WorldWideScience

Sample records for biofuel crop miscanthus

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  2. Refuge or reservoir? The potential impacts of the biofuel crop Miscanthus x giganteus on a major pest of maize.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph L Spencer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Interest in the cultivation of biomass crops like the C4 grass Miscanthus x giganteus (Miscanthus is increasing as global demand for biofuel grows. In the US, Miscanthus is promoted as a crop well-suited to the Corn Belt where it could be cultivated on marginal land interposed with maize and soybean. Interactions (direct and indirect of Miscanthus, maize, and the major Corn Belt pest of maize, the western corn rootworm, (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, WCR are unknown. Adding a perennial grass/biomass crop to this system is concerning since WCR is adapted to the continuous availability of its grass host, maize (Zea mays. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In a greenhouse and field study, we investigated WCR development and oviposition on Miscanthus. The suitability of Miscanthus for WCR development varied across different WCR populations. Data trends indicate that WCR populations that express behavioural resistance to crop rotation performed as well on Miscanthus as on maize. Over the entire study, total adult WCR emergence from Miscanthus (212 WCR was 29.6% of that from maize (717 WCR. Adult dry weight was 75-80% that of WCR from maize; female emergence patterns on Miscanthus were similar to females developing on maize. There was no difference in the mean no. of WCR eggs laid at the base of Miscanthus and maize in the field. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Field oviposition and significant WCR emergence from Miscanthus raises many questions about the nature of likely interactions between Miscanthus, maize and WCR and the potential for Miscanthus to act as a refuge or reservoir for Corn Belt WCR. Responsible consideration of the benefits and risks associated with Corn Belt Miscanthus are critical to protecting an agroecosystem that we depend on for food, feed, and increasingly, fuel. Implications for European agroecosystems in which Miscanthus is being proposed are also discussed in light of the WCR's recent invasion into Europe.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Uffe

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jenkins, A.; Newman, R.

    2002-07-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babović Nada V.

    2012-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Adoption of Miscanthus as a bioenergy crop on US croplands: impacts on soil carbon and water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, U.; Torn, M. S.

    2010-12-01

    This study evaluated the potential impact of cultivating Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) as a bioenergy crop on the soil organic carbon (SOC) pool of the croplands of US. Similarly, the crop areas where Miscanthus can be grown up to potential yield without supplemental irrigation were identified. The productivity of Miscanthus was modeled using the biophysical model MiscanMod and spatial analysis. The productivity for harvestable biomass ranged from 11.7 to 26 Mg ha-1 yr-1, with a spatial average of 19 Mg ha-1 yr-1and a coefficient of variation of 13%. This variation resulted primarily from spatial heterogeneity of growing degree days and solar radiation interception. The model assumes adequate nutrients and moisture availability for Miscanthus growth, therefore showing a maximum possible productivity. Our result suggests that approximately 485 kg C ha-1 yr-1 would enter the SOC pool from the above ground biomass such as senesced leaves and post harvest remnants on the soil surface. Similarly, the total C input from both canopy and root system will range from 2.5 - 5 Mg C ha-1 yr-1. This would result in a net SOC sequestration rate of 0.36 - 0.72 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 across the croplands of the US. Productivity predictions, along with the effective rainfall estimates, were then used to project areas in which Miscanthus can be cultivated to its potential yield as a rainfed crop as well as those where it would require additional irrigation in order to meet the crop water demand. To meet the targets of the US Energy and Independence and Security Act of 2007 (36 billion gallons of biofuel ethanol per year by 2022) using Miscanthus as feedstock, 19 million ha of cropland would be needed which is 16% less than the current cropland under corn-based ethanol production.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    There is an increasing interest in perennial grasses as a renewable source of bioenergy and feedstock for second-generation cellulosic biofuels. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and miscanthus (Miscanthus×giganteus), belonging to the parennial grasses group, are the major lignocellulosic materials being studied today as sources for direct energy production, biofuels, bioremediation and other. They have the ability to grow at low cost on marginal land where they will not compete with the t...

  10. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hayes, Ciara

    2010-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather A Hager

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Terry; Berenbaum, May R

    2013-06-01

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

  18. 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...... the environmental cost of the whole process, the percentage of renewability (%R) and the Unit Emergy Values (UEV) that represent the resource use efficiency of the final products for each phase are calculated. Since miscanthus is reproduced by rhizomes, in addition to the system for growing and distributing...... transport distances and different aboveground biomass yields. Comparing the harvesting methodologies, the bales made with short strands has the best performance. The aboveground biomass production was found to have an Energy Return On energy Investment (EROI), which is the double of that from...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, Orlando; Chaparro-Giraldo, Alejandro

    2009-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. A comparative life-table analysis of Sipha flava (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on two biofuel hosts, Miscanthus x giganteus and Saccharum spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallipparambil, G R; Cha, G; Gray, M E

    2014-06-01

    Among the insects reported in biofuel crops, the yellow sugarcane aphid, Sipha flava (Forbes), is a potential pest of giant miscanthus, Miscanthus x giganteus Greef et Deu ex Hodkinson et Renvoize (M x g) and energy cane 'L79-1002', Saccharum spp. L. We studied the biology of S. flava on M x g and energy cane and estimated the development period, fecundity, longevity, intrinsic rate of increase, doubling time, reproductive value, and survivorship curves. To demonstrate the host suitability in a susceptible species, we studied the aphid life table on sorghum 'PL 18200,' Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench. Life-table information was recorded under greenhouse conditions on the host plants. Our results suggested that both M x g and energy cane are suitable hosts for S. flava. We observed similar aphid development period on both hosts. Life-table estimates including longevity and fecundity suggested that M x g is a more suitable host for the aphid than energy cane. The intrinsic rate of increase for S. flava was lower on energy cane (0.231) than on M x g (0.258). PMID:25026666

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  10. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Andrew R.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Suresh

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ki Woo Kim

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ki Woo

    2015-09-01

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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  4. Potentials For Agro-Energy Crops Production: Example Of Miscanthus Cultivation In Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dražić Gordana

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available In accordance with priorities of sustainable development in Serbia, production and use of biomass is crucial for provision of annually renewable national sources of energy and for environmental quality conservation. Rural development has typically focused on improving agricultural production and promoting market orientation, however, as the examples of other countries in the EU accession process have shown (e.g. Slovakia, such an approach could threaten the survival of rural population. Biomass production is one of the key sectors with significant potential for diversification of rural economy. The results of multiannual research work supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia through national scientific projects and several international initiatives are summarized in this paper. The research activities focus on Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deu. The production potentials of miscanthus on fertile and degraded soils were investigated since 2009 in experimental plots established on moderate and extremely degraded lands in Serbia, applying various agrotechnical measures in different ecological conditions. The results show that fertile agricultural land as well as moderate degraded areas provide suitable conditions for miscanthus biomass and viable rhizomes production for energy and ecoremediation purposes.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Sub-zero cold tolerance of Spartina pectinata (prairie cordgrass) and Miscanthus × giganteus: candidate bioenergy crops for cool temperate climates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friesen, Patrick C; Peixoto, Murilo de Melo; Lee, D K; Sage, Rowan F

