WorldWideScience

Sample records for planting biomass crops

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  3. Biomass production on marginal lands - catalogue of bioenergy crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgarten, Wibke; Ivanina, Vadym; Hanzhenko, Oleksandr

    2017-04-01

    Marginal lands are the poorest type of land, with various limitations for traditional agriculture. However, they can be used for biomass production for bioenergy based on perennial plants or trees. The main advantage of biomass as an energy source compared to fossil fuels is the positive influence on the global carbon dioxide balance in the atmosphere. During combustion of biofuels, less carbon dioxide is emitted than is absorbed by plants during photosynthesis. Besides, 20 to 30 times less sulphur oxide and 3 to 4 times less ash is formed as compared with coal. Growing bioenergy crops creates additional workplaces in rural areas. Soil and climatic conditions of most European regions are suitable for growing perennial energy crops that are capable of rapid transforming solar energy into energy-intensive biomass. Selcted plants are not demanding for soil fertility, do not require a significant amount of fertilizers and pesticides and can be cultivated, therefore, also on unproductive lands of Europe. They prevent soil erosion, contribute to the preservation and improvement of agroecosystems and provide low-cost biomass. A catalogue of potential bioenergy plants was developed within the EU H2020 project SEEMLA including woody and perennial crops that are allowed to be grown in the territory of the EU and Ukraine. The catalogue lists high-productive woody and perennial crops that are not demanding to the conditions of growing and can guarantee stable high yields of high-energy-capacity biomass on marginal lands of various categories of marginality. Biomass of perennials plants and trees is composed of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, which are directly used to produce solid biofuels. Thanks to the well-developed root system of trees and perennial plants, they are better adapted to poor soils and do not require careful maintenance. Therefore, they can be grown on marginal lands. Particular C4 bioenergy crops are well adapted to a lack of moisture and high

  4. Biomass supply from alternative cellulosic crops and crop residues: A spatially explicit bioeconomic modeling approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Egbendewe-Mondzozo, Aklesso; Swinton, Scott M.; Izaurralde, César R.; Manowitz, David H.; Zhang, Xuesong

    2011-01-01

    This paper introduces a spatially-explicit bioeconomic model for the study of potential cellulosic biomass supply. For biomass crops to begin to replace current crops, farmers must earn more from them than from current crops. Using weather, topographic and soil data, the terrestrial ecosystem model, EPIC, dynamically simulates multiple cropping systems that vary by crop rotation, tillage, fertilization and residue removal rate. EPIC generates predicted crop yield and environmental outcomes over multiple watersheds. These EPIC results are used to parameterize a regional profit-maximization mathematical programming model that identifies profitable cropping system choices. The bioeconomic model is calibrated to 2007–09 crop production in a 9-county region of southwest Michigan. A simulation of biomass supply in response to rising biomass prices shows that cellulosic residues from corn stover and wheat straw begin to be supplied at minimum delivered biomass:corn grain price ratios of 0.15 and 0.18, respectively. At the mean corn price of $162.6/Mg ($4.13 per bushel) at commercial moisture content during 2007–2009, these ratios correspond to stover and straw prices of $24 and $29 per dry Mg. Perennial bioenergy crops begin to be supplied at price levels 2–3 times higher. Average biomass transport costs to the biorefinery plant range from $6 to $20/Mg compared to conventional crop production practices in the area, biomass supply from annual crop residues increased greenhouse gas emissions and reduced water quality through increased nutrient loss. By contrast, perennial cellulosic biomass crop production reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved water quality. -- Highlights: ► A new bioeconomic model predicts biomass supply and its environmental impacts. ► The model captures the opportunity cost of switching to new cellulosic crops. ► Biomass from crop residues is supplied at lower biomass price than cellulosic crops. ► Biomass from cellulosic crops has

  5. Planting Date and Seeding Rate Effects on Sunn Hemp Biomass and Nitrogen Production for a Winter Cover Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kipling S. Balkcom

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L. is a tropical legume that produces plant biomass and nitrogen (N quickly. Our objectives were to assess the growth of a new sunn hemp cultivar breed to produce seed in a temperate climate and determine the residual N effect on a rye (Secale cereale L. cover crop in east-central Alabama from 2007 to 2009. Plant populations, plant height, stem diameter, biomass production, and N content were determined for two sunn hemp planting dates, following corn (Zea mays L. and wheat (Triticum aestivum L. harvest, across different seeding rates (17, 34, 50, and 67 kg/ha. Rye biomass was measured the following spring. Sunn hemp biomass production was inconsistent across planting dates, but did relate to growing degree accumulation. Nitrogen concentrations were inversely related to biomass production, and subsequent N contents corresponded to biomass levels. Neither planting date nor seeding rate affected rye biomass production, but rye biomass averaged over both planting dates following wheat/sunn hemp averaged 43% and 33% greater than rye following fallow. Rye biomass following corn/sunn hemp was equivalent to fallow plots. Early planting dates are recommended for sunn hemp with seeding rates between 17 and 34 kg/ha to maximize biomass and N production.

  6. Control of volunteer soybean plants in sunflower crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Magno Brighenti

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Sunflower (Helianthus annuus sown offseason, after soybean crop (Glycine max, is affected by the competition imposed by volunteer plants. Two experiments were carried out to evaluate the control of volunteer soybean plants in sunflower crops. The sulfentrazone herbicide (75 g ha-1, 100 g ha-1 and 250 g ha-1 causes phytotoxicity to sunflower immediately after application, however, plants recover, with no yield losses. These doses do not cause the total death of volunteer soybean plants, but temporarily paralyzes their growth, avoiding the competition with the sunflower crop. The glufosinate ammonium and ametryn herbicides are effective in controlling volunteer soybean plants, however, symptoms of phytotoxicity in the sunflower crop are high, reflecting in losses of dry weight biomass and crop yield. The other treatments do not provide satisfactory control of volunteer soybean plants and even reduce the sunflower dry weight biomass and yield.

  7. Assessment of the phytoextraction potential of high biomass crop plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hernandez-Allica, Javier [NEIKER-tecnalia, Basque Institute of Agricultural Research and Development, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain); Becerril, Jose M. [Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, University of the Basque Country, P.O. Box 644, E-48080 Bilbao (Spain); Garbisu, Carlos [NEIKER-tecnalia, Basque Institute of Agricultural Research and Development, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain)], E-mail: cgarbisu@neiker.net

    2008-03-15

    A hydroponic screening method was used to identify high biomass crop plants with the ability to accumulate metals. Highest values of shoot accumulation were found in maize cv. Ranchero, rapeseed cv. Karat, and cardoon cv. Peralta for Pb (18 753 mg kg{sup -1}), Zn (10 916 mg kg{sup -1}), and Cd (242 mg kg{sup -1}), respectively. Subsequently, we tested the potential of these three cultivars for the phytoextraction of a metal spiked compost, finding out that, in cardoon and maize plants, increasing Zn and Cd concentrations led to lower values of root and shoot DW. By contrast, rapeseed shoot growth was not significantly affected by Cd concentration. Finally, a metal polluted soil was used to check these cultivars' phytoextraction capacity. Although the soil was phytotoxic enough to prevent the growth of cardoon and rapeseed plants, maize plants phytoextracted 3.7 mg Zn pot{sup -1}. We concluded that the phytoextraction performance of cultivars varies depending on the screening method used. - The phytoextraction performance of cultivars varies significantly depending on the screening method used.

  8. Assessment of the phytoextraction potential of high biomass crop plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hernandez-Allica, Javier; Becerril, Jose M.; Garbisu, Carlos

    2008-01-01

    A hydroponic screening method was used to identify high biomass crop plants with the ability to accumulate metals. Highest values of shoot accumulation were found in maize cv. Ranchero, rapeseed cv. Karat, and cardoon cv. Peralta for Pb (18 753 mg kg -1 ), Zn (10 916 mg kg -1 ), and Cd (242 mg kg -1 ), respectively. Subsequently, we tested the potential of these three cultivars for the phytoextraction of a metal spiked compost, finding out that, in cardoon and maize plants, increasing Zn and Cd concentrations led to lower values of root and shoot DW. By contrast, rapeseed shoot growth was not significantly affected by Cd concentration. Finally, a metal polluted soil was used to check these cultivars' phytoextraction capacity. Although the soil was phytotoxic enough to prevent the growth of cardoon and rapeseed plants, maize plants phytoextracted 3.7 mg Zn pot -1 . We concluded that the phytoextraction performance of cultivars varies depending on the screening method used. - The phytoextraction performance of cultivars varies significantly depending on the screening method used

  9. Closed Loop Short Rotation Woody Biomass Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brower, Michael [CRC Development, LLC, Oakland, CA (United States)

    2012-09-30

    CRC Development LLC is pursuing commercialization of shrub willow crops to evaluate and confirm estimates of yield, harvesting, transportation and renewable energy conversion costs and to provide a diverse resource in its supply portfolio.The goal of Closed Loop Short Rotation Woody Biomass Energy Crops is supply expansion in Central New York to facilitate the commercialization of willow biomass crops as part of the mix of woody biomass feedstocks for bioenergy and bioproducts. CRC Development LLC established the first commercial willow biomass plantation acreage in North America was established on the Tug Hill in the spring of 2006 and expanded in 2007. This was the first 230- acres toward the goal of 10,000 regional acres. This project replaces some 2007-drought damaged acreage and installs a total of 630-acre new planting acres in order to demonstrate to regional agricultural producers and rural land-owners the economic vitality of closed loop short rotation woody biomass energy crops when deployed commercially in order to motivate new grower entry into the market-place. The willow biomass will directly help stabilize the fuel supply for the Lyonsdale Biomass facility, which produces 19 MWe of power and exports 15,000 pph of process steam to Burrows Paper. This project will also provide feedstock to The Biorefinery in New York for the manufacture of renewable, CO2-neutral liquid transportation fuels, chemicals and polymers. This project helps end dependency on imported fossil fuels, adds to region economic and environmental vitality and contributes to national security through improved energy independence.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  11. Proximate composition of CELSS crops grown in NASA's Biomass Production Chamber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, R. M.; Mackowiak, C. L.; Sager, J. C.; Knott, W. M.; Berry, W. L.

    Edible biomass from four crops of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), four crops of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), four crops of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), and three crops of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) grown in NASA's CELSS Biomass Production Chamber were analyzed for proximate composition. All plants were grown using recirculating nutrient (hydroponic) film culture with pH and electrical conductivity automatically controlled. Temperature and humidity were controlled to near optimal levels for each species and atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressures were maintained near 100 Pa during the light cycles. Soybean seed contained the highest percentage of protein and fat, potato tubers and wheat seed contained the highest levels of carbohydrate, and lettuce leaves contained the highest level of ash. Analyses showed values close to data published for field-grown plants with several exceptions: In comparison with field-grown plants, wheat seed had higher protein levels; soybean seed had higher ash and crude fiber levels; and potato tubers and lettuce leaves had higher protein and ash levels. The higher ash and protein levels may have been a result of the continuous supply of nutrients (e.g., potassium and nitrogen) to the plants by the recirculating hydroponic culture.

  12. Valorization of agroforest crops for biomass utilization. Editorial Note

    OpenAIRE

    Río Andrade, José Carlos del

    2010-01-01

    Editorial Note. Special issue on "Valorization of Agroforest Crops for Biomass Utilization", The Open Agriculture Journal. José C. del Río (Guest Editor) Department of Plant Biotechnology Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Seville (IRNAS-CSIC) Seville, Spain E-mail:

  13. Biomass for energy from field crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zubr, J.

    1988-01-01

    On the basis of a field experiment, selected crops were evaluated for feasibility in producing biomass applicable as raw material for fuels. Both the main products and byproducts of the crops were investigated in the laboratory for qualitative characteristics and were subjected to methanogenic fermentation under mesophilic conditions. The biogas energy potential and gross energy potential were determined. Under the climatic conditions of Northern Europe, sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) was found to be a superior energy crop. White cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. Capitata), rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum) and comfrey (Symphytum asperum) can be considered as potential crops for biomass. The agrotechnical and the economic aspects of the biomass production are being subjected to further investigation.

  14. An optimal staggered harvesting strategy for herbaceous biomass energy crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhat, M.G.; English, B.C. [Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Biofuel research over the past two decades indicates lignocellulosic crops are a reliable source of feedstock for alternative energy. However, under the current technology of producing, harvesting and converting biomass crops, the cost of biofuel is not competitive with conventional biofuel. Cost of harvesting biomass feedstock is a single largest component of feedstock cost so there is a cost advantage in designing a biomass harvesting system. Traditional farmer-initiated harvesting operation causes over investment. This study develops a least-cost, time-distributed (staggered) harvesting system for example switch grass, that calls for an effective coordination between farmers, processing plant and a single third-party custom harvester. A linear programming model explicitly accounts for the trade-off between yield loss and benefit of reduced machinery overhead cost, associated with the staggered harvesting system. Total cost of producing and harvesting switch grass will decline by 17.94 percent from conventional non-staggered to proposed staggered harvesting strategy. Harvesting machinery cost alone experiences a significant reduction of 39.68 percent from moving from former to latter. The net return to farmers is estimated to increase by 160.40 percent. Per tonne and per hectare costs of feedstock production will decline by 17.94 percent and 24.78 percent, respectively. These results clearly lend support to the view that the traditional system of single period harvesting calls for over investment on agricultural machinery which escalates the feedstock cost. This social loss to the society in the form of escalated harvesting cost can be avoided if there is a proper coordination among farmers, processing plant and custom harvesters as to when and how biomass crop needs to be planted and harvested. Such an institutional arrangement benefits producers, processing plant and, in turn, end users of biofuels.

  15. Economic analysis of biomass crop production in Florida

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rahmani, M.; Hodges, A.W.; Stricker, J.A.; Kiker, C.F. [University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    1997-07-01

    Favorable soil and climate conditions for production of biomass crops in Florida, and a market for their use, provide the essentials for developing a biomass energy system in the State. Recent surveys showed that there is low opportunity cost land available and several high yield herbaceous and woody crops have potential as biomass crops. Comparison of biomass crop yields, farmgate costs, and costs of final products in Florida and other states show that Florida can be considered as one of the best areas for development of biomass energy systems in the United States. This paper presents facts and figures on biomass production and conversion in Florida and addresses issues of concern to the economics of biomass energy in the State. (author)

  16. Economic analysis of biomass crop production in Florida

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rahmani, M.; Hodges, A.W.; Stricker, J.A.; Kiker, C.F.

    1997-01-01

    Favorable soil and climate conditions for production of biomass crops in Florida, and a market for their use, provide the essentials for developing a biomass energy system in the State. Recent surveys showed that there is low opportunity cost land available and several high yield herbaceous and woody crops have potential as biomass crops. Comparison of biomass crop yields, farmgate costs, and costs of final products in Florida and other states show that Florida can be considered as one of the best areas for development of biomass energy systems in the United States. This paper presents facts and figures on biomass production and conversion in Florida and addresses issues of concern to the economics of biomass energy in the State. (author)

  17. Effects of Cover Crops to Offset Soil Carbon Changes Under No-till on an Ohio farm when Biomass is Harvested

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimble, J. M.; Everett, L. R.; Richards, W.

    2003-12-01

    The results of a long term experiment to look at the use of cover crops and there effect on soil organic carbon. No-till has been shown to increase SOC and improve the overall soil quality under conditions where the biomass has been returned to the field. However, biomass may be removed as silage or for use in biofuels. The removal will reduce the inputs to the field so to overcome the amount of biomass not returned to the soil different cover crops were used. This experiment was done on a working farm where the corn biomass was being removed as silage. Four cover crops were planted in early September of 2002: rye, oats, clover, and canola with two controls, one with no cover crop and one where corn stubble was left on the field. The soils were sampled soon after the crops were planted and again in the spring of 2003 before the cover crops were killed just prior to planting. The first results indicate that the most root biomass was produced by the rye followed by oats then canola and then clover.

  18. Estimating Biomass of Barley Using Crop Surface Models (CSMs Derived from UAV-Based RGB Imaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliane Bendig

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Crop monitoring is important in precision agriculture. Estimating above-ground biomass helps to monitor crop vitality and to predict yield. In this study, we estimated fresh and dry biomass on a summer barley test site with 18 cultivars and two nitrogen (N-treatments using the plant height (PH from crop surface models (CSMs. The super-high resolution, multi-temporal (1 cm/pixel CSMs were derived from red, green, blue (RGB images captured from a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV. Comparison with PH reference measurements yielded an R2 of 0.92. The test site with different cultivars and treatments was monitored during “Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bundessortenamt und CHemische Industrie” (BBCH Stages 24–89. A high correlation was found between PH from CSMs and fresh biomass (R2 = 0.81 and dry biomass (R2 = 0.82. Five models for above-ground fresh and dry biomass estimation were tested by cross-validation. Modelling biomass between different N-treatments for fresh biomass produced the best results (R2 = 0.71. The main limitation was the influence of lodging cultivars in the later growth stages, producing irregular plant heights. The method has potential for future application by non-professionals, i.e., farmers.

  19. A generic model for estimating biomass accumulation and greenhouse gas emissions from perennial crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledo, Alicia; Heathcote, Richard; Hastings, Astley; Smith, Pete; Hillier, Jonathan

    2017-04-01

    Agriculture is essential to maintain humankind but is, at the same time, a substantial emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With a rising global population, the need for agriculture to provide secure food and energy supply is one of the main human challenges. At the same time, it is the only sector which has significant potential for negative emissions through the sequestration of carbon and offsetting via supply of feedstock for energy production. Perennial crops accumulate carbon during their lifetime and enhance organic soil carbon increase via root senescence and decomposition. However, inconsistency in accounting for this stored biomass undermines efforts to assess the benefits of such cropping systems when applied at scale. A consequence of this exclusion is that efforts to manage this important carbon stock are neglected. Detailed information on carbon balance is crucial to identify the main processes responsible for greenhouse gas emissions in order to develop strategic mitigation programs. Perennial crops systems represent 30% in area of total global crop systems, a considerable amount to be ignored. Furthermore, they have a major standing both in the bioenergy and global food industries. In this study, we first present a generic model to calculate the carbon balance and GHGs emissions from perennial crops, covering both food and bioenergy crops. The model is composed of two simple process-based sub-models, to cover perennial grasses and other perennial woody plants. The first is a generic individual based sub-model (IBM) covering crops in which the yield is the fruit and the plant biomass is an unharvested residue. Trees, shrubs and climbers fall into this category. The second model is a generic area based sub-model (ABM) covering perennial grasses, in which the harvested part includes some of the plant parts in which the carbon storage is accounted. Most second generation perennial bioenergy crops fall into this category. Both generic sub

  20. Crop biomass and evapotranspiration estimation using SPOT and Formosat-2 Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veloso, Amanda; Demarez, Valérie; Ceschia, Eric; Claverie, Martin

    2013-04-01

    The use of crop models allows simulating plant development, growth and yield under different environmental and management conditions. When combined with high spatial and temporal resolution remote sensing data, these models provide new perspectives for crop monitoring at regional scale. We propose here an approach to estimate time courses of dry aboveground biomass, yield and evapotranspiration (ETR) for summer (maize, sunflower) and winter crops (wheat) by assimilating Green Area Index (GAI) data, obtained from satellite observations, into a simple crop model. Only high spatial resolution and gap-free satellite time series can provide enough information for efficient crop monitoring applications. The potential of remote sensing data is often limited by cloud cover and/or gaps in observation. Data from different sensor systems need then to be combined. For this work, we employed a unique set of Formosat-2 and SPOT images (164 images) and in-situ measurements, acquired from 2006 to 2010 in southwest France. Among the several land surface biophysical variables accessible from satellite observations, the GAI is the one that has a key role in soil-plant-atmosphere interactions and in biomass accumulation process. Many methods have been developed to relate GAI to optical remote sensing signal. Here, seasonal dynamics of remotely sensed GAI were estimated by applying a method based on the inversion of a radiative transfer model using artificial neural networks. The modelling approach is based on the Simple Algorithm for Yield and Evapotranspiration estimate (SAFYE) model, which couples the FAO-56 model with an agro-meteorological model, based on Monteith's light-use efficiency theory. The SAFYE model is a daily time step crop model that simulates time series of GAI, dry aboveground biomass, grain yield and ETR. Crop and soil model parameters were determined using both in-situ measurements and values found in the literature. Phenological parameters were calibrated by the

  1. Endophyte-assisted promotion of biomass production and metal-uptake of energy crop sweet sorghum by plant-growth-promoting endophyte Bacillus sp. SLS18

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo, Shenglian; Xu, Taoying; Chen, Liang [Hunan Univ., Changsha (China). College of Environmental Science and Engineering] [and others

    2012-02-15

    The effects of Bacillus sp. SLS18, a plant-growth-promoting endophyte, on the biomass production and Mn/Cd uptake of sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.), Phytolacca acinosa Roxb., and Solanum nigrum L. were investigated. SLS18 displayed multiple heavy metals and antibiotics resistances. The strain also exhibited the capacity of producing indole-3-acetic acid, siderophores, and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase. In pot experiments, SLS18 could not only infect plants effectively but also significantly increase the biomass of the three tested plants in the presence of Mn/Cd. The promoting effect order of SLS18 on the biomass of the tested plants was sweet sorghum > P. acinosa > S. nigrum L. In the presence of Mn (2,000 mg kg{sup -1}) and Cd (50 mg kg{sup -1}) in vermiculite, the total Mn/Cd uptakes in the aerial parts of sweet sorghum, P. acinosa, and S. nigrum L. were increased by 65.2%/40.0%, 55.2%/31.1%, and 18.6%/25.6%, respectively, compared to the uninoculated controls. This demonstrates that the symbiont of SLS18 and sweet sorghum has the potential of improving sweet sorghum biomass production and its total metal uptake on heavy metal-polluted marginal land. It offers the potential that heavy metal-polluted marginal land could be utilized in planting sweet sorghum as biofuel feedstock for ethanol production, which not only gives a promising phytoremediation strategy but also eases the competition for limited fertile farmland between energy crops and food crops. (orig.)

  2. Genetic Engineering of Energy Crops to Reduce Recalcitrance and Enhance Biomass Digestibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Yadav

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Bioenergy, biofuels, and a range of valuable chemicals may be extracted from the abundantly available lignocellulosic biomass. To reduce the recalcitrance imposed by the complex cell wall structure, genetic engineering has been proposed over the years as a suitable solution to modify the genes, thereby, controlling the overall phenotypic expression. The present review provides a brief description of the plant cell wall structure and its compositional array i.e., lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, wall proteins, and pectin, along with their effect on biomass digestibility. Also, this review discusses the potential to increase biomass by gene modification. Furthermore, the review highlights the potential genes associated with the regulation of cell wall structure, which can be targeted for achieving energy crops with desired phenotypes. These genetic approaches provide a robust and assured method to bring about the desired modifications in cell wall structure, composition, and characteristics. Ultimately, these genetic modifications pave the way for achieving enhanced biomass yield and enzymatic digestibility of energy crops, which is crucial for maximizing the outcomes of energy crop breeding and biorefinery applications.

  3. Analysis of proteins involved in biodegradation of crop biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Kamau; Trotman, Audrey

    1998-01-01

    The biodegradation of crop biomass for re-use in crop production is part of the bioregenerative life support concept proposed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for long duration, manned space exploration. The current research was conducted in the laboratory to evaluate the use of electrophoretic analysis as a means of rapidly assaying for constitutive and induced proteins associated with the bacterial degradation of crop residue. The proteins involved in crop biomass biodegradation are either constitutive or induced. As a result, effluent and cultures were examined to investigate the potential of using electrophoretic techniques as a means of monitoring the biodegradation process. Protein concentration for optimum banding patterns was determined using the Bio-Rad Protein Assay kit. Four bacterial soil isolates were obtained from the G.W. Carver research Farm at Tuskegee University and used in the decomposition of components of plant biomass. The culture, WDSt3A was inoculated into 500 mL of either Tryptic Soy Broth or Nutrient Broth. Incubation, with shaking of each flask was for 96 hours at 30 C. The cultures consistently gave unique banding patterns under denaturing protein electrophoresis conditions, The associated extracellular enzymes also yielded characteristic banding patterns over a 14-day period, when native electrophoresis techniques were used to examine effluent from batch culture bioreactors. The current study evaluated sample preparation and staining protocols to determine the ease of use, reproducibility and reliability, as well as the potential for automation.

  4. Landscape ecological planning: Integrating land use and wildlife conservation for biomass crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schiller, A.

    1995-12-31

    What do a mussel shoat, a zoo, and a biomass plantation have in common? Each can benefit from ecology-based landscape planning. This paper provides examples of landscape ecological planning from some diverse projects the author has worked on, and discusses how processes employed and lessons learned from these projects are being used to help answer questions about the effects of biomass plantings (hardwood tree crops and native grasses) on wildlife habitat. Biomass environmental research is being designed to assess how plantings of different acreage, composition and landscape context affect wildlife habitat value, and is addressing the cumulative effect on wildlife habitat of establishing multiple biomass plantations across the landscape. Through landscape ecological planning, answers gleaned from research can also help guide biomass planting site selection and harvest strategies to improve habitat for native wildlife species within the context of economically viable plantation management - thereby integrating the needs of people with those of the environment.

  5. Switchgrass a valuable biomass crop for energy

    CERN Document Server

    2012-01-01

    The demand of renewable energies is growing steadily both from policy and from industry which seeks environmentally friendly feed stocks. The recent policies enacted by the EU, USA and other industrialized countries foresee an increased interest in the cultivation of energy crops; there is clear evidence that switchgrass is one of the most promising biomass crop for energy production and bio-based economy and compounds. Switchgrass: A Valuable Biomass Crop for Energy provides a comprehensive guide to  switchgrass in terms of agricultural practices, potential use and markets, and environmental and social benefits. Considering this potential energy source from its biology, breed and crop physiology to its growth and management to the economical, social and environmental impacts, Switchgrass: A Valuable Biomass Crop for Energy brings together chapters from a range of experts in the field, including a foreword from Kenneth P. Vogel, to collect and present the environmental benefits and characteristics of this a ...

  6. Quantifying the effect of crop spatial arrangement on weed suppression using functional-structural plant modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evers, Jochem B; Bastiaans, Lammert

    2016-05-01

    Suppression of weed growth in a crop canopy can be enhanced by improving crop competitiveness. One way to achieve this is by modifying the crop planting pattern. In this study, we addressed the question to what extent a uniform planting pattern increases the ability of a crop to compete with weed plants for light compared to a random and a row planting pattern, and how this ability relates to crop and weed plant density as well as the relative time of emergence of the weed. To this end, we adopted the functional-structural plant modelling approach which allowed us to explicitly include the 3D spatial configuration of the crop-weed canopy and to simulate intra- and interspecific competition between individual plants for light. Based on results of simulated leaf area development, canopy photosynthesis and biomass growth of the crop, we conclude that differences between planting pattern were small, particularly if compared to the effects of relative time of emergence of the weed, weed density and crop density. Nevertheless, analysis of simulated weed biomass demonstrated that a uniform planting of the crop improved the weed-suppression ability of the crop canopy. Differences in weed suppressiveness between planting patterns were largest with weed emergence before crop emergence, when the suppressive effect of the crop was only marginal. With simultaneous emergence a uniform planting pattern was 8 and 15 % more competitive than a row and a random planting pattern, respectively. When weed emergence occurred after crop emergence, differences between crop planting patterns further decreased as crop canopy closure was reached early on regardless of planting pattern. We furthermore conclude that our modelling approach provides promising avenues to further explore crop-weed interactions and aid in the design of crop management strategies that aim at improving crop competitiveness with weeds.

  7. Interactions between crop biomass and development of foliar diseases in winter wheat and the potential to graduate the fungicide dose according to crop biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Peter Kryger; Jørgensen, Lise Nistrup

    2016-01-01

    dose. The study was carried out investigating fungicide dose response controlling foliar diseases in winter wheat at three biomass densities obtained growing the crop at three nitrogen levels and using variable seed rates. Further the field experiments included three fungicide dose rates at each...... biomass level, an untreated control, and 75%, 50% and 33% of the recommended fungicide dose rate and the experiments were replicated for three years. Crop biomass had a significant influence on occurrence of septoria and yellow rust with greater disease severity at increasing crop biomass. In two of three...... years, the interaction of crop biomass and fungicide dose rate had a significant influence on disease severity indicating a biomassdependent dose response. The interaction occurred in the two years with high yield potential in combination with severe disease attack. If the variation in crop density...

  8. Sublethal effects of the herbicide glufosinate ammonium on crops and wild plants: short-term effects compared to vegetative recovery and plant reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, David; Boutin, Céline

    2010-10-01

    Current guidelines for phytotoxicity testing rely heavily on short-term testing of primarily crop species to predict the sensitivity of non-target, wild plants to herbicides. However, little is known on how plants recover following initial growth inhibitions in standard 14-28 day greenhouse tests conducted for pesticide assessment and registration. The objectives of this study were to assess the ability of plant species to recover (biomass and reproduction) when tested at the juvenile stage (routine regulatory testing), comparing crop and wild species and using the herbicide glufosinate ammonium. Ten crops and 10 wild species were tested with a one-time exposure to glufosinate ammonium in a greenhouse. Half the plants of each species (9 doses × 6 replicates) were harvested 3 weeks after being sprayed (short-term). The remaining plants were harvested several weeks later, coinciding with seed set or natural senescence (long-term). Total aboveground biomass and several endpoints related to crop production and plant reproduction were measured. Calculated IC50 values (dosage that results in a 50% decrease in the biomass of a plant as compared to the untreated controls) based solely on aboveground biomass, for species harvested in the long-term were generally higher than those obtained in the short-term (with two exceptions), indicating recovery over time. Crop species did not differ from wild species in terms of sensitivity. However, in seven out of 12 cases where reproduction was measurable, reproductive endpoints were more sensitive than either short or long-term biomass endpoints, indicating the importance of examining these parameters in phytotoxicity testing. Glufosinate ammonium was found to be phytotoxic at low doses (2.64-7.74% g ai/ha of the label rate).

  9. Cover Crop Biomass Harvest Influences Cotton Nitrogen Utilization and Productivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Ducamp

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a potential in the southeastern US to harvest winter cover crops from cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. fields for biofuels or animal feed use, but this could impact yields and nitrogen (N fertilizer response. An experiment was established to examine rye (Secale cereale L. residue management (RM and N rates on cotton productivity. Three RM treatments (no winter cover crop (NC, residue removed (REM and residue retained (RET and four N rates for cotton were studied. Cotton population, leaf and plant N concentration, cotton biomass and N uptake at first square, and cotton biomass production between first square and cutout were higher for RET, followed by REM and NC. However, leaf N concentration at early bloom and N concentration in the cotton biomass between first square and cutout were higher for NC, followed by REM and RET. Seed cotton yield response to N interacted with year and RM, but yields were greater with RET followed by REM both years. These results indicate that a rye cover crop can be beneficial for cotton, especially during hot and dry years. Long-term studies would be required to completely understand the effect of rye residue harvest on cotton production under conservation tillage.

  10. Recycle of Inorganic Nutrients for Hydroponic Crop Production Following Incineration of Inedible Biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubenheim, David L.; Wignarajah, Kanapathipillai; Kliss, Mark H. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Recovery of resources from waste streams is essential for future implementation and reliance on a regenerative life support system. The major waste streams of concern are from human activities and plant wastes. Carbon, water and inorganics are the primary desired raw materials of interest. The goal of resource recovery is maintenance of product quality to insure support of reliable and predictable levels of life support function performance by the crop plant component. Further, these systems must be maintained over extended periods of time, requiring maintenance of nutrient solutions to avoid toxicity and deficiencies. Today, reagent grade nutrients are used to make nutrient solutions for hydroponic culture and these solutions are frequently changed during the life cycle or sometimes managed for only one crop life cycle. The focus of this study was to determine the suitability of the ash product following incineration of inedible biomass as a source of inorganic nutrients for hydroponic crop production. Inedible wheat biomass was incinerated and ash quality characterized. The incinerator ash was dissolved in adequate nitric acid to establish a consistent nitrogen concentration in all nutrient solution treatments. Four experimental nutrient treatments were included: control, ash only, ash supplemented to match control, and ash only quality formulated with reagent grade chemicals. When nutrient solutions are formulated using only ash following-incineration of inedible biomass, a balance in solution is established representing elemental retention following incineration and nutrient proportions present in the original biomass. The resulting solution is not identical to the control. This imbalance resulted in suppression of crop growth. When the ash is supplemented with nutrients to establish the same balance as in the control, growth is identical to the control. The ash appears to carry no phytotoxic materials. Growth in solution formulated with reagent grade chemicals

  11. Evaluation of herbacceous biomass crops in the northern Great Plains. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyer, D.W.; Norby, W.E.; Erickson, D.O.; Johnson, R.G. [North Dakota State Univ., Fargo, ND (United States)

    1994-08-01

    Herbaceous lignocellulose crops are a potential renewable feedstock for biochemical conversion systems second in size to wood products. Several herbaceous crops are utilized as forage crops in the northern Great Plains, but forage quality considerations usually dictates a early harvest. Biomass cropping does not have this constraint; therefore, little information was available on herbaceous crops utilized as energy crops prior to this project. Our primary objectives were to evaluate the biomass yield and select chemical components of several herbaceous crops for energy crops in the northern Great Plains, compare the economic feasibility of energy crops with common competing crops, and evaluate biomass cropping on summer fallow lands. Three good, two marginal, and one irrigated sites were used during 1988 to 1992 for the first component. At least six perennial and four annual biomass species were included at all sites. Three to four nitrogen (N) levels and a crop-recrop comparison (annuals only) were management intensities included. Biomass cropping on idled lands was performed on dryland at Carrington and evaluated the effects of removing leguminous biomass on fallowed lands. This report summarizes results from the 5-year project.

  12. Fusion of Plant Height and Vegetation Indices for the Estimation of Barley Biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora Tilly

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Plant biomass is an important parameter for crop management and yield estimation. However, since biomass cannot be determined non-destructively, other plant parameters are used for estimations. In this study, plant height and hyperspectral data were used for barley biomass estimations with bivariate and multivariate models. During three consecutive growing seasons a terrestrial laser scanner was used to establish crop surface models for a pixel-wise calculation of plant height and manual measurements of plant height confirmed the results (R2 up to 0.98. Hyperspectral reflectance measurements were conducted with a field spectrometer and used for calculating six vegetation indices (VIs, which have been found to be related to biomass and LAI: GnyLi, NDVI, NRI, RDVI, REIP, and RGBVI. Furthermore, biomass samples were destructively taken on almost the same dates. Linear and exponential biomass regression models (BRMs were established for evaluating plant height and VIs as estimators of fresh and dry biomass. Each BRM was established for the whole observed period and pre-anthesis, which is important for management decisions. Bivariate BRMs supported plant height as a strong estimator (R2 up to 0.85, whereas BRMs based on individual VIs showed varying performances (R2: 0.07–0.87. Fused approaches, where plant height and one VI were used for establishing multivariate BRMs, yielded improvements in some cases (R2 up to 0.89. Overall, this study reveals the potential of remotely-sensed plant parameters for estimations of barley biomass. Moreover, it is a first step towards the fusion of 3D spatial and spectral measurements for improving non-destructive biomass estimations.

  13. [Effects of lime-ammonium bicarbonate fumigation and biofertilizer application on Fusarium wilt and biomass of continuous cropping cucumber and watermelon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Zong Zhuan; Sun, Li; Wang, Dong Sheng; Lyu, Na Na; Xue, Chao; Li, Rong; Shen, Qi Rong

    2017-10-01

    In this study, the population size of soil microbes was determined using plate counting method after the application of lime-ammonium bicarbonate and ammonium bicarbonate fumigation. In addition, biofertilizer was applied after soil fumigation and population of Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium wilt disease control efficiency and plant biomass were determined in the cucumber and watermelon continuous cropping soil. The results showed that the population of F. oxysporum in cucumber mono-cropped soil fumigated with lime-ammonium bicarbonate or ammonium bicarbonate was decreased by 95.4% and 71.4%, while that in watermelon mono-cropped soil was decreased by 87.3% and 61.2%, respectively compared with non-fumigated control (CK). Furthermore, the greenhouse experiment showed that biofertilizer application, soil fumigation and crop type showed significant effects on the number of soil F. oxysporum, Fusarium wilt disease incidence, disease control efficiency and plant biomass based on multivariate analysis of variance. In the lime-ammonium bicarbonate fumigated soil amended with biofertilizer (LFB), significant reductions in the numbers of F. oxysporum and Fusarium wilt disease incidence were observed in both cucumber and watermelon cropped soil compared to non-fumigated control soil applied with organic fertilizer. The disease control rate was 91.9% and 92.5% for cucumber and watermelon, respectively. Moreover, LFB also significantly increased the plant height, stem diameter, leaf SPAD, and dry biomass for cucumber and watermelon. It was indicated that biofertilizer application after lime-ammonium bicarbonate fumigation could effectively reduce the abundance of F. oxysporum in soil, control Fusarium wilt disease and improve plant biomass in cucumber and watermelon mono-cropping systems.

  14. Agroecology of Novel Annual and Perennial Crops for Biomass Production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manevski, Kiril; Jørgensen, Uffe; Lærke, Poul Erik

    The agroecological potential of many crops under sustainable intensification has not been investigated. This study investigates such potential for novel annual and perennial crops grown for biomass production.......The agroecological potential of many crops under sustainable intensification has not been investigated. This study investigates such potential for novel annual and perennial crops grown for biomass production....

  15. Effects of fertility, weed density and crop competition on biomass partitioning in Centaurea cyanus L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Łukasz Chachulski

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The influence of environmental factors on biomass partitioning of annual arable weed Centaurea cyanus was analysed. We investigated the effect of fertilisation, density and competition with the winter rye crop on the reproductive investment. Three fertiliser treatments and three density levels were applied. In Centaurea cyanus differences in the pattern of biomass allocation to reproduction are related to plant size. The relationship between reproductive and vegetative mass is close to linear. It is consistent with the model of linear size-dependent reproductive output. In Centaurea cyanus this model worked well for size differences that have been generated by interspecific competition, nutrients supply and density. Our data support the hypothesis that plastic changes in relationship between vegetative and generative biomass are environmentally-induced. Significantly different relationship between vegetative and reproductive biomass were detected among populations growing at different density and fertility levels. The fertilisation with mineral fertiliser and manure resulted in an increase of generative biomass allocated to flowerheads and a decrease of reproductive effort. Generative dry weight increased more rapidly with plant size in higher densities of population and at lower fertility levels. The experiment showed that the rate of weight allocated to reproductive structures was bigger under the pressure of competition with cereal crop. At low fertility level and high density, when the individuals were small, generative biomass increased faster with plant size. The production of seeds was not directly dependent on biomass allocated into total reproductive structures. At low level, of nutrient supply C. cyanus gave more offspring per gram of its biomass. We discuss the results in context of life-history theory. From the strategic point of view, size-dependent variation in reproductive effort and in efficiency of reproduction can be

  16. Precise plant height monitoring and biomass estimation with Terrestrial Laser Scanning in paddy rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Tilly

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Optimizing crop management is a major topic in the field of precision agriculture as the growing world population puts pressure on the efficiency of field production. Accordingly, methods to measure plant parameters with the needed precision and within-field resolution are required. Studies show that Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS is a suitable method to capture small objects like crop plants. In this contribution, the results of multi-temporal surveys on paddy rice fields with the TLS system Riegl LMS-Z420i are presented. Three campaigns were carried out during the key vegetative stage of rice plants in the growing period 2012 to monitor the plant height. The TLS-derived point clouds are interpolated to visualize plant height above ground as crop surface models (CSMs with a high resolution of 0.01 m. Spatio-temporal differences within the data of one campaign and between consecutive campaigns can be detected. The results were validated against manually measured plant heights with a high correlation (R2 = 0.71. Furthermore, the dependence of actual biomass from plant height was evaluated. To the present, no method for the non-destructive determination of biomass is found yet. Thus, plant parameters, like the height, have to be used for biomass estimations. The good correlation (R2 = 0.66 leads to the assumption that biomass can be estimated from plant height measurements. The results show that TLS can be considered as a very promising tool for precision agriculture.

  17. Influence of Seeding Ratio, Planting Date, and Termination Date on Rye-Hairy Vetch Cover Crop Mixture Performance under Organic Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Andrew; Cogger, Craig; Bary, Andy; Fortuna, Ann-Marie

    2015-01-01

    Cover crop benefits include nitrogen accumulation and retention, weed suppression, organic matter maintenance, and reduced erosion. Organic farmers need region-specific information on winter cover crop performance to effectively integrate cover crops into their crop rotations. Our research objective was to compare cover crop seeding mixtures, planting dates, and termination dates on performance of rye (Secale cereale L.) and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) monocultures and mixtures in the maritime Pacific Northwest USA. The study included four seed mixtures (100% hairy vetch, 25% rye-75% hairy vetch, 50% rye-50% hairy vetch, and 100% rye by seed weight), two planting dates, and two termination dates, using a split-split plot design with four replications over six years. Measurements included winter ground cover; stand composition; cover crop biomass, N concentration, and N uptake; and June soil NO3(-)-N. Rye planted in mid-September and terminated in late April averaged 5.1 Mg ha(-1) biomass, whereas mixtures averaged 4.1 Mg ha(-1) and hairy vetch 2.3 Mg ha(-1). Delaying planting by 2.5 weeks reduced average winter ground cover by 65%, biomass by 50%, and cover crop N accumulation by 40%. Similar reductions in biomass and N accumulation occurred for late March termination, compared with late April termination. Mixtures had less annual biomass variability than rye. Mixtures accumulated 103 kg ha(-1) N and had mean C:N ratio rye, 97 kg ha(-1) for the mixtures, and 119 kg ha(-1) for hairy vetch. Weeds comprised less of the mixtures biomass (20% weeds by weight at termination) compared with the monocultures (29%). Cover crop mixtures provided a balance between biomass accumulation and N concentration, more consistent biomass over the six-year study, and were more effective at reducing winter weeds compared with monocultures.

  18. Biomass and biomass water use efficiency in oilseed crop (Brassica juncea L.) under semi-arid microenvironments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adak, Tarun; Kumar, Gopal; Chakravarty, N.V.K.; Katiyar, R.K.; Deshmukh, P.S.; Joshi, H.C.

    2013-01-01

    Biomass production in arid and semi-arid regions requires a special attention owing to spatiotemporal scarcity of irrigation water wherein improved water use efficiency (WUE) of the crop is targeted. Under field conditions, the crop undergoes dynamic changes in near ground or within-canopy microenvironments. This changed microclimatic condition may have an impact on phenological response of the oilseed crop which in turn would affect biomass productivity, economic seed yield and water use efficiency of the crop. Henceforth, quantification of biomass production and its WUE of oilseed Brassica crop is essentially required owing to have better understanding of the crop water requirement under the era of climate change. Following a 2 years field experiment, it was revealed that the changes in leaf area index were explained by about 68–74%. The best fit polynomial third order regression analysis indicated >93% prediction in biomass production as a function of time factor. Improved biomass partitioning into economic sinks was also observed. Small scale change in near ground microenvironment may reduce the prediction of biomass variability to the extent of 3%. The mean ET variations were observed as 2.4, 1.5 and 3.2 mm day −1 during the critical phenological stages. Mean seed yield, biomass WUE and seed yield WUE ranged between 2.71 and 2.87 Mg ha −1 , 11.4 and 13.1 g m −2 mm −1 and 19.3 and 22.9 kg ha −1 mm −1 respectively. Variations in both biomass and seed yield water use efficiencies due to small scale change in near ground microclimates were revealed. -- Highlights: ► Assessing biomass productivity and its water use efficiency under arid and semi-arid regions is important. ► Under field conditions, the crop undergoes dynamic changes in near ground or within-canopy microenvironments. ► We have estimated changes in seasonal ET, within-canopy micrometeorological dynamics. ► Biomass productivity, partitioning and water use efficiencies were

  19. Simulating the partitioning of biomass and nitrogen between roots and shoot in crop and grass plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yin, X.; Schapendonk, A.H.C.M.

