WorldWideScience

Sample records for biofuel crop miscanthus

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Uffe

    2011-01-01

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

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

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    Pidlisnyuk Valentina

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jenkins, A.; Newman, R.

    2002-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  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

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    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-15

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

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

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    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.

  13. Alternative Crops and Biofuel Production

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

    2013-03-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Miscanthus as energy crop: Environmental assessment of a miscanthus biomass production case study in France

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morandi, Fabiana; Perrin, A.; Østergård, Hanne

    2016-01-01

    assessment of different logistic (harvesting) strategies for miscanthus production in the Bourgogne region is presented. Emergy assessment is a particular methodology suited to quantify the resource use of a process and to estimate the percentage of renewability of products or services. The case study...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, Orlando; Chaparro-Giraldo, Alejandro

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Assessing biofuel crop invasiveness: a case study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Evan Buddenhagen

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

  2. Developing County-level Water Footprints of Biofuel Produced from Switchgrass and Miscanthus x Giganteus in the United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, May M. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Chiu, Yi-Wen [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)

    2014-09-30

    Perennial grass has been proposed as a potential candidate for producing cellulosic biofuel because of its promising productivity and benefits to water quality, and because it is a non-food feedstock. While extensive research focuses on selecting and developing species and conversion technologies, the impact of grass-based biofuel production on water resources remains less clear. As feedstock growth requires water and the type of water consumed may vary considerably from region to region, water use must be characterized with spatial resolution and on a fuel production basis. This report summarizes a study that assesses the impact of biofuel production on water resource use and water quality at county, state, and regional scales by developing a water footprint of biofuel produced from switchgrass and Miscanthus × giganteus via biochemical conversion.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  4. Energy Crop and Biotechnology for Biofuel Production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liangcai Peng; Neal Gutterson

    2011-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Volatile organic compound emissions from Miscanthus and short rotation coppice willow bioenergy crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copeland, Nichola; Cape, J. Neil; Heal, Mathew R.

    2012-12-01

    Miscanthus × giganteus and short rotation coppice (SRC) willow (Salix spp.) are increasingly important bioenergy crops. Above-canopy fluxes and mixing ratios of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured in summer for the two crops at a site near Lincoln, UK, by proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) and virtual disjunct eddy covariance. The isoprene emission rate above willow peaked around midday at ˜1 mg m-2 h-1, equivalent to 20 μg gdw-1 h-1 normalised to 30 °C and 1000 μmol m-2 s-1 PAR, much greater than for conventional arable crops. Average midday peak isoprene mixing ratio was ˜1.4 ppbv. Acetone and acetic acid also showed small positive daytime fluxes. No measurable fluxes of VOCs were detected above the Miscanthus canopy. Differing isoprene emission rates between different bioenergy crops, and the crops or vegetation cover they may replace, means the impact on regional air quality should be taken into consideration in bioenergy crop selection.

  9. Colonization of the biomass energy crop miscanthus by the three aphid species, Aphis fabae, Myzus persicae, and Rhopalosiphum padi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulette, Q; Couty, A; Lasue, P; Rambaud, Z C; Ameline, A

    2013-04-01

    Miscanthus is a perennial C4-grass that has received much interest as a potential of impact on the local agroecosytem. In this context, laboratory experiments were conducted to investigate the potential colonization of this new exotic plant species by three of the main aphid pest species of common crops in Picardie, northern France. In host preference experiments, the two polyphagous aphid species studied, Aphis fabae (Scop) and Myzus persicae (Sulzer), exhibited an xclusive preference for their host plant, whereas the cereal specialist Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) showed no preference between its host plant and miscanthus. When assessed by electrical penetration graph technique, plant tissue probing activity by all three species always was characterized by pathway phases including potential drops that are typically associated to the transmission of noncirculative viruses. Phloem ingestion was observed in 5% of the polyphagous aphid individuals tested and in 20% of the R. padi tested. Aphids kept in clip-cages on miscanthus had a low survival rate and were unable to reproduce. These results demonstrate that miscanthus is not a suitable host for these three main aphid pest species but could act as a potential host for some viruses transmitted in a noncirculative manner and also in a circulative nonpropagative manner. The use of miscanthus as a barrier crop to limit the flow of aphid vectors and their phytoviruses is discussed.

  10. 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.

  11. Trace Gas Exchange of Biofuel Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  12. Marker-Trait Association for Biomass Yield of Potential Bio-fuel Feedstock Miscanthus sinensis from Southwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang eNie

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available As a great potential bio-fuel feedstock, the genus Miscanthus has been widely studied around the world, especially Miscanthus × giganteus owing to its high biomass yield in Europe and North America. However, the narrow genetic basis and sterile characteristics of M. × giganteus have become a limitation for utilization and adaptation to extreme climate conditions. In this study, we focused on one of the progenitors of M. × giganteus, Miscanthus sinensis, which was originally distributed in East Asia with abundant genetic resources and comparable biomass yield potential to M. × giganteus in some areas. A collection of 138 individuals was selected for conducting a three-year trial of biomass production and analyzed by using 104 pairs of SRAP, ISAP, and SSR primers for genetic diversity as well as marker-trait association. Significant differences in biomass yield and related traits were observed among individuals. Tiller number, fresh biomass yield per plant and dry biomass yield per plant had a high level of phenotypic variation among individuals and the coefficient of variation were all above 40% in 2011, 2012, and 2013. The majority of the traits had a significant correlation with the biomass yield except for the length and width of flag leaves. Plant height was a highly stable trait correlated with biomass yield. A total of 1059 discernible loci were detected by markers across individuals. The population structure (Q and cluster analyses identified three subpopulations in the collection and family relative kinship (K represented a very complex relationship among M. sinensis populations from Southwest China. Model testing identified that Q+K was the best model for describing the associations between the markers and traits, compared to the simple linear, Q or K model. Using the Q+K model, 12 significant associations (P < 0.001 were identified including four markers with plant height and one with biomass yield. Such associations would serve an

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  15. Carbon sequestration by Miscanthus energy crops plantations in a broad range semi-arid marginal land in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Jia; Liu, Wei; Yang, Wenhui; Yan, Juan; Li, Jianqiang; Sang, Tao

    2014-10-15

    Carbon sequestration is an essential ecosystem service that second-generation energy crops can provide. To evaluate the ability of carbon sequestration of Miscanthus energy crops in the Loess Plateau of China, the yield and soil organic carbon (SOC) changes were measured for three Miscanthus species in the experimental field in Qingyang of the Gansu Province (QG). With the highest yield of the three species, Miscanthus lutarioriparius contributed to the largest increase of SOC, 0.57 t ha(-1)yr(-1), comparing to the field left unplanted. Through modeling M. lutarioriparius yield across the Loess Plateau, an average increase of SOC was estimated at 0.46 t ha(-1)yr(-1) for the entire region. Based on the measurements of SOC mineralization under various temperatures and moistures for soil samples taken from QG, a model was developed for estimating SOC mineralization rates across the Loess Plateau and resulted in an average of 1.11 t ha(-1)yr(-1). Combining the estimates from these models, the average of net carbon sequestration was calculated at a rate of 9.13 t ha(-1)yr(-1) in the Loess Plateau. These results suggested that the domestication and production of M. lutarioriparius hold a great potential for carbon sequestration and soil restoration in this heavily eroded region.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Litter Inputs and Soil Aggregation in Midwestern Biofuel Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. A trial of the suitability of switchgrass and reed canary grass as biofuel crops under UK conditions. 5th interim report March 2005

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richie, A.B.

    2005-07-01

    The Topgrass Project, established in 2002, investigated the potential of miscanthus, switchgrass and reed canary grass as biofuel crops at various sites in the UK. This interim report covers the period from the harvesting in winter 2003/04 to the harvesting in winter 2004/05. The report gives details on (i) pest and weed control and (ii) yields and associated costs per species per unit area. It was concluded that maximum potential yield has not been reached at some sites. The study was funded by the DTI and carried out by IACR Rothamstead with ADAS Consulting, Duchy College Cornwall and SCRI Invergowrie as collaborators. The project has now terminated.

  20. 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)

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  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

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-11-15

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-08

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Miscanthus establishment and overwintering in the Midwest USA: a regional modeling study of crop residue management on critical minimum soil temperatures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Kucharik

    Full Text Available Miscanthus is an intriguing cellulosic bioenergy feedstock because its aboveground productivity is high for low amounts of agrochemical inputs, but soil temperatures below -3.5 °C could threaten successful cultivation in temperate regions. We used a combination of observed soil temperatures and the Agro-IBIS model to investigate how strategic residue management could reduce the risk of rhizome threatening soil temperatures. This objective was addressed using a historical (1978-2007 reconstruction of extreme minimum 10 cm soil temperatures experienced across the Midwest US and model sensitivity studies that quantified the impact of crop residue on soil temperatures. At observation sites and for simulations that had bare soil, two critical soil temperature thresholds (50% rhizome winterkill at -3.5 °C and -6.0 °C for different Miscanthus genotypes were reached at rhizome planting depth (10 cm over large geographic areas. The coldest average annual extreme 10 cm soil temperatures were between -8 °C to -11 °C across North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Large portions of the region experienced 10 cm soil temperatures below -3.5 °C in 75% or greater for all years, and portions of North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin experienced soil temperatures below -6.0 °C in 50-60% of all years. For simulated management options that established varied thicknesses (1-5 cm of miscanthus straw following harvest, extreme minimum soil temperatures increased by 2.5 °C to 6 °C compared to bare soil, with the greatest warming associated with thicker residue layers. While the likelihood of 10 cm soil temperatures reaching -3.5 °C was greatly reduced with 2-5 cm of surface residue, portions of the Dakotas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin still experienced temperatures colder than -3.5 °C in 50-80% of all years. Nonetheless, strategic residue management could help increase the likelihood of overwintering of miscanthus rhizomes in the first few

  13. Miscanthus establishment and overwintering in the Midwest USA: a regional modeling study of crop residue management on critical minimum soil temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kucharik, Christopher J; Vanloocke, Andy; Lenters, John D; Motew, Melissa M

    2013-01-01

    Miscanthus is an intriguing cellulosic bioenergy feedstock because its aboveground productivity is high for low amounts of agrochemical inputs, but soil temperatures below -3.5 °C could threaten successful cultivation in temperate regions. We used a combination of observed soil temperatures and the Agro-IBIS model to investigate how strategic residue management could reduce the risk of rhizome threatening soil temperatures. This objective was addressed using a historical (1978-2007) reconstruction of extreme minimum 10 cm soil temperatures experienced across the Midwest US and model sensitivity studies that quantified the impact of crop residue on soil temperatures. At observation sites and for simulations that had bare soil, two critical soil temperature thresholds (50% rhizome winterkill at -3.5 °C and -6.0 °C for different Miscanthus genotypes) were reached at rhizome planting depth (10 cm) over large geographic areas. The coldest average annual extreme 10 cm soil temperatures were between -8 °C to -11 °C across North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Large portions of the region experienced 10 cm soil temperatures below -3.5 °C in 75% or greater for all years, and portions of North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin experienced soil temperatures below -6.0 °C in 50-60% of all years. For simulated management options that established varied thicknesses (1-5 cm) of miscanthus straw following harvest, extreme minimum soil temperatures increased by 2.5 °C to 6 °C compared to bare soil, with the greatest warming associated with thicker residue layers. While the likelihood of 10 cm soil temperatures reaching -3.5 °C was greatly reduced with 2-5 cm of surface residue, portions of the Dakotas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin still experienced temperatures colder than -3.5 °C in 50-80% of all years. Nonetheless, strategic residue management could help increase the likelihood of overwintering of miscanthus rhizomes in the first few years after

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frouz, Jan; Hedenec, Petr

    2016-04-01

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

  15. 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)

  16. Genetic and ecological characteristics of Miscanthus in eastern Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miscanthus is a genus of perennial C4 grasses native to East Asia, which includes the emerging ligno-cellulosic biomass crop M. xgiganteus, a hybrid between M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. Cold tolerance is of particular interest in Miscanthus, given that this crop is more adapted to temperate c...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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)

  3. 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

  4. Miscanthus spatial location as seen by farmers: A machine learning approach to model real criteria

    OpenAIRE

    Martin, Laura; Wohlfahrt, Julie

    2016-01-01

    Highlights • Farmers' criteria to locate real miscanthus fields were investigated. • We modelled agronomic, morphological and contextual field characteristics. • Boosted regression tree method used to upscale from supply area to the regional level. • Small and complex-shaped farmer's blocks resulted to be relevant to locate miscanthus. • Our approach provided miscanthus location probabilities from farm to landscape levels.   Abstract. Miscanthus is an emerging crop...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Å. Kasimir Klemedtsson

    2011-07-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farzad Taheripour

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijnders, L.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. Targets and tools for optimizing lignocellulosic biomass quality of miscanthus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijde, van der R.T.

    2016-01-01

    Miscanthus is a perennial energy grass characterized by a high productivity and resource-use efficiency, making it an ideal biomass feedstock for the production of cellulosic biofuels and a wide range of other biobased value-chains. However, the large-scale commercialization of converting biomass in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reijnders, L

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaiswal, D.

    2015-12-01

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

  3. Variation on biomass yield and morphological traits of energy grasses from the genus Miscanthus during the first years of crop establishment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jezowski, S.; Glowacka, K.; Kaczmarek, Z. [Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Strzeszynska 34, 60-479 Poznan (Poland)

    2011-02-15

    This study presents the results of investigations of variation, genotype x year interactions and genotype x year x location interactions for the yield and morphological traits of several selected clones of energy grasses of the genus Miscanthus. The analyses were performed on the best clones of selected hybrid plants, which were obtained within the species M. sinensis or are the result of interspecific hybridization of M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. Analyses were conducted on the basis of three-year field trials at two locations. The young plants produced from in vitro cultures were planted at a density of one plant per m{sup 2}. The early stages of plant development, from planting until peak yield in the third year of cultivation, were analysed. Statistical analyses performed on the yield and morphological traits as well as changes in these characteristics over the successive years of the study showed considerable genotypic variation for traits under study. Moreover, significant genotype x year interactions as well as genotype x year x location interactions were observed in terms of yield and morphological traits. Based on the collective results of the study, we suggest that apart from M. x giganteus particularly hybrids of M. sinensis x M. sacchariflorus, should be taken into consideration in genetic and breeding studies on the improvement of yield from energy grasses of the genus Miscanthus. (author)

  4. Long-term Miscanthus Yields Influenced by Location, Genotype, Row Distance, Fertilization and Harvest Season

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ugilt Larsen, Søren; Jørgensen, Uffe; Kjeldsen, Jens Bonderup

    2014-01-01

    Long-term yield studies in perennial crops like miscanthus are important to determine mean annual energy yield and the farmer’s economy. In two Danish field trials, annual yield of two miscanthus genotypes was followed over a 20-year period. The trials were established in 1993 on loamy sand in Fo...