    2015-07-01

    Miscanthus × giganteus grown in cool temperate regions of North America and Europe can exhibit severe mortality in the year after planting, and poor frost tolerance of leaves. Spartina pectinata (prairie cordgrass), a productive C4 perennial grass native to North America, has been suggested as an alternative biofuel feedstock for colder regions; however, its cold tolerance relative to M. × giganteus is uncertain. Here, we compare the cold tolerance thresholds for winter-dormant rhizomes and spring/summer leaves of M. × giganteus and three accessions of S. pectinata. All genotypes were planted at a field site in Ontario, Canada. In November and February, the temperatures corresponding to 50% rhizome mortality (LT(50)) were near -24°C for S. pectinata and -4°C for M. × giganteus. In late April, the LT50 of rhizomes rose to -10°C for S. pectinata but remained near -4°C for M. × giganteus. Twenty percent of the M. × giganteus rhizomes collected in late April were dead while S. pectinata rhizomes showed no signs of winter injury. Photosynthesis and electrolyte leakage measurements in spring and summer demonstrate that S. pectinata leaves have greater frost tolerance in the field. For example, S. pectinata leaves remained viable above -9°C while the mortality threshold was near -5°C for M. × giganteus. These results indicate M. × giganteus will be unsuitable for production in continental interiors of cool-temperate climate zones unless freezing and frost tolerance are improved. By contrast, S. pectinata has the freezing and frost tolerance required for a higher-latitude bioenergy crop. PMID:25873680

  11. 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)

  12. Impacts of biofuel cultivation on mortality and crop yields

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  14. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    О.О. Kravchuk

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. The development of biofuel crops on mine tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  19. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Associations in Biofuel Cropping Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, K.

    2012-12-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-06-17

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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)

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Riche, A.B.

    2004-04-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS AND ADOPTION OF ENERGY CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haluk Gedikoglu

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  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. PMID:27269671

  12. 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.

  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. 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...

  15. 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

  16. Miscanthus harvesting techniques. Erntetechnik fuer Miscanthus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johanning, B. (Institut fuer Landmaschinen, TU Braunschweig (Germany)); Wesche, H. (Institut fuer Landmaschinen, TU Braunschweig (Germany))

    1993-01-01

    At present, the use of known cereal harvesting techniques in Miscanthus harvesting is only possible with some reservation. Whereas the available technology does permit individual process steps such as cutting and compaction, pick-up and conveying of the bulky stalks present major problems. It is doubtful whether conditioning of the material immediately after cutting would sufficiently improve its conveyance properties. Currently, the least conveyance problems are presented by corn ear cutting jaws, whose design to fit the maize plant is the nearest approach to the properties and demands of Miscanthus. Consequently, chopping in combination with a row-independent corn cutting jaw, though technically feasible, is only economical for short distances because of the low density of the chopped material. Much more favourable are the compaction methods in the sectors transport and storage. To judge by current experience, cubic bale presses, if developed further, would seem to promise a practicable, economical harvesting process chain. High hopes are pinned on the compact roll technique, which is still in the stage of development. The projected ratings of this technique might even overtake those of the cubic bale technique. But for both compaction techniques adaptations need to be developed which guarantee safe conveyance of the bulky material. (orig.)

  17. Miscanthus combustion properties and variations with Miscanthus agronomy

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Chouvarine

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-05-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  13. Using The Corngrass1 Gene To Enhance The Biofuel Properties Of Crop Plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hake, Sarah [USDA Agricultural Research Service, Washington DC (United States); Chuck, George [USDA Agricultural Research Service, Washington DC (United States)

    2015-10-29

    The development of novel plant germplasm is vital to addressing our increasing bioenergy demands. The major hurdle to digesting plant biomass is the complex structure of the cell walls, the substrate of fermentation. Plant cell walls are inaccessible matrices of macromolecules that are polymerized with lignin, making fermentation difficult. Overcoming this hurdle is a major goal toward developing usable bioenergy crop plants. Our project seeks to enhance the biofuel properties of perennial grass species using the Corngrass1 (Cg1) gene and its targets. Dominant maize Cg1 mutants produce increased biomass by continuously initiating extra axillary meristems and leaves. We cloned Cg1 and showed that its phenotype is caused by over expression of a unique miR156 microRNA gene that negatively regulates SPL transcription factors. We transferred the Cg1 phenotype to other plants by expressing the gene behind constitutive promoters in four different species, including the monocots, Brachypodium and switchgrass, and dicots, Arabidopsis and poplar. All transformants displayed a similar range of phenotypes, including increased biomass from extended leaf production, and increased vegetative branching. Field grown switchgrass transformants showed that overall lignin content was reduced, the ratio of glucans to xylans was increased, and surprisingly, that starch levels were greatly increased. The goals of this project are to control the tissue and temporal expression of Cg1 by using different promoters to drive its expression, elucidate the function of the SPL targets of Cg1 by generating gain and loss of function alleles, and isolate downstream targets of select SPL genes using deep sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation. We believe it is possible to control biomass accumulation, cell wall properties, and sugar levels through manipulation of either the Cg1 gene and/or its SPL targets.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiwary, Abhishek; Colls, Jeremy

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    Miscanthus, a perennial grass with C4 photosynthesis, is regarded as a promising energy crop due to its high biomass productivity. Compared with other C4 species, most miscanthus genotypes have high cold tolerances at 14 °C. However, in temperate climates, temperatures below 14 °C are common...... 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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....

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. 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)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    Background and aims Miscanthus is a genus of perennial C4 grasses native to East Asia. It includes the emerging ligno-cellulosic biomass crop M. ×giganteus, a hybrid between M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. Biomass yield and cold tolerance are of particular interest in Miscanthus, given that th...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lal, R

    2005-05-01

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

  11. An Integrated Biogeochemical and Biophysical Analysis of Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  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......-old stands established on sandy soils at two experimental sites in Denmark. Miscanthus C in soil was estimated from changes in the natural abundance of 13C. In the 0–20 cm depth, soil C derived from Miscanthus made up to 15–18% of the soil total C. In the 20–50 cm and 50–100 cm depth, Miscanthus C accounted...... for less than 7% and 5% of the soil total C, respectively. After 16 yr, the total quantity of Miscanthus C in 0–20 cm ranged from 11.9 to 18.2 Mg C ha−1, of which 23–34% was in rhizomes and roots, substantiating their crucial contribution to soil C storage. Future studies should prioritize the seasonal...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  18. Biofuels and sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Barry D

    2010-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    YAŞAR, Samim

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasilica STAN

    2014-12-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  9. DMF - A New Biofuel Candidate

    OpenAIRE

    Tian, Guohong; Daniel, Ritchie; Xu, Hongming

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. [Transcriptome analysis of bioenergy plant Miscanthus sinensis Anderss by RNA-Seq].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xian; Wang, Jianhong; Yu, Man; Cao, Kai; Zhuang, Li; Xu, Changxu; Cao, Weidong

    2015-10-01

    Miscanthus sinensis Anderss is a perennial C4-grass. It is a promising bioenergy plant, which has been proposed as general feedstock for biomass and lignocellulosic biofuel production. In this study, the flower and leaf buds transcriptomes of Miscanthus sinensis Anderss were sequenced by the platform of Illumina HiSeq 2000. In total 98 326 Unigenes were generated by de novo assembly with an average length of 822 bp and N50 of 1 023 bp. Based on the NR, NT, Swiss-Prot, KEGG, GO and COG databases (Evalue < le-5), 74 134 (75.40%) Unigenes were annotated. A total of 45 507 Unigenes were mapped into different GO terms. In KEGG pathways identification, 36 710 sequences were assigned to 128 KEGG pathways. Sorghum bicolor (37 731, 60.86%), Zea mays (16 258, 26.22%), and Oryza sativa (3 065, 4.94%) showed high similarity to Miscanthus sinensis Anderss. And 24 photosynthesis-related enzyme genes were identified. The result provides a foundation for further characterizing the functional genes in Miscanthus sinensis Anderss.

