converting lignocellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars. In this work, microwave energy was applied to facilitate NaOH and H2SO4 pretreatments of Miscanthus. This was carried out at 180 ℃ in a monomode microwave cavity at 300 W. Our results show that H2SO4 pretreatment contributes to the breakdown of hemicelluloses and cellulose, leading to a high glucose yield. The maximum sugar yield from available carbohydrates during pretreatment is 75.3% (0.2 M H2SO4 20 Min, and glucose yield is 46.7% under these conditions. NaOH and water pretreatments tend to break down only hemicellulose in preference to cellulose, contributing to high xylose yield. Compared to conventional heating NaOH/H2SO4 pretreatment, 12 times higher sugar yield was obtained by using microwave assisted pretreatment within half the time. NaOH pretreatments lead to a significantly enhanced digestibility of the residue, because the effective removal of lignin and hemicellulose makes cellulose fibres more accessible to cellulases. Morphological study of biomass shows that the tightly packed fibres in the Miscanthus were dismantled and exposed under NaOH condition. We studied sugar degradation under microwave assisted H2SO4 conditions. The results shows that 6-8% biomass was converted into levulinic acid (LA during pretreatment, showing the possibility of using microwave technology to produce LA from biomass. The outcome of this work shows great potential for using microwave in the thermo-chemical pretreatment for biomass and also selective production of LA from biomass.

  15. Miscanthus combustion properties and variations with Miscanthus agronomy

    OpenAIRE

    Baxter, XC; Darvell, LI; Jones, JM; Barraclough, T; Yates, NE; Shield, I.

    2013-01-01

    A study of the interaction of agronomy and its effects on fuel quality has been carried out for Miscanthus x giganteus grown in the UK through the UK’s SUPERGEN Bioenergy Consortium activities. Work on Miscanthus yield responses to N, K and S fertilizer will be reported elsewhere, and this study is focused on how fertilisers affected Miscanthus fuel quality. Six different fertiliser treatments were chosen to give interesting contrasts from the field experiment investigating yield responses; n...

  16. Transcriptome-based differentiation of closely-related Miscanthus lines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Chouvarine

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Distinguishing between individuals is critical to those conducting animal/plant breeding, food safety/quality research, diagnostic and clinical testing, and evolutionary biology studies. Classical genetic identification studies are based on marker polymorphisms, but polymorphism-based techniques are time and labor intensive and often cannot distinguish between closely related individuals. Illumina sequencing technologies provide the detailed sequence data required for rapid and efficient differentiation of related species, lines/cultivars, and individuals in a cost-effective manner. Here we describe the use of Illumina high-throughput exome sequencing, coupled with SNP mapping, as a rapid means of distinguishing between related cultivars of the lignocellulosic bioenergy crop giant miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus. We provide the first exome sequence database for Miscanthus species complete with Gene Ontology (GO functional annotations. RESULTS: A SNP comparative analysis of rhizome-derived cDNA sequences was successfully utilized to distinguish three Miscanthus × giganteus cultivars from each other and from other Miscanthus species. Moreover, the resulting phylogenetic tree generated from SNP frequency data parallels the known breeding history of the plants examined. Some of the giant miscanthus plants exhibit considerable sequence divergence. CONCLUSIONS: Here we describe an analysis of Miscanthus in which high-throughput exome sequencing was utilized to differentiate between closely related genotypes despite the current lack of a reference genome sequence. We functionally annotated the exome sequences and provide resources to support Miscanthus systems biology. In addition, we demonstrate the use of the commercial high-performance cloud computing to do computational GO annotation.

  17. Estimating the pre-harvest greenhouse gas costs of energy crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full greenhouse gas (GHG) life-cycle analysis of bio-energy production chains is often constrained by a lack of information on pre-harvest GHG costs and emissions during production of the energy crop. In this paper, we assessed pre-harvest GHG costs of production of short rotation coppice (SRC), Miscanthus and oil seed rape (OSR: for liquid bio-fuel production) when compared to a range of former land-use baselines. It was found that GHG costs are very low for Miscanthus and SRC but higher for OSR production, determined mainly by the need for nitrogen fertilisation. Compared to baseline land uses, SRC and Miscanthus have much lower GHG costs than arable cropping or intensively managed grasslands, with OSR production having similar GHG costs to arable cropping. Establishing broadleaved forests have low GHG costs, but 5-year GHG costs of Miscanthus and SRC are similar to forest. We show that former land use is of critical importance when determining if energy crops are a net source or sink of GHGs. Converting to SRC and Miscanthus are the most favourable energy crops in terms of GHG savings. Converting to OSR from arable cropping results in either small increases or decreases in GHG emissions, depending upon the former tillage practice on the arable land, but replacing either broadleaved woodland with OSR (mainly due to soil carbon loss and increased fertiliser-related N2O emissions), or grassland with OSR (mainly due to loss of soil carbon), greatly increases emissions. Policies to maximise GHG benefits from energy crops should encourage that they be established preferentially on croplands. (author)

  18. Estimating the pre-harvest greenhouse gas costs of energy crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full greenhouse gas (GHG) life-cycle analysis of bio-energy production chains is often constrained by a lack of information on pre-harvest GHG costs and emissions during production of the energy crop. In this paper, we assessed pre-harvest GHG costs of production of short rotation coppice (SRC), Miscanthus and oil seed rape (OSR: for liquid bio-fuel production) when compared to a range of former land-use baselines. It was found that GHG costs are very low for Miscanthus and SRC but higher for OSR production, determined mainly by the need for nitrogen fertilisation. Compared to baseline land uses, SRC and Miscanthus have much lower GHG costs than arable cropping or intensively managed grasslands, with OSR production having similar GHG costs to arable cropping. Establishing broadleaved forests have low GHG costs, but 5-year GHG costs of Miscanthus and SRC are similar to forest. We show that former land use is of critical importance when determining if energy crops are a net source or sink of GHGs. Converting to SRC and Miscanthus are the most favourable energy crops in terms of GHG savings. Converting to OSR from arable cropping results in either small increases or decreases in GHG emissions, depending upon the former tillage practice on the arable land, but replacing either broadleaved woodland with OSR (mainly due to soil carbon loss and increased fertiliser-related N2O emissions), or grassland with OSR (mainly due to loss of soil carbon), greatly increases emissions. Policies to maximise GHG benefits from energy crops should encourage that they be established preferentially on croplands

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  3. Will energy crop yields meet expectations?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. GIANT MISCANTHUS AS A SUBSTRATE FOR BIOGAS PRODUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Kazimierowicz

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available One unconventional source of energy, which may be applied in numerous production and municipal processes, is energy accumulated in plants. As a result of photosynthesis, solar energy is transformed into chemical energy accumulated in a form of carbohydrates in the plant biomass, which becomes the material that is more and more sought by power distribution companies and individual users. Currently, a lot of research on obtaining biogas from energy crops is conducted. Corn silage is used most often, however, there is a demand for alternative plants. The experiment described in this article was conducted with the use of giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus Giganteus.

  7. Impacts of biofuels production alternatives on water quantity and quality in the Iowa River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Y.; Liu, S.

    2012-01-01

    Corn stover as well as perennial grasses like switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and miscanthus are being considered as candidates for the second generation biofuel feedstocks. However, the challenges to biofuel development are its effects on the environment, especially water quality. This study evaluates the long-term impacts of biofuel production alternatives (e.g., elevated corn stover removal rates and the potential land cover change) on an ecosystem with a focus on biomass production, soil erosion, water quantity and quality, and soil nitrate nitrogen concentration at the watershed scale. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was modified for setting land cover change scenarios and applied to the Iowa River Basin (a tributary of the Upper Mississippi River Basin). Results show that biomass production can be sustained with an increased stover removal rate as long as the crop demand for nutrients is met with appropriate fertilization. Although a drastic increase (4.7–70.6%) in sediment yield due to erosion and a slight decrease (1.2–3.2%) in water yield were estimated with the stover removal rate ranging between 40% and 100%, the nitrate nitrogen load declined about 6–10.1%. In comparison to growing corn, growing either switchgrass or miscanthus can reduce sediment erosion greatly. However, land cover changes from native grass to switchgrass or miscanthus would lead to a decrease in water yield and an increase in nitrate nitrogen load. In contrast to growing switchgrass, growing miscanthus is more productive in generating biomass, but its higher water demand may reduce water availability in the study area.

  8. 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

  9. Hydrolysis of Miscanthus for bioethanol production using dilute acid presoaking combined with wet explosion pre-treatment and enzymatic treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Annette; Teller, Philip Johan; Hilstrøm, Troels;

    2008-01-01

    Miscanthus is a high yielding bioenergy crop. In this study we used acid presoaking, wet explosion, and enzymatic hydrolysis to evaluate the combination of the different pre-treatment methods for bioethanol production with Miscanthus. Acid presoaking is primarily carried out in order to remove...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-05-15

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Regional Environmental Impacts of Biofuel Feedstock Production--Scaling Biogeochemical Cycles in Space and Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanloocke, A.; Bernacchi, C.

    2008-12-01

    Recently there has been increasing socio-economic and scientific interest in the use of alternative sources of energy to offset the negative effects of current fossil fuel dependence and consequent greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, one of the most popular alternatives is to use ethanol produced from domestically grown crops for use as fuel in the transportation sector. In 2007, over 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol were produced in the U.S. from corn, a traditional food crop. Recent research indicates that it may be logistically impractical, ecologically counterproductive (i.e. a net carbon source), and economically devastating to produce ethanol from crops previously grown to produce food. The EBI (Energy Biosciences Institute, at University of California Berkley and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) is now conducting research to assess the ability of traditional crops as well as dedicated biofuel feedstocks (e.g. Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), Miscanthus x Giganteus (Miscanthus), and Saccharum spp (sugar cane)) to provide a productive and sustainable alternative to fossil fuel. This is an important step to take before implementing the large-scale growth necessary to meet U.S. energy needs .A process-based terrestrial ecosystem model, Agro-IBIS (Agricultural Integrated Biosphere Simulator) was adapted to simulate the growth of Miscanthus. The model was calibrated using data collected from sites at the University of Illinois south farms. Simulations indicated significant implications on the regional carbon and water budgets. Next this locally validated method will be extrapolated to simulate the regional scale growth of Miscanthus in the Midwestern U.S. and sugarcane in Brazil and a similar analysis will be conducted for switchgrass. The results should provide insight on optimal land-use decisions and legislation that regard meeting energy demands and mitigating climate change in the near future.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this report the contribution of biofuels to the renewable energy supply and the transition towards it are discussed for the energy crops miscanthus, eucalyptus, poplar, wheat and sugar cane. Bio-electricity appears to be the most suitable option regarding energetic and financial aspects and in terms of avoided CO2 emissions. The IMAGE 2.0 model is a multi-disciplinary, integrated model designed to simulate the dynamics of the global society-biosphere-climate system, and mainly used here for making more realistic estimates. Dynamic calculations are performed to the year 2100. An IMAGE 2.0-based Conventional Wisdom scenario simulates, among other things, future energy demand and supply, future food production, future land cover patterns and future greenhouse gas emissions. Two biofuel scenarios are described in this report. The first consists of growing energy crops on set asides. According to a 'Conventional Wisdom' scenario, Canada, the U.S. and Europe and to a lesser extent Latin America will experience set asides due to a declining demand in agricultural area. The second biofuel scenario consists of growing energy crops on set asides and on 10% of the agricultural area in the developing countries. Growing energy crops on all of the areas listed above leads to an energy production that consists of about 12% of the total non-renewable energy use in 2050, according to the 'Conventional Wisdom' scenario. Furthermore, the energy related CO2 emissions are reduced with about 15% in 2050, compared to the Conventional Wisdom scenario. Financial aspects will have great influence on the success of growing energy crops. However, energy generated from biomass derived from plantations is currently more expensive than generating it from traditional fuels. Levying taxes on CO2 emissions and giving subsidies to biofuels will reduce the cost price difference between fossil fuels and biofuels

  17. Can miscanthus C4 photosynthesis compete with festulolium C3 photosynthesis in a temperate climate?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jiao, Xiurong; Sørensen, Kirsten Kørup; Andersen, Mathias Neumann;

    2016-01-01

    Miscanthus, a perennial grass with C4 photosynthesis, is regarded as a promising energy crop due to its high biomass productivity. Compared with other C4 species, most miscanthus genotypes have high cold tolerances at 14 °C. However, in temperate climates, temperatures below 14 °C are common and...... each temperature level and still maintained photosynthesis after growing for a longer period at 6/4 °C. Only two of five measured miscanthus genotypes increased photosynthesis immediately after the temperature was raised again. The photosynthetic capacity of festulolium was significantly higher at 10...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincentz Michel

    2010-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Diversity of weed flora, selected biometric characteristics and yielding of Miscanthus spp. cultivated on light and heavy soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beata Feledyn-Szewczyk

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available An important issue related to the cultivation of plants for energy purposes and poorly recognized so far is their impact on the environment, including biodiversity. The aim of the work was to assess weed flora diversity, canopy structure and yield of miscanthus cultivated on two types of soil: light and heavy. The study was carried out in the Experimental Station of the Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation – State Research Institute at Osiny, Poland (N:51o28, E:22o4, on two fields of miscanthus (Miscanthus saccharflorus Robustus × M. sinensis– M-115 established in 2004, on light loamy sand and heavy loam. The analysis of weed flora was carried out in 2010 and 2011, in mid-June and mid-August, using two methods: the frame method and phytosociological relevés. Moreover, an analysis of green and dry matter yield of miscanthus, some biometric features and leaf area index (LAI was carried out. The results showed that weed species diversity in a miscanthus crop was dependent on soil type. A larger number of weed species was found in miscanthus cultivated on heavy soil – 37 – in comparison with miscanthus cultivated on light soil – 33. Sorensen’s indicators showed low similarity between weed communities in miscanthus on light and heavy soil. Weed abundance and percentage of weed cover were lower in miscanthus cultivated on light soil. Weed density decreased during the vegetation season as a result of increasing competitiveness of the miscanthus canopy against weeds. Miscanthus yields were more dependent on weather conditions than the type of soil. Plant height and shoot diameter as well as leaf area index (LAI were higher in miscanthus grown on heavy soil.

  3. Nitrate leaching and pesticide use in energy crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Uffe

    2006-01-01

    Nitrate leaching measured below willow and miscanthus is very low from the established crops. Pesticide use in energy crops is low as well.......Nitrate leaching measured below willow and miscanthus is very low from the established crops. Pesticide use in energy crops is low as well....

  4. Examining the economic feasibility of miscanthus in Ontario: An application to the greenhouse industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recent policies, such as the Green Energy Act in the Canadian province of Ontario, have placed increasing emphasis on the development of renewable energy sources. One source that has received considerable attention in Europe, but very little in Canada, is the energy crop miscanthus. This study examines the economic feasibility of miscanthus from a Canadian perspective. A net present value approach is used to determine the breakeven price of miscanthus production in Ontario. Based on assumptions specific to Ontario regarding miscanthus production, input costs, and opportunity costs associated with alternative land use, the breakeven price is estimated to be $88.02/t. To account for uncertainty inherent in the imposed assumptions, sensitivity analysis is conducted on various life cycle factors, yield, and cost components. The results of this analysis indicate a range of breakeven prices from $77.79 to $105.08/t. These results are then applied to Ontario's greenhouse industry, where the cost of energy derived from miscanthus is found to be competitive with the costs of current non-renewable energy sources. - Highlights: ► We estimate a breakeven price of $88.02/t for miscanthus production in Ontario. ► Sensitivity analysis indicates a range of breakeven prices of $77.79/t–$105.08/t. ► We convert these prices to a cost/GJ of energy for the greenhouse industry. ► We find miscanthus to be competitive with costs of non-renewable energy sources.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. Impact of rhizome quality on miscanthus establishment in claypan soil landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thousands of degraded-soil hectares in the U.S. Midwest have been planted to Miscanthus × giganteus as an industrial or bioenergy crop in recent years, but few studies on factors affecting crop establishment have been performed on these soils. The objective of this study was to quantify how both rhi...

  8. The Big Deals in Biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brainard, Jeffrey

    2007-01-01

    Plants that bear less familiar names such as switch grass, "Miscanthus," and kenaf, are not much to look at, having weathered Iowa's winter snows. But Iowa State researchers see these crops as seeds of change in alternative fuels. Rows of experimental crops line the test plots at Iowa State University's research farm. Although corn is considered…

  9. Soil carbon accrual in particle-size fractions under Miscanthus x. giganteus cultivation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The energy crop Miscanthus x. giganteus is a deep rooting perennial rhizomatous C4 grass with great biomass production, even under temperate German climate conditions. Accordingly we hypothesized that this crop may accumulate great amounts of carbon in soil, particularly in deeper soil layers. We sampled several former C3-derived arable fields that had been cropped with Miscanthus for 0–19 years. We were able to trace the origin and turnover of soil organic C (SOC) on the basis of natural 13C/12C abundance measurements. The analysis was performed on bulk soil samples and on particle-size fractions that are known to comprise SOC of different availability for decay. Miscanthus-derived C accumulated at a rate of 1800 kg ha−1 y−1 down to a soil depth of 100 cm. Only about 50% of this C accrual occurred in the surface soil (0–10 cm). The C accumulation differed among size fractions. Miscanthus-derived C in the coarse-POM fraction increased rapidly during the first years of Miscanthus cultivation until a steady state was reached after approximately seven years. The stocks of Miscanthus-derived C associated with the clay fraction increased at a rate of 230 kg ha−1 y−1 in 0–5 cm, 45 kg ha−1 y−1 in 20–30 cm and 38 kg ha−1 y−1 in 50–75 cm. The C accumulation rate decreased with increasing soil depth. In particular, Miscanthus-derived C associated with the clay fraction led to increasing SOC stocks, even below the former Ap; that is, below a depth that would respond sensitively to a future land use change. - Highlights: • Miscanthus-derived C accumulated in soil at a rate of 1805 kg ha−1 y−1 (0–100 cm soil depth). • Miscanthus-derived C in the labile fraction rapidly approached a steady-state. • Especially Miscanthus-derived C associated with the clay fraction led to increasing SOC stocks. • Miscanthus cultivation may lead to a sustainable reduction of atmospheric C due to sequestration as stable SOC

  10. 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)

  11. Optimizing Biofuels Production in an Uncertain Decision Environment

    OpenAIRE

    Ziolkowska, Jadwiga R.

    2013-01-01

    The question of increasing biofuels production and the development of different biofuels production technologies has become controversial. On the one hand, production of corn-based biofuels creates a ‘food/feed vs. fuel’ tradeoff condition, along with subsequent uncertainties for both consumers and producers (farmers). On the other, advanced biofuels (from, e.g., switchgrass, miscanthus, algae), although acknowledged as environmentally friendly, are not available yet on a large commercial sca...

  12. Optimisation of Miscanthus harvesting and storage strategies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nixon, P.; Bullard, M.

    2003-07-01

    Miscanthus is a valuable biomass source of energy and this study was conducted with a view to maximising its potential through optimisation of harvesting, transport, drying and storage. The studies centred on two experimental plots established in southern England in 2001. Details of harvesting procedure, height of cut etc. are given. Drying under controlled and ambient conditions was monitored. The impact of rhizome damage and soil compaction on future crops was assessed. A superior mower conditioner-baler system was described, but the procedure for swath drying can probably be improved. The study was carried out over one season only. The main contractor was Energy Power Resources Ltd and the work was part of the DTI Renewable Energy Programme managed by Future Energy Solutions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. Invertebrate populations in miscanthus (Miscanthusxgiganteus) and reed canary-grass (Phalaris arundinacea) fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Semere, T.; Slater, F.M. [Llysdinam Field Centre, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Newbridge-on-Wye, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 6NB (United Kingdom)

    2007-01-15

    Monitoring of invertebrates at four field sites in Herefordshire, England, growing miscanthus and reed canary-grass was carried out in 2002, 2003 and 2004 to investigate the ecological impact of these crops on ground beetles, butterflies and arboreal invertebrates. Ground beetles were sampled by pitfall trapping; and arboreal invertebrates by sweep netting and stem beating. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology's Butterflies Monitoring Scheme methodology was used to record butterflies. The effects of the biomass crops on invertebrates were indirect, through the use of weeds as food resources and habitat. The greater diversity of weed flora within miscanthus fields than within reed canary-grass fields had a greater positive effect on invertebrates. Ground beetles, butterflies and arboreal invertebrates were more abundant and diverse in the most floristically diverse miscanthus fields. The difference in crop architecture and development between miscanthus and reed canary-grass was reflected in their differences in crop height and ground cover early on in the season. However, most of the difference in arthropod abundance between the two crops was attributed to the difference in the agronomic practice of growing the crops such as plant density, and the effect of this on weed growth. Since perennial rhizomatous grasses require a single initial planting and related tillage, and also no major chemical inputs; and because the crops are harvested in the spring and the land is not disturbed by cultivation every year, the fields were used as over-wintering sites for invertebrates suggesting immediate benefits to biodiversity. (author)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-01-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lal, R

    2005-05-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Different Growth and Physiological Responses to Cadmium of the Three Miscanthus Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Haipeng; Hong, Chuntao; Chen, Xiaomin; Xu, Yanxia; Liu, Yan; Jiang, Dean; Zheng, Bingsong

    2016-01-01

    Miscanthus has been proposed as a promising crop for phytoremediation due to its high biomass yield and remarkable adaptability to different environments. However, little is known about the resistance of Miscanthus spp. to cadmium (Cd). To determine any differences in resistance of Miscanthus to Cd, we examined plant growth, net photosynthetic rate (Pn), activities of anti-oxidant and C4 photosynthetic enzymes, concentrations of Cd in leaves and roots, and observed the chloroplast structure in three Miscanthus species treated with 0, 10, 50, 100 or 200 μM Cd in solutions. Miscanthus sinensis showed more sensitivity to Cd, including sharp decreases in growth, Pn, PEPC activity and damage to chloroplast structure, and the highest H2O2 and Cd concentrations in leaves and roots after Cd treatments. Miscanthus sacchariflorus showed higher resistance to Cd and better growth, had the highest Pn and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) activities and integrative chloroplast structure and the lowest hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and leaf and root Cd concentrations. The results could play an important role in understanding the mechanisms of Cd tolerance in plants and in application of phytoremediation. PMID:27070918

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Modeling state-level soil carbon emission factors under various scenarios for direct land use change associated with United States biofuel feedstock production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Current estimates of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels produced in the US can be improved by refining soil C emission factors (EF; C emissions per land area per year) for direct land use change associated with different biofuel feedstock scenarios. We developed a modeling framework to estimate these EFs at the state-level by utilizing remote sensing data, national statistics databases, and a surrogate model for CENTURY's soil organic C dynamics submodel (SCSOC). We estimated the forward change in soil C concentration within the 0–30 cm depth and computed the associated EFs for the 2011 to 2040 period for croplands, grasslands or pasture/hay, croplands/conservation reserve, and forests that were suited to produce any of four possible biofuel feedstock systems [corn (Zea Mays L)-corn, corn–corn with stover harvest, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L), and miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deuter)]. Our results predict smaller losses or even modest gains in sequestration for corn based systems, particularly on existing croplands, than previous efforts and support assertions that production of perennial grasses will lead to negative emissions in most situations and that conversion of forest or established grasslands to biofuel production would likely produce net emissions. The proposed framework and use of the SCSOC provide transparency and relative simplicity that permit users to easily modify model inputs to inform biofuel feedstock production targets set forth by policy. -- Highlights: ► We model regionalized feedstock-specific United States soil C emission factors. ► We simulate soil C changes from direct land use change associated with biofuel feedstock production. ► Corn, corn-stover, and perennial grass biofuel feedstocks grown in croplands maintain soil C levels. ► Converting grasslands to bioenergy crops risks soil C loss. ► This modeling framework yields more refined soil C emissions than national-level emissions

  6. Land use change to Miscanthus: measured and modelled changes in soil carbon fractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Andy; Davies, Christian; Smith, Pete; McNamara, Niall

    2014-05-01

    Miscanthus is a lignocellulosic crop that uses the Hatch-Slack (C4) photosynthetic pathway as opposed to most C3 vegetation native to the UK. Miscanthus can be grown for a number of practical end-uses but recently interest has increased in its viability as a bioenergy crop; both providing a renewable source of energy and helping to limit climate change by improving the carbon (C) budgets associated with energy generation. Miscanthus distribution is very limited at present and therefore in most cases propagation will require land use change. Limited case studies have shown that changing land use to Miscanthus may increase stocks of soil organic carbon (SOC). However, the accuracy of simulating SOC dynamics under Miscanthus for scaling purposes is limited by empirical validation data regarding the longevity of newly sequestered SOC1. Consequently, in our work the size and turnover times of different SOC fractions have been quantified through physiochemical fractionation2 under a Miscanthus plantation and an adjacent paired reference site. Twenty-five 2 m2 plots were set up in a three-year old 11 hectare commercial Miscanthus plantation in Lincolnshire, UK. From each plot monthly measurements of CO2 emissions were taken at the soil surface between March 2009 and March 2013, and soil C from the top 30 cm was monitored in all plots over the same period. Miscanthus-derived SOC and CO2 emissions resulting from Miscanthus plant matter were determined using the isotopic discrimination between C4 plant matter and C3 soil. Stable isotope techniques were also used in conjunction with soil fractionation performed annually to establish the rate of change to different soil fractions. Soil C and fractionation was also performed on five soils from an adjacent site with continued cropping of the prior land use. There is a notable increase in SOC stocks under Miscanthus when compared with the adjacent reference site (2.05 tC ha-1 yr-1) despite fractionation indicating the Miscanthus

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasilica STAN

    2014-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB). Users' Manual and Technical Documentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunn, Jennifer B. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Qin, Zhangcai [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Mueller, Steffen [Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States); Kwon, Ho-young [International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, DC (United States); Wander, Michelle M. [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States); Wang, Michael [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)

    2014-09-01

    The Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB) calculates carbon emissions from land use change (LUC) for four different ethanol production pathways including corn grain ethanol and cellulosic ethanol from corn stover, Miscanthus, and switchgrass. This document discusses the version of CCLUB released September 30, 2014 which includes corn and three cellulosic feedstocks: corn stover, Miscanthus, and switchgrass.