  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. Isolation of SSR markers for two related second-generation energy crop species, Miscanthus nepalensis and M.nudipes (Poaceae)%能源作物芒属双药芒组SSR引物的筛选及其评价

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马洪峥; 李珊珊; 葛颂; 戴思兰; 陈文俐

    2011-01-01

    Miscanthus species have shown great potential as second-generation energy crops, especially when planted on marginal land. Within the genus, M. Nepalensis and M. Nudipes are much different from other species owing to the presence of only two anthers, and are thus treated as sect. Diandra Keng taxo-nomically. Distributed in the Himalaya and Hengduan Mountains, the two species exhibit a very high level of tolerance to cold and drought stresses. In order to scientifically develop these crop species, the first step would be to cany out a population-genetic investigation to elucidate the genetic basis of phenotypes such as tolerance-related and morphological characteristics. For this purpose, we need to select practical and high-resolution molecular markers. We sequenced six individuals of M. Nepalensis and M. Nudipes to validate the efficacious use of 42 previously-used SSR primer pairs. A total of 14 primer pairs were identified as applicable, of which 12 were from Miscanthus species, indicating that the amplification ratio within genus Miscanthus is 52.2% (12/23). Of the 14 primer pairs, 11 were polymorphic. Screening four natural populations of M nepalensis and M. Nudipes using the 14 SSR markers, we found that these primers had high power in detecting genetic diversity and population genetic structure in M. Nepalensis and M. Nudipes, and thus provide feasible genetic markers for population genetics studies and molecular breeding.%禾本科芒属植物具有在边际性土地(marginal land)上驯化成为高产能源作物的巨大潜力,其中尼泊尔芒(Miscanthus nepalensis)和双药芒(M.nudipes)两个双药芒组物种分布于喜马拉雅-黄断山地区,是具有耐寒及抗旱特性的优良种质资源.为了了解其遗传多样性和群体遗传结构,需要筛选出有效的分子标记.目前在适用于核心芒属植物群体遗传学分析的42对SSR引物中,有23对来自于核心芒属物种,19对来自玉米.我们利用来自双药芒组2

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, Rebecca A; Ort, Donald R

    2015-06-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Franz Theuretzbacher; Javier Lizasoain; Simona Menardo; Paal Jahre Nilsen; Andreas Gronauer; Alexander Bauer

    2014-01-01

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Acheampong, Kwame; Dicks, Michael R.

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Nitrogen management of switchgrass and miscanthus on marginal soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miscanthus × giganteus and switchgrass yield and fertilizer N requirements have been well studied in Europe and parts of the United States, but few reports have investigated their production on eroded claypan soils economically marginal for grain crops. This study was conducted to evaluate yield pot...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Yield comparison between switchgrass and miscanthus based on multi-year side by side comparison in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lasorella, M.V.; Monti, A.; Alexopoulou, E.; Riche, A.; Sharma, N.; Cadoux, S.; Diepen, van C.A.; Elbersen, B.S.; Atzema, A.J.; Elbersen, H.W.

    2011-01-01

    Energy crops are expected to provide a significant amount of biomass to achieve the European targets on renewable energy. Here we focus on switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus Greef & Deuter) two rhizomatous perennial grasses which have received particular int

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-12-15

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

  8. 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

    2017-01-01

    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...... at 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...

  9. 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....

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  13. Biofuels and sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Barry D

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Storage of Miscanthus-derived carbon in rhizomes, roots, and soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Bent Tolstrup; Lærke, Poul Erik; Jørgensen, Uffe;

    2016-01-01

    Compared with annual crops, dedicated perennial bioenergy crops are ascribed additional benefits in terms of reduced greenhouse gas emissions; these benefits include increased carbon (C) storage in soil. We measured Miscanthus-derived C in rhizomes, roots, and 0–100 cm soil beneath three 16-yr-ol...

  17. The Effects of Land-Use Change from Grassland to Miscanthus x giganteus on Soil N2O Emissions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Williams

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available A one year field trial was carried out on three adjacent unfertilised plots; an 18 year old grassland, a 14 year old established Miscanthus crop, and a 7 month old newly planted Miscanthus crop. Measurements of N2O, soil temperature, water filled pore space (WFPS, and inorganic nitrogen concentrations, were made every one to two weeks. Soil temperature, WFPS and NO3− and NH4+ concentrations were all found to be significantly affected by land use. Temporal crop effects were also observed in soil inorganic nitrogen dynamics, due in part to C4 litter incorporation into the soil under Miscanthus. Nonetheless, soil N2O fluxes were not significantly affected by land use. Cumulative yearly N2O fluxes were relatively low, 216 ± 163, 613 ± 294, and 377 ± 132 g·N·ha−1·yr−1 from the grassland, newly planted Miscanthus, and established Miscanthus plots respectively, and fell within the range commonly observed for unfertilised grasslands dominated by perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne. Higher mean cumulative fluxes were measured in the newly planted Miscanthus, which may be linked to a possible unobserved increase immediately after establishment. However, these differences were not statistically significant. Based on the results of this experiment, land-use change from grassland to Miscanthus will have a neutral impact on medium to long-term N2O emissions.

  18. 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;

    2016-01-01

    Miscanthus and reed canary grass (RCG) are C4 and C3 perennial grasses which are popular in Europe as energy crops. Although Miscanthus is relatively chilling tolerant compared to other C4 species, its production in northern Europe is still constrained by cold temperature. A more chilling toleran...

  19. 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.

  20. Biofuels, poverty, and growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arndt, Channing; Benfica, Rui; Tarp, Finn

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC ASPECT OF GROWING MISCANTHUS GENOTYPES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marián KOTRLA

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Deliberate cultivation of plants for energy biomass is becoming increasingly important. Biomass should significantly contribute to increase the share of renewable energy in the European Union. On the research locality of Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra localized in the village Kolíňany (Slovak Republic is implemented basic research focused on the growth and production of the two genotypes energy grass Miscanthus. Research is carried out since 2010. In the third year after planting (the year 2012 were confirmed biomass production depending on the genotype of 35.45 and 36.67 t ha-1. Based on the analysis of growth and production performance of Miscanthus genotypes can be evaluated the high environmental and socio-economic aspects of growing energy crops, depending on the specific agro-ecological conditions.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Effect of thermal and alkaline pretreatment of giant miscanthus and Chinese fountaingrass on biogas production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nkemka, Valentine Nkongndem; Li, Yongqiang; Hao, Xiying

    2016-01-01

    Giant miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus) and Chinese fountaingrass (Pennisetum alopecuroides (L.) Spreng), cultivated for landscaping and soil conservation, are potential energy crops. The study investigated the effect of combined thermal and alkaline pretreatments on biogas production of these energy crops. The pretreatment included two types of alkali (6% CaO and 6% NaOH) at 22, 70 and 100 °C. The alkaline pretreatment resulted in a greater breakdown of the hemicellulose fraction, with CaO more effective than NaOH. Pretreatment of giant miscanthus with 6% CaO at 100 °C for 24 h produced a CH4 yield (313 mL g(-1) volatile solids (VS)) that was 1.7 times that of the untreated sample (186 mL g(-1) VS). However, pretreatment of Chinese fountaingrass with 6% CaO or 6% NaOH at 70 °C for 24 h resulted in similar CH4 yields (328 and 302 mL g(-1) VS for CaO and NaOH pretreatments) as the untreated sample (311 mL g(-1) VS). Chinese fountaingrass was more easily digestible but had a low overall CH4 yield per hectare (1,831 m(3) ha(-1) y(-1)) compared to giant miscanthus (6,868 m(3) ha(-1) y(-1)). This study demonstrates the potential of thermal/alkaline pretreatment and the use of giant miscanthus and Chinese fountaingrass for biogas production.

  7. 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.

  8. Higher heating value prediction of lignocellulosic crop based on their content of main components [abstract

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Godin, B.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The efficiency of the energy recovery potential of lignocellulosic crops as solid biofuel depends on various characteristics. One of the main characteristics in this field is the higher heating value. It is defined as the amount of heat emitted by the combustion of a fuel, including the heat coming from the condensation of the water vapor. Its value depends on the content of main components of the lignocellulosic crops. Two models predicting the higher heating value have been built based on the content of main components of the following lignocellulosic crops: miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus J.M.Greef & Deuter ex Hodk. & Renvoize, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L., Jerusalem artichoke (aerial part (Helianthus tuberosus L., fiber sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L. Moench, fiber corn (Zea mays L. and hemp (Cannabis sativa L. [trials made at Libramont (Belgium in 2007 and 2008]. The first model predicts the higher heating value of the lignocellulosic crops based on sum of the products between the higher heating value of each component and its amount. The second model predicts the higher heating value of the lignocellulosic crop based on a multiple linear regression using step by step least mean squares.

  9. Stability of cell wall composition and saccharification efficiency in Miscanthus across diverse environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijde, van der Tim; Dolstra, Oene; Visser, Richard G.F.; Trindade, Luisa M.

    2017-01-01

    To investigate the potential effects of differences between growth locations on the cell wall composition and saccharification efficiency of the bioenergy crop miscanthus, a diverse set of 15 accessions were evaluated in six locations across Europe for the first 3 years following establishment. H

  10. Management factors affecting establishment and yield of bioenergy miscanthus on claypan soil landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bioenergy crop Miscanthus x giganteus has been well studied for its establishment and yield in Europe and certain parts of the US Midwest but little has been done to investigate these properties when grown on degraded soils, which are typified as being less productive, and consequently, economically...

  11. Dry matter partitioning and quality of Miscanthus, Panicum, and Saccharum genotypes in Arkansas, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The partitioning and quality of aboveground biomass have important ramifications for crop management and biomass conversion. In preliminary studies, small samples of Saccharum sp. x Miscanthus sp. hybrids exhibited stubble cold tolerance in west-central Arkansas, unlike Saccharum sp. x S. spontaneum...

  12. 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

    . 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-02-11

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Ground flora, small mammal and bird species diversity in miscanthus (Miscanthusxgiganteus) and reed canary-grass (Phalaris arundinacea) fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-01-15

    Wildlife monitoring of two miscanthus and two reed canary-grass fields in Herefordshire, England was carried out in 2002, 2003 and 2004 to investigate the ecological impact of perennial biomass grass crops on ground flora, small mammals and birds. Quadrats were used to record percentage ground vegetation cover within and around the periphery of each crop. Small mammals were sampled by live trapping using Longworth traps. The common bird census technique was used to monitor populations of birds. Miscanthus fields were richer in weed vegetation than reed canary-grass or arable fields. Bird use of the biomass crop fields varied depending on species. There were considerably more open-ground bird species such as skylarks (Alauda arvensis), lapwings (Vanellus vanellus) and meadow pipits (Anthus pratensis) within miscanthus than within reed canary-grass fields. There was no particular crop-type preference by the small mammal species, but rather a preference for good ground cover and little land disturbance, which was provided by both biomass crops. Ground flora, small mammals and most of the bird species (except open-ground birds) were found more abundantly within field margins and boundaries than in crop fields indicating the importance of retaining field structure when planting biomass crops. The miscanthus work relates entirely to young crops, which may be representative of part of the national crop if large areas are cultivated for rhizomes. The findings from the current project indicate that perennial biomass grass crops can provide substantially improved habitat for many forms of native wildlife, due to the low intensity of the agricultural management system and the untreated headlands. (author)

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘祖昕; 谢光辉

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Nuclear SSR markers for Miscanthus, Saccharum, and related grasses (Saccharinae, Poaceae)1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodkinson, Trevor R.; de Cesare, Mariateresa; Barth, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    • Premise of the study: We developed nuclear simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers for the characterization of the biomass crop Miscanthus, especially M. sacchariflorus, M. sinensis, and M. ×giganteus, and tested for cross-species amplification. • Methods and Results: Twenty-nine SSR markers (di- and tetranucleotide repeats) were developed from DNA sequences obtained from 192 clones from an enriched genomic library of M. sinensis. All markers were successfully amplified in M. sacchariflorus, M. sinensis, and M. ×giganteus, and 19 amplified across a broad range of Miscanthus species. Polymorphism information content and expected heterozygosity values (19 locus sample) were 0.88 and 0.89, respectively, for M. sinensis, 0.48 and 0.54 for M. sacchariflorus, and were the lowest in M. ×giganteus (0.33, 0.41). Thirteen out of 19 primer pairs showed cross-species amplification in non-Miscanthus sensu stricto taxa. • Conclusions: The new set of 29 SSR markers will be of high value for characterizing Miscanthus germplasm collections, for prebreeding, and for assessing variation in natural populations. PMID:25202497

  4. Nuclear SSR Markers for Miscanthus, Saccharum, and Related Grasses (Saccharinae, Poaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trevor R. Hodkinson

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Premise of the study: We developed nuclear simple sequence repeat (SSR markers for the characterization of the biomass crop Miscanthus, especially M. sacchariflorus, M. sinensis, and M. ×giganteus, and tested for cross-species amplification. Methods and Results: Twenty-nine SSR markers (di- and tetranucleotide repeats were developed from DNA sequences obtained from 192 clones from an enriched genomic library of M. sinensis. All markers were successfully amplified in M. sacchariflorus, M. sinensis, and M. ×giganteus, and 19 amplified across a broad range of Miscanthus species. Polymorphism information content and expected heterozygosity values (19 locus sample were 0.88 and 0.89, respectively, for M. sinensis, 0.48 and 0.54 for M. sacchariflorus, and were the lowest in M. ×giganteus (0.33, 0.41. Thirteen out of 19 primer pairs showed cross-species amplification in non-Miscanthus sensu stricto taxa. Conclusions: The new set of 29 SSR markers will be of high value for characterizing Miscanthus germplasm collections, for prebreeding, and for assessing variation in natural populations.

  5. Environmental authorities and biofuel controversies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mol, A.P.J.

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Assessing the environmental sustainability of biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazamia, Elena; Smith, Alison G

    2014-10-01

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

  11. Overview on Biofuels from a European Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponti, Luigi; Gutierrez, Andrew Paul

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Switchgrass and Miscanthus Biomass and Theoretical Ethanol Production from Reclaimed Mine Lands in West Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scagline, Steffany M.