  13. Limits to biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johansson S.

    2013-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  15. Biofuels, poverty, and growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Xue

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  1. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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...... 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......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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. 

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hua Zhao

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Biogas Production Based On Miscanthus × Giganteus (Miscanthus Sinensis Anderss. Within Dry Fermentation Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Porvaz Pavol

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available “Dry fermentation“ technology may be used for energy recovery of phytomass substrate which has dry matter content from 20 to 60%. In agriculture sector, while only rarely used, it is a very perspective technology at such types of biomass – phytomass which is not recommended to be processed within “wet fermentation” (process is energetically and operationally very costly. For detecting the suitability of Miscanthus × giganteus phytomass to biogas for production through dry fermentation process, as well as determining the biogas yield, at the Slovak university of Agriculture (SUA there has been developed an experimental device enabling the pilot plant trials, which is installed at the biogas station within the area of the VPP SPU Ltd. in Kolíňany. A pilot plant experiment of biogas production based on Miscanthus × giganteus (Miscanthus sinensis Anderss. phytomass within dry fermentation process was carried out at the period from 25 February to 25 March 2013. The monitored production of biogas was based on the substrate mixture of components formed as follows: the biomass from preceding cycle (farmyard manure and ensilage from Miscanthus phytomass. In these experiments the amount of produced biogas, analysis of biogas and the input substrate were materialized by standard methodology. On base of the obtained results, we can formulate the conclusion: the tested substrate mainly consists of Miscanthus phytomass and manure was suitable for biogas production technology and anaerobic dry fermentation process. The yield of Miscanthus substrate in our experiments was around 117 litres of biogas per 1 kg of dry matter silage. For assurance of the continuity and uniformity in the production of biogas by dry fermentation process, the multiple-fermentation chamber is needed, which must be saturated gradually with dosing interval. This dosing interval is caused by residence time and the number of chambers. For example, at the residence time of 28

  3. 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.

  4. The economic prospects of cellulosic biomass for biofuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumarappan, Subbu

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

  5. Assessing the environmental sustainability of biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazamia, Elena; Smith, Alison G

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L. Reijnders

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Virginia A.

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

  3. Pretreatment of Miscanthus for hydrogen production by Thermotoga elfii

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    WenJun Zhang

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Microalgae biofuel potentials (review).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Maciej Bosiacki

    2013-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨宇晨; 陈智勇; 蒋建雄; 刘清波; 易自力

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Third generation biofuels from microalgae

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  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. Root biomass and soil carbon response to growing perennial grasses for bioenergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dedicated bioenergy crops such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), miscanthus [Miscanthus x giganteus (Mxg)], indiangrass [Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash], and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman) can provide cellulosic feedstock for biofuel production while maintaining or improving soil and en...

  13. Making biofuels sustainable

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

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

  16. Private governance in the biofuel industry

    OpenAIRE

    Partzsch, Lena

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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%.

  1. 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

  2. Next generation of liquid biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    Batidzirai, B.

    2012-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  7. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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...

  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. Current status: biomass valorisation and biofuels in Singapore

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  11. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Role of organic matter on trace metal availability in contaminated soils: case of high biomass perennial crops vs annual crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, I.; Beaumelle, L.; Iqbal, M.; Chenu, C.

    2012-04-01

    Soils of contaminated agrosystems are still potential arable surfaces for the production of non-alimentary crops provided that such cropping systems do not increase risks for the environment in order to integrate them in a sustainable agriculture development. Effects of changing land management from annual to perennial on soil properties have been widely studied over the last decades, but the case of contaminated agricultural soils remains little documented in particular concerning the effects on the dynamic of soil trace elements. Among the non-alimentary crops, the use of energy crops like miscanthus, a C4 perennial plant, must be studied in particular to evaluate their environmental impacts as they are known to modify the soil organic matter pools. In this work we aimed at assessing changes in soil trace metal availability when annual crops are replaced by a perennial cropping system in a metal contaminated soil, with the hypothesis that exogenous organic carbon originating from the plant induced changes in the soil metal speciation. For this, we used the soil surface horizons of a smelter impacted parcel in the North of France, whose one part was cultivated in miscanthus three years ago and the other part was left with the previous land use i.e. cropping rotations. We quantified the carbon fluxes originating from miscanthus in the various granulo-densimetric fractions of the soil under miscanthus by C13 measurements, and compared the chemical extraction and the physical localisation of both organic carbon and of two trace metal, Cu and Zn in the various soil size fractions of both soils under miscanthus and under annual crops. Results showed an incorporation of organic carbon from miscanthus in the coarse organic fractions which was related to an increase in the metal localisation in the coarse grain fractions observed for Cu but not for Zn. Comparison of metal availabilities between the two cropping systems showed no difference for Zn availability while copper

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castellanos-Navarrete, A.

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Biofuels feedstock development program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  17. Biofuel on contaminated land

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  20. Plants producing biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-08-15

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

  1. 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

    This study assesses the environmental performance of district heat production based on Miscanthus as a fuel input and compares it with Natural Gas (NG). As a baseline scenario, we assume that the process of energy conversion from Miscanthus to heat takes place in a Combined Heat and Power (CHP......) 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...

  2. Elaboration, characteristics and advantages of biochars for the management of contaminated soils with a specific overview on Miscanthus biochars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janus, Adeline; Pelfrêne, Aurélie; Heymans, Sophie; Deboffe, Christophe; Douay, Francis; Waterlot, Christophe

    2015-10-01

    Biochars are products that are rich in carbon obtained by pyrolysis processes that consist in introducing a biomass (such as wood or manure) in a closed container and heating it with little or no available air. This paper reports the impacts of pyrolysis parameters on biochar characteristics. A preliminary examination of the scientific literature revealed that the type of feedstock, the temperature, the heating rate and the gas flow were the major parameters influencing the biochar characteristics. This review highlights the multitude of biochars that can be made and shows the importance of characterizing them before their use in soils. Then we assess how the input of biochars in soils can affect soil parameters. A review of the literature showed modifications on: i) the physical properties of soils (i.e. the modification in soil structure and water retention), ii) the chemical properties of soils (i.e. the modification of pH, cation exchange capacity, nutrient availability, the organic matter content) and iii) the biological properties (i.e. the changes in microbial and faunal communities). All these modifications can lead to an increase in crop productivity, which confirms the value of biochars as a soil amendment. Moreover, biochars can also provide an advantage for soil remediation. Indeed, biochars efficiently reduce the bioavailability of organic and inorganic pollutants. In addition, this review focuses on a specific plant that can be used to produce biochars: Miscanthus, a non-wood rhizomatous C4 perennial grass. Miscanthus presents advantages for biochar production due to: i) its lignocellulosic content, ii) its silicon content, which can mitigate environmental stresses (notably for plants grown on contaminated sites) and iii) the greater surface area of the Miscanthus biochars compared to the biochars produced with other feedstock. PMID:26265597

  3. 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.