  10. VERGLEICHUNG von CELLULOSE-, HEMICELLULOSE- und LIGNINGEHALT bei Miscanthus (ELEFANTENGRAS) Giganteus, Miscanthus Goliath und Miscanthus Silberfahne

    OpenAIRE

    YAŞAR, Samim

    2009-01-01

    In dieser Arbeit wurden der Cellulose-, der Hemicellulose- und der Ligningehalt von drei verschiedenen Unterarten1 der Pflanze Miscanthus (Elefantengras), die als Rohstoff in der Zellstoff- und in der Papierherstellung sowie in den termisch-chemischen und chemischen Verfahren eine Alternative zu Holz darstellt, untersucht und gegenübergestellt. Giganteus, Goliath und Silberfahne waren die drei untersuchten Miscanthusunterarten, die die drei jährige Aufwüchse waren. Für die Ligninbestimmung s...

  11. 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.

  12. Miscanthus and switchgrass production in central Illinois: impacts on hydrology and inorganic nitrogen leaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIsaac, Gregory F; David, Mark B; Mitchell, Corey A

    2010-01-01

    Biomass crops are being promoted as environmentally favorable alternatives to fossil fuels or ethanol production from maize (Zea mays L.), particularly across the Corn Belt of the United States. However, there are few if any empirical studies on inorganic N leaching losses from perennial grasses that are harvested on an annual basis, nor has there been empirical evaluation of the hydrologic consequences of perennial cropping systems. Here we report on the results of 4 yr of field measurements of soil moisture and inorganic N leaching from a conventional maize-soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] system and two unfertilized perennial grasses harvested in winter for biomass: Miscanthus x giganteus and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum cv. Cave-in-Rock). All crops were grown on fertile Mollisols in east-central Illinois. Inorganic N leaching was measured with ion exchange resin lysimeters placed 50 cm below the soil surface. Maize--soybean nitrate leaching averaged 40.4 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1), whereas switchgrass and Miscanthus had values of 1.4 and 3.0 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1), respectively. Soil moisture monitoring (to a depth of 90 cm) indicated that both perennial grasses dried the soil out earlier in the growing season compared with maize-soybean. Later in the growing season, soil moisture under switchgrass tended to be greater than maize-soybean or Miscanthus, whereas the soil under Miscanthus was consistently drier than under maize--soybean. Water budget calculations indicated that evapotranspiration from Miscanthus was about 104 mm yr(-1) greater than under maize-soybean, which could reduce annual drainage water flows by 32% in central Illinois. Drainage water is a primary source of surface water flows in the region, and the impact ofextensive Miscanthus production on surface water supplies and aquatic ecosystems deserves further investigation. PMID:21043284

  13. Genetic variation in Miscanthus x giganteus and the importance of estimating genetic distance tresholds for differentiating clones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Glowacka, K; Clark, L; Adhikari, S;

    2015-01-01

    Miscanthus × giganteus (Mxg) is an important bioenergy feedstock crop, however, genetic diversity among legacy cultivars may be severely constrained. Only one introduction from Japan to Denmark of this sterile, triploid, vegetatively propagated crop was recorded in the 1930s. We sought to determine...

  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. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  17. DMF - A New Biofuel Candidate

    OpenAIRE

    Tian, Guohong; Daniel, Ritchie; Xu, Hongming

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Understanding and Quantifying Hydrological Alteration Caused by Biofuels-Related Land Use Change in the Midwestern US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaeger, M. A.; Housh, M.; Noël, P.; Cai, X.; Sivapalan, M.

    2013-12-01

    The long history of anthropogenic land use change in the central Midwestern US, a largely agricultural region dominated by corn and soybeans, has led to degraded regional surface water quality. Recent federal energy initiatives emphasizing biofuels have further influenced land use change by intensifying corn cropping, potentially increasing nutrient pollution and further loss of water quality. New biomass crops such as Miscanthus that have been proposed as a way to meet biofuels mandates while improving water quality may in turn reduce sub-surface water flows, worsening summer low flow conditions in shallow groundwater-dependent streams, and stressing surface-water users. Watersheds in this region that may share similar climates and general land use nonetheless vary in their hydrologic responses to change due to differences in human modifications (subsurface drainage, water control structures) and localized precipitation variability. Guided by these insights gained from comparative data analysis of the two study watersheds, an integrated modeling framework was developed to quantify these impacts and explore possible interactions between the human and hydrologic system. A systems optimization model provides the patterns of land use change most beneficial to the human system; this is then implemented in a hydrologic model to assess the environmental response which is then used to constrain the optimization model, and a new pattern of land use is produced that now considers the needs of both systems. Results of low flow analysis show that in heavily tile drained areas, smaller streams are more adversely affected by large scale Miscanthus planting; in Sangamon, this coincides with the drainage area for a water supply reservoir that, while benefiting from the water quality improvement provided by Miscanthus, already suffers water stress during dry years and thus cannot afford more. In Kaskaskia, two large flood control reservoirs already remove a large amount of nitrate

  19. Biofuels, poverty, and growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  2. Limits to biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, S.

    2013-06-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Ecological characteristics and in situ genetic associations for yield-component traits of wild Miscanthus from eastern Russia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clark, Lindsay V; Dzyubenko, Elena; Dzyubenko, Nikolay;

    2016-01-01

    crop is more temperate adapted than its C4 relatives maize, sorghum and sugarcane. Methods A plant exploration was conducted in eastern Russia, at the northern extreme of the native range for Miscanthus, with collections including 174 clonal germplasm accessions (160 M. sacchariflorus and 14 M...... basal stem diameter; three were near or within previously described sorghum quantitative trait loci for related traits. Conclusions This new Miscanthus germplasm collection from eastern Russia will be useful for breeding Miscanthus and sugarcane cultivars with improved adaptation to cold. Moreover, a...

  7. The adoption of switchgrass and miscanthus by farmers: Impact of liquidity constraints and risk preferences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lignocellulosic biomass is expected to become a key feedstock for renewable energy production. However, the potential supply strongly depends on farmers' willingness to grow the new perennial energy crops. Many economic assessments have been led at the farm level, all based on the standard net present value approach. This paper looks into the effect of farmers' liquidity constraints and risk preferences on switchgrass and miscanthus adoption by farmers. We study the problem of the land allocation between a traditional cropping system and an innovative one in a static framework, using four intertemporal choice models. We find that, in central France agronomic and economic conditions, switchgrass and miscanthus result to be less profitable in terms of annualised net margin than the usual rape/wheat/barley rotation. Nevertheless, they can be highly competitive as diversification crops when appropriate contracts are offered to farmers, despite the additional liquidity they require.

  8. Comparing predicted yield and yield stability of willow and Miscanthus across Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Søren; Jaiswal, Deepak; Bentsen, Niclas Scott;

    2016-01-01

    Miscanthus on poor, sandy soils whereas Miscanthus was higher yielding on clay-rich soils. The major driver of yield in both crops was variation in soil moisture, with radiation and precipitation exerting less influence. This is the first time these two major feedstocks for northern Europe have been compared....... The semi-mechanistic crop model BioCro was used to simulate the production of both short rotation coppice (SRC) willow and Miscanthus across Denmark. Predictions were made from high spatial resolution soil data and weather records across this area for 1990-2010. The potential average, rain-fed mean...... yield was 12.1 Mg DM ha−1 yr−1 for willow and 10.2 Mg DM ha−1 yr−1 for Miscanthus. Coefficent of variation as a measure for yield stability was poorest on the sandy soils of northern and western Jutland and the year-to-year variation in yield was greatest on these soils. Willow was predicted to outyield...

  9. Cool C4 Photosynthesis - Pyruvate Pi dikinase expression and activity corresponds to the exceptional cold tolerance of carbon assimilation in Miscanthus x giganteus

    Science.gov (United States)

    The biofuel feedstock grass Miscanthus x giganteus is exceptional among C4 species in its high productivity in cold climates. It can maintain photosynthetically active leaves at temperatures 6°C below the minimum for Zea mays (maize), which allows it a longer growing season in cool climates. Underst...

  10. Economics of switchgrass and miscanthus relative to coal as feedstock for generating electricity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) serves as a model dedicated energy crop in the U.S.A. Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) has served a similar role in Europe. This study was conducted to determine the most economical species, harvest frequency, and carbon tax required for either of the two candidate feedstocks to be an economically viable alternative for cofiring with coal for electricity generation. Biomass yield and energy content data were obtained from a field experiment conducted near Stillwater, Oklahoma, U.S.A., in which both grasses were established in 2002. Plots were split to enable two harvest treatments (once and twice yr-1). The switchgrass variety 'Alamo', with a single annual post-senescence harvest, produced more biomass (15.87 Mg ha-1 yr-1) than miscanthus (12.39 Mg ha-1 yr-1) and more energy (249.6 million kJ ha-1 yr-1 versus 199.7 million kJ ha-1 yr-1 for miscanthus). For the average yields obtained, the estimated cost to produce and deliver biomass an average distance of 50 km was $43.9 Mg-1 for switchgrass and $51.7 Mg-1 for miscanthus. Given a delivered coal price of $39.76 Mg-1 and average energy content, a carbon tax of $7 Mg-1 CO2 would be required for switchgrass to be economically competitive. For the location and the environmental conditions that prevailed during the experiment, switchgrass with one harvest per year produced greater yields at a lower cost than miscanthus. In the absence of government intervention such as requiring biomass use or instituting a carbon tax, biomass is not an economically competitive feedstock for electricity generation in the region studied. (author)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Carbon and Water Fluxes of Crops Exposed to the Sequence of Naturally Occurring Heat Stress, Drought and Freezing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joo, E.; Miller, J. N.; Bernacchi, C.

    2015-12-01

    As a consequence of global climate change the occurrence of extreme weather events (heat waves, cold spells, drought, etc) are predicted to become more frequent and/or intense, which will likely have a large impact on crop production. In the winter of 2013/2014 several polar vortexes were experienced in Illinois, US, resulting in periods of extreme low temperatures between -20°C and -35°C. Prior to the extreme cold winter of 2013/2014 the region experienced drought over a hot summer in 2012. Four established fields of three perennial biofuel crops (Miscanthus x giganteus, Panicum virgatum L., and a mixture of native prairie species) and Zea mays/Glycine max agroecosystem have been studied since 2009 in order to investigate the effect of climate change and land-use change on carbon and water fluxes using the eddy covariance technique, as well as biomass production of these species. The combined effect of the heat and drought stress in 2012 resulted in severe water deficit of all species (up to -360 mm for miscanthus), which resulted in reduced net ecosystem exchange (NEE) during the drought for all species other than miscanthus. In the following year, during the recovery of these species from drought, miscanthus showed decreased NEE but the other species did not appear to be negatively influenced. As a consequence of the environmental stresses (heat and drought stress followed by extreme freezing), the water and carbon exchanges (such as ET, NEE, GPP, Reco) as well as growth parameters (LAI, biomass production) are shown to vary based on the stress tolerance of these species.

  14. The use of reed canary grass and giant miscanthus in the phytoremediation of municipal sewage sludge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonkiewicz, Jacek; Kołodziej, Barbara; Bielińska, Elżbieta Jolanta

    2016-05-01

    The application of municipal sewage sludge on energy crops is an alternative form of recycling nutrients, food materials, and organic matter from waste. Municipal sewage sludge constitutes a potential source of heavy metals in soil, which can be partially removed by the cultivation of energy crops. The aim of the research was to assess the effect of municipal sewage sludge on the uptake of heavy metals by monocotyledonous energy crops. Sewage sludge was applied at doses of 0, 10, 20, 40, and 60 Mg DM · ha(-1) once, before the sowing of plants. In a 6-year field experiment, the effect of four levels of fertilisation with sewage sludge on the uptake of heavy metals by two species of energy crops, reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) of 'Bamse' cultivar and giant miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus GREEF et DEU), was analysed. It was established that the increasing doses of sewage sludge had a considerable effect on the increase in biomass yield from the tested plants. Due to the increasing doses of sewage sludge, a significant increase in heavy metals content in the energy crops was recorded. The heavy metal uptake with the miscanthus yield was the highest at a dose of 20 Mg DM · ha(-1), and at a dose of 40 Mg DM · ha(-1) in the case of reed canary grass. Research results indicate that on account of higher yields, higher bioaccumulation, and higher heavy metal uptake, miscanthus can be selected for the remediation of sewage sludge. PMID:26841773

  15. The legitimacy of biofuel certification

    OpenAIRE

    Partzsch, Lena

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Heterogeneity and glycan masking of cell wall microstructures in the stems of Miscanthus x giganteus, and its parents M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Xue

    Full Text Available Plant cell walls, being repositories of fixed carbon, are important sources of biomass and renewable energy. Miscanthus species are fast growing grasses with a high biomass yield and they have been identified as potential bioenergy crops. Miscanthus x giganteus is the sterile hybrid between M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus, with a faster and taller growth than its parents. In this study, the occurrence of cell wall polysaccharides in stems of Miscanthus species has been determined using fluorescence imaging with sets of cell wall directed monoclonal antibodies. Heteroxylan and mixed linkage-glucan (MLG epitopes are abundant in stem cell walls of Miscanthus species, but their distributions are different in relation to the interfascicular parenchyma and these epitopes also display different developmental dynamics. Detection of pectic homogalacturonan (HG epitopes was often restricted to intercellular spaces of parenchyma regions and, notably, the high methyl ester LM20 HG epitope was specifically abundant in the pith parenchyma cell walls of M. x giganteus. Some cell wall probes cannot access their target glycan epitopes because of masking by other polysaccharides. In the case of Miscanthus stems, masking of xyloglucan by heteroxylan and masking of pectic galactan by heteroxylan and MLG was detected in certain cell wall regions. Knowledge of tissue level heterogeneity of polysaccharide distributions and molecular architectures in Miscanthus cell wall structures will be important for both understanding growth mechanisms and also for the development of potential strategies for the efficient deconstruction of Miscanthus biomass.

  17. Effects of a 20-year old Miscanthus × giganteus stand and its removal on soil characteristics and greenhouse gas emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miscanthus is a perennial rhizomatous C4 grass with high yield potentials and low nutrient needs, thus a promising candidate for the production of cellulosic biomass. While optimal management options and yields attainable on a commercial scale are still debated, no study has yet addressed its removal and potential effects on following crops. Here, we present results from a trial involving a 20-year old Miscanthus stand on i) soil C, N, P and K stocks, compared with an adjacent field cultivated with a rotation of annual arable food crops, ii) the greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions following the removal of Miscanthus and iii) the immediate short-term effects on the following land use (re-cultivation to wheat or set-aside). Compared to the adjacent field under annual crops, the Miscanthus plot had a larger soil organic C stock (by 13 t C ha−1) but a similar N stock, and lower P and K stocks (with differences of 100 kg P ha−1 and 1170 kg K ha−1, respectively). These losses imply that some degree of fertilization may be necessary as compensation. The effects of Miscanthus removal for the following wheat were significant on crop N content but negligible on grain yield. 1.5 t CO2 ha−1 of CO2 were released after the Miscanthus removal and the N2O emissions increased from 150 g N2O-N ha−1 to 493 g N2O-N ha−1 during the following year. These results highlight the importance of investigation of the end-of-life stage of perennial crops for an accurate assessment of their environmental impacts. - Highlights: • We compared a 20-year old Miscanthus plot with a rotation of annual crops. • We measured the effects of Miscanthus removal on GHG emissions. • Soil C stock increased by 13 t C ha−1 under Miscanthus but P and K stocks decreased. • Miscanthus removal caused net GHG emissions of 1.5 t CO2eq ha−1. • Removal effects on the GHG balance strongly depended of the following land-use type

  18. A regional comparison of water-use efficiency for Miscanthus x giganteus and Panicum virgatum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanloocke, A. D.; Twine, T. E.; Zeri, M.; Arundale, R.; Bernacchi, C.

    2010-12-01

    The production of second generation bioenergy feedstocks is likely to increase significantly over the coming decades. A key factor dictating the environmental impact/services of production is the trade-off between water-use and productivity (e.g., harvestable yield (HY) and net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE)). For this study we focus on two candidate second generation feedstocks with marked differences in water use and productivity, Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus) and Panicum virgatum (switchgrass). The efficiency of water-use is compared using two metrics: harvestable water-use efficiency (HWUE = evapotranspiration (ET) ET/HY), and ecosystem water-use efficiency (EWUE = ET/NEE). We developed and tested a new version of Agro-IBIS (Integrated Biosphere Simulator - agricultural version). Simulations were evaluated against several key observed variables, from leaf to canopy scales at locations across Illinois. Then simulations were run with historic climate data to produce 30 year means for each land cover type for the Midwest U.S. Our analysis indicates that over the Midwest U.S. miscanthus has the highest HWUE (~25 kg ha-1 mm-1), followed by current crops (e.g. maize, soybean, and wheat; ~18 kg ha-1 mm-1) and switchgrass (~15 kg ha-1 mm-1). Miscanthus and switchgrass both have a higher EWUE than current crops; however, miscanthus has the potential to disrupt the hydrologic cycle as a result of higher evapotranspiration in drier areas (~700 mm yr-1), whereas switchgrass may have a smaller impact. The results of this analysis can be used to suggest locations for test plots and they highlight the need for observations of water-use by potential feedstocks throughout the region.

  19. Cultivation studies of Taiwanese native Miscanthus floridulus lines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Four Taiwanese native Miscanthus floridulus lines, collected at altitudes of 260, 500, 1000, and 1500 m were cultivated in 2009 and 2010. The plant height and tiller numbers of four M. floridulus lines increased gradually along with the growing time. These M. floridulus lines had the tallest plant height and most tiller number after these species were planted 210 days. Line 3, which was collected at the altitude of 1000 m, had the ability to grow at low temperature. Line 3 M. floridulus had the highest plant height, tiller number, fresh and dry yields than other three lines. Fresh and dry yields of Line 3 were positively correlated to the plant height, tiller number, and leaf width, but showed no correlation with the leaf length. The correlation between agronomic traits and climatic data was also studied. Results can be used as a model for developing a non-food crop-based energy production system in the future. -- Highlights: → Miscanthus floridulus collected at 1000 m altitude had the highest plant height, tiller number, fresh and dry yields. → Fresh and dry yields of were positively correlated to the plant height, tiller number, and leaf width. → Fresh and dry yields showed no correlation with the leaf length. → The accumulative rainfall, temperature, radiation, and exposure time to radiation were positively correlated to the plant height, leaf length and leaf width.

  20. Comparing predicted yield and yield stability of willow and Miscanthus across Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Søren; Jaiswal, Deepak; Bentsen, Niclas Scott; Wang, Dan; Long, Stephen P.

    2015-01-01

    . The semi-mechanistic crop model BioCro was used to simulate the production of both short rotation coppice (SRC) willow and Miscanthus across Denmark. Predictions were made from high spatial resolution soil data and weather records across this area for 1990-2010. The potential average, rain-fed mean...... within a single modeling framework and providing an important new tool for decision making in selection of feedstocks for emerging bioenergy systems....

  1. Pretreatment And Enzymatic Hydrolysis Of Miscanthus x giganteus: Influence Of Process Parameters

    OpenAIRE

    Vanderghem, Caroline; Brostaux, Yves; Jacquet, Nicolas; Blecker, Christophe; Paquot, Michel

    2010-01-01

    Miscanthus x giganteus is a perennial grass which grows rapidly and gives high yields of biomass per hectare. It can be grown in poor quality soil and is non invasive. Due to its high cellulose and hemicellulose content, it has attracted considerable attention as a possible energy crop to produce bioethanol. Pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass is a key step to unlocking the protective structures so that the enzymatic hydrolysis of the carbohydrate fraction to monosugars can be...

  2. How Seasonal Drought Affect Carbon and Water Fluxes of Alternative Energy Crops in the US?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joo, E.; Hussain, M. Z.; Zeri, M.; Masters, M.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.; DeLucia, E. H.; Bernacchi, C.

    2014-12-01

    The cellulosic biomass of Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), Miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus) and native prairie are considered candidate second-generation biofuels, potentially resulting in partial replacement annual row crops within the Midwestern US. There is an increasing focus to study the environmental impact of agricultural crops, however not much is known on the influence on the energy, carbon and water cycles of energy crops, especially under drought conditions. This study compares the impact of drought episodes (in 2011 and 2012) on evapotranspiration (ET), net ecosystem productivity (NEP) and water use efficiency (WUE; equals to NEP/ET) for Switchgrass (SW), Miscanthus (MXG), Maize (MZ) and native prairie (NP) grown in Central Illinois using the eddy covariance technique. Due to the prolonged drought and the rapid growth development with increasing ET of MXG in 2012, large water deficit (precipitation-ET) was observed for each species up to the highest deficit of -360 mm for this species. The gross primary production (GPP) of MZ was radically decreased by the drought in 2011 and 2012, while SW and NP were not influenced. MXG increased NEP throughout the typically wet and drought years, mainly due to the decrease in respiration and by the largest GPP upon the drought in 2012. Despite having the largest water deficit, MXG showed an enhanced WUE of 12.8 and 11.4 Kg C ha-1mm-1 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, in comparison to years typical to the region with WUE of 3.7-7.3 Kg C ha-1mm-1. Other species did not show a significant enhancement of WUE. Therefore we conclude that out of the studied species, MXG has more access to water, and uses this water the most efficiently to store carbon, under drought conditions.