    Awareness of environmental issues surrounding current energy practices has opened doors for new possibilities for energy solutions. The 2003 Energy Independence and Security Act mandates that by the year 2022, 16 billion gallons per year of fuel in the United States (U.S.) will be coming from cellulosic bioenergy sources. Herbaceous crop species like switchgrass have been proposed as potential cellulosic crops to meet future energy needs. Switchgrass is a native warm season grass to North America and has been studied on marginal lands and reclaimed mine lands for biomass production capabilities in the U.S. Another species which has been considered for bioenergy production capabilities in Europe, Miscanthus, is also a warm season perennial grass that has high biomass production capabilities. Currently, there are no studies done on the cellulosic bioenergy production capabilities of Miscanthus on reclaimed mine lands in the U.S. This study looks at Miscanthus and switchgrass as two potential cellulosic energy crops on reclaimed mine lands as a post-mining land use option for bioenergy production. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

  13. 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

    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......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...... 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Progress on optimizing miscanthus biomass production for the European bioeconomy: Results of the EU FP7 project OPTIMISC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iris Lewandowski

    2016-11-01

    insulation material production, revealed GHG-emission- and fossil-energy-saving potentials of up to 30.6 t CO2eq C ha-1y-1 and 429 GJ ha-1y-1 , respectively. Transport distance was identified as an important cost factor. Negative carbon mitigation costs of -78 € t-1 CO2eq C were recorded for local biomass use. The OPTIMISC results demonstrate the potential of miscanthus as a crop for marginal sites and provide information and technologies for the commercial implementation of miscanthus-based value chains.

  19. Phenotypic Characterization of Transgenic Miscanthus sinensis Plants Overexpressing Arabidopsis Phytochrome B

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ok-Jin Hwang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Phytochromes are dimeric pigment proteins with reversible photochromism between red and far-red light-absorbing forms. They are photoreceptors that regulate various aspects of plant growth and development and have been used for biotechnological applications to improve agricultural performance of crops. Miscanthus species have been suggested as one of the most promising energy crops. In this paper, Arabidopsis phytochrome B (PHYB gene was introduced into Miscanthus sinensis using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method that we developed recently, with the herbicide resistance gene (BAR as a selection marker. After putative transgenic plants were selected using the herbicide resistance assay, genomic integration of the transgene was confirmed by genomic PCR and Southern blot analysis, and transgene expression was validated by Northern blot analysis. Compared to nontransformed control plants, transgenic plants overexpressing PHYB showed phenotypes with increased phytochrome B function, which includes increased chlorophyll content, decreased plant height, and delayed flowering. Therefore, these results suggest that Arabidopsis phytochrome B is functional in M. sinensis and provide a method to develop Miscanthus varieties with enhanced agricultural performance using phytochromes.

  20. 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

    To achieve the goals of energy security and climate change mitigation in Denmark and the EU an expansion of national production of bioenergy crops is needed. Temporal and spatial variation of yields of willow and Miscanthus are not known for Denmark because of a limited number of field trial data....... 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...

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 

  6. Biofuels combustion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westbrook, Charles K

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Quantifying the yield of perennial grasses grown as a biofuel for energy generation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christian, D.G. (Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden (United Kingdom))

    1994-08-01

    Combustible biomass fuels may be produced on set-aside land by growing cops that produce a heavy yield of dry matter. Two promising candidate species are Miscanthus and Switchgrass. Establishment of both species was slow and weeds may cause problems. Yields were low because of the short growing period in the first season. Nitrate leaching under Miscanthus suggested that N levels were too high relative to the crops development. (Author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Virginia A.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Biofuels and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John; Fargione, Joseph; Hill, Jason

    2011-06-01

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

  12. 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

  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. Optimization of ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of Miscanthus x giganteus to fermentable sugars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murnen, Hannah K; Balan, Venkatesh; Chundawat, Shishir P S; Bals, Bryan; Sousa, Leonardo da Costa; Dale, Bruce E

    2007-01-01

    Miscanthus x giganteus is a tall perennial grass whose suitability as an energy crop is presently being appraised. There is very little information on the effect of pretreatment and enzymatic saccharification of Miscanthus to produce fermentable sugars. This paper reports sugar yields during enzymatic hydrolysis from ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) pretreated Miscanthus. Pretreatment conditions including temperature, moisture, ammonia loading, residence time, and enzyme loadings are varied to maximize hydrolysis yields. In addition, further treatments such as soaking the biomass prior to AFEX as well as washing the pretreated material were also attempted to improve sugar yields. The optimal AFEX conditions determined were 160 degrees C, 2:1 (w/w) ammonia to biomass loading, 233% moisture (dry weight basis), and 5 min reaction time for water-soaked Miscanthus. Approximately 96% glucan and 81% xylan conversions were achieved after 168 h enzymatic hydrolysis at 1% glucan loading using 15 FPU/(g of glucan) of cellulase and 64 p-NPGU/(g of glucan) of beta-glucosidase along with xylanase and tween-80 supplementation. A mass balance for the AFEX pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis process is presented.

  16. Progress on optimizing miscanthus biomass production for the european bioeconomy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lewandowski, Iris; Clifton-Brown, John; Trindade, Luisa M.; Linden, van der Gerard C.; Schwarz, Kai Uwe; Müller-Sämann, Karl; Anisimov, Alexander; Chen, C.L.; Dolstra, Oene; Donnison, Iain S.; Farrar, Kerrie; Fonteyne, Simon; Harding, Graham; Hastings, Astley; Huxley, Laurie M.; Iqbal, Yasir; Khokhlov, Nikolay; Kiesel, Andreas; Lootens, Peter; Meyer, Heike; Mos, Michal; Muylle, Hilde; Nunn, Chris; Özgüven, Mensure; Roldán-Ruiz, Isabel; Schüle, Heinrich; Tarakanov, Ivan; Weijde, van der Tim; Wagner, Moritz; Xi, Qingguo; Kalinina, Olena

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes the complete findings of the EU-funded research project OPTIMISC, which investigated methods to optimize the production and use of miscanthus biomass. Miscanthus bioenergy and bioproduct chains were investigated by trialing 15 diverse germplasm types in a range of climatic and s

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

    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 respectively, 17.2% (11.9%) would consider growing and 1.2% (0.4%) were currently growing these crops. Farmer age, location, land ownership, farm type, farm size and farmer education level were not significant factors in determining acceptance of DECs. The main reasons cited for not growing DECs were impacts on land quality, lack of appropriate machinery, commitment of land for a long period of time, time to financial return and profitability. Reasons cited for willingness to grow DECs included land quality, ease of crop management, commitment of land for a long period of time, and profitability. Farmers cited a range of 'moral' (e.g. should not be using land for energy crops when there is a shortage of food), land quality, knowledge, profit and current farming practice comments as reasons for not growing DECs, while those willing to grow DECs cited interest in renewable energy, willingness to consider new crops, and low labour needs as rationale for their interest. Farm business objectives indicated that maximising profit and quality of life were most frequently cited as very important objectives. Previous research in the UK indicates that farmers in arable areas are unlikely to convert large areas of land to DECs, even where these farmers have an interest and willingness to grow them. Assuming that those farmers interested in growing DECs converted 9.29% (average percentage of arable land set-aside between 1996 and 2005) of their utilised agricultural area to these crops, 50,700

  18. 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.

  19. Is biofuel policy harming biodiversity in Europe?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. High resolution genetic mapping by genome sequencing reveals genome duplication and tetraploid genetic structure of the diploid Miscanthus sinensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xue-Feng Ma

    Full Text Available We have created a high-resolution linkage map of Miscanthus sinensis, using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS, identifying all 19 linkage groups for the first time. The result is technically significant since Miscanthus has a very large and highly heterozygous genome, but has no or limited genomics information to date. The composite linkage map containing markers from both parental linkage maps is composed of 3,745 SNP markers spanning 2,396 cM on 19 linkage groups with a 0.64 cM average resolution. Comparative genomics analyses of the M. sinensis composite linkage map to the genomes of sorghum, maize, rice, and Brachypodium distachyon indicate that sorghum has the closest syntenic relationship to Miscanthus compared to other species. The comparative results revealed that each pair of the 19 M. sinensis linkages aligned to one sorghum chromosome, except for LG8, which mapped to two sorghum chromosomes (4 and 7, presumably due to a chromosome fusion event after genome duplication. The data also revealed several other chromosome rearrangements relative to sorghum, including two telomere-centromere inversions of the sorghum syntenic chromosome 7 in LG8 of M. sinensis and two paracentric inversions of sorghum syntenic chromosome 4 in LG7 and LG8 of M. sinensis. The results clearly demonstrate, for the first time, that the diploid M. sinensis is tetraploid origin consisting of two sub-genomes. This complete and high resolution composite linkage map will not only serve as a useful resource for novel QTL discoveries, but also enable informed deployment of the wealth of existing genomics resources of other species to the improvement of Miscanthus as a high biomass energy crop. In addition, it has utility as a reference for genome sequence assembly for the forthcoming whole genome sequencing of the Miscanthus genus.

  2. Biofuels worldwide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    His, St

    2004-07-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Algal biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razeghifard, Reza

    2013-11-01

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

  7. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Integrated strategic and tactical biomass-biofuel supply chain optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Tao; Rodríguez, Luis F; Shastri, Yogendra N; Hansen, Alan C; Ting, K C

    2014-03-01

    To ensure effective biomass feedstock provision for large-scale biofuel production, an integrated biomass supply chain optimization model was developed to minimize annual biomass-ethanol production costs by optimizing both strategic and tactical planning decisions simultaneously. The mixed integer linear programming model optimizes the activities range from biomass harvesting, packing, in-field transportation, stacking, transportation, preprocessing, and storage, to ethanol production and distribution. The numbers, locations, and capacities of facilities as well as biomass and ethanol distribution patterns are key strategic decisions; while biomass production, delivery, and operating schedules and inventory monitoring are key tactical decisions. The model was implemented to study Miscanthus-ethanol supply chain in Illinois. The base case results showed unit Miscanthus-ethanol production costs were $0.72L(-1) of ethanol. Biorefinery related costs accounts for 62% of the total costs, followed by biomass procurement costs. Sensitivity analysis showed that a 50% reduction in biomass yield would increase unit production costs by 11%.

  9. 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

  10. The evaluation of growth and phytoextraction potential of Miscanthus x giganteus and Sida hermaphrodita on soil contaminated simultaneously with Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocoń, Anna; Jurga, Beata

    2017-02-01

    One of the cheapest, environmentally friendly methods for cleaning an environment polluted by heavy metals is phytoextraction. It builds on the uptake of pollutants from the soil by the plants, which are able to grow under conditions of high concentrations of toxic metals. The aim of this work was to assess the possibility of growing and phytoextraction potential of Miscanthus x giganteus and Sida hermaphrodita cultivated on two different soils contaminated with five heavy metals simultaneously: Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn. A 3-year microplot experiment with two perennial energy crops, M. x giganteus and S. hermaphrodita, was conducted in the experimental station of IUNG-PIB in Poland (5° 25' N, 21° 58 'E), in the years of 2008-2010. Miscanthus was found more tolerant to concomitant soil contamination with heavy metals and produced almost double biomass than Sida in all three tested years, independent of soil type. Miscanthus collected greater amount of heavy metals (except for cadmium) in the biomass than Sida. Both energy crops absorb high levels of zinc, lower levels of lead, copper, and nickel, and absorbed cadmium at least, generally more metals were taken from the sandy soil, where plants also yielded better. Photosynthesis net rate of Miscanthus was on average 40% higher compared to Sida. Obtained results indicate that M. x giganteus and S. hermaphrodita can successfully be grown on moderately contaminated soil with heavy metals.

  11. Biorefineries for chemical and biofuel production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjerbæk Søtoft, Lene

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Dedicated biomass crops can enhance biodiversity in the arable landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haughton, Alison J; Bohan, David A; Clark, Suzanne J; Mallott, Mark D; Mallott, Victoria; Sage, Rufus; Karp, Angela

    2016-11-01

    Suggestions that novel, non-food, dedicated biomass crops used to produce bioenergy may provide opportunities to diversify and reinstate biodiversity in intensively managed farmland have not yet been fully tested at the landscape scale. Using two of the largest, currently available landscape-scale biodiversity data sets from arable and biomass bioenergy crops, we take a taxonomic and functional trait approach to quantify and contrast the consequences for biodiversity indicators of adopting dedicated biomass crops on land previously cultivated under annual, rotational arable cropping. The abundance and community compositions of biodiversity indicators in fields of break and cereal crops changed when planted with the dedicated biomass crops, miscanthus and short rotation coppiced (SRC) willow. Weed biomass was consistently greater in the two dedicated biomass crops than in cereals, and invertebrate abundance was similarly consistently higher than in break crops. Using canonical variates analysis, we identified distinct plant and invertebrate taxa and trait-based communities in miscanthus and SRC willows, whereas break and cereal crops tended to form a single, composite community. Seedbanks were shown to reflect the longer term effects of crop management. Our study suggests that miscanthus and SRC willows, and the management associated with perennial cropping, would support significant amounts of biodiversity when compared with annual arable crops. We recommend the strategic planting of these perennial, dedicated biomass crops in arable farmland to increase landscape heterogeneity and enhance ecosystem function, and simultaneously work towards striking a balance between energy and food security.

  15. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castellanos-Navarrete, A.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-10-15

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

  18. Modifying plants for biofuel and biomaterial production.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Biofuels Barometer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-07-15

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

  20. Stability of Cell Wall Composition and Saccharification Efficiency in Miscanthus across Diverse Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Weijde, Tim; Dolstra, Oene; Visser, Richard G. F.; Trindade, Luisa M.

    2017-01-01

    To investigate the potential effects of differences between growth locations on the cell wall composition and saccharification efficiency of the bioenergy crop miscanthus, a diverse set of 15 accessions were evaluated in six locations across Europe for the first 3 years following establishment. High-throughput quantification of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin contents, as well as cellulose and hemicellulose conversion rates was achieved by combining near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) and biochemical analysis. Prediction models were developed and found to predict biomass quality characteristics with high accuracy. Location significantly affected biomass quality characteristics in all three cultivation years, but location-based differences decreased toward the third year as the plants reached maturity and the effect of location-dependent differences in the rate of establishment reduced. In all locations extensive variation in accession performance was observed for quality traits. The performance of the different accessions in the second and third cultivation year was strongly correlated, while accession performance in the first cultivation year did not correlate well with performance in later years. Significant genotype-by-environment (G × E) interactions were observed for most traits, revealing differences between accessions in environmental sensitivity. Stability analysis of accession performance for calculated ethanol yields suggested that selection for good and stable performance is a viable approach. Environmental influence on biomass quality is substantial and should be taken into account in order to match genotype, location and end-use of miscanthus as a lignocellulose feedstock. PMID:28111583

  1. Continuous alkaline pretreatment of Miscanthus sacchariflorus using a bench-scale single screw reactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Young-Lok; Yang, Jungwoo; Park, Yuri; An, Gi Hong; Ahn, Jong-Woong; Moon, Youn-Ho; Yoon, Young-Mi; Yu, Gyeong-Dan; Choi, In-Hu

    2015-04-01

    Miscanthus sacchariflorus 'Goedae-Uksae 1' (GU) was developed as an energy crop of high productivity in Korea. For the practical use of GU for bioethanol production, a bench-scale continuous pretreatment system was developed. The reactor performed screw extrusion, soaking and thermochemical pretreatment at the following operating conditions: 3 mm particle size, 22% moisture content, 140 °C reaction temperature, 8 min residence time, 15 g/min biomass feeding and 120 mL/min NaOH input. As a result of minimizing NaOH concentration and enzyme dosage, 90.8±0.49% glucose yield was obtained from 0.5 M NaOH-pretreated GU containing 3% glucan with 10 FPU cellulase/g cellulose at 50 °C for 72 h. The separate hydrolysis and fermentation of 0.5 M NaOH-pretreated GU containing 10% glucan with 10-30 FPU for 102 h produced 43.0-49.6 g/L bioethanol (theoretical yield, 75.8-87.6%). Thus, this study demonstrated that continuous pretreatment using a single screw reactor is effective for bioethanol production from Miscanthus biomass.