  4. Global Evaluation of Biofuel Potential from Microalgae

    OpenAIRE

    Moody, Jeffrey W.

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Panorama 2011: Water and bio-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  6. 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 suitabi......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...

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Opportunity for profitable investments in cellulosic biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  13. Biorefineries for chemical and biofuel production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjerbæk Søtoft, Lene

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Breaking the Link between Food and Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Bruce A. Babcock

    2008-01-01

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

  20. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Biofuel from "humified" biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WenJun Zhang

    2012-09-01

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

  11. Biofuel technologies. Recent developments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  12. 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.

  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. PMID:26479167

  14. Biofuels of the Future

    OpenAIRE

    Oxburgh, Ron

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. 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%. PMID:24508904

  17. Panorama 2007: Biofuels Worldwide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Sustainable Biofuels Development Center

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    SRIVASTAVA, PREM

    2015-03-02

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

  4. Time for commercializing non-food biofuel in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  5. Biofuels Baseline 2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamelinck, C.; Koper, M.; Berndes, G.; Englund, O.; Diaz-Chavez, R.; Kunen, E.; Walden, D.

    2011-10-15

    The European Union is promoting the use of biofuels and other renewable energy in transport. In April 2009, the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) was adopted that set a 10% target for renewable energy in transport in 2020. The directive sets several requirements to the sustainability of biofuels marketed in the frame of the Directive. The Commission is required to report to the European Parliament on a regular basis on a range of sustainability impacts resulting from the use of biofuels in the EU. This report serves as a baseline of information for regular monitoring on the impacts of the Directive. Chapter 2 discusses the EU biofuels market, the production and consumption of biofuels and international trade. It is derived where the feedstock for EU consumed biofuels originally come from. Chapter 3 discusses the biofuel policy framework in the EU and major third countries of supply. It looks at various policy aspects that are relevant to comply with the EU sustainability requirements. Chapter 4 discusses the environmental and social sustainability aspects associated with EU biofuels and their feedstock. Chapter 5 discusses the macro-economic effects that indirectly result from increased EU biofuels consumption, on commodity prices and land use. Chapter 6 presents country factsheets for main third countries that supplied biofuels to the EU market in 2008.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Elbehri, Aziz; McDougall, Robert; Horridge, Mark

    2009-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibis Sepúlveda González

    2012-06-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  11. Biofuel goes underground

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tollinsky, Norm

    2011-09-15

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

  12. Bio-fuel production potential in Romania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  13. Forecast for biofuel trade in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Z.

    2010-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. LCA of Transportation Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Adlam, Elisabeth

    2007-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Essays concerning the cellulosic biofuel industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosburg, Alicia Sue

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

  19. NREL biofuels program overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mielenz, J.R. [National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO (United States)

    1996-09-01

    The NREL Biofuels Program has been developing technology for conversion of biomass to transportation fuels with support from DOE Office of Transportation Technologies Biofuels System Program. This support has gone to both the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and over 100 subcontractors in universities and industry. This overview will outline the value of the Biofuels development program to the Nation, the current status of the technology development, and what research areas still need further support and progress for the development of a biofuels industry in the US.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parajuli, Ranjan; Sperling, Karl; Dalgaard, Tommy

    2015-01-01

    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...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Mayer, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Biotechnology Towards Energy Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Biofuels: which interest, which perspectives?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. An overview of second generation biofuel technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. The changing dynamics between biofuels and commodity markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  6. 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.

  7. The changing dynamics between biofuels and commodity markets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-06-15

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

  8. The Danish Biofuel Debate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Janus

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Microalgae: biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    Babita Kumari; Vinay Sharma

    2013-01-01

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

  10. The biofuels, situation, perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Halophytes As Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Threshold Dynamics in Soil Carbon Storage for Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Bio-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    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...

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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%.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Biofuels: making tough choices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vermeulen, Sonja; Dufey, Annie; Vorley, Bill

    2008-02-15

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  16. Improving EU biofuels policy?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swinbank, Alan; Daugbjerg, Carsten

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simla Tokgoz

    2012-12-01

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

  19. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-08-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-08-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Biofuels in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  10. 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)

  11. Biofuel Feedstock Assessment For Selected Countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  12. Global Impacts of European Agricultural and Biofuel Policies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willem Rienks

    2011-03-01

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

  13. 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.

  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. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Reijnders, L.

    2011-01-01

    Life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions associated with biofuels should not only consider fossil fuel inputs, but also N2O emissions and changes in carbon stocks of (agro) ecosystems linked to the cultivation of biofuel crops. When this is done, current plant oils such as European rapeseed oil and oil from soybeans and oil palms cultivated on recently deforested soils have higher life cycle greenhouse gas emissions than conventional diesel.

  17. 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.

  18. Fermentative biofuels production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  19. Biofuels made easy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In order to comply with European objectives, France has set up an ambitious biofuel plan. This plan is evaluated considering two criteria: tax exemption need and GHG emission savings. An economic marginal analysis and a life cycle assessment (LCA) are provided using a coupling procedure between a partial agro-industrial equilibrium model and a refining optimization model. Thus, we are able to determine the minimum tax exemption needed to place on the market a targeted quantity of biofuel by deducing the agro-industrial marginal cost of biofuel production to the biofuel refining long-run marginal revenue. In parallel, a biofuels LCA is carried out using model outputs. Such a method avoid common allocation problems between joint products. The French biofuel plan is evaluated for 2008, 2010 and 2012 using prospective scenarios. Results suggest that biofuel competitiveness depends on crude oil prices and petroleum products demands. Consequently, biofuel tax exemption does not always appear to be necessary. LCA results show that biofuels production and use, from 'seed to wheel', would facilitate the French Government's to compliance with its 'Plan Climat' objectives by reducing up to 5% GHG emissions in the French road transport sector by 2010. (authors)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Potentials of biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munack, A.; Schroder, O. [Johann Heinrich von Thunen Inst., Braunschweig (Germany); Krahl, J. [Coburg Univ. of Applied Sciences, Coburg (Germany); Bunger, J. [Inst. for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Ruhr-Univ. Inst., Bochum (Germany)

    2010-07-01

    This paper discussed the potential of biofuels with particular reference to the situation in Germany and Europe. Emphasis was on technical potential, such as biofuel production, utilization and environmental aspects. The Institute of Agricultural Technology and Biosystems Engineering ran vTI emission tests on diesel engines to evaluate the environmental impacts of biofuels. This testing facility is able to drive heavy-duty diesel engines in both stationary and dynamic test cycles, such as the European ESC and ETC. Additional analyses were conducted to determine the fine and ultra-fine particles, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), aldehydes, ketones, and the usual regulated exhaust gas compounds. Ames tests were conducted to assess the mutagenic potential of tailpipe emissions. Previous study results showed that neat vegetable oils can render the exhaust high in mutagenic potency. Some of the non-regulated exhaust gas compounds were found to vary nonlinearly with the blend composition. B20 was found to have high mutagenic potential and was subject to sedimentation.