    2004-01-01

    Quantification of the assimilate partitioning between roots and shoot has been one of the components that need improvement in crop growth models. In this study we derived two equations for root-shoot partitioning of biomass and nitrogen (N) that hold for crops grown under steady-state conditions.

  20. Influence of Seeding Ratio, Planting Date, and Termination Date on Rye-Hairy Vetch Cover Crop Mixture Performance under Organic Management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Lawson

    Full Text Available Cover crop benefits include nitrogen accumulation and retention, weed suppression, organic matter maintenance, and reduced erosion. Organic farmers need region-specific information on winter cover crop performance to effectively integrate cover crops into their crop rotations. Our research objective was to compare cover crop seeding mixtures, planting dates, and termination dates on performance of rye (Secale cereale L. and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth monocultures and mixtures in the maritime Pacific Northwest USA. The study included four seed mixtures (100% hairy vetch, 25% rye-75% hairy vetch, 50% rye-50% hairy vetch, and 100% rye by seed weight, two planting dates, and two termination dates, using a split-split plot design with four replications over six years. Measurements included winter ground cover; stand composition; cover crop biomass, N concentration, and N uptake; and June soil NO3(--N. Rye planted in mid-September and terminated in late April averaged 5.1 Mg ha(-1 biomass, whereas mixtures averaged 4.1 Mg ha(-1 and hairy vetch 2.3 Mg ha(-1. Delaying planting by 2.5 weeks reduced average winter ground cover by 65%, biomass by 50%, and cover crop N accumulation by 40%. Similar reductions in biomass and N accumulation occurred for late March termination, compared with late April termination. Mixtures had less annual biomass variability than rye. Mixtures accumulated 103 kg ha(-1 N and had mean C:N ratio <17:1 when planted in mid-September and terminated in late April. June soil NO3(--N (0 to 30 cm depth averaged 62 kg ha(-1 for rye, 97 kg ha(-1 for the mixtures, and 119 kg ha(-1 for hairy vetch. Weeds comprised less of the mixtures biomass (20% weeds by weight at termination compared with the monocultures (29%. Cover crop mixtures provided a balance between biomass accumulation and N concentration, more consistent biomass over the six-year study, and were more effective at reducing winter weeds compared with monocultures.

  1. Engineered plant biomass feedstock particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dooley, James H [Federal Way, WA; Lanning, David N [Federal Way, WA; Broderick, Thomas F [Lake Forest Park, WA

    2012-04-17

    A new class of plant biomass feedstock particles characterized by consistent piece size and shape uniformity, high skeletal surface area, and good flow properties. The particles of plant biomass material having fibers aligned in a grain are characterized by a length dimension (L) aligned substantially parallel to the grain and defining a substantially uniform distance along the grain, a width dimension (W) normal to L and aligned cross grain, and a height dimension (H) normal to W and L. In particular, the L.times.H dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel side surfaces characterized by substantially intact longitudinally arrayed fibers, the W.times.H dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel end surfaces characterized by crosscut fibers and end checking between fibers, and the L.times.W dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel top and bottom surfaces. The L.times.W surfaces of particles with L/H dimension ratios of 4:1 or less are further elaborated by surface checking between longitudinally arrayed fibers. The length dimension L is preferably aligned within 30.degree. parallel to the grain, and more preferably within 10.degree. parallel to the grain. The plant biomass material is preferably selected from among wood, agricultural crop residues, plantation grasses, hemp, bagasse, and bamboo.

  2. Biomass and biomass and biogas yielding potential of sorghum as affected by planting density, sowing time and cultivar

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahmood, A.; Hussain, A.; Shahzad, A. N.; Honermeier, B.

    2015-01-01

    Biogas from biomass is a promising renewable energy source whose importance is increasing in European as well as in other countries. A field experiment at one location (Experimental Station Giessen, Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany) over two years was designed to study the effect of altering sowing time (ST), planting density and cultivar on the biomass yield and chemical composition of biomass sorghum, and its potential for methane production. Of the two cultivars tested, cv. Goliath (intraspecific hybrid) was more productive with respect to biomass yield than cv. Bovital (S. bicolor x S. sudanense hybrid). ST also influenced biomass yield and most of the quality parameters measured. Delayed sowing was in general advantageous. The choice of cultivar had a marked effect on biogas and methane yield. The highest biogas and methane yields were produced by late sown cv. Bovital. Sub-optimal planting densities limited biomass accumulation of the crop, however neither the chemical composition nor the methane yield was affected by planting density. (author)

  3. Enhancing (crop) plant photosynthesis by introducing novel genetic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dann, Marcel; Leister, Dario

    2017-09-26

    Although some elements of the photosynthetic light reactions might appear to be ideal, the overall efficiency of light conversion to biomass has not been optimized during evolution. Because crop plants are depleted of genetic diversity for photosynthesis, efforts to enhance its efficiency with respect to light conversion to yield must generate new variation. In principle, three sources of natural variation are available: (i) rare diversity within extant higher plant species, (ii) photosynthetic variants from algae, and (iii) reconstruction of no longer extant types of plant photosynthesis. Here, we argue for a novel approach that outsources crop photosynthesis to a cyanobacterium that is amenable to adaptive evolution. This system offers numerous advantages, including a short generation time, virtually unlimited population sizes and high mutation rates, together with a versatile toolbox for genetic manipulation. On such a synthetic bacterial platform, 10 000 years of (crop) plant evolution can be recapitulated within weeks. Limitations of this system arise from its unicellular nature, which cannot reproduce all aspects of crop photosynthesis. But successful establishment of such a bacterial host for crop photosynthesis promises not only to enhance the performance of eukaryotic photosynthesis but will also reveal novel facets of the molecular basis of photosynthetic flexibility.This article is part of the themed issue 'Enhancing photosynthesis in crop plants: targets for improvement'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  4. Quantifying biomass production in crops grown for energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bullard, M J; Christian, D; Wilkins, C

    1997-12-31

    One estimate suggests that continued CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) reform may lead to as much as 2 million hectares of land set aside from arable production by the year 2020 in the UK alone, with 20 million hectares in the EU in total. Set-aside currently occupies more than 500,000 hectares in the UK. Set-aside land is providing more opportunities for non-food crops, for example fuel crops, which provide biomass for energy. Whilst any crop species will produce biomass which can be burnt to produce energy, arable crops were not developed with this in mind but rather a specific harvestable commodity, e.g. grain, and therefore the total harvestable commodity is seldom maximised. The characteristics of an ideal fuel crop have been identified as: dry harvested material for efficient combustion; perennial growth to minimise establishment costs and lengthen the growing season; good disease resistance; efficient conversion of solar radiation to biomass energy; efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser (where required) and water; and yield close to the theoretical maximum. Miscanthus, a genus of Oriental and African C4 perennial grasses, has been identified as possessing the above characteristics. There may be other species, which, if not yielding quite as much biomass, have other characteristics of merit. This has led to the need to identify inherently productive species which are adapted to the UK, and to validate the productivity of species which have already been 'discovered'. (author)

  5. Quantifying biomass production in crops grown for energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bullard, M.J.; Christian, D.; Wilkins, C.

    1996-12-31

    One estimate suggests that continued CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) reform may lead to as much as 2 million hectares of land set aside from arable production by the year 2020 in the UK alone, with 20 million hectares in the EU in total. Set-aside currently occupies more than 500,000 hectares in the UK. Set-aside land is providing more opportunities for non-food crops, for example fuel crops, which provide biomass for energy. Whilst any crop species will produce biomass which can be burnt to produce energy, arable crops were not developed with this in mind but rather a specific harvestable commodity, e.g. grain, and therefore the total harvestable commodity is seldom maximised. The characteristics of an ideal fuel crop have been identified as: dry harvested material for efficient combustion; perennial growth to minimise establishment costs and lengthen the growing season; good disease resistance; efficient conversion of solar radiation to biomass energy; efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser (where required) and water; and yield close to the theoretical maximum. Miscanthus, a genus of Oriental and African C4 perennial grasses, has been identified as possessing the above characteristics. There may be other species, which, if not yielding quite as much biomass, have other characteristics of merit. This has led to the need to identify inherently productive species which are adapted to the UK, and to validate the productivity of species which have already been 'discovered'. (author)

  6. Root biomass in cereals, catch crops and weeds can be reliably estimated without considering aboveground biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hu, Teng; Sørensen, Peter; Wahlström, Ellen Margrethe

    2018-01-01

    and management factors may affect this allometric relationship making such estimates uncertain and biased. Therefore, we aimed to explore how root biomass for typical cereal crops, catch crops and weeds could most reliably be estimated. Published and unpublished data on aboveground and root biomass (corrected...

  7. Modulation of phytochrome signaling networks for improved biomass accumulation using a bioenergy crop model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mockler, Todd C. [Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis, MO (United States)

    2016-11-07

    Plant growth and development, including stem elongation, flowering time, and shade-avoidance habits, are affected by wavelength composition (i.e., light quality) of the light environment. the molecular mechanisms underlying light perception and signaling pathways in plants have been best characterized in Arabidopsis thaliana where dozens of genes have been implicated in converging, complementary, and antagonistic pathways communicating light quality cues perceived by the phytochrome (red/far-red) cryptochrome (blue) and phototropin (blue) photorecptors. Light perception and signaling have been studied in grasses, including rice and sorghum but in much less detail than in Arabidopsis. During the course of the Mocker lab's DOE-funded wrok generating a gene expression atlas in Brachypodium distachyon we observed that Brachypodium plants grown in continuous monochromatic red light or continuous white light enriched in far-red light accumulated significantly more biomass and exhibited significantly greater seed yield than plants grown in monochromatic blue light or white light. This phenomenon was also observed in two other grasses, switchgrass and rice. We will systematically manipulate the expression of genes predicted to function in Brachypodium phytochrome signaling and assess the phenotypic consequences in transgenic Brachypodium plants in terms of morphology, stature, biomass accumulation, and cell wall composition. We will also interrogate direct interactions between candidate phytochrome signaling transcription factors and target promoters using a high-throughput yeast one-hybrid system. Brachypodium distachyon has emerged as a model grass species and is closely related to candidate feedstock crops for bioethanol production. Identification of genes capable of modifying growth characteristics of Brachypodium, when misexpressed, in particular increasing biomass accumulation, by modulating photoreceptor signaling will provide valuable candidates for

  8. Quantification and characterization of cotton crop biomass residue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotton crop residual biomass remaining in the field after mechanical seed cotton harvest is not typically harvested and utilized off-site thereby generating additional revenue for producers. Recently, interest has increased in utilizing biomass materials as feedstock for the production of fuel and ...

  9. Evaluating the relationship between biomass, percent groundcover and remote sensing indices across six winter cover crop fields in Maryland, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabhakara, Kusuma; Hively, W. Dean; McCarty, Gregory W.

    2015-07-01

    Winter cover crops are an essential part of managing nutrient and sediment losses from agricultural lands. Cover crops lessen sedimentation by reducing erosion, and the accumulation of nitrogen in aboveground biomass results in reduced nutrient runoff. Winter cover crops are planted in the fall and are usually terminated in early spring, making them susceptible to senescence, frost burn, and leaf yellowing due to wintertime conditions. This study sought to determine to what extent remote sensing indices are capable of accurately estimating the percent groundcover and biomass of winter cover crops, and to analyze under what critical ranges these relationships are strong and under which conditions they break down. Cover crop growth on six fields planted to barley, rye, ryegrass, triticale or wheat was measured over the 2012-2013 winter growing season. Data collection included spectral reflectance measurements, aboveground biomass, and percent groundcover. Ten vegetation indices were evaluated using surface reflectance data from a 16-band CROPSCAN sensor. Restricting analysis to sampling dates before the onset of prolonged freezing temperatures and leaf yellowing resulted in increased estimation accuracy. There was a strong relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and percent groundcover (r2 = 0.93) suggesting that date restrictions effectively eliminate yellowing vegetation from analysis. The triangular vegetation index (TVI) was most accurate in estimating high ranges of biomass (r2 = 0.86), while NDVI did not experience a clustering of values in the low and medium biomass ranges but saturated in the higher range (>1500 kg/ha). The results of this study show that accounting for index saturation, senescence, and frost burn on leaves can greatly increase the accuracy of estimates of percent groundcover and biomass for winter cover crops.

  10. Cultivation of high-biomass crops on coal mine spoil banks: Can microbial inoculation compensate for high doses of organic matter?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gryndler, M.; Sudova, R.; Puschel, D.; Rydlova, J.; Janouskova, M.; Vosatka, M. [Academy of Science Czech Republic, Pruhonice (Czech Republic)

    2008-09-15

    Two greenhouse experiments were focused on the application of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in planting of high-biomass crops on reclaimed spoil banks. In the first experiment, we tested the effects of different organic amendments on growth of alfalfa and on the introduced microorganisms. While growth of plants was supported in substrate with compost amendment, mycorrhizal colonization was suppressed. Lignocellulose papermill waste had no negative effects on AMF, but did not positively affect growth of plants. The mixture of these two amendments was found to be optimal in both respects, plant growth and mycorrhizal development. Decreasing doses of this mixture amendment were used in the second experiment, where the effects of microbial inoculation (assumed to compensate for reduced doses of organic matter) on growth of two high-biomass crops, hemp and reed canarygrass, were studied. Plant growth response to microbial inoculation was either positive or negative, depending on the dose of the applied amendment and plant species.

  11. Bioenergy Sorghum Crop Model Predicts VPD-Limited Transpiration Traits Enhance Biomass Yield in Water-Limited Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truong, Sandra K; McCormick, Ryan F; Mullet, John E

    2017-01-01

    Bioenergy sorghum is targeted for production in water-limited annual cropland therefore traits that improve plant water capture, water use efficiency, and resilience to water deficit are necessary to maximize productivity. A crop modeling framework, APSIM, was adapted to predict the growth and biomass yield of energy sorghum and to identify potentially useful traits for crop improvement. APSIM simulations of energy sorghum development and biomass accumulation replicated results from field experiments across multiple years, patterns of rainfall, and irrigation schemes. Modeling showed that energy sorghum's long duration of vegetative growth increased water capture and biomass yield by ~30% compared to short season crops in a water-limited production region. Additionally, APSIM was extended to enable modeling of VPD-limited transpiration traits that reduce crop water use under high vapor pressure deficits (VPDs). The response of transpiration rate to increasing VPD was modeled as a linear response until a VPD threshold was reached, at which the slope of the response decreases, representing a range of responses to VPD observed in sorghum germplasm. Simulation results indicated that the VPD-limited transpiration trait is most beneficial in hot and dry regions of production where crops are exposed to extended periods without rainfall during the season or to a terminal drought. In these environments, slower but more efficient transpiration increases biomass yield and prevents or delays the exhaustion of soil water and onset of leaf senescence. The VPD-limited transpiration responses observed in sorghum germplasm increased biomass accumulation by 20% in years with lower summer rainfall, and the ability to drastically reduce transpiration under high VPD conditions could increase biomass by 6% on average across all years. This work indicates that the productivity and resilience of bioenergy sorghum grown in water-limited environments could be further enhanced by development

  12. Overestimation of Crop Root Biomass in Field Experiments Due to Extraneous Organic Matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirte, Juliane; Leifeld, Jens; Abiven, Samuel; Oberholzer, Hans-Rudolf; Hammelehle, Andreas; Mayer, Jochen

    2017-01-01

    Root biomass is one of the most relevant root parameters for studies of plant response to environmental change, soil carbon modeling or estimations of soil carbon sequestration. A major source of error in root biomass quantification of agricultural crops in the field is the presence of extraneous organic matter in soil: dead roots from previous crops, weed roots, incorporated above ground plant residues and organic soil amendments, or remnants of soil fauna. Using the isotopic difference between recent maize root biomass and predominantly C3-derived extraneous organic matter, we determined the proportions of maize root biomass carbon of total carbon in root samples from the Swiss long-term field trial "DOK." We additionally evaluated the effects of agricultural management (bio-organic and conventional), sampling depth (0-0.25, 0.25-0.5, 0.5-0.75 m) and position (within and between maize rows), and root size class (coarse and fine roots) as defined by sieve mesh size (2 and 0.5 mm) on those proportions, and quantified the success rate of manual exclusion of extraneous organic matter from root samples. Only 60% of the root mass that we retrieved from field soil cores was actual maize root biomass from the current season. While the proportions of maize root biomass carbon were not affected by agricultural management, they increased consistently with soil depth, were higher within than between maize rows, and were higher in coarse (>2 mm) than in fine (≤2 and >0.5) root samples. The success rate of manual exclusion of extraneous organic matter from root samples was related to agricultural management and, at best, about 60%. We assume that the composition of extraneous organic matter is strongly influenced by agricultural management and soil depth and governs the effect size of the investigated factors. Extraneous organic matter may result in severe overestimation of recovered root biomass and has, therefore, large implications for soil carbon modeling and estimations

  13. Sublethal effects of herbicides on the biomass and seed production of terrestrial non-crop plant species, influenced by environment, development stage and assessment date

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Riemens, Marleen M.; Dueck, Thom; Kempenaar, Corne; Lotz, Lambertus A.P.; Kropff, Martin J.J.

    2009-01-01

    Guidelines provided by the OECD and EPPO allow the use of single-species tests performed in greenhouses to assess the risk of herbicides to non-target terrestrial plant communities in the field. The present study was undertaken to investigate the use of greenhouse data to determine effects of herbicides with a different mode of action on the biomass, seed production and emergence of field-grown plants. In addition, a single species approach was compared with a mixed species approach. Effects on the biomass of greenhouse and field-grown plants were found to be related at different effect levels, indicating that it might be possible to translate results from greenhouse studies to field situations. However, the use of single-species tests may not be valid. The response of a single plant species to sublethal herbicide dosages differed to the response of the same species grown in a mixture with other species. - The use of single-species greenhouse tests in the ecological risk assessment of crop protection products may only be valid for single species in the field, not for vegetations.

  14. Computing the biomass potentials for maize and two alternative energy crops, triticale and cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.), with the crop model BioSTAR in the region of Hannover (Germany).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauböck, Roland; Karpenstein-Machan, Marianne; Kappas, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Lower Saxony (Germany) has the highest installed electric capacity from biogas in Germany. Most of this electricity is generated with maize. Reasons for this are the high yields and the economic incentive. In parts of Lower Saxony, an expansion of maize cultivation has led to ecological problems and a negative image of bioenergy as such. Winter triticale and cup plant have both shown their suitability as alternative energy crops for biogas production and could help to reduce maize cultivation. The model Biomass Simulation Tool for Agricultural Resources (BioSTAR) has been validated with observed yield data from the region of Hannover for the cultures maize and winter wheat. Predicted yields for the cultures show satisfactory error values of 9.36% (maize) and 11.5% (winter wheat). Correlations with observed data are significant ( P  alternative to maize in the region of Hanover and other places in Lower Saxony. The model BioSTAR simulated yields for maize and winter wheat in the region of Hannover at a good overall level of accuracy (combined error 10.4%). Due to input data aggregation, individual years show high errors though (up to 30%). Nevertheless, the BioSTAR crop model has proven to be a functioning tool for the prediction of agricultural biomass potentials under varying environmental and crop management frame conditions.

  15. Assessing the Effect of Prometryn Soil Residue on Soil Microbial Biomass and Different Crops using Bioassay Test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    mohamad taghi alebrahim

    2016-09-01

    after germination. The pots were kept for 30 days under controlled conditions. Shoot and root biomass production was measured 30 days after emergence. At harvest, growth parameters including the dry weight of shoots and roots were determined. The data were subjected to analysis of variance by computer facilities, using Mstatc software. Plant response to prometryn residues was fitted with sigmoidal 3 and 4 parametric equations to the shoot biomass data as a function of the herbicide residue concentrations and was used to calculate the doses for 50% inhibition of shoot growth (ED50. In another experiment the effect of prometryn concentrations (0, 0.0033, 0.0166, 0.033, 0.066, 0.1 and 0.166 mg. kg-1soil on soil microbial activity was determined using titration method in controlled conditions. Results and Discussion: Plant response to increasing concentration of prometryn, in general, followed a classical dose response relationship. The logistic model fitted well to the root and shoot plants response herbicide concentrations. Results showed that the shoot and root dry matter were significantly affected by increasing prometryn soil residue in all crops (plettuce>beet>barely. Based on the mechanism of action of prometryn and its best efficiency on board leaf plants control, the least biomass reduction obtained for barley is understandable. In general, this is safe to plant a susceptible species if the plant-available residue were less than the species ED10 value, and there would be a great risk for different levels of crop damage if the plant-available residue were higher than ED50 values of the species. Comparisons between species allow the safe selection of a crop that has a critical ED50 level lower than the residue level in the soil. Alternatively, planting a sensitive species could be delayed until the residue level in the soil is less than the critical level. In the Southwest areas of Iran, these crops are often sown few months after the application of a residual

  16. A management guide for planting and production of switchgrass as a biomass crop in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elbersen, H.W.; Christian, D.G.; Bassam, N.E.; Sauerbeck, G.; Alexopoulou, E.; Sharma, N.; Piscioneri, I.

    2004-01-01

    Switchgrass is a perennial C4 grass native to North America, where it occurs naturally from 55º N latitude to deep into Mexico. It is used for soil conservation, forage production, as an ornamental grass and more recently as a biomass crop for ethanol, fibre, electricity and heat production. As

  17. Plant production, production energy, energy crops - approaches toward intelligent use of energy crops in bioenergy systems; Pflanzenproduktion, Produktionsenergie, Energiepflanzen - Ansaetze intelligenter Energiepflanzennutzung in Bioenergie-Anlagen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scheibler, M. [ENTEC Environment Technology Umwelttechnik GmbH, Fussach (Austria); Priedl, J.

    2002-12-01

    Food surplus production in the European Union should be replaced by biomass plantation for biogas production. The choice of energy plants like sunflowers or triticale and the harvesting time depends on soils, microclimates and crop rotation. The authors present a consultance package for planning, construction and operation of a Complete Stirred Reactor for biomass fermentation. Investment and operating cost depend on plant size and degree of automation. (uke)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore L. Cosentino

    2008-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppina M. D’Agosta

    2011-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. High plant availability of phosphorus and low availability of cadmium in four biomass combustion ashes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Xiaoxi; Rubæk, Gitte H.; Sørensen, Peter

    2016-01-01

    For biomass combustion to become a sustainable energy production system, it is crucial to minimise landfill of biomass ashes, to recycle the nutrients and to minimise the undesirable impact of hazardous substances in the ash. In order to test the plant availability of phosphorus (P) and cadmium (Cd) in four biomass ashes, we conducted two pot experiments on a P-depleted soil and one mini-plot field experiment on a soil with adequate P status. Test plants were spring barley and Italian ryegrass. Ash applications were compared to triple superphosphate (TSP) and a control without P application. Both TSP and ash significantly increased crop yields and P uptake on the P-depleted soil. In contrast, on the adequate-P soil, the barley yield showed little response to soil amendment, even at 300–500 kg P ha"−"1 application, although the barley took up more P at higher applications. The apparent P use efficiency of the additive was 20% in ryegrass - much higher than that of barley for which P use efficiencies varied on the two soils. Generally, crop Cd concentrations were little affected by the increasing and high applications of ash, except for relatively high Cd concentrations in barley after applying 25 Mg ha"−"1 straw ash. Contrarily, even modest increases in the TSP application markedly increased Cd uptake in plants. This might be explained by the low Cd solubility in the ash or by the reduced Cd availability due to the liming effect of ash. High concentrations of resin-extractable P (available P) in the ash-amended soil after harvest indicate that the ash may also contribute to P availability for the following crops. In conclusion, the biomass ashes in this study had P availability similar to the TSP fertiliser and did not contaminate the crop with Cd during the first year. - Highlights: • Effects of four biomass ashes vs. a P fertiliser (TSP) on two crops were studied. • Ashes increased crop yields with P availability similar to TSP on P-depleted soil.

  2. High plant availability of phosphorus and low availability of cadmium in four biomass combustion ashes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Xiaoxi, E-mail: Xiaoxi.Li@agro.au.dk; Rubæk, Gitte H.; Sørensen, Peter

    2016-07-01

    For biomass combustion to become a sustainable energy production system, it is crucial to minimise landfill of biomass ashes, to recycle the nutrients and to minimise the undesirable impact of hazardous substances in the ash. In order to test the plant availability of phosphorus (P) and cadmium (Cd) in four biomass ashes, we conducted two pot experiments on a P-depleted soil and one mini-plot field experiment on a soil with adequate P status. Test plants were spring barley and Italian ryegrass. Ash applications were compared to triple superphosphate (TSP) and a control without P application. Both TSP and ash significantly increased crop yields and P uptake on the P-depleted soil. In contrast, on the adequate-P soil, the barley yield showed little response to soil amendment, even at 300–500 kg P ha{sup −1} application, although the barley took up more P at higher applications. The apparent P use efficiency of the additive was 20% in ryegrass - much higher than that of barley for which P use efficiencies varied on the two soils. Generally, crop Cd concentrations were little affected by the increasing and high applications of ash, except for relatively high Cd concentrations in barley after applying 25 Mg ha{sup −1} straw ash. Contrarily, even modest increases in the TSP application markedly increased Cd uptake in plants. This might be explained by the low Cd solubility in the ash or by the reduced Cd availability due to the liming effect of ash. High concentrations of resin-extractable P (available P) in the ash-amended soil after harvest indicate that the ash may also contribute to P availability for the following crops. In conclusion, the biomass ashes in this study had P availability similar to the TSP fertiliser and did not contaminate the crop with Cd during the first year. - Highlights: • Effects of four biomass ashes vs. a P fertiliser (TSP) on two crops were studied. • Ashes increased crop yields with P availability similar to TSP on P-depleted soil

  3. Caesium-137 soil-to-plant transfer for representative agricultural crops of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants in post-Chernobyl steppe landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paramonova, Tatiana; Komissarova, Olga; Turykin, Leonid; Kuzmenkova, Natalia; Belyaev, Vladimir

    2016-04-01

    The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 had a large-scale action on more than 2.3 million hectares agricultural lands in Russia. The area of radioactively contaminated chernozems of semi-arid steppe zone with initial levels of Cs-137 185-555 kBq/m2 in Tula region received the name "Plavsky radioactive hotspot". Nowadays, after the first half-life period of Cs-137 arable chernozems of the region are still polluted with 3-6-fold excess above the radioactive safety standard (126-228 kBq/m2). Therefore, qualitative and quantitative characteristics of Cs-137 soil-to-plant transfer are currently a central problem for land use on the territory. The purpose of the present study was revealing the biological features of Cs-137 root uptake from contaminated arable chernozems by different agricultural crops. The components of a grass mixture growing at the central part of Plavsky radioactive hotspot with typical dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants - galega (Galega orientalis, Fabaceae family) and bromegrass (Bromus inermis, Gramineae family) respectively - were selected for the investigation, that was conducted during the period of harvesting in 2015. An important point was that the other factors influenced on Cs-137 soil-to-plant transfer - the level of soil pollution, soil properties, climatic conditions, vegetative phase, etc. - were equal. So, biological features of Cs-137 root uptake could be estimated the most credible manner. As a whole, general discrimination of Cs-137 root uptake was clearly shown for both agricultural crops. Whereas Cs-137 activity in rhizosphere 30-cm layer of arable chernozem was 371±74 Bq/kg (140±32 kBq/m2), Cs-137 activities in plant biomass were one-two orders of magnitude less, and transfer factor (TF) values (the ratio of the Cs-137 activities in vegetation and in soil) not exceeded 0.11. At the same time bioavailability of Cs-137 for bromegrass was significantly higher than for galega: TFs in total biomass of the

  4. Utilization of emergent aquatic plants for biomass-energy-systems development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kresovich, S.; Wagner, C.K.; Scantland, D.A.; Groet, S.S.; Lawhon, W.T.

    1982-02-01

    A review was conducted of the available literature pertaining to the following aspects of emergent aquatic biomass: identification of prospective emergent plant species for management; evaluation of prospects for genetic manipulation; evaluation of biological and environmental tolerances; examination of current production technologies; determination of availability of seeds and/or other propagules, and projections for probable end-uses and products. Species identified as potential candidates for production in biomass systems include Arundo donax, Cyperus papyrus, Phragmites communis, Saccharum spontaneum, Spartina alterniflora, and Typha latifolia. If these species are to be viable candidates in biomass systems, a number of research areas must be further investigated. Points such as development of baseline yield data for managed systems, harvesting conceptualization, genetic (crop) improvement, and identification of secondary plant products require refinement. However, the potential pay-off for developing emergent aquatic systems will be significant if development is successful.

  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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The production of ethanol from pretreated plant biomass during fermentation is a strategy to mitigate climate change by substituting fossil fuels. However, biomass conversion is mainly limited by the recalcitrant nature of the plant cell wall. To overcome recalcitrance, the optimization of the plant cell wall for subsequent processing is a promising approach. Based on their phylogenetic proximity to existing and emerging energy crops, model plants have been proposed to study bioenergy-related cell wall biochemistry. One example is Brachypodium distachyon, which has been considered as a general model plant for cell wall analysis in grasses. To test whether relative phylogenetic proximity would be sufficient to qualify as a model plant not only for cell wall composition but also for the complete process leading to bioethanol production, we compared the processing of leaf and stem biomass from the C3 grasses B. distachyon and Triticum aestivum (wheat) with the C4 grasses Zea mays (maize) and Miscanthus x giganteus, a perennial energy crop. Lambda scanning with a confocal laser-scanning microscope allowed a rapid qualitative analysis of biomass saccharification. A maximum of 108–117 mg ethanol·g−1 dry biomass was yielded from thermo-chemically and enzymatically pretreated stem biomass of the tested plant species. Principal component analysis revealed that a relatively strong correlation between similarities in lignocellulosic ethanol production and phylogenetic relation was only given for stem and leaf biomass of the two tested C4 grasses. Our results suggest that suitability of B. distachyon as a model plant for biomass conversion of energy crops has to be specifically tested based on applied processing parameters and biomass tissue type. PMID:25133818

  6. Crop rotation biomass and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi effects on sugarcane yield

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ambrosano, Edmilson Jose; Rossi, Fabricio; Guirado, Nivaldo; Teramoto, Juliana Rolim Salome [Agencia Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegocios (APTA), Piracicaba, SP (Brazil). Polo Regional Centro Sul; Azcon, Rozario [Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), Granada (Spain). Estacao Experimental de Zaidin; Cantarela, Heitor [Agencia Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegocios (APTA/IAC), Campinas, SP (Brazil). Inst. Agronomico. Centro de Solos e Recursos Ambientais; Ambrosano, Glaucia Maria Bovi [Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Piracicaba, SP (Brazil). Fac. de Odontologia. Dept. de Odontologia Social], Email: ambrosano@apta.sp.gov.br; Schammass, Eliana Aparecida [Agencia Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegocios (APTA/IZ), Nova Odessa, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Zootecnia; Muraoka, Takashi; Trivelin, Paulo Cesar Ocheuze [Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA/USP), Piracicaba, SP (Brazil); Ungaro, Maria Regina Goncalves [Agencia Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegocios (APTA/IAC), Campinas, SP (Brazil). Inst. Agronomico. Centro de Plantas Graniferas

    2010-07-01

    Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) is an important crop for sugar production and agro-energy purposes in Brazil. In the sugarcane production system after a 4- to 8-year cycle crop rotation may be used before replanting sugarcane to improve soil conditions and give an extra income. This study had the objective of characterizing the biomass and the natural colonization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) of leguminous green manure and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) in rotation with sugarcane. Their effect on stalk and sugar yield of sugarcane cv. IAC 87-3396 grown subsequently was also studied. Cane yield was harvested in three subsequent cuttings. Peanut cv. IAC-Caiapo, sunflower cv. IAC-Uruguai and velvet bean (Mucuna aterrimum Piper and Tracy) were the rotational crops that resulted in the greater percentage of AMF. Sunflower was the specie that most extracted nutrients from the soil, followed by peanut cv. IAC-Tatu and mung bean (Vigna radiata L. Wilczek). The colonization with AMF had a positive correlation with sugarcane plant height, at the first cut (p = 0.01 and R = 0.52) but not with the stalk or cane yields. Sunflower was the rotational crop that brought about the greatest yield increase of the subsequent sugarcane crop: 46% increase in stalk yield and 50% in sugar yield compared with the control. Except for both peanut varieties, all rotational crops caused an increase in net income of the cropping system in the average of three sugarcane harvests. (author)

  7. How healthy is urban horticulture in high traffic areas? Trace metal concentrations in vegetable crops from plantings within inner city neighbourhoods in Berlin, Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Säumel, Ina; Kotsyuk, Iryna; Hölscher, Marie; Lenkereit, Claudia; Weber, Frauke; Kowarik, Ingo

    2012-06-01

    Food production by urban dwellers is of growing importance in developing and developed countries. Urban horticulture is associated with health risks as crops in urban settings are generally exposed to higher levels of pollutants than those in rural areas. We determined the concentration of trace metals in the biomass of different horticultural crops grown in the inner city of Berlin, Germany, and analysed how the local setting shaped the concentration patterns. We revealed significant differences in trace metal concentrations depending on local traffic, crop species, planting style and building structures, but not on vegetable type. Higher overall traffic burden increased trace metal content in the biomass. The presence of buildings and large masses of vegetation as barriers between crops and roads reduced trace metal content in the biomass. Based on this we discuss consequences for urban horticulture, risk assessment, and planting and monitoring guidelines for cultivation and consumption of crops. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Some ecological and socio-economic considerations for biomass energy crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paine, L.K.; Undersander, D.J.; Temple, S.A.; Klemme, R.M.; Peterson, T.L.; Bartelt, G.A.; Sample, D.W.; Rineer, K.C.

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to suggest a regional approach to ensure that energy crop production will proceed in an ecologically and economically sustainable way. At this juncture, we have the opportunity to build into the system some ecological and socio-economic values which have not traditionally been considered. If crop species are chosen and sited properly, incorporation of energy crops into our agricultural system could provide extensive wildlife habitat and address soil and water quality concerns, in addition to generating renewable power. We recommend that three types of agricultural land be targeted for perennial biomass energy crops: (1) highly erodible land; (2) wetlands presently converted to agricultural uses; and (3) marginal agricultural land in selected regions. Fitting appropriate species to these lands, biomass crops can be successfully grown on lands not ecologically suited for conventional farming practices, thus providing an environmental benefit in addition to producing an economic return to the land owner. (author)

  9. Growth of sugarcane under high input conditions in tropical Australia. 1. Radiation use, biomass accumulation and partitioning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robertson, M.J.; Wood, A.W.; Muchow, R.C.

    1996-01-01

    There is little detailed information on yield accumulation in sugarcane under high-input conditions, which can be used to quantify the key physiological parameters contributing to yield variation. Sugarcane is grown under plant and ratoon crop conditions. This study analysed canopy development, radiation interception and biomass accumulation of two contrasting cultivars of sugarcane under irrigation during the same season under plant and ratoon crop conditions. Over the 15 month season, 11 crop samplings were conducted. Biomass partitioning to stalk was also measured to determine to what extent differences in partitioning between cultivars under ratoon and plant crop conditions contribute to differential productivity. The key findings were: (1) The ratoon crop accumulated biomass more quickly than the plant crop during the first 100 days of growth due to higher stalk number, faster canopy development and greater radiation interception. For similar reasons, cultivar Q138 had higher early biomass production than cultivar Q117 in the plant crop, (2) Early differences in biomass accumulation due to crop class became negligible at about 220 days because maximum RUE of the plant crop (1.72 +/- 0.01 g MJ -1 ) was 8% higher than in the first ratoon crop (1.59 +/- 0.08 g MJ -1 ). The higher maximum RUE in the plant crop was consistent with a higher crop growth rate (35.1 +/- 2.3 versus 31.0 +/- 3.4 g m -2 d -1 ) during the Linear phase of biomass accumulation. (3) Biomass accumulation, which ceased about 300 days after planting/ratooning and 140 days before final harvest, attained similar levels of 53-58 t ha -1 in all four crops. (4) The plateau in biomass was associated with loss of live millable stalks, and not a cessation in the growth rate of individual stalks. The crops continued to intercept radiation while on the biomass plateau, so that average RUEs at final harvest were much lower than the maximum values. (5) There was no effect of crop class or cultivar on the

  10. How healthy is urban horticulture in high traffic areas? Trace metal concentrations in vegetable crops from plantings within inner city neighbourhoods in Berlin, Germany

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Säumel, Ina; Kotsyuk, Iryna; Hölscher, Marie; Lenkereit, Claudia; Weber, Frauke; Kowarik, Ingo

    2012-01-01

    Food production by urban dwellers is of growing importance in developing and developed countries. Urban horticulture is associated with health risks as crops in urban settings are generally exposed to higher levels of pollutants than those in rural areas. We determined the concentration of trace metals in the biomass of different horticultural crops grown in the inner city of Berlin, Germany, and analysed how the local setting shaped the concentration patterns. We revealed significant differences in trace metal concentrations depending on local traffic, crop species, planting style and building structures, but not on vegetable type. Higher overall traffic burden increased trace metal content in the biomass. The presence of buildings and large masses of vegetation as barriers between crops and roads reduced trace metal content in the biomass. Based on this we discuss consequences for urban horticulture, risk assessment, and planting and monitoring guidelines for cultivation and consumption of crops. - Highlights: ► Traffic-related pollutant deposition as important pathway for crop contamination. ► Heavy metal content often over EU standards for lead concentration in food crops. ► ‘Grow your own’ food in inner cities not always ‘healthier’ than supermarket products. ► No support for generalisations of crops as ‘risky high’ or ‘safe low’ accumulators. - Higher overall traffic burden increased, while the presence of buildings and large masses of vegetation as barriers between crops and roads reduced heavy metal content in crop biomass.

  11. Atmospheric CO2 fertilization effects on biomass yields of 10 crops in northern Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan F. Degener

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The quality and quantity of the influence that atmospheric CO2 has on cropgrowth is still a matter of debate. This study's aim is to estimate if CO2 will have an effect on biomass yields at all, to quantify and spatially locate the effects and to explore if an elevated photosynthesis rate or water-use-efficiency is predominantly responsible. This study uses a numerical carbon based crop model (BioSTAR to estimate biomass yields within theadministrative boundaries of Niedersachsen in Northern Germany. 10 crops are included (winter grains: wheat, barley,rye, triticale - early, medium, late maize variety - sunflower, sorghum, spring wheat, modeled annuallyfor the entire 21st century on 91,014 separate sites. Modeling was conducted twice, once with an annually adaptedCO2 concentration according to the SRES-A1B scenario and once with a fixed concentration of 390 ppm to separate the influence of CO2 from that of the other input variables.Rising CO2 concentrations will play a central role in keeping future yields of all crops above or aroundtoday's level. Differences in yields between modeling with fixed or adapted CO2 can be as high as60 % towards the century's end. Generally yields will increase when CO2 rises and decline whenit is kept constant. As C4-crops are equivalently affected it is presumed that anelevated efficiency in water use is the main responsible factor for all plants.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. The effect of species, planting date, and management of cover crops on weed community in hybrid sunflower (Helianthus annuus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Bolandi Amoughein

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Studies showed that if mixed populations of annual weeds grow with the sunflower, for every 10% increase in weed biomass, seed yield would decrease by 13% (Van Gessel & Renner, 2000. In addition to control weeds using herbicides multi-stage spraying is required. In organic farming systems mulch is used to control weeds, protection, fertility and improve soil quality (Glab & Kulig, 2008; Kuchaki et al., 2001. Surface mulches from cover crops suppress weed growth by reducing light levels at the soil surface, thereby slowing photosynthesis. In return, these conditions reduce seed germination and act as a physical barrier to seedling emergence and growth (Teasdale et al., 2007. Materials and Methods: The experiment was carried out in Ardabil Agricultural Research Station, as a factorial experiment based on randomized complete block design with three replications during 1390-1391. The first factor was considered four types of cover crops including winter rye (Secale cereal, spring barley (Hordeum vulgare, winter wheat (Triticum aestivum and control (no cover crop, no weeding.The second factor was mulch management at two levels (living mulch and dead mulch and the third factor was two planting dates for cover crops (synchronous with sunflower planting and 45 days after sunflower planting. Sunflower seeding performed manually on 23 May on the ridges with 50 cm row distance and spacing between plants was 25 cm in depth of 5 cm. Cover crops seeds, rye, barley and wheat, were planted between rows of sunflower. Due to the low density of weeds in study field, complete weeding and sampling of weeds in one session was performed (60 days after planting date sunflower. Statistical analysis of data performed using SAS software and mean comparison performed using Duncan's test with probability level of 5% and 1%. Diagrams drawn using Excel (Version 8.2. Results and Discussion\t: Density and dry weight of Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis L

  14. Cover crop biomass production and water use in the central great plains under varying water availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    The water-limited environment of the semi-arid central Great Plains may not have potential to produce enough cover crop biomass to generate benefits associated with cover crop use in more humid regions. There have been reports that cover crops grown in mixtures produce more biomass with greater wate...

  15. BIOGAS PRODUCTION FROM CATCH CROPS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molinuevo-Salces, Beatriz; Larsen, Søren U.; Ahring, Birgitte Kiær

    2014-01-01

    -substrate in manure-based biogas plants and the profit obtained from the sale of biogas barely compensates for the harvest costs. A new agricultural strategy to harvest catch crops together with the residual straw of the main crop was investigated to increase the biomass and thereby the methane yield per hectare......Catch crop cultivation combined with its use for biogas production would increase renewable energy production in the form of methane, without interfering with the production of food and fodder crops. The low biomass yield of catch crops is the main limiting factor for using these crops as co...... biomass. Leaving the straw on the field until harvest of the catch crop in the autumn could benefit biogas production due to the organic matter degradation of the straw taking place on the field during the autumn months. This new agricultural strategy may be a good alternative to achieve economically...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clancy, Daragh; Breen, James P.; Thorne, Fiona; Wallace, Michael

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Estimating the Sensitivity of CLM-Crop to Plant Date and Growing Season Length

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewniak, B. A.; Kotamarthi, V. R.

    2012-12-01

    The Community Land Model (CLM), the land component of the Community Earth System Model (CESM), is designed to estimate the land surface response to climate through simulated vegetation phenology and soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics. Since human influences play a significant role shaping the land surface, the vegetation has been expanded to include agriculture (CLM-Crop) for three crop types: corn, soybean, and spring wheat. CLM-Crop parameters, which define crop phenology, are optimized against AmeriFlux observations of gross primary productivity, net ecosystem exchange, and stored biomass and carbon, for two sites in the U.S. growing corn and soybean. However, there is uncertainty in the measurements and using a small subset of data to determine model parameters makes validation difficult. In order to account for the differences in plant behavior across climate zones, an input dataset is used to define the planting dates and the length of the growing season. In order to improve model performance, and to understand the impacts of uncertainty from the input data, we evaluate the sensitivity of crop productivity and production against planting date and the length of the growing season. First, CLM-Crop is modified to establish plant date based on temperature trends for the previous 10-day period, constrained against the range of observed planting dates. This new climate-based model is compared with the standard fixed plant dates to determine how sensitive the model is to when seeding occurs, and how comparable the climate calculated plant dates are to the fixed dates. Next, the length of the growing season will be revised to account for an alternative climate. Finally, both the climate-based planting and new growth season will be simulated together. Results of the different model runs will be compared to the standard model and to observations to determine the importance of planting date and growing season length on crop productivity and yield.