  3. Comparative water use by maize, perennial crops, restored prairie, and poplar trees in the US Midwest

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

    Water use by plant communities across years of varying water availability indicates how terrestrial water balances will respond to climate change and variability as well as to land cover change. Perennial biofuel crops, likely grown mainly on marginal lands of limited water availability, provide an example of a potentially extensive future land cover conversion. We measured growing-season evapotranspiration (ET) based on daily changes in soil profile water contents in five perennial systems—switchgrass, miscanthus, native grasses, restored prairie, and hybrid poplar—and in annual maize (corn) in a temperate humid climate (Michigan, USA). Three study years (2010, 2011 and 2013) had normal growing-season rainfall (480-610 mm) whereas 2012 was a drought year (210 mm). Over all four years, mean (±SEM) growing-season ET for perennial systems did not greatly differ from corn (496 ± 21 mm), averaging 559 (±14), 458 (±31), 573 (±37), 519 (±30), and 492 (±58) mm for switchgrass, miscanthus, native grasses, prairie, and poplar, respectively. Differences in biomass production largely determined variation in water use efficiency (WUE). Miscanthus had the highest WUE in both normal and drought years (52-67 and 43 kg dry biomass ha-1 mm-1, respectively), followed by maize (40-59 and 29 kg ha-1 mm-1) the native grasses and prairie were lower and poplar was intermediate. That measured water use by perennial systems was similar to maize across normal and drought years contrasts with earlier modeling studies and suggests that rain-fed perennial biomass crops in this climate have little impact on landscape water balances, whether replacing rain-fed maize on arable lands or successional vegetation on marginal lands. Results also suggest that crop ET rates, and thus groundwater recharge, streamflow, and lake levels, may be less sensitive to climate change than has been assumed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-18

    We present a novel bottom-up approach to estimate biofuel-induced land-use change (LUC) and resulting CO2 emissions in the U.S. from 2010 to 2022, based on a consistent methodology across four essential components: land availability, land suitability, LUC decision-making, and induced CO2 emissions. Using high-resolution geospatial data and modeling, we construct probabilistic assessments of county-, state-, and national-level LUC and emissions for macroeconomic scenarios. We use the Cropland Data Layer and the Protected Areas Database to characterize availability of land for biofuel crop cultivation, and the CERES-Maize and BioCro biophysical crop growth models to estimate the suitability (yield potential) of available lands for biofuel crops. For LUC decision-making, we use a county-level stochastic partial-equilibrium modeling framework and consider five scenarios involving annual ethanol production scaling to 15, 22, and 29 BG, respectively, in 2022, with corn providing feedstock for the first 15 BG and the remainder coming from one of two dedicated energy crops. Finally, we derive high-resolution above-ground carbon factors from the National Biomass and Carbon Data set to estimate emissions from each LUC pathway. Based on these inputs, we obtain estimates for average total LUC emissions of 6.1, 2.2, 1.0, 2.2, and 2.4 gCO2e/MJ for Corn-15 Billion gallons (BG), Miscanthus × giganteus (MxG)-7 BG, Switchgrass (SG)-7 BG, MxG-14 BG, and SG-14 BG scenarios, respectively. PMID:24456539

  5. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Does Miscanthus cultivation on organic soils compensate for carbon loss from peat oxidation? A dual label study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bader, Cédric; Leifeld, Jens; Müller, Moritz; Schulin, Rainer

    2016-04-01

    Agricultural use of organic soils requires drainage and thereby changes conditions in these soils from anoxic to oxic. As a consequence, organic carbon that had been accumulated over millennia is rapidly mineralized, so that these soils are converted from a CO2 sink to a source. The peat mineralization rate depends mainly on drainage depth, but also on crop type. Various studies show that Miscanthus, a C4 bioenergy plant, shows potential for carbon sequestration in mineral soils because of its high productivity, its dense root system, absence of tillage and high preharvest litterfall. If Miscanthus cropping would have a similar effect in organic soils, peat consumption and thus CO2 emissions might be reduced. For our study we compared two adjacent fields, on which organic soil is cultivated with Miscanthus (since 20 years) and perennial grass (since 6 years). Both sites are located in the Bernese Seeland, the largest former peatland area of Switzerland. To determine wether Miscanthus-derived carbon accumulated in the organic soil, we compared the stable carbon isotopic signatures of the experimental soil with those of an organic soil without any C4-plant cultivation history. To analyze the effect of C4-C accumulation on peat degradability we compared the CO2 emissions by incubating 90 soil samples of the two fields for more than one year. Additionally, we analysed the isotopic CO2 composition (13C, 14C) during the first 25 days of incubation after trapping the emitted CO2 in NaOH and precipitating it as BaCO3. The ∂13C values of the soil imply, that the highest share of C4-C of around 30% is situated at a depth of 10-20 cm. Corn that used to be cultivated on the grassland field before 2009 still accounts for 8% of SOC. O/C and H/C ratios of the peat samples indicate a stronger microbial imprint of organic matter under Miscanthus cultivation. The amount of CO2 emitted was not affected by the cultivation type. On average 57% of the CO2 was C4 derived in the

  8. Longevity of contributions to SOC stocks from roots and aboveground plant litter below a Miscanthus plantation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Andrew; Smith, Pete; Davies, Christian; Bottoms, Emily; McNamara, Niall

    2013-04-01

    Miscanthus is a lignocellulosic crop that uses the Hatch-Slack (C4) photosynthetic pathway as opposed to most C3 vegetation native to the UK. Miscanthus can be grown for a number of practical end-uses but recently interest has increased in its viability as a bioenergy crop; both providing a renewable source of energy and helping to limit climate change by improving the carbon (C) budgets associated with energy generation. Recent studies have shown that Miscanthus plantations may increase stocks of soil organic carbon (SOC), however the longevity and origin of this 'new' SOC must be assessed. Consequently, we combined an input manipulation experiment with physio-chemical soil fractionation to quantify new SOC and CO2 emissions from Miscanthus roots, decomposing plant litter and soil individually. Further, fractionation of SOC from the top 30 cm gave insight into the longevity of that SOC. In January 2009 twenty-five 2 m2 plots were set up in a three-year old 11 hectare Miscanthus plantation in Lincolnshire, UK; with five replicates of five treatments. These treatments varied plant input to the soil by way of controlled exclusion techniques. Treatments excluded roots only ("No Roots"), surface litter only ("No Litter"), both roots and surface litter ("No Roots or Litter") or had double the litter amount added to the soil surface ("Double Litter"). A fifth treatment was a control with undisturbed roots and an average amount of litter added. Monthly measurements of CO2 emissions were taken at the soil surface from each treatment between March 2009 and March 2013, and soil C from the top 30 cm was monitored in all plots over the same period. Miscanthus-derived SOC was determined using the isotopic discrimination between C4 plant matter and C3 soil, and soil fractionation was then used to establish the longevity of that Miscanthus-derived SOC. Ongoing results for CO2 emissions indicate a strong seasonal variation; litter decomposition forms a large portion of the CO2

  9. Application of sequence-independent amplification (SIA) for the identification of RNA viruses in bioenergy crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miscanthus x giganteus, Saccharum spp. (energy cane), and Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) are three potential biomass crops being evaluated for commercial cellulosic ethanol production. Viral diseases are potentially significant threats to these crops. Therefore, identification of viruses infecting t...

  10. Fuelling biofuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  11. Outlook for advanced biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Hamelinck, Carlo Noël

    2004-01-01

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

  12. Environmental assessment of biofuel chains based on ecosystem modelling, including land-use change effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielle, B.; Gagnaire, N.; Massad, R.; Prieur, V.; Python, Y.

    2012-04-01

    The potential greenhouse gas (GHG) savings resulting from the displacement of fossil energy sources by bioenergy mostly hinges on the uncertainty on the magnitude of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from arable soils occuring during feedstock production. These emissions are broadly related to fertilizer nitrogen input rates, but largely controlled by soil and climate factors which makes their estimation highly uncertain. Here, we set out to improve estimates of N2O emissions from bioenergy feedstocks by using ecosystem models and measurements and modeling of atmospheric N2O in the greater Paris (France) area. Ground fluxes were measured in two locations to assess the effect of soil type and management, crop type (including lignocellulosics such as triticale, switchgrass and miscanthus), and climate on N2O emission rates and dynamics. High-resolution maps of N2O emissions were generated over the Ile-de-France region (around Paris) with two ecosystem models using geographical databases on soils, weather data, land-use and crop management. The models were tested against ground flux measurements and the emission maps were fed into the atmospheric chemistry-transport model CHIMERE. The maps were tested by comparing the CHIMERE simulations with time series of N2O concentrations measured at various heights above the ground in two locations in 2007. The emissions of N2O, as integrated over the region, were used in a life-cycle assessment of representative biofuel pathways: bioethanol from wheat and sugar-beet (1st generation), and miscanthus (2nd generation chain); bio-diesel from oilseed rape. Effects related to direct and indirect land-use changes (in particular on soil carbon stocks) were also included in the assessment based on various land-use scenarios and literature references. The potential deployment of miscanthus was simulated by assuming it would be grown on the current sugar-beet growing area in Ile-de-France, or by converting land currently under permanent fallow

  13. Energy crops as a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The current Danish energy plan stipulates a production of 5 PI from energy crops in 2010. This may be attained through growing of either annual (e.g., cereal) or perennial energy crops (e.g., willow or Miscanthus). Existing Danish data and the IPCC methodology was used to calculate nitrous oxide emissions from and carbon sequestration in soils cropped with an annual energy crop (triticale) or a perennial energy crop (Miscanthus). The calculations for Miscanthus were performed separately for harvest in November or April, since the harvest time affects both yields and emissions. The estimates for Miscanthus were based on a 20-year duration of the cultivation period. The energy use for growing the crops was included in the energy budgets, as was the reduction in CO2 emission that will result from substitution of fossil fuel (natural gas). The calculations were performed for both a coarse sandy soil and a loamy sand. The results were compared with current (reference) practice for growing cereals. There were only minor differences in production data and emissions between the two soil types. The area required to produce 5 PI was smallest for Miscanthus harvested in November (c. 25,000 ha), and about equal for triticale and Miscanthus harvested in April (c. 32,000 ha). The reduction in nitrous oxide emissions compared with cereal production was smallest for triticale (20 kt CO2 equivalents /eq] yr-1) and about equal for Miscanthus at the two harvest times (30-36 kt CO2 eq yr-1). Growing Miscanthus resulted in a carbon sequestration, with the highest rates (100 kt CO2 eq yr-1) for Miscanthus harvested in April. The energy use for production of triticale was slightly lower than for normal cereal growing, whereas growing Miscanthus for harvest in April resulted in a smaller energy use which corresponded to an emission reduction of 20 kt CO2 yr-1. The substitution of fossil fuel corresponded to 285 kt CO2 yr-1. Summing all items, growing 5 PI worth of Miscanthus harvested in

  14. Assessing the impacts of the establishment of Miscanthus on soil organic carbon on two contrasting land-use types in Ireland using soil fractionation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, Jesko; Dondini, Marta; Jones, Michael

    2014-05-01

    In recent years the use of biomass for energy production has become an increasingly important measure for mitigating global change. However, the scientific debate has been inconclusive with regard to the risks and benefits of bioenergy use. There is particular concern that land-use change to bioenergy production can lead to increased CO2 emissions. These emissions result from the loss of vegetation and the soil disturbance. The use of perennial crops such as Miscanthus x giganteus as a feedstock for bioenergy production offers a possible solution, as it shows a large soil carbon (C) sequestration potential across Europe. The aim of the present study was to analyse the impacts of land-use change from arable farming and grasslands to Miscanthus on soil fractions and associated soil organic carbon (SOC). Four three to four year old commercial Miscanthus sites, as well as adjacent control sites representing the former land-use, in SE Ireland were analysed for changes in SOC stocks and newly sequestered Miscanthus-derived C. The soil samples were fractionated using a combination of physical and chemical methods. The fraction with which the SOC is associated significantly influenced its decomposability and turnover time. Using the 13C natural abundance method, we found that newly sequestered C was found mainly as particulate organic matter (79.7% of Miscanthus-derived C) and therefore in a labile state with short turnover times. No significant differences were found in the distribution of the different soil fractions and SOC between the Miscanthus and the control sites, and it was shown that the share of fractions on the bulk soil as well as the proportion of the SOC associated with these fractions in young Miscanthus sites depends mainly on the previous land-use. It was therefore concluded that soil disturbance linked to the introduction of Miscanthus does not lead to a significant loss of soil organic carbon or a disruption of stable aggregates.

  15. Effect of Steam Explosion Pretreatment on the Specific Methane Yield of Miscanthus x giganteus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franz Theuretzbacher

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available A highly promising energy crop for biogas production can be Miscanthus x giganteus. It has multiple advantages, which include low soil requirements and the existence of genotypes adapted to dry conditions in comparison to other energy crops. Miscanthus cannot be used in the biogas plant without a pretreatment due to the recalcitrant nature of lignocelluloses. One of the most efficient pretreatment methods for lignocellulosic biomass is steam explosion. This includes heating the biomass at high temperature values, followed by mechanical disruption of the biomass fibres by a rapid pressure drop. The objective of this study is to analyse the effect of the steam explosion pretreatment on the specific biogas and methane production of miscanthus. In addition methane hectare yields are calculated and compared to those of maize. Steam explosion pretreatment was carried out in a laboratory scale facility in Ĺs, Norway. The miscanthus was mixed with water and heated up to the desired temperature. After a defined pretreatment time the pressure in the reaction vessel was reduced rapidly, which caused the liquid water to vaporize immediately. The material was cooled down in a flushing tank and was then stored at 5°C until further analytical procedures. Pretreatment temperatures were 190°C and 210°C; holding times were 5, 10 and 15 minutes. Determination of the specific methane yield was done in triplicate using batch tests according to VDI 4630. The material was inoculated with the liquid fermentation residue of a biogas plant. The produced gas was collected in eudiometers and then analysed for the CH4 and CO2 content. 

  16. Genetic diversity and population structure of Miscanthus sinensis germplasm in China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hua Zhao

    Full Text Available Miscanthus is a perennial rhizomatous C4 grass native to East Asia. Endowed with great biomass yield, high ligno-cellulose composition, efficient use of radiation, nutrient and water, as well as tolerance to stress, Miscanthus has great potential as an excellent bioenergy crop. Despite of the high potential for biomass production of the allotriploid hybrid M. ×giganteus, derived from M. sacchariflorus and M. sinensis, other options need to be explored to improve the narrow genetic base of M. ×giganteus, and also to exploit other Miscanthus species, including M. sinensis (2n = 2x = 38, as bioenergy crops. In the present study, a large number of 459 M. sinensis accessions, collected from the wide geographical distribution regions in China, were genotyped using 23 SSR markers transferable from Brachypodium distachyon. Genetic diversity and population structure were assessed. High genetic diversity and differentiation of the germplasm were observed, with 115 alleles in total, a polymorphic rate of 0.77, Nei's genetic diversity index (He of 0.32 and polymorphism information content (PIC of 0.26. Clustering of germplasm accessions was primarily in agreement with the natural geographic distribution. AMOVA and genetic distance analyses confirmed the genetic differentiation in the M. sinensis germplasm and it was grouped into five clusters or subpopulations. Significant genetic variation among subpopulations indicated obvious genetic differentiation in the collections, but within-subpopulation variation (83% was substantially greater than the between-subpopulation variation (17%. Considerable phenotypic variation was observed for multiple traits among 300 M. sinensis accessions. Nine SSR markers were found to be associated with heading date and biomass yield. The diverse Chinese M. sinensis germplasm and newly identified SSR markers were proved to be valuable for breeding Miscanthus varieties with desired bioenergy traits.

  17. Effect of Steam Explosion Pretreatment on the Specific Methane Yield of Miscanthus x giganteus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franz Theuretzbacher

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available A highly promising energy crop for biogas production can be Miscanthus x giganteus. It has multiple advantages, which include low soil requirements and the existence of genotypes adapted to dry conditions in comparison to other energy crops. Miscanthus cannot be used in the biogas plant without a pretreatment due to the recalcitrant nature of lignocelluloses. One of the most efficient pretreatment methods for lignocellulosic biomass is steam explosion. This includes heating the biomass at high temperature values, followed by mechanical disruption of the biomass fibres by a rapid pressure drop. The objective of this study is to analyse the effect of the steam explosion pretreatment on the specific biogas and methane production of miscanthus. In addition methane hectare yields are calculated and compared to those of maize. Steam explosion pretreatment was carried out in a laboratory scale facility in Ĺs, Norway. The miscanthus was mixed with water and heated up to the desired temperature. After a defined pretreatment time the pressure in the reaction vessel was reduced rapidly, which caused the liquid water to vaporize immediately. The material was cooled down in a flushing tank and was then stored at 5°C until further analytical procedures. Pretreatment temperatures were 190°C and 210°C; holding times were 5, 10 and 15 minutes. Determination of the specific methane yield was done in triplicate using batch tests according to VDI 4630. The material was inoculated with the liquid fermentation residue of a biogas plant. The produced gas was collected in eudiometers and then analysed for the CH4 and CO2 content.

  18. Nutrient requirements of Miscanthus x giganteus: Conclusions from a review of published studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miscanthus x giganteus is a perennial biomass crop particularly suited to substituting fossil fuel resources in bioenergy production, in order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The area of miscanthus grown in the EU is likely to increase in the future. However, the exact nutrient and fertiliser requirements of the crop are still under debate, which leads to uncertainties when making global assessments of GHG reductions and economics. The aim of our study was to review and analyse published data, in order to determine a consensus view on the nutrient requirements of the crop, and to identify where further research is needed. The findings of this study highlight the nutrient requirements of miscanthus are low compared to other crops. This is due to: i) high nutrient absorption efficiency through extensive rooting, ii) high absorbed nutrient use efficiency, iii) significant nutrient cycling between the rhizome and aerial biomass, iv) nutrient recycling before harvest through leaf fall, and v) possible contribution of N fixation by bacteria. Due to the low yield in the establishment phase of the crop, it is not recommended to apply any fertiliser during the two first years after planting, unless planted on poor soils. From the third year, typically 4.9, 0.45 and 7.0, grams per kilogram of dry matter, of N, P and K respectively are removed at harvest, and this should be a maximum to be replaced by fertilisers. Uncertainties in the exact requirements are due i) to a lack of data, in the different studies, on the nitrogen provided by soils, ii) to a lack of knowledge on the actual contribution of the rhizome to the plant nutrition, and iii) to the inexistence of tools for the diagnosis of the plant N status.

  19. 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

  20. Energy Crops and their Implications on Soil Carbon Sequestration, Surface Energy and Water Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    The quest to meet growing energy demand with low greenhouse gas emissions has increased attention on the potential of existing and advanced biomass energy crops. Potential energy crops include row crops such as corn, and perennial grasses such as switchgrass. However, a massive expansion of bioenergy crops raises many questions such as: how and where to grow energy crops; and what will be the impacts of growing large scale biofuel crops on the terrestrial hydrological cycle, the surface energy budget, soil carbon sequestration and the concurrent effects on the climate system. An integrated modeling system is being developed with in the framework of a land surface model, the Integrated Science Assessment Model (ISAM), and being applied to address these questions.This framework accounts for the biophysical, physiological and biogeochemical systems governing important processes that regulate crop growth including water, energy and nutrient cycles within the soil-plant-atmosphere system. One row crop (Corn) and two energy crops (Switchgrass and Miscanthus) are studied in current framework. Dynamic phenology processes and parameters for simulating each crop have been developed using observed data from a north to south gradient of field trial sites. This study will specifically focus on the agricultural regions in the US and in Europe. The potential productivity of these three crops will be assessed in terms of carbon sequestration, surface energy and water balance and their spatial variability. This study will help to quantify the importance of various environmental aspects towards modeling bioenergy crops and to better understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of bioenergy crop yields.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, Daijiro

    2013-10-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. Assessing the environmental sustainability of biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazamia, Elena; Smith, Alison G

    2014-10-01

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

  7. Initial soil C and land-use history determine soil C sequestration under perennial bioenergy crops

    OpenAIRE

    Rowe, Rebecca L.; Keith, Aidan M; Elias, Dafydd; Dondini, Marta; Smith, Pete; Oxley, Jonathan; McNamara, Niall P.

    2016-01-01

    In the UK and other temperate regions, short rotation coppice (SRC) and Miscanthus x giganteus (Miscanthus) are two of the leading ‘second-generation’ bioenergy crops. Grown specifically as a low-carbon (C) fossil fuel replacement, calculations of the climate mitigation provided by these bioenergy crops rely on accurate data. There are concerns that uncertainty about impacts on soil C stocks of transitions from current agricultural land use to these bioenergy crops could lead to either an und...

  8. Establishment of an Agricultural/Biofuel Feedstock Research Field Station in Rural South-Carolina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florence ANORUO,

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Today’s worldwide growing interest in biofuels production, in obtaining higher biomass yields, and in providing cleaner liquid fuels for an affordable price could lead to results that might positively solve known present concerns related to global warming and decreasing petroleum fuel resources through the use of the natural rural landscapes. Grass biomass can be converted to bioenergy using technologies such as: conversion to liquid fuels (ethanol; combustion alone or in combination with fossil fuels to produce heat, steam, or electricity; and gasification. This paper presents our efforts in establishing an agricultural/biofuel feedstock research field station in the rural area of the Orangeburg County, South Carolina, geared towards establishing, equipping, and staffing mass production of biofuel feedstock. Since there is a growing interest in using perennial grasses as renewable fuels for generating electricity and for producing bio-ethanol, four crops (Sugarcane, Miscanthus, Sorghum, Sudan grass have been selected for use in biomass production. All these crops are going to be harvested in two different fields: the organic field (environmental sustainability/organic farming and the non-organic field. Each field has approximately 15 acres (60702.85 m2 while the experimental design used for the data collection is going to be the Randomized Complete Block Design. So far, the first step in the crops establishment was to take soil samples for scientific analysis which were sent to Palmetto Agri-Services, York, SC. The plot was mapped out using a GPS program and 40 soil samples holes were collected from each field. Our project’s mission is to identify the most suitable crop for the local climate and soil while advancing knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and the well being of rural communities. Biofuel production from these four crops might be extended to other agricultural areas, namely rural areas in countries like

  9. Modelling supply and demand of bioenergy from short rotation coppice and Miscanthus in the UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauen, A W; Dunnett, A J; Richter, G M; Dailey, A G; Aylott, M; Casella, E; Taylor, G

    2010-11-01

    Biomass from lignocellulosic energy crops can contribute to primary energy supply in the short term in heat and electricity applications and in the longer term in transport fuel applications. This paper estimates the optimal feedstock allocation of herbaceous and woody lignocellulosic energy crops for England and Wales based on empirical productivity models. Yield maps for Miscanthus, willow and poplar, constrained by climatic, soil and land use factors, are used to estimate the potential resource. An energy crop supply-cost curve is estimated based on the resource distribution and associated production costs. The spatial resource model is then used to inform the supply of biomass to geographically distributed demand centres, with co-firing plants used as an illustration. Finally, the potential contribution of energy crops to UK primary energy and renewable energy targets is discussed. PMID:20624602

  10. Partitioning belowground CO2 emissions for a Miscanthus plantation in Lincolnshire, UK

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Andrew; Smith, Pete; Davies, Christian; Bottoms, Emily; McNamara, Niall

    2013-04-01

    Miscanthus is a lignocellulosic crop that uses the Hatch-Slack (C4) photosynthetic pathway as opposed to most C3 vegetation native to the UK. Miscanthus can be grown for a number of practical end-uses but recently interest has increased in its viability as a bioenergy crop; both providing a renewable source of energy and helping to limit climate change by reducing carbon (C) emissions associated with energy generation. Recent studies have shown that Miscanthus plantations may increase stocks of soil organic carbon (SOC), however full greenhouse gas (GHG) budgets must be calculated. Consequently, we monitored emissions of N2O, CH4 and CO2 from Miscanthus roots, decomposing plant litter and soil individually to quantify and partition these emissions and better understand the influence of abiotic factors on SOC and GHG dynamics under Miscanthus. In January 2009 twenty-five 2 m2 plots were set up in a three-year old 11 hectare Miscanthus plantation in Lincolnshire, UK; with five replicates of five treatments. These treatments varied plant input to the soil by way of controlled exclusion techniques. Treatments excluded roots only ("No Roots"), surface litter only ("No Litter"), both roots and surface litter ("No Roots or Litter") or had double the litter amount added to the soil surface ("Double Litter"). A fifth treatment was a control with undisturbed roots and an average amount of litter added. Monthly measurements of CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions were taken at the soil surface from each treatment between March 2009 and March 2013, and soil C from the top 30 cm was monitored in all plots over the same period. Miscanthus-derived SOC was determined using the isotopic discrimination between C4 plant matter and C3 soil, and the treatments were compared to assess their effects on C inputs and outputs to the soil. Both CH4 and N2O emissions were below detection limits, mainly due to a lack of fertiliser additions and limited management of the agricultural site. However