  4. Biofuels: The African experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  5. Phylogeny in defining model plants for lignocellulosic ethanol production: a comparative study of Brachypodium distachyon, wheat, maize, and Miscanthus x giganteus leaf and stem biomass.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Till Meineke

    Full Text Available The production of ethanol from pretreated plant biomass during fermentation is a strategy to mitigate climate change by substituting fossil fuels. However, biomass conversion is mainly limited by the recalcitrant nature of the plant cell wall. To overcome recalcitrance, the optimization of the plant cell wall for subsequent processing is a promising approach. Based on their phylogenetic proximity to existing and emerging energy crops, model plants have been proposed to study bioenergy-related cell wall biochemistry. One example is Brachypodium distachyon, which has been considered as a general model plant for cell wall analysis in grasses. To test whether relative phylogenetic proximity would be sufficient to qualify as a model plant not only for cell wall composition but also for the complete process leading to bioethanol production, we compared the processing of leaf and stem biomass from the C3 grasses B. distachyon and Triticum aestivum (wheat with the C4 grasses Zea mays (maize and Miscanthus x giganteus, a perennial energy crop. Lambda scanning with a confocal laser-scanning microscope allowed a rapid qualitative analysis of biomass saccharification. A maximum of 108-117 mg ethanol·g(-1 dry biomass was yielded from thermo-chemically and enzymatically pretreated stem biomass of the tested plant species. Principal component analysis revealed that a relatively strong correlation between similarities in lignocellulosic ethanol production and phylogenetic relation was only given for stem and leaf biomass of the two tested C4 grasses. Our results suggest that suitability of B. distachyon as a model plant for biomass conversion of energy crops has to be specifically tested based on applied processing parameters and biomass tissue type.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwit, Charles; Stewart, C Neal

    2012-01-01

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

  10. BIOFUELS: FROM HOPES TO REALITY

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Reuse of constructed wetland effluents for irrigation of energy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbagallo, S; Barbera, A C; Cirelli, G L; Milani, M; Toscano, A

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate biomass production of promising 'no-food' energy crops, Vetiveria zizanoides (L.) Nash, Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deu. and Arundo donax (L.), irrigated with low quality water at different evapotranspiration restitutions. Two horizontal subsurface flow (H-SSF) constructed wetland (CW) beds, with different operation life (12 and 6 years), were used to treat secondary municipal wastewaters for crop irrigation. Water chemical, physical and microbiological parameters as well as plant bio-agronomic characters were evaluated. The results confirm the high reliability of CWs for tertiary wastewater treatment given that the H-SSF1 treatment capacity remained largely unchanged after 12 years of operation. Average total suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand and total nitrogen removal for CWs were about 68, 58 and 71%, respectively. The Escherichia coli removal was satisfactory, about 3.3 log unit for both CW beds on average, but caution should be taken as this parameter did not achieve the restrictive Italian law limits for wastewater reuse. The average above-ground dry matter productions were 7 t ha⁻¹ for Vetiveria zizanoides, 24 t ha⁻¹ for Miscanthus × giganteus and 50 t ha⁻¹ for Arundo donax. These results highlight attractive biomass yield by using treated wastewater for irrigation with a complete restitution of evapotranspiration losses. PMID:25401309

  14. 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.

  15. Reuse of constructed wetland effluents for irrigation of energy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbagallo, S; Barbera, A C; Cirelli, G L; Milani, M; Toscano, A

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate biomass production of promising 'no-food' energy crops, Vetiveria zizanoides (L.) Nash, Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deu. and Arundo donax (L.), irrigated with low quality water at different evapotranspiration restitutions. Two horizontal subsurface flow (H-SSF) constructed wetland (CW) beds, with different operation life (12 and 6 years), were used to treat secondary municipal wastewaters for crop irrigation. Water chemical, physical and microbiological parameters as well as plant bio-agronomic characters were evaluated. The results confirm the high reliability of CWs for tertiary wastewater treatment given that the H-SSF1 treatment capacity remained largely unchanged after 12 years of operation. Average total suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand and total nitrogen removal for CWs were about 68, 58 and 71%, respectively. The Escherichia coli removal was satisfactory, about 3.3 log unit for both CW beds on average, but caution should be taken as this parameter did not achieve the restrictive Italian law limits for wastewater reuse. The average above-ground dry matter productions were 7 t ha⁻¹ for Vetiveria zizanoides, 24 t ha⁻¹ for Miscanthus × giganteus and 50 t ha⁻¹ for Arundo donax. These results highlight attractive biomass yield by using treated wastewater for irrigation with a complete restitution of evapotranspiration losses.

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-01-31

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  1. Optimizing fermentation process miscanthus-to-ethanol biorefinery scale under uncertain conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomberg, Matthew; Sanchez, Daniel L.; Lipman, Timothy E.

    2014-05-01

    Ethanol produced from cellulosic feedstocks has garnered significant interest for greenhouse gas abatement and energy security promotion. One outstanding question in the development of a mature cellulosic ethanol industry is the optimal scale of biorefining activities. This question is important for companies and entrepreneurs seeking to construct and operate cellulosic ethanol biorefineries as it determines the size of investment needed and the amount of feedstock for which they must contract. The question also has important implications for the nature and location of lifecycle environmental impacts from cellulosic ethanol. We use an optimization framework similar to previous studies, but add richer details by treating many of these critical parameters as random variables and incorporating a stochastic sub-model for land conversion. We then use Monte Carlo simulation to obtain a probability distribution for the optimal scale of a biorefinery using a fermentation process and miscanthus feedstock. We find a bimodal distribution with a high peak at around 10-30 MMgal yr-1 (representing circumstances where a relatively low percentage of farmers elect to participate in miscanthus cultivation) and a lower and flatter peak between 150 and 250 MMgal yr-1 (representing more typically assumed land-conversion conditions). This distribution leads to useful insights; in particular, the asymmetry of the distribution—with significantly more mass on the low side—indicates that developers of cellulosic ethanol biorefineries may wish to exercise caution in scale-up.

  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. 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

  4. CONNECTICUT BIOFUELS TECHNOLOGY PROJECT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    BARTONE, ERIK

    2010-09-28

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

  5. 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.