  18. 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

  19. The determination of mercury content in the biomass untended for industrial power plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wiktor Magdalena

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Biomass is one of the oldest and most widely used renewable energy sources. The biomass is the whole organic matter of vegetable or animal origin which is biodegradable. Biomass includes leftovers from agricultural production, forestry residues, and industrial and municipal waste. The use of biomass in the power industry has become a standard and takes place in Poland and other European countries. This paper discusses the correlation of mercury content in different biomass types used in the power industry and in products of biomass combustion. Different biomass types, which are currently burned in a commercial power plant in Poland, were discussed. A photographic documentation of different biomass types, such as straw briquettes, wood briquettes, pellets from energy crops (sunflower husk and wood husk, wood pellets, wood chips, and agro-biomass (seeds was carried out. The presented paper discusses the results obtained for 15 biomass samples. Five selected biomass samples were burned in controlled conditions in the laboratory at the University of Silesia. The ash resulting from the combustion of five biomass samples was tested for mercury content. A total of twenty biomass samples and its combustion products were tested. Based on the obtained results, it was found that any supply of biomass, regardless of its type, is characterized by variable mercury content in dry matter. In the case of e.g. wood chips, the spread of results reaches 235.1 μm/kg (in dry matter. Meanwhile, the highest mercury content, 472.4 μm/kg (in dry matter was recorded in the biomass of straw, wood pellets, and pellets from energy crops (sunflower husk. In the case of combustion products of five selected biomass types, a three or four fold increase in the mercury content has been observed.

  20. How the use of nitrogen fertiliser may switch plant suitability for aphids: the case of Miscanthus, a promising biomass crop, and the aphid pest Rhopalosiphum maidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogaert, Florent; Chesnais, Quentin; Catterou, Manuella; Rambaud, Caroline; Doury, Géraldine; Ameline, Arnaud

    2017-08-01

    The use of nitrogen fertiliser in agrosystems can alter plant nitrogen and consequently improve nutrient availability for herbivores, potentially leading to better performance for herbivores and higher pest pressure in the field. We compared, in laboratory conditions, the effects of nitrogen fertilisation on a promising biomass crop, Miscanthus × giganteus, and its parents M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. The plant-mediated effects were compared on the second trophic level, the green corn leaf aphid Rhopalosiphum maidis. Results showed that the biomass and leaf C:N ratio of M. sinensis plants treated with nitrogen fertiliser were significantly greater than those of non-treated plants. As regards M. × giganteus and M. sacchariflorus, the only reported change was a significantly smaller leaf C:N ratio for treated M. sacchariflorus compared with non-treated plants. Surprisingly, nitrogen fertilisation had opposite effects on plant-herbivore interactions. Following nitrogen treatments, M. sinensis was less suitable in terms of intrinsic rate of increase for R. maidis, the feeding behaviour of which was negatively affected, while M. sacchariflorus and M. × giganteus exhibited greater suitability in terms of aphid weight. Nitrogen fertilisation had contrasting effects on the three species of Miscanthus plants. These effects cascaded up to the second trophic level, R. maidis aphid pests, either through a modification of their weight or demographic parameters. The implications of these results were discussed in the context of agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  1. SALT TOLERANCE OF CROP PLANTS

    OpenAIRE

    Hamdia, M. A; Shaddad, M. A. K.

    2010-01-01

    Several environmental factors adversely affect plant growth and development and final yield performance of a crop. Drought, salinity, nutrient imbalances (including mineral toxicities and deficiencies) and extremes of temperature are among the major environmental constraints to crop productivity worldwide. Development of crop plants with stress tolerance, however, requires, among others, knowledge of the physiological mechanisms and genetic controls of the contributing traits at different pla...

  2. Location of Bioelectricity Plants in the Madrid Community Based on Triticale Crop: A Multicriteria Methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Romero

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a work whose objective is, first, to quantify the potential of the triticale biomass existing in each of the agricultural regions in the Madrid Community through a crop simulation model based on regression techniques and multiple correlation. Second, a methodology for defining which area has the best conditions for the installation of electricity plants from biomass has been described and applied. The study used a methodology based on compromise programming in a discrete multicriteria decision method (MDM context. To make a ranking, the following criteria were taken into account: biomass potential, electric power infrastructure, road networks, protected spaces, and urban nuclei surfaces. The results indicate that, in the case of the Madrid Community, the Campiña region is the most suitable for setting up plants powered by biomass. A minimum of 17,339.9 tons of triticale will be needed to satisfy the requirements of a 2.2 MW power plant. The minimum range of action for obtaining the biomass necessary in Campiña region would be 6.6 km around the municipality of Algete, based on Geographic Information Systems. The total biomass which could be made available in considering this range in this region would be 18,430.68 t.

  3. Plant senescence and crop productivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gregersen, Per L.; Culetic, Andrea; Boschian, Luca

    2013-01-01

    Senescence is a developmental process which in annual crop plants overlaps with the reproductive phase. Senescence might reduce crop yield when it is induced prematurely under adverse environmental conditions. This review covers the role of senescence for the productivity of crop plants....... With the aim to enhance productivity, a number of functional stay-green cultivars have been selected by conventional breeding, in particular of sorghum and maize. In many cases, a positive correlation between leaf area duration and yield has been observed, although in a number of other cases, stay...... plants, the expression of the IPT gene under control of senescence-associated promoters has been the most successful. The promoters employed for senescence-regulated expression contain cis-elements for binding of WRKY transcription factors and factors controlled by abscisic acid. In most crops...

  4. Energy production from biomass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bestebroer, S.I.

    1995-01-01

    The aim of the task group 'Energy Production from Biomass', initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, was to identify bottlenecks in the development of biomass for energy production. The bottlenecks were identified by means of a process analysis of clean biomass fuels to the production of electricity and/or heat. The subjects in the process analysis are the potential availability of biomass, logistics, processing techniques, energy use, environmental effects, economic impact, and stimulation measures. Three categories of biomass are distinguished: organic residual matter, imported biomass, and energy crops, cultivated in the Netherlands. With regard to the processing techniques attention is paid to co-firing of clean biomass in existing electric power plants (co-firing in a coal-fired power plant or co-firing of fuel gas from biomass in a coal-fired or natural gas-fired power plant), and the combustion or gasification of clean biomass in special stand-alone installations. 5 figs., 13 tabs., 28 refs

  5. Predicting plant biomass accumulation from image-derived parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Dijun; Shi, Rongli; Pape, Jean-Michel; Neumann, Kerstin; Graner, Andreas; Chen, Ming; Klukas, Christian

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background Image-based high-throughput phenotyping technologies have been rapidly developed in plant science recently, and they provide a great potential to gain more valuable information than traditionally destructive methods. Predicting plant biomass is regarded as a key purpose for plant breeders and ecologists. However, it is a great challenge to find a predictive biomass model across experiments. Results In the present study, we constructed 4 predictive models to examine the quantitative relationship between image-based features and plant biomass accumulation. Our methodology has been applied to 3 consecutive barley (Hordeum vulgare) experiments with control and stress treatments. The results proved that plant biomass can be accurately predicted from image-based parameters using a random forest model. The high prediction accuracy based on this model will contribute to relieving the phenotyping bottleneck in biomass measurement in breeding applications. The prediction performance is still relatively high across experiments under similar conditions. The relative contribution of individual features for predicting biomass was further quantified, revealing new insights into the phenotypic determinants of the plant biomass outcome. Furthermore, methods could also be used to determine the most important image-based features related to plant biomass accumulation, which would be promising for subsequent genetic mapping to uncover the genetic basis of biomass. Conclusions We have developed quantitative models to accurately predict plant biomass accumulation from image data. We anticipate that the analysis results will be useful to advance our views of the phenotypic determinants of plant biomass outcome, and the statistical methods can be broadly used for other plant species. PMID:29346559

  6. Evaluating a biomass resource: The TVA region-wide biomass resource assessment model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Downing, M.; Graham, R.L.

    1993-01-01

    Wood is an alterative fuel for electric power generation at coal-fired plants in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region. Short rotation wood energy crops (SRWC) could provide a source of this woody biomass. However, the economic and supply structures of SRWC markets have not been established. Establishing the likely price and supply of SRWC biomass in a region is a complex task because biomass is not an established commodity as are oil, natural gas and coal. In this study we project the cost and supply of short-rotation woody biomass for the TVA region -- a 276 county area that includes all of Tennessee and portions of 10 contiguous states in the southeastern United States. Projected prices and quantities of SRWC are assumed to be a function of the amount and quality of crop and pasture land available in a region. expected SRWC yields and production costs on differing soils and land types, and the profit that could be obtained from current conventional crop production on these same lands. Results include the supply curve of SRWC biomass that is projected to be available from the entire region, the amount and location of crop and pasture land that would be used, and the conventional agricultural crops that would be displaced as a function of SRWC production. Finally, we show the results of sensitivity analysis on the projected cost and supply of SRWC biomass. In particular, we examine the separate impacts of varying SRWC production yields

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. SALT TOLERANCE OF CROP PLANTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamdia, M. A

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Several environmental factors adversely affect plant growth and development and final yield performance of a crop. Drought, salinity, nutrient imbalances (including mineral toxicities and deficiencies and extremes of temperature are among the major environmental constraints to crop productivity worldwide. Development of crop plants with stress tolerance, however, requires, among others, knowledge of the physiological mechanisms and genetic controls of the contributing traits at different plant developmental stages. In the past 2 decades, biotechnology research has provided considerable insights into the mechanism of biotic stress tolerance in plants at the molecular level. Furthermore, different abiotic stress factors may provoke osmotic stress, oxidative stress and protein denaturation in plants, which lead to similar cellular adaptive responses such as accumulation of compatible solutes, induction of stress proteins, and acceleration of reactive oxygen species scavenging systems. Recently, the authores try to improve plant tolerance to salinity injury through either chemical treatments (plant hormones, minerals, amino acids, quaternary ammonium compounds, polyamines and vitamins or biofertilizers treatments (Asymbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria, symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria and mycorrhiza or enhanced a process used naturally by plants to minimise the movement of Na+ to the shoot, using genetic modification to amplify the process, helping plants to do what they already do - but to do it much better."

  9. The potential of Arachis pintoi biomass to improve quality of soil continuously used for cassava cropping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Muddarisna

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A field experiment that was aimed to elucidate the effects of application of Arachis pintoi biomass and animal dung on quality of soil continuously used for cassava cropping was conducted at Jatikerto Village, Kromengan District of Malang Regency. Eight treatments tested were 100% NPK inorganic fertilizer, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi/ha, (3 100 kg N chicken dung/ ha, 100 kg N cow dung /ha, 100 kg N goat dung /ha, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + chicken dung /ha, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + cow dung /ha, and 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + goat dung /ha. Monitoring quality of top soil (0-20 cm was carried out at planting time and 3 months after planting. Soil samples were collected and analyzed for chemical and physical properties. Yield of cassava was measured at 6 months after planting. Results of this study showed that application of organic fertilizer in forms of green manure (Arachis pintoi biomass, and animal dung significantly improved physical and chemical properties of soil. Application of 50% NPK combined with organic manures did not significantly gave different tuber yield with that of 100% NPK.

  10. Small RNAs in plants: Recent development and application for crop improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayushi eKamthan

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi which involves sequence specific gene regulation by small non-coding RNAs i.e small interfering RNA (siRNA and micro RNA (miRNA has emerged as one of most powerful approaches for crop improvement. RNAi based on siRNA is one of the widely used tools of reverse genetics which aid in revealing gene functions in many species. This technology has been extensively applied to alter the gene expression in plants with an aim to achieve desirable traits. RNAi has been used for enhancing the crop yield and productivity by manipulating the gene involved in biomass, grain yield and enhanced shelf life of fruits & vegetables. It has also been applied for developing resistance against various biotic (bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes, insects and abiotic stresses (drought, salinity, cold etc.. Nutritional improvements of crops have also been achieved by enriching the crops with essential amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients beneficial for human health or by reducing allergens or anti-nutrients. Micro RNAs are key regulators of important plant processes like growth, development and response to various stresses. In spite of similarity in size (20-24nt, miRNA differ from siRNA in precursor structures, pathway of biogenesis, and modes of action. This review also highlights the miRNA based genetic modification technology where various miRNAs/artificial miRNAs and their targets can be utilized for improving several desirable plant traits. Micro RNA based strategies are much efficient than siRNA-based RNAi strategies due to its specificity and less undesirable off target effects. As per the FDA guidelines, small RNA based transgenics are much safer for consumption than those over expressing proteins. This review thereby summarizes the emerging advances and achievement in the field of small RNAs and its application for crop improvement.

  11. Small RNAs in plants: recent development and application for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamthan, Ayushi; Chaudhuri, Abira; Kamthan, Mohan; Datta, Asis

    2015-01-01

    The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) which involves sequence-specific gene regulation by small non-coding RNAs, i.e., small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) has emerged as one of most powerful approaches for crop improvement. RNAi based on siRNA is one of the widely used tools of reverse genetics which aid in revealing gene functions in many species. This technology has been extensively applied to alter the gene expression in plants with an aim to achieve desirable traits. RNAi has been used for enhancing the crop yield and productivity by manipulating the gene involved in biomass, grain yield and enhanced shelf life of fruits and vegetables. It has also been applied for developing resistance against various biotic (bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes, insects) and abiotic stresses (drought, salinity, cold, etc.). Nutritional improvements of crops have also been achieved by enriching the crops with essential amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients beneficial for human health or by reducing allergens or anti-nutrients. microRNAs are key regulators of important plant processes like growth, development, and response to various stresses. In spite of similarity in size (20-24 nt), miRNA differ from siRNA in precursor structures, pathway of biogenesis, and modes of action. This review also highlights the miRNA based genetic modification technology where various miRNAs/artificial miRNAs and their targets can be utilized for improving several desirable plant traits. microRNA based strategies are much efficient than siRNA-based RNAi strategies due to its specificity and less undesirable off target effects. As per the FDA guidelines, small RNA (sRNA) based transgenics are much safer for consumption than those over-expressing proteins. This review thereby summarizes the emerging advances and achievement in the field of sRNAs and its application for crop improvement.

  12. Weed-crop competition effects on growth and yield of sugarcane planted using two methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zafar, M.; Tanveer, A.; Cheema, Z.A.; Ashraf, M.

    2010-01-01

    Effect of planting techniques and weed-crop competition periods on yield potential of spring planted sugarcane variety HSF-240 was studied at the Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad, Pakistan. The experiment was laid out in RCBD with a split-plot arrangement, with four replications and net plot size of 3.6m x 10m. In the experiment, two planting techniques viz., 60 cm apart rows in flat sowing technique and 120 cm apart rows in trench sowing technique were randomized in main plots. Seven weed-crop competition periods viz., Zero (weed free), weed-crop competition for 45, 60, 75, 90, 105 days after sowing (DAS) and weedy check (full season weed-crop competition) were randomized in sub-plots. Sugarcane sown by trench method exhibited more leaf area index (LAI), average crop growth rate (ACGR) and yield contributing attributes. Trench sowing by yielding 72.22 and 75.08 t ha/sup -1/ stripped cane yields, significantly showed superiority over the flat sowing, which gave 64.13 and 66.04 t ha/sup -1/ stripped cane yields in 2005-06 and 2006- 07, respectively. Generally, there was an increase in weed population and biomass but decrease in leaf area index, crop growth rate and yield components with an increase in weed-crop competition period. A decrease of 10.06, 17.90, 22.42, 28.65, 37.64 and 56.89% in stripped cane yield was observed for weed-crop competition periods of 45, 60, 75, 90, 105 DAS and weedy check as compared with zero competition in 2005-06, respectively. In 2006-07, the respective decrease in stripped cane yield was 9.84, 18.76, 22.92, 27.98, 38.75, and 54.98%. Trench sowing at 1.2 m row spacing proved better sowing technique and 45 DAS was the critical period of weed-crop competition. (author)

  13. Digital Biomass Accumulation Using High-Throughput Plant Phenotype Data Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahaman, Md Matiur; Ahsan, Md Asif; Gillani, Zeeshan; Chen, Ming

    2017-09-01

    Biomass is an important phenotypic trait in functional ecology and growth analysis. The typical methods for measuring biomass are destructive, and they require numerous individuals to be cultivated for repeated measurements. With the advent of image-based high-throughput plant phenotyping facilities, non-destructive biomass measuring methods have attempted to overcome this problem. Thus, the estimation of plant biomass of individual plants from their digital images is becoming more important. In this paper, we propose an approach to biomass estimation based on image derived phenotypic traits. Several image-based biomass studies state that the estimation of plant biomass is only a linear function of the projected plant area in images. However, we modeled the plant volume as a function of plant area, plant compactness, and plant age to generalize the linear biomass model. The obtained results confirm the proposed model and can explain most of the observed variance during image-derived biomass estimation. Moreover, a small difference was observed between actual and estimated digital biomass, which indicates that our proposed approach can be used to estimate digital biomass accurately.

  14. Evaluating the economics of biomass energy production in the Watts Bar region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alexander, R.R.; English, B.C.; Bhat, M.G. [Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Graham, R.L. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States)

    1993-12-31

    While the commercial potential of biofuel technology is becoming more feasible, it is not clear whether the supply of biomass feedstock will be available in competitive markets. In order to exploit the potential of biomass crops as a reliable source of biofuels, a significant commitment on the part of farmers to convert large amounts of cropland would be required. Dedicated energy crops have to compete with conventional crops which could result in significant interregional shifts in crop production. Those changes could further affect overall agricultural production, food prices, consumer spending, and government spending on farm programs. Evaluating these economic impacts provides important information for the ongoing debate. This research is a case study incorporating an existing power plant. The objective of this project is to evaluate the potential of short rotation woody crops as a fuel source in the Watts Bar facility located in eastern Tennessee. The appraisal includes estimates of environmental impacts as well as of economic feasibility. This is achieved by estimating the amounts of biomass that would be supplied at a predetermined price. By changing prices of biomass at the plant in an incremental fashion, a regional supply curve for biomass is estimated. The model incorporates current agricultural production possibilities in the region along with the proposed short rotation woody crop production activities. In order to adequately model the landscape, several variables are considered. These variables include soil type, crop production, government policy, land use conversion to crop land, and distance from the plant. Environmental issues including erosion, chemical usage, and potential leaching are also incorporated within the modeling framework; however, only estimates on erosion are available in this analysis. Output from the model provides insight on where and what types of land should shift from current land use to biomass production.

  15. Evaluation of energy plantation crops in a high-throughput indirectly heated biomass gasifier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paisley, M.A.; Litt, R.D. [Battelle, Columbus, OH (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Experiments were run in Battelle`s 10 ton per day Process Research Unit (PRU) gasifier using two high-growth, energy plantation crops -- hybrid poplar -- and an herbaceous biomass crop -- switch grass. The results show that both feedstocks provide gas production rates, product gas compositions, and heating value similar to other biomass feedstocks tested in the Battelle gasification process. The ash compositions of the switch grass and hybrid poplar feedstocks were high in potassium relative to previously tested biomass feedstocks. High growth biomass species tend to concentrate minerals such as potassium in the ash. The higher potassium content in the ash can then cause agglomeration problems in the gasification system. A method for controlling this agglomeration through the addition of small amounts (approximately 2 percent of the wood feed rate) of an additive could adequately control the agglomeration tendency of the ash. During the testing program in the PRU, approximately 50 tons of hybrid poplar and 15 tons of switch grass were gasified to produce a medium Btu product gas.

  16. Capability of selected crop plants for shoot mercury accumulation from polluted soils: phytoremediation perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Luis; Rincón, Jesusa; Asencio, Isaac; Rodríguez-Castellanos, Laura

    2007-01-01

    High-biomass crops can be considered as an alternative to hyperaccumulator plants to phytoremediate soils contaminated by heavy metals. In order to assess their practical capability for the absorption and accumulation of Hg in shoots, barley, white lupine, lentil, and chickpea were tested in pot experiments using several growth substrates. In the first experimental series, plants were grown in a mixture of vermiculite and perlite spiked with 8.35 microg g(-1) d.w. of soluble Hg. The mercury concentration of the plants' aerial tissues ranged from 1.51 to 5.13 microg g(-1) d.w. with lentil and lupine showing the highest values. In a second experiment carried out using a Hg-polluted soil (32.16 microg g(-1) d.w.) collected from a historical mining area (Almadén, Spain), the crop plants tested only reached shoot Hg concentration up to 1.13 microg g(-1) d.w. In the third experimental series, the Almadén soil was spiked with 1 microg g(-1) d.w. of soluble Hg; as a result, mercury concentrations in the plant shoots increased approximately 6 times for lupine, 5 times for chickpea, and 3.5 times for barley and lentil, with respect to those obtained with the original soil without Hg added. This marked difference was attributed to the low availability of Hg in the original Almadin soil and its subsequent increase in the Hg-spiked soil. The low mercury accumulation yields obtained for all plants do not make a successful decontamination of the Almadén soils possible byphytoremediation using crop plants. However, since the crops tested can effectively decrease the plant-available Hg level in this soil, their use could, to some extent, reduce the environmental risk of Hg pollution in the area.

  17. Biomass and energy production of catch crops in areas with deficiency of precipitation during summer period in central Bohemia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brant, V.; Pivec, J.; Fuksa, P.; Neckar, K.; Kocourkova, D.; Venclova, V.

    2011-01-01

    The biomass production dynamics of catch crops, volunteers and weeds in dependence on precipitation and air temperature, was studied in central Bohemia from 2004 to 2006. The cover of individual components of the growth was monitored during the same period. Also measured were energy and efficiency of utilization of global radiation by catch crops and volunteers. The catch crops included the following species: Brassica napus, Lolium multiflorum, Lolium perenne, Phacelia tanacetifolia, Sinapis alba, Trifolium incarnatum, Raphanus sativus var. oleiformis and Trifolium subterraneum. The highest biomass production and the highest cover of catch crops were observed in treatments with S. alba (1382.0 kg ha -1 , 47.8%). The average biomass production (sum of catch crops, volunteers and weeds) was highest in treatments with S. alba, R. sativus, and P. tanacetifolia and lowest in treatments with B. napus, L. multiflorum and L. perenne. It was demonstrated that an increase in the percentage share of volunteers caused a decrease in the biomass production of catch crops. The average energy production ranged from 0.31 to 2.37 MJ m -2 in treatments with catch crops, and from 0.25 to 0.89 MJ m -2 in treatments with cereal volunteers. The highest effectivity of global radiation utilization, was determined in treatments with S. alba (0.11-0.47%). Based on regression analysis the closest dependence between biomass production from all treatments on the experimental site and precipitation was observed from 1st May till the time of sowing and the average air temperatures from the sowing period till the time of the last biomass production assessment.

  18. Individual plant care in cropping systems

    OpenAIRE

    Griepentrog, Hans W.; Nørremark, Michael; Nielsen, Henning; Blackmore, Simon

    2003-01-01

    Individual plant care cropping systems, embodied in precision farming, may lead to new opportunities in agricultural crop management. The objective of the project was to provide high accuracy seed position mapping of a field of sugar beet. An RTK GPS was retrofitted on to a precision seeder to map the seeds as they were planted. The average error between the seed map and the actual plant map was about 32 mm to 59 mm. The results showed that the overall accuracy of the estimated plant position...

  19. Characterization of Proteins in Filtrate from Biodegradation of Crop Residue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, Wileatha; Trotman, A. A.

    1997-01-01

    Biodegradation of plant biomass is a feasible path for transformation of crop residue and recycling of nutrients for crop growth. The need to model the effects of factors associated with recycling of plant biomass resulting from hydroponic sweet potato production has led to investigation of natural soil isolates with the capacity for starch hydrolysis. This study sought to use nondenaturing gel electrophoresis to characterize the proteins present in filtered effluent from bioreactors seeded with starch hydrolyzing bacterial culture used in the biodegradation of senesced sweet potato biomass. The study determined the relative molecular weight of proteins in sampled effluent and the protein banding pattern was characterized. The protein profiles of effluent were similar for samples taken from independent runs under similar conditions of starch hydrolysis. The method can be used as a quality control tool for confirmation of starch hydrolysis of crop biomass. In addition, this method will allow monitoring for presence of contaminants within the system-protein profiles indicative of new enzymes in the bioreactors.

  20. Plant biotechnology: transgenic crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shewry, Peter R; Jones, Huw D; Halford, Nigel G

    2008-01-01

    Transgenesis is an important adjunct to classical plant breeding, in that it allows the targeted manipulation of specific characters using genes from a range of sources. The current status of crop transformation is reviewed, including methods of gene transfer, the selection of transformed plants and control of transgene expression. The application of genetic modification technology to specific traits is then discussed, including input traits relating to crop production (herbicide tolerance and resistance to insects, pathogens and abiotic stresses) and output traits relating to the composition and quality of the harvested organs. The latter include improving the nutritional quality for consumers as well as the improvement of functional properties for food processing.

  1. Predicting sublethal effects of herbicides on terrestrial non-crop plant species in the field from greenhouse data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Riemens, Marleen M.; Dueck, Thom; Kempenaar, Corne

    2008-01-01

    Guidelines provided by OECD and EPPO allow the use of data obtained in greenhouse experiments in the risk assessment for pesticides to non-target terrestrial plants in the field. The present study was undertaken to investigate the predictability of effects on field-grown plants using greenhouse data. In addition, the influence of plant development stage on plant sensitivity and herbicide efficacy, the influence of the surrounding vegetation on individual plant sensitivity and of sublethal herbicide doses on the biomass, recovery and reproduction of non-crop plants was studied. Results show that in the future, it might well be possible to translate results from greenhouse experiments to field situations, given sufficient experimental data. The results also suggest consequences at the population level. Even when only marginal effects on the biomass of non-target plants are expected, their seed production and thereby survival at the population level may be negatively affected. - The response of greenhouse-grown wild plant species to herbicide exposure could be related to the response of the same species when grown in the field

  2. Nutrient uptake and biomass accumulation for eleven different field crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. HAKALA

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Oil hemp (Cannabis sativa L., quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd., false flax (Camelina sativa (L. Crantz, caraway (Carum carvi L., dyer’s woad (Isatis tinctoria L., nettle (Urtica dioica L., reed canary grass (RCG (Phalaris arundinacea L., buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench, linseed (Linum usitatissimum L., timothy (Phleum pratense L. and barley (Hordeum vulgare L. were grown under uniform conditions in pots containing well fertilised loam soil. Dry matter (DM accumulation was measured repeatedly, and contents of minerals N, P, K, Ca and Mg at maturity. Annual crops accumulated above-ground biomass faster than perennials, while perennials had higher DM accumulation rates below ground. Seeds had high concentrations of N and P, while green biomass had high concentrations of K and Ca. Stems and roots had low concentrations of minerals. Concentrations of K and P were high in quinoa and caraway, and that of P in buckwheat. Hemp and nettle had high Ca concentrations, and quinoa had high Mg concentration. N and P were efficiently harvested with seed, Ca and K with the whole biomass. Perennials could prevent soil erosion and add carbon to the soil in the long term, while annuals compete better with weeds and prevent erosion during early growth. Nutrient balances in a field could be modified and nutrient leaching reduced by careful selection of the crop and management practices.;

  3. 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.

  4. PERFORMANCE OF ‘NANICÃO JANGADA’ BANANA PLANTS INTERCROPPED WITH WINTER COVER CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RICARDO SFEIR DE AGUIAR

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The use of cover crops species may be an important strategy in the pursuit of sustainability of agroecosystems, considering benefits to soil, such as improvements of physical and chemical characteristics, and weed control. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of winter cover crops and other soil managements on chemical soil properties, on the cycle, on the production of the first cycle and on the fruit quality of banana cv. Nanicão Jangada in Andirá – PR, Brazil. The experiment was carried out in a commercial. Planting of banana suckers from the grower area occurred in the first half of March 2011, with a spacing of 2.40 m between rows and 1.90 m between plants. The experiment was designed in randomized blocks with four replications and six plants per plot. The six treatments were: black oat (Avenastrigosa Schreb, forage turnip (Raphanus sativus L. var. oleiferus, consortium of black oat and forage turnip, chicken litter, residues of banana plants, and bare ground. The evaluations were vegetative development and life cycle of banana plants, yield and quality of fruits, soil chemical characterstics, and fresh and dry mass of green manures. The results were submitted to ANOVA (F Test, and Tukey test at 5 % probability. Black oat and black oat with forage turnip consortium were superior in biomass production. Systems of soil management had no effect on the variables, except in the periods between planting and flowering and between planting and harvest, which were shorter in the treatment of soil management with crop residues, longer in the treatment with forage turnip, and intermediate in the other treatments.

  5. Industrial hemp as a potential bioenergy crop in comparison with kenaf, switchgrass and biomass sorghum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Lalitendu; Liu, Enshi; Saeed, Areej; Williams, David W; Hu, Hongqiang; Li, Chenlin; Ray, Allison E; Shi, Jian

    2017-11-01

    This study takes combined field trial, lab experiment, and economic analysis approaches to evaluate the potential of industrial hemp in comparison with kenaf, switchgrass and biomass sorghum. Agronomy data suggest that the per hectare yield (5437kg) of industrial hemp stem alone was at a similar level with switchgrass and sorghum; while the hemp plants require reduced inputs. Field trial also showed that ∼1230kg/ha hemp grain can be harvested in addition to stems. Results show a predicted ethanol yield of ∼82gallons/dry ton hemp stems, which is comparable to the other three tested feedstocks. A comparative cost analysis indicates that industrial hemp could generate higher per hectare gross profit than the other crops if both hemp grains and biofuels from hemp stem were counted. These combined evaluation results demonstrate that industrial hemp has great potential to become a promising regional commodity crop for producing both biofuels and value-added products. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Weed interference with peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.) and spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) crops under different herbicide treatments: effects on biomass and essential oil yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karkanis, Anestis; Lykas, Christos; Liava, Vasiliki; Bezou, Anna; Petropoulos, Spyridon; Tsiropoulos, Nikolaos

    2018-01-01

    'Minor crops' such as spearmint and peppermint are high added value crops, despite the fact that their production area is comparably small worldwide. The main limiting factor in mint commercial cultivation is weed competition. Thus, field experiments were carried out to evaluate the effects of weed interference on growth, biomass and essential oil yield in peppermint and spearmint under different herbicide treatments. The application of pendimethalin and oxyfluorfen provided better control of annual weeds resulting in higher crop yield. Additionally, when treated with herbicides both crops were more competitive against annual weeds in the second year than in the first year. All pre-emergence herbicides increased biomass yield, since pendimethalin, linuron and oxyfluorfen reduced the density of annual weeds by 71-92%, 63-74% and 86-95%, respectively. Weed interference and herbicide application had no effect on essential oil content; however, a relatively strong impact on essential oil production per cultivated area unit was observed, mainly due to the adverse effect of weed interference on plant growth. Considering that pendimethalin and oxyfluorfen were effective against annual weeds in both spearmint and peppermint crops, these herbicides should be included in integrated weed management systems for better weed management in mint crops. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  7. Starch Biosynthesis in Crop Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian J. Tetlow

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Starch is a water-insoluble polyglucan synthesized inside the plastids of plant tissues to provide a store of carbohydrate. Starch harvested from plant storage organs has probably represented the major source of calories for the human diet since before the dawn of civilization. Following the advent of agriculture and the building of complex societies, humans have maintained their dependence on high-yielding domesticated starch-forming crops such as cereals to meet food demands, livestock production, and many non-food applications. The top three crops in terms of acreage are cereals, grown primarily for the harvestable storage starch in the endosperm, although many starchy tuberous crops also provide an important source of calories for various communities around the world. Despite conservation in the core structure of the starch granule, starches from different botanical sources show a high degree of variability, which is exploited in many food and non-food applications. Understanding the factors underpinning starch production and its final structure are of critical importance in guiding future crop improvement endeavours. This special issue contains reviews on these topics and is intended to be a useful resource for researchers involved in improvement of starch-storing crops.

  8. Renewable energy policies and competition for biomass: Implications for land use, food prices, and processing industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Xiaoguang; Önal, Hayri

    2016-01-01

    We use a mathematical programming model to examine the impacts of simultaneous implementation of two US biofuel and bioenergy policies on commodity markets and spatial distribution of future cellulosic biorefineries. The key findings based on our numerical simulation are: (1) the number and average annual production capacity of cellulosic biofuel refineries depend on the total renewable fuels mandate; (2) the mix of cellulosic biomass feedstock depends on the assumptions about the production costs of energy crops and the amount of cropland that can be used for energy crops, but regardless of the assumptions crop residues are the primary biomass source to meet the demand for biomass for biofuel production and electricity generation; and (3) the biomass production areas would surround either future cellulosic biorefineries or the existing coal-based power plants to reduce the costs of biomass transportation. These findings have important implications for biorefinery investors and provide valuable policy insights for the selection of Biomass Crop Assistance Program project areas. - Highlights: •Impacts of US biofuel and bioenergy policies are analyzed. •The number and production capacity of biorefineries depend on the biofuel policies. •Crop residues are the primary biomass source for bioenergy production. •Biomass production areas will surround cellulosic biorefineries or power plants.

  9. 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.

  10. Biomass for biogas plants in Denmark - in the short and long term; Biomasse til biogasanlaeg i Danmark - pae kort og langt sigt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Birkmose, T.; Hjort-Gregersen, K.; Stefanek, K.

    2013-04-15

    In the short term, it is one of the major challenges for the developments of the biogas sector that resources of organic waste of the type (organic industrial wastes) that have heretofore been used, generally are estimated to be nearly exhausted. This has led to a number of new biogas projects based on the use of corn (energy crops) as additional biomass to livestock manure. However, Danish policy now has implemented a restriction on the use of corn and other energy crops for biogas production. It is with the restriction clarified that there is a need to use other additional biomass for biogas production. There is a need in the short term to clarify how alternative biomasses such as straw, nature preservation biomass, household waste, etc. in a technically and economically reliable and satisfactory way can be used for biogas production, so that the dependence of energy crops can be reduced. Additionally, it will be essential if the yield of using manure can be increased to reduce economic dependence on energy crops. In the longer term it is essential to strengthen the assessment of the resource potential of biomass available for the production of biogas, and thus what the contribution of biogas in the long term is estimated to be in the future energy supply based on renewable energy. The present report presents the current and future biomass resources potential and biogas production potential. The biomass resources are primarily agricultural and municipal wastes. (LN)

  11. Indian Farmers’ Perceptions and Willingness to Supply Surplus Biomass to an Envisioned Biomass-Based Power Plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anas Zyadin

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The main objectives of this socio-technical study are to investigate the Indian farmers’ biomass production capacities and their perceptions and willingness to supply their surplus biomass to fuel an envisioned biomass-based power plant in three selected Indian states: Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. For doing so, 471 farmers (about one-third from each state have been interviewed in the field with info-sheet filled in by the field investigators. The farmers from all of the states appeared very much willing to sell their surplus biomass directly to a power plant. The farmers seem to depreciate the involvement of a middleman in the biomass procurement process. The farmers, however, appeared to highly appreciate a community-based association to regulate the biomass prices, with varying perceptions regarding government intervention. The majority of the farmers perceived the establishment of a biomass-based power plant in their region with positive economic outcomes. The farmers identified several barriers to supply biomass to a power plant where transportation logistics appeared to be the main barrier. The study recommends considering biomass collection, storage and transportation logistics as a fundamental segment of any envisioned investment in a biomass-based power plant. Biomass processing, such as pelletization or briquetting is recommended for efficient transportation of biomass at longer distances to reduce the transportation costs. The study further encourages the establishment of a farmers’ association aimed at collecting and selling biomass in agriculture areas predominant for small land holdings.

  12. Seasonal response of biomass growth and allocation of a boreal bioenergy crop (Phalaris arundinacea L.) to climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang Zhang

    2013-06-01

    The aim of this work was to analyse how the seasonal biomass growth and allocation in a boreal bioenergy crop (Phalaris arundinacea L., hereafter RCG) were affected by elevated temperature and CO{sub 2} under different levels of groundwater. For this purpose, plants in peat monoliths representing young and old cultivations were grown in auto-controlled environmental chambers over two growing seasons (April-September, 2009 and 2010) under elevated temperature (ambient + 3.5 deg C) and CO{sub 2} (700 {mu}mol mol{sup -1}). (CON: ambient conditions, EC: elevated CO{sub 2}, ET: elevated temperature, ETC: elevated temperature and CO{sub 2}). Three levels of groundwater, ranging from high (HW, 0 cm below the soil surface), to normal (NW, 20 cm below the soil surface) and low (LW, 40 cm below the soil surface), were used. Compared to growth under CON, ET enhanced leaf development and photosynthesis in the RCG plant. Consequently, ET enhanced biomass growth during early growing periods. It also reduced photosynthesis and caused earlier leaf senescence during later growing periods. ET therefore reduced total biomass growth across the entire growing season. EC significantly increased biomass growth throughout the growing period primarily because of increased leaf area and photosynthesis. LW decreased the growth of RCG, mainly because of lower leaf area and photosynthesis. Furthermore, LW accelerated the cessation of growth, thus making the growing season shorter compared with the effects of higher groundwater levels. The LW- induced reductions in biomass growth were exacerbated by ET and partially mitigated by EC. The ETC slightly increased final plant growth. The age of cultivation did not affect the biomass growth among the three major organs (leaf, stem and root) and thus did not affect total biomass growth. Biomass growth was mainly allocated to leaves (LMF) and stems (SMF) in the early growing season, to stems in the middle of the growing season and to roots (RMF) later

  13. European energy crops overview. Country report for Denmark

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Statens Planteavlsforsoeg, Tjele Denmark; Statens Jordbrugstekniske Forsoeg, Horsens Denmark

    1996-06-01

    Biomass constitutes a significant contribution to the Danish energy production and is a major tool in increasing the contribution from renewables. So far the focus has been on utilizing existing biomass residues like straw and forest residues and not energy crops. The government has agreed to carry out a demonstration and development programme on energy crops in order to analyse aspects of economy, energy, environment, nature conservancy and comerciality. Several plant species have been investigated for their potential as energy crops and overview information in presented on buchina, sunflower, knotweed, Jerusalem artichoke, false flax, reed Canary grass and corn cockle. More detailed descriptions are given on willow, Miscanthus, energy grain (grain whole crop) and rape which have been most intensively investigated. Rape has been the energy crop grown on the largest scale (40-50,000 ha) but the oil has not been used for energy purposes in Denmark. A research programme on the development of a low input production system for non-food rape is currently conducted. The perennial crops willow and Miscanthus are grown with low input of fertilizer and pesticides and are considered environmentally friendly. Willow-SRC is used as fuel at district heating plants, both commercially and for feasibility studies. Full-scale tests have been carried out on Miscanthus combustion in farm heating plant constructed for straw firing, and on co-combustion with coal at power stations. Grain whole crop (energy grain) has been combusted at a district heating plant, a CHP-plant and a power station. Co-combustion with coal was carried out at a CFB-boiler. Concerning ethanol based on energy crops, only a few activities are in progress. (EG) 89 refs.

  14. Development of Genomic and Genetic Tools for Foxtail Millet, and Use of These Tools in the Improvement of Biomass Production for Bioenergy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doust, Andrew, N.

    2011-11-11

    The overall aim of this research was to develop genomic and genetic tools in foxtail millet that will be useful in improving biomass production in bioenergy crops such as switchgrass, napier grass, and pearl millet. A variety of approaches have been implemented, and our lab has been primarily involved in genome analysis and quantitative genetic analysis. Our progress in these activities has been substantially helped by the genomic sequence of foxtail millet produced by the Joint Genome Institute (Bennetzen et al., in prep). In particular, the annotation and analysis of candidate genes for architecture, biomass production and flowering has led to new insights into the control of branching and flowering time, and has shown how closely related flowering time is to vegetative architectural development and biomass accumulation. The differences in genetic control identified at high and low density plantings have direct relevance to the breeding of bioenergy grasses that are tolerant of high planting densities. The developmental analyses have shown how plant architecture changes over time and may indicate which genes may best be manipulated at various times during development to obtain required biomass characteristics. This data contributes to the overall aim of significantly improving genetic and genomic tools in foxtail millet that can be directed to improvement of bioenergy grasses such as switchgrass, where it is important to maximize vegetative growth for greatest biomass production.

  15. Storage of catch crops to produce biogas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molinuevo-Salces, Beatriz; Ahring, Birgitte Kiær; Uellendahl, Hinrich

    2014-01-01

    . On the contrary, the poor quality of IR silage, due to its high TS content, made it inappropriate as feedstock for biogas production. A TS content of 25-35% is preferable, to obtain a proper fermentation avoid leachate run-off and growth of Clostridium sp. or mold formation. Avoiding soil particles in the bales......Catch crop biomass is a promising co-substrate for manure-based biogas plants in Denmark since the cultivation of catch crops is mandatory to retain nutrients in the soil, contributing to protect the aquatic environment. In general, the growth period for catch crops is from harvest of the previous...... crop in July-August to the end of the growing season and harvest in late October. Hence, for use of the biomass in biogas production there is a need for storage of the biomass. Storage as silage would guarantee the availability of the feedstock for biogas production during the whole year. A proper...

  16. Biomass Biorefinery for the production of Polymers and Fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dr. Oliver P. Peoples

    2008-05-05

    The conversion of biomass crops to fuel is receiving considerable attention as a means to reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports and to meet future energy needs. Besides their use for fuel, biomass crops are an attractive vehicle for producing value added products such as biopolymers. Metabolix, Inc. of Cambridge proposes to develop methods for producing biodegradable polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) in green tissue plants as well as utilizating residual plant biomass after polymer extraction for fuel generation to offset the energy required for polymer extraction. The primary plant target is switchgrass, and backup targets are alfalfa and tobacco. The combined polymer and fuel production from the transgenic biomass crops establishes a biorefinery that has the potential to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil imports for both the feedstocks and energy needed for plastic production. Concerns about the widespread use of transgenic crops and the grower’s ability to prevent the contamination of the surrounding environment with foreign genes will be addressed by incorporating and expanding on some of the latest plant biotechnology developed by the project partners of this proposal. This proposal also addresses extraction of PHAs from biomass, modification of PHAs so that they have suitable properties for large volume polymer applications, processing of the PHAs using conversion processes now practiced at large scale (e.g., to film, fiber, and molded parts), conversion of PHA polymers to chemical building blocks, and demonstration of the usefulness of PHAs in large volume applications. The biodegradability of PHAs can also help to reduce solid waste in our landfills. If successful, this program will reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil, as well as contribute jobs and revenue to the agricultural economy and reduce the overall emissions of carbon to the atmosphere.