  2. 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.

  3. Assessing the environmental sustainability of biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Adaptation of C4 Bioenergy Crop Species to Various Environments within the Southern Great Plains of USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sumin Kim

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available As highly productive perennial grasses are evaluated as bioenergy feedstocks, a major consideration is biomass yield stability. Two experiments were conducted to examine some aspects of yield stability for two biofuel species: switchgrass (Panicum vigratum L. and Miscanthus x giganteus (Mxg. Biomass yields of these species were evaluated under various environmental conditions across the Southern Great Plains (SGP, including some sites with low soil fertility. In the first experiment, measured yields of four switchgrass ecotypes and Mxg varied among locations. Overall, plants showed optimal growth performance in study sites close to their geographical origins. Lowland switchgrass ecotypes and Mxg yields simulated by the ALMANAC model showed reasonable agreement with the measured yields across all study locations, while the simulated yields of upland switchgrass ecotypes were overestimated in northern locations. In the second experiment, examination of different N fertilizer rates revealed switchgrass yield increases over the range of 0, 80, or 160 kg N ha−1 year−1, while Mxg only showed yield increases between the low and medium N rates. This provides useful insights to crop management of two biofuel species and to enhance the predictive accuracy of process-based models, which are critical for developing bioenergy market systems in the SGP.

  5. Phytoremediation of Heavy Metals in Contaminated Water and Soil Using Miscanthus sp. Goedae-Uksae 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bang, Jihye; Kamala-Kannan, Seralathan; Lee, Kui-Jae; Cho, Min; Kim, Chang-Hwan; Kim, Young-Jin; Bae, Jong-Hyang; Kim, Kyong-Ho; Myung, Hyun; Oh, Byung-Taek

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study is to characterize the heavy metal phytoremediation potential of Miscanthus sp. Goedae-Uksae 1, a hybrid, perennial, bio-energy crop developed in South Korea. Six different metals (As, Cu, Pb, Ni, Cd, and Zn) were used for the study. The hybrid grass effectively absorbed all the metals from contaminated soil. The maximum removal was observed for As (97.7%), and minimum removal was observed for Zn (42.9%). Similarly, Goedae-Uksae 1 absorbed all the metals from contaminated water except As. Cd, Pb, and Zn were completely (100%) removed from contaminated water samples. Generally, the concentration of metals in roots was several folds higher than in shoots. Initial concentration of metals highly influenced the phytoremediation rate. The results of the bioconcentration factor, translocation factor, and enrichment coefficient tests indicate that Goedae-Uksae 1 could be used for phytoremediation in a marginally contaminated ecosystem.

  6. 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)

  7. From biomass to sustainable biofuels in southern Africa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  8. Global future food supply and possibilities for biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Terefe Tucho, Gudina

    2009-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Have Indirect Emissions from Biofuels Been Exaggerated?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  13. Will EU Biofuel Policies affect Global Agricultural Markets?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-04-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. E. Stockwell

    2014-04-01

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

  15. Environmental assessment of biofuel pathways in Ile de France based on ecosystem modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielle, Benoît; Gagnaire, Nathalie; Massad, Raia Silvia; Dufossé, Karine; Bessou, Cécile

    2014-01-01

    The objective of the work reported here was to reduce the uncertainty on the greenhouse gas balances of biofuels using agro-ecosystem modeling at a high resolution over the Ile-de-France region in Northern France. The emissions simulated during the feedstock production stage were input to a life-cycle assessment of candidate biofuel pathways: bioethanol from wheat, sugar-beet and miscanthus, and biodiesel from oilseed rape. Compared to the widely-used methodology based on fixed emission factors, ecosystem modeling lead to 55-70% lower estimates for N2O emissions, emphasizing the importance of regional factors. The life-cycle GHG emissions of first-generation biofuels were 50-70% lower than fossil-based equivalents, and 85% lower for cellulosic ethanol. When including indirect land-use change effects, GHG savings became marginal for biodiesel and wheat ethanol, but were positive due to direct effects for cellulosic ethanol.

  16. 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

  17. The Danish Biofuel Debate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Janus

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Nuclear DNA content in Miscanthus sp. and the geographical variation pattern in Miscanthus lutarioriparius

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Jiajing; Hu, Xiaohu; Zeng, Xiaofei; Li, Ye; Zhou, Fasong; Hu, Zhongli; Jin, Surong; Diao, Ying

    2016-10-01

    The genome sizes of five Miscanthus species, including 79 accessions of M. lutarioriparius, 8 of M. floridulus, 6 of M. sacchariflorus, 7 of M. sinensis, and 4 of M. × giganteus were examined using flow cytometry. The overall average nuclear DNA content were 4.256 ± 0.6 pg/2C in M. lutarioriparius, 5.175 ± 0.3 pg/2C in M. floridulus, 3.956 ± 0.2 pg/2C in M. sacchariflorus, 5.272 ± 0.2 pg/2C in M. sinensis, and 6.932 ± 0.1 pg/2C in M. × giganteus. Interspecific variation was found at the diploid level, suggesting that DNA content might be a parameter that can be used to differentiate the species. Tetraploid populations were found in M. lutarioriparius, M. sacchariflorus, and M. sinensis, and their DNA content were 8.34 ± 1.2, 8.52, and 8.355 pg, respectively. The association between the DNA content of M. lutarioriparius, collected from representative ranges across the Yangtze River, and its geographic distribution was statistically analyzed. A consistent pattern of DNA content variation in 79 M. lutarioriparius accessions across its entire geographic range was found in this study. Along the Yangtze River, the DNA content of M. lutarioriparius tended to increase from the upstream to the downstream areas, and almost all tetraploids gathered in the upstream area extended to coastal regions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. 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

    ) plant. Alternatively, we have simulated the combustion process of Miscanthus in a boiler, where only heat is produced. For NG similar scenarios are examined. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in relation to 1 MJ of heat production with Miscanthus fired in a CHP would lead to a Global Warming Potential (GWP...

  4. Establishment of Genetic Transformation System for Miscanthus sacchariflorus and Obtaining of Its Transgenic Plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yi Zili(易自力); Zhou Puhua; Chu Chengcai; Li Xiang; Tian Wenzhong; Wang Li; Cao Shouyun; Tang Zuoshun

    2004-01-01

    The initiation and regeneration system for embryogenic callus of Miscanthus sacchariflrus is established at very high frequency. Potato proteinaseⅡ(pinⅡ) genes are introduced into the callus of Miscanthus sacchariflorus and some transgenic plants are obtained by the particle bombardment transformation system. PCR and Southern analysis show that target genes are integrated into the genome of these transgenic plants.

  5. Comparing the performance of Miscanthus x giganteus and wheat straw biomass in sulfuric acid based pretreatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kärcher, M A; Iqbal, Y; Lewandowski, I; Senn, T

    2015-03-01

    The objective of this study was to assess and compare the suitability of Miscanthus x giganteus and wheat straw biomass in dilute acid catalyzed pretreatment. Miscanthus and wheat straw were treated in a dilute sulfuric acid/steam explosion pretreatment. As a result of combining dilute sulfuric acid- and steam explosion pretreatment the hemicellulose hydrolysis yields (96% in wheat straw and 90% in miscanthus) in both substrates were higher than reported in literature. The combined severity factor (=CSF) for optimal hemicellulose hydrolysis was 1.9 and 1.5 in for miscanthus and wheat straw respectively. Because of the higher CSF value more furfural, furfuryl alcohol, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural and acetic acid was formed in miscanthus than in wheat straw pretreatment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-01

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

  7. Estimating the energy requirements and CO{sub 2} emissions from production of the perennial grasses miscanthus, switchgrass and reed canary grass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bullard, M.; Metcalfe, P.

    2001-07-01

    The perennial grasses miscanthus, reed canary and swithchgrass have attractions as energy crops in the United Kingdom: all have low demand for fertilizer and pesticide, and are harvested annually. Research on energy ratios and carbon ratios of the grasses is reported. A Microsoft Excel-based model was developed (from an ADAS database) and the input calculations and assumptions are explained. The study demonstrated the attractions of theses grasses as a source of fuel. The results agreed with those from a model developed for the SRC.

  8. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sherrington, Chris; Moran, Dominic [Scottish Agricultural College, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG (United Kingdom)

    2010-07-15

    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)

  10. 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.

  11. 75 FR 6263 - Biomass Crop Assistance Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-08

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

  12. Optimization of anaerobic digestion of a mixture of Zea mays and Miscanthus sacchariflorus silages with various pig manure dosages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bułkowska, K; Pokój, T; Klimiuk, E; Gusiatin, Z M

    2012-12-01

    Digestion of crop silage (Zea mays L. and Miscanthus sacchariflorus) with 0%, 7.5%, 12.5% and 25% pig manure as co-substrate was performed in continuous stirred-tank reactors, for a constant hydraulic retention time of 45 d and organic load rate of 2.1 g L(-1)d(-1). A matrix of correlations between biogas/methane production and parameters of anaerobic digestion was created in order to estimate process stability. The values of the correlation coefficients indicated that the most stable anaerobic digestion was achieved using 7.5% and 12.5% pig manure. In contrast, the positive correlation between ammonium and volatile fatty acids (r=0.8698, psilage alone, pig manure favored the production of biogas and methane; the highest production rates were obtained with 12.5% pig manure.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Sustainable Biofuel Crops Project, Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-05-28

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Verhagen, M.

    2007-11-12

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

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tajana Krička

    2008-09-01

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

  2. Essays concerning the cellulosic biofuel industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosburg, Alicia Sue

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

  3. 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...... of miscanthus as an energy source. Our results indicate that production of 1 kWh electricity from miscanthus via gasification leads to a global warming potential (100-year GWP) of 26 g and 296 g CO2e, without and with consideration of CO2 emissions from indirect land use change respectively. For other impact...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  5. A multi-adaptive framework for the crop choice in paludicultural cropping systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Silvestri

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The conventional cultivation of drained peatland causes peat oxidation, soil subsidence, nutrient loss, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity reduction. Paludiculture has been identified as an alternative management strategy consisting in the cultivation of biomass on wet and rewetted peatlands. This strategy can save these habitats and restore the ecosystem services provided by the peatlands both on the local and global scale. This paper illustrates the most important features to optimise the crop choice phase which is the crucial point for the success of paludiculture systems. A multi-adaptive framework was proposed. It was based on four points that should be checked to identify suitable crops for paludicultural cropping system: biological traits, biomass production, attitude to cultivation and biomass quality. The main agronomic implications were explored with the help of some results from a plurennial open-field experimentation carried out in a paludicultural system set up in the Massaciuccoli Lake Basin (Tuscany, Italy and a complete example of the method application was provided. The tested crops were Arundo donax L., Miscanthus×giganteus Greef et Deuter, Phragmites australis L., Populus×canadensis Moench. and Salix alba L. The results showed a different level of suitability ascribable to the different plant species proving that the proposed framework can discriminate the behaviour of tested crops. Phragmites australis L. was the most suitable crop whereas Populus×canadensis Moench and Miscanthus×giganteus Greef et Deuter (in the case of biogas conversion occupied the last positions in the ranking.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Optimization of bioenergy crop selection and placement based on a stream health indicator using an evolutionary algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Matthew R; Nejadhashemi, A Pouyan; Daneshvar, Fariborz; Abouali, Mohammad; Ross, Dennis M; Woznicki, Sean A; Zhang, Zhen

    2016-10-01

    The emission of greenhouse gases continues to amplify the impacts of global climate change. This has led to the increased focus on using renewable energy sources, such as biofuels, due to their lower impact on the environment. However, the production of biofuels can still have negative impacts on water resources. This study introduces a new strategy to optimize bioenergy landscapes while improving stream health for the region. To accomplish this, several hydrological models including the Soil and Water Assessment Tool, Hydrologic Integrity Tool, and Adaptive Neruro Fuzzy Inference System, were linked to develop stream health predictor models. These models are capable of estimating stream health scores based on the Index of Biological Integrity. The coupling of the aforementioned models was used to guide a genetic algorithm to design watershed-scale bioenergy landscapes. Thirteen bioenergy managements were considered based on the high probability of adaptation by farmers in the study area. Results from two thousand runs identified an optimum bioenergy crops placement that maximized the stream health for the Flint River Watershed in Michigan. The final overall stream health score was 50.93, which was improved from the current stream health score of 48.19. This was shown to be a significant improvement at the 1% significant level. For this final bioenergy landscape the most often used management was miscanthus (27.07%), followed by corn-soybean-rye (19.00%), corn stover-soybean (18.09%), and corn-soybean (16.43%). The technique introduced in this study can be successfully modified for use in different regions and can be used by stakeholders and decision makers to develop bioenergy landscapes that maximize stream health in the area of interest.

  9. A roadmap for biofuels...

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. 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.

    as feedstock. Miscanthus has been chosen as feedstock in this study, as current studies suggest that it has a promising potential, being advantageous in several environmental impact categories. However many current studies do not include assessment in impacts such as soil organic carbon change, biodiversity...... 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 and above ground in those...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Jorge Alberto Vieira; de Morais, Michele Greque

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Soil denitrifier community size changes with land use change to perennial bioenergy cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Karen A.; Deen, Bill; Dunfield, Kari E.