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera) is a valuable oilseed-producing tree that can grow in a variety of conditions without competing for food production, and is a promising biofuel feedstock candidate. The fruits are unique in that they contain both saturated and unsaturated fat present in the tallow and seed layer, respectively. The tallow layer is poorly studied and is considered only as an external fatty deposition secreted from the seed. In this study we show that tallow is in fact a non-seed cellular tissue capable of triglyceride synthesis. Knowledge of lipid synthesis and storage mechanisms in tissues other than seed is limited but essential to generate oil-rich biomass crops. Here, we describe the annotated transcriptome assembly generated from the fruit coat, tallow and seed tissues of Chinese tallow. The final assembly was functionally annotated, allowing for the identification of candidate genes and reconstruction of lipid pathways. A tallow tissue-specific paralog for the transcription factor gene WRINKLED1 (WRI1) and lipid droplet-associated protein genes, distinct from those expressed in seed tissue, were found to be active in tallow, underpinning the mode of oil synthesis and packaging in this tissue. Our data have established an excellent knowledge base that can provide genetic and biochemical insights for engineering non-seed tissues to accumulate large amounts of oil. In addition to the large data set of annotated transcripts, the study also provides gene-based simple sequence repeat and single nucleotide polymorphism markers. PMID:26589268

  12. Extremophiles in biofuel synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Using an input manipulation experiment to partition greenhouse gas fluxes from a commercial Miscanthus plantation in the UK

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Andy; Davies, Christian; Smith, Pete; McNamara, Niall

    2014-05-01

    Miscanthus is a lignocellulosic C4 crop that can be grown for a number of practical end-uses but recently interest has increased in its viability as a bioenergy crop; both providing a renewable source of energy and helping to limit climate change by reducing carbon (C) emissions associated with energy generation. Recent studies have shown that Miscanthus plantations may increase stocks of soil organic carbon (SOC) however there is still considerable uncertainty surrounding estimates of net C exchange and the best management practices to achieve the best greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential. Using an input manipulation experiment, we monitored emissions of N2O, CH4 and CO2 from living Miscanthus roots, aboveground plant litter and soil individually to quantify and partition these emissions and better understand the influence of abiotic factors on SOC and GHG dynamics under Miscanthus. In January 2009 twenty-five 2 m2 plots were set up in a three-year old 11 hectare commercial Miscanthus plantation in Lincolnshire, UK; with five replicates of five treatments. These treatments varied plant input (roots or senesced aboveground plant litter) to the soil by way of controlled exclusion techniques. The delta 13C value of soil C and CO2 emitted from each treatment was measured monthly between March 2009 and March 2013. Measurements of CH4 and N2O emissions were also taken at the soil surface from each treatment. Miscanthus-derived emissions were determined using the isotopic discrimination between C4 plant matter and C3 soil, and the treatments were compared to assess their effects on C inputs and outputs to the soil. Both CH4 and N2O emissions were below detection limits, mainly due to a lack of fertiliser additions and limited disturbance of the agricultural site. However, results for CO2 emissions indicate a strong seasonal variation; litter decomposition forms a large portion of the CO2 emissions in winter and spring whereas root respiration dominates the summer

  14. BIOETHANOL PRODUCTION BY MISCANTHUS AS A LIGNOCELLULOSIC BIOMASS: FOCUS ON HIGH EFFICIENCY CONVERSION TO GLUCOSE AND ETHANOL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minhee Han Mail

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Current ethanol production processes using crops such as corn and sugar cane have been well established. However, the utilization of cheaper lignocellulosic biomass could make bioethanol more competitive with fossil fuels while avoiding the ethical concerns associated with using potential food resources. In this study, Miscanthus, a lignocellulosic biomass, was pretreated using NaOH to produce bioethanol. The pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis conditions were evaluated by response surface methodology (RSM. The optimal conditions were found to be 145.29 °C, 28.97 min, and 1.49 M for temperature, reaction time, and NaOH concentration, respectively. Enzymatic digestibility of pretreated Miscanthus was examined at various enzyme loadings (10 to 70 FPU/g cellulose of cellulase and 30 CbU/g of β-glucosidase. Regarding enzymatic digestibility, 50 FPU/g cellulose of cellulase and 30 CbU/g of β-glucosidase were selected as the test concentrations, resulting in a total glucose conversion rate of 83.92%. Fermentation of hydrolyzed Miscanthus using Saccharomyces cerevisiae resulted in an ethanol concentration of 59.20 g/L at 20% pretreated biomass loading. The results presented here constitute a significant contribution to the production of bioethanol from Miscanthus.

  15. Effect of particle size on enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated Miscanthus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Particle size reduction is a crucial factor in transportation logistics as well as cellulosic conversion. The effect of particle size on enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated Miscanthus x giganteus was determined. Miscanthus was ground using a hammer mill equipped with screens having 0.08, 2.0 or 6.0...

  16. 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

  17. Transgenic woody plants for biofuel

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei Tang; Anna Y.Tang

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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. Environmental hazards related to Miscanthus x giganteus cultivation on heavy metal contaminated soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pogrzeba M.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available According to recent estimates reaching the target of a 20% share of renewable energy sources (RES in the final energy balance in Poland by 2020 will result in the demand for more than 8 million tons of biomass, which, in turn, will entail the necessity of creating large-scale energy crop plantations. According to EU assumptions the most effective way to produce biomass for energy purposes is cultivation of energy crops in agricultural areas. It is particularly vital for Poland, because these areas constitute a relatively large part of the country (59%, 76% of them being used as farmlands. In Silesia, the most industrialized region of the country, 5-10% of agricultural soils are contaminated with cadmium, lead and zinc. The main objective of the presented study was to estimate the accumulation of heavy metals in the tissues of Miscanthus x giganteus grown on contaminated soils and calculate concentrations of Pb, Cd and Zn in crops. It was shown that the large intake of heavy metals by that species could cause high emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere during its improper combustion. As a side effect, winter harvesting led to the loss of even 30% of biomass. Plant residues (leaves can be the source of pollution after decomposing and releasing metals back into the soil. Moreover, miscanthus leaves can be transferred by wind to the surrounding areas. It is very likely that ash coming from the combustion of contaminated biomass cannot be used as a fertilizer.

  20. Landscape patterns of bioenergy in a changing climate: implications for crop allocation and land-use competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graves, Rose A; Pearson, Scott M; Turner, Monica G

    2016-03-01

    Rural landscapes face changing climate, shifting development pressure, and loss of agricultural land. Perennial bioenergy crops grown on existing agricultural land may provide an opportunity to conserve rural landscapes while addressing increased demand for biofuels. However, increased bioenergy production and changing land use raise concerns for tradeoffs within the food-energy-environment trilemma. Heterogeneity of climate, soils, and land use complicate assessment of bioenergy potential in complex landscapes, creating challenges to evaluating future tradeoffs. The hypothesis addressed herein is that perennial bioenergy production can provide an opportunity to avoid agricultural land conversion to development. Using a process-based crop model, we assessed potential bioenergy crop growth through 2100 in a southern Appalachian Mountain region and asked: (1) how mean annual yield differed among three crops (switchgrass Panicum virgatum, giant miscanthus Miscanthus x giganteus, and hybrid poplar Populus x sp.) under current climate and climate change scenarios resulting from moderate and very high greenhouse gas emissions; (2) how maximum landscape yield, spatial allocation of crops, and bioenergy hotspots (areas with highest potential yield) varied among climate scenarios; and (3) how bioenergy hotspots overlapped with current crop production or lands with high development pressure. Under both climate change scenarios, mean annual yield of perennial grasses decreased (-4% to -39%), but yield of hybrid poplar increased (+8% to +20%) which suggests that a switch to woody crops would maximize bioenergy crop production. In total, maximum landscape yield increased by up to 90 000 Mg/yr (6%) in the 21st century due to increased poplar production. Bioenergy hotspots (> 18 Mg x ha(-1) x yr(-1)) consistently overlapped with high suburban/exurban development likelihood and existing row crop production. If bioenergy production is constrained to marginal (non-crop) lands

  1. Field based measurements of albedo for two candidate perennial cellulosic feedstocks and row crops in Central Illinois

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, J. N.; VanLoocke, A.; Bernacchi, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    The production of perennial cellulosic feedstocks for bioenergy present the potential to diversify regional economies and the national energy supply, while also serving as a climate 'regulators' due to a number of biogeochemical and biophysical differences relative to row crops. Numerous observationally and modeling based approaches, including life cycle analyses have investigated biogeochemical tradeoffs, such as increased carbon sequestration and biophysical increased water use, associated with growing cellulosic feedstocks. A less understood aspect is the biophysical changes associated with the difference in albedo, which will alter the local energy balance and could cause a local to regional cooling several times larger than that associated with offsetting carbon. To address this factor an experiment consisting of paired fields of Miscanthus and Switchgrass, two of the leading perennial cellulosic feedstock candidates, and traditional row crops was established in central Illinois. Data from the first two growing seasons indicate that this effect is most pronounced during the spring and fall as perennial biofuel crops green up earlier and senesce later than common annual row crops. The albedo of the perennials converges to that of the row crops during the growing season as the canopies develop. During the early winter, before the perennial crops are harvested, the albedo over fallow soybean and maize fields can vary greatly depending on snowfall and, to a lesser extent, soil moisture, whereas perennials show less variation. Thus, perennial biofuel crops also have the potential to buffer the local environment against short-term variations in climate. These factors should be considered when evaluating the tradeoffs and climate-regulation services associated with large-scale planting of bioenergy crops.

  2. 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.

  3. Resetting global expectations from agricultural biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  4. Comparison of Arundo donax L. and Miscanthus x giganteus in a long-term field experiment in Central Italy: Analysis of productive characteristics and energy balance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus) and Arundo donax L. (giant reed) are two perennial crops which have been received particular attention during the last decade as bioenergy crops. The main aim of the present study was to compare the above-ground biomass production and the energy balance of these perennial rhizomatous grasses in a long-term field experiment. The crops were cultivated from 1992 to 2003 in the temperate climate of Central Italy with 20,000 plants ha-1, 100-100-100 kg N, P2O5, K2O per hectare, and without irrigation supply. For each year of trial, biomass was harvested in autumn to estimate biometric characteristics and productive parameters. Besides, energy analysis of biomass production was carried out determining energy output, energy input, energy efficiency (output/input) and net energy yield (output-input). Results showed high above-ground biomass yields over a period of 10 years for both species, with better productive performances in giant reed than in miscanthus (37.7 t DM ha-1 year-1vs 28.7 t DM ha-1 year-1 averaged from 2 to 12 years of growth). Such high yields resulted positively correlated to number of stalks (miscanthus), plant height and stalk diameter (giant reed). Moreover, these perennial species are characterised by a favourable energy balance with a net energy yield of 467 and 637 GJ ha-1 (1-12 year mean) for miscanthus and giant reed respectively. With such characteristics, both grasses could be proposed as biomass energy crops in Southern Europe with a significant and environmentally compatible contribution to energy needs

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

    OpenAIRE

    Cardwell, Ryan T.; Kerr, William A.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    WenJun Zhang

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  8. Microalgae biofuel potentials (review).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    With the decrease of fossil based fuels and the environmental impact of them over the planet, it seems necessary to seek the sustainable sources of clean energy. Biofuels, is becoming a worldwide leader in the development of renewable energy resources. It is worthwhile to say that algal biofuel production is thought to help stabilize the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and decrease global warming impacts. Also, among algal fuels' attractive characteristics, algal biodiesel is non toxic, with no sulfur, highly biodegradable and relatively harmless to the environment if spilled. Algae are capable of producing in excess of 30 times more oil per acre than corn and soybean crops. Currently, algal biofuel production has not been commercialized due to high costs associated with production, harvesting and oil extraction but the technology is progressing. Extensive research was conducted to determine the utilization of microalgae as an energy source and make algae oil production commercially viable. PMID:22586908

  9. Biogas and biofuels barometer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  10. Pretreatment of Miscanthus for hydrogen production by Thermotoga elfii

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vrije, de T.; Haas, de G.G.; Tan, G.B.; Keijsers, E.R.P.; Claassen, P.A.M.

    2002-01-01

    Pretreatment methods for the production of fermentable substrates from Miscanthus, a lignocellulosic biomass, were investigated. Results demonstrated an inverse relationship between lignin content and the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis of polysaccharides. High delignification values were obtaine

  11. Combined production og biomass for energy and clean drinking water - A miscanthus demonstration project on the 'Renewable energ island' Samsoe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joergensen, U. [Danish Inst. of Agricultural sciences (Denmark)

    2003-05-01

    The island of Samsoe has been elected as the Danish 'Renewable Energy Island', with the aim of 100% self sufficiency with renewable energy within year 2007. The island is supposed to become a showcase for Danish renewable energy technology. The biomass resource of the island is however scarce due to intensive horticultural production and a rather small forested area, and there is a need to produce more biomass for the heating plants established or under construction. In year 2001 the Danish Energy Agency sponsored establishment of approximately 20 ha miscanthus on Samsoe, and the county of Aarhus sponsored the establishment of a soil water sampling station to follow nitrate leaching from two management systems of miscanthus and from a neighbouring crop rotation. This paper presents the project experiences and results so far. The project has produced the following experiences on miscanthus establishment: Rhizome harvest is best done on sandy soils; Calculation of amount of rhizome material collected and planted is difficult and more experience is needed; The planting machine is operational but there are several points for further optimization, e.g. stone release on coulters; So far the mild climate with low precipitation at Samsoe seems to suite miscanthus well. With respect to ground water protection the first results on nitrate concentrations are in line with earlier experimental results. A catch crop of fodder radish significantly reduced concentrations in the first year. (ba)

  12. Comparing net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange at adjacent commercial bioenergy and conventional cropping systems in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Ross; Brooks, Milo; Evans, Jonathan; Finch, Jon; Rowe, Rebecca; Rylett, Daniel; McNamara, Niall

    2016-04-01

    The conversion of agricultural land to bioenergy plantations represents one option in the national and global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions whilst meeting future energy demand. Despite an increase in the area of (e.g. perennial) bioenergy crops in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, the biophysical and biogeochemical impacts of large scale conversion of arable and other land cover types to bioenergy cropping systems remain poorly characterised and uncertain. Here, the results of four years of eddy covariance (EC) flux measurements of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) obtained at a commercial farm in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom (UK) are reported. CO2 flux measurements are presented and compared for arable crops (winter wheat, oilseed rape, spring barely) and plantations of the perennial biofuel crops Miscanthus x. giganteus (C4) and short rotation coppice (SRC) willow (Salix sp.,C3). Ecosystem light and temperature response functions were used to analyse and compare temporal trends and spatial variations in NEE across the three land covers. All three crops were net in situ sinks for atmospheric CO2 but were characterised by large temporal and between site variability in NEE. Environmental and biological controls driving the spatial and temporal variations in CO2 exchange processes, as well as the influences of land management, will be analysed and discussed.

  13. Third generation biofuels from microalgae

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Biofuels worldwide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  15. Evaluation of suitability of Giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deu.) in phytoextraction of copper and zinc from soil

    OpenAIRE

    Maciej Bosiacki

    2013-01-01

    The main objective of this study was to determine the suitability of Miscanthus × giganteus to phytoextraction of copper and zinc from soil, as well as evaluation of the tolerance of this species to the increasing concentration of the metals. Potential for phytoextraction of Miscanthus × giganteus had been studied for two years, pot experiment in the plastic greenhouse when they grown in mineral soil (which was slightly loamy sand) and soil with raised peat substrate with four lev...

  16. Progress in Research on Polyploid Induction Technology of Miscanthus Anderss.%芒属植物多倍体诱导技术的研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨宇晨; 陈智勇; 蒋建雄; 刘清波; 易自力

    2013-01-01

    芒属植物是一种新兴的纤维素类生物质能源植物.为了提高芒属植物生物质产量和开发具有抗逆性的新品种,国内外广泛开展了关于其多倍体育种的研究.近年来,通过对其体外再生和诱变育种等方面进行研究,取得了一些重要成果.从芒属植物体外培养时外植体的选择,愈伤和丛生芽的诱导,多倍体诱导过程中秋水仙碱和氨磺灵的处理,倍性鉴定方法这几个方面对芒属植物多倍体诱导的相关研究做了综述,并对芒属植物多倍体育种的应用和发展前景提出了展望.%Miscanthus Anderss. is a new kind of lignocellulosic biomass for the production of biofuels. In order to improve the biomass production and resistance of Miscanthus Anderss., the polyploid induction of Miscanthus have been widely researching all over the world. In recent years, researchers have got some important achievements in the researches on plant regeneration in vitro and mutation breeding. From the choice of explant, the induction of callus and cluster buds, the treatment by colchicine or oryzalin during polyploid induction of Miscanthus and the method of ploidy determination, this paper is doing an overview of the results. A forecast of the future was given about the application and development of Miscanthus polyploid breeding.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  18. Making biofuels sustainable

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  1. Private governance in the biofuel industry

    OpenAIRE

    Partzsch, Lena

    2010-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Hydrolysis of Miscanthus for bioethanol production using dilute acid presoaking combined with wet explosion pre-treatment and enzymatic treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sørensen, Annette; Teller, Philip J; Hilstrøm, Troels; Ahring, Birgitte K

    2008-09-01

    Miscanthus is a high yielding bioenergy crop. In this study we used acid presoaking, wet explosion, and enzymatic hydrolysis to evaluate the combination of the different pre-treatment methods for bioethanol production with Miscanthus. Acid presoaking is primarily carried out in order to remove xylose prior to wet explosion. The acid presoaking extracted 63.2% xylose and 5.2% glucose. Direct enzymatic hydrolysis of the presoaked biomass was found to give only low sugar yields of 24-26% glucose. Wet explosion is a pre-treatment method that combines wet-oxidation and steam explosion. The effect of wet explosion on non-presoaked and presoaked Miscanthus was investigated using both atmospheric air and hydrogen peroxide as the oxidizing agent. All wet explosion pre-treatments showed to have a disrupting effect on the lignocellulosic biomass, making the sugars accessible for enzymatic hydrolysis. The combination of presoaking, wet explosion, and enzymatic hydrolysis was found to give the highest sugar yields. The use of atmospheric air gave the highest xylose yield (94.9% xylose, 61.3% glucose), while hydrogen peroxide gave the highest glucose yield (82.4% xylose, 63.7% glucose). PMID:18164954

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Recent energy security strategies, investment opportunities and energy policies have led to an escalation in biofuel consumption at the expenses of food crops and pastureland. To evaluate the important impacts of biofuels on food security, the food-energy nexus needs to be investigated in the context of its linkages with the overall human appropriation of land and water resources. Here we provide a global assessment of biofuel crop production, reconstruct global patterns of biofuel crop/oil t...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Next generation of liquid biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    Batidzirai, B.

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Miscanthus and willow heat production-An effective land-use strategy for greenhouse gas emission avoidance in Ireland?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recent decoupling of EU direct payments from agricultural production, to land-area-based payments, has accelerated the national trend of declining livestock numbers, presenting opportunities for new agricultural products. This paper uses life-cycle analyses to quantify the national magnitude and area-based efficiency of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions possible from utilising indigenously grown willow and Miscanthus as heating fuels in domestic/commercial premises. Willow and Miscanthus fuel-chain emissions were calculated at 0.045 and 0.062 kg CO2 eq. kWhth, compared with 0.248, 0.331 and 0.624 kg CO2 eq. kWhth for gas, oil and electric heat, respectively. Long-term soil C sequestration where willow and Miscanthus are grown on tillage land could exceed fuel-chain emissions, resulting in heat production better than C-neutral. Net GHG emission reductions ranged from 7671 kg CO2 eq. ha-1 a-1 where willow displaced grassland and gas to 34,187 kg CO2 eq. ha-1 a-1 where Miscanthus displaced set-aside and electric heat. A simple, indicative scenario assumed that energy-crops were grown on set-aside and destocked grassland in the ratio of 1:2, and displaced a total of 4728 GWhth combined gas, oil and electric heat. Consequent net GHG emission reductions arising from sole utilisation of either willow or Miscanthus equated to 2.6% or 2.5% of 2004 national emissions, and required just 2.9% or 2.1% of Ireland's agricultural land area. Net total emission reductions were relatively insensitive to variation in yield and cultivation emissions, but large reductions associated with electric-heat displacement will decline as electricity production becomes less GHG-intensive, and may not be representative of other countries. Energy-crop heat production offers considerably greater GHG emission reduction potential compared with agricultural destocking alone, and appears to represent an efficient land-use option for this purpose

  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. Impact of Uncertainty in SWAT Model Simulations on Consequent Decisions on Optimal Crop Management Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, N.; Sudheer, K. P.; Raj, C.; Chaubey, I.

    2015-12-01

    The diminishing quantities of non-renewable forms of energy have caused an increasing interest in the renewable sources of energy, such as biofuel, in the recent years. However, the demand for biofuel has created a concern for allocating grain between the fuel and food industry. Consequently, appropriate regulations that limit grain based ethanol production have been developed and are put to practice, which resulted in cultivating perennial grasses like Switch grass and Miscanthus to meet the additional cellulose demand. A change in cropping and management practice, therefore, is essential to cater the conflicting requirement for food and biofuel, which has a long-term impact on the downstream water quality. Therefore it is essential to implement optimal cropping practices to reduce the pollutant loadings. Simulation models in conjunction with optimization procedures are useful in developing efficient cropping practices in such situations. One such model is the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), which can simulate both the water and the nutrient cycle, as well as quantify long-term impacts of changes in management practice in the watershed. It is envisaged that the SWAT model, along with an optimization algorithm, can be used to identify the optimal cropping pattern that achieves the minimum guaranteed grain production with less downstream pollution, while maximizing the biomass production for biofuel generation. However, the SWAT simulations do have a certain level of uncertainty that needs to be accounted for before making decisions. Therefore, the objectives of this study are twofold: (i) to understand how model uncertainties influence decision-making, and (ii) to develop appropriate management scenarios that account the uncertainty. The simulation uncertainty of the SWAT model is assessed using Shuffled Complex Evolutionary Metropolis Algorithm (SCEM). With the data collected from St. Joseph basin, IN, USA, the preliminary results indicate that model

  10. 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

  11. Impact of miscanthus cultivation on trace metal availability in contaminated agricultural soils: complementary insights from kinetic extraction and physical fractionation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iqbal, Muhammad; Bermond, Alain; Lamy, Isabelle

    2013-04-01

    In order to assess the impact of in situ energy crop cultivation on Cu, Pb, Zn and Cd availabilities in an area contaminated by atmospheric fallout, a parcel divided in two parts was sampled: one under perennial miscanthus since three years and the other staying under annual crops used as reference. Metal availability parameters determined using EDTA extractions at equilibrium and kinetic extractions were related to metal localization in size fractions after physical fractionation. Extraction at equilibrium as well as kinetically defined labile pools highlighted significantly lower Cu and Pb availabilities in the soil under miscanthus compared to the annual crop reference while physical fractionations highlighted an increased localization of these metals in the fine size fractions. For Zn and Cd, changes in metal availability were highlighted only through the kinetic parameters of extraction rate constants while localization in size fractions changed for Cd only. Indeed for these metals extraction at equilibrium and kinetically defined labile and slowly labile pools failed to show some changes. Organic carbon percentage was significantly higher in the 20-50μm and 200-2000μm fractions for the miscanthus sample underlying the importance of no-tillage and organic carbon inputs. Pearson correlations among metal availability parameters and metal and organic carbon localizations were used to identify the more important fractions involved in the metal availability. Results revealed that available metal pools were related to metal localization in the finer soil fractions (<50μm) and to the organic carbon localization in the 20-50μm and 200-2000μm fractions. PMID:23260247

  12. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Prospects for dedicated energy crop production and attitudes towards agricultural straw use: The case of livestock farmers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Second generation biofuels utilising agricultural by-products (e.g. straw), or dedicated energy crops (DECs) produced on ‘marginal’ land, have been called for. A structured telephone survey of 263 livestock farmers, predominantly located in the west or ‘marginal’ upland areas of England captured data on attitudes towards straw use and DECs. Combined with farm physical and business data, the survey results show that 7.2% and 6.3% of farmers would respectively consider growing SRC and miscanthus, producing respective maximum potential English crop areas of 54,603 ha and 43,859 ha. If higher market prices for straw occurred, most livestock farmers would continue to buy straw. Reasons for not being willing to consider growing DECs include concerns over land quality, committing land for a long time period, lack of appropriate machinery, profitability, and time to financial return; a range of moral, land quality, production conflict and lack of crop knowledge factors were also cited. Results demonstrate limited potential for the production of DECs on livestock farms in England. Changes in policy support to address farmer concerns with respect to DECs will be required to incentivise farmers to increase energy crop production. Policy support for DEC production must be cognisant of farm-level economic, tenancy and personal objectives. - Highlights: • Survey of English livestock farms determining attitudes to dedicated energy crops. • 6.3% to 7.2% of surveyed farmers would consider growing energy crops. • Limited potential for dedicated energy crops on livestock farms in England. • Livestock farmers would continue to buy straw, even at higher market prices. • Wide range of reasons given for farmers’ decisions related to energy crops

  14. An Outlook on Microalgal Biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. Cloning and characterization of a new β-Glucosidase from a metagenomic library of Rumen of cattle feeding with Miscanthus sinensis

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Yadan; Liu, Ning; Yang, Hui; Zhao, Fei; Yu, Ye; Tian, Yun; Lu, Xiangyang

    2014-01-01

    Background The study on the second generation bio-fuel is a hot area of current research of renewable energy. Among series of key points in this area, the role of β-glucosidase in the degradation of intermediate gluco-oligosaccharides limits the rate of the complete saccharification of lignocellulose. Results In this study, a new β-glucosidase gene, unglu135B12, which was isolated from a metagenomic library of rumen of cattle feeding with Miscanthus sinensis by the function-based screening, e...