  17. Glyphosate Effects on Plant Mineral Nutrition, Crop Rhizosphere Microbiota, and Plant Disease in Glyphosate-Resistant Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Claims have been made recently that glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops sometimes have mineral deficiencies and increased plant disease. This review evaluates the literature that is germane to these claims. Our conclusions are: (1) although there is conflicting literature on the effects of glyphosate on mineral nutrition on GR crops, most of the literature indicates that mineral nutrition in GR crops is not affected by either the GR trait or by application of glyphosate; (2) most of the available data support the view that neither the GR transgenes nor glyphosate use in GR crops increases crop disease; and (3) yield data on GR crops do not support the hypotheses that there are substantive mineral nutrition or disease problems that are specific to GR crops. PMID:23013354

  18. Crop residues for advanced biofuels workshop: A synposis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. Communal biomass conversion plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-06-01

    The Coordinating Committee set up by the Danish government in 1986 were given the responsibility of investigating the potentials for biomass conversion plants in Denmark, especially in relation to agricultural, environmental and energy aspects. The results of the Committee's plan of management for this project are presented. This main report covers 13 background reports which deal with special aspects in detail. The report describes the overall plan of management, the demonstration and follow-up programme and the individual biogas demonstration plants. Information gained from these investigations is presented. The current general status, (with emphasis on the technical and economical aspects) and the prospects for the future are discussed. The interest other countries have shown in Danish activities within the field of biogas production is described, and the possibilities for Danish export of technology and know-how in this relation are discussed. It is claimed that Denmark is the first country that has instigated a coordinated development programme for biomass conversion plants. (AB) 24 refs

  20. Lessons learned from existing biomass power plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiltsee, G.

    2000-02-24

    This report includes summary information on 20 biomass power plants, which represent some of the leaders in the industry. In each category an effort is made to identify plants that illustrate particular points. The project experiences described capture some important lessons learned that lead in the direction of an improved biomass power industry.

  1. Do plants modulate biomass allocation in response to petroleum pollution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Ming; Yang, Qiang; Jiang, Li-Fen; Fang, Chang-Ming; Chen, Jia-Kuan; Li, Bo

    2010-01-01

    Biomass allocation is an important plant trait that responds plastically to environmental heterogeneities. However, the effects on this trait of pollutants owing to human activities remain largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the response of biomass allocation of Phragmites australis to petroleum pollution by a 13CO2 pulse-labelling technique. Our data show that plant biomass significantly decreased under petroleum pollution, but the root–shoot ratio for both plant biomass and 13C increased with increasing petroleum concentration, suggesting that plants could increase biomass allocation to roots in petroleum-polluted soil. Furthermore, assimilated 13C was found to be significantly higher in soil, microbial biomass and soil respiration after soils were polluted by petroleum. These results suggested that the carbon released from roots is rapidly turned over by soil microbes under petroleum pollution. This study found that plants can modulate biomass allocation in response to petroleum pollution. PMID:20484231

  2. Competitiveness of biomass-fueled electrical power plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce A. McCarl; Darius M. Adams; Ralph J. Alig; John T. Chmelik

    2000-01-01

    One way countries like the United States can comply with suggested rollbacks in greenhouse gas emissions is by employing power plants fueled with biomass. We examine the competitiveness of biomass-based fuel for electrical power as opposed to coal using a mathematical programming structure. We consider fueling power plants from milling residues, whole trees, logging...

  3. Estimation of Vegetable Crop Parameter by Multi-temporal UAV-Borne Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Moeckel

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available 3D point cloud analysis of imagery collected by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV has been shown to be a valuable tool for estimation of crop phenotypic traits, such as plant height, in several species. Spatial information about these phenotypic traits can be used to derive information about other important crop characteristics, like fresh biomass yield, which could not be derived directly from the point clouds. Previous approaches have often only considered single date measurements using a single point cloud derived metric for the respective trait. Furthermore, most of the studies focused on plant species with a homogenous canopy surface. The aim of this study was to assess the applicability of UAV imagery for capturing crop height information of three vegetables (crops eggplant, tomato, and cabbage with a complex vegetation canopy surface during a complete crop growth cycle to infer biomass. Additionally, the effect of crop development stage on the relationship between estimated crop height and field measured crop height was examined. Our study was conducted in an experimental layout at the University of Agricultural Science in Bengaluru, India. For all the crops, the crop height and the biomass was measured at five dates during one crop growth cycle between February and May 2017 (average crop height was 42.5, 35.5, and 16.0 cm for eggplant, tomato, and cabbage. Using a structure from motion approach, a 3D point cloud was created for each crop and sampling date. In total, 14 crop height metrics were extracted from the point clouds. Machine learning methods were used to create prediction models for vegetable crop height. The study demonstrates that the monitoring of crop height using an UAV during an entire growing period results in detailed and precise estimates of crop height and biomass for all three crops (R2 ranging from 0.87 to 0.97, bias ranging from −0.66 to 0.45 cm. The effect of crop development stage on the predicted crop height was

  4. Breeding crop plants with deep roots: their role in sustainable carbon, nutrient and water sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kell, Douglas B.

    2011-01-01

    Background The soil represents a reservoir that contains at least twice as much carbon as does the atmosphere, yet (apart from ‘root crops’) mainly just the above-ground plant biomass is harvested in agriculture, and plant photosynthesis represents the effective origin of the overwhelming bulk of soil carbon. However, present estimates of the carbon sequestration potential of soils are based more on what is happening now than what might be changed by active agricultural intervention, and tend to concentrate only on the first metre of soil depth. Scope Breeding crop plants with deeper and bushy root ecosystems could simultaneously improve both the soil structure and its steady-state carbon, water and nutrient retention, as well as sustainable plant yields. The carbon that can be sequestered in the steady state by increasing the rooting depths of crop plants and grasses from, say, 1 m to 2 m depends significantly on its lifetime(s) in different molecular forms in the soil, but calculations (http://dbkgroup.org/carbonsequestration/rootsystem.html) suggest that this breeding strategy could have a hugely beneficial effect in stabilizing atmospheric CO2. This sets an important research agenda, and the breeding of plants with improved and deep rooting habits and architectures is a goal well worth pursuing. PMID:21813565

  5. Suppression of the invasive plant mile-a-minute (Mikania micrantha) by local crop sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) by means of higher growth rate and competition for soil nutrients.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-28

    There are a variety of ways of increasing crop diversity to increase agricultural sustainability and in turn having a positive influence on nearby natural ecosystems. Competitive crops may provide potent management tools against invasive plants. To elucidate the competitive mechanisms between a sweet potato crop (Ipomoea batatas) and an invasive plant, mile-a-minute (Mikania micrantha), field experiments were carried out in Longchuan County of Yunnan Province, Southwest China, utilizing a de Wit replacement series. The trial incorporated seven ratios of sweet potato and mile-a-minute plants in 25 m(2) plots. In monoculture, the total biomass, biomass of adventitious root, leafstalk length, and leaf area of sweet potato were all higher than those of mile-a-minute, and in mixed culture the plant height, branch, leaf, stem node, adventitious root, flowering and biomass of mile-a-minute were suppressed significantly (P competition was less than interspecific competition. The competitive balance index of sweet potato demonstrated a higher competitive ability than mile-a-minute. Except pH, other soil nutrient contents of initial soil (CK) were significantly higher than those of seven treatments. The concentrations of soil organic matter, total N, total K, available N, available P, available K, exchange Ca, exchange Mg, available Mn, and available B were significantly greater (P competition of sweet potato in the mixture. Evidently sweet potato has a competitive advantage in terms of plant growth characteristics and greater absorption of soil nutrients. Thus, planting sweet potato is a promising technique for reducing infestations of mile-a-minute, providing weed management benefits and economic returns from harvest of sweet potatoes. This study also shows the potential value of replacement control methods which may apply to other crop-weed systems or invaded natural ecosystems.

  6. Marine biomass power plant using methane fermentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsui, T.; Saito, H.; Amano, T.; Sugawara, H.; Seki, T.; Abe, T. [Technology Research Inst., Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd., Tokyo (Japan)

    2004-07-01

    This study presented an effective way to produce biogas from the large quantities of seaweed waste in Japan. A large-scale marine biomass pilot plant was built to produce biogas from marine biomass. Methane fermentation was the process used to produce biogas from Laminaria sp. The maximum treating capacity of the pilot plant is 1 ton of seaweed per day. The pilot plant includes a pretreatment facility, fermentation, biogas storage and power generation. The maximum methane yield from the biomass plant is 22 cubic ton-seaweed. The purified biogas has generated 10 kW of electricity and 23 kW of heat. The biogas was also mixed with natural gas for use in a gas engine generator. The engine operation remained stable despite changes in quantity and composition of the collected biogas caused by changes with the source of biomass and sea conditions. The thermal efficiency of the gas engine running on mixed biogas and natural gas was more than 10 per cent higher than an engine running on biogas fuel alone. 4 refs., 2 tabs., 3 figs.

  7. Feasibility study of a biomass-fired cogeneration plant Groningen, Netherlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rijk, P.J.; Van Loo, S.; Webb, R.

    1996-06-01

    The feasibility of the title plant is determined for district heating and electricity supply of more than 1,000 houses in Groningen, Netherlands. Also attention is paid to the feasibility of such installations in a planned area of the city. Prices and supply of several biomass resources are dealt with: prunings of parks, public and private gardens, clean wood wastes, wood wastes from forests, wood from newly planted forests, specific energy crops (willows in high densities and short cycles). Prices are calculated, including transport to the gate of the premises where the cogeneration installations is situated. For the conversion attention is paid to both the feasibility of the use of a conventional cogeneration installation (by means of a steam turbine) and the use of a new conversion technique: combined cycle of a gasification installation and a cogeneration installation. 5 figs., 5 ills., 22 tabs., 1 appendix, 33 refs

  8. Production of biomass/energy crops on phosphatic clay soils in central Florida

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stricker, J.A. [Univ. of Florida, Bartow, FL (United States); Prine, G.M.; Woodard, K.R. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States); Anderson, D.L. [Univ. of Florida, Belle Glade, FL (United States); Shibles, D.B.; Riddle, T.C. [Mined Lands Agricultural Research/Demonstration Project, Bartow, FL (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Phosphatic clay is a byproduct of phosphate mining. Presently more than 40,470 ha have been created, most in central Florida, and about 810 ha are being added each year. Phosphatic clays have high fertility and high water holding capacity, reducing fertilization costs and producing high yields without irrigation. Based on 10 years of research, scientists have selected tall annual-regenerating perennial C-4 grasses as having the greatest potential for biomass production in Florida. The purpose of this work was to determine the feasibility of growing these tall perennial grasses for biomass on phosphatic clay. Elephantgrass, sugarcane and energycane, and erianthus were planted in duplicate replications on phosphatic clay soil in late August, 1986. yield was measured by one harvest in December or January each year for four years. Nitrogen fertilization included 112 kg ha{sup {minus}1} the first year followed by 134 kg ha{sup {minus}1} for the next three years. Nitrogen is the only supplemental nutrient needed to grow all tall grass crops on phosphatic clay. The average annual oven dry matter yield over the 4-yr period was 36.3 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} for PI 300086 elephantgrass, 45.2 for N51 elephantgrass, 42.5 for L79-1002 energycane, 49.0 for US72-1153 energycane, 49.7 for US78-1009 sugarcane, 52.2 for US56-9 sugarcane, 56.2 for CP72-1210 sugarcane, and 48.8 for 1K-7647 erianthus. More recent work has utilized domestic sewage sludge as a nitrogen source for the tall grasses. Preliminary sugar yields of selected sugarcane accessions & sweet sorghum were 4.7 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} for CP72-1210, 12.5 for US67-2022, 3.4 for US78-1009 and 1.3 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} for sweet sorghum. The high yields of the tall grasses grown on phosphatic clay with low inputs indicate a great potential for these crops as a source of renewable energy. A sustainable cropping system may be maintained by utilizing municipal sewage sludge as a nitrogen source with tall grasses on phosphatic clay.

  9. Relationships between Fungal Biomass and Nitrous Oxide Emission in Upland Rice Soils under No Tillage and Cover Cropping Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhaorigetu; Komatsuzaki, Masakazu; Sato, Yoshinori; Ohta, Hiroyuki

    2008-01-01

    The relationships between soil microbial properties and nitrous oxide emission were examined in upland soil under different tillage systems [no tillage (NT), rotary and plow tillage] and cover crop systems (fallow, cereal rye, and hairy vetch) in 2004 and 2005. Microbiological analyses included the determination of soil ergosterol as an indicator of fungal biomass, bacterial plate counting, and MPN estimations of ammonia oxidizers and denitrifiers. The combined practice of NT with rye-cover crop treatment increased fungal biomass but not bacterial populations in 0-10 cm deep soils. Such increase in fungal biomass was not found in 10-20 cm and 20-30 cm deep cover-cropped NT soil. The combined practice of NT with rye-cover cropping resulted in higher in situ N(2)O emission rates compared with rotary- and plow-till treatments. N(2)O flux was positively correlated with soil ergosterol content but not with denitrifier MPN and other soil chemical properties. These results suggested a significant contribution of fungi to N(2)O emission in cover-cropped NT soils.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Silvestri

    2017-03-01

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

  11. Transfer of radionuclides to crop plants through roots. Radioiodine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uchida, Shigeo; Sumiya, Misako; Ohmomo, Yoichiro

    1987-07-01

    In an atmospheric discharge of radioiodines, direct deposition of the nuclides onto leaf surface must be the most significant pathway. However, root uptake is also of importance specifically for /sup 129/I because of its long half life of 1.57 x 10/sup 7/ years. In order to estimate the amount of the nuclide transferred to the crop plants from contaminated field, the experiments were carried out using solution culture. Rice plant, Oryza sativa cv. koshihikari, spinach, Spinacea oleracea L., radish, Raphanus sativus L., and the other four kinds of crop plants were exposed to culture solution in which Na/sup 131/I were contained. The transfer rates, defined as the ratio of activity of plant sample per day to the mean activity of culture solution, were calculated. And the differences by the organs of each crop plant and by plant species were discussed in this paper. Temporal critical crop plants for /sup 129/I were selected.

  12. Mixed Cropping of Legumes and Maize by the Use of Urea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esmaeil Alibakhshi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available To study the effect of nitrogenous fertilizers and mixed cropping of legumes and maize on its grain yield and yield component of corn in Arak, an experiment was carried at the Agricultural Research Center of Markazi Province in 2013. A factorial experiment based on randomized complete block design with three replications was performed. Treatments were four levels of urea (N0= control, N1= 75 kg.ha-1, N2= 150 kg.ha-1, N3= 225 kg.ha-1 and mixed cropping with four levels (S1= planting corn, S2= planting corn + chickpea, S3= planting corn + cowpea, S4= planting corn + mung bean. Plot consisted of 4 rows, 6 m long with 60 cm between rows space and 20 cm between plants on the rows, and S.C 704 corn hybrid was used. In this study characteristics such as: plant height, number of green leaf, grain yield, number of row per ear, number of grain per ear row, nitrogen use efficiency, biomasses of legumes, nitrogen percentage and 1000 grain weight were assessed. Results indicated that the effect of different levels of urea on plant height, number of green leaf, grain yield, number of grain per row, nitrogen use efficiency, legumes biomass and nitrogen percentage were significant. Effect of mixed cropping on characteristics like grain yield, nitrogen use efficiency, biomasses of legumes nitrogen percentage was also significant. Highest and lowest grain yield (7.37 and 5.47 t.ha-1 were obtained with the use of 225 and 75 kg.ha-1 urea, respectively. The highest and lowest grain yield (7.30 and 6.01 t.ha-1 belonged to sole cropping at corn and mixed cropping of corn + mung bean, respectively.

  13. Distribution, utilization structure and potential of biomass resources in rural China: With special references of crop residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, H [Laboratory of Quantitative Vegetation Ecology, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093 (China); Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Jiang, G M [Laboratory of Quantitative Vegetation Ecology, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093 (China); Agronomy Department, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai' an 271018, Shandong Province (China); Zhuang, H Y [National Bio-Energy CO., LTD, No. 26B, Financial Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100032 (China); Shandong Academy of Sciences, No. 19, Keyuan Road, Ji' nan 250014, Shandong Province (China); Wang, K J [Agronomy Department, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai' an 271018, Shandong Province (China)

    2008-06-15

    As the largest developing country in the world, China is urgently in short of energy and natural resources. However, biological resources such as crop residues are burnt in the field, which cause serious environmental pollution. Still it is not clear how much storage and potential of these huge crop residues are in China. This paper firstly reported the distribution, utilization structure and potential of crop biomass and provided the tangible information of crop residues in rural China through careful collecting and recalculating data. From 1995 to 2005, China produces some 630 million tons of crop residues per year, 50% of which comes from east and central south of China. The amount of crop residues is 1.3 times of the total yield of crops, 2 times of the total fodder of grassland, which covers 41% of China's territory. Crop residues of corn, wheat and rice amounted to 239, 137 and 116 million tons, respectively, accounting for nearly 80% of the total crop residues. Unfortunately, the utilizing structure is seriously improper for such abundant biomass resources. Although 23% of the crop residues are used for forage, 4% for industry materials and 0.5% for biogas, the large parts are used with lower efficiency or wasted, with 37% being directly combusted by farmers, 15% lost during collection and the rest 20.5% discarded or directly burnt in the field. Reasonable adjustment of the utilizing pattern and popularization of the recycling agriculture are essential out-ways for residues, with the development of the forage industry being the breakthrough point. We suggested that utilizing the abandoned 20.5% of the total residues for forage and combining agriculture and stock raising can greatly improve the farm system and cut down fertilizer pollution. Through the development of forage industries, the use efficiency of crop residues could be largely enhanced. Commercializing and popularizing technologies of biomass gasification and liquefaction might be substitute

  14. Straw and energy crops- analysis of economy, energy and environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parsby, M.

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of the biomass agreement of 14 June 1993 was to increase the use of biomass fuels in the Danish power plants to 1.2 million tons straw and 200 000 wood chips. Contribution from straw combustion should reach 25 PJ in year 2000. However biomass cultivation can endanger the governmental policy of pesticide and nitrogen reduction in agriculture. In the worst harvest years straw quantity can be reduced to 70 % of the normal level, while in good years there would occur a 3-4 fold excess of straw. Supply depends in a decisive degree on the offered price as the indirect cost can vary much (wet straw, delayed sawing, lost fertilizer value etc.). Potential for energy crops can be based on ca 300 000 ha present fallow agricultural areas. Cost is higher than that for straw, the most probable plants are elephant grass, willow, rape, sugar beets, winter cereals. Cost is lower for perennial plants, but at least 10-12 years are necessary for such crops to become profitable. Generally the biofuel crops are more expensive than crops for immediate combustion. Expenses for energy crops will decrease with time per ton dry matter, but ground rent for soils previously fallow has to be taken into account. A reduced nitrogen fertilization will reduce the economic profits quite essentially due to smaller harvests. Pesticide consumption will not have to grow as straw and elephant grass do not require any larger quantities (unless very large areas of one crop are cultivated).(EG) 92 refs

  15. Effect of cropping cycles and repeated herbicide applications on the degradation of diclofop-methyl, bentazone, diuron, isoproturon and pendimethalin in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piutti, Séverine; Marchand, Anne-Laure; Lagacherie, Bernard; Martin-Laurent, Fabrice; Soulas, Guy

    2002-03-01

    A greenhouse study was conducted to investigate the ability of four crops (wheat, corn, oilseed rape and soybean) to influence the degradation of bentazone, diclofop-methyl, diuron, isoproturon and pendimethalin in soil. The present study showed that microbial biomass-carbon was significantly higher in planted soils than in bulk soil, especially with wheat and corn, after several cropping cycles. The biomass in corn and soybean planted soils was adversely affected by bentazone but recovered after three cropping cycles. In wheat-planted soils, diclofop-methyl application resulted in persistent increase of the amount of microbial biomass. Bentazone did not show accelerated degradation even after five successive treatments, differing from diclofop-methyl, for which two applications were sufficient to enhance significantly its rate of degradation. Enhanced degradation of diclofop-methyl was even more pronounced in wheat-planted soil. The rates of mineralisation of diuron, isoproturon and pendimethalin were not affected after the first cropping cycle, but were significantly increased in planted soils after five cropping cycles. The results confirm that plants may promote pesticide degradation in soil by stimulating biodegradation processes. In the case of diclofop-methyl, stimulation of accelerated degradation was observed.

  16. Determination of Micronutrient Accumulation in Greenhouse Cucumber Crop Using a Modeling Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lino J. Ramírez-Pérez

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The control of micronutrient application in cucumber cultivation has great importance as they participate in many functions of metabolism. In addition, micronutrient application efficiency is fundamental to avoid periods of overconsumption or deficits in the crop. To determine micronutrient accumulation using a dynamic model, two cycles of Vitaly and Luxell cucumber crops were grown. During the development of the crop, micronutrient content (Fe, B, Mn, Cu, and Zn in the different organs of the cucumber plant was quantified. The model dynamically simulated the accumulation of biomass and micronutrients using climatic variables recorded inside the greenhouse as inputs. It was found that a decrease in photosynthetically active radiation and temperature significantly diminished the accumulation of biomass by the cucumber plants. On the other hand, the results demonstrated that the model efficiently simulated both the accumulation of biomass and micronutrients in a cucumber crop. The efficiency evaluation showed values higher than R2 > 0.95. This dynamic model can be useful to define adequate strategies for the management of cucumber cultivation in greenhouses as well as the application of micronutrients.

  17. Standing crop and aboveground biomass partitioning of a dwarf mangrove forest in Taylor River Slough, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coronado-Molina, C.; Day, J.W.; Reyes, E.; Perez, B.C.

    2004-01-01

    The structure and standing crop biomass of a dwarf mangrove forest, located in the salinity transition zone ofTaylor River Slough in the Everglades National Park, were studied. Although the four mangrove species reported for Florida occurred at the study site, dwarf Rhizophora mangle trees dominated the forest. The structural characteristics of the mangrove forest were relatively simple: tree height varied from 0.9 to 1.2 meters, and tree density ranged from 7062 to 23 778 stems haa??1. An allometric relationship was developed to estimate leaf, branch, prop root, and total aboveground biomass of dwarf Rhizophora mangle trees. Total aboveground biomass and their components were best estimated as a power function of the crown area times number of prop roots as an independent variable (Y = B ?? Xa??0.5083). The allometric equation for each tree component was highly significant (pRhizophora mangle contributed 85% of total standing crop biomass. Conocarpus erectus, Laguncularia racemosa, and Avicennia germinans contributed the remaining biomass. Average aboveground biomass allocation was 69% for prop roots, 25% for stem and branches, and 6% for leaves. This aboveground biomass partitioning pattern, which gives a major role to prop roots that have the potential to produce an extensive root system, may be an important biological strategy in response to low phosphorus availability and relatively reduced soils that characterize mangrove forests in South Florida.

  18. Assessing the phytoremediation potential of crop and grass plants for atrazine-spiked soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Virtudes; López-Bellido, Francisco Javier; Cañizares, Pablo; Rodríguez, Luis

    2017-10-01

    Pollution of soil and groundwater by atrazine has become an increasing environmental concern in the last decade. A phytoremediation test using plastic pots was conducted in order to assess the ability of several crops and grasses to remove atrazine from a soil of low permeability spiked with this herbicide. Four plant species were assessed for their ability to degrade or accumulate atrazine from soils: two grasses, i.e., ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), and two crops, i.e., barley (Hordeum vulgare) and maize (Zea mays). Three different doses of atrazine were used for the contamination of the pots: 2, 5 and 10 mg kg -1 . 16 days after spiking, the initial amount of atrazine was reduced by 88.6-99.6% in planted pots, while a decrease of only 63.1-78.2% was found for the unplanted pots, thus showing the contribution of plants to soil decontamination. All the plant species were capable of accumulating atrazine and its N-dealkylated metabolites, i.e., deethylatrazine and deisopropylatrazine, in their tissues. Some toxic responses, such as biomass decreases and/or chlorosis, were observed in plants to a greater or lesser extent for initial soil doses of atrazine above 2 mg kg -1 . Maize was the plant species with the highest ability to accumulate atrazine derivatives, reaching up to 38.4% of the initial atrazine added to the soil. Rhizosphere degradation/mineralization by microorganisms or plant enzymes, together with degradation inside the plants, have been proposed as the mechanisms that contributed to a higher extent than plant accumulation to explain the removal of atrazine from soils. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Integrated production of warm season grasses and agroforestry for biomass production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Samson, R.; Omielan, J. [Resource Efficient Agricultural Production-Canada, Ste, Anne de Bellevue, Quebec (Canada); Girouard, P.; Henning, J. [McGill Univ., Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec (Canada)

    1993-12-31

    Increased research on C{sub 3} and C{sub 4} perennial biomass crops is generating a significant amount of information on the potential of these crops to produce large quantities of low cost biomass. In many parts of North America it appears that both C{sub 3} and C{sub 4} species are limited by water availability particularly on marginal soils. In much of North America, rainfall is exceeded by evaporation. High transpiration rates by fast growing trees and rainfall interception by the canopy appear to indicate that this can further exacerbate the problem of water availability. C{sub 4} perennial grasses appear to have distinct advantages over C{sub 3} species planted in monoculture systems particularly on marginal soils. C{sub 4} grasses historically predominated over much of the land that is now available for biomass production because of their adaptation to low humidity environments and periods of low soil moisture. The planting of short rotation forestry (SRF) species in an energy agroforestry system is proposed as an alternative production strategy which could potentially alleviate many of the problems associated with SRF monocultures. Energy agroforestry would be complementary to both production of conventional farm crops and C{sub 4} perennial biomass crops because of beneficial microclimatic effects.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Seungdo; Dale, Bruce E.

    2005-01-01

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

  1. Effects of Irrigating with Treated Oil and Gas Product Water on Crop Biomass and Soil Permeability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terry Brown; Jeffrey Morris; Patrick Richards; Joel Mason

    2010-09-30

    Demonstrating effective treatment technologies and beneficial uses for oil and gas produced water is essential for producers who must meet environmental standards and deal with high costs associated with produced water management. Proven, effective produced-water treatment technologies coupled with comprehensive data regarding blending ratios for productive long-term irrigation will improve the state-of-knowledge surrounding produced-water management. Effective produced-water management scenarios such as cost-effective treatment and irrigation will discourage discharge practices that result in legal battles between stakeholder entities. The goal of this work is to determine the optimal blending ratio required for irrigating crops with CBNG and conventional oil and gas produced water treated by ion exchange (IX), reverse osmosis (RO), or electro-dialysis reversal (EDR) in order to maintain the long term physical integrity of soils and to achieve normal crop production. The soils treated with CBNG produced water were characterized with significantly lower SAR values compared to those impacted with conventional oil and gas produced water. The CBNG produced water treated with RO at the 100% treatment level was significantly different from the untreated produced water, while the 25%, 50% and 75% water treatment levels were not significantly different from the untreated water. Conventional oil and gas produced water treated with EDR and RO showed comparable SAR results for the water treatment technologies. There was no significant difference between the 100% treated produced water and the control (river water). The EDR water treatment resulted with differences at each level of treatment, which were similar to RO treated conventional oil and gas water. The 100% treated water had SAR values significantly lower than the 75% and 50% treatments, which were similar (not significantly different). The results of the greenhouse irrigation study found the differences in biomass

  2. Integrated crop management practices for maximizing grain yield of double-season rice crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Depeng; Huang, Jianliang; Nie, Lixiao; Wang, Fei; Ling, Xiaoxia; Cui, Kehui; Li, Yong; Peng, Shaobing

    2017-01-01

    Information on maximum grain yield and its attributes are limited for double-season rice crop grown under the subtropical environment. This study was conducted to examine key characteristics associated with high yielding double-season rice crop through a comparison between an integrated crop management (ICM) and farmers’ practice (FP). Field experiments were conducted in the early and late seasons in the subtropical environment of Wuxue County, Hubei Province, China in 2013 and 2014. On average, grain yield in ICM was 13.5% higher than that in FP. A maximum grain yield of 9.40 and 10.53 t ha-1 was achieved under ICM in the early- and late-season rice, respectively. Yield improvement of double-season rice with ICM was achieved with the combined effects of increased plant density and optimized nutrient management. Yield gain of ICM resulted from a combination of increases in sink size due to more panicle number per unit area and biomass production, further supported by the increased leaf area index, leaf area duration, radiation use efficiency, crop growth rate, and total nitrogen uptake compared with FP. Further enhancement in the yield potential of double-season rice should focus on increasing crop growth rate and biomass production through improved and integrated crop management practices.

  3. Optimization of Southeastern Forest Biomass Crop Production: A Watershed Scale Evaluation of the Sustainability and Productivity of Dedicated Energy Crop and Woody Biomass Operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chescheir, George M. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Nettles, Jami E, [Weyerhaeuser Company; Youssef, Mohamed [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Birgand, Francois [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Amatya, Devendra M. [United States Forest Service; Miller, Darren A. [Weyerhaeuser Company; Sucre, Eric [Weyerhaeuser Company; Schilling, Erik [National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc.; Tian, Shiying [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Cacho, Julian F. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Bennett, Erin M. [Ecosystem Planning and Restoration, LLC; Carter, Taylor [HDR; Bowen, Nicole Dobbs [Engineering Design Consultants; Muwamba, Augustine [College of Charleston; Panda, Sudhanshu [University of North Georgia; Christopher, Sheila [Univ. of Notre Dame, IN (United States); Phillips, Brian D. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Appelboom, Timothy [NC Department of Environmental Quality; Skaggs, Richard W. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Greene, Ethan J. [Land Trust for Central North Carolina; Marshall, Craig D. [Mississippi State University; Allen, Elizabeth [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Schoenholtz, Stephen H. [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States)

    2018-04-12

    Growing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as an intercrop in managed loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations has emerged as a potential source of bioenergy feedstock. Utilizing land resources between pine trees to produce an energy crop can potentially reduce the demand for land resources used to produce food; however, converting conventionally managed forest land to this new intercropping system constitutes changes in land use and associated management practices, which may affect the environmental and economic sustainability of the land.

    The overall objective of this project is to evaluate the environmental effects of large-scale forest bioenergy crop production and utilize these results to optimize cropping systems in a manner that protects the important ecosystem services provided by forests while contributing to the development of a sustainable and economically-viable biomass industry in the southeastern United States.

    Specific objectives are to:

    1. Quantify the hydrology of different energy crop production systems in watershed scale experiments on different landscapes in the southeast.
    2. Quantify the nutrient dynamics of energy crop production systems in watershed scale experiments to determine the impact of these systems on water quality.
    3. Evaluate the impacts of energy crop production on soil structure, fertility, and organic matter.
    4. Evaluate the response of flora and fauna populations and habitat quality to energy crop production systems.
    5. Develop watershed and regional scale models to evaluate the environmental sustainability and productivity of energy crop and woody biomass operations.
    6. Quantify the production systems in terms of bioenergy crop yield versus the energy and economic costs of production.
    7. Develop and evaluate best management practice guidelines to ensure the environmental sustainability of energy crop production systems.
    Watershed and plot scale studies

  4. Microbial biomass and soil fauna during the decomposition of cover crops in no-tillage system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciano Colpo Gatiboni

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The decomposition of plant residues is a biological process mediated by soil fauna, but few studies have been done evaluating its dynamics in time during the process of disappearance of straw. This study was carried out in Chapecó, in southern Brazil, with the objective of monitoring modifications in soil fauna populations and the C content in the soil microbial biomass (C SMB during the decomposition of winter cover crop residues in a no-till system. The following treatments were tested: 1 Black oat straw (Avena strigosa Schreb.; 2 Rye straw (Secale cereale L.; 3 Common vetch straw (Vicia sativa L.. The cover crops were grown until full flowering and then cut mechanically with a rolling stalk chopper. The soil fauna and C content in soil microbial biomass (C SMB were assessed during the period of straw decomposition, from October 2006 to February 2007. To evaluate C SMB by the irradiation-extraction method, soil samples from the 0-10 cm layer were used, collected on eight dates, from before until 100 days after residue chopping. The soil fauna was collected with pitfall traps on seven dates up to 85 days after residue chopping. The phytomass decomposition of common vetch was faster than of black oat and rye residues. The C SMB decreased during the process of straw decomposition, fastest in the treatment with common vetch. In the common vetch treatment, the diversity of the soil fauna was reduced at the end of the decomposition process.

  5. Biological determinants of plant and crop productivity of flax (Linum usitatissimum L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadeusz Zając

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In Poland the cultivation of the fibrous form of flax (Linum usitatissimum L. is dying out, but the acreage of its oilseed form, linseed, which provides seed (Semen lini used in therapy and being a source of -linolenic acid, is expanding. Nowadays, linseed is grown in 64 countries of the world, but yield levels in these countries vary greatly. Under European conditions, seed yield of linseed shows high variation, which is evidence of little knowledge of the biology of this plant and the lack of precise cultivation solutions in agricultural technologies used. A major reason is the difficulty in obtaining optimal crop density. A sparse crop results in low above-ground biomass yield, which is translated into insufficient crop yields. The selection of highly productive domestic and foreign varieties can partially increase linseed yield; apart from some domestic varieties, the Canadian cultivar 'Flanders' and the Hungarian cultivar 'Barbara' are positive examples in this respect. There is a possibility of effective selection at early stages of linseed breeding, which bodes well for the prospect of obtaining highly productive varieties with normal or very low -linolenic acid content.

  6. Biomass and nitrogen accumulation of hairy vetch-cereal rye cover crop mixtures as influenced by species proportions

    Science.gov (United States)

    The performance and suitability of a legume-grass cover crop mixture for specific functions may be influenced by the proportions of each species in the mixture. The objectives of this study were to: 1) evaluate aboveground biomass and species biomass proportions at different hairy vetch (Vicia villo...

  7. Recycling crop residues for use in recirculating hydroponic crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackowiak, C. L.; Garland, J. L.; Sager, J. C.

    1996-01-01

    As part of bioregenerative life support feasibility testing by NASA, crop residues are being used to resupply elemental nutrients to recirculating hydroponic crop production systems. Methods for recovering nutrients from crop residues have evolved from water soaking (leaching) to rapid aerobic bioreactor processing. Leaching residues recovered the majority of elements but it also recovered significant amounts of soluble organics. The high organic content of leachates was detrimental to plant growth. Aerobic bioreactor processing reduced the organic content ten-fold, which reduced or eliminated phytotoxic effects. Wheat and potato production studies were successful using effluents from reactors having with 8- to 1-day retention times. Aerobic bioreactor effluents supplied at least half of the crops elemental mass needs in these studies. Descriptions of leachate and effluent mineral content, biomass productivity, microbial activity, and nutrient budgets for potato and wheat are presented.

  8. Microbial biomass and nutrient dynamics during decomposition of cover crop mixtures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Drost, S.M.

    2016-01-01

    Sustainable agriculture is needed to reduce losses of soil organic matter (SOM) and to ensure crop production with a minimum of negative impact on the environment. Cover crops, planted in the fallow season, are commonly used to improve soil functions, such as soil structure, nutrient cycling,

  9. Alkali deposits found in biomass power plants: A preliminary investigation of their extent and nature. Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miles, T.R.; Miles, T.R. Jr. [Miles (Thomas R.), Portland, OR (United States); Baxter, L.L. [Sandia National Labs., Livermore, CA (United States). Combustion Research Facility; Bryers, R.W. [Foster Wheeler Development Corp., Livingston, NJ (United States); Jenkins, B.M. [California Univ., Davis, CA (United States); Oden, L.L. [Bureau of Mines, Albany, OR (United States). Albany Research Center

    1995-04-15

    Alkali in the ash of annual crop biomass fuels creates serious fouling and slagging in conventional boilers. Even with the use of sorbents and other additives, power plants can only fire limited amounts of these fuels in combination with wood. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), US Department of Energy, and the biomass power industry carried out eight full-scale firing tests and several laboratory experiments to study the nature and occurrence of deposits with the goal of increasing the quantities of these biofuels that can be used. This report describes the results of the laboratory and power plant tests that included: tracking and analyzing fuels and deposits by various methods; recording operating conditions; and extensive laboratory testing. The paper describes the occurrence of deposits, fuel and deposit analyses, boiler design and operation, fouling and slagging indicators, and recommendations. 37 refs., 41 figs., 17 tabs.

  10. The influence of a Renewable Energy Feed in Tariff on the decision to produce biomass crops in Ireland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clancy, D.; Breen, J.P.; Thorne, F.; Wallace, M.

    2012-01-01

    A target of 30 per cent substitution of biomass for peat in the three peat fired power stations from 2015 has been set by the Irish Government. However, a knowledge gap exists on the extent to which Irish farmers would actually choose to grow these crops. An extension of the Renewable Energy Feed in Tariff (REFIT) scheme to include the co-firing of biomass with peat in electricity generation would enable the power stations to enter into Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). These offer a fixed price to farmers for biomass feedstock. The decision to adopt biomass is represented as a constrained problem under certainty with the objective of profit maximisation. The results showed that the price offered under a PPA has a large effect on the economic returns from biomass crops. The price that the power stations previously estimated they would be able to pay, at €46 and €48 per tonne for willow and miscanthus, respectively, was used as a starting point. At this price the number of farmers who would choose to adopt biomass production is insufficient to achieve the national co-firing target. The target could be achieved at €70 and €65 per tonne for willow and miscanthus, respectively. - Highlights: ► We model the decision of Irish farmers to produce biomass crops. ► Current prices will lead to insufficient adoption to achieve policy targets. ► REFIT mechanism can succeed in meeting policy goals. ► Willow prices need to increase by approximately 27 per cent. ► Miscanthus prices need to increase by approximately 8 per cent.

  11. Planting date and seeding rate effects on sunn hemp biomass and nitrogen production for a winter cover crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.) is a tropical legume that produces plant biomass and nitrogen (N) quickly. Our objectives were to assess the growth of a new sunn hemp cultivar breed to produce seed in a temperate climate and determine the residual N effect on a subsequent rye (Secale cereale L.) wi...

  12. Energy from biomass and waste

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faaij, A.P.C.

    1997-01-01

    Biomass, a broad term for all organic matter of plants, trees and crops, is currently regarded as a renewable energy source which can contribute substantially to the world's energy supply in the future. Various scenarios for the development of energy supply and demand, such as compiled by the

  13. Do Refuge Plants Favour Natural Pest Control in Maize Crops?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quispe, Reinaldo; Mazón, Marina; Rodríguez-Berrío, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    The use of non-crop plants to provide the resources that herbivorous crop pests’ natural enemies need is being increasingly incorporated into integrated pest management programs. We evaluated insect functional groups found on three refuges consisting of five different plant species each, planted next to a maize crop in Lima, Peru, to investigate which refuge favoured natural control of herbivores considered as pests of maize in Peru, and which refuge plant traits were more attractive to those desirable enemies. Insects occurring in all the plants, including the maize crop itself, were sampled weekly during the crop growing cycle, from February to June 2011. All individuals collected were identified and classified into three functional groups: herbivores, parasitoids, and predators. Refuges were compared based on their effectiveness in enhancing the populations of predator and parasitoid insects of the crop enemies. Refuges A and B were the most effective, showing the highest richness and abundance of both predators and parasitoids, including several insect species that are reported to attack the main insect pests of maize (Spodoptera frugiperda and Rhopalosiphum maidis), as well as other species that serve as alternative hosts of these natural enemies. PMID:28718835

  14. Characterization of plant growth-promoting traits of free-living diazotrophic bacteria and their inoculation effects on growth and nitrogen uptake of crop plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Md Rashedul; Madhaiyan, M; Deka Boruah, Hari P; Yim, Woojong; Lee, Gillseung; Saravanan, V S; Fu, Qingling; Hu, Hongqing; Sa, Tongmin

    2009-10-01

    The search for diverse plant growth-promoting (PGP) diazotrophic bacteria is gaining momentum as efforts are made to exploit them as biofertilizers for various economically important crops. In the present study, 17 diazotrophic strains belonging to eight different genera isolated from rice paddy fields were screened for multiple PGP traits and evaluated for their inoculation effects on canola and rice plants. All of the strains tested positive for 1- aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase activity and production of indole 3-acetic acid (IAA) and ammonia (NH3). Additionally, four of the strains were able to solubilize phosphorus (P), five tested positive for zinc (Zn) solubilization and sulfur (S) oxidation, and eight strains produced siderophores. Based on the presence of multiple PGP traits, 10 strains were selected for inoculation studies. Treatment with Herbaspirillum sp. RFNB26 resulted in maximum root length (54.3%), seedling vigor, and dry biomass in canola, whereas Paenibacillus sp. RFNB4 exhibited the lowest activity under gnotobiotic conditions. However, under pot culture conditions, Paenibacillus sp. RFNB4 significantly increased plant height and dry biomass production by 42.3% and 29.5%, respectively. Canola plants and rhizosphere soils inoculated with Bacillus sp. RFNB6 exhibited significantly higher nitrogenase activity. In greenhouse experiments, Serratia sp. RFNB18 increased rice plant height by 35.1%, Xanthomonas sp. RFNB24 enhanced biomass production by 84.6%, and rice rhizosphere soils inoculated with Herbaspirillum sp. RFNB26 exhibited the highest nitrogenase activity. Our findings indicate that most of the selected strains possess multiple PGP properties that significantly improve the growth parameters of the two plants when tested under controlled conditions.

  15. Production characteristics of lettuce Lactuca sativa L. in the frame of the first crop tests in the Higher Plant Chamber integrated into the MELiSSA Pilot Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhomirova, Natalia; Lawson, Jamie; Stasiak, Michael; Dixon, Mike; Paille, Christel; Peiro, Enrique; Fossen, Arnaud; Godia, Francesc

    Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA) is an artificial closed ecosystem that is considered a tool for the development of a bioregenerative life support system for manned space missions. One of the five compartments of MELiSSA loop -Higher Plant Chamber was recently integrated into the MELiSSA Pilot Plant facility at Universitat Aut`noma deo Barcelona. The main contributions expected by integration of this photosynthetic compartment are oxygen, water, vegetable food production and CO2 consumption. Production characteristics of Lactuca sativa L., as a MELiSSA candidate crop, were investigated in this work in the first crop experiments in the MELiSSA Pilot Plant facility. The plants were grown in batch culture and totaled 100 plants with a growing area 5 m long and 1 m wide in a sealed controlled environment. Several replicates of the experiments were carried out with varying duration. It was shown that after 46 days of lettuce cultivation dry edible biomass averaged 27, 2 g per plant. However accumulation of oxygen in the chamber, which required purging of the chamber, and decrease in the food value of the plants was observed. Reducing the duration of the tests allowed uninterrupted test without opening the system and also allowed estimation of the crop's carbon balance. Results of productivity, tissue composition, nutrient uptake and canopy photosynthesis of lettuce regardless of test duration are discussed in the paper.

  16. Short-term responses of leaf growth rate to water deficit scale up to whole-plant and crop levels: an integrated modelling approach in maize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenu, Karine; Chapman, Scott C; Hammer, Graeme L; McLean, Greg; Salah, Halim Ben Haj; Tardieu, François

    2008-03-01

    Physiological and genetic studies of leaf growth often focus on short-term responses, leaving a gap to whole-plant models that predict biomass accumulation, transpiration and yield at crop scale. To bridge this gap, we developed a model that combines an existing model of leaf 6 expansion in response to short-term environmental variations with a model coordinating the development of all leaves of a plant. The latter was based on: (1) rates of leaf initiation, appearance and end of elongation measured in field experiments; and (2) the hypothesis of an independence of the growth between leaves. The resulting whole-plant leaf model was integrated into the generic crop model APSIM which provided dynamic feedback of environmental conditions to the leaf model and allowed simulation of crop growth at canopy level. The model was tested in 12 field situations with contrasting temperature, evaporative demand and soil water status. In observed and simulated data, high evaporative demand reduced leaf area at the whole-plant level, and short water deficits affected only leaves developing during the stress, either visible or still hidden in the whorl. The model adequately simulated whole-plant profiles of leaf area with a single set of parameters that applied to the same hybrid in all experiments. It was also suitable to predict biomass accumulation and yield of a similar hybrid grown in different conditions. This model extends to field conditions existing knowledge of the environmental controls of leaf elongation, and can be used to simulate how their genetic controls flow through to yield.