    2016-10-01

    Dedicated biomass crops are required for future bioenergy production. However, the effects of large-scale land use change (LUC) from traditional annual crops, such as corn-soybean rotations to the perennial grasses (PGs) switchgrass and miscanthus, on soil microbial community functioning is largely unknown. Specifically, ecologically significant denitrifying communities, which regulate N2O production and consumption in soils, may respond differently to LUC due to differences in carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) inputs between crop types and management systems. Our objective was to quantify bacterial denitrifying gene abundances as influenced by corn-soybean crop production compared to PG biomass production. A field trial was established in 2008 at the Elora Research Station in Ontario, Canada (n  =  30), with miscanthus and switchgrass grown alongside corn-soybean rotations at different N rates (0 and 160 kg N ha-1) and biomass harvest dates within PG plots. Soil was collected on four dates from 2011 to 2012 and quantitative PCR was used to enumerate the total bacterial community (16S rRNA) and communities of bacterial denitrifiers by targeting nitrite reductase (nirS) and N2O reductase (nosZ) genes. Miscanthus produced significantly larger yields and supported larger nosZ denitrifying communities than corn-soybean rotations regardless of management, indicating large-scale LUC from corn-soybean to miscanthus may be suitable in variable Ontario climatic conditions and under varied management, while potentially mitigating soil N2O emissions. Harvesting switchgrass in the spring decreased yields in N-fertilized plots, but did not affect gene abundances. Standing miscanthus overwinter resulted in higher 16S rRNA and nirS gene copies than in fall-harvested crops. However, the size of the total (16S rRNA) and denitrifying bacterial communities changed differently over time and in response to LUC, indicating varying controls on these communities.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hellmann, F.; Verburg, P.H.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castellanos-Navarrete, A.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-06-15

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. Printed biofuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-11-22

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

  4. Biofuels: not so bad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornley, Patricia; Morris, Trevor

    2008-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. An overview of second generation biofuel technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

  10. An Assessment of Thailand’s Biofuel Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pujan Shrestha

    2013-04-01

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

  11. IDB Biofuels Sustainability Scorecard

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. The potential of C4 grasses for cellulosic biofuel production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Genome-wide association studies and prediction of 17 traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slavov, Gancho T; Nipper, Rick; Robson, Paul; Farrar, Kerrie; Allison, Gordon G; Bosch, Maurice; Clifton-Brown, John C; Donnison, Iain S; Jensen, Elaine

    2014-03-01

    • Increasing demands for food and energy require a step change in the effectiveness, speed and flexibility of crop breeding. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the potential of genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and genomic selection (i.e. phenotype prediction from a genome-wide set of markers) to guide fundamental plant science and to accelerate breeding in the energy grass Miscanthus. • We generated over 100,000 single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) by sequencing restriction site-associated DNA (RAD) tags in 138 Micanthus sinensis genotypes, and related SNVs to phenotypic data for 17 traits measured in a field trial. • Confounding by population structure and relatedness was severe in naïve GWAS analyses, but mixed-linear models robustly controlled for these effects and allowed us to detect multiple associations that reached genome-wide significance. Genome-wide prediction accuracies tended to be moderate to high (average of 0.57), but varied dramatically across traits. As expected, predictive abilities increased linearly with the size of the mapping population, but reached a plateau when the number of markers used for prediction exceeded 10,000-20,000, and tended to decline, but remain significant, when cross-validations were performed across subpopulations. • Our results suggest that the immediate implementation of genomic selection in Miscanthus breeding programs may be feasible.

  15. Biofuels, land use change and smallholder livelihoods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ren, Jingzheng; An, Da; Liang, Hanwei

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Biofuels and Biotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mielenz, Jonathan R [ORNL

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Biogas Production from Energy Crops and Agriculture Residues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Guangtao

    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) sugar release and (b) methane potential when comparing the pretreated biomass and raw biomass. Ensiling...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Andrew

    2008-01-01

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

  3. Model for Energy Analysis of Miscanthus Production and Transportation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Sopegno

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available 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 the tool. Specifically, the variability of the energy requirements as a function of field area and field-storage distance changes was shown. The field-storage distance highly affects the energy requirements resulting in a variation in the efficiency if energy (output/input ratio from 15.8 up to 23.7 for the targeted cases. Not only the field-distance highly affects the energy requirements but also the biomass transportation system. Based on the presented example, different transportation systems adhering to the same configuration of the production system creates variation in the efficiency of energy (EoE between 12.9 and 17.5. The presented tool provides individualized results that can be used for the processes of designing or evaluating a specific production system since the outcomes are not based on average norms.

  4. BioFuels Atlas (Presentation)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moriarty, K.

    2011-02-01

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

  5. System for determining biofuel concentration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-09-13

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parajuli, Ranjan; Sperling, K.; Dalgaard, Tommy

    2015-01-01

    scenarios: (i) in Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant and (ii) in a Boiler (producing heat only). Biomass conversion to heat is also compared with the conversion of natural gas (NG). The environmental impact categories considered for the assessment are: Global Warming Potential (GWP), Non-Renewable Energy......This study discusses about the environmental performance of Miscanthus conversion to district heat. Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) is used as a tool to assess the environmental impacts related to the biomass conversion to heat. Energy conversion of Miscanthus is compared in two combustion...... that despite the biomass possessed advantage in reducing GWP and NRE use, additional land required for Miscanthus could be seen as a disadvantage....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  8. Modeling biofuel expansion effects on land use change dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  9. Washington State Biofuels Industry Development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-04-09

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

  10. The Brazilian biofuels industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goldemberg José

    2008-05-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, D H

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. Halophytes As Bioenergy Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Competitive liquid biofuels from biomass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-01-15

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

  2. Site-Specific Management of Miscanthus Genotypes for Combustion and Anaerobic Digestion: A Comparison of Energy Yields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiesel, Andreas; Nunn, Christopher; Iqbal, Yasir; Van der Weijde, Tim; Wagner, Moritz; Özgüven, Mensure; Tarakanov, Ivan; Kalinina, Olena; Trindade, Luisa M; Clifton-Brown, John; Lewandowski, Iris

    2017-01-01

    In Europe, the perennial C4 grass miscanthus is currently mainly cultivated for energy generation via combustion. In recent years, anaerobic digestion has been identified as a promising alternative utilization pathway. Anaerobic digestion produces a higher-value intermediate (biogas), which can be upgraded to biomethane, stored in the existing natural gas infrastructure and further utilized as a transport fuel or in combined heat and power plants. However, the upgrading of the solid biomass into gaseous fuel leads to conversion-related energy losses, the level of which depends on the cultivation parameters genotype, location, and harvest date. Thus, site-specific crop management needs to be adapted to the intended utilization pathway. The objectives of this paper are to quantify (i) the impact of genotype, location and harvest date on energy yields of anaerobic digestion and combustion and (ii) the conversion losses of upgrading solid biomass into biogas. For this purpose, five miscanthus genotypes (OPM 3, 6, 9, 11, 14), three cultivation locations (Adana, Moscow, Stuttgart), and up to six harvest dates (August-March) were assessed. Anaerobic digestion yielded, on average, 35% less energy than combustion. Genotype, location, and harvest date all had significant impacts on the energy yield. For both, this is determined by dry matter yield and ash content and additionally by substrate-specific methane yield for anaerobic digestion and moisture content for combustion. Averaged over all locations and genotypes, an early harvest in August led to 25% and a late harvest to 45% conversion losses. However, each utilization option has its own optimal harvest date, determined by biomass yield, biomass quality, and cutting tolerance. By applying an autumn green harvest for anaerobic digestion and a delayed harvest for combustion, the conversion-related energy loss was reduced to an average of 18%. This clearly shows that the delayed harvest required to maintain biomass quality

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. Global Impacts of European Agricultural and Biofuel Policies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Gerdien Prins

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Improving EU biofuels policy?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swinbank, Alan; Daugbjerg, Carsten

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Modelling the carbon and nitrogen balances of direct land use changes from energy crops in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamelin, Lorie; Jørgensen, Uffe; Petersen, Bjørn Molt;

    2012-01-01

    This paper addresses the conversion of Danish agricultural land from food/feed crops to energy crops. To this end, a life cycle inventory, which relates the input and output flows from and to the environment of 528 different crop systems, is built and described. This includes seven crops (annuals......- and micronutrients are presented. The inventory results highlight Miscanthus as a promising energy crop, indicating it presents the lowest emissions of nitrogen compounds, the highest amount of carbon dioxide sequestrated from the atmosphere, a relatively high carbon turnover efficiency and allows to increase soil...... organic carbon. Results also show that the magnitude of these benefits depends on the harvest season, soil types and climatic conditions. Inventory results further highlight winter wheat as the only annual crop where straw removal for bioenergy may be sustainable, being the only annual crop not involving...

  12. Benchmarking biofuels; Biobrandstoffen benchmarken

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-03-15

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

  13. Biofuels from microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-11-01

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

  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: FROM HOPES TO REALITY

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauvergne, Peter; Neville, Kate J

    2010-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorel Dusmanescu

    2016-08-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timilsina, Govinda R

    2014-01-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-29

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-10-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-01-31

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

  9. Seasonal dynamics of nutrient accumulation and partitioning in the perennial C{sub 4}-grasses Miscanthus x giganteus and Spartina cynosuroides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beale, C.V. [Writtle College, Chelmsford (United Kingdom)] Long, S.P. [Essex Univ., Colchester (United Kingdom). Dept. of Biological and Chemical Sciences

    1997-12-31

    Seasonal variation in the accumulation and partitioning of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium was determined in both the above-ground and below-ground dry matter of the potential energy crops Miscanthus x giganteus and Spartina cynosuroides. It is desirable from both economic and environmental perspectives that such crops should exhibit a high nutrient use efficiency and minimal nutrient losses to the environment. The N, P and K concentrations in the above-ground dry matter, at final harvest, were 5.0, 0.6 and 12.0 mg g{sup -1} respectively in M. x giganteus and 3.0, 0.4 and 1.0 mg g{sup -1} in S. cynosurodes. Both species exhibited the high N-use efficiency expected of C{sub 4} plants. Nitrate leaching was negligible. At the end of the growing season, nutrients were translocated to the rhizomes and, in the case of M. giganteus, recycled to the soil in shed leaves. Consequently the nutrient content of the crop offtake was low. It was calculated that the N, P and K requirements of a M. x giganteus crop producing an above-ground harvest of 1.5 kg m{sup -2} dry matter would be 9.2, .3 and 20.4 g m{sup -2} respectively. The corresponding nutrient requirements for S. cynosuroides would be 7.5, 1.7 and 8.8 g m{sup -2}. Except for the K requirements of M. x giganteus, the N, P and K demands of both species were less than those of typical graminaceous crops, including maize. (Author)

  10. Bioprocessing for biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanch, Harvey W

    2012-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doshi, Rupak; Nguyen, Tuan; Chang, Geoffrey

    2013-05-07

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Threshold dynamics in soil carbon storage for bioenergy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Dong K; Quijano, Juan C; Kumar, Praveen; Chaoka, Sayo; Bernacchi, Carl J

    2014-10-21

    Because of 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. The foliar carbon/nitrogen ratio (C/N) in these bioenergy crops at harvest is significantly higher than the ratios in replaced crops, such as corn or soybean. We show that there is a critical soil organic matter C/N ratio, where microbial biomass can be impaired as microorganisms become dependent upon net immobilization. The simulation results show that there is a threshold effect in the amount of aboveground 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 aboveground biomass for switchgrass and miscanthus, respectively. 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 to a corn-corn-soybean rotation.

  16. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    the 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...... expected to have different digestibilities due to maturity stage, dry matter content and the implementation of extrusion as a mechanical pretreatment. The results of the DNS and the biogas batch test methods were highly correlated (R2 between 0.75 and 0.92), but not with the results of the HTPH method....... The DNS and biogas batch test showed that digestibility differed between samples, probably due to the degree of lignification and content of soluble sugars. For the HTPH method, the digestibility for biorefining was the same irrespective of the variation in the other analyses. The HTPH method had higher...

  18. WET TORREFACTION OF MISCANTHUS – CHARACTERIZATION OF HYDROCHARS IN VIEW OF HANDLING, STORAGE AND COMBUSTION PROPERTIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateusz Wnukowski

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Properties of miscanthus hydrochars obtained through wet torrefaction were studied. The process was carried out in three different temperatures – 180, 200 and 220 °C and with four different ratios of water to biomass – 3:1, 6:1, 12:1 and 16:1. The obtained solid products were characterized with respect to their fuel properties. The best results were obtained for the temperature of 220 °C and showed a noticeable improvement in fuel properties – especially grindability and lowered ash content. The influence of water to biomass ratio was not so explicit and while high ratio showed an improvement in all mentioned properties, low ratio allowed to achieve the highest energy yield. The results obtained for miscanthus wet torrefaction and the literature data for dry torrefaction were compared.

  19. Isolation and Characterization of Microsatellite Loci for a Bioenergy Grass, Miscanthus sacchariflorus (Poaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hai-Fei Zhou

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Premise of the study: Microsatellite loci were developed for the biomass C4 grass, Miscanthus sacchariflorus, and proved to be suitable markers for population genetic studies and germplasm management of this species. Methods and Results: Twenty-three polymorphic microsatellite loci were identified from an enriched genomic library of M. sacchariflorus. The polymorphism was assessed in 50 individuals from two populations in China. The number of alleles per locus varied from two to 18, with a mean of 8.13. The observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.2 to 1.0 and from 0.198 to 0.898, respectively. Conclusions: These new markers will be useful for further investigation of genetic diversity and population genetic structure as well as molecular breeding of Miscanthus species.

  20. Addition of ammonia and/or oxygen to an ionic liquid for delignification of miscanthus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Héctor; Padmanabhan, Sasisanker; Poon, Geoffrey; Prausnitz, John M

    2011-09-01

    Ammonia and/or oxygen were used to enhance the delignification of miscanthus dissolved in 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate at 140°C. After dissolution of the gas at 9 bar, water was added as antisolvent to regenerate the dissolved biomass. In a next step, an acetone/water mixture was used to remove carbohydrate-free lignin from the regenerated biomass. The lignin content in the final product was around 10%, much lower than the ca. 23% lignin content of the raw dry miscanthus. This lignin reduction is achieved without diminution of cellulose or of total carbohydrates recovered, relative to the recovery achieved with the ionic liquid pretreatment in contact with air or nitrogen.

  1. 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

  2. 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%.

  3. 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

  4. Analysis of advanced biofuels.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  5. First generation biofuels compete.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Marshall A

    2010-11-30

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

  6. 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%.

  7. 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.

  8. Microalgae as a raw material for biofuels production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouveia, Luisa; Oliveira, Ana Cristina

    2009-02-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chao-Li; Ho, Chuan-Wen; Chiang, Yu-Chung; Shigemoto, Yasumasa; Hsu, Tsai-Wen; Hwang, Chi-Chuan; Ge, Xue-Jun; Chen, Charles; Wu, Tai-Han; Chou, Chang-Hung; Huang, Hao-Jen; Gojobori, Takashi; Osada, Naoki; Chiang, Tzen-Yuh

    2014-12-01

    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 1.59 million 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 = 3.36 × 10(-9) to 1.20 × 10(-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.

  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, H.B.

    2008-01-01

    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....... 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...

  12. Sustainable Process Design of Lignocellulose based Biofuel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mangnimit, Saranya; Malakul, Pomthong; Gani, Rafiqul

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

  13. Advancing environmental risk assessment for transgenic biofeedstock crops

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

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

  14. International Trade of Biofuels (Brochure)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2010-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Climate effects of biofuels: measuring some key parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Biofuels: policies, standards and technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-09-15

    Skyrocketing prices of crude oil in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century accompanied by rising prices for food focused political and public attention on the role of biofuels. On the one hand, biofuels were considered as a potential automotive fuel with a bright future, on the other hand, biofuels were accused of competing with food production for land. The truth must lie somewhere in-between and is strongly dependent on the individual circumstance in different countries and regions. As food and energy are closely interconnected and often compete with each other for other resources, such as water, the World Energy Council - following numerous requests of its Member Committees - decided to undertake an independent assessment of biofuels policies, technologies and standards.