  6. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doshi, Rupak; Nguyen, Tuan; Chang, Geoffrey

    2013-05-01

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  10. Biofuels. An overview. Final Report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smeets, Edward M.W.; Lewandowski, Iris M.; Faaij, Andre P.C. [Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation, Department of Science, Technology and Society, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2009-08-15

    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 energy use and to the impact on fresh water reserves, soil erosion and biodiversity. Analyses are carried out for regions in five countries. The lowest costs of producing (including storing and transporting across 100 km) in the year 2004 are calculated for Poland, Hungary and Lithuania at 43-64 EUR per oven dry tonne (odt) or 2.4-3.6 EUR GJ{sup -1} higher heating value. This cost level is roughly equivalent to the price of natural gas (3.1 EUR GJ{sup -1}) and lower than the price of crude oil (4.6 EUR GJ{sup -1}) in 2004, but higher than the price of coal (1.7 EUR GJ{sup -1}) in 2004. The costs of biomass in Italy and the United Kingdom are somewhat higher (65-105 EUR odt{sup -1} or 3.6-5.8 EUR GJ{sup -1}). The doubling of the price of crude oil and natural gas that is projected for the period 2004-2030, combined with nearly stable biomass production costs, makes the production of perennial grasses competitive with natural gas and fossil oil. The results also show that the substitution of fossil fuels by biomass from perennial grasses is a robust strategy to reduce fossil energy use and curb GHG emissions, provided that perennial grasses are grown on agricultural land (cropland or pastures). However, in such case deep percolation and runoff of water are reduced, which can lead to overexploitation of fresh water reservoirs. This can be avoided by selecting suitable locations (away from direct accessible fresh water reservoirs) and by limiting the size of the plantations. The impacts on biodiversity are generally favourable compared to conventional crops, but the location of the plantation compared to other vegetation types and the size and harvesting regime of the

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 energy use and to the impact on fresh water reserves, soil erosion and biodiversity. Analyses are carried out for regions in five countries. The lowest costs of producing (including storing and transporting across 100 km) in the year 2004 are calculated for Poland, Hungary and Lithuania at 43-64 EUR per oven dry tonne (odt) or 2.4-3.6 EUR GJ-1 higher heating value. This cost level is roughly equivalent to the price of natural gas (3.1 EUR GJ-1) and lower than the price of crude oil (4.6 EUR GJ-1) in 2004, but higher than the price of coal (1.7 EUR GJ-1) in 2004. The costs of biomass in Italy and the United Kingdom are somewhat higher (65-105 EUR odt-1 or 3.6-5.8 EUR GJ-1). The doubling of the price of crude oil and natural gas that is projected for the period 2004-2030, combined with nearly stable biomass production costs, makes the production of perennial grasses competitive with natural gas and fossil oil. The results also show that the substitution of fossil fuels by biomass from perennial grasses is a robust strategy to reduce fossil energy use and curb GHG emissions, provided that perennial grasses are grown on agricultural land (cropland or pastures). However, in such case deep percolation and runoff of water are reduced, which can lead to overexploitation of fresh water reservoirs. This can be avoided by selecting suitable locations (away from direct accessible fresh water reservoirs) and by limiting the size of the plantations. The impacts on biodiversity are generally favourable compared to conventional crops, but the location of the plantation compared to other vegetation types and the size and harvesting regime of the plantation are important variables. (author)

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Hemp: A more sustainable annual energy crop for climate and energy policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The objective of this study was to compare the fuel-chain greenhouse gas balance and farm economics of hemp grown for bioenergy with two perennial bioenergy crops, Miscanthus and willow, and two more traditional annual bioenergy crops, sugar beet and oil seed rape (OSR). The GHG burden of hemp cultivation is intermediate between perennial and traditional annual energy crops, but net fuel chain GHG abatement potential of 11 t/CO2 eq./ha/year in the mid yield estimate is comparable to perennial crops, and 140% and 540% greater than for OSR and sugar beet fuel chains, respectively. Gross margins from hemp were considerably lower than for OSR and sugar beet, but exceeded those from Miscanthus when organic fertilizers were used and in the absence of establishment grants for the latter crop. Extrapolated up to the EU scale, replacing 25% of OSR and sugar beet production with hemp production could increase net GHG abatement by up to 21 Mt CO2eq./year. Hemp is a considerably more efficient bioenergy feedstock than the dominant annual energy crops. Integrated into food crop rotations, hemp need not compete with food supplies, and could provide an appealing option to develop more sustainable non-transport bioenergy supply chains. - Highlights: ► The GHG burden of hemp is intermediate between perennial and annual energy crops. ► Replacing 25% of OSR/beet with hemp could increase GHG abatement by 21 Mt/CO2eq./year. ► Hemp is a more efficient bioenergy feedstock than the dominant annual energy crops

  17. 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.

  18. Energy and carbon accounting to compare bioenergy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. MODELING WORLD BIOENERGY CROP POTENTIAL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagiwara, Kensuke; Hanasaki, Naota; Kanae, Shinjiro

    Bioenergy is regarded as clean energy due to its characteristics and expected to be a new support of world energy de¬mand, but there are few integrated assessments of the potential of bioenergy considering sustainable land use. We esti¬mated the global bioenergy potential with an integrated global water resources model, the H08. It can simulate the crop yields on global-scale at a spatial resolution of 0.50.5. Seven major crops in the world were considered; namely, maize, sugar beet, sugar cane, soybean, rapeseed, rice, and wheat, of which the first 5 are commonly used to produce biofuel now. Three different land-cover types were chosen as potential area for cultivation of biofuel-producing crop: fallow land, grassland, and portion of forests (excluding areas sensitive for biodiversity such as frontier forest). We attempted to estimate the maximum global bioenergy potential and it was estimated to be 1120EJ. Bioenergy potential depends on land-use limitations for the protection of bio-diversity and security of food. In another condition which assumed more land-use limitations, bioenergy potential was estimated to be 70-233EJ.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:27043723

  4. An Assessment of Bio-Energy Crops Use in Illinois

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, A.; Khanna, M.; Barman, R.; Yang, X.; Dhungana, B.; Chen, X.

    2007-12-01

    Growing concern about climate change and energy security has led to increasing interest in developing domestically available renewable energy sources for meeting the electricity, heating and fuel needs in the United States. Illinois has a significant potential to grow perennial grasses that can provide bio-energy. Two perennial grasses, Switchgrass and Miscanthus, have been identified as among the best choices for low input bio-energy production in the US and Europe. The purpose of this talk is two fold. First, we will examine the optimal areas in Illinois to locate perennial grasses as feedstocks. These areas will be determined based on biophysical conditions (such as heterogeneity in soil quality and climatic factors) and costs of production and costs of land that differ across locations. Second, we will determine the CO2 mitigation benefits to be provided by bioenergy crops, both in the form of soil carbon sequestration and displacement of carbon emissions from gasoline. This analysis will be undertaken using detailed GIS data on soil quality, climate and land use for 0.1deg by 0.1deg grid cells in Illinois. This data will be used together with the Integrated Science Assessment Model (ISAM), a terrestrial ecosystem model, to estimate the yields of Switchgrass and Miscanthus as well as their potential to sequester carbon in the soil. Yield for row crops will be based on historical data and will be used to determine the opportunity cost of converting land currently under corn and soybean production to perennial grasses. Costs of production for the alternative crops here include expenses incurred by farmers on fertilizer inputs, machinery, harvesting and transportation and will be used to determine the profitability of alternative land uses in each grid cell. The framework developed here will be used to examine the optimal locations to grow bio-energy crops to achieve various carbon mitigation targets cost-effectively.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. Alternative crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-11-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  13. 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.