  17. Research in biomass production and utilization: Systems simulation and analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Albert Stewart

    There is considerable public interest in developing a sustainable biobased economy that favors support of family farms and rural communities and also promotes the development of biorenewable energy resources. This study focuses on a number of questions related to the development and exploration of new pathways that can potentially move us toward a more sustainable biobased economy. These include issues related to biomass fuels for drying grain, economies-of-scale, new biomass harvest systems, sugar-to-ethanol crop alternatives for the Upper Midwest U.S., biomass transportation, post-harvest biomass processing and double cropping production scenarios designed to maximize biomass feedstock production. The first section of this study considers post-harvest drying of shelled corn grain both at farm-scale and at larger community-scaled installations. Currently, drying of shelled corn requires large amounts of fossil fuel energy. To address future energy concerns, this study evaluates the potential use of combined heat and power systems that use the combustion of corn stover to produce steam for drying and to generate electricity for fans, augers, and control components. Because of the large capital requirements for solid fuel boilers and steam turbines/engines, both farm-scale and larger grain elevator-scaled systems benefit by sharing boiler and power infrastructure with other processes. The second and third sections evaluate sweet sorghum as a possible "sugarcane-like" crop that can be grown in the Upper Midwest. Various harvest systems are considered including a prototype mobile juice harvester, a hypothetical one-pass unit that separates grain heads from chopped stalks and traditional forage/silage harvesters. Also evaluated were post-harvest transportation, storage and processing costs and their influence on the possible use of sweet sorghum as a supplemental feedstock for existing dry-grind ethanol plants located in the Upper Midwest. Results show that the concept

  18. Soil phosphatase and urease activities impacted by cropping systems and water management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil enzymes can play an important role in nutrient availability to plants. Consequently, soil enzyme measurements can provide useful information on soil fertility for crop production. We examined the impact of cropping system and water management on phosphatase, urease, and microbial biomass C in s...

  19. Can phosphorus application and cover cropping alter arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities and soybean performance after a five-year phosphorus-unfertilized crop rotational system?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higo, Masao; Sato, Ryohei; Serizawa, Ayu; Takahashi, Yuichi; Gunji, Kento; Tatewaki, Yuya; Isobe, Katsunori

    2018-01-01

    Understanding diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is important for optimizing their role for phosphorus (P) nutrition of soybeans ( Glycine max (L.) Merr.) in P-limited soils. However, it is not clear how soybean growth and P nutrition is related to AMF colonization and diversity of AMF communities in a continuous P-unfertilized cover cropping system. Thus, we investigated the impact of P-application and cover cropping on the interaction among AMF colonization, AMF diversity in soybean roots, soybean growth and P nutrition under a five-year P-unfertilized crop rotation. In this study, we established three cover crop systems (wheat, red clover and oilseed rape) or bare fallow in rotation with soybean. The P-application rates before the seeding of soybeans were 52.5 and 157.5 kg ha -1 in 2014 and 2015, respectively. We measured AMF colonization in soybean roots, soybean growth parameters such as aboveground plant biomass, P uptake at the flowering stage and grain yields at the maturity stage in both years. AMF community structure in soybean roots was characterized by specific amplification of small subunit rDNA. The increase in the root colonization at the flowering stage was small as a result of P-application. Cover cropping did not affect the aboveground biomass and P uptake of soybean in both years, but the P-application had positive effects on the soybean performance such as plant P uptake, biomass and grain yield in 2015. AMF communities colonizing soybean roots were also significantly influenced by P-application throughout the two years. Moreover, the diversity of AMF communities in roots was significantly influenced by P-application and cover cropping in both years, and was positively correlated with the soybean biomass, P uptake and grain yield throughout the two years. Our results indicated that P-application rather than cover cropping may be a key factor for improving soybean growth performance with respect to AMF diversity in P-limited cover

  20. Windbreak effect on biomass and grain mass accumulation of corn: a modeling approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, H.; Brandle, J.R.

    1996-01-01

    While numerous studies have indicated that field windbreaks both improve crop growing conditions and generally enhance crop growth and yield, especially under less favorable conditions, the relationship between the two is not clearly understood. A simple model is proposed to simulate biomass and grain mass accumulation of corn (Zea mays L,) with a windbreak shelter or without (exposed condition). The model is based on the positive relationship between intercepted solar radiation and biomass accumulation and requires plant population and hourly inputs of solar radiation and air temperature. Using published data, radiation use efficiency (RUE) was related to plant population, and a temperature function was established between the relative corn growth and temperature for pre-silking stages. Biomass and grain mass simulated by the model agreed well with those measured for both sheltered and unsheltered plants from 1990 to 1992. Windbreaks did not significantly increase biomass or grain mass of corn for this study, even though air temperature was greater with than without shelter, probably indicating that the microclimatic changes induced by windbreaks were not physiologically significant for the 3-yr period studied. The model has potential use in future studies to relate windbreak effects to crop yield and to evaluate windbreak designs for maximum benefits

  1. The effect of active forms of silicon on the biomass of agricultural crops during their growth period on technogenically altered soils of the Nikopol Manganese Ore Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    І. V. Wagner

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The problem of recovery of technogenically affected soils remains unsolved. Silicon which moves in the “soil – plant” system has been insufficiently studied, though this element takes part in many processes. For assessing the role of silicon compounds, we selected samples of technogenically affected soils of different types in the territory of the research station for land reclamation of Dnіpro State Agrarian-Economic University in the Nikopol Manganese Ore Basin. We conducted a vegetative experiment and a series of laboratory tests with adding SiO2. We chose the following crops: buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench, 1794, vetch (Vicia sativa Linnaeus, 1753 and sunflower (Helianthus annuus Linnaeus, 1753. The рН of the studied soils fluctuated between 7.1 to 7.8. The content of available nitrogen and phosphorus in the soils was low, except the content of phosphorus in pedozems. We analyzed 240 samples of plants and measured their biomass. Vetch grew best on sod-lithogenous soils on forest-like lomy soils, buckwheat and sunflower – on sod-lithogenous soils on grey-green clays. The variant of experiment with 0.2% solution of SiO2 was most the efficient during growing all chosen crops on all types of studied soils. After adding amphoteric silicon, the best biomass indicators of vetch and buckwheat were observed on sod-lithogenous soils on forest-like loam, and indicators for sunflower – on sod-lithogenous soils on grey-green clays. After using 0.3% and 0.4% solution of SiO2, a gel film forms, which the seeds have no energy to penetrate and run out. Thus it slows the plant’s growth. An exception was an experiment with pedozems with adding 0.4% solution of SiO2, when the biomass of vetch was 1.5 times greater than in the experiment with 0.2% solution. We observed no similar positive effect in other variants of the experiment. All chosen crops on technogenically affected soils reacted to addition of silicon compounds by increasing

  2. Parametric Optimization of Biomass Steam-and-Gas Plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Sednin

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper contains a parametric analysis of the simplest scheme of a steam-and gas plant for the conditions required for biomass burning. It has been shown that application of gas-turbine and steam-and-gas plants can significantly exceed an efficiency of steam-power supply units which are used at the present moment. Optimum thermo-dynamical conditions for application of steam-and gas plants with the purpose to burn biomass require new technological solutions in the field of heat-exchange equipment designs.

  3. Willow trees from heavy metals phytoextraction as energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Šyc, Michal; Pohořelý, Michael; Kameníková, Petra; Habart, Jan; Svoboda, Karel; Punčochář, Miroslav

    2012-01-01

    Phytoextraction ability of some fast growing plant species leads to the idea of connecting biomass production with soil remediation of contaminated industrial zones and regions. This biomass will contain significant amount of heavy metals and its energetic utilization has to be considered carefully to minimize negative environmental impacts. This study was focused on potential disposal methods of willow trees contaminated by heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn) with the emphasis on energetic utilization of biomass. Composting seems to be suitable pre-treatment method resulting in decrease of heavy metals leachability and biomass weight reduction. The possibility of willow trees application for energetic purposes was investigated and consequently incineration tests of willow trees samples in fluidized bed reactor were realized. Distribution of selected heavy metals in different ash fractions and treatment methods of produced ashes were studied as well. -- Highlights: ► Composting is an appropriate pre-treatment method for phytoextraction crops. ► Fluidized bed combustion is suitable disposal method of phytoextraction crops. ► Ashes from phytoextraction crops combustion cannot be used as fertilizers.

  4. Plant Biomass Leaching for Nutrient Recovery in Closed Loop Systems Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, Nancy P.; Wheeler, Raymond (Compiler); Lunn, Griffin

    2015-01-01

    Plants will be important for food and O2 production during long term human habitation in space. Recycling of nutrients (e.g., from waste materials) could reduce the resupply costs of fertilizers for growing these plants. Work at NASA's Kennedy Space Center has shown that ion exchange resins can extract fertilizer (plant essential nutrients) from human waste water, after which the residual brine could be treated with electrodialysis to recover more water and produce high value chemicals (e.g., acids and bases). In habitats with significant plant production, inedible biomass becomes a major source of solid waste. To "close the loop" we also need to recover useful nutrients and fertilizer from inedible biomass. We are investigating different approaches to retrieve nutrients from inedible plant biomass, including physical leaching with water, processing the biomass in bioreactors, changing the pH of leaching processing, and/or conducting multiple leaches of biomass residues.

  5. Effect of temperature on biomass allocation in seedlings of two contrasting genotypes of the oilseed crop Ricinus communis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ribeiro de Jesus, P.R.; Zanotti, R.F.; Deflers, C.; Fernandez, L.G.; Castro, De R.D.; Ligterink, W.; Hilhorst, H.W.M.

    2015-01-01

    Ricinus communis is becoming an important crop for oil production, and studying the physiological and biochemical aspects of seedling development may aid in the improvement of crop quality and yield. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of temperature on biomass allocation in two R.

  6. Salicornia as a crop plant in temperate regions: selection of genetically characterized ecotypes and optimization of their cultivation conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Devesh; Buhmann, Anne K; Flowers, Tim J; Seal, Charlotte E; Papenbrock, Jutta

    2014-11-10

    Rising sea levels and salinization of groundwater due to global climate change result in fast-dwindling sources of freshwater. Therefore, it is important to find alternatives to grow food crops and vegetables. Halophytes are naturally evolved salt-tolerant plants that are adapted to grow in environments that inhibit the growth of most glycophytic crop plants substantially. Members of the Salicornioideae are promising candidates for saline agriculture due to their high tolerance to salinity. Our aim was to develop genetically characterized lines of Salicornia and Sarcocornia for further breeding and to determine optimal cultivation conditions. To obtain a large and diverse genetic pool, seeds were collected from different countries and ecological conditions. The external transcribed spacer (ETS) sequence of 62 Salicornia and Sarcocornia accessions was analysed: ETS sequence data showed a clear distinction between the two genera and between different Salicornia taxa. However, in some cases the ETS was not sufficiently variable to resolve morphologically distinct species. For the determination of optimal cultivation conditions, experiments on germination, seedling establishment and growth to a harvestable size were performed using different accessions of Salicornia spp. Experiments revealed that the percentage germination was greatest at lower salinities and with temperatures of 20/10 °C (day/night). Salicornia spp. produced more harvestable biomass in hydroponic culture than in sand culture, but the nutrient concentration requires optimization as hydroponically grown plants showed symptoms of stress. Salicornia ramosissima produced more harvestable biomass than Salicornia dolichostachya in artificial sea water containing 257 mM NaCl. Based on preliminary tests on ease of cultivation, gain in biomass, morphology and taste, S. dolichostachya was investigated in more detail, and the optimal salinity for seedling establishment was found to be 100 mM. Harvesting of S

  7. Transpiration and biomass production of the bioenergy crop Giant Knotweed Igniscum under various supplies of water and nutrients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mantovani Dario

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Soil water availability, nutrient supply and climatic conditions are key factors for plant production. For a sustainable integration of bioenergy plants into agricultural systems, detailed studies on their water uses and growth performances are needed. The new bioenergy plant Igniscum Candy is a cultivar of the Sakhalin Knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis, which is characterized by a high annual biomass production. For the determination of transpiration-yield relations at the whole plant level we used wicked lysimeters at multiple irrigation levels associated with the soil water availability (25, 35, 70, 100% and nitrogen fertilization (0, 50, 100, 150 kg N ha-1. Leaf transpiration and net photosynthesis were determined with a portable minicuvette system. The maximum mean transpiration rate was 10.6 mmol m-2 s-1 for well-watered plants, while the mean net photosynthesis was 9.1 μmol m-2 s-1. The cumulative transpiration of the plants during the growing seasons varied between 49 l (drought stressed and 141 l (well-watered per plant. The calculated transpiration coefficient for Fallopia over all of the treatments applied was 485.6 l kg-1. The transpiration-yield relation of Igniscum is comparable to rye and barley. Its growth performance making Fallopia a potentially good second generation bioenergy crop.

  8. Biomass will grow as a chemical feedstock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coombs, J

    1979-11-30

    This article discusses the possibility of biomass replacing a large fraction of oil use both as a fuel and a chemical feedstock. Problems arise from the low density, calorific value and diffuse nature of plant material which makes collection and processing expensive on both a financial and an energy cost basis. Two distinct sources of biomass are identified: (a) wastes and residues and (b) purpose grown crops. In the same way it is possible to distinguish thermal and biological conversion technologies. Finally, worldwide biomass energy programmes are reviewed.

  9. Rhizosphere Microbiomes Modulated by Pre-crops Assisted Plants in Defense Against Plant-Parasitic Nematodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Elhady

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Plant-parasitic nematodes cause considerable damage to crop plants. The rhizosphere microbiome can affect invasion and reproductive success of plant-parasitic nematodes, thus affecting plant damage. In this study, we investigated how the transplanted rhizosphere microbiome from different crops affect plant-parasitic nematodes on soybean or tomato, and whether the plant’s own microbiome from the rhizosphere protects it better than the microbiome from fallow soil. Soybean plants growing in sterilized substrate were inoculated with the microbiome extracted from the rhizosphere of soybean, maize, or tomato. Controls were inoculated with extracts from bulk soil, or not inoculated. After the microbiome was established, the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans was added. Root invasion of P. penetrans was significantly reduced on soybean plants inoculated with the microbiome from maize or soybean compared to tomato or bulk soil, or the uninoculated control. In the analogous experiment with tomato plants inoculated with either P. penetrans or the root knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita, the rhizosphere microbiomes of maize and tomato reduced root invasion by P. penetrans and M. incognita compared to microbiomes from soybean or bulk soil. Reproduction of M. incognita on tomato followed the same trend, and it was best suppressed by the tomato rhizosphere microbiome. In split-root experiments with soybean and tomato plants, a systemic effect of the inoculated rhizosphere microbiomes on root invasion of P. penetrans was shown. Furthermore, some transplanted microbiomes slightly enhanced plant growth compared to uninoculated plants. The microbiomes from maize rhizosphere and bulk soil increased the fresh weights of roots and shoots of soybean plants, and microbiomes from soybean rhizosphere and bulk soil increased the fresh weights of roots and shoots of tomato plants. Nematode invasion did not affect plant growth in these short-term experiments. In

  10. Handbook of plant cell culture. Volume 2. Crop species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharp, W.R.; Evans, D.A.; Ammirato, P.V.; Yamada, Y. (eds.)

    1984-01-01

    In this volume the state-of-the-art plant cell culture techniques described in the first volume are applied to several agricultural and horticultural crops. In 21 chapters, they include maize, oats, wheat, beans, red clover and other forage legumes, asparagus, celery, cassava, sweet potato, banana, pawpaw, apple, grapes, conifers, date palm, rubber, sugarcane and tobacco. Each chapter contains (1) detailed protocols to serve as the foundation for current research, (2) a critical review of the literature, and (3) in-depth evaluations of the potential shown by plant cell culture for crop improvement. The history and economic importance of each crop are discussed. This volume also includes an essay, ''Oil from plants'', by M. Calvin.

  11. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weih, Martin; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike; Fransson, Petra

    2014-01-01

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  12. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weih, Martin, E-mail: martin.weih@slu.se; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike [Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden); Fransson, Petra [Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden)

    2014-05-22

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  13. Decomposition of fresh and anaerobically digested plant biomass in soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moorhead, K.K.; Graetz, D.A.; Reddy, K.R.

    1987-01-01

    Using water hyacinth [Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms] for waste water renovation produces biomass that must be disposed of. This biomass may be anaerobically digested to produce CH 4 or added to soil directly as an amendment. In this study, fresh and anaerobically digested water hyacinth biomass, with either low or high N tissue content, were added to soil to evaluate C and N mineralization characteristics. The plant biomass was labeled with 15 N before digestion. The fresh plant biomass and digested biomass sludge were freeze-dried and ground to pass a 0.84-mm sieve. The materials were thoroughly mixed with a Kindrick fine sand at a rate of 5 g kg -1 soil and incubated for 90 d at 27 0 C at a moisture content adjusted to 0.01 MPa. Decomposition was evaluated by CO 2 evolution and 15 N mineralization. After 90 d, approximately 20% of the added C of the digested sludges had evolved as CO 2 compared to 39 and 50% of the added C of the fresh plant biomass with a low and high N content, respectively. First-order kinetics were used to describe decomposition stages. Mineralization of organic 15 N to 15 NO 3 - -N accounted for 8% of applied N for both digested sludges at 90 d. Nitrogen mineralization accounted for 3 and 33% of the applied organic N for fresh plant biomass with a low and high N content, respectively

  14. Intensity of Ground Cover Crop Arachis pintoi, Rhizobium Inoculation and Phosphorus Application and Their Effects on Field Growth and Nutrient Status of Cocoa Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Bako Baon

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Arachis pintoiis potentially as a cover crop for cocoa (Theobroma cacaoL. farm, however information regarding its effect on the growth of cocoa plants in the field is very limited. The objective of this experiment is to investigate the combined influence of ground cover crop A. pintoi, rhizobial bacterial inoculation and phosphorus (P fertilizer on the growth of cocoa in the field and nutrient status. This experiment laid out in split-split plot design consisted of three levels of cover crop (without, A. pintoiand Calopogonium caeruleum, two levels of rhizobium inoculation (not inoculated and inoculated and two levels of phosphorus application (no P added and P added. The results showed that in field condition the presence of A. pintoias cover crop did not affect the growth of cocoa. On the other hand, C. caeruleumas cover crop tended to restrict cocoa growth compared to A. pintoi. Application of P increased leaf number of cocoa plant. Biomass production of A. pintoiwas 40% higher than C. caeruleum. Soil organic carbon and nitrogen contents were not affected by ground cover crops, though higher value (0.235% N and 1.63% organic C was obtained from combined treatments of inoculation and P addition or neither inoculation nor P addition. In the case of no rhizobium inoculation, soil N content in cocoa farm with A. pintoicover crop was lower than that of without cover crop or with C. caeruleum. Cover crop increased plant N content when there was no inoculation, on the other hand rhizobium inoculation decreased N content of cocoa tissue. Tissue P content of cocoa plant was not influenced by A. Pintoicover crop or by rhizobium inoculation, except that the P tissue content of cocoa was 28% higher when the cover crop was C. caeruleumand inoculated. Key words : Arachis pintoi, Theobroma cacao, Calopogonium caeruleum, rhizobium, nitrogen, phosphorus.

  15. Diversity of drought-resistant plants and the benefits of their biomass for improving fertility of a degraded soil of Brantas River Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Arisoesilaningsih

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In support of healthy agriculture development to improve farmer’s prosperity status, soil remediation and land conservation efforts maybe relied on the use of biomass of local vegetation. Results of field exploration conducted at Brantas Watershed of East Java indicated that there were at least 154 species of undergrowth scrubs, 47 species of agriculture-plantation crops, and 59 species of road shelter trees. The native undergrowth vegetations had undergone enormous seasonal variations. Biomass of predominance vegetations, e.g. Psophocarpus tetragonolobus, Phaseolus lunatus, Flemingia, Mimosa somian, Acacia villosa, Cassia mimosoides, Mucuna could potentially be used as organic matter sources to improve availability of nitrogen and phosphorus in soils. The amount of nitrogen and phosphorus contributed of the plant biomass significantly correlated with quality of the biomass.

  16. Communal biomass conversion plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holm-Nielsen, J.B.; Huntingford, S.; Halberg, N.

    1993-03-01

    The aim was to show the agricultural advantages of farmers being in connection with Communal Biogas Plant. Whether a more environmentally protectire distribution of plant nutrients from animal manure takes place through a biogas plants distribution system, whether the nitrogen in the digested slurry is better utilized and whether the connection results in slurry transportation-time reduction, are discussed. The average amount of nitrogen from animal manure used per hectare was reduced. The area of manure distribution was larger. The nitrogen efficiency was increased when using digested slurry and purchase of N mineral fertilizer decreased, resulting in considerable reduction in nitrogen leaching. The amount of slurry delivered to the local storage tanks was approximately 45 per cent of the total amount treated on the biogas plant. Conditions of manure transport improved greatly as this was now the responsibility of the communal biomass conversion plant administrators. (AB) (24 refs.)

  17. Life cycle assessment of a biomass gasification combined-cycle power system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mann, M.K.; Spath, P.L.

    1997-12-01

    The potential environmental benefits from biomass power are numerous. However, biomass power may also have some negative effects on the environment. Although the environmental benefits and drawbacks of biomass power have been debated for some time, the total significance has not been assessed. This study serves to answer some of the questions most often raised in regard to biomass power: What are the net CO{sub 2} emissions? What is the energy balance of the integrated system? Which substances are emitted at the highest rates? What parts of the system are responsible for these emissions? To provide answers to these questions, a life cycle assessment (LCA) of a hypothetical biomass power plant located in the Midwest United States was performed. LCA is an analytical tool for quantifying the emissions, resource consumption, and energy use, collectively known as environmental stressors, that are associated with converting a raw material to a final product. Performed in conjunction with a technoeconomic feasibility study, the total economic and environmental benefits and drawbacks of a process can be quantified. This study complements a technoeconomic analysis of the same process, reported in Craig and Mann (1996) and updated here. The process studied is based on the concept of power Generation in a biomass integrated gasification combined cycle (BIGCC) plant. Broadly speaking, the overall system consists of biomass production, its transportation to the power plant, electricity generation, and any upstream processes required for system operation. The biomass is assumed to be supplied to the plant as wood chips from a biomass plantation, which would produce energy crops in a manner similar to the way food and fiber crops are produced today. Transportation of the biomass and other materials is by both rail and truck. The IGCC plant is sized at 113 MW, and integrates an indirectly-heated gasifier with an industrial gas turbine and steam cycle. 63 refs., 34 figs., 32 tabs.

  18. Life cycle assessment of a biomass gasification combined-cycle power system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mann, M.K.; Spath, P.L.

    1997-12-01

    The potential environmental benefits from biomass power are numerous. However, biomass power may also have some negative effects on the environment. Although the environmental benefits and drawbacks of biomass power have been debated for some time, the total significance has not been assessed. This study serves to answer some of the questions most often raised in regard to biomass power: What are the net CO{sub 2} emissions? What is the energy balance of the integrated system? Which substances are emitted at the highest rates? What parts of the system are responsible for these emissions? To provide answers to these questions, a life cycle assessment (LCA) of a hypothetical biomass power plant located in the Midwest United States was performed. LCA is an analytical tool for quantifying the emissions, resource consumption, and energy use, collectively known as environmental stressors, that are associated with converting a raw material to a final product. Performed in conjunction with a t echnoeconomic feasibility study, the total economic and environmental benefits and drawbacks of a process can be quantified. This study complements a technoeconomic analysis of the same process, reported in Craig and Mann (1996) and updated here. The process studied is based on the concept of power Generation in a biomass integrated gasification combined cycle (BIGCC) plant. Broadly speaking, the overall system consists of biomass production, its transportation to the power plant, electricity generation, and any upstream processes required for system operation. The biomass is assumed to be supplied to the plant as wood chips from a biomass plantation, which would produce energy crops in a manner similar to the way food and fiber crops are produced today. Transportation of the biomass and other materials is by both rail and truck. The IGCC plant is sized at 113 MW, and integrates an indirectly-heated gasifier with an industrial gas turbine and steam cycle. 63 refs., 34 figs., 32 tabs.

  19. Uptake and translocation of Ti from nanoparticles in crops and wetland plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Donna L; Borchardt, Joshua D; Navaratnam, Leelaruban; Otte, Marinus L; Bezbaruah, Achintya N

    2013-01-01

    Bioavailability of engineered metal nanoparticles affects uptake in plants, impacts on ecosystems, and phytoremediation. We studied uptake and translocation of Ti in plants when the main source of this metal was TiO2 nanoparticles. Two crops (Phaseolus vulgaris (bean) and Triticum aestivum (wheat)), a wetland species (Rumex crispus, curly dock), and the floating aquatic plant (Elodea canadensis, Canadian waterweed), were grown in nutrient solutions with TiO2 nanoparticles (0, 6, 18 mmol Ti L(-1) for P. vulgaris, T. aestivum, and R. crispus; and 0 and 12 mmol Ti L(-1) for E. canadensis). Also examined in E. canadensis was the influence of TiO2 nanoparticles upon the uptake of Fe, Mn, and Mg, and the influence of P on Ti uptake. For the rooted plants, exposure to TiO2 nanoparticles did not affect biomass production, but significantly increased root Ti sorption and uptake. R. crispus showed translocation of Ti into the shoots. E. canadensis also showed significant uptake of Ti, P in the nutrient solution significantly decreased Ti uptake, and the uptake patterns of Mn and Mg were altered. Ti from nano-Ti was bioavailable to plants, thus showing the potential for cycling in ecosystems and for phytoremediation, particularly where water is the main carrier.

  20. Supply evaluation of a herbaceous and woody energy crop at three midwest regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    English, B.C.; Dillivan, K.D.; Ojo, M.A.

    1994-01-01

    While substantial research has been conducted on the argronomic issues of biomass production and on the processes of converting biofuel crops into energy, little work has been completed analyzing the economic and physical impacts of biofuel production on an agriculturally based region. Acres currently devoted to traditional crops will be replaced by biomass crops if such a conversion proves to be economically attractive. These shifts could have impacts on local and regional levels of farm income, current farmland market values, commodity prices received, and the demand for and prices of farm level inputs. This paper examines the economic and physical ramifications of introducing biomass production to three Midwest regions centered in the following counties; Cass County, North Dakota, Olmsted County, Minnesota, and Orange County, Indiana. Using a regional linear programming model that maximizes net returns to producers subject to several constraints, a supply curve for biomass is developed for each of the three regions. The model predicts that at a plant gate price of $26, $40, and $52 per dry ton, biomass begins to enter into production in the Cass, Olmsted, and Orange Regions respectively. Prices of $28, $44, and $54 per dry ton of biomass are sufficient to supply a quantity necessary to operate a power plant requiring 5,000 dry tons per day in Cass, Olmsted, and Orange regions respectively. In the Olmsted and Orange regions, biomass production results in fertilizer being applied, however, in the Cass Region a slight increase in fertilizer use corresponds to biomass production

  1. Strategic analysis of biomass and waste fuels for electric power generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiltsee, G.A. Jr.; Easterly, J.; Vence, T.

    1993-12-01

    In this report, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) intends to help utility companies evaluate biomass and wastes for power generation. These fuels may be alternatives or supplements to fossil fuels in three applications: (1) utility boiler coining; (2) dedicated combustion/energy recovery plants; and 3) dedicated gasification/combined cycle plants. The report summarizes data on biomass and waste properties, and evaluates the cost and performance of fuel preparation and power generation technologies. The primary biomass and waste resources evaluated are: (1) wood wastes (from forests, mills, construction/demolition, and orchards) and short rotation woody crops; (2) agricultural wastes (from fields, animals, and processing) and herbaceous energy crops; and (3) consumer or industrial wastes (e.g., municipal solid waste, scrap tires, sewage sludge, auto shredder waste). The major fuel types studied in detail are wood, municipal solid waste, and scrap tires. The key products of the project include the BIOPOWER model of biomass/waste-fired power plant performance and cost. Key conclusions of the evaluation are: (1) significant biomass and waste fuel resources are available; (2) biomass power technology cannot currently compete with natural gas-fired combined cycle technology; (3) coining biomass and waste fuels with coal in utility and industrial boilers is the most efficient, lowest cost, and lowest risk method of energy recovery from residual materials; (4) better biomass and waste fuel production and conversion technology must be developed, with the help of coordinated government energy and environmental policies and incentives; and (5) community partnerships can enhance the chances for success of a project

  2. Role of soil, crop debris, and a plant pathogen in Salmonella enterica contamination of tomato plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeri D Barak

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In the U.S., tomatoes have become the most implicated vehicle for produce-associated Salmonellosis with 12 outbreaks since 1998. Although unconfirmed, trace backs suggest pre-harvest contamination with Salmonella enterica. Routes of tomato crop contamination by S. enterica in the absence of direct artificial inoculation have not been investigated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This work examined the role of contaminated soil, the potential for crop debris to act as inoculum from one crop to the next, and any interaction between the seedbourne plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria and S. enterica on tomato plants. Our results show S. enterica can survive for up to six weeks in fallow soil with the ability to contaminate tomato plants. We found S. enterica can contaminate a subsequent crop via crop debris; however a fallow period between crop incorporation and subsequent seeding can affect contamination patterns. Throughout these studies, populations of S. enterica declined over time and there was no bacterial growth in either the phyllosphere or rhizoplane. The presence of X. campestris pv. vesicatoria on co-colonized tomato plants had no effect on the incidence of S. enterica tomato phyllosphere contamination. However, growth of S. enterica in the tomato phyllosphere occurred on co-colonized plants in the absence of plant disease. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: S. enterica contaminated soil can lead to contamination of the tomato phyllosphere. A six week lag period between soil contamination and tomato seeding did not deter subsequent crop contamination. In the absence of plant disease, presence of the bacterial plant pathogen, X. campestris pv. vesicatoria was beneficial to S. enterica allowing multiplication of the human pathogen population. Any event leading to soil contamination with S. enterica could pose a public health risk with subsequent tomato production, especially in areas prone to bacterial spot disease.

  3. Formowanie powierzchni asymilacyjnej i biomasy przez rośliny buraków cukrowych [Formation of the assimilation area and biomass by sugar beet plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Olech

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Measurements were carried out of the assimilation area, NAR value, the crop growth rate (C and of the yield of roots and leaves of sugar beet plants in a production field during two successive vegetation years. An interdependence was found between the formation of the assimilation area in the canopy and the final yield of biomass. The assimilation area depended mainly on the date of sowing. In 1975, the sowing was earlier by 15 days, amid this resulted in a much more favourable LAI and in a higher yield of biomass. During both vegetation years, a violent decrease of the crop growth rate was observed at the end of August and at the beginning of September. This may be due to an unfavourable change in the ratio of the area of younger, photosynthetically active leaves to older, less active leaves and also to the increased participation of the loss of the assimilates resulting from stronger respiration of the fast growing roots while the photosynthesis of the whole plants decreases.

  4. Genome-Wide Analysis of miRNA targets in Brachypodium and Biomass Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Green, Pamela J. [Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States)

    2015-08-11

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) contribute to the control of numerous biological processes through the regulation of specific target mRNAs. Although the identities of these targets are essential to elucidate miRNA function, the targets are much more difficult to identify than the small RNAs themselves. Before this work, we pioneered the genome-wide identification of the targets of Arabidopsis miRNAs using an approach called PARE (German et al., Nature Biotech. 2008; Nature Protocols, 2009). Under this project, we applied PARE to Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium), a model plant in the Poaceae family, which includes the major food grain and bioenergy crops. Through in-depth global analysis and examination of specific examples, this research greatly expanded our knowledge of miRNAs and target RNAs of Brachypodium. New regulation in response to environmental stress or tissue type was found, and many new miRNAs were discovered. More than 260 targets of new and known miRNAs with PARE sequences at the precise sites of miRNA-guided cleavage were identified and characterized. Combining PARE data with the small RNA data also identified the miRNAs responsible for initiating approximately 500 phased loci, including one of the novel miRNAs. PARE analysis also revealed that differentially expressed miRNAs in the same family guide specific target RNA cleavage in a correspondingly tissue-preferential manner. The project included generation of small RNA and PARE resources for bioenergy crops, to facilitate ongoing discovery of conserved miRNA-target RNA regulation. By associating specific miRNA-target RNA pairs with known physiological functions, the research provides insights about gene regulation in different tissues and in response to environmental stress. This, and release of new PARE and small RNA data sets should contribute basic knowledge to enhance breeding and may suggest new strategies for improvement of biomass energy crops.

  5. Biomass resources in California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tiangco, V.M.; Sethi, P.S. [California Energy Commission, Sacramento, CA (United States)

    1993-12-31

    The biomass resources in California which have potential for energy conversion were assessed and characterized through the project funded by the California Energy Commission and the US Department of Energy`s Western Regional Biomass Energy Program (WRBEP). The results indicate that there is an abundance of biomass resources as yet untouched by the industry due to technical, economic, and environmental problems, and other barriers. These biomass resources include residues from field and seed crops, fruit and nut crops, vegetable crops, and nursery crops; food processing wastes; forest slash; energy crops; lumber mill waste; urban wood waste; urban yard waste; livestock manure; and chaparral. The estimated total potential of these biomass resource is approximately 47 million bone dry tons (BDT), which is equivalent to 780 billion MJ (740 trillion Btu). About 7 million BDT (132 billion MJ or 124 trillion Btu) of biomass residue was used for generating electricity by 66 direct combustion facilities with gross capacity of about 800 MW. This tonnage accounts for only about 15% of the total biomass resource potential identified in this study. The barriers interfering with the biomass utilization both in the on-site harvesting, collection, storage, handling, transportation, and conversion to energy are identified. The question whether these barriers present significant impact to biomass {open_quotes}availability{close_quotes} and {open_quotes}sustainability{close_quotes} remains to be answered.

  6. Modifying plants for biofuel and biomaterial production.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Plant mutation breeding for crop improvement. V.1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    This volume contains the proceedings of the first two sessions of the FAO/IAEA Symposium on Plant Mutation Breeding for Crop Improvement, focussing on mutation breeding in particular countries and crop-specific mutation breeding. The individual contributions are indexed separately. Although a wide variety of topics is included, the emphasis is on the use of (mainly gamma) radiation to induce economically useful mutants in cereals and legumes. The results of many conventional plant breeding programs are also presented. Refs, figs and tabs

  8. Design of novel DME/methanol synthesis plants based on gasification of biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Lasse Røngaard

    -scale DME plants based on gasification of torrefied biomass. 2. Small-scale DME/methanol plants based on gasification of wood chips. 3. Alternative methanol plants based on electrolysis of water and gasification of biomass. The plants were modeled by using the component based thermodynamic modeling...... why the differences, in biomass to DME/methanol efficiency, between the small-scale and the large-scale plants, showed not to be greater, was the high cold gas efficiency of the gasifier used in the small-scale plants (93%). By integrating water electrolysis in a large-scale methanol plant, an almost...... large-scale DME plant) to 63%, due to the relatively inefficient electrolyser....

  9. Energizing marginal soils: A perennial cropping system for Sida hermaphrodita

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabel, Moritz; Poorter, Hendrik; Temperton, Vicky; Schrey, Silvia D.; Koller, Robert; Schurr, Ulrich; Jablonowski, Nicolai D.

    2017-04-01

    As a way to avoid land use conflicts, the use of marginal soils for the production of plant biomass can be a sustainable alternative to conventional biomass production (e.g. maize). However, new cropping strategies have to be found that meet the challenge of crop production under marginal soil conditions. We aim for increased soil fertility by the use of the perennial crop Sida hermaphrodita in combination with organic fertilization and legume intercropping to produce substantial biomass yield. We present results of a three-year outdoor mesocosm experiment testing the perennial energy crop Sida hermaphrodita grown on a marginal model substrate (sand) with four kinds of fertilization (Digestate broadcast, Digestate Depot, mineral NPK and unfertilized control) in combination with legume intercropping. After three years, organic fertilization (via biogas digestate) compared to mineral fertilization (NPK), reduced the nitrate concentration in leachate and increased the soil carbon content. Biomass yields of Sida were 25% higher when fertilized organically, compared to mineral fertilizer. In general, digestate broadcast application reduced root growth and the wettability of the sandy substrate. However, when digestate was applied locally as depot to the rhizosphere, root growth increased and the wettability of the sandy substrate was preserved. Depot fertilization increased biomass yield by 10% compared to digestate broadcast fertilization. We intercropped Sida with various legumes (Trifolium repens, Trifolium pratense, Melilotus spp. and Medicago sativa) to enable biological nitrogen fixation and make the cropping system independent from synthetically produced fertilizers. We could show that Medicago sativa grown on marginal substrate fixed large amounts of N, especially when fertilized organically, whereas mineral fertilization suppressed biological nitrogen fixation. We conclude that the perennial energy crop Sida in combination with organic fertilization has great

  10. Not all GMOs are crop plants: non-plant GMO applications in agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hokanson, K E; Dawson, W O; Handler, A M; Schetelig, M F; St Leger, R J

    2014-12-01

    Since tools of modern biotechnology have become available, the most commonly applied and often discussed genetically modified organisms are genetically modified crop plants, although genetic engineering is also being used successfully in organisms other than plants, including bacteria, fungi, insects, and viruses. Many of these organisms, as with crop plants, are being engineered for applications in agriculture, to control plant insect pests or diseases. This paper reviews the genetically modified non-plant organisms that have been the subject of permit approvals for environmental release by the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service since the US began regulating genetically modified organisms. This is an indication of the breadth and progress of research in the area of non-plant genetically modified organisms. This review includes three examples of promising research on non-plant genetically modified organisms for application in agriculture: (1) insects for insect pest control using improved vector systems; (2) fungal pathogens of insects to control insect pests; and (3) virus for use as transient-expression vectors for disease control in plants.

  11. Communal biomass conversion plants. From idea to reality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-11-01

    The first Danish biomass conversion plant for the production of methane was built in the nineteen seventies. It was just a little plant based on manure slurries from a local herd of farm animals. It was not until the nineteen eighties that larger plants were established so that enough methane could be produced as part fuels for decentral district heating and/or cogeneration plants. By November 1995 there were 15 communal biomass conversion plants producing methane in Denmark, three more plants were in the course of establishment and a number of similar projects were on the drawing board. The history of this development is narrated and plans for the future are indicated. The document also deals with the technological aspects, operational economics, environmental impacts, resources and re-use, wastes used as fertilizers, household organic wastes and sewage slam, standards of hygiene and reduction of infection risks, exports and commercial development and socio-economic evaluations in addition to areas within this field which need special attention in the very near future. It is concluded that the economics of Danish biomass conversion plants have improved significantly since 1987, and many older plants have been brought right up to date. Improvements in technology and an increase in the supply of industrial wastes have increased production. Details of the basis of many other betterments that have taken place in recent years are also given. (AB) 27 refs

  12. Biomass plantations - energy farming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paul, S.

    1981-02-01

    Mounting oil import bills in India are restricting her development programmes by forcing the cutting down of the import of other essential items. But the countries of the tropics have abundant sunlight and vast tracts of arable wastelands. Energy farming is proposed in the shape of energy plantations through forestry or energy cropping through agricultural media, to provide power fuels for transport and the industries and also to provide fuelwoods for the domestic sector. Short rotation cultivation is discussed and results are given of two main species that are being tried, ipil-ipil and Casuarina. Evaluations are made on the use of various crops such as sugar cane, cassava and kenaf as fuel crops together with hydrocarbon plants and aquatic biomass. (Refs. 20)

  13. Microbial Biomass Changes during Decomposition of Plant Residues in a Lixisol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kachaka, SK.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available A lixisol was amended with four different alley cropping species: Senna siamea, Leucaena leucocephala, Dactyladenia barteri and Flemingia macrophylla. Soil samples were incubated for 140 days at 25 °C and the soil microbial biomass was determined by the ninhydrin extraction method along the incubation period. The soil microbial biomass values ranged between 80 and 600 mg.kg-1 and followed, in all cases, the decreasing order: Leucaena> Senna> Flemingia> Dactyladenia.

  14. Regional economic impacts of biomass based energy service use: A comparison across crops and technologies for East Styria, Austria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trink, Thomas; Schmid, Christoph; Schinko, Thomas; Steininger, Karl W.; Loibnegger, Thomas; Kettner, Claudia; Pack, Alexandra; Toeglhofer, Christoph

    2010-01-01

    Biomass action plans in many European countries seek to expand biomass heat and fuel supply, mainly to be supplied by peripheral, agricultural regions. We develop a two-plus-ten-region energy-focused computable general equilibrium (CGE) model that acknowledges land competition in analysing the sub-state local-regional economic implications of such a strategy, embedded within a global context. Our model is based on a full cost analysis of selected biomass technologies covering a range of agricultural and forestry crops, as well as thermal insulation. The local-regional macroeconomic effects differ significantly across technologies and are governed by factors such as net labour intensity in crop production. The high land intensity of agricultural biomass products crowds out conventional agriculture, and thus lowers employment and drives up land prices and the consumer price index. The regional economic results show that net employment effects are positive for all forestry based biomass energy, and also show for which agriculture based biomass systems this is true, even when accounting for land competition. When regional consumer price development governs regional wages or when the agricultural sector is in strong enough competition to the international market, positive employment and welfare impacts vanish fully for agriculture based bio-energy.

  15. Phytoremediation of soils polluted by heavy metals and metalloids using crops: (ii early results from the in situ experiment of torviscosa (udine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Marchiol

    Full Text Available Two annual high biomass yield crops – Sorghum bicolor and Helianthus annuus – were grown in a soil polluted by pyrite cinders. Specific aims of this work were: to observe the concentration of metals in plants during the crop cycle and to establish the amount of metal removal by the crops. The field trial was arranged in a randomized block design. The concentrations of heavy metals in the soil were: As 309, Cd 4.90, Co 50.9, Cu 1527, Pb 233 and Zn 980 mg kg-1. The crops received respectively mineral fertilization and organic amendment while plants in control soil did not receive any input. The phytoextraction potential of crops was estimated during the whole growth cycle; the concentration of the metals in the plant roots and in the harvestable biomass and two bioconcentration factors are reported. The amelioration of the nutritive status of soil resulted highly effective for the biomass yield but not in the concentration of metals in plant fractions. The evaluation of the potential of phytoremediation of our plants compared to other crops in terms of metal removal, was positive. Sorghum performed better than sunflower removing from the soil 220 g ha-1 of As, 5.6 g ha-1 of Cd, 30.2 g ha-1 of Co, 820 g ha-1 of Cu, 107 g ha-1 of Pb and 1944 g ha-1 of Zn.

  16. Phytoremediation of soils polluted by heavy metals and metalloids using crops: (ii early results from the in situ experiment of torviscosa (udine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Zerbi

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Two annual high biomass yield crops – Sorghum bicolor and Helianthus annuus – were grown in a soil polluted by pyrite cinders. Specific aims of this work were: to observe the concentration of metals in plants during the crop cycle and to establish the amount of metal removal by the crops. The field trial was arranged in a randomized block design. The concentrations of heavy metals in the soil were: As 309, Cd 4.90, Co 50.9, Cu 1527, Pb 233 and Zn 980 mg kg-1. The crops received respectively mineral fertilization and organic amendment while plants in control soil did not receive any input. The phytoextraction potential of crops was estimated during the whole growth cycle; the concentration of the metals in the plant roots and in the harvestable biomass and two bioconcentration factors are reported. The amelioration of the nutritive status of soil resulted highly effective for the biomass yield but not in the concentration of metals in plant fractions. The evaluation of the potential of phytoremediation of our plants compared to other crops in terms of metal removal, was positive. Sorghum performed better than sunflower removing from the soil 220 g ha-1 of As, 5.6 g ha-1 of Cd, 30.2 g ha-1 of Co, 820 g ha-1 of Cu, 107 g ha-1 of Pb and 1944 g ha-1 of Zn.