  1. Conventional and advanced liquid biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đurišić-Mladenović Nataša L.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, Sheshti; Rydberg, Torbjörn

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanuandri Putrasari

    2016-11-01

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

  4. Role of arthropod communities in bioenergy crop litter decomposition†.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zangerl, Arthur R; Miresmailli, Saber; Nabity, Paul; Lawrance, Allen; Yanahan, Alan; Mitchell, Corey A; Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J; David, Mark B; Berenbaum, May R; DeLucia, Evan H

    2013-10-01

    The extensive land use conversion expected to occur to meet demands for bioenergy feedstock production will likely have widespread impacts on agroecosystem biodiversity and ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration. Although arthropod detritivores are known to contribute to litter decomposition and thus energy flow and nutrient cycling in many plant communities, their importance in bioenergy feedstock communities has not yet been assessed. We undertook an experimental study quantifying rates of litter mass loss and nutrient cycling in the presence and absence of these organisms in three bioenergy feedstock crops-miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and a planted prairie community. Overall arthropod abundance and litter decomposition rates were similar in all three communities. Despite effective reduction of arthropods in experimental plots via insecticide application, litter decomposition rates, inorganic nitrogen leaching, and carbon-nitrogen ratios did not differ significantly between control (with arthropods) and treatment (without arthropods) plots in any of the three community types. Our findings suggest that changes in arthropod faunal composition associated with widespread adoption of bioenergy feedstock crops may not be associated with profoundly altered arthropod-mediated litter decomposition and nutrient release.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-04

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

  10. Molecular Breeding of Advanced Microorganisms for Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroshi Sakuragi

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Crop physiology calibration in CLM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Bilionis

    2014-10-01

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

  12. BIOFUEL FROM CORN STOVER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ljiljanka Tomerlin

    2003-12-01

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

  13. Biofuels and food security

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dmitry S. STREBKOV

    2015-03-01

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

  14. 基于生物质能的芒属(Miscanthus)植物碳动态和收支研究进展%A review on carbon dynamics and budget of biomass energy species of Miscanthus spp.

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    欧阳旭; 张亚茹; 李跃林

    2013-01-01

    生物质能(Biomass energy)是最为广泛的可再生能源,其中多年生芒属C4植物(Miscanthus)由于具有巨大碳固定能力而成为潜力巨大的生物质能植物。中国是芒属植物芒草起源中心,但相对于欧洲国家应对能源危机和温室效应而采取的芒草研究与应用来说,仍处于起步阶段。我国长期以来传统的草地利用模式,决定了在南方草地的研究显著少于北方,近年来芒草在华南地区的运用研究集中于生态修复,对草本植物群落基于生态系统水平的 CO2气体交换能力的研究仍然相当缺乏,在二氧化碳浓度持续增长及全球变暖背景下,生物质能植物及其碳汇功能的相关研究尤显重要。我国南方近6700万hm2退化丘陵草坡急待恢复或处于恢复中,草坡地芒属植物符合生物质能植物标准,施肥少,害虫少,农药输入少,能够有效地利用光、水等自然资源。考虑到C4植物具有比C3植物更强的光合作用能力,高光能利用率C4芒属植物的碳固定能力及能源潜力值得重视,但缺乏科学的碳动态和碳收支评估。综述了国内外芒草生物量特征与生物质能潜力研究现状,重点论述芒属植物生态系统水平的碳动态和收支能力研究,探讨了系统水平更客观评估芒属碳源汇(Carbon sequestration)功能的方法,基于生物量过程的研究结果及华南地区草坡研究历史和现状,为草坡地生物质能的合理开发利用提出了相关对策,强调在我国南方开发和利用芒属植物资源具有重要能源价值和经济、环境效益。%Biomass energy is the most widely used form of renewable energy resource, among which, the C4 perennial grass Miscanthus has proved a promising bio-energy crop because of its great capability of carbon sequestration. Although China is one of the original centers of Miscanthus, compared with the research and application of

  15. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meineke, Till; Manisseri, Chithra; Voigt, Christian A

    2014-01-01

    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.

  16. Application of visible and near-infrared spectroscopy to classification of Miscanthus species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Chunhai; Chen, Liang; Yu, Bin; Yi, Zili; Yoo, Ji Hye; Heo, Kweon; Yu, Chang Yeon; Yamada, Toshihiko; Sacks, Erik J.; Peng, Junhua

    2017-01-01

    The feasibility of visible and near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy as tool to classify Miscanthus samples was explored in this study. Three types of Miscanthus plants, namely, M. sinensis, M. sacchariflorus and M. fIoridulus, were analyzed using a NIR spectrophotometer. Several classification models based on the NIR spectra data were developed using line discriminated analysis (LDA), partial least squares (PLS), least squares support vector machine regression (LSSVR), radial basis function (RBF) and neural network (NN). The principal component analysis (PCA) presented rough classification with overlapping samples, while the models of Line_LSSVR, RBF_LSSVR and RBF_NN presented almost same calibration and validation results. Due to the higher speed of Line_LSSVR than RBF_LSSVR and RBF_NN, we selected the line_LSSVR model as a representative. In our study, the model based on line_LSSVR showed higher accuracy than LDA and PLS models. The total correct classification rates of 87.79 and 96.51% were observed based on LDA and PLS model in the testing set, respectively, while the line_LSSVR showed 99.42% of total correct classification rate. Meanwhile, the lin_LSSVR model in the testing set showed correct classification rate of 100, 100 and 96.77% for M. sinensis, M. sacchariflorus and M. fIoridulus, respectively. The lin_LSSVR model assigned 99.42% of samples to the right groups, except one M. fIoridulus sample. The results demonstrated that NIR spectra combined with a preliminary morphological classification could be an effective and reliable procedure for the classification of Miscanthus species. PMID:28369059

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas G. Danalatos

    2008-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hanwool; Lee, Choul-Gyun

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hanwool

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Comparison of GHG fluxes from conventional and energy crop production from adjacent fields in the UK, using novel technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, James Benjamin; Ineson, Phil; Toet, Sylvia; Stockdale, James; Vallack, Harry; Blei, Emanuel; Bentley, Mark; Howarth, Steve

    2016-04-01

    With combustion of fossil fuels driving anthropogenic climate change, allied to a diminishing global reserve of these resources it is vital for alternative sources of energy production to be investigated. One alternative is biomass; ethanol fermented from corn (Zea mays) or sugar cane (Saccharum spp.) has long been used as a petroleum substitute, and oilseed rape (OSR, Brassica napus) is the principal feedstock for biodiesel production in Germany, the third biggest producer of this fuel globally. Diverting food crops into energy production would seem counter-productive, given there exists genuine concern regarding our ability to meet future global food demand, thus attention has turned to utilising lignocellulosic material: woody tissue and non-food crop by-products such as corn stover. For this reason species such as the perennial grass Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) are being cultivated for energy production, and these are referred to as second generation energy crops. They are attractive since they do not deplete food supplies, have high yields, require less fertiliser input than annual arable crops, and can be grown on marginal agricultural land. To assess the effectiveness of a crop for bioenergy production, it is vital that accurate quantification of greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes is obtained for their cultivation in the field. We will present data from a series of studies investigating the GHG fluxes from the energy crops OSR and Miscanthus under various nutrient additions in a comparison with conventional arable cropping at the same site in the United Kingdom (UK). A combination of methods were employed to measure fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O from both soil and vegetation, at various temporal and spatial scales. Conventional manual chambers were deployed on a monthly regime to quantify soil GHG fluxes, and were supplemented with automated soil flux chambers measuring soil respiration at an hourly frequency. Additionally, two novel automated chamber systems

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. Biofuels from food processing wastes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Green chemistry, biofuels, and biorefinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. The influence of drought and heat stress on long-term carbon fluxes of bioenergy crops grown in the Midwestern USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joo, Eva; Hussain, Mir Zaman; Zeri, Marcelo; Masters, Michael D; Miller, Jesse N; Gomez-Casanovas, Nuria; DeLucia, Evan H; Bernacchi, Carl J

    2016-09-01

    Perennial grasses are promising feedstocks for bioenergy production in the Midwestern USA. Few experiments have addressed how drought influences their carbon fluxes and storage. This study provides a direct comparison of ecosystem-scale measurements of carbon fluxes associated with miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), restored native prairie and maize (Zea mays)/soybean (Glycine max) ecosystems. The main objective of this study was to assess the influence of a naturally occurring drought during 2012 on key components of the carbon cycle and plant development relative to non-extreme years. The perennials reached full maturity 3-5 years after establishment. Miscanthus had the highest gross primary production (GPP) and lowest net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in 2012 followed by similar values for switchgrass and prairie, and the row crops had the lowest GPP and highest NEE. A post-drought effect was observed for miscanthus. Over the duration of the experiment, perennial ecosystems were carbon sinks, as indicated by negative net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB), while maize/soybean was a net carbon source. Our observations suggest that perennial ecosystems, and in particular miscanthus, can provide a high yield and a large potential for CO2 fixation even during drought, although drought may negatively influence carbon uptake in the following year, questioning the long-term consequence of its maintained productivity.

  8. The Implications of Growing Bioenergy Crops on Water Resources, Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    The bioenergy crops, Corn, Miscanthus and switchgrass have a potential to meet future energy demands in the US and mitigate climate change by partially replacing fossil fuels. However, the large-scale cultivation of these bioenergy crops may also impact climate change through changes in albedo, evapotranspiration (ET), and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Whether these climate effects will mitigate or exacerbate climate change in the short and long terms is uncertain. The uncertainties come from our incomplete understanding of the effects of expanded bioenergy crop production on terrestrial water and energy balance, carbon and nitrogen dynamics, and their interactions. This study aims to understand the implications of growing large scale bioenergy crops on water resources, carbon and nitrogen dynamics in the United States using a data- modeling framework (ISAM) that we developed. Our study indicates that both Miscanthus and Cave-in-Rock switchgrass can attain high and stable yield over parts of the Midwest, however, this high production is attained at the cost of increased soil water loss as compared to current natural vegetation. Alamo switchgrass can attain high and stable yield in the southern US without significant influence on soil water quantity.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Biomass productivity and radiation utilisation of innovative cropping systems for biorefinery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manevski, Kiril; Lærke, Poul Erik; Jiao, Xiurong

    2017-01-01

    for biomass production, and compare their performance with traditional cropping systems commonly used in northern European agriculture. Measurements of biomass yield from 2012 to 2015 at two Danish sites differing in soil type and climatic conditions were conducted in three main cropping systems: i) optimised...... rotation of annual crops (maize, beet, hemp/oat, triticale, winter rye and winter rapeseed), ii) perennial crops intensively fertilised (festulolium, reed canary, cocksfoot and tall fescue), low-fertilised (miscanthus) or unfertilised (grass-legume mixtures) and iii) traditional systems (continuous...... on biodiversity. The fraction of intercepted photosynthetically active radiation (fIpar), the accumulated intercepted photosynthetically active radiation (Ipar) and the radiation use efficiency (RUE) were determined from canopy radiations measured biweekly for three years. These results showed a higher annual...

  11. Policies promoting Biofuels in Sweden

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  12. Estimating Biofuel Feedstock Water Footprints Using System Dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Inman, Daniel; Warner, Ethan; Stright, Dana; Macknick, Jordan; Peck, Corey

    2016-07-01

    Increased biofuel production has prompted concerns about the environmental tradeoffs of biofuels compared to petroleum-based fuels. Biofuel production in general, and feedstock production in particular, is under increased scrutiny. Water footprinting (measuring direct and indirect water use) has been proposed as one measure to evaluate water use in the context of concerns about depleting rural water supplies through activities such as irrigation for large-scale agriculture. Water footprinting literature has often been limited in one or more key aspects: complete assessment across multiple water stocks (e.g., vadose zone, surface, and ground water stocks), geographical resolution of data, consistent representation of many feedstocks, and flexibility to perform scenario analysis. We developed a model called BioSpatial H2O using a system dynamics modeling and database framework. BioSpatial H2O could be used to consistently evaluate the complete water footprints of multiple biomass feedstocks at high geospatial resolutions. BioSpatial H2O has the flexibility to perform simultaneous scenario analysis of current and potential future crops under alternative yield and climate conditions. In this proof-of-concept paper, we modeled corn grain (Zea mays L.) and soybeans (Glycine max) under current conditions as illustrative results. BioSpatial H2O links to a unique database that houses annual spatially explicit climate, soil, and plant physiological data. Parameters from the database are used as inputs to our system dynamics model for estimating annual crop water requirements using daily time steps. Based on our review of the literature, estimated green water footprints are comparable to other modeled results, suggesting that BioSpatial H2O is computationally sound for future scenario analysis. Our modeling framework builds on previous water use analyses to provide a platform for scenario-based assessment. BioSpatial H2O's system dynamics is a flexible and user

  13. In situ catalytic pyrolysis of miscanthus over modified SBA-15 catalysts using Py-GC/MS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Eun Hwa; Jeon, Mi-Jin; Jeon, Jong-Ki; Suh, Dong Jin; Park, Sung Hoon; Seo, Bora; Joo, Sang Hoon; Park, Young-Kwon

    2014-03-01

    Various SBA-15-based catalysts, Si-SBA-15, Pt/Si-SBA-15, Al-SBA-15, and Pt/Al-SBA-15, were applied to the catalytic pyrolysis of miscanthus. Pt nanoparticles with three different sizes, 1.7 nm, 2.9 nm, and 7.1 nm, were used to synthesize Pt/Si-SBA-15 and Pt/Al-SBA-15. Pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry was used for the pyrolysis experiments. The catalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction patterns, transmittance electron microscopy, N2 adsorption-desorption, and Brunaure-Emmett-Teller surface area. The product species distribution of pyrolysis of miscanthus was significantly affected by the acid property of the catalyst and the presence of Pt. In particular, Pt/Al-SBA-15, which has both acid sites and Pt, changed the product species distribution to the largest extent; the main products were phenolics and furans. The effect of Pt particle size on the species distribution of pyrolysis product was negligible.