  14. Callus induction and plant regeneration from different explant types of Miscanthus x ogiformis Honda 'Giganteus'

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holme, Inger Bæksted; Petersen, Karen Koefoed

    1996-01-01

    Different explants of Miscanthus x ogiformis Honda 'Giganteus' were tested in order to develop an efficient tissue culture system. Shoot apices, leaf and root sections from in vitro-propagated plants, and leaf and immature inflorescence sections from 6-month-old greenhouse-grown plants were used....... The explants were cultured on urashige and Skoog medium supplemented with 4.5, 13.6, 22.6 or 31.7 μM 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Three types of callus were formed but only one was embryogenic and regenerated plants. Callus induction and formation of embryogenic callus depended on the type and developmental......-propagated shoots and older leaves of greenhouse-grown plants. Immature inflorescences smaller than 2.5 cm produced a higher percentage of embryogenic callus than larger more mature inflorescences. Embryogenic callus derived from immature inflorescences had the highest regeneration capacity. Differences in 2...

  15. 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...... 0 to 300 mM. The fresh and dry weights of the suspension aggregates and the concentrations of ammonium, nitrate, proline and sugar remaining in the medium were measured at different points in time during the culture period. The results showed an almost total depletion of ammonium but a limited...... to the MS suspension cultures. Sucrose was hydrolysed into its monosaccharide components in the culture medium. Glucose was depleted faster than fructose indicating a preference for glucose as a carbohydrate source of the M. ogiformis cultures. The high water uptake by the suspension aggregates 12 to 15...

  16. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Crop Biotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.G. Bastos Lima; J. Gupta

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Impact of climate change on the water resources of the United States exposes the vulnerability of feedstock-specific mandated fuel targets to extreme weather conditions that could become more frequent and intensify in the future. Consequently, a sustainable biofuel policy should consider: (a) how climate change would alter both water supply and demand; and (b) in turn, how related changes in water availability will impact the production of biofuel crops; and (c) the environmental implications...

  8. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  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. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  14. Biofuels from algae for sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  15. Biogenic CO2 fluxes, changes in surface albedo and biodiversity impacts from establishment of a miscanthus plantation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Susanne Vedel; Cherubini, Francesco; Michelsen, Ottar

    2014-01-01

    Depletion in oil resources and environmental concern related to the use of fossil fuels has increased the interest in using second generation biomass as alternative feedstock for fuels and materials. However, the land use and land use change for producing second generation (2G) biomass impacts...... the environment in various ways, of which not all are usually considered in life cycle assessment.This study assesses the biogenic CO2 fluxes, surface albedo changes and biodiversity impacts for 100 years after changing land use from forest or fallow land to miscanthus plantation in Wisconsin, US. Climate change...... human influenced state to another.Concerning the impacts from biogenic CO2 fluxes, in the case of conversion from a forest to a miscanthus plantation (case A) there is a contribution to global warming, whereas when a fallow land is converted (case B), there is a climate cooling. When the effects from...

  16. Genetic structure of Miscanthus sinensis and M. sacchariflorus in Japan indicates a gradient of bidirectional but asymmetric introgression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clark, Lindsay V; Stewart, J Ryan; Nishiwaki, Aya;

    2015-01-01

    high-density genotyping. Throughout Japan, tetraploid Miscanthus sacchariflorus and diploid Miscanthus sinensis are common, and occasionally hybridize. In this study, 667 M. sinensis and 78 M. sacchariflorus genotypes from Japan were characterized using 20 704 SNPs and ten plastid microsatellites....... Similarity of SNP genotypes between diploid and tetraploid M. sacchariflorus indicated that the tetraploids originated through autopolyploidy. Structure analysis indicated a gradient of introgression from diploid M. sinensis into tetraploid M. sacchariflorus throughout Japan; most tetraploids had some M....... sinensis DNA. Among phenotypically M. sacchariflorus tetraploids, M. sinensis ancestry averaged 7% and ranged from 1–39%, with introgression greatest in southern Japan. Unexpectedly, rare (~1%) diploid M. sinensis individuals from northern Japan were found with 6–27% M. sacchariflorus ancestry. Population...

  17. 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...

  18. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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. %.

  2. 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.

  3. From Biomass to Biofuels: NREL Leads the Way

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2006-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  5. The economics of producing energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  6. Biofuels and sustainability in Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  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. Current and future financial competitiveness of electricity and heat from energy crops: A case study from Ireland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    It has been demonstrated that Miscanthus and willow energy-crop cultivation could be economically competitive with current agricultural land uses at a farm-gate biomass price ranging from EUR70 to EUR130 t-1 dry matter [Styles, D., Thorne, F., Jones, M.B., in review. Energy crops in Ireland: An economic comparison of willow and Miscanthus production with conventional farming systems. Biomass and Bioenergy, May 2006]. This paper uses the same farm-gate prices to calculate the economic competitiveness of energy crop electricity and heat production, using a net-present-value (NPV) approach (20-year period, 5% discount rate). Direct and gasified co-firing of willow wood with coal would result in electricity generation 30% or 37% more expensive than coal generation, at current coal and CO2 allowance prices and a farm-gate biomass cost of EUR100 t-1. 'Break-even' CO2 allowance prices are EUR33 and EUR37 t-1, respectively. However, co-firing of Miscanthus with peat is close to economic competitiveness, and would require a CO2 allowance price of EUR16 t-1 to break-even (against a current price of EUR12 t-1). NPV analyses indicate that wood heat is significantly cheaper than oil, gas or electric heat, excluding existing wood-boiler installation subsidies. Discounted annual savings range from EUR143 compared with gas to EUR722 compared with electric heating at the domestic scale and from EUR3454 to EUR11,222 at the commercial scale. Inclusion of available subsidies improves the comparative economics of domestic wood heat substantially. The economic advantage of wood heat is robust to variation in fuel prices, discount rates and heat loads. The greatest obstacles to energy-crop utilisation include: (i) a reluctance to consider long-term economics; (ii) possible competition from cheaper sources of biomass; (iii) the need for a spatially coordinated supply and utilisation network. (author)

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Biofuels and Sustainable Transport: A Conceptual Discussion

    OpenAIRE

    Geoffrey Gilpin; Erling Holden

    2013-01-01

    Strategies for sustainably using biofuels must be thoroughly assessed at several levels. First, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable development’s main dimensions. Second, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable transport’s main dimensions. Third, gains from using biofuels strategies must compare favorably to gains from other sustainable transport strategies, such as altering transport patterns and reducing transport volume. Fourth, the gains must compare favorably to...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Green chemistry, biofuels, and biorefinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Biofuels from food processing wastes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pumkaew, Watcharapol

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

  17. 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

  18. Canaryseed Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximiliano Cogliatti

    2012-03-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Mitchell, Donald

    2011-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Panorama 2007: Biofuels in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  2. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  4. 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.