  17. Understanding Biomass Ignition in Power Plant Mills

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schwarzer, Lars; Jensen, Peter Arendt; Glarborg, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Converting existing coal fired power plants to biomass is a readily implemented strategy to increase the share of renewable energy. However, changing from one fuel to another is not straightforward: Experience shows that wood pellets ignite more readily than coal in power plant mills or storages...

  18. Relationship between Remote Sensing Data, Plant Biomass and Soil Nitrogen Dynamics in Intensively Managed Grasslands under Controlled Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoblauch, Christoph; Watson, Conor; Berendonk, Clara; Becker, Rolf; Wrage-Mönnig, Nicole; Wichern, Florian

    2017-06-23

    The sustainable use of grasslands in intensive farming systems aims to optimize nitrogen (N) inputs to increase crop yields and decrease harmful losses to the environment at the same time. To achieve this, simple optical sensors may provide a non-destructive, time- and cost-effective tool for estimating plant biomass in the field, considering spatial and temporal variability. However, the plant growth and related N uptake is affected by the available N in the soil, and therefore, N mineralization and N losses. These soil N dynamics and N losses are affected by the N input and environmental conditions, and cannot easily be determined non-destructively. Therefore, the question arises: whether a relationship can be depicted between N fertilizer levels, plant biomass and N dynamics as indicated by nitrous oxide (N₂O) losses and inorganic N levels. We conducted a standardized greenhouse experiment to explore the potential of spectral measurements for analyzing yield response, N mineralization and N₂O emissions in a permanent grassland. Ryegrass was subjected to four mineral fertilizer input levels over 100 days (four harvests) under controlled environmental conditions. The soil temperature and moisture content were automatically monitored, and the emission rates of N₂O and carbon dioxide (CO₂) were detected frequently. Spectral measurements of the swards were performed directly before harvesting. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and simple ratio (SR) were moderately correlated with an increasing biomass as affected by fertilization level. Furthermore, we found a non-linear response of increasing N₂O emissions to elevated fertilizer levels. Moreover, inorganic N and extractable organic N levels at the end of the experiment tended to increase with the increasing N fertilizer addition. However, microbial biomass C and CO₂ efflux showed no significant differences among fertilizer treatments, reflecting no substantial changes in the soil

  19. THE BREAKEVEN POINT GIVEN LIMIT COST USING BIOMASS CHP PLANT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula VOICU

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Biomass is a renewable source, non-fossil, from which can be obtained fuels, which can be used in power generation systems. The main difference of fossil fuels is the availability biomass in nature and that it is in continue "reproduction". The use its enable the use of materials that could be destined destruction, as a source of energy "renewable", though result with many ecological values. In this paper we will study, applying a calculation model in view optimal sizing of the cogeneration plant based on biomass, biomass cost limit for the net present value is zero. It will consider that in cogeneration systems and in heating peak systems using biomass. After applying the mathematical model for limit value of biomass cost will determine the nominal optimal coefficient of cogeneration, for which discounted net revenue value is zero. Optimal sizing of CHP plants based on using biomass will be given by optimum coefficient of cogeneration determined following the application of the proposed mathematical model.

  20. Relationships between phenological and yield traits of the plant crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Multiple correlation of phenological and yield traits of the plant crop (PC) with those of the first ratoon crop (RC) of 36 Musa genotypes was carried out. The genotypes were landraces (triploid) belonging to AAA, AAB and ABB Musa genomic groups and hybrids (mostly tetraploid) thereof. The plants were grown under four ...

  1. Root biomass and exudates link plant diversity with soil bacterial and fungal biomass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Lanoue, Arnaud; Strecker, Tanja; Scheu, Stefan; Steinauer, Katja; Thakur, Madhav P.; Mommer, Liesje

    2017-01-01

    Plant diversity has been shown to determine the composition and functioning of soil biota. Although root-derived organic inputs are discussed as the main drivers of soil communities, experimental evidence is scarce. While there is some evidence that higher root biomass at high plant diversity

  2. Envirotyping for deciphering environmental impacts on crop plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yunbi

    2016-04-01

    Global climate change imposes increasing impacts on our environments and crop production. To decipher environmental impacts on crop plants, the concept "envirotyping" is proposed, as a third "typing" technology, complementing with genotyping and phenotyping. Environmental factors can be collected through multiple environmental trials, geographic and soil information systems, measurement of soil and canopy properties, and evaluation of companion organisms. Envirotyping contributes to crop modeling and phenotype prediction through its functional components, including genotype-by-environment interaction (GEI), genes responsive to environmental signals, biotic and abiotic stresses, and integrative phenotyping. Envirotyping, driven by information and support systems, has a wide range of applications, including environmental characterization, GEI analysis, phenotype prediction, near-iso-environment construction, agronomic genomics, precision agriculture and breeding, and development of a four-dimensional profile of crop science involving genotype (G), phenotype (P), envirotype (E) and time (T) (developmental stage). In the future, envirotyping needs to zoom into specific experimental plots and individual plants, along with the development of high-throughput and precision envirotyping platforms, to integrate genotypic, phenotypic and envirotypic information for establishing a high-efficient precision breeding and sustainable crop production system based on deciphered environmental impacts.

  3. Crop Resources Ethic in Plant Genetic Engineering and Fortune Transfer Between Generations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Xiaowei; DING Guangzhou; LIANG Xueqing

    2006-01-01

    The relation between human and crop resources belongs to the ethic of resources exploitation. The purposes of discussing the ethic of crop resources are to protect the ecology and safety of crops, to gain sustainable development, furthermore, to choose and form the production structure that is favorable to saving crop resources and protecting the ecology of crops. Plant genetic engineering is the technology of molecule breeding of rearrangement of inheritance materials at the level of molecule directionally, of improving plant properties and of breeding high quality and yield varieties of crops. The prominent effects of the technology on the crop ecological system are human subjective factors increasing as well as violating the nature and intensifying the conflict between human being and nature.Therefore, in plant genetic engineering, crop resources exploitation should follow certain ethic principles. Under the theory of ethics of natural resources, by the means of biologioal statistics, the author systematically analyzed the possible model of crop resources transfer between generations as well as the transfer mode of magnitude of real materials and magnitude of value.

  4. Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Biomass Power Plant in Morocco and a Photovoltaic Installation in Algeria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Galan, A.; Gonzalez Leal, J.; Varela, M.

    1999-01-01

    This report presents an overview of cost-benefit analysis general methodology, describing its principles and basic characteristics. This methodology was applied to two case studies analyzed in the project INTERSUDMED, one biomass power plant fed by energy crops in El Hajeb (Morocco) and the other a photovoltaic installation in Djanet (Algeria). Both cases have been selected among the ones analyzed in the INTERSUDMED Project because of their interesting social implications and possible alternatives, that make them most suitable for cost-benefit analysis application. Finally, this report addresses the conclusions of both studies and summarizes the most relevant obtained results. (Author) 13 refs

  5. Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Biomass Power Plant in Morocco and a Photovoltaic Installation in Algeria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galan, A.; Gonzalez Leal, J.; Varela, M.

    1999-07-01

    This report presents an overview of cost-benefit analysis general methodology, describing its principles and basic characteristics. This methodology was applied to two case studies analyzed in the project INTERSUDMED, one biomass power plant fed by energy crops in El Hajeb (Morocco) and the other a photovoltaic installation in Djanet (Algeria). Both cases have been selected among the ones analyzed in the INTERSUDMED Project because of their interesting social implications and possible alternatives, that make them most suitable for cost-benefit analysis application. Finally, this report addresses the conclusions of both studies and summarizes the most relevant obtained results. (Author) 13 refs.

  6. Economic development through biomass system integration: Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DeLong, M.M. [Northern States Power Co., Minneapolis, MN (United States)

    1995-10-01

    This report documents a feasibility study for an integrated biomass power system, where an energy crop (alfalfa) is the feedstock for a processing plant and a power plant (integrated gasification combined cycle) in a way that benefits the facility owners. Chapters describe alfalfa basics, production risks, production economics, transportation and storage, processing, products, market analysis, business analysis, environmental impact, and policy issues. 69 figs., 63 tabs.

  7. Herbaceous energy crops in humid lower South USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prine, G.M.; Woodard, K.R. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    1993-12-31

    The humid lower South has the long warm growing season and high rainfall conditions needed for producing high-yielding perennial herbaceous grasses and shrubs. Many potential biomass plants were evaluated during a ten-year period. Perennial tall grasses such as elephantgrass (Pennisetum purpureum), sugarcane and energycane (Saccharum spp.) and the leguminous shrub Leucaena leucocephala were the highest in biomass production. These perennial crops often have top growth killed by winter freezes and regenerate from underground parts. The tall grasses have high yields because of linear crop growth rates of 18 to 27 g m{sup 2} d{sup {minus}1} for long periods (140 to 196 d) each season. Tall grasses must be planted vegetatively, which is more costly than seed propagation, however, once established, they may persist for many seasons. Oven dry biomass yields have varied from 20 to 45 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} yr{sup {minus}1} in colder subtropical to mild temperate locations to over 60 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} yr{sup {minus}1} in the lower portion of the Florida peninsular. Highest biomass yields have been produced when irrigated with sewage effluent or when grown on phosphatic clay and muck soils in south Florida. The energy content of 1 Mg of oven dry tall grass and leucaena is equivalent to that of about 112 and 123 gallons of number 2 diesel fuel, respectively.

  8. Progress and challenges for abiotic stress proteomics of crop plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkla, Bronwyn J; Vera-Estrella, Rosario; Pantoja, Omar

    2013-06-01

    Plants are continually challenged to recognize and respond to adverse changes in their environment to avoid detrimental effects on growth and development. Understanding the mechanisms that crop plants employ to resist and tolerate abiotic stress is of considerable interest for designing agriculture breeding strategies to ensure sustainable productivity. The application of proteomics technologies to advance our knowledge in crop plant abiotic stress tolerance has increased dramatically in the past few years as evidenced by the large amount of publications in this area. This is attributed to advances in various technology platforms associated with MS-based techniques as well as the accessibility of proteomics units to a wider plant research community. This review summarizes the work which has been reported for major crop plants and evaluates the findings in context of the approaches that are widely employed with the aim to encourage broadening the strategies used to increase coverage of the proteome. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. Efficacy of Cotton Root Destruction and Winter Cover Crops for Suppression of Hoplolaimus columbus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, R F; Baird, R E; McNeil, R D

    2000-12-01

    The efficacy of rye (Secale cereale) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) winter cover crops and cotton stalk and root destruction (i.e., pulling them up) were evaluated in field tests during two growing seasons for Hoplolaimus columbus management in cotton. The effect of removing debris from the field following root destruction also was evaluated. Wheat and rye produced similar amounts of biomass, and both crops produced more biomass (P Cover crops did not suppress H. columbus population levels or increase subsequent cotton yields. Cotton root destruction did not affect cotton stand or plant height the following year. Cotton root destruction lowered (P rye or wheat cover crop or cotton root destruction following harvest is ineffective for H. columbus management in cotton.

  10. Crop residue decomposition in Minnesota biochar-amended plots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weyers, S. L.; Spokas, K. A.

    2014-06-01

    Impacts of biochar application at laboratory scales are routinely studied, but impacts of biochar application on decomposition of crop residues at field scales have not been widely addressed. The priming or hindrance of crop residue decomposition could have a cascading impact on soil processes, particularly those influencing nutrient availability. Our objectives were to evaluate biochar effects on field decomposition of crop residue, using plots that were amended with biochars made from different plant-based feedstocks and pyrolysis platforms in the fall of 2008. Litterbags containing wheat straw material were buried in July of 2011 below the soil surface in a continuous-corn cropped field in plots that had received one of seven different biochar amendments or a uncharred wood-pellet amendment 2.5 yr prior to start of this study. Litterbags were collected over the course of 14 weeks. Microbial biomass was assessed in treatment plots the previous fall. Though first-order decomposition rate constants were positively correlated to microbial biomass, neither parameter was statistically affected by biochar or wood-pellet treatments. The findings indicated only a residual of potentially positive and negative initial impacts of biochars on residue decomposition, which fit in line with established feedstock and pyrolysis influences. Overall, these findings indicate that no significant alteration in the microbial dynamics of the soil decomposer communities occurred as a consequence of the application of plant-based biochars evaluated here.

  11. A targeted management of the nutrient solution in a soilless tomato crop according to plant needs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelo eSignore

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The adoption of closed soilless systems is useful in minimizing the environmental impact of the greenhouse crops. Instead, a significant problem in closed soilless systems is represented by the accumulation of ions in the recycled nutrient solution, in particular the unabsorbed or poorly absorbed ones. To overcome such problem, we: 1 studied the effect of several values of the electrical conductivity (EC of nutrient solution in a NFT (Nutrient Film Technique system on a cherry type tomato crop, and 2 define a NS (called recovery solution, based on the concept of uptake concentration and transpiration-biomass ratio, that fits the real needs of the plant with respect to water and nutrients. Three levels of EC set point (SP, above which the NS was completely replaced (SP5, SP7.5, and SP10 for the EC limit of 5, 7.5 and 10 dS m-1, respectively, were established. The SP10 treatment yield was not different from other treatments, and it allowed a better quality of the berries (for dry matter and total soluble solids and higher environmental sustainability due to a lower discharge of total nutrients into the environment (37 and 59% with respect to SP7.5 and SP5, respectively.The recovery solution used in the second trial allowed a more punctual NS management, by adapting to the real needs of the crop. Moreover, it allowed a lesser amount of water and nutrients to be discharged into the environment and a better use of brackish water, due to a more accurate management of the EC of the NS. The targeted management, based on transpiration-biomass ratio, indicates that, in some stages of the plant cycle, the nutrient solution used can be diluted, in order to save water and nutrients. With such management a closed cycle can be realized without affecting the yield, but improving the quality of the tomato berries.

  12. Uncertain and multi-objective programming models for crop planting structure optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mo LI,Ping GUO,Liudong ZHANG,Chenglong ZHANG

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Crop planting structure optimization is a significant way to increase agricultural economic benefits and improve agricultural water management. The complexities of fluctuating stream conditions, varying economic profits, and uncertainties and errors in estimated modeling parameters, as well as the complexities among economic, social, natural resources and environmental aspects, have led to the necessity of developing optimization models for crop planting structure which consider uncertainty and multi-objectives elements. In this study, three single-objective programming models under uncertainty for crop planting structure optimization were developed, including an interval linear programming model, an inexact fuzzy chance-constrained programming (IFCCP model and an inexact fuzzy linear programming (IFLP model. Each of the three models takes grayness into account. Moreover, the IFCCP model considers fuzzy uncertainty of parameters/variables and stochastic characteristics of constraints, while the IFLP model takes into account the fuzzy uncertainty of both constraints and objective functions. To satisfy the sustainable development of crop planting structure planning, a fuzzy-optimization-theory-based fuzzy linear multi-objective programming model was developed, which is capable of reflecting both uncertainties and multi-objective. In addition, a multi-objective fractional programming model for crop structure optimization was also developed to quantitatively express the multi-objective in one optimization model with the numerator representing maximum economic benefits and the denominator representing minimum crop planting area allocation. These models better reflect actual situations, considering the uncertainties and multi-objectives of crop planting structure optimization systems. The five models developed were then applied to a real case study in Minqin County, north-west China. The advantages, the applicable conditions and the solution methods

  13. The sunflower transcription factor HaHB11 improves yield, biomass and tolerance to flooding in transgenic Arabidopsis plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabello, Julieta V; Giacomelli, Jorge I; Piattoni, Claudia V; Iglesias, Alberto A; Chan, Raquel L

    2016-03-20

    HaHB11 is a member of the sunflower homeodomain-leucine zipper I subfamily of transcription factors. The analysis of a sunflower microarray hybridized with RNA from HaHB11-transformed leaf-disks indicated the regulation of many genes encoding enzymes from glycolisis and fermentative pathways. A 1300bp promoter sequence, fused to the GUS reporter gene, was used to transform Arabidopsis plants showing an induction of expression after flooding treatments, concurrently with HaHB11 regulation by submergence in sunflower. Arabidopsis transgenic plants expressing HaHB11 under the control of the CaMV 35S promoter and its own promoter were obtained and these plants exhibited significant increases in rosette and stem biomass. All the lines produced more seeds than controls and particularly, those of high expression level doubled seeds yield. Transgenic plants also showed tolerance to flooding stress, both to submergence and waterlogging. Carbohydrates contents were higher in the transgenics compared to wild type and decreased less after submergence treatments. Finally, transcript levels of selected genes involved in glycolisis and fermentative pathways as well as the corresponding enzymatic activities were assessed both, in sunflower and transgenic Arabidopsis plants, before and after submergence. Altogether, the present work leads us to propose HaHB11 as a biotechnological tool to improve crops yield, biomass and flooding tolerance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Not all GMOs are crop plants: non-plant GMO applications in agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the time since the tools of modern biotechnology have become available, the most commonly applied and often discussed genetically modified organisms are genetically modified crop plants, although genetic engineering is also being used successfully in organisms other than plants, including bacteri...

  15. Quantifying the Effects of Biomass Market Conditions and Policy Incentives on Economically Feasible Sites to Establish Dedicated Energy Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandhya Nepal

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This study used a spatially-explicit model to identify the amount and spatial distribution of economically feasible sites for establishing dedicated energy crops under various market and policy scenarios. A sensitivity analysis was performed for a biomass market with different discount rates and biomass prices as well as policy scenarios including propriety tax exemption, carbon offset payments, and the inclusion of farmland for biomass production. The model was applied to a four-county study area in Kentucky representing conditions commonly found in the Ohio River Valley. Results showed that both biomass price and discount rate have a can strongly influence the amount of economically efficient sites. Rising the biomass price by 5 $·t−1 and lowering discount rate by 1% from the baseline scenario (40 $·t−1 and 5% resulted in an over fourteen fold increment. Property tax exemption resulted in a fourfold increase, a carbon payment on only 1 $·t−1 caused a twelve fold increase and extending the landbase from marginal land to farmland only slightly increase the economically efficient sites. These results provide an objective evaluation of market and policy scenarios in terms of their potential to increase land availability for establishing dedicated energy crops and to promote the bioenergy industry.

  16. Materials Problems and Solutions in Biomass Fired Plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ole Hede; Montgomery, Melanie

    2006-01-01

    ascribed to the composition of the deposit and the metal surface temperature. In woodchip boilers, a similar corrosion rate and corrosion mechanism has on some occasions been observed. Co-firing of straw (10 and 20% energy basis) with coal has shown corrosion rates lower than those in straw-fired plants......Due to Denmark’s pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, biomass is utilised increasingly as a fuel for generating energy. Extensive research and demonstration projects especially in the area of material performance for biomass fired boilers have been undertaken to make biomass a viable fuel...... resource. When straw is combusted, potassium chloride and potassium sulphate are present in ash products, which condense on superheater components. This gives rise to specific chlorine corrosion problems not previously encountered in coal-fired power plants. The type of corrosion attack can be directly...

  17. Improvement of oil-seed and industrial crops by induced mutations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

    Out of 22 papers presented, seven dealing with the genetic improvement of crops using ionizing radiations, fall within the INIS subject scope. Other topics covered were oil-seed quality requirements for industrial processing and concepts of improving biomass production from higher plants

  18. Advantage of hyperspectral EO-1 Hyperion over multispectral IKONOS, GeoEye-1, WorldView-2, Landsat ETM+, and MODIS vegetation indices in crop biomass estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Michael T.; Thenkabail, Prasad S.

    2015-01-01

    Crop biomass is increasingly being measured with surface reflectance data derived from multispectral broadband (MSBB) and hyperspectral narrowband (HNB) space-borne remotely sensed data to increase the accuracy and efficiency of crop yield models used in a wide array of agricultural applications. However, few studies compare the ability of MSBBs versus HNBs to capture crop biomass variability. Therefore, we used standard data mining techniques to identify a set of MSBB data from the IKONOS, GeoEye-1, Landsat ETM+, MODIS, WorldView-2 sensors and compared their performance with HNB data from the EO-1 Hyperion sensor in explaining crop biomass variability of four important field crops (rice, alfalfa, cotton, maize). The analysis employed two-band (ratio) vegetation indices (TBVIs) and multiband (additive) vegetation indices (MBVIs) derived from Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) and stepwise regression. Results demonstrated that HNB-derived TBVIs and MBVIs performed better than MSBB-derived TBVIs and MBVIs on a per crop basis and for the pooled data: overall, HNB TBVIs explained 5–31% greater variability when compared with various MSBB TBVIs; and HNB MBVIs explained 3–33% greater variability when compared with various MSBB MBVIs. The performance of MSBB MBVIs and TBVIs improved mildly, by combining spectral information across multiple sensors involving IKONOS, GeoEye-1, Landsat ETM+, MODIS, and WorldView-2. A number of HNBs that advance crop biomass modeling were determined. Based on the highest factor loadings on the first component of the SVD, the “red-edge” spectral range (700–740 nm) centered at 722 nm (bandwidth = 10 nm) stood out prominently, while five additional and distinct portions of the recorded spectral range (400–2500 nm) centered at 539 nm, 758 nm, 914 nm, 1130 nm, 1320 nm (bandwidth = 10 nm) were also important. The best HNB vegetation indices for crop biomass estimation involved 549 and 752 nm for rice (R2 = 0.91); 925 and 1104 nm for

  19. Chemical Processing of Non-Crop Plants for Jet Fuel Blends Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulis, M. J.; Hepp, A. F.; McDowell, M.; Ribita, D.

    2009-01-01

    The use of Biofuels has been gaining in popularity over the past few years due to their ability to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. Biofuels as a renewable energy source can be a viable option for sustaining long-term energy needs if they are managed efficiently. We describe our initial efforts to exploit algae, halophytes and other non-crop plants to produce synthetics for fuel blends that can potentially be used as fuels for aviation and non-aerospace applications. Our efforts have been dedicated to crafting efficient extraction and refining processes in order to extract constituents from the plant materials with the ultimate goal of determining the feasibility of producing biomass-based jet fuel from the refined extract. Two extraction methods have been developed based on communition processes, and liquid-solid extraction techniques. Refining procedures such as chlorophyll removal and transesterification of triglycerides have been performed. Gas chromatography in tandem with mass spectroscopy is currently being utilized in order to qualitatively determine the individual components of the refined extract. We also briefly discuss and compare alternative methods to extract fuel-blending agents from alternative biofuels sources.

  20. Biomass of tree species as a response to planting density and interspecific competition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Sérgio Lima e Silva

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Planting trees is an important way to promote the recovery of degraded areas in the Caatinga region. Experiments (E1, E2, and E3 were conducted in a randomized blocks design, with three, three, and five replicates, respectively. The objectives were to evaluate biomass of the shoots of: a gliricidia (G and sabiá (S, as a response to planting density; b G, S, and neem (N in competition; c G, and S in agroforestry. E1 was conducted in split-plots, and planting densities (400, 600, 800, 1000, and 1200 plants ha-1 as subplots. E2 consisted of a factorial comprising the following plots: GGG, NGN, SGS, NNN, GNG, SNS, SSS, GSG, NSN (each letter represents a row of plants. E3 was conducted with G and S in agroforestry experiment. The trees were harvested after 54, 42, and 27 months old, in E1, E2 and E3, respectively. In E1, G presented higher green biomass of the stems and leaf at smaller densities than S, but lower green biomass of branches at most densities. The species did not differ for mean stem dry biomass and leaf dry biomass, but G showed higher branch dry biomass at most densities. Higher planting densities increased green and dry biomass of stems, branches, and leaves in S, but decreased those characteristics in G, with the exception of leaf dry mass, which was not influenced by density. In E2, the behavior of each species was identical in plots containing the same or different species. Griricidia showed the highest green biomass of stems and branches, and the highest values for geren biomass of the leaf were observed for gliricidia and neem. The highest stem, branch, and leaf dry biomass values were obtained for G, S, and N, respectively. In E3, G was superior for stem and leaf green biomass, and for stem and branch dry biomass. There were no differences between species for the other biomass values.

  1. The opportunities for obtaining of the biogas on methane fermentation from marine algae biomass and water plant biomass

    OpenAIRE

    Jachniak Ewa; Chmura Joanna; Kuglarz Mariusz; Wiktor Józef

    2018-01-01

    The aim of the research was to try to obtain of the biogas on a laboratory scale from marine algae biomass and water plant biomass. The research was conducted in 2016 year and samples were taken from the Polish coast of the Baltic Sea. In laboratory work, algae and plant species were first identified. The next, in order to subject them to methane fermentation processes and to obtain biogas,partial mechanical treatment of the biomass was conducted. Dry matter content and dry organic matter con...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frouz, Jan; Hedenec, Petr

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Finnish farmers' willingness to produce and supply biomass from energy crops and forest residues. A survey of landowners' attitudes and intentions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raemoe, A.-K.; Latvala, T. (Pellervo Economic Research Inst., Helsinki (Finland)), Email: anna-kaisa.ramo@ptt.fi; Silvennoinen, H. (Univ. of Joensuu (Finland)), Email: harri.silvennoinen@joensuu.fi

    2009-07-01

    According to EU's Climate and Energy Plan Finland is obliged to increase the proportion of renewable energy sources considerably by the year 2020. The obligation is challenging and requires among others a considerably increased use of biomass. Besides wood energy crop production provides a considerable potential as energy source in Finland. Farmer forest owners are one of the key groups regarding the supply of field energy crops and energy wood in Finland. Basically, farmers have a positive attitude towards the production of field energy crops and energy wood. Their interest in bio-energy related entrepreneurship has also increased in recent years. However, farmers do not find the business environment of biomass production satisfactory. Still the results indicate that the number of field crop producers would at least double by the year 2012. The increase is, however, considerably less than the estimated potential of recent scenarios. The results also imply that famer forest owners have not any intentions to increase their energy wood supplies in the next few years. This is mainly due to undeveloped energy wood markets and unsatisfactory energy wood prices. In order to enhance the biomass production and supply, both field energy crop and energy wood markets and extension need to be improved to meet farmers' needs. (orig.)

  4. Is biomass a reliable estimate of plant fitness?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Younginger, B.S.; Sirová, Dagmara; Cruzan, M.B.; Ballhorn, D.J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 2 (2017), č. článku 1600094. ISSN 2168-0450 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : biomass * fecundity * fitness * plant performance * selection Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 1.492, year: 2016

  5. Natural Ecosystem Surrounding a Conventional Banana Crop Improves Plant Health and Fruit Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florence P. Castelan

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Natural ecosystems near agricultural landscapes may provide rich environments for growing crops. However, the effect of a natural ecosystem on crop health and fruit quality is poorly understood. In the present study, it was investigated whether the presence of a natural ecosystem surrounding a crop area influences banana plant health and fruit postharvest behavior. Plants from two conventional banana crop areas with identical planting time and cultural practices were used; the only difference between banana crop areas is that one area was surrounded by a natural forest (Atlantic forest fragment (Near-NF, while the other area was inserted at the center of a conventional banana crop (Distant-NF. Results showed that bananas harvested from Near-NF showed higher greenlife and a more homogeneous profile during ripening compared to fruits harvested from Distant-NF. Differences in quality parameters including greenlife, carbohydrate profile, and pulp firmness between fruits harvested from Near-NF and Distant-NF are explained, at least partly, by differences in the balance of plant growth regulators (indole-3-acetic acid and abscisic acid in bananas during ripening. Furthermore, plants from Near-NF showed a lower severity index of black leaf streak disease (BLSD and higher levels of phenolic compounds in leaves compared to plants from Distant-NF. Together, the results provide additional evidence on how the maintenance of natural ecosystems near conventional crop areas could be a promising tool to improve plant health and fruit quality.

  6. Environmental effects of growing short-rotation woody crops on former agricultural lands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tolbert, V.R.; Thornton, F.C.; Joslin, J.D.

    1997-01-01

    Field-scale studies in the Southeast have been addressing the environmental effects of converting agricultural lands to biomass crop production since 1994. Erosion, surface water quality and quantity and subsurface movement of water and nutrients from woody crops, switchgrass and agricultural crops are being compared. Nutrient cycling, soil physical changes, and crop productivity are also being monitored at the three sites. Maximum sediment losses occurred in the spring and fall. Losses were greater from sweetgum planted without a cover crop than with a cover crop. Nutrient losses of N and P in runoff and subsurface water occurred primarily after spring fertilizer application. These field plot studies are serving as the basis for a water shed study initiated in 1997. Results from the two studies will be used to develop and model nutrient and hydrologic budgets for woody crop plantings to identify potential constraints to sustainable deployment of short-rotation woody crops in the southeastern United States. (author)

  7. Ethanol production using whole plant biomass of Jerusalem artichoke by Kluyveromyces marxianus CBS1555.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seonghun; Park, Jang Min; Kim, Chul Ho

    2013-03-01

    Jerusalem artichoke is a low-requirement sugar crop containing cellulose and hemicellulose in the stalk and a high content of inulin in the tuber. However, the lignocellulosic component in Jerusalem artichoke stalk reduces the fermentability of the whole plant for efficient bioethanol production. In this study, Jerusalem artichoke stalk was pretreated sequentially with dilute acid and alkali, and then hydrolyzed enzymatically. During enzymatic hydrolysis, approximately 88 % of the glucan and xylan were converted to glucose and xylose, respectively. Batch and fed-batch simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of both pretreated stalk and tuber by Kluyveromyces marxianus CBS1555 were effectively performed, yielding 29.1 and 70.2 g/L ethanol, respectively. In fed-batch fermentation, ethanol productivity was 0.255 g ethanol per gram of dry Jerusalem artichoke biomass, or 0.361 g ethanol per gram of glucose, with a 0.924 g/L/h ethanol productivity. These results show that combining the tuber and the stalk hydrolysate is a useful strategy for whole biomass utilization in effective bioethanol fermentation from Jerusalem artichoke.

  8. Solid biomass barometer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    2006-01-01

    The European (EU 25) wish to substitute solid biomass origin energy consumption (principally wood and wood waste, but also straw, crop harvest residues, vegetal and animal waste) for a part of that of fossil fuel origin (petrol, gas and coal) is beginning to pay off. 58,7 million tons oil equivalent (Mtoe) of solid biomass was produced in 2005, i.e. a 3.1 Mtoe increase with respect to 2004. Production of primary energy coming from direct combustion of renewable municipal solid waste in incineration plants should also be added on to this figure. The 0,2 Mtoe increase in this production with respect to 2004 brings valorization of this type of waste up to 5,3 Mtoe in 2005. (author)

  9. Comparative life cycle assessment of the integrated generation of solid fuel and biogas from biomass (IFBB) and whole crop digestion (WCD) in Germany

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buehle, Lutz; Stuelpnagel, R.; Wachendorf, M.

    2011-01-01

    Today's bioenergy systems are very different in cultivation, conservation, conversion of the biomass as well as in the form of the final energy. The assessment of bioenergy systems concerning environmental impacts is increasingly up for discussion. Future challenges will be the development of procedures which reconcile high-yielding and efficient approaches with environment friendly production. Against this background the system of Integrated Generation of Solid Fuel and Biogas from Biomass (IFBB) was suggested to increase net energy yields over a wide range of energy crops in order to obtain a higher biodiversity in energy crop cultivation. In the IFBB procedure the ensiled biomass is separated into a liquid phase for biogas production and into a solid fraction for combustion. This work is aimed at the assessment of the IFBB system in comparison to whole crop digestion (WCD). The assessment is based on crop production in a double-cropping system where winter rye and maize are grown subsequently within one growing season. The main parameters investigated are the efficiency of the whole process, primary energy and greenhouse gas savings as well as potentials of acidification and eutrophication according to principles of Life Cycle Assessment. The calculation of energy efficiency shows a superiority of the IFBB system due to a mainly thermal use of the biomass. Savings of fossil primary energy average at a similar level, whereas greenhouse gas savings are slightly higher for WCD. Investigations on acidification and eutrophication show that both bioenergy systems caused higher emissions compared to the fossil-based reference technique. (author)

  10. Biomass energy - Definitions, resources and transformation processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Damien, Alain

    2013-01-01

    Biomass energy is today considered as a new renewable energy source, and thus, has entered a regulatory framework aiming at encouraging its development for CO 2 pollution abatement. This book addresses the constraints, both natural and technological, of the exploitation of the biomass resource, and then the economical and regulatory aspects of this industry. This second edition provides a complement about the plants used and the new R and D progresses made in this domain. Content: 1 - Definitions and general considerations: natural organic products, regulatory and standardized definitions, energy aspects of biomass fuels; 2 - Resources: energy production dedicated crops, biomass by-products, biomass from wastes; 3 - Biomass to energy transformation processes: combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, torrefaction, methanation, alcoholic fermentation, landfill biogas, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, methanol synthesis, trans-esterification, synthetic natural gas production, bio-hydrogen production; 4 - Biofuels: solid fuels, solid automotive biofuels, gaseous biofuels, liquid biofuels, comparative efficiency; 5 - Situation of biomass energy: regulations, impact on non-energy purpose biomass, advantages and drawbacks

  11. Evaluating a biomass resource: The TVA region-wide biomass resource assessment model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Downing, M.; Graham, R.L. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States)

    1993-12-31

    The economic and supply structures of short rotation woody crop (SRWC) markets have not been established. Establishing the likely price and supply of SRWC biomass in a region is a complex task because biomass is not an established commodity as are oil, natural gas and coal. In this study we project the cost and supply of short-rotation woody biomass for the TVA region -- a 276 county area that includes all of Tennessee and portions of 10 contiguous states in the southeastern United States. Projected prices and quantities of SRWC are assumed to be a function of the amount and quality of crop and pasture land available in a region, expected SRWC yields and production costs on differing soils and land types, and the profit that could be obtained from current conventional crop production on these same lands. Results include the supply curve of SRWC biomass that is projected to be available from the entire region, the amount and location of crop and pasture land that would be used, and the conventional agricultural crops that would be displaced as a function of SRWC production. Finally, we show the results of sensitivity analysis on the projected cost and supply of SRWC biomass. In particular, we examine the separate impacts of varying SRWC production yields.

  12. Comparative performance of annual and perennial energy cropping systems under different management regimes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boehmel, Ute Constanze

    2007-07-18

    at the study site, may better perform on marginal sites. Switchgrass is an example of the need to grow site-adapted energy crops. The annual energy crop maize required the highest input, but at the same time yielded the most. The two crop rotation systems did not differ in yield and energy input, but the system with no-till may be more environmentally benign as it has the potential to sequester carbon. The objective of Paper II was the optimization of crop cultivation through the differentiation of input parameters to enhance the quality of the energy crop triticale, without influencing the biomass yield. The intention was to minimize the content of combustion-disturbing elements (potassium and chlorine) and the ash residue of both aboveground plant parts (grain and straw). It was done through different straw and potassium fertilizer treatments. It could be shown that the removal of straw from the previously cultivated crop and no additional potassium fertilizer could reduce the amount of combustion-disturbing elements. A high influence must also be expected from site and weather conditions. Papers III to V address the supply of different high quality biomasses, with the focus on maize for anaerobic digestion. The objective of Paper III was the assessment of the requirements of biogas plants and biomass for anaerobic digestion. It introduces potential energy crops, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Alongside maize, many other biomass types, which are preserved as silage and are high in carbohydrates and low in lignocelluloses, can be anaerobically digested. The development of potential site-specific crop rotation systems for biomass production are discussed. The objective of Papers IV and V was the identification of suitable biomass and production systems for the anaerobic digestion. The focus lay on the determination of (i) suitable energy maize varieties for Central Europe, (ii) optimal growth periods of energy crops, (iii) the influence of crop

  13. Effects of crop species richness on pest-natural enemy systems based on an experimental model system using a microlandscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, ZiHua; Shi, PeiJian; Men, XingYuan; Ouyang, Fang; Ge, Feng

    2013-08-01

    The relationship between crop richness and predator-prey interactions as they relate to pest-natural enemy systems is a very important topic in ecology and greatly affects biological control services. The effects of crop arrangement on predator-prey interactions have received much attention as the basis for pest population management. To explore the internal mechanisms and factors driving the relationship between crop richness and pest population management, we designed an experimental model system of a microlandscape that included 50 plots and five treatments. Each treatment had 10 repetitions in each year from 2007 to 2010. The results showed that the biomass of pests and their natural enemies increased with increasing crop biomass and decreased with decreasing crop biomass; however, the effects of plant biomass on the pest and natural enemy biomass were not significant. The relationship between adjacent trophic levels was significant (such as pests and their natural enemies or crops and pests), whereas non-adjacent trophic levels (crops and natural enemies) did not significantly interact with each other. The ratio of natural enemy/pest biomass was the highest in the areas of four crop species that had the best biological control service. Having either low or high crop species richness did not enhance the pest population management service and lead to loss of biological control. Although the resource concentration hypothesis was not well supported by our results, high crop species richness could suppress the pest population, indicating that crop species richness could enhance biological control services. These results could be applied in habitat management aimed at biological control, provide the theoretical basis for agricultural landscape design, and also suggest new methods for integrated pest management.

  14. Biogas crops grown in energy crop rotations: Linking chemical composition and methane production characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Christiane; Idler, Christine; Heiermann, Monika

    2016-04-01

    Methane production characteristics and chemical composition of 405 silages from 43 different crop species were examined using uniform laboratory methods, with the aim to characterise a wide range of crop feedstocks from energy crop rotations and to identify main parameters that influence biomass quality for biogas production. Methane formation was analysed from chopped and over 90 days ensiled crop biomass in batch anaerobic digestion tests without further pre-treatment. Lignin content of crop biomass was found to be the most significant explanatory variable for specific methane yields while the methane content and methane production rates were mainly affected by the content of nitrogen-free extracts and neutral detergent fibre, respectively. The accumulation of butyric acid and alcohols during the ensiling process had significant impact on specific methane yields and methane contents of crop silages. It is proposed that products of silage fermentation should be considered when evaluating crop silages for biogas production. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. An Insect Herbivore Microbiome with High Plant Biomass-Degrading Capacity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suen, Garret; Barry, Kerrie; Goodwin, Lynne; Scott, Jarrod; Aylward, Frank; Adams, Sandra; Pinto-Tomas, Adrian; Foster, Clifton; Pauly, Markus; Weimer, Paul; Bouffard, Pascal; Li, Lewyn; Osterberger, Jolene; Harkins, Timothy; Slater, Steven; Donohue, Timothy; Currie, Cameron; Tringe, Susannah G.

    2010-09-23

    Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini), which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a combination of sugar composition analyses, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing, we reveal that the fungus garden microbiome of leaf-cutter ants is composed of a diverse community of bacteria with high plant biomass-degrading capacity. Comparison of this microbiome?s predicted carbohydrate-degrading enzyme profile with other metagenomes shows closest similarity to the bovine rumen, indicating evolutionary convergence of plant biomass degrading potential between two important herbivorous animals. Genomic and physiological characterization of two dominant bacteria in the fungus garden microbiome provides evidence of their capacity to degrade cellulose. Given the recent interest in cellulosic biofuels, understanding how large-scale and rapid plant biomass degradation occurs in a highly evolved insect herbivore is of particular relevance for bioenergy.

  16. An insect herbivore microbiome with high plant biomass-degrading capacity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garret Suen

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini, which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a combination of sugar composition analyses, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing, we reveal that the fungus garden microbiome of leaf-cutter ants is composed of a diverse community of bacteria with high plant biomass-degrading capacity. Comparison of this microbiome's predicted carbohydrate-degrading enzyme profile with other metagenomes shows closest similarity to the bovine rumen, indicating evolutionary convergence of plant biomass degrading potential between two important herbivorous animals. Genomic and physiological characterization of two dominant bacteria in the fungus garden microbiome provides evidence of their capacity to degrade cellulose. Given the recent interest in cellulosic biofuels, understanding how large-scale and rapid plant biomass degradation occurs in a highly evolved insect herbivore is of particular relevance for bioenergy.

  17. Studies on the effects of application of different foliar fertilizer materials, crop residue and inter cropping on Banana plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hassan, Yusuf Munim [Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum, Khartoum (Sudan)

    1997-12-31

    Five separate experiments were conducted at university of Khartoum demonstration farm during 1993 to 1995 under both orchard and nursery conditions to evaluate the effect of foliar application of different fertilizers, use of crop residue and intercropping on banana (dwarf cavendish). In the first experiment, the effects of foliar application of different concentrations of potassium solution (38%) were studied. The results indicated that application of all concentrations resulted in greater increases in overall growth parameters, higher leaf-N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu contents, higher values of yield and yield components , finger length of both plant crop and the first ratoon crop and reduction of time from planting to flowering and from flowering to harvesting of both plant crop and the first crop compared to the control. In the second experiment, the effects of three different foliar fertilizers, namely, compound cryst, fetrilon comb-2 and x-garden were investigated. The results revealed that all fertilizers gave greater values of all growth parameters, higher leaf-N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu contents, higher values of yield and yield components , finger length of both plant crop and the first ratoon crop and reduction of time from planting to flowering and from flowering to harvesting of both plant crop and the first crop compared to the control. In the third experiment, the effect of four different fertilizer materials containing different combinations of NPK on growth parameters and nutrient elements contents of leaves of banana suckers grown under nursery conditions was evaluated. The results revealed that all fertilizer materials gave greater increases of growth parameters over the control as well as higher leaf-N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu contents. In the fourth experiment, the effect of different concentrations of N{sub 19}, P{sub 19}, K{sub 19} fertilizers on growth characteristics and nutrient elements contents of leaves of banana

  18. Studies on the effects of application of different foliar fertilizer materials, crop residue and inter cropping on Banana plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hassan, Yusuf Munim

    1996-01-01

    Five separate experiments were conducted at university of Khartoum demonstration farm during 1993 to 1995 under both orchard and nursery conditions to evaluate the effect of foliar application of different fertilizers, use of crop residue and intercropping on banana (dwarf cavendish). In the first experiment, the effects of foliar application of different concentrations of potassium solution (38%) were studied. The results indicated that application of all concentrations resulted in greater increases in overall growth parameters, higher leaf-N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu contents, higher values of yield and yield components , finger length of both plant crop and the first ratoon crop and reduction of time from planting to flowering and from flowering to harvesting of both plant crop and the first crop compared to the control. In the second experiment, the effects of three different foliar fertilizers, namely, compound cryst, fetrilon comb-2 and x-garden were investigated. The results revealed that all fertilizers gave greater values of all growth parameters, higher leaf-N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu contents, higher values of yield and yield components , finger length of both plant crop and the first ratoon crop and reduction of time from planting to flowering and from flowering to harvesting of both plant crop and the first crop compared to the control. In the third experiment, the effect of four different fertilizer materials containing different combinations of NPK on growth parameters and nutrient elements contents of leaves of banana suckers grown under nursery conditions was evaluated. The results revealed that all fertilizer materials gave greater increases of growth parameters over the control as well as higher leaf-N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu contents. In the fourth experiment, the effect of different concentrations of N 19 , P 19 , K 19 fertilizers on growth characteristics and nutrient elements contents of leaves of banana suckers was

  19. Energy crops for biogas plants. Saxony; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Sachsen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biertuempfel, A.; Buttlar, C. von; Conrad, M. [and others

    2012-08-15

    In the brochure under consideration the Agency for Renewable Resources (Guelzow-Pruezen, Federal Republic of Germany) reports on the support of the implementation of different plant cultures in structure of plantations and crop rotation systems of companies under consideration of the Federal State Saxony. The main chapters of this brochure are: Crops for the production of biogas; implementation in plantations; ensilage and biogas yields; economy of the cultivation of energy plants.

  20. Energy crops for biogas plants. Thuringia; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Thueringen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biertuempfel, A.; Bischof, R.; Conrad, M. (and others)

    2012-06-15

    In the brochure under consideration the Agency for Renewable Resources (Guelzow-Pruezen, Federal Republic of Germany) reports on the support of the implementation of different plant cultures in structure of plantations and crop rotation systems of companies under consideration of the Federal State Thuringia. The main chapters of this brochure are: Crops for the production of biogas; implementation in plantations; ensilage and biogas yields; economy of the cultivation of energy plants.