  14. Biogas production from energy crops and agriculture residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, G.

    2010-12-15

    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) sugar release and (b) methane potential when comparing the pretreated biomass and raw biomass. Ensiling 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-digestion of raw and wet explosion pretreated energy crops and agriculture residues with swine manure at various volatile solids (VS) ratio between crop and manure was carried out by batch tests and continuous experiments. The efficiency of the co-digestion experiment was evaluated based on (a) the methane potential in term of ml CH4 produced per g of VS-added and (b) the amount of methane produced per m3 of reactor volume. (Author)

  15. Biofuel supply chain, market, and policy analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Leilei

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

  16. Life Cycle Assessment of Biofuels in Sweden; Livscykelanalys av svenska biodrivmedel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boerjesson, Paal; Tufvesson, Linda; Lantz, Mikael

    2009-05-15

    The purpose with this study is to carry out updated and developed life cycle assessments of biofuels produced and used in Sweden today. The focuses are on making the assessments as relevant and transparent as possible and identify hot spots having significant impacts on the environmental performance of the specific biofuel production chains. The study includes sensitivity analyses showing the impact on changed future conditions. The results should be seen as actual and average environmental performance based on updated calculation methods, thus individual systems developed by specific companies may have somewhat different performance. Biofuels analysed are ethanol from wheat, sugar beet and sugar cane (imported from Brazil), RME from rape seed, biogas from sugar beet, ley crops, maize and organic residues, such as municipal waste, food industry waste and liquor manure. The study also includes co-production of ethanol and biogas from wheat. Final use in both light and heavy duty vehicles, and related emissions, are assessed. Environmental impact categories considered are climate change, eutrophication, acidification, photochemical oxidants, particles and energy balances. The calculations include emissions from technical systems, e.g. energy input in various operations and processes, and biogenic emissions of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide from direct land use changes (LUC). The potential risk of indirect land use changes (ILUC) is also assessed. By-products are included by three different calculation methods, system expansion, energy allocation and economic allocation. The results are presented per MJ biofuel, but the alternative functional unit per hectare cropland is also used regarding the greenhouse gas performance of crop-based biofuels. Finally, estimations are carried out regarding the current environmental performance of the actual various biofuel systems based on system expansion, recommended by the ISO-standardisation of LCA, and energy allocation

  17. The economical and environmental performance of miscanthus and switchgrass production and supply chains in a European setting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smeets, E.M.W.; Lewandowski, I.M.; Faaij, A.P.C.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to analyse the economical and environmental performance of switchgrass and miscanthus production and supply chains in the European Union (EU25), for the years 2004 and 2030. The environmental performance refers to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the primary fossil en

  18. Growth characteristics and nutrient depletion of Miscanthus x ogiformis Honda 'Giganteus' suspension cultures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holme, Inger Bæksted

    1998-01-01

    The growth characteristics and nutrient depletion in suspension cultures of Miscanthus ogiformis Honda ‘Giganteus' grown in media containing either Murashige and Skoog or N6 basal nutrient salts were studied during a culture period of 15 days. Proline was added to both media in concentrations from...

  19. Algae Derived Biofuel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-03-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-09-15

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

  1. Strategic environmental assessment for sustainable expansion of palm oil biofuels in Brazilian north region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carvalho, Carolina

    2010-09-15

    Biofuels development in Brazil is a key factor for the environment and sustainable development of the country. Brazil has great potential of available areas and has favourable climate and geography for biofuel production, such as palm oil, soy, sugar cane, etc. This research aims to evaluate palm oil production and expansion in Para state, in the north of Brazil and also Amazonian territory. Degraded land will be evaluated through remote sensing, because palm oil crops should be placed in these lands, and secondly, expansion scenarios would be created. This PhD research will be a decision support tool for public policies.

  2. Advancing Biofuels: Balancing for Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. Biofuel availability and domestic use patterns in Kenya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-11-01

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

  5. An assessment of Thailand's biofuel development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Biofuels Refining Engineering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-03-28

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

  7. Short rotation Wood Crops Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-08-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. CROPS Clever Robots for Crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. C4 bioenergy crops for cool climates, with special emphasis on perennial C4 grasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sage, Rowan F; de Melo Peixoto, Murilo; Friesen, Patrick; Deen, Bill

    2015-07-01

    There is much interest in cultivating C4 perennial plants in northern climates where there is an abundance of land and a potential large market for biofuels. C4 feedstocks can exhibit superior yields to C3 alternatives during the long warm days of summer at high latitude, but their summer success depends on an ability to tolerate deep winter cold, spring frosts, and early growth-season chill. Here, we review cold tolerance limits in C4 perennial grasses. Dozens of C4 species are known from high latitudes to 63 °N and elevations up to 5200 m, demonstrating that C4 plants can adapt to cold climates. Of the three leading C4 grasses being considered for bioenergy production in cold climates--Miscanthus spp., switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata)--all are tolerant of cool temperatures (10-15 °C), but only cordgrass tolerates hard spring frosts. All three species overwinter as dormant rhizomes. In the productive Miscanthus×giganteus hybrids, exposure to temperatures below -3 °C to -7 °C will kill overwintering rhizomes, while for upland switchgrass and cordgrass, rhizomes survive exposure to temperatures above -20 °C to -24 °C. Cordgrass emerges earlier than switchgrass and M. giganteus genotypes, but lacks the Miscanthus growth potential once warmer days of late spring arrive. To enable C4-based bioenergy production in colder climates, breeding priorities should emphasize improved cold tolerance of M.×giganteus, and enhanced productivity of switchgrass and cordgrass. This should be feasible in the near future, because wild populations of each species exhibit a diverse range of cold tolerance and growth capabilities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. Impact of drying-rewetting events on the response of soil microbial functions to dairyfibre and Miscanthus biochars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnett, Sam; Vink, Stefanie; Baker, Kate; Saghir, Muhammad; Hornung, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    Biochar application has been shown to positively affect soil microbial functions such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing water/nutrient availability and increasing crop yields in tropical regions (Lehmann & Joseph, 2009). Understanding the dynamics of biochar application to soil microbial processes is critical for ensuring that soil quality, integrity and sustainability of the soil sub-system are maintained for crop growth. The aim of this British Ecological Society (BES) funded study was to examine the effect of two types of biochar on soil physicochemistry, GHG production, soil enzyme activities and microbial biomass in typical agricultural soil types and whether the effects were altered by drying, rewetting and flooding events. Miscanthus and dairyfibre (a mixture of straw and manure) feedstocks from Harper Adams University were pyrolyzed by Aston University at 450 °C using 100 kg/hr pyroformer technology. Two sieved soil types (sandy loam and clay loam) were mixed with dry biochar to produce 2 and 10 % w/w treatments for comparison with controls and maintained at 15 °C in temperature controlled incubators. At 0, 22, 44, 80, 101, and 114 days, soil was collected for determination of heterotrophic respiration, and microbial biomass by substrate-induced respiration (SIR), by gas headspace incubation and analysis of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) by gas chromatography. Soil was sampled for the determination of water-extractable carbon, pH, and extracellular enzyme activities. Soil samples were maintained at field gravimetric water content between 0 and 44 days; air dried between 44 and 80 days; rewetted between 80 and 101 days; and flooded between 101 to 114 days. Results showed that the impact of biochar on soil microbial processes was dependent on biochar type and soil type, the level of biochar application and changes in soil moisture. Biochar affected soil pH particularly within the dairyfibre treatments, potentially due to the

  18. From first generation biofuels to advanced solar biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aro, Eva-Mari

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-11-15

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

  20. Kinetics of levulinic acid and furfural production from Miscanthus × giganteus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dussan, K; Girisuta, B; Haverty, D; Leahy, J J; Hayes, M H B

    2013-12-01

    This study investigated the kinetics of acid hydrolysis of the cellulose and hemicellulose in Miscanthus to produce levulinic acid and furfural under mild temperature and high acid concentration. Experiments were carried out in an 8L-batch reactor with 9%-wt. biomass loading, acid concentrations between 0.10 and 0.53 M H2SO4, and at temperatures between 150 and 200°C. The concentrations of xylose, glucose, furfural, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural and levulinic acid were used in two mechanistic kinetic models for the prediction of the performance of ideal continuous reactors for the optimisation of levulinic acid and the concurrent production of furfural. A two-stage arrangement was found to maximise furfural in the first reactor (PFR - 185°C, 0.5M H2SO4, 27.3%-mol). A second stage leads to levulinic acid yields between 58% and 72%-mol at temperatures between 160 and 200°C.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vrije, de G.J.; Bakker, R.R.; Budde, M.A.W.; Lai, M.H.; Mars, A.E.; Claassen, P.A.M.

    2009-01-01

    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 Caldicellulo

  2. Algal biofuels: challenges and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  3. Liquid biofuels from blue biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-12-15

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

  5. Biofuels: balancing risks and rewards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornley, Patricia; Gilbert, Paul

    2013-02-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pu Peng

    2014-07-01

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

  9. Biofuels development and the policy regime.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Optimization of Biofuel Production From Transgenic Microalgae

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-27

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  12. Progress and recent trends in biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-02-15

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

  13. Biofuel: A Comparative Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-01

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

  14. Liquid biofuels emergence, development and prospects

    CERN Document Server

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Yi-Wen; Wu, May

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-06

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

  17. Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB). Users' manual and technical documentation.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mueller, S; Dunn, JB; Wang, M (Energy Systems); (Univ. of Illinois at Chicago)

    2012-06-07

    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 May 31, 2012 which includes corn, as did the previous CCLUB version, and three cellulosic feedstocks: corn stover, miscanthus, and switchgrass. CCLUB calculations are based upon two data sets: land change areas and above- and below-ground carbon content. Table 1 identifies where these data are stored and used within the CCLUB model, which is built in MS Excel. Land change area data is from Purdue University's Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model, a computable general equilibrium (CGE) economic model. Section 2 describes the GTAP data CCLUB uses and how these data were modified to reflect shrubland transitions. Feedstock- and spatially-explicit below-ground carbon content data for the United States were generated with a surrogate model for CENTURY's soil organic carbon sub-model (Kwon and Hudson 2010) as described in Section 3. CENTURY is a soil organic matter model developed by Parton et al. (1987). The previous CCLUB version used more coarse domestic carbon emission factors. Above-ground non-soil carbon content data for forest ecosystems was sourced from the USDA/NCIAS Carbon Online Estimator (COLE) as explained in Section 4. We discuss emission factors used for calculation of international greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Section 5. Temporal issues associated with modeling LUC emissions are the topic of Section 6. Finally, in Section 7 we provide a step-by-step guide to using CCLUB and obtaining results.

  18. Advancing environmental risk assessment for transgenic biofeedstock crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolt Jeffrey D

    2009-11-01

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

  19. Biofuels and Land use in Sweden - An overview of land-use change effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoeglund, J. [IVL Swedish Environmental Research Inst., Stockholm (Sweden); Ahlgren, S. [Lund Univ., Lund (Sweden); Grahn, M. [Chalmers Univ. of Technology, Goeteborg (Sweden); Sundberg, C. [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden)] [and others

    2013-09-01

    Supported by policies, biofuel production has been continuously increasing worldwide during recent years owing to a scientific consensus that human-induced global warming is a reality and the need to reduce import dependency of fossil fuels. However, concerns have been raised that bio-fuels, often advocated as the future substitute for greenhouse gas (GHG) intensive fossil fuels, may cause negative effects on the climate and the environment. When assessing GHG emissions from biofuels, the production phase of the biofuel crop is essential since this is the phase in which most of the GHG emissions occur during the life cycle of the fuel (not accounting for biogenic CO{sub 2} from the tailpipe). Much research has been focusing on the GHG performance of biofuels, but there are also a range of other possible environmental effects of biofuel production, often linked to land use and land management. Changes in land use can result from a wide range of anthropogenic activities including agriculture and forestry management, livestock and biofuel production. Direct effects of land-use change (LUC) range from changes of carbon stock in standing biomass to biodiversity impacts and nutrient leakage. Beside the direct effects, indirect effects can influence other uses of land through market forces across countries and continents. These indirect effects are complex to measure and observe. This report provides an overview of a much debated issue: the connection between LUC and bio-fuel production and associated potential impacts on a wide range of aspects (i.e., soil chemistry, biodiversity, socio economics, climate change, and policy). The main purpose of the report is to give a broad overview of the literature on LUC impacts from biofuel production, not only taking into account the link between LUC and GHG, which has been addressed in many other studies. The report first presents a review of the literature in the different scientific areas related to LUC and biofuel production

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-11-15

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

  1. The drought of 2012: Effects on photosynthesis and soil respiration in bioenergy cropping systems of the Midwest USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruse, M.; Kucharik, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency and severity of drought conditions across the central US. This heightened risk on producers and economies alike also supports the need to improve our understanding of how extreme environmental conditions impact other ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, which is directly linked to net ecosystem exchange (NEE). In doing so, the scientific community aims to improve the realism of ecosystem models that are relied upon to project changes in large scale and long-term land surface-atmosphere carbon exchange as they are affected by continued land management change and climate change. One such large-scale land management change of the next several decades in the Midwest US could be the expansion of bioenergy cropping systems across the landscape. A wide range of bioenergy cropping systems (e.g., miscanthus, switchgrass, diverse prairie, hybrid poplar) are now targeted to support a feedstock supply chain for production of cellulosic biofuels. Many of these agroecosystems have only recently begun to appear as functional types in dynamic ecosystem models, and a general lack of observational data across a wide range of soils and climate has hampered model development and validation. In response to this shortcoming, from 2009 through 2012, component measurements of ecosystem carbon exchange (total soil respiration and leaf level photosynthetic rates) have been made along with measurements of other soil and meteorological variables in three model bioenergy cropping systems (continuous corn, hybrid poplar and switchgrass) at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) field trial at Arlington, Wisconsin. The three cropping systems encompass a wide range of growth (e.g. C3 vs. C4, annual vs. perennial) and management (e.g., tillage, harvesting) strategies that are predicted to impart different controls on NEE given likely varying biological responses to extreme weather events. Throughout the study period, the

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wayne Liao,

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available 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 application of M. floridulus stems was proposed. Oil absorption ability represented by the amount of soybean and motor oils absorbed by one gram of pulverized M. floridulus stems was estimated to be 2.25 ± 0.25 and 2.33 ± 0.18 g, respectively. Gold nanoparticles were used to investigate the absorption ability of M. floridulus stems. The absorption of gold nanoparticles by M. floridulus stems was visualized using SEM and TEM. In addition, the IR spectrum of M. floridulus stems was recorded for comparison with other studies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amani Elobeid

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seth D. Meyer; Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes

    2010-12-02

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

  9. Water savings of redistributing global crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uellendahl, H; Wang, G; Møller, H B; Jørgensen, U; Skiadas, I V; Gavala, H N; Ahring, B K

    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 crops competitive to the use of corn and this combination will make the production of biogas from energy crops more sustainable.

  11. Zinc-Laccase Biofuel Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdul Aziz Ahmad

    2011-12-01

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

  12. Producing biofuels using polyketide synthases

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-16

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

  13. Synthetic Biology Guides Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R. Connor

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  15. COMPUTATIONAL RESOURCES FOR BIOFUEL FEEDSTOCK SPECIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-05-07

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

  16. 3 CFR - Biofuels and Rural Economic Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Biofuel investment in Tanzania. Omissions in implementation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-08-15

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

  18. International Policies on Bioenergy and Biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Biofuels and biodiversity in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. O’Farrell

    2011-05-01

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

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

  20. Global nitrogen requirement for increased biofuel production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flapper, Joris

    2008-01-01

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

  1. BIOFUEL: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gong Liming

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Bounded Biofuels? Sustainability of Global Biogas Developments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mol, A.P.J.