  5. Water quality and quantity in the context of large-scale cellulosic biofuel production in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanLoocke, A.; Bernacchi, C. J.; Twine, T. E.; Kucharik, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    Numerous socio-economic and environmental pressures have driven the need to increase domestic renewable energy production in the Midwest. The primary attempt at addressing this need has been to use maize; however, the leaching of residual nitrate from maize fertilizer into runoff drives the formation of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic or "Dead" zone which can have significant environmental impacts on the marine ecosystems. As a result of the threat to benthic organisms and fisheries in this region, The Mississippi Basin/Gulf of Mexico Task Force has set in place goals to reduce the size of the hypoxic zone from the current size of ~ 20,000 km2 to efficient recycling of nutrients via nutrient translocation. While these feedstocks are able to achieve higher productivity than maize grain with fewer inputs, they require more water, presenting the potential for environmental impacts on regional hydrologic cycle, including reductions in streamflow. The goal of this research is to determine the change in streamflow in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) and the export of nitrogen from fertilizer to the Gulf of Mexico. To address this goal, we adapted a vegetation model capable of simulating the biogeochemistry of current crops as well as miscanthus and switchgrass, the Integrated Biosphere Simulator - agricultural version (Agro-IBIS) and coupled it with a hydrology model capable of simulating streamflow and nitrogen export, the Terrestrial Hydrology Model with Biogeochemistry. Simulations were conducted at varying fertilizer application rates and fraction coverages of miscanthus and switchgrass across the MARB. Data analysis indicated that there were reductions in runoff and streamflow throughout the MARB, with the largest differences occurring in drier portions of the regions. However differences in streamflow were only statistically resolved when miscanthus production was above 25% coverage and switchgrass above 35%. Compared to streamflow, statistically

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Phytoremediation potential of Miscanthus × giganteus and Spartina pectinata in soil contaminated with heavy metals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korzeniowska, Jolanta; Stanislawska-Glubiak, Ewa

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this work was to assess the suitability of Miscanthus × giganteus and Spartina pectinata link to Cu, Ni, and Zn phytoremediation. A 2-year microplot experiment with the tested grasses growing on metal-contaminated soil was carried out. Microplots with cement borders, measuring 1 × 1 × 1m, were filled with Haplic Luvisols soil. Simulated soil contamination with Cu, Ni, and Zn was introduced in the following doses in mg kg(-1): 0-no metals, Cu1-100, Cu2-200, Cu3-400, Ni1-60, Ni2-100, Ni3-240, Zn1-300, Zn2-600, and Zn3-1200. The phytoremediation potential of grasses was evaluated using a tolerance index (TI), bioaccumulation factor (BF), bioconcentration factor (BCF), and translocation factor (TF). S. pectinata showed a higher tolerance to soil contamination with Cu, Ni, and Zn compared to M. × giganteus. S. pectinata was found to have a high suitability for phytostabilization of Zn and lower suitability of Cu and Ni. M. × giganteus had a lower phytostabilization potential than S. pectinata. The suitability of both grasses for Zn phytoextraction depended on the age of the plants. Both grasses were not suitable for Cu and Ni phytoextraction. The research showed that one-season studies were not valuable for fully assessing the phytoremediation potential of perennial plants.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:25058293

  12. 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

  13. 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

    Foulum and on coarse sand in Jyndevad. Effects of genotype, row distance and fertilization were investigated. In both trials, yield development over time was characterized by an increase during the first years, optimum yields after 7–8 years and a decrease to a lower level which remained relatively...... constant from year 11 to 20. Spring harvest reduced the yield by 34–42 % compared to autumn harvest. In Foulum annual fertilization with 75 kg ha−1 N increased the yield of the genotype Goliath (Miscanthus sinensis) by 26 %. Additional N fertilization only increased the yield of Goliath little, and the...... genotype Giganteus (Miscanthus × giganteus) did not respond to fertilization at all. The highest mean yield in Foulum for the period 1997–2012 was obtained with the shortest row distance (∼18,000 rather than ∼12,000 plants ha−1) and harvested in late autumn, namely 13.1 and 12.0 Mg ha−1 DM annually for...

  14. Tissue specific response of Miscanthus×giganteus to dilute acid pretreatment for enhancing cellulose digestibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Zhe; Zhang, Xun; Ling, Zhe; Sun, Run-Cang; Xu, Feng

    2016-12-10

    The recalcitrance in grasses varies according to cell type and tissue. In this study, dilute acid pretreatment was performed on Miscanthus×giganteus internodes that include rind and pith regions which showing heterogeneous structural and chemical changes. Pretreatment on pith effectively hydrolyzed 73.33% hemicelluloses and separated cohesive cell walls from the compound middle lamella due to lignin migration. Lignin droplets with an average diameter of 49.5±29.3nm were concurrently coalesced on wall surface, that in turn exposed more microfibrils deep in walls to be enzymatically hydrolyzed reaching 82.55%. By contrast, the rind with a relatively intergrated cell structure was covered by larger lignin droplets (101.2±44.1nm) and filled with inaccessible microfibrils limiting enzymatic sacchrification (31.50%). Taken together, the cellulose digestibility of biomass was not majorly influenced by cellulose crystallinity, while it was strongly correlated with the positive effects of hemicelluloses degradation, lignin redistribution, cellulose exposure and loosening cell wall structure. PMID:27577916

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  18. Designing bioenergy crop buffers to mitigate nitrous oxide emissions and water quality impacts from agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishnan, G.; Negri, C. M.

    2010-12-01

    There is a strong societal need to evaluate and understand the environmental aspects of bioenergy production, especially due to the significant increases in production mandated by many countries, including the United States. Bioenergy is a land-based renewable resource and increases in production are likely to result in large-scale conversion of land from current uses to bioenergy crop production; potentially causing increases in the prices of food, land and agricultural commodities as well as disruption of ecosystems. Current research on the environmental sustainability of bioenergy has largely focused on the potential of bioenergy crops to sequester carbon and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and possible impacts on water quality and quantity. A key assumption in these studies is that bioenergy crops will be grown in a manner similar to current agricultural crops such as corn and hence would affect the environment similarly. This study presents a systems approach where the agricultural, energy and environmental sectors are considered as components of a single system, and bioenergy crops are used to design multi-functional agricultural landscapes that meet society’s requirements for food, energy and environmental protection. We evaluate the production of bioenergy crop buffers on marginal land and using degraded water and discuss the potential for growing cellulosic bioenergy crops such as miscanthus and switchgrass in optimized systems such that (1) marginal land is brought into productive use; (2) impaired water is used to boost yields (3); clean freshwater is left for other uses that require higher water quality; and (4) feedstock diversification is achieved that helps ecological sustainability, biodiversity, and economic opportunities for farmers. The process-based biogeochemical model DNDC was used to simulate crop yield, nitrous oxide production and nitrate concentrations in groundwater when bioenergy crops were grown in buffer strips adjacent to

  19. 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 Che