  1. Insight on Biomass Supply and Feedstock Definition for Fischer-Tropsch Based BTL Processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coignac, Julien

    2013-01-01

    Process chains of thermo chemical conversion of lignocellulosic biomass through gasification and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (known as BTL) represent promising alternatives for biofuels production. Since biomass is heterogeneous and not homogeneously spread over territories, one of the major technological stakes of the project is to develop a flexible industrial chain capable of co-treating the widest possible range of biomass and fossil fuel feedstock. The present study aims at characterizing biomass diversity (availability and potentials by area, cost and mineral composition) by carrying out a state of the art, as a preliminary step in order to define a series of biomass to be tested in the demonstration plant and therefore define specifications for the process. Fifty different biomass were considered for their bio-energy application potential and were finally classified into four categories: agricultural by-products, dedicated energy crops, (Very) Short Rotation Coppice ((V)SRC) and forestry biomass. Biomass availability and potentials were investigated by the mean of a literature review of past and current projects (e.g. RENEW project, Biomass Energy Europe Project, etc.) and scientific articles. Most collected data are technical potentials, meaning that they take into account biophysical limits of crops and forests, technological possibilities, competition with other land uses and ecological constraints (e.g. natural reserves). Results show various emerging markets: North and South America have considerable amounts of agricultural by-products, forest residues, and large land areas which could be dedicated to energy crops; Africa shows relevant possibilities to grow Short Rotation Forestry (SRF) and energy crops; Russia has large available quantities of agricultural by-products and forest residues, as well as little valuable land where energy crops and SRC could be grown, and Asia shows relevant amounts of forest residues and possibilities of growing SRC, as well

  2. Drivers of biomass co-firing in U.S. coal-fired power plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael E. Goerndt; Francisco X. Aguilar; Kenneth Skog

    2013-01-01

    Substantial knowledge has been generated in the U.S. about the resource base for forest and other residue-derived biomass for bioenergy including co-firing in power plants. However, a lack of understanding regarding power plant-level operations and manager perceptions of drivers of biomass co-firing remains. This study gathered information from U.S. power plant...

  3. The regional environmental impact of biomass production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graham, R.L.

    1994-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to present a broad overview of the potential environmental impacts of biomass energy from energy crops. The subject is complex because the environmental impact of using biomass for energy must be considered in the context of alternative energy options while the environmental impact of producing biomass from energy crops must be considered in the context of the alternative land-uses. Using biomass-derived energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase them; growing biomass energy crops can enhance soil fertility or degrade it. Without knowing the context of the biomass energy, one can say little about its specific environmental impacts. The primary focus of this paper is an evaluation of the environmental impacts of growing energy crops. I present an approach for quantitatively evaluating the potential environmental impact of growing energy crops at a regional scale that accounts for the environmental and economic context of the crops. However, to set the stage for this discussion, I begin by comparing the environmental advantages and disadvantages of biomass-derived energy relative to other energy alternatives such as coal, hydropower, nuclear power, oil/gasoline, natural gas and photovoltaics

  4. The Effect of Plant Cultivar, Growth Media, Harvest Method and Post Harvest Treatment on the Microbiology of Edible Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummerick, Mary P.; Gates, Justin R.; Nguyen, Bao-Thang; Massa, Gioia D.; Wheeler, Raymond M.

    2011-01-01

    Systems for the growth of crops in closed environments are being developed and tested for potential use in space applications to provide a source of fresh food. Plant growth conditions, growth media composition and harvest methods can have an effect on the microbial population of the plant, and therefore should be considered along with the optimization of plant growth and harvest yields to ensure a safe and palatable food crop. This work examines the effect of plant cultivar, growth media, and harvest method on plant microbial populations. Twelve varieties of leafy greens and herbs were grown on a mixture of Fafard #2 and Arcillite in the pillow root containment system currently being considered for the VEGGIE plant growth unit developed by Orbitec. In addition, ,Sierra and Outredgeous lettuce varieties were grown in three different mixtures (Fafard #2, Ardllite, and Perlite/Vermiculite). The plants were analyzed for microbial density. Two harvest methods, "cut and come again" (CACA) and terminal harvest were also compared. In one set ofexpe'riments red leaf lettuce and mizuna were grown in pots in a Biomass Production System for education. Plants were harvested every two weeks by either method. Another set of experiments was performed using the rooting pillows to grow 5 varieties of leafy greens and cut harvesting at different intervals. Radishes were harvested and replanted at two-week intervals. Results indicate up to a 3 IOglO difference in microbial counts between some varieties of plants. Rooting medium resulted in an approximately 2 IOglO lower count in the lettuce grown in arscillite then those grown in the other mixtures. Harvest method and frequency had less impact on microbial counts only showing a significant increase in one variety of plant. Post harvest methods to decrease the bacterial counts on edible crops were investigated in these and other experiments. The effectiveness of PRO-SAN and UV-C radiation is compared.

  5. Apomixis: Engineering the Ability to Harness Hybrid Vigor in Crop Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conner, Joann A; Ozias-Akins, Peggy

    2017-01-01

    Apomixis, commonly defined as asexual reproduction through seed, is a reproductive trait that occurs in only a few minor crops, but would be highly valuable in major crops. Apomixis results in seed-derived progenies that are genetically identical to their maternal parent. The advantage of apomixis would lie in seed propagation of elite food, feed, and biofuel crops that are heterozygous such as hybrid corn and switchgrass or self-pollinating crops for which no commercial-scale hybrid production system is available. While hybrid plants often outperform parental lines in growth and higher yields, production of hybrid seed is accomplished through carefully controlled, labor intensive crosses. Both small farmers in developing countries who produce their own seed and commercial companies that market hybrid seed could benefit from the establishment of engineered apomixis in plants. In this chapter, we review what has been learned from studying natural apomicts and mutations in sexual plants leading to apomixis-like development, plus discuss how the components of apomixis could be successfully engineered in plants.

  6. Energy-, environmental and economic evaluation of energy crops utilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-06-01

    This preliminary project is prepared in order to clarify the economic possibilities and rentability of energy crops. Examples of energy crop resource potential, environmental and economic consequences are calculated on the basis of existing data. Utilization of annual and perennial crops is evaluated with regard to the usual following of agricultural areas, and to the traditional power generation in a coal-fueled plant. Two technological options are discussed: one based on energy crop fuels supplementing the conventional coal fuel, and the other based on a separate biomass-fueled boiler, connected to the conventional coal-fueled unit. Implementation of the main project,following the preliminary one will permit to estimate the future prospects and strategies of energy crop utilization as a profitable energy resource. (EG)

  7. Potential contribution of biomass to the sustainable energy development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demirbas, M. Fatih; Balat, Mustafa; Balat, Havva

    2009-01-01

    Biomass is a renewable energy source and its importance will increase as national energy policy and strategy focuses more heavily on renewable sources and conservation. Biomass is considered the renewable energy source with the highest potential to contribute to the energy needs of modern society for both the industrialized and developing countries worldwide. The most important biomass energy sources are wood and wood wastes, agricultural crops and their waste byproducts, municipal solid waste, animal wastes, waste from food processing, and aquatic plants and algae. Biomass is one potential source of renewable energy and the conversion of plant material into a suitable form of energy, usually electricity or as a fuel for an internal combustion engine, can be achieved using a number of different routes, each with specific pros and cons. Currently, much research has been focused on sustainable and environmental friendly energy from biomass to replace conventional fossil fuels. The main objective of the present study is to investigate global potential and use of biomass energy and its contribution to the sustainable energy development by presenting its historical development.

  8. Sudex cover crops can kill and stunt subsequent tomato, 
lettuce and broccoli transplants through allelopathy

    OpenAIRE

    Summers, Charles G.; Mitchell, Jeffrey P.; Prather, Timothy S.; Stapleton, James J.

    2009-01-01

    Grass cover crops can be harvested for biomass or used as a surface mulch to reduce erosion, improve soil structure, suppress weeds and conserve moisture. There is concern, however, that such plantings may affect subsequent crops. We studied the effects of sudex, a sorghum hybrid used as a cover crop, on subsequent crops of tomato, broccoli and lettuce started from transplants. Within 3 to 5 days of being transplanted into recently killed sudex, all three crops showed symptoms of phytotoxicit...

  9. Cura Annonae-Chemically Boosting Crop Yields Through Metabolic Feeding of a Plant Signaling Precursor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vocadlo, David J

    2017-05-22

    The cream of the crop: With the world facing a projected shortfall of crops by 2050, new approaches are needed to boost crop yields. Metabolic feeding of plants with photocaged trehalose-6-phosphate (Tre6P) can increase levels of the signaling metabolite Tre6P in the plant. Reprogramming of cellular metabolism by Tre6P stimulates a program of plant growth and enhanced crop yields, while boosting starch content. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Assessment of plant biomass and nitrogen nutrition with plant height in early-to mid-season corn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Xinhua; Hayes, Robert M; McClure, M Angela; Savoy, Hubert J

    2012-10-01

    The physiological basis for using non-destructive high-resolution measurements of plant height through plant height sensing to guide variable-rate nitrogen (N) applications on corn (Zea mays L.) during early (six-leaf growth stage, V6) to mid (V12) season is largely unknown. This study was conducted to assess the relationships of plant biomass and leaf N with plant height in early- to mid-season corn under six different N rate treatments. Corn plant biomass was significantly and positively related to plant height under an exponential model when both were measured at V6. This relationship explained 62-78% of the variations in corn biomass production. Leaf N concentration was, in general, significantly and positively related to plant height when both were measured at V6, V8, V10 and V12. This relationship became stronger as the growing season progressed from V6 to V12. The relationship of leaf N with plant height in early- to mid-season corn was affected by initial soil N fertility and abnormal weather conditions. The relationship of leaf N concentration with plant height may provide a physiological basis for using plant height sensing to guide variable-rate N applications on corn. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

  11. The Danish energy crop research and development project - main conclusions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gylling, Morten

    2003-01-01

    Production of energy crops in Denmark is more or less non-existent in Denmark at the time being. However, the need for biomass on the other side of year 2005 exceeds the existing biomass resources and a substantial amount of energy crops will be necessary in order to fulfil the goals in Energy 21. The targeted share of the use of renewable energy sources by year 2030 is approximately 30%. Energy crops are seen as the most important new resource in order to create a balanced input mix of renewable in the energy system. The energy crops are mainly seen as fuel in small and medium sized CHP plants and in the big power plants. The Danish energy crop project consists of three main parts: a demonstration part, a research and development part, and an overall assessment part. Based on the results from the project the following overall conclusions can be made: Seen from a strictly market and production economic point of view energy crops will not be competitive in a foreseeable future, neither as a production for farmers nor as a fuel at the utility companies; The costs per GJ of energy crops are still higher than a GJ of straw; The cost difference between annual and perennial energy crops are slightly in favour of perennials, however the conditions on the individual farms should govern the choice between annual and perennial energy crops; Energy crops must be seen as part of an overall environmental scheme covering both agriculture and the energy sector; Given the right production scheme energy crops can be grown on environmental sensitive areas and on most ground water protection areas; Adding the potential sustainability benefits like reduced nutrient leakage and reduced CO 2 emissions energy crops seem to be a sensible and sustainable solution; Due to different handling, storage and fuel characteristics an all year delivery scheme of energy crops should include a mix of different energy crops to keep overall cost down. (BA)

  12. Biomass production and nitrogen accumulation in pea, oat, and vetch green manure mixtures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jannink, J.L.; Liebman, M.; Merrick, L.C.

    1996-01-01

    Interest in the use of green manures has revived because of their role in improving soil quality and their beneficial N and non-N rotation effects. This study evaluated biomass production, N content, radiation interception (RI), and radiation use efficiency (RUE) of pea (Pisum sativum L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) mixtures. Treatments were a three-way factorial of pea genotype ('Century' vs 'Tipu'), pea planting density (90 vs 224 kg ha -1 ), and cropping mixture (solecropped pea vs pea planted with a mixture of oat and hairy vetch). A mixture of oat and vetch without pea was also planted. Treatments were planted in early June on a Caribou gravelly loam (coarse-loamy, mixed, frigid Typic Haplorthods) in Presque Isle, ME, in 1993 and 1994. Biomass production and radiation interception were measured by repeated sampling. Mixture biomass was affected by a year x pea density interaction: respective yields for mixtures containing low-density and high-density pea were 770 and 880 g m -2 in 1993 vs 820 and 730 g m -2 in 1994. Mixture N content paralleled biomass production and averaged 209 g m -2 across all treatments. While pea sole crops did not consistently produce biomass or N equal to three-species mixtures the two-species mixture of oat and vetch did, yielding 820 g m -2 of biomass and 21.7 g m -2 of N, averaged over the 2 yr. Multiple regression showed that 61% of the variability in mixture biomass production was accounted for by a combination of early-season pea RI and midseason total mixture RUE. Economic analyses showed that rotation including these green manures may be economically competitive with a conventional rotation of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) undersown with clover (Trifolium spp.) in a potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) production system

  13. Summer cover crops and soil amendments to improve growth and nutrient uptake of okra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Q.R.; Li, Y.C.; Klassen, W. [University of Florida, Homestead, FL (United States). Center for Tropical Research & Education

    2006-04-15

    A pot experiment with summer cover crops and soil amendments was conducted in two consecutive years to elucidate the effects of these cover crops and soil amendments on 'Clemson Spineless 80' okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) yields and biomass production, and the uptake and distribution of soil nutrients and trace elements. The cover crops were sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), velvetbean (Mucuna deeringiana), and sorghum sudan-grass (Sorghum bicolor x S. bicolor var. sudanense) with fallow as the control. The organic soil amendments were biosolids (sediment from wastewater plants), N-Viro Soil (a mixture of biosolids and coal ash), coal ash (a combustion by-product from power plants), co-compost (a mixture of 3 biosolids: 7 yard waste), and yard waste compost (mainly from leaves and branches of trees and shrubs, and grass clippings) with a soil-incorporated cover crop as the control. As a subsequent vegetable crop, okra was grown after the cover crops, alone or together with the organic soil amendments, had been incorporated. All of the cover crops, except sorghum sudangrass in 2002-03, significantly improved okra fruit yields and the total biomass production. Both cover crops and soil amendments can substantially improve nutrient uptake and distribution. The results suggest that cover crops and appropriate amounts of soil amendments can be used to improve soil fertility and okra yield without adverse environmental effects or risk of contamination of the fruit. Further field studies will be required to confirm these findings.

  14. Can biomass responses to warming at plant to ecosystem levels be predicted by leaf-level responses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, J.; Shao, J.; Zhou, X.; Yan, W.; Lu, M.

    2015-12-01

    Global warming has the profound impacts on terrestrial C processes from leaf to ecosystem scales, potentially feeding back to climate dynamics. Although numerous studies had investigated the effects of warming on C processes from leaf to plant and ecosystem levels, how leaf-level responses to warming scale up to biomass responses at plant, population, and community levels are largely unknown. In this study, we compiled a dataset from 468 papers at 300 experimental sites and synthesized the warming effects on leaf-level parameters, and plant, population and ecosystem biomass. Our results showed that responses of plant biomass to warming mainly resulted from the changed leaf area rather than the altered photosynthetic capacity. The response of ecosystem biomass to warming was weaker than those of leaf area and plant biomass. However, the scaling functions from responses of leaf area to plant biomass to warming were different in diverse forest types, but functions were similar in non-forested biomes. In addition, it is challenging to scale the biomass responses from plant up to ecosystem. These results indicated that leaf area might be the appropriate index for plant biomass response to warming, and the interspecific competition might hamper the scaling of the warming effects on plant and ecosystem levels, suggesting that the acclimation capacity of plant community should be incorporated into land surface models to improve the prediction of climate-C cycle feedback.

  15. Data from: Root biomass and exudates link plant diversity with soil bacterial and fungal biomass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Strecker, Tanja; Lanoue, Arnaud; Scheu, Stefan; Steinauer, Katja; Thakur, Madhav P.; Mommer, L.

    2017-01-01

    Plant diversity has been shown to determine the composition and functioning of soil biota. Although root-derived organic inputs are discussed as the main drivers of soil communities, experimental evidence is scarce. While there is some evidence that higher root biomass at high plant diversity

  16. Introducing perennial biomass crops into agricultural landscapes to address water quality challenges and provide other environmental services: Integrating perennial bioenergy crops into agricultural landscapes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cacho, J. F. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Negri, M. C. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Zumpf, C. R. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Campbell, P. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA

    2017-11-29

    The world is faced with a difficult multiple challenge of meeting nutritional, energy, and other basic needs, under a limited land and water budget, of between 9 and 10 billion people in the next three decades, mitigating impacts of climate change, and making agricultural production resilient. More productivity is expected from agricultural lands, but intensification of production could further impact the integrity of our finite surface water and groundwater resources. Integrating perennial bioenergy crops in agricultural lands could provide biomass for biofuel and potential improvements on the sustainability of commodity crop production. This article provides an overview of ways in which research has shown that perennial bioenergy grasses and short rotation woody crops can be incorporated into agricultural production systems with reduced indirect land use change, while increasing water quality benefits. Current challenges and opportunities as well as future directions are also highlighted.

  17. A trial burn of rape straw and whole crops harvested for energy use to assess efficiency implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Newman, R.

    2003-11-01

    Increased biomass utilisation and alternatives to cereal straw such as oil seed rape (OSR) straw will be necessary to achieve the Government's renewable energy targets. This report describes the results of a study to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of burning OSR straw and whole crops in an existing biomass power plant operated by EPR Ely Ltd in comparison with conventional cereal straw. Suitable quantities of bales of each fuel were provided for the combustion trials by Anglian Straw Ltd. Three trials were conducted: one using wheat-based cereal straw; one using 92% OSR; and one using 65% whole crop fuel. The availability of OSR straw and whole crop in Eastern England for use as fuel was also determined. Plant performance and stack emissions were evaluated and samples of delivered crop samples, bottom ash and fly ash from each trial were analysed. The parameters against which performance was assessed included: ease of handling and conveying; ease of chopping; ease of entry into the combustion chamber; furnace temperature profile; steam and electricity production rate; plant chimney emissions; ash collection and removal; operating stability; sustainability; and fuel availability.

  18. Spectral data based vegetation indices to characterise crop growth parameters and radiation interception in brassica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kar, G.; Chakravarty, N.V.K.

    2001-01-01

    Four spectral data based vegetation indices viz., infra-red/red (IR/R) ratio, normalized difference (N.D.), greenness index (GNI) and brightness index (BNI) were derived to characterise leaf area index, above ground biomass production and intercepted photosynthetically active radiation in Brassica oilseed crop. It was found from correlation study among different spectral indices, plant growth parameters and radiation interception that there was strong relationship between infrared/red and normalized difference with green area index for all the three Brassica cultivars whereas these spectral were not significantly correlated with above ground biomass. On the other hand, the brightness and greenness indices were closely correlated with above groundry biomass as compared to infrared/red ratio and normalized difference. All the four spectral indices were correlated with intercepted photosynthetically active radiation (IP AR). The best fit equations relating them were derived, which can be incorporated in the algorithms of crop growth simulation model to estimate plant growth parameters and radiation interception using spectral indices

  19. Using genetically modified tomato crop plants with purple leaves for absolute weed/crop classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lati, Ran N; Filin, Sagi; Aly, Radi; Lande, Tal; Levin, Ilan; Eizenberg, Hanan

    2014-07-01

    Weed/crop classification is considered the main problem in developing precise weed-management methodologies, because both crops and weeds share similar hues. Great effort has been invested in the development of classification models, most based on expensive sensors and complicated algorithms. However, satisfactory results are not consistently obtained due to imaging conditions in the field. We report on an innovative approach that combines advances in genetic engineering and robust image-processing methods to detect weeds and distinguish them from crop plants by manipulating the crop's leaf color. We demonstrate this on genetically modified tomato (germplasm AN-113) which expresses a purple leaf color. An autonomous weed/crop classification is performed using an invariant-hue transformation that is applied to images acquired by a standard consumer camera (visible wavelength) and handles variations in illumination intensities. The integration of these methodologies is simple and effective, and classification results were accurate and stable under a wide range of imaging conditions. Using this approach, we simplify the most complicated stage in image-based weed/crop classification models. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  20. Biogas production from catch crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molinuevo-Salces, Beatriz; Larsen, Søren U.; Ahring, Birgitte Kiær

    2013-01-01

    , being in the ranges of 1.4–3.0 t ha−1 and 0.3–1.7 t ha−1 for Holstebro and Aabenraa, respectively. Specific methane yields were in the range of 229–450 m3 t−1 of VS. Methane yields per hectare of up to 800 m3 ha−1 were obtained, making catch crops a promising source of feedstock for manure-based biogas......Manure-based biogas plants in Denmark are dependent on high yielding biomass feedstock in order to secure economically feasible operation. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of ten different catch crop species or mixtures as feedstock for biogas production in co...

  1. No-till Organic Soybean Production Following a Fall-planted Rye Cover Crop

    OpenAIRE

    Porter, Paul; Feyereisen, Gary; De Bruin, Jason; Johnson, Gregg

    2005-01-01

    The conventional corn-soybean rotation in the United States (USA) is a leaky system with respect to nitrate-nitrogen (nitrate-N), in part because these crops grow only five months of the year. Ecosystem functioning can be improved with the use of an appropriate fall-planted cover crop, but this practice is not common. Organic soybean production in the USA typically relies on delayed planting, crop rotation, intensive harrowing and interrow cultivation for weed control. Research on timing of ...

  2. How efficient work biomass cogeneration plants? A survey of plant operators; Wie effizient arbeiten Biomasseheiz(kraft)werke? Befragung von Anlagenbetreibern

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meiller, Martin; Jakuttis, Michael [Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Umwelt-, Sicherheits- und Energietechnik UMSICHT, Sulzbach-Rosenberg (Germany); Binder, Samir [Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Umwelt-, Sicherheits- und Energietechnik UMSICHT, Sulzbach-Rosenberg (Germany); Bayerischer Forschungsverbund Foreta, Sulzbach-Rosenberg (Germany)

    2013-03-01

    The use of biomass has increased very much in recent years. Due to the intensive use, the price of biomass fuels such as wood chips has increased substantially. This development bothers mainly biomass cogeneration plants. Many operators suffered considerable financial losses or even had to file for bankruptcy. The topic of efficiency is one of the central and critical success factors for the long-term viability of biomass-fired plants. (orig.)

  3. The ecological effects of different loading rates of metalaxyl on microbial biomass in unplanted and planted soils under field conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Mansourzadeh

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Fungicides are most widely used pesticides in Iran and the world. Application of fungicides may affect the populations and activity of soil microorganisms, particularly fungi, with a consequence for soil fertility and crop growth. In the current study, the effects of different levels of metalaxyl on soil microbial biomass carbon (C and nitrogen (N, microbial biomass C/N ratio and metabolic quotient under field conditions were assessed. Two levels of metalaxyl (30 and 60 kg.ha-1 were applied in planted soils with corn and unplanted calcareous soils, using a split-plots experiment in a completely randomized design with three replications. The C and N contents in soil microbial biomass as well as metabolic quotient were measured at 30 and 90 days after the onset of the experiment. Results showed that in cultivated soils metalaxyl application at 30 kg.ha-1 increased (15-80% significantly (p≤0.01 the amounts of microbial biomass C and N at both intervals (except microbial biomass C at 90 days compared to the control soil (0 kg.ha-1, while in uncultivated soils both microbial biomass C and N reduced by almost 1-34%. Microbial biomass C/N ratios in unplanted soils decreased (15 and 53% with increasing loading rates of metalaxyl, without a clear effect in cultivated soils. On the other hand, metabolic quotient values reduced (48% at 30 and 60 kg.ha-1 metalaxyl in corn-cultivated soils when compared to untreated soils while in uncultivated soils metalaxyl rate at 30 kg.a-1 had the greatest values at 30 days, and increased with increasing the levels of metalaxyl at 90 days. In summary, application of metalaxyl can either reduce or increase soil biological indices, and the direction and changes are depended upon the application rate of metalaxyl, time elapsed since metalaxyl application and the presence or absence of plant.

  4. Folates in plants: research advances and progress in crop biofortification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorelova, Vera; Ambach, Lars; Rébeillé, Fabrice; Stove, Christophe; Van Der Straeten, Dominique

    2017-03-01

    Folates, also known as B9 vitamins, serve as donors and acceptors in one-carbon (C1) transfer reactions. The latter are involved in synthesis of many important biomolecules, such as amino acids, nucleic acids and vitamin B5. Folates also play a central role in the methyl cycle that provides one-carbon groups for methylation reactions. The important functions fulfilled by folates make them essential in all living organisms. Plants, being able to synthesize folates de novo, serve as an excellent dietary source of folates for animals that lack the respective biosynthetic pathway. Unfortunately, the most important staple crops such as rice, potato and maize are rather poor sources of folates. Insufficient folate consumption is known to cause severe developmental disorders in humans. Two approaches are employed to fight folate deficiency: pharmacological supplementation in the form of folate pills and biofortification of staple crops. As the former approach is considered rather costly for the major part of the world population, biofortification of staple crops is viewed as a decent alternative in the struggle against folate deficiency. Therefore strategies, challenges and recent progress of folate enhancement in plants will be addressed in this review. Apart from the ever-growing need for the enhancement of nutritional quality of crops, the world population faces climate change catastrophes or environmental stresses, such as elevated temperatures, drought, salinity that severely affect growth and productivity of crops. Due to immense diversity of their biochemical functions, folates take part in virtually every aspect of plant physiology. Any disturbance to the plant folate metabolism leads to severe growth inhibition and, as a consequence, to a lower productivity. Whereas today’s knowledge of folate biochemistry can be considered very profound, evidence on the physiological roles of folates in plants only starts to emerge. In the current review we will discuss the

  5. Sugar catabolism in Aspergillus and other fungi related to the utilization of plant biomass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Khosravi, Claire; Benocci, Tiziano; Battaglia, Evy; Benoit, Isabelle; de Vries, Ronald P

    2015-01-01

    Fungi are found in all natural and artificial biotopes and can use highly diverse carbon sources. They play a major role in the global carbon cycle by decomposing plant biomass and this biomass is the main carbon source for many fungi. Plant biomass is composed of cell wall polysaccharides

  6. The Evritania (Greece) demonstration plant of biomass pyrolysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zabaniotou, A.A.; Karabela, A.J. [Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece). Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Process Engineering Research Institute

    1999-06-01

    This paper is focused on describing the Evritania demonstration plant for pyrolysis of forestry biomass. This plant was constructed in the village of Voulpi, district of Evritania, in central Greece, in 1995, with a threefold purpose; development of know-how, forest fire prevention and rural development. The products are charcoal and bio-oil. The plant capacity is 1200-1450 kg/h of wet biomass and the pyrolysis temperature is approx. 400 deg C. The raw material used is Arbutus unedo, which is an evergreen broad-leaf tree which covers the area. Other agricultural waste could also be used, such as olive pits and cuttings, almond shells and cotton kernels. The paper includes the conceptual process flow sheet, the changes and improvements made during the trial phase, data from the start-up phase, and product characteristics. Comparison of the process with the Alten process is presented. Additionally, comparisons are made of product characteristics with those from other pyrolysis processes. In general, the results obtained are encouraging even though several improvements of the pilot plant are required. (author)

  7. Cultivation of energy crops. Environmental impacts, competitive utilization and potentials; Anbau von Energiepflanzen. Umweltauswirkungen, Nutzungskonkurrenzen und Potenziale

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muehlenhoff, Joerg

    2013-04-15

    This background paper under consideration reports on the utilization of energy crops with regard to energy supply and climate change. Energy crops are renewable plants which are grown only for energy utilization. The harvested biomass is prepared for the power supply, heat supply and fuel supply by means of different usage paths.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

    The biomethane yield of various energy crops, selected among potential alternatives to maize in the Greater Region, was assessed. The biomass yield, the volatile solids (VS) content and the biochemical methane potential (BMP) were measured to calculate the biomethane yield per hectare of all plant species. For all species, the dry matter biomass yield and the VS content were the main factors that influence, respectively, the biomethane yield and the BMP. Both values were predicted with good accuracy by linear regressions using the biomass yield and the VS as independent variable. The perennial crop miscanthus appeared to be the most promising alternative to maize when harvested as green matter in autumn and ensiled. Miscanthus reached a biomethane yield of 5.5 ± 1 × 10(3)m(3)ha(-1) during the second year after the establishment, as compared to 5.3 ± 1 × 10(3)m(3)ha(-1) for maize under similar crop conditions. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Quantifying the effect of crop spatial arrangement on weed suppression using functional-structural plant modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Evers, Jochem B.; Bastiaans, Lammert

    2016-01-01

    Suppression of weed growth in a crop canopy can be enhanced by improving crop competitiveness. One way to achieve this is by modifying the crop planting pattern. In this study, we addressed the question to what extent a uniform planting pattern increases the ability of a crop to compete with weed

  10. Biomass Supply Planning for Combined Heat and Power Plants using Stochastic Programming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guericke, Daniela; Blanco, Ignacio; Morales González, Juan Miguel

    method using stochastic optimization to support the biomass supply planning for combined heat and power plants. Our two-phase approach combines mid-term decisions about biomass supply contracts with the short-term decisions regarding the optimal market participation of the producer to ensure......During the last years, the consumption of biomass to produce power and heat has increased due to the new carbon neutral policies. Nowadays, many district heating systems operate their combined heat and power (CHP) plants using different types of biomass instead of fossil fuel, especially to produce......, and heat demand and electricity prices vary drastically during the planning period. Furthermore, the optimal operation of combined heat and power plants has to consider the existing synergies between the power and heating systems while always fulfilling the heat demand of the system. We propose a solution...

  11. Efficient plant biomass degradation by thermophilic fungus Myceliophthora heterothallica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Brink, J.; van Muiswinkel, G.C.; Theelen, B.; Hinz, S.W.; de Vries, R.P.

    2013-01-01

    Rapid and efficient enzymatic degradation of plant biomass into fermentable sugars is a major challenge for the sustainable production of biochemicals and biofuels. Enzymes that are more thermostable (up to 70 degrees C) use shorter reaction times for the complete saccharification of plant

  12. Evaluation of Hybrid Power Plants using Biomass, Photovoltaics and Steam Electrolysis for Hydrogen and Power Generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrakopoulou, F.; Sanz, J.

    2014-12-01

    Steam electrolysis is a promising process of large-scale centralized hydrogen production, while it is also considered an excellent option for the efficient use of renewable solar and geothermal energy resources. This work studies the operation of an intermediate temperature steam electrolyzer (ITSE) and its incorporation into hybrid power plants that include biomass combustion and photovoltaic panels (PV). The plants generate both electricity and hydrogen. The reference -biomass- power plant and four variations of a hybrid biomass-PV incorporating the reference biomass plant and the ITSE are simulated and evaluated using exergetic analysis. The variations of the hybrid power plants are associated with (1) the air recirculation from the electrolyzer to the biomass power plant, (2) the elimination of the sweep gas of the electrolyzer, (3) the replacement of two electric heaters with gas/gas heat exchangers, and (4) the replacement two heat exchangers of the reference electrolyzer unit with one heat exchanger that uses steam from the biomass power plant. In all cases, 60% of the electricity required in the electrolyzer is covered by the biomass plant and 40% by the photovoltaic panels. When comparing the hybrid plants with the reference biomass power plant that has identical operation and structure as that incorporated in the hybrid plants, we observe an efficiency decrease that varies depending on the scenario. The efficiency decrease stems mainly from the low effectiveness of the photovoltaic panels (14.4%). When comparing the hybrid scenarios, we see that the elimination of the sweep gas decreases the power consumption due to the elimination of the compressor used to cover the pressure losses of the filter, the heat exchangers and the electrolyzer. Nevertheless, if the sweep gas is used to preheat the air entering the boiler of the biomass power plant, the efficiency of the plant increases. When replacing the electric heaters with gas-gas heat exchangers, the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicoletta Nassi o Di Nasso

    2011-08-01

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

  14. The suitability of non-legume cover crops for inorganic soil nitrogen immobilisation in the transition period to an organic no-till system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Rühlemann

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to evaluate non-legume cover crops for growing no-till grain legumes in organic farming systems. Evaluated cover crops should be able to suppress weed growth, reduce plant available nitrogen in the soil and produce large amounts of biomass with slow N mineralisation. Six non-legume species; spring rye (Secale cereale L., black oat (Avena sativa L., sunflower (Helianthus annuus L., white mustard (Sinapis alba L., buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench and hemp (Cannabis sativa L. were tested. Plots with organic fertiliser (50 kg N ha−1 and without fertiliser incorporation at three locations in south-east Germany were trialled and the cover crops’ ability to produce biomass and accumulate N in plant compartments was evaluated. The N mineralisation from stem and leaf material was simulated using the STICS model. The biomass production ranged from 0.95 to 7.73 Mg ha−1, with fertiliser increasing the total biomass at locations with low-N status. Sunflower consistently displayed large biomass and N accumulation at all locations and fertiliser variations, although not always significantly more than other species. Most N was stored in sunflower leaf material, which can be easily mineralised making it less suited as cover crop before no-till sown spring grain legumes. Rye, which produced slightly less biomass, but accumulated more N in the stem biomass, would be better suited than sunflower in this type of system. The N mineralisation simulation from rye biomass indicated long N immobilisation periods potentially improving weed suppression within no-till sown legume cash crops.

  15. Biomass energy: Sustainable solution for greenhouse gas emission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadrul Islam, A. K. M.; Ahiduzzaman, M.

    2012-06-01

    Biomass is part of the carbon cycle. Carbon dioxide is produced after combustion of biomass. Over a relatively short timescale, carbon dioxide is renewed from atmosphere during next generation of new growth of green vegetation. Contribution of renewable energy including hydropower, solar, biomass and biofuel in total primary energy consumption in world is about 19%. Traditional biomass alone contributes about 13% of total primary energy consumption in the world. The number of traditional biomass energy users expected to rise from 2.5 billion in 2004 to 2.6 billion in 2015 and to 2.7 billion in 2030 for cooking in developing countries. Residential biomass demand in developing countries is projected to rise from 771 Mtoe in 2004 to 818 Mtoe in 2030. The main sources of biomass are wood residues, bagasse, rice husk, agro-residues, animal manure, municipal and industrial waste etc. Dedicated energy crops such as short-rotation coppice, grasses, sugar crops, starch crops and oil crops are gaining importance and market share as source of biomass energy. Global trade in biomass feedstocks and processed bioenergy carriers are growing rapidly. There are some drawbacks of biomass energy utilization compared to fossil fuels viz: heterogeneous and uneven composition, lower calorific value and quality deterioration due to uncontrolled biodegradation. Loose biomass also is not viable for transportation. Pelletization, briquetting, liquefaction and gasification of biomass energy are some options to solve these problems. Wood fuel production is very much steady and little bit increase in trend, however, the forest land is decreasing, means the deforestation is progressive. There is a big challenge for sustainability of biomass resource and environment. Biomass energy can be used to reduce greenhouse emissions. Woody biomass such as briquette and pellet from un-organized biomass waste and residues could be used for alternative to wood fuel, as a result, forest will be saved and

  16. Protein improvement in crop plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rabson, R.

    1974-01-01

    There are compelling reasons for attempting to increase the quality and quantity of protein available in crop plants through plant breeding, despite the fact that some critics have argued that no worldwide protein shortage exists. What used to be thought of as a 'protein gap' has now come to be considered in terms of protein-calorie malnutrition. This is only right since protein and calorie nutrition are inextricable. t the moment there are still unanswered questions as to the precise protein requirements of humans as a function of age, health and ambient conditions. There are, in addition, some indications that the incidence of Kwashiorkor (protein deficiency disease) is increasing in different parts of the world. At a recent meeting of the Protein Advisory Group of the United Nations System, Dr. Jean Mayer, an eminent human nutritionist of Harvard University, U.S.A., indicated the reasons for concern for the current food situation generally, and the protein food supply in particular. These factors include: - Immoderate continuing human population increases, most pronounced in some poor developing countries. - The highly accelerated consumption of animal foods associated with increasing affluence in the richer countries of the world. The production of such foods as meat demands great expenditures of grain, which is an inefficient mode of obtaining the required calories and protein for human consumption. - The over-exploitation of many of the world's fishery resources resulting in reduced yields, perhaps irreversibly, of some fishes. - Recent price increases in petroleum and fertilizer products which have imposed a major obstacle to increasing crop production. - The apparent alteration of climates in places like Africa, Asia and other parts of the Northern hemisphere which may put significant restrictions on crop production. hey are cogent reasons to be seriously concerned about these matters. (author)

  17. Protein improvement in crop plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rabson, R

    1974-07-01

    There are compelling reasons for attempting to increase the quality and quantity of protein available in crop plants through plant breeding, despite the fact that some critics have argued that no worldwide protein shortage exists. What used to be thought of as a 'protein gap' has now come to be considered in terms of protein-calorie malnutrition. This is only right since protein and calorie nutrition are inextricable. t the moment there are still unanswered questions as to the precise protein requirements of humans as a function of age, health and ambient conditions. There are, in addition, some indications that the incidence of Kwashiorkor (protein deficiency disease) is increasing in different parts of the world. At a recent meeting of the Protein Advisory Group of the United Nations System, Dr. Jean Mayer, an eminent human nutritionist of Harvard University, U.S.A., indicated the reasons for concern for the current food situation generally, and the protein food supply in particular. These factors include: - Immoderate continuing human population increases, most pronounced in some poor developing countries. - The highly accelerated consumption of animal foods associated with increasing affluence in the richer countries of the world. The production of such foods as meat demands great expenditures of grain, which is an inefficient mode of obtaining the required calories and protein for human consumption. - The over-exploitation of many of the world's fishery resources resulting in reduced yields, perhaps irreversibly, of some fishes. - Recent price increases in petroleum and fertilizer products which have imposed a major obstacle to increasing crop production. - The apparent alteration of climates in places like Africa, Asia and other parts of the Northern hemisphere which may put significant restrictions on crop production. hey are cogent reasons to be seriously concerned about these matters. (author)

  18. Fabrication Of Biogenic Silver Nanoparticles Using Agricultural Crop Plant Leaf Extracts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajani, P.; SriSindhura, K.; Prasad, T. N. V. K. V.; Hussain, O. M.; Sudhakar, P.; Latha, P.; Balakrishna, M.; Kambala, V.; Reddy, K. Raja

    2010-10-01

    Nanoparticles are being viewed as fundamental building blocks of nanotechnology. Biosynthesis of nanoparticles by plant extracts is currently under exploitation. Use of agricultural crop plant extracts for synthesis of metal nanoparticles would add a new dimension to the agricultural sector in the utilization of crop waste. Silver has long been recognized as having an inhibitory effect towards many bacterial strains and microorganisms commonly present in medical and industrial processes. Four pulse crop plants and three cereal crop plants (Vigna radiata, Arachis hypogaea, Cyamopsis tetragonolobus, Zea mays, Pennisetum glaucum, Sorghum vulgare) were used and compared for their extra cellular synthesis of metallic silver nanoparticles. Stable silver nanoparticles were formed by treating aqueous solution of AgNO3 with the plant leaf extracts as reducing agent at temperatures 50 °C-95 °C. UV-Visible spectroscopy was utilized to monitor the formation of silver nanoparticles. XRD analysis of formed silver nanoparticles revealed face centered cubic structure with (111), (200), (220) and (311) planes. SEM and EDAX analysis confirm the size of the formed silver nanoparticles to be in the range of 50-200 nm. Our proposed work offers a enviro-friendly method for biogenic silver nanoparticles production. This could provide a faster synthesis rate comparable to those of chemical methods and potentially be used in areas such as cosmetics, food and medical applications.

  19. Romania biomass energy. Country study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burnham, M; Easterly, J L; Mark, P E; Keller, A [DynCorp, Alexandria, VA (United States)

    1995-12-01

    The present report was prepared under contract to UNIDO to conduct a case study of biomass energy use and potential in Romania. The purpose of the case study is to provide a specific example of biomass energy issues and potential in the context of the economic transition under way in eastern Europe. The transition of Romania to a market economy is proceeding at a somewhat slower pace than in other countries of eastern Europe. Unfortunately, the former regime forced the use of biomass energy with inadequate technology and infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. The resulting poor performance thus severely damaged the reputation of biomass energy in Romania as a viable, reliable resource. Today, efforts to rejuvenate biomass energy and tap into its multiple benefits are proving challenging. Several sound biomass energy development strategies were identified through the case study, on the basis of estimates of availability and current use of biomass resources; suggestions for enhancing potential biomass energy resources; an overview of appropriate conversion technologies and markets for biomass in Romania; and estimates of the economic and environmental impacts of the utilization of biomass energy. Finally, optimal strategies for near-, medium- and long-term biomass energy development, as well as observations and recommendations concerning policy, legislative and institutional issues affecting the development of biomass energy in Romania are presented. The most promising near-term biomass energy options include the use of biomass in district heating systems; cofiring of biomass in existing coal-fired power plants or combined heat and power plants; and using co-generation systems in thriving industries to optimize the efficient use of biomass resources. Mid-term and long-term opportunities include improving the efficiency of wood stoves used for cooking and heating in rural areas; repairing the reputation of biogasification to take advantage of livestock wastes

  20. Romania biomass energy. Country study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burnham, M.; Easterly, J.L.; Mark, P.E.; Keller, A.

    1995-01-01

    The present report was prepared under contract to UNIDO to conduct a case study of biomass energy use and potential in Romania. The purpose of the case study is to provide a specific example of biomass energy issues and potential in the context of the economic transition under way in eastern Europe. The transition of Romania to a market economy is proceeding at a somewhat slower pace than in other countries of eastern Europe. Unfortunately, the former regime forced the use of biomass energy with inadequate technology and infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. The resulting poor performance thus severely damaged the reputation of biomass energy in Romania as a viable, reliable resource. Today, efforts to rejuvenate biomass energy and tap into its multiple benefits are proving challenging. Several sound biomass energy development strategies were identified through the case study, on the basis of estimates of availability and current use of biomass resources; suggestions for enhancing potential biomass energy resources; an overview of appropriate conversion technologies and markets for biomass in Romania; and estimates of the economic and environmental impacts of the utilization of biomass energy. Finally, optimal strategies for near-, medium- and long-term biomass energy development, as well as observations and recommendations concerning policy, legislative and institutional issues affecting the development of biomass energy in Romania are presented. The most promising near-term biomass energy options include the use of biomass in district heating systems; cofiring of biomass in existing coal-fired power plants or combined heat and power plants; and using co-generation systems in thriving industries to optimize the efficient use of biomass resources. Mid-term and long-term opportunities include improving the efficiency of wood stoves used for cooking and heating in rural areas; repairing the reputation of biogasification to take advantage of livestock wastes

  1. Steam explosion and its combinatorial pretreatment refining technology of plant biomass to bio-based products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hong-Zhang; Liu, Zhi-Hua

    2015-06-01

    Pretreatment is a key unit operation affecting the refinery efficiency of plant biomass. However, the poor efficiency of pretreatment and the lack of basic theory are the main challenges to the industrial implementation of the plant biomass refinery. The purpose of this work is to review steam explosion and its combinatorial pretreatment as a means of overcoming the intrinsic characteristics of plant biomass, including recalcitrance, heterogeneity, multi-composition, and diversity. The main advantages of the selective use of steam explosion and other combinatorial pretreatments across the diversity of raw materials are introduced. Combinatorial pretreatment integrated with other unit operations is proposed as a means to exploit the high-efficiency production of bio-based products from plant biomass. Finally, several pilot- and demonstration-scale operations of the plant biomass refinery are described. Based on the principle of selective function and structure fractionation, and multi-level and directional composition conversion, an integrated process with the combinatorial pretreatments of steam explosion and other pretreatments as the core should be feasible and conform to the plant biomass refinery concept. Combinatorial pretreatments of steam explosion and other pretreatments should be further exploited based on the type and intrinsic characteristics of the plant biomass used, the bio-based products to be made, and the complementarity of the processes. Copyright © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Phytohormones and their metabolic engineering for abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shabir H. Wani

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Abiotic stresses including drought, salinity, heat, cold, flooding, and ultraviolet radiation causes crop losses worldwide. In recent times, preventing these crop losses and producing more food and feed to meet the demands of ever-increasing human populations have gained unprecedented importance. However, the proportion of agricultural lands facing multiple abiotic stresses is expected only to rise under a changing global climate fueled by anthropogenic activities. Identifying the mechanisms developed and deployed by plants to counteract abiotic stresses and maintain their growth and survival under harsh conditions thus holds great significance. Recent investigations have shown that phytohormones, including the classical auxins, cytokinins, ethylene, and gibberellins, and newer members including brassinosteroids, jasmonates, and strigolactones may prove to be important metabolic engineering targets for producing abiotic stress-tolerant crop plants. In this review, we summarize and critically assess the roles that phytohormones play in plant growth and development and abiotic stress tolerance, besides their engineering for conferring abiotic stress tolerance in transgenic crops. We also describe recent successes in identifying the roles of phytohormones under stressful conditions. We conclude by describing the recent progress and future prospects including limitations and challenges of phytohormone engineering for inducing abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants.