  16. Current status: biomass valorisation and biofuels in Singapore

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. How cell wall complexity influences saccharification efficiency in Miscanthus sinensis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Souza, De Amanda P.; Lessa Alvim Kamei, Claire; Torres Salvador, Andres Francisco; Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G.; Trindade, Luisa M.; Buckeridge, Marcos S.

    2015-01-01

    The production of bioenergy from grasses has been developing quickly during the last decade, with Miscanthus being among the most important choices for production of bioethanol. However, one of the key barriers to producing bioethanol is the lack of information about cell wall structure. Cell wal

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    The environmental impact of agricultural waste from the processing of food and feed crops is an increasing concern worldwide. Concerted efforts are underway to develop sustainable practices for the disposal of residues from the processing of such crops as coffee, sugarcane, or corn. Coffee is crucial to the economies of many countries because its cultivation, processing, trading, and marketing provide employment for millions of people. In coffee-producing countries, improved technology for tr...

  1. Elucidating and alleviating impacts of lignocellulose-derived microbial inhibitors on Clostridium beijerinckii during fermentation of Miscanthus giganteus to butanol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yan; Ezeji, Thaddeus Chukwuemeka

    2014-10-01

    Fermentation of liquid hot water (LHW) pretreated Miscanthus giganteus (MG) by Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 was investigated towards understanding the toxicity of lignocellulose-derived inhibitors to solventogenic Clostridium species vis-à-vis butanol production. While C. beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 did not grow in undiluted MG hydrolysate-based fermentation medium, supplementation of this medium with Calcium carbonate enabled the growth of C. beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 and production of butanol. Using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and spectrophotometric assays, LHW-pretreated MG was found to contain lignocellulose-derived microbial inhibitory compounds; some of which were transformed by exponentially growing C. beijerinckii to less inhibitory compounds during fermentation. Contrary to all expectations, the reduction product of furfural, furfuryl alcohol, inhibited butanol production by C. beijerinckii by more than 16 %. Collectively, these results provide new insights into why lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysates are recalcitrant to fermentation to biofuels and chemicals. PMID:25085743

  2. Biofuels feedstock development program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  4. Biofuel on contaminated land

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  5. Plants producing biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-08-15

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

  6. 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.

  7. Panorama 2011: Water and bio-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  8. Global Evaluation of Biofuel Potential from Microalgae

    OpenAIRE

    Moody, Jeffrey W.

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Uses of miscanthus press juice within a green biorefinery platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boakye-Boaten, Nana Abayie; Xiu, Shuangning; Shahbazi, Abolghasem; Wang, Lijun; Li, Rui; Schimmel, Keith

    2016-05-01

    This study assesses some uses of nutrient-rich juice mechanically extracted from freshly harvested Miscanthus x giganteus (MxG) as part of a green biorefinery system. The juice was used for culturing Saccharomyces cerevisiae and lactic acid bacteria. MxG juice was further used as substrate for fermentation to produce lactic acid using Lactobacillus brevis and Lactobacillus plantarum. The results show that MxG juice was a highly nutritious source for the cultivation of bacteria. Higher concentrations of MxG juice used as culture media, resulted in higher cell growth both aerobically and anaerobically. The highest ethanol yield of 70% theoretical and concentration of 0.75g/100ml were obtained from S. cerevisiae cultivated with 90% (v/v) MxG juice media and used for miscanthus solid fraction fermentation. 11.91g/L of lactic acid was also successfully produced from MxG juice through SSF. PMID:26896712

  10. Second generation biofuels: Economics and policies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  11. Model for Energy Analysis of Miscanthus Production and Transportation

    OpenAIRE

    Alessandro Sopegno; Efthymios Rodias; Dionysis Bochtis; Patrizia Busato; Remigio Berruto; Valter Boero; Claus Sørensen

    2016-01-01

    A computational tool is developed for the estimation of the energy requirements of Miscanthus x giganteus on individual fields that includes a detailed analysis and account of the involved in-field and transport operations. The tool takes into account all the individual involved in-field and transport operations and provides a detailed analysis on the energy requirements of the components that contribute to the energy input. A basic scenario was implemented to demonstrate the capabilities of ...

  12. Comparative proteomic analysis in Miscanthus sinensis exposed to antimony stress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    To explore the molecular basis of Sb tolerance mechanism in plant, a comparative proteomic analysis of both roots and leaves in Miscanthus sinensis has been conducted in combination with physiological and biochemical analyses. M. sinensis seedlings were exposed to different doses of Sb, and both roots and leaves were collected after 3 days of treatment. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and image analyses found that 29 protein spots showed 1.5-fold change in abundance in leaves and 19 spots in roots, of which 31 were identified by MALDI-TOF-MS and MALDI-TOF-TOF-MS. Proteins involved in antioxidant defense and stress response generally increased their expression all over the Sb treatments. In addition, proteins relative to transcription, signal transduction, energy metabolism and cell division and cell structure showed a variable expression pattern over Sb concentrations. Overall these findings provide new insights into the probable survival mechanisms by which M. sinensis could be adapting to Sb phytotoxicity. - Highlights: • Proteomics in Miscanthus sinensis leaves and roots exposed to Sb stress were studied. • There were 31 spots that were identified by mass spectrometry. • Most of these proteins were involved in antioxidant defense and stress response. • Our findings provide new insights into the tolerant mechanisms to Sb stress. - Miscanthus sinensis proteomic analysis under Sb stress reveals probable molecular mechanisms on Sb detoxification

  13. Biofuels as an opportunity of development for the rural area. Regional-economic analysis with the example of Northrhine-Westphalia; Biokraftstoffe als Entwicklungschance fuer den laendlchen Raum. Regionaloekonomische Analyse am Beispiel Nordrhein-Westfalens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breuer, Thomas

    2008-07-01

    The energetic use of biomass experiences new attention in politics and public particularly due to high prices for fossil energy and climate protection. The German bioenergy boom is determined by political decisions. In this sense, the bioenergy markets can be characterized as 'political' markets. This is often ignored given the current euphoria over bioenergy. In the policy debate bioenergy is supported by several arguments including aspects of resources, environment, labour market, economy, technology develop, agriculture, regional and structural policy. While studies of energetic and ecological Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the biofuels are already present, the other political aspects are quite little investigated. Particularly against the background of an introduction of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and an examination of the efficiency of the promotion of biofuels, still, substantial research is needed. The goal of the work is to estimate whether biofuels allow new income possibilities and which rural areas in North Rhine-Westphalia could profit from these new prospects. A possible promotion policy for rural area is outlined which increases the income chances, and at the same time reduced negative environmental effects for the future. The work starts analysing the relevant policy framework of biofuel production in North-Rhine-Westphalia. Key question is which energy crop allows a positive income effect in which regions of North-Rhine-Westphalia. For this the procedure ''energy maize for biogas'' (rape seeds and wheat were already implemented) was integrated into the regionalised agricultural sector model RAUMIS. By the assumption of a completely elastic demand for biomass thereby the ''economic supply potential'' of the energy crops of the North-Rhine/Westphalian agriculture is illustrated under given agricultural and energy-political framework. Beside the quantitative analysis of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  15. Opportunity for profitable investments in cellulosic biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  16. 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)

  17. Biogas Production from Energy Crops and Agriculture Residues

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Guangtao

    2010-01-01

    In this thesis, the feasibility of utilizing energy crops (willow and miscanthus) and agriculture residues (wheat straw and corn stalker) in an anaerobic digestion process for biogas production was evaluated. Potential energy crops and agriculture residues were screened according to their suitability for biogas production. Moreover, pretreatment of these biomasses by using wet explosion method was studied and the effect of the wet explosion process was evaluated based on the increase of (a) s...

  18. Production of xylo-oligosaccharides from Miscanthus x giganteus by autohydrolysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ligero, P.; Kolk, van der J.C.; Vega, de A.; Dam, van J.E.G.

    2011-01-01

    Xylo-oligosaccharides were obtained from Miscanthus x giganteus. The process was designed as a biorefinery scheme, which seeks the separation of the three main components: cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin. To extract the hemicelluloses, particularly xylans, in an efficient way, Miscanthus was s

  19. Comparing methods for measuring the digestibility of miscanthus in bioethanol or biogas processing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Susanne Frydendal; Jørgensen, Uffe; Hjorth, Maibritt;

    2016-01-01

    digestibility of miscanthus samples that were tested using three methods: 3,5-dinitrosalicylic acid assay (DNS), anaerobic batch digestion test, and high-throughput pretreatment and hydrolysis method, including a grinding and hydrothermal pretreatment prior to the analysis (HTPH). The miscanthus samples were...

  20. Transgenic perennial biofuel feedstocks and strategies for bioconfinement

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. 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.

  2. Lifecycle Analyses of Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Delucchi, Mark

    2006-01-01

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

  3. Pyrolysis, combustion and gasification characteristics of miscanthus and sewage sludge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Pyrolysis, combustion and gasification characteristics of miscanthus and sewage sludge. • We evaluate the temperature range for different process. • Product gas compositions during gasification at different temperature ranges. • Appropriate temperature range assessed for gasification with efficient carbon conversion. • Kinetic constant estimation using Friedman and Coats and Redfern method. - Abstract: The energetic conversion of biomass into syngas is considered as reliable energy source. In this context, biomass (miscanthus) and sewage sludge have been investigated. A simultaneous thermal analyzer and mass spectrometer was used for the characterization of samples and identified the volatiles evolved during the heating of the sample up to 1100 °C under combustion and gasification conditions. The TG and DTA results were discussed in argon, oxygen, steam and steam blended gas atmospheres. Different stages of pyrolysis, combustion and gasification of the samples have been examined. It was shown that the combustion and gasification of char were occurred in two different temperature zones. The DTA–MS profile of the sample gives information on combustion and gasification process of the samples (ignition, peak combustion and burnout temperatures) and gases released (H2, O2, CO and CO2). The results showed that the different processes were mainly dependent on temperature. The evolution of the gas species was consistent with the weight loss of the samples during pyrolysis, combustion and gasification process. The effect of the ambiences during pyrolysis, combustion and gasification of the samples were reported. The appropriate temperature range to the sludge and miscanthus gasification was evaluated. The kinetic parameters of the biomass and sewage sludge were estimated for TGA using two models based on first-order reactions with distributed activation energies. The presence of ash in the biomass char was more influential during the gasification

  4. Breaking the Link between Food and Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Bruce A. Babcock

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Liquid biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  6. Biofuels securing the planet's future energy needs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    A. Prasada Rao

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Modelling farmer uptake of perennial energy crops in the UK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The UK Biomass Strategy suggests that to reach the technical potential of perennial energy crops such as short rotation coppice (SRC) willow and miscanthus by 2020 requires 350,000 hectares of land. This represents a more than 20-fold increase on the current 15,546 hectares. Previous research has identified several barriers to adoption, including concerns over security of income from contracts. In addition, farmers perceive returns from these crops to be lower than for conventional crops. This paper uses a farm-level linear programming model to investigate theoretical uptake of energy crops at different gross margins under the assumption of a profit-maximising decision maker, and in the absence of known barriers to adoption. The findings suggest that while SRC willow, at current prices, remains less competitive, returns to miscanthus should have encouraged adoption on a wider scale than at present. This highlights the importance of the barriers to adoption. Recently announced contracts for miscanthus appear to offer a significant premium to farmers in order to encourage them to grow the crops. This raises the question of whether a more cost-effective approach would be for government to provide guarantees addressing farmers concerns including security of income from the contracts. Such an approach should encourage adoption at lower gross margins. (author)

  11. Modelling farmer uptake of perennial energy crops in the UK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The UK Biomass Strategy suggests that to reach the technical potential of perennial energy crops such as short rotation coppice (SRC) willow and miscanthus by 2020 requires 350,000 hectares of land. This represents a more than 20-fold increase on the current 15,546 hectares. Previous research has identified several barriers to adoption, including concerns over security of income from contracts. In addition, farmers perceive returns from these crops to be lower than for conventional crops. This paper uses a farm-level linear programming model to investigate theoretical uptake of energy crops at different gross margins under the assumption of a profit-maximising decision maker, and in the absence of known barriers to adoption. The findings suggest that while SRC willow, at current prices, remains less competitive, returns to miscanthus should have encouraged adoption on a wider scale than at present. This highlights the importance of the barriers to adoption. Recently announced contracts for miscanthus appear to offer a significant premium to farmers in order to encourage them to grow the crops. This raises the question of whether a more cost-effective approach would be for government to provide guarantees addressing farmers concerns including security of income from the contracts. Such an approach should encourage adoption at lower gross margins.

  12. The Interplay of Bioenergy Crop Production and Water Resource Availability in the US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Y.; Jain, A. K.; Landuyt, W.; Kheshgi, H. S.

    2014-12-01

    Large-scale growing of bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum viragatum) and Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), may introduce new challenges for water resource availability in the US. However, the strength of the interplay between bioenergy crop production and water resource availability is highly uncertain at the spatial scale and determined by (1) the spatial distribution of land cover types; (2) availability of soil water resources; (3) climate conditions and (4) biophysical characteristics of different bioenergy crops, such as water use efficiency (WUE), tolerances to extreme water and thermal conditions (dry, high temperature, low temperature etc.) and photoperiod adaptability, etc. To address potential water availability concerns the spatial distribution of bioenergy crops needs to be optimized by considering the maximum WUE and the minimum dependence and impact on water resource availability. To address this objective, we apply a coupled biophysical and biogeochemical model (ISAM), to investigate spatial variability in the interplay between water resources and bioenergy crop production in the US. The bioenergy crops considered in this study include Miscanthus, Cave-in-Rock and Alamo switchgrasses, and corn (grain and stover). The interplay between bioenergy crop and corn production with water resources is quantitatively evaluated by calculating WUE and average water stress for different bioenergy crops and change in plant available soil water between bioenergy crops and natural vegetation. Our results indicate that low soil water availability limits production of bioenergy grasses in central and eastern Great Plains. Growing energy grasses here strengthens water depletion and limits its potential production. Miscanthus has the highest WUE in the central Midwest, followed by corn stover and Cave-in-Rock. However, growing Miscanthus and Cave-in-Rock here strengthens soil water depletion and induces water stress on their production. Though production

  13. Drought effects on composition and yield for corn stover, mixed grasses, and Miscanthus as bioenergy feedstocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rachel Emerson; Amber Hoover; Allison Ray; Jeffrey Lacey; Marnie Cortez; Courtney Payne; Doug Karlen; Stuart Birrell; David Laird; Robert Kallenbach; Josh Egenolf; Matthew Sousek; Thomas Voigt

    2014-11-01

    Drought conditions in 2012 were some of the most severe reported in the United States. It is necessary to explore the effects of drought on the quality attributes of current and potential bioenergy feedstocks. Compositional analysis data for corn stover, Miscanthus, and CRP grasses from one or more locations for years 2010 (normal precipitation levels) and 2012 (a known severe drought year nationally) was collected. Results & discussion: The general trend for samples that experienced drought was an increase in extractives and a decrease in structural sugars and lignin. The TEY yields were calculated to determine the drought effects on ethanol production. All three feedstocks had a decrease of 12-14% in TEY when only decreases of carbohydrate content was analyzed. When looking at the compounded effect of both carbohydrate content and the decreases in dry matter loss for each feedstock there was a TEY decrease of 25%-59%. Conclusion: Drought had a significant impact on the quality of all three bioenergy crops. In all cases where drought was experienced both the quality of the feedstock and the yield decreased. These drought induced effects could have significant economic impacts on biorefineries.

  14. Will EU Biofuel Policies affect Global Agricultural Markets?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  15. Experimental Study on Dry Torrefaction of Beech Wood and Miscanthus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eyerusalem M. Gucho

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Torrefaction is a thermochemical pre-treatment process for upgrading the properties of biomass to resemble those of fossil fuels such as coal. Biomass properties of particular interest are chemical composition, physical property and combustion characteristics. In this work, torrefaction of beech wood and miscanthus (sinensis was carried out to study the influence of torrefaction temperature (240–300 °C and residence time (15–150 min on the aforementioned properties of the biomass. Results of the study revealed that torrefaction temperature has a significant influence on mass and energy yields, whereas the influence of the residence time becomes more apparent for the higher torrefaction temperatures (>280 °C. Torrefied miscanthus resulted in higher energy densification compared to beech wood for a residence time of 30 min. A significant improvement in grindability of the torrefied beech wood was obtained even for lightly torrefied beech wood (at 280 °C and 15 min of residence time. Observation from the combustion study showed that the ignition temperature is slightly affected by the torrefaction temperature. As a whole, the torrefaction temperature determines the characteristics of the torrefied fuel compared to other process parameters like residence time. Furthermore, with optimal process conditions, torrefaction produces a solid fuel with combustion reactivity and porosity comparable to raw biomass, whereas grindability and heating value are comparable to low quality coal.

  16. How cell wall complexity influences saccharification efficiency in Miscanthus sinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Souza, Amanda P; Alvim Kamei, Claire L; Torres, Andres F; Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G; Trindade, Luisa M; Buckeridge, Marcos S

    2015-07-01

    The production of bioenergy from grasses has been developing quickly during the last decade, with Miscanthus being among the most important choices for production of bioethanol. However, one of the key barriers to producing bioethanol is the lack of information about cell wall structure. Cell walls are thought to display compositional differences that lead to emergence of a very high level of complexity, resulting in great diversity in cell wall architectures. In this work, a set of different techniques was used to access the complexity of cell walls of different genotypes of Miscanthus sinensis in order to understand how they interfere with saccharification efficiency. Three genotypes of M. sinensis displaying different patterns of correlation between lignin content and saccharification efficiency were subjected to cell wall analysis by quantitative/qualitative analytical techniques such as monosaccharide composition, oligosaccharide profiling, and glycome profiling. When saccharification efficiency was correlated negatively with lignin, the structural features of arabinoxylan and xyloglucan were found to contribute positively to hydrolysis. In the absence of such correlation, different types of pectins, and some mannans contributed to saccharification efficiency. Different genotypes of M. sinensis were shown to display distinct interactions among their cell wall components, which seem to influence cell wall hydrolysis. PMID:25908240

  17. Life Cycle Assessment of Miscanthus as a Fuel Alternative in District Heat Production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parajuli, Ranjan; Dalgaard, Tommy; Nguyen, T Lan T;

    2013-01-01

    performs better than in the boiler from the standpoint of GWP and savings in fossil fuels, but leads to a higher LU.A comparison between Miscanthus and NG shows that the former in spite of possessing advantage in reducing GWP and NRE use,additional land required for it could be seen as a disadvantage.......This study assesses the environmental performance of district heat production based on Miscanthus as a fuel input and compares it with Natural Gas (NG). As a baseline scenario, we assume that the process of energy conversion from Miscanthus to heat takes place in a Combined Heat and Power (CHP...

  18. 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

  19. Evaluation of suitability of Giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deu. in phytoextraction of copper and zinc from soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej Bosiacki

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of this study was to determine the suitability of Miscanthus × giganteus to phytoextraction of copper and zinc from soil, as well as evaluation of the tolerance of this species to the increasing concentration of the metals. Potential for phytoextraction of Miscanthus × giganteus had been studied for two years, pot experiment in the plastic greenhouse when they grown in mineral soil (which was slightly loamy sand and soil with raised peat substrate with four levels of copper and zinc: control (native Cu and Zn content, Cu – 80 mg·dm-3, Zn – 300 mg·dm-3 – weak pollution, Cu – 100 mg·dm-3, Zn – 1000 mg·dm-3 – medium pollution, Cu – 500 mg·dm-3, Zn – 3000 mg·dm-3 – strong pollution. Assessing their potential for copper and zinc phytoextraction from the soil, it was found that it is not significant. No hyperaccumulation of heavy metals in the aboveground biomass was found in this study.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Likely changes in precipitation (P) and potential evapotranspiration (PET) resulting from policy-driven expansion of bioenergy crops in the United States are shown to create significant changes in streamflow volumes and increase water stress in the High Plains. Regional climate simulations for current and biofuel cropping system scenarios are evaluated using the same atmospheric forcing data over the period 1979-2004 using the Weather Research Forecast (WRF) model coupled to the NOAH land surface model. PET is projected to increase under the biofuel crop production scenario. The magnitude of the mean annual increase in PET is larger than the inter-annual variability of change in PET, indicating that PET increase is a forced response to the biofuel cropping system land use. Across the conterminous U.S., the change in mean streamflow volume under the biofuel scenario is estimated to range from negative 56% to positive 20% relative to a business-as-usual baseline scenario. In Kansas and Oklahoma, annual streamflow volume is reduced by an average of 20%, and this reduction in streamflow volume is due primarily to increased PET. Predicted increase in mean annual P under the biofuel crop production scenario is lower than its inter-annual variability, indicating that additional simulations would be necessary to determine conclusively whether predicted change in P is a response to biofuel crop production. Although estimated changes in streamflow volume include the influence of P change, sensitivity results show that PET change is the significantly dominant factor causing streamflow change. Higher PET and lower streamflow due to biofuel feedstock production are likely to increase water stress in the High Plains. When pursuing sustainable biofuels policy, decision-makers should consider the impacts of feedstock production on water scarcity. PMID:25289698

  3. Fuel Properties’ Comparison of Allochthonous Miscanthus x giganteus and Autochthonous Arundo donax L.: a Study Case in Croatia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanja Jurišić

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Increased energy demands, EU intentions for energy independence, together with decreasing fossil fuel reserves, have initiated the interest for new technology development. This would enable more intensive use of new renewable energy sources and contribute to increase among appliances based on biomass and energy crops. Miscanthus x giganteus is a perennial crop which has been received particular attention during the last decade as an energy crop. In the Republic of Croatia, it has been under investigation for the last two years, and the yields obtained by far are very promising. However, due to its potential and autochthonicity, there is a need for investigating the potential of another perennial, Arundo donax L. as energy crop. Among numerous tested energy crops, both species seem to be especially promising feedstocks due to their high production potential. Cultivation of these plants may be a sufficient alternative to wood from short-rotation forestry. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine fuel properties of the two-abovementioned species, relevant for combustion of biomass to be used as solid fuel, and to compare them. Since biomass is characterized by a series of parameters that determine their most suitable process of conversion, properties such as biomass type, particles size, chemical and physical composition, way of fixation of the moisture, ash content, and higher heating value (HHV. Accordingly, proximate, and ultimate analyses, together with fuel properties determination were conducted on both, M. giganteus and A. donax Results indicated that both species could be proposed as biomass energy crops in the Republic of Croatia, with a significant and environmentally compatible contribution to energy needs.