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Biofuels and Fisheries: Risks and Opportunities .

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  4. Biofuels. Environment, technology and food security

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-08-15

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

  5. NREL Algal Biofuels Projects and Partnerships

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2016-10-01

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

  6. Biofuel investment in Tanzania: Omissions in implementation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-08-15

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

  7. Biofuels and Sustainable Transport: A Conceptual Discussion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey Gilpin

    2013-07-01

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

  8. Coupling of algal biofuel production with wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Scope of algae as third generation biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuvashish eBehera

    2015-02-01

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

  10. Biofuels and the conundrum of sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, John J

    2009-06-01

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

  11. Coupling of Algal Biofuel Production with Wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neha Chamoli Bhatt

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaya Shankar Tumuluru; Richard D. Boardman; Christopher T. Wright; J. Richard Hess

    2012-10-01

    Torrefaction tests on miscanthus and white oak sawdust were carried out 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 saw dust are 250–350°C and 30–120 minutes, and 220 and 270°C and 30 minutes, respectively. Composition of the torrefied samples studied includes moisture content and moisture-free carbon (%), hydrogen (%), nitrogen (%), sulfur (%), and volatiles. Torrefaction at 250°C and a residence time of 30 minutes resulted in a significant decrease in moisture—about 82.68%—but the other components, C, H, N, S, and V, changed only marginally. Increasing the torrefaction temperature to 350°C and residence time to 120 minutes further reduced the moisture to a final value of 0.54% (a 93.2% reduction compared to the original) and also resulted in a significant decrease in the other components, H, N, and V, by 58.29%, 14.28%, and 70.45%, respectively. The carbon content at 350°C and 120 minutes increased by about 4% and sulfur values were below detection limits. The H/C ratio decreased with an increase in torrefaction temperature, where a minimum value of 0.6 was observed at 350°C and 120 minutes. The regression equations developed with respect to torrefaction temperature and times have adequately described the changes in chemical composition based on r2 value. The surface plots developed based on the regression equations indicate that torrefaction temperatures of 300–350°C and residence times of 30–120 minutes can help increase carbon content to >49.4% and reduce moisture, nitrogen, volatile, and the H/C ratio from 1.13 to 0.6 %, 0.27 to 0.23 %, 79 to 23 %, and 1.3 to 0.6%, respectively. Torrefaction studies on white oak sawdust (woody biomass) at 220 and 270°C for 30 minutes indicated a similar trend where moisture, volatiles, hydrogen, and nitrogen decreased with increased torrefaction temperature from initial values of 8.53%, 80

  13. Medium-term effect of perennial energy crops on soil organic carbon storage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrico Ceotto

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The scope of this study was to evaluate the effect of perennial energy crops on soil organic carbon (SOC storage. A field experiment was undertaken in 2002 at Anzola dell’Emilia in the lower Po Valley, Northern Italy. Five perennial energy crops were established on a land area which had been previously cultivated with arable crops for at least 20 years. The compared crops are: the herbaceous perennials giant reed and miscanthus, and the woody species poplar, willow and black locust, managed as short rotation coppice (SRC. SOC was measured in 2009, seven years after the start of the experiment, on an upper soil layer of 0.0-0.2 m and a lower soil layer of 0.2-0.4 m. The study aimed to compare the SOC storage of energy crops with alternative land use. Therefore, two adjacent areas were sampled in the same soil layers: i arable land in steady state, cultivated with rainfed annual crops; ii natural meadow established at the start of the experiment. The conversion of arable land into perennial energy crops resulted in SOC storage, in the upper soil layer (0.0-0.2 m ranging from 1150 to 1950 kg C ha-1 year-1 during the 7-year period. No significant differences were detected in SOC among crop species. We found no relationship between the harvested dry matter and the SOC storage. The conversion of arable land into perennial energy crops provides a substantial SOC sequestration benefit even when the hidden C cost of N industrial fertilizers is taken into account. While the SOC increased, the total N content in the soil remained fairly constant. This is probably due to the low rate of nitrogen applied to the perennial crops. However, our data are preliminary and the number of years in which the SOC continues to increase needs to be quantified, especially for the herbaceous species giant reed and miscanthus, with a supposedly long duration of the useful cropping cycle of 20 years or longer.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Vlosky

    2011-10-01

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

  16. Nitrogen fertilization challenges the climate benefit of cellulosic biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radojević Uroš

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-05-01

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

  19. AN OVERVIEW OF BIOFUELS PROCESS DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH CAROLINA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sherman, S.; French, T.

    2010-02-03

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

  20. Ultralong Cycle Life Achieved by a Natural Plant: Miscanthus × giganteus for Lithium Oxygen Batteries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shu; Bi, Xuanxuan; Tao, Ran; Wang, Qingzhen; Yao, Ying; Wu, Feng; Zhang, Cunzhong

    2017-02-08

    Large energy-storage systems and electric vehicles require energy devices with high power and high energy density. Lithium oxygen (Li-O2) batteries could achieve high energy density, but they are still facing problems such as low practical capacity and poor cyclability. Here, we prepare activated carbons (MGACs) based on the natural plant Miscanthus × giganteus (MG) through slow pyrolysis. It possesses a large surface area, plenty of active sites, and high porosity, which are beneficial to the utilization of oxygen electrode in Li-O2 batteries. The MGACs-based oxygen electrode delivers a high specific capacity of 9400 mAh/g at 0.02 mA/cm(2), and long cycle life of 601 cycles (with a cutoff capacity of 500 mAh/g) and 295 cycles (with a cutoff capacity of 1000 mAh/g) at 0.2 mA/cm(2), respectively. Additionally, the material exhibits high rate capability and high reversibility, which is a promising candidate for the application in Li-O2 batteries.

  1. Gasification of torrefied Miscanthus × giganteus in an air-blown bubbling fluidized bed gasifier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, G; Kwapinska, M; Horvat, A; Kwapinski, W; Rabou, L P L M; Dooley, S; Czajka, K M; Leahy, J J

    2014-05-01

    Torrefaction is suggested to be an effective method to improve the fuel properties of biomass and gasification of torrefied biomass should provide a higher quality product gas than that from unprocessed biomass. In this study, both raw and torrefied Miscanthus × giganteus (M×G) were gasified in an air-blown bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) gasifier using olivine as the bed material. The effects of equivalence ratio (ER) (0.18-0.32) and bed temperature (660-850°C) on the gasification performance were investigated. The results obtained suggest the optimum gasification conditions for the torrefied M × G are ER 0.21 and 800°C. The product gas from these process conditions had a higher heating value (HHV) of 6.70 MJ/m(3), gas yield 2m(3)/kg biomass (H2 8.6%, CO 16.4% and CH4 4.4%) and cold gas efficiency 62.7%. The comparison between raw and torrefied M × G indicates that the torrefied M × G is more suitable BFB gasification.

  2. Catalytic pyrolysis of miscanthus × giganteus in a spouted bed reactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Shoucheng; Sun, Yijia; Gamliel, David P; Valla, Julia A; Bollas, George M

    2014-10-01

    A conical spouted bed reactor was designed and tested for fast catalytic pyrolysis of miscanthus × giganteus over Zeolite Socony Mobil-5 (ZSM-5) catalyst, in the temperature range of 400-600 °C and catalyst to biomass ratios 1:1-5:1. The effect of operating conditions on the lumped product distribution, bio-oil selectivity and gas composition was investigated. In particular, it was shown that higher temperature favors the production of gas and bio-oil aromatics and results in lower solid and liquid yields. Higher catalyst to biomass ratios increased the gas yield, at the expense of liquid and solid products, while enhancing aromatic selectivity. The separate catalytic effects of ZSM-5 catalyst and its Al2O3 support were studied. The support contributes to increased coke/char formation, due to the uncontrolled spatial distribution and activity of its alumina sites. The presence of ZSM-5 zeolite in the catalyst enhanced the production of aromatics due to its proper pore size distribution and activity.

  3. Oxidative acid treatment and characterization of new biocarbon from sustainable Miscanthus biomass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anstey, Andrew [Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC), Department of Plant Agriculture, Crop Science Building, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 (Canada); School of Engineering, Thornbrough Building, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 (Canada); Vivekanandhan, Singaravelu [Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC), Department of Plant Agriculture, Crop Science Building, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 (Canada); Sustainable Materials and Nanotechnology Lab, Department of Physics, VHNSN College, Virudhunagar 626 001, Tamilnadu (India); Rodriguez-Uribe, Arturo [Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC), Department of Plant Agriculture, Crop Science Building, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 (Canada); Misra, Manjusri [Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC), Department of Plant Agriculture, Crop Science Building, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 (Canada); School of Engineering, Thornbrough Building, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 (Canada); Mohanty, Amar Kumar, E-mail: mohanty@uoguelph.ca [Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC), Department of Plant Agriculture, Crop Science Building, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 (Canada); School of Engineering, Thornbrough Building, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 (Canada)

    2016-04-15

    Oxidative acid treatments of biochar produced from Miscanthus were performed in this study using nitric acid, sulfuric acid, and a mixture of both. The structural and morphological changes of the acid-treated biochar were investigated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Raman spectroscopy, organic elemental analysis and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Improved surface functionality of the treated biochars was observed in their respective FT-IR spectra through the presence of nitro and carboxylic acid functional groups. SEM–EDS and elemental analysis revealed a large increase in the oxygen to carbon ratio in the biochar, which was evidence of chemical oxidation from the acid treatment. Further, TGA study showed the reduced thermal stability of acid-treated biochar over 200 °C due to the increased oxygen content. Acid treatments also influenced the graphitic structure of the biochar, as observed in the Raman spectra. The results suggest that biochar can be successfully functionalized for composite applications and provide a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based carbon additives. - Highlights: • Biochar was investigated as a candidate for renewable functionalized carbon. • Oxidative acid treatment was used to modify the carbon structure. • The chemical and morphological properties of the treated biochar were examined. • Successful chemical modification of biochar was verified through characterization. • Biochar shows potential as a sustainable carbon additive for polymer composites.

  4. Spatio-temporal variation of core and satellite arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus communities in Miscanthus giganteus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher James Barnes

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF are a group of obligate plant symbionts which can promote plant nutrition. AMF communities are diverse, but the factors which control their assembly in space and time remain unclear. In this study, the contributions of geographical distance, environmental heterogeneity and time to shaping AMF communities associated with Miscanthus giganteus were determined over a 13 month period. In particular, the community was partitioned into core (abundant and persistent taxa and satellite (taxa with low abundance and persistence constituents and the drivers of community assembly for each determined. We show that AMF richness and community composition changed over time associated with fluctuation within both the core and satellite communities. The degree to which AMF community variation was explained by soil properties was consistently higher in the core community than the combined and satellite communities, suggesting that the satellite community had considerable stochasticity associated with it. We suggest that the partitioning of communities into their core and satellite constituents could be employed to enhance the variation explained within microbial community analyses.

  5. Spatio-Temporal Variation of Core and Satellite Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungus Communities in Miscanthus giganteus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Christopher J.; Burns, Caitlin A.; van der Gast, Christopher J.; McNamara, Niall P.; Bending, Gary D.

    2016-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are a group of obligate plant symbionts which can promote plant nutrition. AMF communities are diverse, but the factors which control their assembly in space and time remain unclear. In this study, the contributions of geographical distance, environmental heterogeneity and time in shaping AMF communities associated with Miscanthus giganteus (a perennial grass originating from south-east Asia) were determined over a 13 months period. In particular, the community was partitioned into core (abundant and persistent taxa) and satellite (taxa with low abundance and persistence) constituents and the drivers of community assembly for each determined. β-diversity was exceptionally low across the 140 m line transects, and there was limited evidence of geographical scaling effects on the composition of the core, satellite or combined communities. However, AMF richness and community composition changed over time associated with fluctuation within both the core and satellite communities. The degree to which AMF community variation was explained by soil properties was consistently higher in the core community than the combined and satellite communities, suggesting that the satellite community had considerable stochasticity associated with it. We suggest that the partitioning of communities into their core and satellite constituents could be employed to enhance the variation explained within microbial community analyses. PMID:27597844

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Potential distribution of Miscanthus sinensis and M.floridulus in China%芒和五节芒在中国的潜在分布

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周婧; 李巧云; 肖亮; 蒋建雄; 易自力

    2012-01-01

    Aims In recent years, Miscanthus sinensis and M. floridulus have attracted considerable attention as two of the most promising non-food energy crops in China. We attempt to determine the potential distributions of the two Miscanthus species to provide a reference for developing non-food energy crops using marginal lands in China. Methods We predicted the potential distribution and fundamental niches of M. sinensis and M. floridulus in China based on the maximum entropy (MAXENT) model using distribution data of the two species combined with 19 climatic factors. Important findings The potential distribution area for M. sinensis covers west Sichuan, north Shaanxi, Ningxia, central Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, west Jilin, west Liaoning, southeast Qinghai, etc. Its fundamental niche parameters are: precipitation of wannest quarter of 400-1 000 mm, average precipitation in August of 100-350 mm, average minimum air temperature in July of 15 ℃, average precipitation in July of 100-350 mm, average maximum air temperature in November of-10 to 22 ℃, mean temperature of driest quarter of-15 to 20 ℃ and average precipitation in December 400 mm, mean precipitation in June of 150-550 mm, average minimum air temperature of 15-30 ℃ in July and 10 ℃ in June and average precipitation in April of 50-100 mm. The results show that there are abundant land resources for growing M. sinensis and M. floridulus in China.%利用最大熵模型,将我国现有芒(Miscanthus sinensis)和五节芒(M.floridulus)的地理分布信息与19个降水及温度等气候因子相拟合,预测了芒和五节芒在我国的潜在分布区域,并推测出芒和五节芒的基本生态位.结果显示:芒的潜在适生区包括四川西部、陕西北部、宁夏、内蒙古中部、黑龙江、吉林西部、辽宁西部、青海东南部等地区,其基本生态位参数为:最暖季节降水量为400-1 000 mm,平均8月降水量为100-350 mm,7月平均最低气温为15℃,平均7

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Wolf, Adam

    2009-11-15

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

  10. Assessment of Peruvian biofuel resources and alternatives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1979-08-01

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

  11. The Third Pacific Basin Biofuels Workshop: Proceedings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Among the many compelling reasons for the development of biofuels on remote Pacific islands, several of the most important include: (1) a lack of indigenous fossil fuels necessitates their import at great economic loss to local island economics, (2) ideal conditions for plant growth exist on many Pacific islands to produce yields of biomass feedstocks, (3) gaseous and liquid fuels such as methane, methanol and ethanol manufactured locally from biomass feedstocks are the most viable alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuels for transportation, and (4) the combustion of biofuels is cleaner than burning petroleum products and contributes no net atmospheric CO2 to aggravate the greenhouse effect and the subsequent threat of sea level rise to low islands. Dr. Vic