  4. Fuel Properties’ Comparison of Allochthonous Miscanthus x giganteus and Autochthonous Arundo donax L.: a Study Case in Croatia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanja Jurišić

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Increased energy demands, EU intentions for energy independence, together with decreasing fossil fuel reserves, have initiated the interest for new technology development. This would enable more intensive use of new renewable energy sources and contribute to increase among appliances based on biomass and energy crops. Miscanthus x giganteus is a perennial crop which has been received particular attention during the last decade as an energy crop. In the Republic of Croatia, it has been under investigation for the last two years, and the yields obtained by far are very promising. However, due to its potential and autochthonicity, there is a need for investigating the potential of another perennial, Arundo donax L. as energy crop. Among numerous tested energy crops, both species seem to be especially promising feedstocks due to their high production potential. Cultivation of these plants may be a sufficient alternative to wood from short-rotation forestry. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine fuel properties of the two-abovementioned species, relevant for combustion of biomass to be used as solid fuel, and to compare them. Since biomass is characterized by a series of parameters that determine their most suitable process of conversion, properties such as biomass type, particles size, chemical and physical composition, way of fixation of the moisture, ash content, and higher heating value (HHV. Accordingly, proximate, and ultimate analyses, together with fuel properties determination were conducted on both, M. giganteus and A. donax Results indicated that both species could be proposed as biomass energy crops in the Republic of Croatia, with a significant and environmentally compatible contribution to energy needs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WenJun Zhang

    2012-09-01

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

  6. Biofuel from "humified" biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  7. Biofuel technologies. Recent developments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. Biofuels of the Future

    OpenAIRE

    Oxburgh, Ron

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Environmental and energy aspects of liquid biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  11. Environmental performance of Miscanthus as a fuel alternative for district heat production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parajuli, Ranjan; Sperling, Karl; Dalgaard, Tommy

    2015-01-01

    a GWP of 0.005kg CO2-eq, NRE use 0.172MJ-primary and land use 0.063m2-a. Miscanthus fired in the CHP plant is better than in the boiler from the stand point of lowering the GWP and increasing the savings in fossil fuel, but with slightly higher LU. A comparison between Miscanthus and NG has showed...

  12. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated With Establishing Energy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    NiChonchubhair, Orlaith; Osborne, Bruce; Krol, Dominika; Williams, Mike; Jones, Mike; Lanigan, Gary

    2013-04-01

    Land-use change to biomass crop production can contribute towards meeting both national and international renewable energy and emissions targets. As a carbon-neutral fuel stock, these crops have the capacity to mitigate GHG emissions through the substitution of fossil fuels. However, studies have also provided evidence of carbon sequestration in vegetative and soil reservoirs in these ecosystems. Realisation of this mitigation potential is, however, dependent on suitable crop selection and thorough assessment of the emissions and sinks associated with biomass crop cultivation. The aim of this research was to assess the GHG implications of land-use change to biomass crops by quantifying carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions both during the initial land conversion phase and in the newly-established plantations. Field-scale stands of Miscanthus × giganteus and Reed Canary Grass (RCG; Phalaris arundinacea) were established on land previously under permanent pasture in 2009 and 2010 respectively in the south-east of Ireland. CO2 uptake and release was measured at the ecosystem scale by two open path eddy covariance systems, while N2O fluxes before and after cultivation were sampled using the static chamber technique. Short-term tillage-induced carbon emissions were found to be high immediately after ploughing but transient in nature, reducing to background levels within a matter of hours. Results suggest that longer term losses could be limited to approximately 2 t CO2 ha-1 provided the fallow period is minimised. A more sustained release of N2O was observed after soil cultivation, resulting from increased availability of organic N for mineralisation by soil microbes. Development was initially slow in the Miscanthus stand, however by the third year, the crop had begun to mature and had switched from a net GHG source in the first year of establishment to a net sink of over 10 t CO2 ha-1 yr-1. More rapid establishment of RCG facilitated the development

  13. Panorama 2007: Biofuels Worldwide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  14. 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

  15. Agave: a biofuel feedstock for arid and semi-arid environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gross, Stephen; Martin, Jeffrey; Simpson, June; Wang, Zhong; Visel, Axel

    2011-05-31

    Efficient production of plant-based, lignocellulosic biofuels relies upon continued improvement of existing biofuel feedstock species, as well as the introduction of newfeedstocks capable of growing on marginal lands to avoid conflicts with existing food production and minimize use of water and nitrogen resources. To this end, specieswithin the plant genus Agave have recently been proposed as new biofuel feedstocks. Many Agave species are adapted to hot and arid environments generally unsuitable forfood production, yet have biomass productivity rates comparable to other second-generation biofuel feedstocks such as switchgrass and Miscanthus. Agavesachieve remarkable heat tolerance and water use efficiency in part through a Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) mode of photosynthesis, but the genes andregulatory pathways enabling CAM and thermotolerance in agaves remain poorly understood. We seek to accelerate the development of agave as a new biofuelfeedstock through genomic approaches using massively-parallel sequencing technologies. First, we plan to sequence the transcriptome of A. tequilana to provide adatabase of protein-coding genes to the agave research community. Second, we will compare transcriptome-wide gene expression of agaves under different environmentalconditions in order to understand genetic pathways controlling CAM, water use efficiency, and thermotolerance. Finally, we aim to compare the transcriptome of A.tequilana with that of other Agave species to gain further insight into molecular mechanisms underlying traits desirable for biofuel feedstocks. These genomicapproaches will provide sequence and gene expression information critical to the breeding and domestication of Agave species suitable for biofuel production.

  16. Combined production of free-range pigs and energy crops – animal behaviour and crop damages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horsted, Klaus; Kongsted, Anne Grete; Jørgensen, Uffe;

    2012-01-01

    Intensive free-range pig production on open grasslands has disadvantages in that it creates nutrient hotspots and little opportunity for pigs to seek shelter from the sun. Combining a perennial energy crop and pig production might benefit the environment and animal welfare because perennial energy...... crops like willow (Salix sp.) and Miscanthus offer the pigs protection from the sun while reducing nutrient leaching from pig excrements due to their deep rooting system. The objectives of this study were to evaluate how season and stocking density of pigs in a free-range system with zones of willow...

  17. Variation in chilling tolerance for photosynthesis and leaf extension growth among genotypes related to the C-4 grass Miscanthus xgiganteus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glowacka, K; Adhikari, S; Peng, JH; Gifford, J; Juvik, JA; Long, SP; Sacks, EJ

    2014-09-08

    The goal of this study was to identify cold-tolerant genotypes within two species of Miscanthus related to the exceptionally chilling-tolerant C-4 biomass crop accession: M. xgiganteus 'Illinois' (Mxg) as well as in other Mxg genotypes. The ratio of leaf elongation at 10 degrees C/5 degrees C to that at 25 degrees C/25 degrees C was used to identify initially the 13 most promising Miscanthus genotypes out of 51 studied. Net leaf CO2 uptake (A(sat)) and the maximum operating efficiency of photosystem II (Phi(PSII)) were measured in warm conditions (25 degrees C/20 degrees C), and then during and following a chilling treatment of 10 degrees C/5 degrees C for 11 d. Accessions of M. sacchariflorus (Msa) showed the smallest decline in leaf elongation on transfer to chilling conditions and did not differ significantly from Mxg, indicating greater chilling tolerance than diploid M. sinensis (Msi). Msa also showed the smallest reductions in A(sat) and Phi(PSII), and greater chilling-tolerant photosynthesis than Msi, and three other forms of Mxg, including new triploid accessions and a hexaploid Mxg 'Illinois'. Tetraploid Msa 'PF30153' collected in Gifu Prefecture in Honshu, Japan did not differ significantly from Mxg 'Illinois' in leaf elongation and photosynthesis at low temperature, but was significantly superior to all other forms of Mxg tested. The results suggested that the exceptional chilling tolerance of Mxg 'Illinois' cannot be explained simply by the hybrid vigour of this intraspecific allotriploid. Selection of chilling-tolerant accessions from both of Mxg's parental species, Msi and Msa, would be advisable for breeding new highly chilling-tolerant Mxg genotypes.

  18. Enhanced hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass: Bi-functional enzyme complexes expressed in Pichia pastoris improve bioethanol production from Miscanthus sinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Sang Kyu; Hyeon, Jeong Eun; Kim, Young In; Kang, Dea Hee; Kim, Seung Wook; Park, Chulhwan; Han, Sung Ok

    2015-12-01

    Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant utilizable natural resource. In the process of bioethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass, an efficient hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose to release hexose and pentose is essential. We have developed a strain of Pichia pastoris that can produce ethanol via pentose and hexose using an assembly of enzyme complexes. The use of enzyme complexes is one of the strategies for effective lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysis. Xylanase XynB from Clostridium cellulovorans and a chimeric endoglucanase cCelE from Clostridium thermocellum were selected as enzyme subunits, and were bound to a recombinant scaffolding protein mini-CbpA from C. cellulovorans to assemble the enzyme complexes. These complexes efficiently degraded xylan and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), producing approximately 1.18 and 1.07 g/L ethanol from each substrate, respectively, which is 2.3-fold and 2.7-fold higher than that of the free-enzyme expressing strain. Miscanthus sinensis was investigated as the lignocellulosic biomass for producing bioethanol, and 1.08 g/L ethanol was produced using our recombinant P. pastoris strain, which is approximately 1.9-fold higher than that of the wild-type strain. In future research, construction of enzyme complexes containing various hydrolysis enzymes could be used to develop biocatalysts that can completely degrade lignocellulosic biomass into valuable products such as biofuels. PMID:26479167

  19. Carbon and energy balances for a range of biofuels options

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elsayed, M.A.; Matthews, R.; Mortimer, N.D.

    2003-03-01

    This is the final report of a project to produce a set of baseline energy and carbon balances for a range of electricity, heat and transport fuel production systems based on biomass feedstocks. A list of 18 important biofuel technologies in the UK was selected for study of their energy and carbon balances in a consistent approach. Existing studies on these biofuel options were reviewed and their main features identified in terms of energy input, greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and total), transparency and relevance. Flow charts were produced to represent the key stages of the production of biomass and its conversion to biofuels. Outputs from the study included primary energy input per delivered energy output, carbon dioxide outputs per delivered energy output, methane output per delivered energy output, nitrous oxide output per delivered energy output and total greenhouse gas requirements. The net calorific value of the biofuel is given where relevant. Biofuels studied included: biodiesel from oilseed rape and recycled vegetable oil; combined heat and power (CHP) by combustion of wood chip from forestry residues; CHP by gasification of wood chip from short rotation coppice; electricity from the combustion of miscanthus, straw, wood chip from forestry residues and wood chip from short rotation coppice; electricity from gasification of wood chip from forestry residues and wood chip from short rotation coppice; electricity by pyrolysis of wood chip from forestry residues and wood chip from short rotation coppice; ethanol from lignocellulosics, sugar beet and wheat; heat (small scale) from combustion of wood chip from forestry residues and wood chip from short rotation coppice; and rapeseed oil from oilseed rape.

  20. 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.

  1. Carbon sequestration in soil beneath long-term Miscanthus plantations as determined by 13C abundance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miscanthus is a perennial rhizomatous warm-season grass with C4-photosynthesis. It shows considerable production potentials (10-20 t dry matter ha-1) under NW European growth conditions and plantations of Miscanthus are established to provide biomass for energy. The plant senesces in the autumn in response to adverse climatic conditions, but harvest is normally postponed until spring when the biomass is more suitable for combustion. Total pre-harvest and harvest losses may account for as much as two-thirds of autumn standing biomass and these losses provide a significant carbon input to the soil. In this study, we examine soil organic carbon (SOC) storage and turnovers beneath 9 and 16 year old Miscanthus plantations established at Hornum, Denmark (56 deg. 50'N, 09 deg. 26'E). The soil is a loamy sand (Typic Haplumbrept, coarse loamy, mixed, mesic) with a C3 vegetation history. Soil was sampled at 0-20, 20-50 and 50-100 cm depth in the Miscanthus plantations and in two reference sites under C3-plants. The 0-20 cm samples were divided into fine soil (13C/12C ratio. Rhizomes/stubbles accounted for 10.9-12.6 t DM ha-1 and coarse roots for 3.2-3.7 t DM ha-1 at 0-20 cm depth. No rhizomes and coarse roots were observed in the deeper soil layers. Concentrations of SOC were higher at all soil depths under the 16 year old Miscanthus whereas 9 years of Miscanthus and reference sites showed similar SOC concentrations. δ13C in 0-20 cm reference soil averaged -27.6 per mille while soil beneath 9 and 16 year Miscanthus showed -25.6 per mille and -22.8 per mille, respectively. Difference in δ13C between reference and Miscanthus soils was smaller at greater soil depths. SOC inventories at 0-100 cm ranged from 91-92 t C ha-1 in reference and 9 year Miscanthus to 106 t C ha-1 under 16 years of Miscanthus growing. The main part of the SOC was at 0-20 and 20-50 cm soil with 30-40 t C ha-1 in each layer. Although changes in the overall SOC storage were less significant, 13% and 31

  2. Time for commercializing non-food biofuel in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Elbehri, Aziz; McDougall, Robert; Horridge, Mark

    2009-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  5. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  7. A stochastic analysis of the decision to produce biomass crops in Ireland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    There is increasing interest in biomass crops as an alternative farm activity. However farmer concerns about the production and financial risks associated with growing these crops may be impeding the actual rates of adoption. The uncertainty surrounding risky variables such as the costs of production, yield level, price per tonne and opportunity cost of land make it difficult to accurately calculate the returns to biomass crops. Their lengthy production lifespan may only serve to heighten the level of risk that affects key variables. A stochastic budgeting model is used to estimate distributions of returns from willow and miscanthus in Ireland. The opportunity cost of land is accounted for through the inclusion of the foregone returns from selected conventional agricultural activities. The impact on biomass returns of bioremediation is also examined. The Net Present Values (NPVs) of various biomass investment options are simulated to ascertain the full distribution of possible returns. The results of these simulations are then compared using their respective Cumulative Distribution Functions (CDFs) and the investments are ranked using Stochastic Efficiency with Respect to a Function (SERF). While the distributions of investment returns for miscanthus are wider than those of willow, implying greater risk, the distribution of willow returns is predominantly to the left of zero indicating that such an investment has an extremely high probability of generating a negative return. The results from the SERF analysis show that miscanthus generally has higher certainty equivalents (CEs), and therefore farmers would be more likely to invest in miscanthus rather than willow. -- Highlights: ► We develop a stochastic budgeting model to capture uncertainty in key variables. ► Farmers with higher levels of risk aversion would be unwilling to invest in biomass crops. ► Miscanthus has a greater probability of making a profit than willow. ► Bioremediation can help to offset

  8. 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

  9. Food Security: Crops for People Not for Cars

    OpenAIRE

    Kullander, Sven

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Z.

    2010-12-01

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

  11. Biomass, biogas and biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  12. Biofuel goes underground

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tollinsky, Norm

    2011-09-15

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

  13. Bio-fuel production potential in Romania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  14. Forecast for biofuel trade in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  15. Biofuels and Food Security

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Biofuels in China

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  17. LCA of Transportation Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Adlam, Elisabeth

    2007-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. A Watershed-Scale Agent-Based Model Incorporating Agent Learning and Interaction of Farmers' Decisions Subject to Carbon and Miscanthus Prices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, T.; Eheart, J.; Cai, X.; Braden, J. B.

    2010-12-01

    Agricultural watersheds are coupled human-natural systems where the land use decisions of human agents (farmers) affect surface water quality, and in turn, are affected by the weather and yields. The reliable modeling of such systems requires an approach that considers both the human and natural aspects. Agent-based modeling (ABM), representing the human aspect, coupled with hydrologic modeling, representing the natural aspect, is one such approach. ABM is a relatively new modeling paradigm that formulates the system from the perspectives of the individual agents, i.e., each agent is modeled as a discrete autonomous entity with distinct goals and actions. The primary objective of this study is to demonstrate the applicability of this approach to agricultural watershed management. This is done using a semi-hypothetical case study of farmers in the Salt Creek watershed in East-Central Illinois under the influence markets for carbon and second-generation bioenergy crop (specifically, miscanthus). An agent-based model of the system is developed and linked to a hydrologic model of the watershed. The former is based on fundamental economic and mathematical programming principles, while the latter is based on the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). Carbon and second-generation bioenergy crop markets are of interest here due to climate change and energy independence concerns. The agent-based model is applied to fifty hypothetical heterogeneous farmers. The farmers' decisions depend on their perceptions of future conditions. Those perceptions are updated, according to a pre-defined algorithm, as the farmers make new observations of prices, costs, yields and the weather with time. The perceptions are also updated as the farmers interact with each other as they share new information on initially unfamiliar activities (e.g., carbon trading, miscanthus cultivation). The updating algorithm is set differently for different farmers such that each is unique in his processing of

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  2. Candidate perennial bioenergy grasses have a higher albedo than annual row crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, J. N.; VanLoocke, A.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.; Bernacchi, C.

    2015-12-01

    The production of perennial cellulosic feedstocks for bioenergy presents the potential to diversify regional economies and the national energy supply, while also serving as climate 'regulators' due to a number of biogeochemical and biogeophysical differences relative to row crops. Numerous observational and model based approaches have investigated biogeochemical tradeoffs, such as increased carbon sequestration and increased water use, associated with growing cellulosic feedstocks. A less understood aspect is the biogeophysical changes associated with the difference in albedo (α), which could alter the local energy balance and cause local to regional cooling several times larger than that associated with offsetting carbon. Here, we established paired fields of Miscanthus × giganteus (miscanthus) and Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), two of the leading perennial cellulosic feedstock candidates, and traditional annual row crops in the highly productive "Corn-belt". Our results show that miscanthus did and switchgrass did not have an overall higher α than current row crops but a strong seasonal pattern existed. Both perennials had consistently higher growing season α than row crops and winter α did not differ. The lack of observed differences in winter α, however, masked an interaction between snow cover and species differences, with the perennial species, compared with the row crops, having a higher α when snow was absent and a much lower α when snow was present. Overall, these changes resulted in an average net reduction in annual absorbed energy of about 5 W/m2 for switchgrass and about 8 W/m2 for miscanthus relative to annual crops. Therefore, the conversion from annual row to perennial crops alters the radiative balance of the surface via changes in α and could lead to regional cooling.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Kishor Goswami

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  10. 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

  11. Life cycle environmental performance of miscanthus gasification versus other technologies for electricity production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nguyen, T Lan T; Hermansen, John Erik

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, the life cycle environmental performance of miscanthus gasification for electricity production in Denmark is evaluated and compared with that of direct combustion and anaerobic digestion. Furthermore, the results obtained are compared to those of natural gas to assess the potential......, with the exception of non-renewable energy use where anaerobic digestion performs best. Our results also show that replacing natural gas with miscanthus reduces global warming and non-renewable energy use. The results of the study are region-specific, i.e., valid for Denmark, but we believe that the general...

  12. Water use efficiency of perennial and annual bioenergy crops in central Illinois

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeri, Marcelo; Hussain, Mir Zaman; Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J.; Delucia, Evan; Bernacchi, Carl J.

    2013-06-01

    Sustainable bioenergy production depends upon the efficiency with which crops use available water to produce biomass and store carbon belowground. Therefore, water use efficiency (WUE; productivity vs. annual evapotranspiration, ET) is a key metric of bioenergy crop performance. We evaluate WUE of three potential perennial grass bioenergy crops, Miscanthus × giganteus (miscanthus), Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), and an assemblage of prairie species (28 species), and Zea mays-Glycine max rotation, during the establishment phase in Illinois. Ecosystem WUE (EWUE; net ecosystem productivity vs. ET) was highest in miscanthus, reaching a maximum value of 12.8 ± 0.3 kg ha-1 mm-1 in the third year, followed by switchgrass (7.5 ± 0.3 kg ha-1 mm-1) and prairie (3.9 ± 0.3 kg ha-1 mm-1); the row crop was the lowest. Besides EWUE, harvest-WUE (HWUE, harvested biomass vs. ET) and net biome productivity-WUE (BWUE, calculated as net ecosystem production - harvest vs. ET) were also estimated for all crops and years. After three years of establishment, HWUE and BWUE were highest in miscanthus (9.0 ± 2 and 3.8 ± 2.9 kg ha-1 mm-1, respectively) providing a net benefit to the carbon balance, while the row crops had a negative carbon balance and a negative BWUE. BWUE for maize/soybean indicate that this ecosystem would deplete the soil carbon stocks while using the water resources. Switchgrass had the second highest BWUE, while prairie was almost neutral indicating that long-term carbon sequestration for this agro-ecosystem would be sensitive to harvest timing with an early harvest removing more biomass, and thus carbon, from the field.

  13. Multi-farm economic analysis of perennial energy crops in Central Greece, taking into account the CAP reform

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study analyses farm level economic impacts of biomass production from perennial crops including Arundo donax L. (arundo), Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus), Panicum virgatum L. (switchgrass) and Cynara cardunculus L. (cardoon). Regional biomass supply curves are estimated with a dynamic, multi-farm, mathematical programming model. Micro-economic data for the model are generated from farm surveys covering 52 farms containing a total of 400 parcels, in Central Greece. The study also examines the potential effects of the Common Agricultural Policy reform in 2003 on regional biomass supply. Simulations show that the policy reform toward decoupled subsidies lowers the cost of biomass between 15 and 25 euro per tonne. Switchgrass appears to be the most attractive option, followed by cardoon and miscanthus. Due to high specific machinery cost, arundo is never preferred. Relative to the agricultural policy setting of Agenda 2000, the biomass potential increases more for farms of small economic size and farms with a higher share of cotton. (author)

  14. Biofuels Feedstock Development Program annual progress report for 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-12-01

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

  15. Biofuels Feedstock Development Program annual progress report for 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-12-01

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

  16. Introduction: Evaluating long-term impacts of harvesting crop residues on soil quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utilizing crop residues as biofuel feedstocks will involve trade-offs between bioenergy production and agroecosystem services. Consequently, agricultural production managers and policymakers need to critically evaluate current functions of crop residues in light of increasing demands for agricultura...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  18. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Robert McCormack; Gillian S. Paul; Marissa Karpoff; Megan A. Toth; Alison Marklein; David Pimentel; Tim Krueger; Joanna Kyriazis

    2008-01-01

    The rapidly growing world population and rising consumption of biofuels are increasing demand for both food and biofuels. This exaggerates both food and fuel shortages. Using food crops such as corn grain to produce ethanol raises major nutritional and ethical concerns. Nearly 60% of humans in the world are currently malnourished, so the need for grains and other basic foods is critical. Growing crops for fuel squanders land, water and energy resources vital for the production of food for hum...

  20. Biomethane yield of energy crops and prediction of their biochemical methane potential (BMP) with near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)

    OpenAIRE

    Mayer, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion process produces biomethane as a renewable energy source. To optimize the energy production, energy crops with a high biomethane yield per hectare should be identified. A large number of samples of maize, tall fescue, sorghum, spelt, miscanthus, immature rye, switchgrass, sunflower and hemp was cropped. The fresh biomass yield per hectare, the volatile solid (VS) content, the biochemical composition and the biochemical methane potential (BMP) were measured. Maize (annual p...

  1. Implications for the hydrologic cycle under climate change due to the expansion of bioenergy crops in the Midwestern United States

    OpenAIRE

    Le, Phong V. V.; Kumar, Praveen; Drewry, Darren T.

    2011-01-01

    To meet emerging bioenergy demands, significant areas of the large-scale agricultural landscape of the Midwestern United States could be converted to second generation bioenergy crops such as miscanthus and switchgrass. The high biomass productivity of bioenergy crops in a longer growing season linked tightly to water use highlight the potential for significant impact on the hydrologic cycle in the region. This issue is further exacerbated by the uncertainty in the response of the vegetation ...

  2. Potential for double-cropping with winter camelina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Double-cropping camelina with a food or forage crop may offer a profitable means of producing a dedicated biofuel crop without jeopardizing food security. A 2-yr field study was conducted in west central Minnesota to evaluate the agronomic and economic viability of producing short-season cultivars o...

  3. Biotechnology Towards Energy Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margaritopoulou, Theoni; Roka, Loukia; Alexopoulou, Efi; Christou, Myrsini; Rigas, Stamatis; Haralampidis, Kosmas; Milioni, Dimitra

    2016-03-01

    New crops are gradually establishing along with cultivation systems to reduce reliance on depleting fossil fuel reserves and sustain better adaptation to climate change. These biological assets could be efficiently exploited as bioenergy feedstocks. Bioenergy crops are versatile renewable sources with the potential to alternatively contribute on a daily basis towards the coverage of modern society's energy demands. Biotechnology may facilitate the breeding of elite energy crop genotypes, better suited for bio-processing and subsequent use that will improve efficiency, further reduce costs, and enhance the environmental benefits of biofuels. Innovative molecular techniques may improve a broad range of important features including biomass yield, product quality and resistance to biotic factors like pests or microbial diseases or environmental cues such as drought, salinity, freezing injury or heat shock. The current review intends to assess the capacity of biotechnological applications to develop a beneficial bioenergy pipeline extending from feedstock development to sustainable biofuel production and provide examples of the current state of the art on future energy crops. PMID:26798073

  4. Threshold Level of Harvested Litter Input for Carbon Sequestration by Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, D.; Quijano, J.; Kumar, P.; Chaoka, S.

    2013-12-01

    Due to the increase in the demands for bioenergy, considerable areas in the Midwestern United States could be converted into croplands for second generation bioenergy, such as the cultivation of miscanthus and switchgrass. Study on the effect of the expansion of these crops on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics is integral to understanding their long-term environmental impacts. In this study, we focus on a comparative study between miscanthus, swichgrass, and corn-corn-soybean rotation on the below-ground dynamics of carbon and nitrogen. Fate of soil carbon and nitrogen is sensitive to harvest litter treatments and residue quality. Therefore, we attempt to address how different amounts of harvested biomass inputs into the soil impact the evolution of organic carbon and inorganic nitrogen in the subsurface. We use Precision Agricultural Landscape Modeling System, version 5.4.0, to capture biophysical and hydrological components coupled with a multilayer carbon and nitrogen cycle model. We apply the model at daily time scale to the Energy Biosciences Institute study site, located in the University of Illinois Research Farms, in Urbana, Illinois. The atmospheric forcing used to run the model was generated stochastically from parameters obtained from 10 years of atmospheric data recorded at both the study site and Willard Airport. Comparisons of model results against observations of drainage, ammonium and nitrate loads in tile drainage, nitrogen mineralization, nitrification, and litterfall in 2011 reveal the ability of the model to accurately capture the ecohydrology, as well as the carbon and nitrogen dynamics at the study site. The results obtained here highlight that there is a critical return of biomass to the soil when harvested for miscanthus (15% of aboveground biomass), and switchgrass (25%) after which the accumulation of carbon in the soil is significantly enhanced and nitrogen leaching is reduced, unlike corn-corn-soybean rotation. The main factor

  5. The biofuels in France

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The biofuels are liquid renewable energies sources resulting from vegetal matters. Today are two channels of biofuels: the ethanol channel for gasoline and the vegetal oils channel for the diesel. In the first part, the document presents the different channels and the energy efficiency of the products. It shows in the second part the advantages for the environment (CO2 accounting) and for the energy independence. It discusses then the future developments and the projects. The fourth part is devoted to the legislation, regulations, taxes and financial incentives. The last part presents the french petroleum industry actions and attitudes in the framework of the biofuels development. (A.L.B.)

  6. Biofuels: which interest, which perspectives?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. Photosynthetic responses to chilling in a chilling-tolerant and chilling-sensitive Miscanthus hybrid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friesen, P C; Sage, R F

    2016-07-01

    Miscanthus is a C4 perennial grass being developed for bioenergy production in temperate regions where chilling events are common. To evaluate chilling effects on Miscanthus, we assessed the processes controlling net CO2 assimilation rate (A) in Miscanthus x giganteus (M161) and a chilling-sensitive Miscanthus hybrid (M115) before and after a chilling treatment of 12/5 °C. The temperature response of A and maximum Rubisco activity in vitro were identical below 20 °C in chilled and unchilled M161, demonstrating Rubisco capacity limits or co-limits A at cooler temperatures. By contrast, A in M115 decreased at all measurement temperatures after growth at 12/5 °C. Rubisco activity in vitro declined in proportion to the reduction in A in chilled M115 plants, indicating Rubisco capacity is responsible in part for the decline in A. Pyruvate orthophosphate dikinase activities were also reduced by the chilling treatment when assayed at 28 °C, indicating this enzyme may also contribute to the reduction in A in M115. The maximum extractable activities of PEPCase and NADP-ME remained largely unchanged after chilling. The carboxylation efficiency of the C4 cycle was depressed in both genotypes to a similar extent after chilling. ΦP :ΦCO2 remained unchanged in both genotypes indicating the C3 and C4 cycles decline equivalently upon chilling. PMID:26714623

  10. Can chilling tolerance of C4 photosynthesis in Miscanthus be transferred to sugarcane?

    Science.gov (United States)

    The goal of this study was to investigate if chilling tolerance of C4 photosynthesis in Miscanthus can be transferred to sugarcane. Net leaf CO2 uptake (Asat) and the maximum operating efficiency of photosystem II ('PSII) were measured in warm conditions (25 °C/20 °C), and then during and following ...

  11. Effects of fertilizer application and dry/wet processing of Miscanthus x giganteus on bioethanol production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boakye-Boaten, Nana Abayie; Xiu, Shuangning; Shahbazi, Abolghasem; Wang, Lijun; Li, Rui; Mims, Michelle; Schimmel, Keith

    2016-03-01

    The effects of wet and dry processing of miscanthus on bioethanol production using simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) process were investigated, with wet samples showing higher ethanol yields than dry samples. Miscanthus grown with no fertilizer, with fertilizer and with swine manure were sampled for analysis. Wet-fractionation was used to separate miscanthus into solid and liquid fractions. Dilute sulfuric acid pretreatment was employed and the SSF process was performed with saccharomyces cerevisiae and a cocktail of enzymes at 35°C. After pretreatment, cellulose compositions of biomass of the wet samples increased from 61.0-67.0% to 77.0-87.0%, which were higher than the compositions of dry samples. The highest theoretical ethanol yield of 88.0% was realized for wet processed pretreated miscanthus, grown with swine manure. Changes to the morphology and chemical composition of the biomass samples after pretreatment, such as crystallinity reduction, were observed using SEM and FTIR. These changes improved ethanol production. PMID:26773953

  12. Assessment of biofuels supporting policies using the BioTrans model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  13. Assessment of biofuels supporting policies using the BioTrans model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  14. CHARACTERIZATION OF PHYSICOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF MISCANTHUS FLORIDULUS STEMS AND STUDY OF THEIR OIL ABSORPTION ABILITY USING GOLD NANOPARTICLES

    OpenAIRE

    Wayne Liao,; Yung-Chang Lai,; Che-Lun Huang,; Ching-Yi Lien

    2012-01-01

    Miscanthus floridulus, which originated from a high elevation mountain area in Taiwan, is a newly cultivated species of Miscanthus. Instead of Miscanthus × giganteus, M. floridulus can be used as an alternative fuel for energy production as well. Except for leaves, stems of M. floridulus count for a major portion of the biomass. In this study, the lignin and cellulose contents of M. floridulus stems were determined to be 22.33 ± 2.21% and 43.13 ± 2.79%, respectively. In addition, a new applic...

  15. The changing dynamics between biofuels and commodity markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  16. The changing dynamics between biofuels and commodity markets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-06-15

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

  17. Biofuels - 5 disturbing questions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  18. Market possibilities for biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The market for biofuels in Sweden after introduction of a proposed CO2-tax on fossil fuels is forecast. The competition between biofuels, fossil fuels and electricity is described for important market segments such as: Paper industry, Sawmills, Other energy-intensive industry, Power and heat producers, small Heat producers, and for Space heating of one-family houses. A market increase of the use of biofuels is probable for the segment small (district) heating centrals, 10 TWh in the next ten year period and even more during a longer period. Other market segments will not be much affected. An increased use of biofuels in paper and pulp industry will not influence the fuel market, since the increase will happen in the industry's normal lumber purchase. (2 figs., 18 tabs.)

  19. Present and potential future oilseed production systems for biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    U.S. agriculture is now depended on to produce renewable energy in addition to food, feed, and fuel, which if not properly managed could threaten long-term sustainability of our agricultural lands. Biofuels produced from oilseed crops, primarily biodiesel, will be an important addition to the renewa...

  20. Current status: biomass valorisation and biofuels in Singapore; Etats des lieux: valorisation de la biomasse et agro-carburants a Singapour

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guermont, C.; Barbi, A.P.

    2010-05-15

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

  1. Nutrient Use Efficiency in Bioenergy Cropping Systems: Critical Research Questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Current U.S. plans for energy security rely on converting large areas of cropland from food to biofuel production. Additionally, lands currently considered too marginal for intensive food production may be considered suitable for biofuels production; predominant cropping systems may shift to more va...

  2. The biofuels, situation, perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  3. Microalgae: biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    Babita Kumari; Vinay Sharma

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Turbomachinery in Biofuel Production

    OpenAIRE

    Görling, Martin

    2011-01-01

    The aim for this study has been to evaluate the integration potential of turbo-machinery into the production processes of biofuels. The focus has been on bio-fuel produced via biomass gasification; mainly methanol and synthetic natural gas. The research has been divided into two parts; gas and steam turbine applications. Steam power generation has a given role within the fuel production process due to the large amounts of excess chemical reaction heat. However, large amounts of the steam prod...

  5. Public acceptance of biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The public acceptance of biofuels in Greece is examined in this work. The analysis of 571 face to face interviews shows that 90.7% of the respondents believe that climatic changes are related to fossil fuel consumption, while only 23.8% know the difference between biodiesel and bioethanol. 76.1% believe that energy saving should precede the use of an alternative source of energy. Only 27.3% believe that priority must be given to biofuels over other renewable energy sources. Only 49.9% think that the use of biofuels can be an effective solution against climatic changes and 53.9% believe that the use of biofuels can be an effective solution for the energy problem. Finally, 80.9% of the car owners are willing to use biofuels, 44.8% are willing to pay the supplementary amount of 0.06 Euro /L of the fuel market price, while the average amount reported as willing to pay was 0.079 Euro /L on top of the fuel market price. Furthermore, eight models correlating the eight main responses with several socioeconomic variables are developed and analyzed. Those findings heave important policy implications related to the use and promotion of biofuels.

  6. Public acceptance of biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savvanidou, Electra; Zervas, Efthimios; Tsagarakis, Konstantinos P. [Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Vas. Sofias 12, 67100 Xanthi (Greece)

    2010-07-15

    The public acceptance of biofuels in Greece is examined in this work. The analysis of 571 face to face interviews shows that 90.7% of the respondents believe that climatic changes are related to fossil fuel consumption, while only 23.8% know the difference between biodiesel and bioethanol. 76.1% believe that energy saving should precede the use of an alternative source of energy. Only 27.3% believe that priority must be given to biofuels over other renewable energy sources. Only 49.9% think that the use of biofuels can be an effective solution against climatic changes and 53.9% believe that the use of biofuels can be an effective solution for the energy problem. Finally, 80.9% of the car owners are willing to use biofuels, 44.8% are willing to pay the supplementary amount of 0.06 EUR/L of the fuel market price, while the average amount reported as willing to pay was 0.079 EUR/L on top of the fuel market price. Furthermore, eight models correlating the eight main responses with several socioeconomic variables are developed and analyzed. Those findings heave important policy implications related to the use and promotion of biofuels. (author)

  7. Bioenergy crop models: Descriptions, data requirements and future challenges

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nair, S. Surendran [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Kang, Shujiang [ORNL; Zhang, Xuesong [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL); Miguez, Fernando [Iowa State University; Izaurralde, Dr. R. Cesar [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL); Post, Wilfred M [ORNL; Dietze, Michael [University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Lynd, L. [Dartmouth College; Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    Field studies that address the production of lignocellulosic biomass as a source of renewable energy provide critical data for the development of bioenergy crop models. A literature survey revealed that 14 models have been used for simulating bioenergy crops including herbaceous and woody bioenergy crops, and for crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) crops. These models simulate field-scale production of biomass for switchgrass (ALMANAC, EPIC, and Agro-BGC), miscanthus (MISCANFOR, MISCANMOD, and WIMOVAC), sugarcane (APSIM, AUSCANE, and CANEGRO), and poplar and willow (SECRETS and 3PG). Two models are adaptations of dynamic global vegetation models and simulate biomass yields of miscanthus and sugarcane at regional scales (Agro-IBIS and LPJmL). Although it lacks the complexity of other bioenergy crop models, the environmental productivity index (EPI) is the only model used to estimate biomass production of CAM (Agave and Opuntia) plants. Except for the EPI model, all models include representations of leaf area dynamics, phenology, radiation interception and utilization, biomass production, and partitioning of biomass to roots and shoots. A few models simulate soil water, nutrient, and carbon cycle dynamics, making them especially useful for assessing the environmental consequences (e.g., erosion and nutrient losses) associated with the large-scale deployment of bioenergy crops. The rapid increase in use of models for energy crop simulation is encouraging; however, detailed information on the influence of climate, soils, and crop management practices on biomass production is scarce. Thus considerable work remains regarding the parameterization and validation of process-based models for bioenergy crops; generation and distribution of high-quality field data for model development and validation; and implementation of an integrated framework for efficient, high-resolution simulations of biomass production for use in planning sustainable bioenergy systems.

  8. 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.

  9. Dual cropping winter camelina with soybean in the northern Corn Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sustainably balancing biofuel crop production with food, feed, and fiber on agricultural lands will require developing new cropping strategies. Double- and/or relay-cropping winter camelina (Camelina sativa L.) with soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] may be a means to produce an energy and food crop o...

  10. Energy crops in Ireland: Quantifying the potential life-cycle greenhouse gas reductions of energy-crop electricity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study uses life-cycle assessment (LCA) to compare greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from dominant agricultural land uses, and peat and coal electricity generation, with fuel-chains for Miscanthus and short-rotation-coppice willow (SRCW) electricity. A simple scenario was used as an example, where 30% of peat and 10% of coal electricity generation was substituted with co-fired Miscanthus and SRCW, respectively. Miscanthus and SRCW cultivation were assumed to replace sugar-beet, dairy, beef-cattle and sheep systems. GHG emissions of 1938 and 1346 kg CO2 eq. ha-1 a-1 for Miscanthus and SRCW cultivation compared with between 3494 CO2 eq. ha-1 a-1 for sugar-beet cultivation and 12,068 CO2 eq. ha-1 a-1 for dairy systems. Miscanthus and SRCW fuel chains emitted 0.131 and 0.132 kg CO2 eq. kWh-1 electricity exported, respectively, compared with 1.150 and 0.990 kg CO2 eq. kWh-1 electricity exported for peat and coal fuel chains. 1.48 Mt CO2 eq. a-1 was saved from electricity production, and 0.42 Mt CO2 eq. a-1 was saved from displaced agriculture and soil C-sequestration. The total reduction of 1.9 Mt CO2 eq. a-1 represents 2.8% of Ireland's 2004 GHG emissions, but was calculated to require just 1.7% of agricultural land area and displace just 1.2% of the dairy herd (based on conservative Miscanthus and SRCW combustible-yield estimates of 11.7 and 8.81 t ha-1 a-1 dry matter, respectively). A 50% increase in cultivation emissions would still result in electricity being produced with an emission burden over 80% lower than peat and coal electricity. Lower yield assumptions had little impact on total GHG reductions for the scenario, but required substantially greater areas of land. It was concluded that energy-crop utilisation would be an efficient GHG reduction strategy for Ireland. (author)

  11. Energy crops in Ireland: Quantifying the potential life-cycle greenhouse gas reductions of energy-crop electricity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study uses life-cycle assessment (LCA) to compare greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from dominant agricultural land uses, and peat and coal electricity generation, with fuel-chains for Miscanthus and short-rotation-coppice willow (SRCW) electricity. A simple scenario was used as an example, where 30% of peat and 10% of coal electricity generation was substituted with co-fired Miscanthus and SRCW, respectively. Miscanthus and SRCW cultivation were assumed to replace sugar-beet, dairy, beef-cattle and sheep systems. GHG emissions of 1938 and 1346 kg CO2 eq. ha-1 a-1 for Miscanthus and SRCW cultivation compared with between 3494 CO2 eq. ha-1 a-1 for sugar-beet cultivation and 12,068 CO2 eq. ha-1 a-1 for dairy systems. Miscanthus and SRCW fuel chains emitted 0.131 and 0.132 kg CO2 eq. kWh-1 electricity exported, respectively, compared with 1.150 and 0.990 kg CO2 eq. kWh-1 electricity exported for peat and coal fuel chains. 1.48 Mt CO2 eq. a-1 was saved from electricity production, and 0.42 Mt CO2 eq. a-1 was saved from displaced agriculture and soil C-sequestration. The total reduction of 1.9 Mt CO2 eq. a-1 represents 2.8% of Ireland's 2004 GHG emissions, but was calculated to require just 1.7% of agricultural land area and displace just 1.2% of the dairy herd (based on conservative Miscanthus and SRCW combustible-yield estimates of 11.7 and 8.81 t ha-1 a-1 dry matter, respectively). A 50% increase in cultivation emissions would still result in electricity being produced with an emission burden over 80% lower than peat and coal electricity. Lower yield assumptions had little impact on total GHG reductions for the scenario, but required substantially greater areas of land. It was concluded that energy-crop utilisation would be an efficient GHG reduction strategy for Ireland

  12. Biogas Production from Energy Crops and Agriculture Residues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Guangtao

    suitability for biogas production. Moreover, pretreatment of these biomasses by using wet explosion method was studied and the effect of the wet explosion process was evaluated based on the increase of (a) sugar release and (b) methane potential when comparing the pretreated biomass and raw biomass. Ensiling......In this thesis, the feasibility of utilizing energy crops (willow and miscanthus) and agriculture residues (wheat straw and corn stalker) in an anaerobic digestion process for biogas production was evaluated. Potential energy crops and agriculture residues were screened according to their...... of perennial crops was tested as a storage method and pretreatment method for enhancement of the biodegradability of the crops. The efficiency of the silage process was evaluated based on (a) the amount of biomass loss during storage and (b) the effect of the silage on methane potential. Co...

  13. Threshold Dynamics in Soil Carbon Storage for Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, D.; Quijano, J.; Kumar, P.; Chaoka, S.; Bernacchi, C.

    2014-12-01

    Due to increasing demands for bioenergy, a considerable amount of land in the Midwestern United States could be devoted to the cultivation of second-generation bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass and miscanthus. In this study, we attempt to explore and analyze how different amounts of above-ground biomass returned to the soil at harvest affect the below-ground dynamics of carbon and nitrogen as a comparative study between miscanthus, swichgrass, and corn-corn-soybean rotation. The simulation results show that there is a threshold effect in the amount of above-ground litter input in the soil after harvest that will reach a critical organic matter C:N ratio in the soil, triggering a reduction of the soil microbial population, with significant consequences in other microbe-related processes such as decomposition and mineralization. These thresholds are approximately 25% and 15% of above-ground biomass for switchgrass and miscanthus, respectively. However, we do not observe such threshold effects for corn-corn-soybean rotation. These results suggest that values above these thresholds could result in a significant reduction of decomposition and mineralization, which in turn would enhance the sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the topsoil and reduce inorganic nitrogen losses when compared with a corn-corn-soybean rotation.

  14. Simulation of biomass yield of regular and chilling tolerant Miscanthus cultivars and reed canary grass in different climates of Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kandel, Tanka Prasad; Hastings, Astley; Jørgensen, Uffe; Olesen, Jørgen E

    2016-01-01

    Miscanthus cultivar which can emerge early in the spring would utilize more solar radiation and produce higher biomass yields. In this study, using MiscanFor model, we estimated potential biomass yield of Miscanthus in current and future climates with the assumption that breeding would provide a chilling...... tolerant Miscanthus cultivar with a base temperature (BT) of 5 °C while currently the model applies a BT of 10 °C. Also, RCG biomass yield was simulated with the MiscanFor model parameterized for RCG. The results suggest that chilling tolerant cultivars of Miscanthus would produce higher biomass yield...... throughout Europe in the current climate but the benefit of increased chilling tolerant cultivars will be smaller in the future. Although predicted biomass yield of Miscanthus was considerably lower than RCG in northern Europe in the current climate, more chilling tolerant cultivars of Miscanthus could out...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  16. Modeling biofuel expansion effects on land use change dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  17. Bio-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. Biofuels: making tough choices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vermeulen, Sonja; Dufey, Annie; Vorley, Bill

    2008-02-15

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

  1. The Danish Biofuel Debate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Janus

    2014-01-01

    from the molecular level and envisions positive synergies in the use of biomass. The other is a holistic bioscarcity perspective originating in life-cycle analysis and ecology. This perspective works downwards from global resource scope conditions, and envisions negative consequences from an increased...... of biofuels enrol scientific authority to support their positions? The sociological theory of functional differentiation combined with the concept of advocacy coalition can help in exploring this relationship between scientific claims-making and the policy stance of different actors in public debates...... about biofuels. In Denmark two distinct scientific perspectives about biofuels map onto the policy debates through articulation by two competing advocacy coalitions. One is a reductionist biorefinery perspective originating in biochemistry and neighbouring disciplines. This perspective works upwards...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  3. Final Report DE-SC0006634. Quantifying phenotypic and genetic diversity of Miscanthus sinensis as a resource for knowledge-based improvement of M. ×giganteus (M. sinensis × M. sacchariflorus)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sacks, Erik [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL (United States)

    2016-02-08

    Miscanthus is especially attractive as a bioenergy crop for temperate environments because it produces high yields, needs few inputs, and grows well during the cool weather of early spring and late fall when few warm-season grasses can. However, Miscanthus feedstock production for the emerging U.S. bioenergy industry and for existing demand in Europe is based on a single sterile, vegetatively propagated variety of M. ×giganteus. M. ×giganteus is an interspecific hybrid of the parental species M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. Prior to the current study, little information existed about the genetic diversity and breeding potential of either M. ×giganteus parental species. In the current project, we studied more than 600 accessions of M. sinensis from throughout its native range in China, Japan, and Korea, in addition to ornamental cultivars and U.S. naturalized populations. Using thousands of DNA markers, we identified seven geographically distinct genetic groups of M. sinensis. Notably, we found that the ornamental cultivars and U.S. naturalized populations were derived from only a subset of the Southern Japan group, indicating that our study greatly increased the genetic diversity available for breeding new biomass cultivars. Additionally, this new understanding of M. sinensis population structure could be used to predict which crosses may produce progeny with the greatest hybrid vigor. Replicated field trials were also established at multiple locations in North America and Asia. Data on traits of importance for biomass productivity, such as flowering time, yield and height, were taken. Analyses of the phenotypic data from the field trials along with the DNA markers allowed us to identify many marker-trait associations. These results will enable marker-assisted breeding, which will allow selection at the seedling stage rather than waiting two to three years to obtain phenotypic data. Thus, this study is expected to greatly increase the efficiency of breeding

  4. 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.

  5. First results from the UK network to establish the greenhouse gas balance of land conversion to second generation bioenergy willow, Miscanthus and short rotation forestry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Zoe M.; Bottoms, Emily; Massey, Alice; McCalmont, Jon; Yamulki, Sirwan; Drewer, Julia; McNamara, Niall; Finch, Jon; Donnison, Ian; Perks, Mike; Smith, Pete; Taylor, Gail

    2013-04-01

    ELUM is UK consortium project with 7 partners, funded by a joint incentive of public and private investment from the Energies Technology Institute (ETI). The aim of this project is to assess the impact of land conversion to second generation non-food bioenergy crops on greenhouse gas balance for several land use transitions, including from arable and grassland. A network of 6 sites has been established across the UK to assess these processes underpinning GHG balance and to provide input data to a meta-model that will be used as a tool to assess the sustainability of our land use transitions. The planned outputs of this project include an assessment of our current understanding of land use change and bioenergy cropping systems, the addition of greenhouse gas (GHG) data to national inventories and development of novel technologies to monitor GHG. Here we focus on the results of the soil GHG flux data (CO2, N2O and CH4) which are being collected at 5 sites and transitions, gaining good spatial coverage of the UK including Scotland, Wales, northern and southern England. These sites cover the following transitions: grassland to short rotation forestry, grassland to Miscanthus, arable to short rotation coppice (SRC) willow, arable to Miscanthus and grassland to SRC willow. A year of data capturing has been collected at these sites revealing the seasonal variability with increased CO2 fluxes, representing total soil respiration, in the summer months, irrespective of site. The importance of non-CO2 GHGs is also being considered and monthly measurements of CH4 and N2O using static chambers, provide no evidence that these gases contribute significantly to the overall carbon footprint of the bioenergy crops, in contrast to recent reports on SRC poplar. There were, however, some occasional large unexplained fluxes in these gases suggesting they may play a lesser part in some bioenergy cropping systems and are more complicated to evaluate. As well as this experiment, data will

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-08-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-08-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  9. Energy balance and cost-benefit analysis of biogas production from perennial energy crops pretreated by wet oxidation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uellendahl, Hinrich; Wang, Guangtao; Møller, H.B.;

    2008-01-01

    Perennial crops need far less energy to plant, require less fertilizer and pesticides, and show a lower negative environmental impact compared with annual crops like for example corn. This makes the cultivation of perennial crops as energy crops more sustainable than the use of annual crops. The...... conversion into biogas in anaerobic digestion plants shows however much lower specific methane yields for the raw perennial crops like miscanthus and willow due to their lignocellulosic structure. Without pretreatment the net energy gain is therefore lower for the perennials than for corn. When applying wet...... oxidation to the perennial crops, however, the specific methane yield increases significantly and the ratio of energy output to input and of costs to benefit for the whole chain of biomass supply and conversion into biogas becomes higher than for corn. This will make the use of perennial crops as energy...

  10. Gaining ground in the modeling of land-use change greenhouse gas emissions associated with biofuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, J.; Mueller, S.; Kwon, H.; Wang, M.; Wander, M.

    2012-12-01

    Land-use change (LUC) resulting from biofuel feedstock production and the associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a hotly-debated aspect of biofuels. Certainly, LUC GHG emissions are one of the most uncertain elements in life cycle analyses (LCA) of biofuels. To estimate LUC GHG emissions, two sets of data are necessary. First, information on the amount and type of land that is converted to biofuel feedstock production is required. These data are typically generated through application of computable general equilibrium (CGE) models such as Purdue University's Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model. Second, soil carbon content data for the affected land types is essential. Recently, Argonne National Laboratory's Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB) has been updated with CGE modeling results that estimate the amount and type of LUC world-wide from production of ethanol from corn, corn stover, miscanthus, and switchgrass (Mueller et al. 2012). Moreover, we have developed state-specific carbon content data, determined through modeling with CENTURY, for the two most dominant soil types in the conterminous 48 U.S. states (Kwon et al. 2012) to enable finer-resolution results for domestic LUC GHG emissions for these ethanol production scenarios. Of the feedstocks examined, CCLUB estimates that LUC GHG emissions are highest for corn ethanol (9.1 g CO2e/MJ ethanol) and lowest for miscanthus (-12 g CO2e/MJ ethanol). We will present key observations from CCLUB results incorporated into Argonne National Laboratory's Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model, which is a LCA tool for transportation fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. We will discuss selected issues in this modeling, including the sensitivity of domestic soil carbon emission factors to modeling parameters and assumptions about the fate of harvested wood products. Further, we will discuss efforts to update CCLUB with county

  11. Miscanthus production and processing in Ireland: An analysis of energy requirements and environmental impacts

    OpenAIRE

    Murphy, Fionnuala; Devlin, Ger; McDonnell, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    The environmental impact of bioenergy supply systems can be determined using life cycle assessment methodologies. This study focuses on the impact of production of Miscanthus pellets and briquettes, potentially used to satisfy renewable energy requirements in Ireland. The impact categories considered are particularly important when assessing bioenergy systems; global warming potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, and energy demand. The scope of the study incorporates Mi...

  12. Some Chemical Compositional Changes in Miscanthus and White Oak Sawdust Samples during Torrefaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Richard Hess

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Torrefaction tests on miscanthus and white oak sawdust were conducted in a bubbling sand bed reactor to see the effect of temperature and residence time on the chemical composition. Process conditions for miscanthus and white oak sawdust were 250–350 °C for 30–120 min and 220–270 °C for 30 min, respectively. Torrefaction of miscanthus at 250 °C and a residence time of 30 min resulted in a significant decrease in moisture—about 82.68%—but the other components—hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and volatiles—changed only marginally. Increasing torrefaction temperatures to 350 °C with a residence time of 120 min further reduced the moisture content to 0.54%, with a significant decrease in the hydrogen, nitrogen, and volatiles by 58.29%, 14.28%, and 70.45%, respectively. Regression equations developed for the moisture, hydrogen, nitrogen, and volatile content of the samples with respect to torrefaction temperature and time have adequately described the changes in chemical composition based on R2 values of >0.82. Surface plots based on the regression equation indicate that torrefaction temperatures of 280–350 °C with residence times of 30–120 min can help reduce moisture, nitrogen, and volatile content from 1.13% to 0.6%, 0.27% to 0.23%, and 79% to 23%, with respect to initial values. Trends of chemical compositional changes in white oak sawdust are similar to miscanthus. Torrefaction temperatures of 270 °C and a 30 min residence time reduced the moisture, volatiles, hydrogen, and nitrogen content by about 79%, 17.88%, 20%, and 5.88%, respectively, whereas the carbon content increased by about 3.5%.

  13. Effects of the methyltrimethoxysilane coupling agent on phenolic and miscanthus composites containing calcium sulfite scrubber material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Sean

    The purpose of this research is to test the effects of methyltrimethoxysilane coupling agent on composite material containing calcium sulfite obtained from the Southern Illinois Power Co-operative. This scrubber material and the miscanthus plant are of interest due to their use in coal burning power plants to reduce toxic emission. When calcium sulfate is passed through coal fire gas emissions it absorbs mercury and sulfur. In these composites it is used as filler to reduce cost. Miscanthus is a source of both cellulose reinforcement and some natural resin. This plant has low care requirements, little mineral content, useful energy return, and positive environmental effects. Under investigation is whether a post-cure procedure or a silane coupling agent will positively impact the composite. Hot pressing alone may not be enough to fully cure the phenolic. It is hoped that the silane will increase the strength characteristics of the composite by enhancing adhesion between the calcium sulfite and phenolic resin. Possible effects on the miscanthus by the silane will also be tested. Phenolic is being utilized because of its recycling and biodegradable properties along with cost effectiveness in mass production. Composite mechanical performance was measured through 3-point bending to measure flexural strength and strain at breakage. A dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA) was used to find thermomechanical properties. The post-cure was found to be effective, particularly on the final composite containing silane. When methyltrimethoxysilane was added to the miscanthus prior to fabrication, it was found to reduce flexural strength and density. However the addition of methyltrimethoxysilane to the calcium sulfite altered thermo-mechanical properties to a state more like pure phenolic, with added flexibility and thermal stability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Recent energy security strategies, investment opportunities and energy policies have led to an escalation in biofuel consumption at the expenses of food crops and pastureland. To evaluate the important impacts of biofuels on food security, the food-energy nexus needs to be investigated in the context of its linkages with the overall human appropriation of land and water resources. Here we provide a global assessment of biofuel crop production, reconstruct global patterns of biofuel crop/oil trade and determine the associated displacement of water and land use. We find that bioethanol is mostly produced with domestic crops while 36% of biodiesel consumption relies on international trade, mainly from Southeast Asia. Altogether, biofuels rely on about 2-3% of the global water and land used for agriculture, which could feed about 30% of the malnourished population. We evaluate the food-energy tradeoff and the impact an increased reliance on biofuel would have on the number of people the planet can feed. PMID:26936679

  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. Estimating Nitrogen Load Resulting from Biofuel Mandates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alshawaf, Mohammad; Douglas, Ellen; Ricciardi, Karen

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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)

  18. Estimating Nitrogen Load Resulting from Biofuel Mandates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alshawaf, Mohammad; Douglas, Ellen; Ricciardi, Karen

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Adaptive divergence with gene flow in incipient speciation of Miscanthus floridulus / sinensis complex (Poaceae)

    KAUST Repository

    Huang, Chao-Li

    2014-11-11

    Young incipient species provide ideal materials for untangling the process of ecological speciation in the presence of gene flow. The Miscanthus floridulus/sinensis complex exhibits diverse phenotypic and ecological differences despite recent divergence (approximately 1.59million years ago). To elucidate the process of genetic differentiation during early stages of ecological speciation, we analyzed genomic divergence in the Miscanthus complex using 72 randomly selected genes from a newly assembled transcriptome. In this study, rampant gene flow was detected between species, estimated as M=3.36x10(-9) to 1.20x10(-6), resulting in contradicting phylogenies across loci. Nevertheless, beast analyses revealed the species identity and the effects of extrinsic cohesive forces that counteracted the non-stop introgression. As expected, early in speciation with gene flow, only 3-13 loci were highly diverged; two to five outliers (approximately 2.78-6.94% of the genome) were characterized by strong linkage disequilibrium, and asymmetrically distributed among ecotypes, indicating footprints of diversifying selection. In conclusion, ecological speciation of incipient species of Miscanthus probably followed the parapatric model, whereas allopatric speciation cannot be completely ruled out, especially between the geographically isolated northern and southern M.sinensis, for which no significant gene flow across oceanic barriers was detected. Divergence between local ecotypes in early-stage speciation began at a few genomic regions under the influence of natural selection and divergence hitchhiking that overcame gene flow.

  1. Biofuelled heating plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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....

  4. 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

  5. Biofuel impacts on water.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. The rationality of biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  7. Biofuels from urban landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biomass from urban landscapes is an untapped resource. Lawn thatch and clippings, fallen leaves and tree limbs are all potential sources of biofuels. Most cities already collect and transport these materials to disposal sites; but, alternatively could collect and transport these materials to a loc...

  8. Biofuels in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  9. 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

  10. Biofuels and the biorefinery concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  11. Energy balance and cost-benefit analysis of biogas production from perennial energy crops pretreated by wet oxidation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uellendahl, Hinrich; Wang, Guangtao; Møller, Henrik B.;

    2008-01-01

    conversion into biogas in anaerobic digestion plants shows however much lower specific methane yields for the raw perennial crops like miscanthus and willow due to their lignocellulosic structure. Without pretreatment the net energy gain is therefore lower for the perennials than for corn. When applying wet...... oxidation to the perennial crops, however, the specific methane yield increases significantly and the ratio of energy output to input and of costs to benefit for the whole chain of biomass supply and conversion into biogas becomes higher than for corn. This will make the use of perennial crops as energy...

  12. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debjani Deb

    2015-06-01

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

  15. Biofuels and the Food Price Crisis: A Survey of the Issues

    OpenAIRE

    Kimberly Elliott

    2008-01-01

    While the precise contribution of biofuels to surging food prices is difficult to know, policies promoting production of the current generation of biofuels are not achieving their stated objectives of increased energy independence or reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Reaching the congressionally mandated goal of blending 15 billion gallons of renewable fuels in gasoline by 2015 would consume roughly 40 percent of the corn crop (based on recent production levels) while replacing just 7 percent...

  16. 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

    2015-08-01

    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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pablo Pacheco; George C. Schoneveld; Laura German

    2011-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Reijnders, L.

    2011-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Biofuels and Food Security: Implications of an Accelerated Biofuels Production

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Fermentative biofuels production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  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. Carbon-negative biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Current Kyoto-based approaches to reducing the earth's greenhouse gas problem involve looking for ways to reduce emissions. But these are palliative at best, and at worst will allow the problem to get out of hand. It is only through sequestration of atmospheric carbon that the problem can be solved. Carbon-negative biofuels represent the first potentially huge assault on the problem, in ways that are already technically feasible and practicable. The key to carbon negativity is to see it not as technically determined but as an issue of strategic choice, whereby farmers and fuel producers can decide how much carbon to return to the soil. Biochar amendment to the soil not only sequesters carbon but also enhances the fertility and vitality of the soil. The time is approaching when biofuels will be carbon negative by definition, and, as such, they will sweep away existing debates over their contribution to the solution of global warming. (author)

  4. Biofuels made easy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  7. Bio-fuels - biohazard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  8. Biofuels - the UFIP position

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  9. 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.

  10. Biofuels: The African experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  11. Potentials of biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwit, Charles; Stewart, C Neal

    2012-01-01

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

  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. PMID:25874216

  14. 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.

  15. Biogenic CO2 emissions, changes in surface albedo, and biodiversity impacts from establishment of miscanthus plantation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Susanne Vedel; Cherubini, F.; Michelsen, O.

    and the effect of albedo change on global warming impacts, when miscanthus production takes over from a former land use. The aim of this study is to assess those impacts of miscanthus production, when changing from a former land use of either forest or fallow land in Wisconsin, US. Results from this...... study show that there are large differences between impacts in the two land use change scenarios, using former forest land or former fallow land for miscanthus production. It is shown how the albedo impact has greater impact on global warming potential over time than the change in carbon balance below...... also reveal potential tradeoffs between the different impact categories, as well as illustrate the relevance of those issues when considering environmental impacts of land use change and thus the importance of including them in life cycle assessment....

  16. Genetic structure of Miscanthus sinensis and M. sacchariflorus in Japan indicates a gradient of bidirectional but asymmetric introgression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clark, Lindsay V; Stewart, J Ryan; Nishiwaki, Aya;

    2015-01-01

    Unilateral introgression from diploids to tetraploids has been hypothesized to be an important evolutionary mechanism in plants. However, few examples have been definitively identified, perhaps because data of sufficient depth and breadth were difficult to obtain before the advent of affordable h...... in northern China, selection for adaptation to a moderate maritime climate probably favoured cross-ploidy introgressants in southern Japan. These results will help guide the selection of Miscanthus accessions for the breeding of biomass cultivars....... high-density genotyping. Throughout Japan, tetraploid Miscanthus sacchariflorus and diploid Miscanthus sinensis are common, and occasionally hybridize. In this study, 667 M. sinensis and 78 M. sacchariflorus genotypes from Japan were characterized using 20 704 SNPs and ten plastid microsatellites....... Similarity of SNP genotypes between diploid and tetraploid M. sacchariflorus indicated that the tetraploids originated through autopolyploidy. Structure analysis indicated a gradient of introgression from diploid M. sinensis into tetraploid M. sacchariflorus throughout Japan; most tetraploids had some M...

  17. BIOFUELS: FROM HOPES TO REALITY

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Biofuel cells and their development

    OpenAIRE

    Bullen, R.A.; Arnot, T.C.; Walsh, F. C.

    2006-01-01

    This review considers the literature published since 1994 on microbial and enzymatic biofuel cells. Types of biofuel cell are classified according to the nature of the electrode reaction and the nature of the biochemical reactions. The performance of fuel cells is critically reviewed and a variety of possible applications is considered. The current direction of development of biofuel cells is carefully analysed. While considerable chemical development of enzyme electrodes has occurred, relati...

  19. Biofuel technology handbook. 2. ed.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rutz, Dominik; Janssen, Rainer

    2008-01-15

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

  20. Biofuel Subsidies and International Trade

    OpenAIRE

    Bandyopadhyay, Subhayu; Bhaumik, Sumon; Wall, Howard J.

    2010-01-01

    This paper explores optimal biofuel subsidization in the context of a general equilibrium trade model. The focus is on biofuels such as corn-based ethanol, which diverts corn from use as food to use as an intermediate input in energy production. In the small-country case, when a Pigouvian tax on conventional fuels such as crude is in place, the optimal biofuel subsidy is zero. When the tax on crude is not available as a policy option, however, a second-best biofuel subsidy (or tax) is opti...

  1. Water use in a winter camelina – soybean double crop system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Double-cropping winter camelina (Camelina sativa) followed by soybean (Glycine max) may increase land-use efficiency by producing food and biofuel in a single season and is a viable cropping system for the northern Corn Belt. However, regional success of double-cropping, especially under dryland con...

  2. Phylogeny in defining model plants for lignocellulosic ethanol production: a comparative study of Brachypodium distachyon, wheat, maize, and Miscanthus x giganteus leaf and stem biomass.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Till Meineke

    Full Text Available The production of ethanol from pretreated plant biomass during fermentation is a strategy to mitigate climate change by substituting fossil fuels. However, biomass conversion is mainly limited by the recalcitrant nature of the plant cell wall. To overcome recalcitrance, the optimization of the plant cell wall for subsequent processing is a promising approach. Based on their phylogenetic proximity to existing and emerging energy crops, model plants have been proposed to study bioenergy-related cell wall biochemistry. One example is Brachypodium distachyon, which has been considered as a general model plant for cell wall analysis in grasses. To test whether relative phylogenetic proximity would be sufficient to qualify as a model plant not only for cell wall composition but also for the complete process leading to bioethanol production, we compared the processing of leaf and stem biomass from the C3 grasses B. distachyon and Triticum aestivum (wheat with the C4 grasses Zea mays (maize and Miscanthus x giganteus, a perennial energy crop. Lambda scanning with a confocal laser-scanning microscope allowed a rapid qualitative analysis of biomass saccharification. A maximum of 108-117 mg ethanol·g(-1 dry biomass was yielded from thermo-chemically and enzymatically pretreated stem biomass of the tested plant species. Principal component analysis revealed that a relatively strong correlation between similarities in lignocellulosic ethanol production and phylogenetic relation was only given for stem and leaf biomass of the two tested C4 grasses. Our results suggest that suitability of B. distachyon as a model plant for biomass conversion of energy crops has to be specifically tested based on applied processing parameters and biomass tissue type.

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  7. 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.

  8. The price for biofuels sustainability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  10. Reuse of constructed wetland effluents for irrigation of energy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbagallo, S; Barbera, A C; Cirelli, G L; Milani, M; Toscano, A

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate biomass production of promising 'no-food' energy crops, Vetiveria zizanoides (L.) Nash, Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deu. and Arundo donax (L.), irrigated with low quality water at different evapotranspiration restitutions. Two horizontal subsurface flow (H-SSF) constructed wetland (CW) beds, with different operation life (12 and 6 years), were used to treat secondary municipal wastewaters for crop irrigation. Water chemical, physical and microbiological parameters as well as plant bio-agronomic characters were evaluated. The results confirm the high reliability of CWs for tertiary wastewater treatment given that the H-SSF1 treatment capacity remained largely unchanged after 12 years of operation. Average total suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand and total nitrogen removal for CWs were about 68, 58 and 71%, respectively. The Escherichia coli removal was satisfactory, about 3.3 log unit for both CW beds on average, but caution should be taken as this parameter did not achieve the restrictive Italian law limits for wastewater reuse. The average above-ground dry matter productions were 7 t ha⁻¹ for Vetiveria zizanoides, 24 t ha⁻¹ for Miscanthus × giganteus and 50 t ha⁻¹ for Arundo donax. These results highlight attractive biomass yield by using treated wastewater for irrigation with a complete restitution of evapotranspiration losses. PMID:25401309

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  12. 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%.

  13. Physio-chemical characterization of biochars pyrolyzed from miscanthus under two different temperatures%不同温度下热裂解芒草生物质炭的理化特征分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    罗煜; 赵立欣; 孟海波; 向欣; 赵小蓉; 李贵桐; 林启美※

    2013-01-01

      芒草是一个极具潜力的生物质能源作物,为了研究了解芒草生物质炭的特征,评价其农业和与环境领域应用价值与潜力,该研究分别在和下制备生物质炭,测定其基础理化性质,以期了解芒草生物质炭特征及其随裂解温度变化的规律。结果表明,裂解温度显著地影响芒草生物质炭物理与化学性质,低温生物质炭含有比较高的水溶性成分,而高温生物质炭具有比较高的 pH 值、C/N 比、芳香化结构、持水量和比表面积;但裂解温度对生物质炭δ值没有显著的影响。该文还讨论了芒草生物质炭在化肥利用率提高,以及污染土壤和水体修复等领域的潜在价值与工业应用前景,研究结果可为芒草生物质炭在土壤改良、固碳减排等方面的应用提供基础数据。%  Miscanthus is a perennial rhizomatous grass and originates from the tropics and subtropics. The remarkable adaptability of miscanthus to different environments makes this novel crop suitable for establishment and distribution under a range of climatic conditions in China. Yields of Miscanthus have been reported to reach 30 t ha−1, thus it is considered as one of the most important potential biomass energy crops. To use miscanthus as the raw material to produce biogas, bio-oil and biochar are produced at the same time as by-products. Biochar is the charred byproduct of biomass pyrolysis, the heating of plant-derived material in the absence of oxygen in order to capture combustible gases. Its key characteristics are related to carbon sequestration. Due to its relative inertness, biochar contributes to the refractory soil organic carbon pool, and thus can decrease atmospheric CO2 concentrations by sequestering carbon when added to soil. Therefore, applying biochar to soil may contribute to decreasing, or slowing the increase in, global warming. In addition, it can be used as a soil conditioner, not only having

  14. 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

  15. CONNECTICUT BIOFUELS TECHNOLOGY PROJECT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    BARTONE, ERIK

    2010-09-28

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

  16. Biofuels: Project summaries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-07-01

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

  18. Biofuels via Fast Pyrolysis of Perennial Grasses: A Life Cycle Evaluation of Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaimes, George G; Soratana, Kullapa; Harden, Cheyenne L; Landis, Amy E; Khanna, Vikas

    2015-08-18

    A well-to-wheel (WTW) life cycle assessment (LCA) model is developed to evaluate the environmental profile of producing liquid transportation fuels via fast pyrolysis of perennial grasses: switchgrass and miscanthus. The framework established in this study consists of (1) an agricultural model used to determine biomass growth rates, agrochemical application rates, and other key parameters in the production of miscanthus and switchgrass biofeedstock; (2) an ASPEN model utilized to simulate thermochemical conversion via fast pyrolysis and catalytic upgrading of bio-oil to renewable transportation fuel. Monte Carlo analysis is performed to determine statistical bounds for key sustainability and performance measures including life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and Energy Return on Investment (EROI). The results of this work reveal that the EROI and GHG emissions (gCO2e/MJ-fuel) for fast pyrolysis derived fuels range from 1.52 to 2.56 and 22.5 to 61.0 respectively, over the host of scenarios evaluated. Further analysis reveals that the energetic performance and GHG reduction potential of fast pyrolysis-derived fuels are highly sensitive to the choice of coproduct scenario and LCA allocation scheme, and in select cases can change the life cycle carbon balance from meeting to exceeding the renewable fuel standard emissions reduction threshold for cellulosic biofuels. PMID:26196154

  19. 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.

  20. Biofuels. An overview. Final Report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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