  3. Competition increases sensitivity of wheat (Triticum aestivum) to biotic plant-soil feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hol, W H Gera; de Boer, Wietse; ten Hooven, Freddy; van der Putten, Wim H

    2013-01-01

    Plant-soil feedback (PSF) and plant competition play an important role in structuring vegetation composition, but their interaction remains unclear. Recent studies suggest that competing plants could dilute pathogenic effects, whereas the standing view is that competition may increase the sensitivity of the focal plant to PSF. In agro-ecosystems each of these two options would yield contrasting outcomes: reduced versus enhanced effects of weeds on crop biomass production. To test the effect of competition on sensitivity to PSF, we grew Triticum aestivum (Common wheat) with and without competition from a weed community composed of Vicia villosa, Chenopodium album and Myosotis arvensis. Plants were grown in sterilized soil, with or without living field inoculum from 4 farms in the UK. In the conditioning phase, field inocula had both positive and negative effects on T. aestivum shoot biomass, depending on farm. In the feedback phase the differences between shoot biomass in T. aestivum monoculture on non-inoculated and inoculated soils had mostly disappeared. However, T. aestivum plants growing in mixtures in the feedback phase were larger on non-inoculated soil than on inoculated soil. Hence, T. aestivum was more sensitive to competition when the field soil biota was present. This was supported by the statistically significant negative correlation between shoot biomass of weeds and T. aestivum, which was absent on sterilized soil. In conclusion, competition in cereal crop-weed systems appears to increase cereal crop sensitivity to soil biota.

  4. Bacterial endophytes of perennial crops for management of plant disease

    OpenAIRE

    Melnick, Rachel L.; Bailey, B.A.; Backman, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Metadata only record Bacterial endophytes, microorganisms which inhabit the internal tissues of plants, can suppress disease and are often used as a biological control in annual crops. Less research, however, has been applied to the use of bacterial endophytes to prevent disease in perennial crops, which presents a more complex challenge. However, exploration of their potential as a biological control in perennial crops has been limited. This chapter assembles current knowledge on the subj...

  5. Sorghums: viable biomass candidates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McClure, T A; Arthur, M F; Kresovich, S; Scantland, D A

    1980-01-01

    Agronomic studies conducted at Battelle's Columbus Division to evaluate biomass and sugar yields of sweet sorghum are described and the major findings are summarized. Development opportunities for using sorghum cultivars as a large-scale energy crop are discussed. With presently available cultivars, sweet sorghum should produce 3500 to 4000 liters ethanol per hectare from the fermentable sugars alone. Conversion of the stalk fibers into alcohol could increase production by another 1600 to 1900 liters per hectare with existing cultivars. These yields are approximately 30 to 40% greater per hectare than would be obtained from above average yields of grain and stalk fiber with corn. There is reason to believe, that with hybrid sweet sorghum, these yields could be further increased by as much as 30%. Diminishing land availability for agricultural crops necessitates that maximum yields be obtained. Over the next decade, imaginative technological innovations in sorghum harvesting, processing, and crop preservation, coupled with plant breeding research should help this crop realize its full potential as a renewable resource for energy production.

  6. Plant breeding: Induced mutation technology for crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Novak, F.J.; Brunner, H.

    1992-01-01

    Plant breeding requires genetic variation of useful traits for crop improvement, but the desired variation is often lacking. Mutagenic agents, such as radiation and certain chemicals, can be used to induce mutations and generate genetic variations from which desirable mutants may be selected. After a brief summary of the methods currently employed in plant breeding, especially those inducing genetic engineering, this article describes the activities of the Plant Breeding Unit of the IAEA Laboratories at Seibersdorf, summarizing the research and development areas currently being pursued. The banana plant is chosen to exemplify the Laboratories' research

  7. Uptake and Effects of Six Rare Earth Elements (REEs on Selected Native and Crop Species Growing in Contaminated Soils.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Carpenter

    Full Text Available Rare earth elements (REEs have become increasingly important metals used in modern technology. Processes including mining, oil refining, discarding of obsolete equipment containing REEs, and the use of REE-containing phosphate fertilizers may increase the likelihood of environmental contamination. However, there is a scarcity of information on the toxicity and accumulation of these metals to terrestrial primary producers in contaminated soils. The objective of this work was to assess the phytotoxicity and uptake from contaminated soil of six REEs (chloride forms of praseodymium, neodymium, samarium, terbium, dysprosium, and erbium on three native plants (Asclepias syriaca L., Desmodium canadense (L. DC., Panicum virgatum L. and two crop species (Raphanus sativus L., Solanum lycopersicum L. in separate dose-response experiments under growth chamber conditions. Limited effects of REEs were found on seed germination and speed of germination. Effects on aboveground and belowground biomass were more pronounced, especially for the three native species, which were always more sensitive than the crop species tested. Inhibition concentrations (IC25 and IC50 causing 25 or 50% reductions in plant biomass respectively, were measured. For the native species, the majority of aboveground biomass IC25s (11 out of 18 fell within 100 to 300 mg REE/kg dry soil. In comparison to the native species, IC25s for the crops were always greater than 400 mg REE/kg, with the majority of results (seven out of 12 falling above 700 mg REE/kg. IC50s were often not detected for the crops. Root biomass of native species was also affected at lower doses than in crops. REE uptake by plants was higher in the belowground parts than in the above-ground plant tissues. Results also revealed that chloride may have contributed to the sensitivity of the native species, Desmodium canadense, one of the most sensitive species studied. Nevertheless, these results demonstrated that

  8. A proposal for pellet production from residual woody biomass in the island of Majorca (Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Sánchez

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The use of residual biomass for energy purposes is of great interest in isolated areas like Majorca for waste reduction, energy sufficiency and renewable energies development. In addition, densification processes lead to easy-to-automate solid biofuels which additionally have higher energy density. The present study aims at (i the estimation of the potential of residual biomass from woody crops as well as from agri-food and wood industries in Majorca, and (ii the analysis of the optimal location of potential pellet plants by means of a GIS approach (location-allocation analysis and a cost evaluation of the pellets production chain. The residual biomass potential from woody crops in Majorca Island was estimated at 35,874 metric tons dry matter (t DM per year, while the wood and agri-food industries produced annually 21,494 t DM and 2717 t DM, respectively. Thus, there would be enough resource available for the installation of 10 pellet plants of 6400 t·year−1 capacity. These plants were optimally located throughout the island of Mallorca with a maximum threshold distance of 28 km for biomass transport from the production points. Values found for the biomass cost at the pellet plant ranged between 57.1 €·t−1 and 63.4 €·t−1 for biomass transport distance of 10 and 28 km. The cost of pelleting amounted to 56.7 €·t−1; adding the concepts of business fee, pellet transport and profit margin (15%, the total cost of pelleting was estimated at 116.6 €·t−1. The present study provides a proposal for pellet production from residual woody biomass that would supply up to 2.8% of the primary energy consumed by the domestic and services sector in the Balearic Islands.

  9. Energy crops for biogas plants. Lower Saxony; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Niedersachsen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aurbacher, J.; Benke, M.; Formowitz, B. (and others)

    2012-06-15

    In the brochure under consideration the Agency for Renewable Resources (Guelzow-Pruezen, Federal Republic of Germany) reports on the support of the implementation of different plant cultures in structure of plantations and crop rotation systems of companies under consideration of the Federal State Lower Saxony. The main chapters of this brochure are: Crops for the production of biogas; implementation in plantations; ensilage and biogas yields; economy of the cultivation of energy plants.

  10. Inoculation and inter-cropping of legumes in established grass for increasing biomass of fodder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ullah, M.A.; Hussain, N.

    2014-01-01

    Livestock sector has become very important component of agriculture sector in the world due to variety of dairy and meat products and high income to the farmers. In Pakistan, this vast resource faces many crucial challenges like low quality and high priced feed and fodder and limited chances of increasing area under fodders due to competition for food crops. Intercropping (33%, 50% and 67%) of Panicum maximum grass and legumes (Vicia sativa and cowpeas) coupled with inoculation was studied under rainfed conditions at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) Islamabad, Pakistan. Intercropping significantly increased tillering of grass. Seed inoculation of legumes also gave maximum tillers. The grass and legumes biomass without any treatment were recorded as 7.09 and -18.17 t ha, respectively, during two years of study. Mixed fodder -1 production increased to 11.62, 13.6 and 14.13 t ha with 33%, 50% and 67% intercropping, respectively. Respective values of biomass were -1 observed as 13.18, 13.70 and 17.87 t ha when combined with inoculation. Intercropping of grass and legumes 67% with inoculation was assessed as the best treatment. The increases were computed as 304%, 230%, 132%, and 60% over grass alone in the first, second, third and fourth crops while respective increases were 101%, 151%, 165% and 74% over monoculture legumes. (author)

  11. Carbon balance in bioregenerative life support systems: Some effects of system closure, waste management, and crop harvest index

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Raymond M.

    In Advanced Life Support (ALS) systems with bioregenerative components, plant photosynthesis would be used to produce O2 and food, while removing CO2. Much of the plant biomass would be inedible and hence must be considered in waste management. This waste could be oxidized (e.g., incinerated or aerobically digested) to resupply CO2 to the plants, but this would not be needed unless the system were highly closed with regard to food. For example, in a partially closed system where some of the food is grown and some is imported, CO2 from oxidized waste when combined with crew and microbial respiration could exceed the CO2 removal capability of the plants. Moreover, it would consume some O2 produced from photosynthesis that could have been used by the crew. For partially closed systems it would be more appropriate to store or find other uses for the inedible biomass and excess carbon, such as generating soils or growing woody plants (e.g., dwarf fruit trees). Regardless of system closure, high harvest crops (i.e., crops with a high edible to total biomass ratio) would increase food production per unit area and O2 yields for systems where waste biomass is oxidized to recycle CO2. Such interlinking effects between the plants and waste treatment strategies point out the importance of oxidizing only that amount of waste needed to optimize system performance.

  12. Diversity of segetal weeds in pea (Pisum sativum L. depending on crops chosen for a crop rotation system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta K. Kostrzewska

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available This study, lasting from 1999 to 2006, was conducted at the Research Station in Tomaszkowo, which belongs to the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. The experiment was set up on brown rusty soil classified as good rye complex 5 in the Polish soil valuation system. The analysis comprised weeds in fields sown with pea cultivated in two four-field crop rotation systems with a different first crop: A. potato – spring barley – pea – spring barley; B. mixture of spring barley with pea – spring barley – pea – spring barley. Every year, at the 2–3 true leaf stage of pea, the species composition and density of individual weed species were determined; in addition, before harvesting the main crop, the dry matter of weeds was weighed. The results were used to analyze the constancy of weed taxa, species diversity, and the evenness and dominance indices, to determine the relationships between all biological indicators analyzed and weather conditions, and to calculate the indices of similarity, in terms of species composition, density and biomass of weeds, between the crop rotations compared. The species richness, density and biomass of weeds in fields with field pea were not differentiated by the choice of the initial crop in a given rotation system. In the spring, the total number of identified taxa was 28 and it increased to 36 before the harvest of pea plants. Chenopodium album and Echinochloa crus-galli were the most numerous. Chenopodium album, Echinochloa crus-galli, Sonchus arvensis, Fallopia convolvulus and Viola arvensis were constant in all treatments, regardless of what the first crop in rotation was or when the observations were made. The species diversity and the evenness and species dominance indices varied significantly between years and dates of observations. Species diversity calculated on the basis of the density of weed species was higher in the rotation with a mixture of cereals and legumes, while that calculated on

  13. Biomass Allocation and Growth Data of Seeded Plants

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ABSTRACT: This data set of leaf, stem, and root biomass for various plant taxa was compiled from the primary literature of the 20th century with a significant...

  14. Effect of Tropical Rotation Crops on Meloidogyne incognita and Other Plant-Parasitic Nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McSorley, R; Dickson, D W

    1995-12-01

    In a field experiment conducted on sandy soil in Florida during the 1993 season, rotation crops of castor (Ricinus communis), velvetbean (Mucuna deeringina), 'Mississippi Silver' cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), American jointvetch (Aeschynomene americana), 'Dehapine 51' cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), and 'SX-17' sorghum-sudangrass (Sorghum bicolor x S. sudanense) were effective in maintaining low population densities (450/100 cm(3) soil) resulted after 'Clemson Spineless' okra (Hibiscus esculentus) and 'Kirby' soybean (Glycine max). Following a winter cover crop of rye (Secale cereale), densities of M. incognita following the six most effective rotation crops (1993 season) remained relatively low (crop planted in 1994, but increased by the end of the eggplant crop. The rotation crops planted during 1993 had little effect on yield of eggplant in 1994. Eggplant yield was inversely correlated with preplant densities (Pi) of Belonolaimus longicaudatus (r = -0.282; P crop cultivars were lower (P crops intended for suppression of individual Meloidogyne spp. be evaluated for their response to other nematode pests as well.

  15. Modeling plant interspecific interactions from experiments with perennial crop mixtures to predict optimal combinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halty, Virginia; Valdés, Matías; Tejera, Mauricio; Picasso, Valentín; Fort, Hugo

    2017-12-01

    The contribution of plant species richness to productivity and ecosystem functioning is a longstanding issue in ecology, with relevant implications for both conservation and agriculture. Both experiments and quantitative modeling are fundamental to the design of sustainable agroecosystems and the optimization of crop production. We modeled communities of perennial crop mixtures by using a generalized Lotka-Volterra model, i.e., a model such that the interspecific interactions are more general than purely competitive. We estimated model parameters -carrying capacities and interaction coefficients- from, respectively, the observed biomass of monocultures and bicultures measured in a large diversity experiment of seven perennial forage species in Iowa, United States. The sign and absolute value of the interaction coefficients showed that the biological interactions between species pairs included amensalism, competition, and parasitism (asymmetric positive-negative interaction), with various degrees of intensity. We tested the model fit by simulating the combinations of more than two species and comparing them with the polycultures experimental data. Overall, theoretical predictions are in good agreement with the experiments. Using this model, we also simulated species combinations that were not sown. From all possible mixtures (sown and not sown) we identified which are the most productive species combinations. Our results demonstrate that a combination of experiments and modeling can contribute to the design of sustainable agricultural systems in general and to the optimization of crop production in particular. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. Energy crops in rotation. A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zegada-Lizarazu, Walter; Monti, Andrea [Department of Agroenvironmental Science and Technology, University of Bologna, Viale G. Fanin, 44 - 40127, Bologna (Italy)

    2011-01-15

    The area under energy crops has increased tenfold over the last 10 years, and there is large consensus that the demand for energy crops will further increase rapidly to cover several millions of hectares in the near future. Information about rotational systems and effects of energy crops should be therefore given top priority. Literature is poor and fragmentary on this topic, especially about rotations in which all crops are exclusively dedicated to energy end uses. Well-planned crop rotations, as compared to continuous monoculture systems, can be expected to reduce the dependence on external inputs through promoting nutrient cycling efficiency, effective use of natural resources, especially water, maintenance of the long-term productivity of the land, control of diseases and pests, and consequently increasing crop yields and sustainability of production systems. The result of all these advantages is widely known as crop sequencing effect, which is due to the additional and positive consequences on soil physical-chemical and biological properties arising from specific crops grown in the same field year after year. In this context, the present review discusses the potential of several rotations with energy crops and their possibilities of being included alongside traditional agriculture systems across different agro-climatic zones within the European Union. Possible rotations dedicated exclusively to the production of biomass for bioenergy are also discussed, as rotations including only energy crops could become common around bio-refineries or power plants. Such rotations, however, show some limitations related to the control of diseases and to the narrow range of available species with high production potential that could be included in a rotation of such characteristics. The information on best-known energy crops such as rapeseed (Brassica napus) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus) suggests that conventional crops can benefit from the introduction of energy crops in

  17. Low crop plant population densities promote pollen-mediated gene flow in spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willenborg, Christian J; Brûlé-Babel, Anita L; Van Acker, Rene C

    2009-12-01

    Transgenic wheat is currently being field tested with the intent of eventual commercialization. The development of wheat genotypes with novel traits has raised concerns regarding the presence of volunteer wheat populations and the role they may play in facilitating transgene movement. Here, we report the results of a field experiment that investigated the potential of spring wheat plant population density and crop height to minimize gene flow from a herbicide-resistant (HR) volunteer population to a non-HR crop. Pollen-mediated gene flow (PMGF) between the HR volunteer wheat population and four conventional spring wheat genotypes varying in height was assessed over a range of plant population densities. Natural hybridization events between the two cultivars were detected by phenotypically scoring plants in F(1) populations followed by verification with Mendelian segregation ratios in the F(1:2) families. PMGF was strongly associated with crop yield components, but showed no association with flowering synchrony. Maximum observed PMGF was always less than 0.6%, regardless of crop height and density. The frequency of PMGF in spring wheat decreased exponentially with increasing plant population density, but showed no dependence on either crop genotype or height. However, increasing plant densities beyond the recommended planting rate of 300 cropped wheat plants m(-2) provided no obvious benefit to reducing PMGF. Nevertheless, our results demonstrate a critical plant density of 175-200 cropped wheat plants m(-2) below which PMGF frequencies rise exponentially with decreasing plant density. These results will be useful in the development of mechanistic models and best management practices that collectively facilitate the coexistence of transgenic and nontransgenic wheat crops.

  18. Evaluation of plant performance of Jatropha curcas L. under different agro-practices for optimizing biomass - A case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Behera, Soumit K.; Srivastava, Pankaj; Singh, Nandita; Tripathi, Ritu; Singh, J.P.

    2010-01-01

    Jatropha curcas L., a multipurpose, drought resistant, perennial plant belonging to Euphorbiaceae family has gained lot of importance for the production of biodiesel. The properties of the crop and its oil have persuaded investors, policy makers and clean development mechanism (CDM) project developers to consider Jatropha as a substitute for fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, basic agronomic properties of Jatropha are not thoroughly understood and the environmental effects have not been investigated yet. Grey literature reports are very optimistic on simultaneous wasteland reclamation capability and oil yields. Studies were undertaken at Solar Energy Centre, Gurgaon, India to evaluate the plant performance under different agro-practices with special reference to irrigation scheduling, VAM and biofertilizers' applications, plant spacing, pruning trials for maximizing tree architecture and higher biomass. Parallel experiments were undertaken to understand the scope of J. curcas for intercropping practices in the under storey of dominating monoculture tree stands (Prosopis, Acacia and Neem). (author)

  19. Evaluation of plant performance of Jatropha curcas L. under different agro-practices for optimizing biomass - A case study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Behera, Soumit K.; Srivastava, Pankaj; Singh, Nandita [National Botanical Research Institute, CSIR, Rana Pratap Marg, Lucknow 226001, UP (India); Tripathi, Ritu; Singh, J.P. [Solar Energy Centre, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Gwalpahari, Gurgaon (India)

    2010-01-15

    Jatropha curcas L., a multipurpose, drought resistant, perennial plant belonging to Euphorbiaceae family has gained lot of importance for the production of biodiesel. The properties of the crop and its oil have persuaded investors, policy makers and clean development mechanism (CDM) project developers to consider Jatropha as a substitute for fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, basic agronomic properties of Jatropha are not thoroughly understood and the environmental effects have not been investigated yet. Grey literature reports are very optimistic on simultaneous wasteland reclamation capability and oil yields. Studies were undertaken at Solar Energy Centre, Gurgaon, India to evaluate the plant performance under different agro-practices with special reference to irrigation scheduling, VAM and biofertilizers' applications, plant spacing, pruning trials for maximizing tree architecture and higher biomass. Parallel experiments were undertaken to understand the scope of J. curcas for intercropping practices in the under storey of dominating monoculture tree stands (Prosopis, Acacia and Neem). (author)

  20. Large SNP arrays for genotyping in crop plants

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2012-10-15

    Oct 15, 2012 ... in human has been paralleled by the simultaneous develop- ment of ... In crop plants, the development of large genotyping arrays started much ..... via deep resequencing of reduced representation libraries with the Illumina ...

  1. Biomass Allocation and Growth Data of Seeded Plants

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set of leaf, stem, and root biomass for various plant taxa was compiled from the primary literature of the 20th century with a significant portion derived...

  2. Climate-related variation in plant peak biomass and growth phenology across Pacific Northwest tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffington, Kevin J.; Dugger, Bruce D.; Thorne, Karen M.

    2018-03-01

    The interannual variability of tidal marsh plant phenology is largely unknown and may have important ecological consequences. Marsh plants are critical to the biogeomorphic feedback processes that build estuarine soils, maintain marsh elevation relative to sea level, and sequester carbon. We calculated Tasseled Cap Greenness, a metric of plant biomass, using remotely sensed data available in the Landsat archive to assess how recent climate variation has affected biomass production and plant phenology across three maritime tidal marshes in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. First, we used clipped vegetation plots at one of our sites to confirm that tasseled cap greenness provided a useful measure of aboveground biomass (r2 = 0.72). We then used multiple measures of biomass each growing season over 20-25 years per study site and developed models to test how peak biomass and the date of peak biomass varied with 94 climate and sea-level metrics using generalized linear models and Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) model selection. Peak biomass was positively related to total annual precipitation, while the best predictor for date of peak biomass was average growing season temperature, with the peak 7.2 days earlier per degree C. Our study provides insight into how plants in maritime tidal marshes respond to interannual climate variation and demonstrates the utility of time-series remote sensing data to assess ecological responses to climate stressors.

  3. Rare earth elements (REEs): effects on germination and growth of selected crop and native plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Philippe J; Carpenter, David; Boutin, Céline; Allison, Jane E

    2014-02-01

    The phytotoxicity of rare earth elements (REEs) is still poorly understood. The exposure-response relationships of three native Canadian plant species (common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca L., showy ticktrefoil, Desmodium canadense (L.) DC. and switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L.) and two commonly used crop species (radish, Raphanus sativus L., and tomato, Solanum lycopersicum L.) to the REEs lanthanum (La), yttrium (Y) and cerium (Ce) were tested. In separate experiments, seven to eight doses of each element were added to the soil prior to sowing seeds. Effects of REE dose on germination were established through measures of total percent germination and speed of germination; effects on growth were established through determination of above ground biomass. Ce was also tested at two pH levels and plant tissue analysis was conducted on pooled samples. Effects on germination were mostly observed with Ce at low pH. However, effects on growth were more pronounced, with detectable inhibition concentrations causing 10% and 25% reductions in biomass for the two native forb species (A. syriaca and D. canadense) with all REEs and on all species tested with Ce in both soil pH treatments. Concentration of Ce in aboveground biomass was lower than root Ce content, and followed the dose-response trend. From values measured in natural soils around the world, our results continue to support the notion that REEs are of limited toxicity and not considered extremely hazardous to the environment. However, in areas where REE contamination is likely, the slow accumulation of these elements in the environment could become problematic. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  4. High Temperature Corrosion in Biomass Incineration Plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Montgomery, Melanie; Maahn, Ernst emanuel; Gotthjælp, K.

    1997-01-01

    The aim of the project is to study the role of ash deposits in high temperature corrosion of superheater materials in biomass and refuse fire combined heat and power plants. The project has included the two main activities: a) A chemical characterisation of ash deposits collected from a major...

  5. Korean experimental studies on the radionuclide transfer in crop plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choi, Y.H.; Lim, K.M.; Choi, G.S.; Choi, H.J.; Lee, H.S.; Lee, C.W.

    2003-01-01

    In Korea, data on the radionuclide transfer in crop plants have been produced almost exclusively at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), where experimental studies have been carried out for last about 20 years. These works are briefly outlined in this paper which shows results with emphasis on rice data. Soil-to-plant transfer factors of radionuclides including radiocesium and radiostrontium were measured through greenhouse experiments for various crop species. Not only conventional transfer factors but also those based on the activity applied to unit area of the soil surface were investigated. Field studies on the transfer of fallout 137 Cs were carried out for rice and Chinese cabbage. As for parameters in relation to direct plant contamination, interception factors and translocation factors were obtained through greenhouse experiments. Plants were sprayed with radioactive solutions containing 54 Mn, 57 Co, 85 Sr, 103 Ru and 134 Cs at different growth stages. Experiments on the plant exposure to airborne HTO and I 2 vapor were also carried out. The transfer parameters generally showed great variations with soils, crops, radionuclides and isotope application times. Most experiments were designed for acute releases of radioactivity but some results are applicable to steady-state conditions, too. Many of the produced data would be of use also in other countries including Japan. (author)

  6. Sorghum - An alternative energy crop for marginal lands and reclamation sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukas, Stefan; Theiß, Markus; Jäkel, Kerstin

    2017-04-01

    The production of biogas and the associated cultivation of energy crops are still of great importance. Considering increasing restrictions for the cultivation of standard biogas crop maize regarding an environmentally friendly production of biomass, a wider range of energy crops is needed. The cultivation of sorghum can contribute to this. As maize, sorghum is a C4-plant and offers a high biomass yield potential. Originated in the semi-arid tropics, sorghum is well adapted to warm and dry climate and particularly noted for its drought tolerance compared to maize. It also makes few demands on soil quality and shows a good capability of nutrient acquisition. Therefore, particularly on marginal areas and reclamation sites with low soil nutrient and water content sorghum can contribute to secure crop yield and income of farmers. The applied research project aims at and reflects on the establishment of sorghum as a profitable and ecological friendly cropping alternative to maize, especially in the face of probable climate change with increasing risks for agriculture. For this purpose, site differentiated growing and cultivar trials with a standardized planting design as well as several practical on-farm field experiments were conducted. The agronomical and economic results will lead to scientifically based procedures and standards for agricultural practice with respect to cultivation methods (drilling, pest-management, fertilization), cropping sequence and technique, cropping period or position in crop rotation. Even by now there is a promising feedback from the agricultural practice linked with an increasing demand for information. Moreover, the specific cropping area is increasing continuously. Therefore, the leading signs for the establishment of sorghum as profitable alternative to maize biogas production are positive. Sorghum cultures perform best as main crops in the warm D locations in the middle and East German dry areas. Here, the contribution margin

  7. Evaluation of yield and forage quality in main and ratoon crops of different sorghum lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K.S. Vinutha

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Improving the yield and quality of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor forage for livestock feeding is a major breeding objective, because of sorghum’s inherently high biomass accumulation, high productivity per unit water utilized and its ability to produce a ratoon crop after harvesting of the plant crop. Newly bred sorghum lines, including 36 lines falling in 5 different categories, i.e. 12 experimental dual-purpose lines, 6 germplasm accessions from the ICRISAT collection, 11 commercial varieties and hybrids, 6 forage varieties and 1 bmr mutant line, were evaluated in terms of fodder yield, quality and ratooning ability. The main crop produced more dry biomass (P<0.05 at 80 days after planting (mean 22.87 t DM/ha; range 17.32‒33.82 t DM/ha than the ratoon crop (mean 8.47 t DM/ha; range 3.2‒17.42 t DM/ha after a further 80 days of growth. Mean nitrogen concentration in forage did not differ greatly between main and ratoon crops (2.56 vs. 2.40%, respectively but there was wide variation between lines (2.06‒2.89%. The line N 610 recorded highest N percentage of 2.89%, followed by SSG 59 3 (2.86% and SX 17 (2.81%. Highest acid detergent fiber % was recorded by ICSV 12008 (42.1%, closely followed by CO 31 and IS 34638 (40.0%. The least acid detergent lignin % was observed in MLSH-296 Gold (3.59%, ICSV 700 (3.75% and ICSSH 28 (3.83%. Metabolizable energy concentration was highest in N 610, Phule Yashodha and SX 17 (mean 8.34 MJ/kg DM, while in vitro organic matter digestibility ranged from 52.5 to 62.6%. The main crop contained much higher mean concentrations of the cyanogenic glycoside, dhurrin, than the ratoon (639 vs. 233 ppm, respectively with ranges of 38 to 2,298 ppm and 7 to 767 ppm, respectively. There was no significant correlation between dhurrin concentration and dry biomass yield so breeding and selection for low dhurrin concentrations should not jeopardize yields. Hence, breeding for sorghum can target simultaneously both quality and

  8. Permitting a biomass-fired power plant in California -- A case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reisman, J.I.; Needham, G.A.

    1995-01-01

    This paper describes the process of preparing an air permit application for a proposed biomass-fired power plant. The plant is designed to produce a net electric power output of 16 megawatts (MW) for sale to Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The biomass fuel will consist of urban wood waste, construction wood waste, and waste from agricultural products, such as tree prunings and fruit pits. The site is located in an industrial park in Soledad, California

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

  10. Tactical supply chain planning for a forest biomass power plant under supply uncertainty

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shabani, Nazanin; Sowlati, Taraneh; Ouhimmou, Mustapha; Rönnqvist, Mikael

    2014-01-01

    Uncertainty in biomass supply is a critical issue that needs to be considered in the production planning of bioenergy plants. Incorporating uncertainty in supply chain planning models provides improved and stable solutions. In this paper, we first reformulate a previously developed non-linear programming model for optimization of a forest biomass power plant supply chain into a linear programming model. The developed model is a multi-period tactical-level production planning problem and considers the supply and storage of forest biomass as well as the production of electricity. It has a one-year planning horizon with monthly time steps. Next, in order to incorporate uncertainty in monthly available biomass into the planning, we develop a two-stage stochastic programming model. Finally, to balance the risk and profit, we propose a bi-objective model. The results show that uncertainty in availability of biomass has an additional cost of $0.4 million for the power plant. Using the proposed stochastic optimization model could reduce this cost by half. - Highlights: • Developed a two-stage stochastic optimization model to consider supply uncertainty. • Maximized the profit of a forest biomass power plant value chain. • Minimized two risk measures, variability index and downside risk, to manage risks. • Stochastic optimization model provided feasible solution for all scenarios. • Results showed a trade-off between profit and risk management

  11. A new generic plant growth model framework (PMF): Simulating distributed dynamic interaction of biomass production and its interaction with water and nutrients fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Multsch, Sebastian; Kraft, Philipp; Frede, Hans-Georg; Breuer, Lutz

    2010-05-01

    Today, crop models have a widespread application in natural sciences, because plant growth interacts and modifies the environment. Transport processes involve water and nutrient uptake from the saturated and unsaturated zone in the pedosphere. Turnover processes include the conversion of dead root biomass into organic matter. Transpiration and the interception of radiation influence the energy exchange between atmosphere and biosphere. But many more feedback mechanisms might be of interest, including erosion, soil compaction or trace gas exchanges. Most of the existing crop models have a closed structure and do not provide interfaces or code design elements for easy data transfer or process exchange with other models during runtime. Changes in the model structure, the inclusion of alternative process descriptions or the implementation of additional functionalities requires a lot of coding. The same is true if models are being upscaled from field to landscape or catchment scale. We therefore conclude that future integrated model developments would benefit from a model structure that has the following requirements: replaceability, expandability and independency. In addition to these requirements we also propose the interactivity of models, which means that models that are being coupled are highly interacting and depending on each other, i.e. the model should be open for influences from other independent models and react on influences directly. Hence, a model which consists of building blocks seems to be reasonable. The aim of the study is the presentation of the new crop model type, the plant growth model framework, PMF. The software concept refers to an object-oriented approach, which is developed with the Unified Modeling Language (UML). The model is implemented with Python, a high level object-oriented programming language. The integration of the models with a setup code enables the data transfer on the computer memory level and direct exchange of information

  12. Radiation techniques in crop and plant breeding. Multiplying the benefits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahloowalia, B.S.

    1998-01-01

    World food production is based on growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and crops developed through advances in science. Plant breeders have produced multiple varieties that grow well in various types of soils and under diverse climates in different regions of the world. Conventionally, this is done by sexual hybridization. This involves transferring pollen from one parent plant to another to obtain hybrids. The subsequent generations of these hybrids are grown to select plants which combine the desired characters of the parents. However, another method exists by which the genetic make-up of a given plant variety can be changed without crossing with another variety. With this method, a variety retains all its original attributes but is upgraded in one or two changed characteristics. This method is based on radiation-induced genetic changes, and its referred to as ''induced mutations''. During the past thirty years, more than 1800 mutant varieties of plants have been released, many, of which were induced with radiation. Plant tissue and cell culture (also called in vitro culture) in combination with radiation is a powerful technique to induce mutations, particularly for the improvement of vegetatively propagated crops. These crops include cassava, garlic, potato, sweet potato, yams, sugarcane, ornamentals such as chrysanthemum, carnation, roses, tulips, daffodil, and many fruits (e.g. apple, banana, plantain, citrus, date palm, grape, papaya, passion fruit, and kiwi fruit). In some of these plants, either there is no seed set (e.g. banana) or the seed progeny produces plants which do not have the right combination of the desired characteristics. These techniques are also useful in the improvement of forest trees having a long lifespan before they produce fruit and seed. This article briefly reviews advances in plant breeding techniques, with a view towards improving the transfer of technologies to more countries

  13. A key review on emergy analysis and assessment of biomass resources for a sustainable future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Gaijing; Long Weiding

    2010-01-01

    The present study comprehensively reviews emergy analysis and performance evaluation of biomass energy. Biomass resources utilization technologies include (a) bioethanol production, (b) biomass for bio-oil, (c) biodiesel production, (d) straw as fuel in district heating plants, (e) electricity from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) incineration power plant, (f) electricity from waste landfill gas. Systems diagrams of biomass, which are to conduct a critical inventory of processes, storage, and flows that are important to the system under consideration and are therefore necessary to evaluate, for biomasses are given. Emergy indicators, such as percent renewable (PR), emergy yield ratio (EYR), environmental load ratio (ELR) and environmental sustainability index (ESI) are shown to evaluate the environmental load and local sustainability of the biomass energy. The emergy indicators show that bio-fuels from crop are not sustainable and waste management for fuels provides an emergy recovery even lower than mining fossil fuel.

  14. Combating corrosion in biomass and waste fired plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Henderson, Pamela [Vattenfall AB, Stockholm (Sweden). Research and Development; Hjoernhede, Anders [Vattenfall AB, Gothenburg (Sweden). Power Consultant

    2010-07-01

    Many biomass- or waste-fired plants have problems with high temperature corrosion especially if the steam temperature is greater than 500 C. An increase in the combustion of waste fuels means that an increasing number of boilers have had problems. Therefore, there is great interest in reducing the costs associated with high temperature corrosion and at the same time there exists a desire to improve the electrical efficiency of a plant by the use of higher steam temperatures. Assuming that the fuel is well-mixed and that there is good combustion control, there are in addition a number of other measures which can be used to reduce superheater corrosion in biomass and waste fired plants, and these are described in this paper. These include the use of fuel additives, specifically sulphur-containing ones; design aspects like placing superheaters in less corrosive positions in a boiler, using tube shielding, a wider pitch between the tubes; operational considerations such as more controlled soot-blowing and the use of better materials. (orig.)

  15. Biomass energy and the global carbon balance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hall, D.O.; House, J.I.

    1994-01-01

    Studies on climate change and energy production increasingly recognise the crucial role of biological systems. Carbon sinks in forests (above and below ground), CO 2 emissions from deforestation, planting trees for carbon storage, and biomass as a substitute for fossil fuels are some of the key issues which arise. Halting deforestation is of paramount importance, but there is also great potential for reforestation of degraded lands, agroforestry and improved forest management. It is concluded that biomass energy plantations and other types of energy cropping could be a more effective strategy for carbon mitigation than simply growing trees as a carbon store, particularly on higher productivity lands. Use of the biomass produced as an energy source has the added advantage of a wide range of other environmental, social and economic benefits. (author)

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Climate-related variation in plant peak biomass and growth phenology across Pacific Northwest tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffington, Kevin J.; Dugger, Bruce D.; Thorne, Karen M.

    2018-01-01

    The interannual variability of tidal marsh plant phenology is largely unknown and may have important ecological consequences. Marsh plants are critical to the biogeomorphic feedback processes that build estuarine soils, maintain marsh elevation relative to sea level, and sequester carbon. We calculated Tasseled Cap Greenness, a metric of plant biomass, using remotely sensed data available in the Landsat archive to assess how recent climate variation has affected biomass production and plant phenology across three maritime tidal marshes in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. First, we used clipped vegetation plots at one of our sites to confirm that tasseled cap greenness provided a useful measure of aboveground biomass (r2 = 0.72). We then used multiple measures of biomass each growing season over 20–25 years per study site and developed models to test how peak biomass and the date of peak biomass varied with 94 climate and sea-level metrics using generalized linear models and Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) model selection. Peak biomass was positively related to total annual precipitation, while the best predictor for date of peak biomass was average growing season temperature, with the peak 7.2 days earlier per degree C. Our study provides insight into how plants in maritime tidal marshes respond to interannual climate variation and demonstrates the utility of time-series remote sensing data to assess ecological responses to climate stressors.

  18. Spatio-temporal evaluation of plant height in corn via unmanned aerial systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varela, Sebastian; Assefa, Yared; Vara Prasad, P. V.; Peralta, Nahuel R.; Griffin, Terry W.; Sharda, Ajay; Ferguson, Allison; Ciampitti, Ignacio A.

    2017-07-01

    Detailed spatial and temporal data on plant growth are critical to guide crop management. Conventional methods to determine field plant traits are intensive, time-consuming, expensive, and limited to small areas. The objective of this study was to examine the integration of data collected via unmanned aerial systems (UAS) at critical corn (Zea mays L.) developmental stages for plant height and its relation to plant biomass. The main steps followed in this research were (1) workflow development for an ultrahigh resolution crop surface model (CSM) with the goal of determining plant height (CSM-estimated plant height) using data gathered from the UAS missions; (2) validation of CSM-estimated plant height with ground-truthing plant height (measured plant height); and (3) final estimation of plant biomass via integration of CSM-estimated plant height with ground-truthing stem diameter data. Results indicated a correlation between CSM-estimated plant height and ground-truthing plant height data at two weeks prior to flowering and at flowering stage, but high predictability at the later growth stage. Log-log analysis on the temporal data confirmed that these relationships are stable, presenting equal slopes for both crop stages evaluated. Concluding, data collected from low-altitude and with a low-cost sensor could be useful in estimating plant height.

  19. Association of non-heterocystous cyanobacteria with crop plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ahmed, M.; Stal, L.J.; Hasnain, S.

    2010-01-01

    Cyanobacteria have the ability to form associations with organisms from all domains of life, notably with plants, which they provide with fixed nitrogen, among other substances. This study was aimed at developing artificial associations between non-heterocystous cyanobacteria and selected crop

  20. Emerging Technologies for the Production of Renewable Liquid Transport Fuels from Biomass Sources Enriched in Plant Cell Walls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hwei-Ting Tan

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Plant cell walls are composed predominantly of cellulose, a range of non-cellulosic polysaccharides and lignin. The walls account for a large proportion not only of crop residues such as wheat straw and sugarcane bagasse, but also of residues of the timber industry and specialist grasses and other plants being grown specifically for biofuel production. The polysaccharide components of plant cell walls have long been recognized as an extraordinarily large source of fermentable sugars that might be used for the production of bioethanol and other renewable liquid transport fuels. Estimates place annual plant cellulose production from captured light energy in the order of hundreds of billions of tonnes. Lignin is synthesised in the same order of magnitude and, as a very large polymer of phenylpropanoid residues, lignin is also an abundant, high energy macromolecule. However, one of the major functions of these cell wall constituents in plants is to provide the extreme tensile and compressive strengths that enable plants to resist the forces of gravity and a broad range of other mechanical forces. Over millions of years these wall constituents have evolved under natural selection to generate extremely tough and resilient biomaterials. The rapid degradation of these tough cell wall composites to fermentable sugars is therefore a difficult task and has significantly slowed the development of a viable lignocellulose-based biofuels industry. However, good progress has been made in overcoming this so-called recalcitrance of lignocellulosic feedstocks for the biofuels industry, through modifications to the lignocellulose itself, innovative pre-treatments of the biomass, improved enzymes and the development of superior yeasts and other microorganisms for the fermentation process. Nevertheless, it has been argued that bioethanol might not be the best or only biofuel that can be generated from lignocellulosic biomass sources and that hydrocarbons with

  1. Emerging Technologies for the Production of Renewable Liquid Transport Fuels from Biomass Sources Enriched in Plant Cell Walls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Hwei-Ting; Corbin, Kendall R.; Fincher, Geoffrey B.

    2016-01-01

    Plant cell walls are composed predominantly of cellulose, a range of non-cellulosic polysaccharides and lignin. The walls account for a large proportion not only of crop residues such as wheat straw and sugarcane bagasse, but also of residues of the timber industry and specialist grasses and other plants being grown specifically for biofuel production. The polysaccharide components of plant cell walls have long been recognized as an extraordinarily large source of fermentable sugars that might be used for the production of bioethanol and other renewable liquid transport fuels. Estimates place annual plant cellulose production from captured light energy in the order of hundreds of billions of tons. Lignin is synthesized in the same order of magnitude and, as a very large polymer of phenylpropanoid residues, lignin is also an abundant, high energy macromolecule. However, one of the major functions of these cell wall constituents in plants is to provide the extreme tensile and compressive strengths that enable plants to resist the forces of gravity and a broad range of other mechanical forces. Over millions of years these wall constituents have evolved under natural selection to generate extremely tough and resilient biomaterials. The rapid degradation of these tough cell wall composites to fermentable sugars is therefore a difficult task and has significantly slowed the development of a viable lignocellulose-based biofuels industry. However, good progress has been made in overcoming this so-called recalcitrance of lignocellulosic feedstocks for the biofuels industry, through modifications to the lignocellulose itself, innovative pre-treatments of the biomass, improved enzymes and the development of superior yeasts and other microorganisms for the fermentation process. Nevertheless, it has been argued that bioethanol might not be the best or only biofuel that can be generated from lignocellulosic biomass sources and that hydrocarbons with intrinsically higher energy

  2. Economic assessment and comparison of acacia energy crop with annual traditional crops in Southern Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gasol, Carles M.; Rieradevall, Joan; Gabarrell, Xavier; Brun, Filippo; Mosso, Angela

    2010-01-01

    In several policy documents bioenergy is recognized as an important renewable energy source in Italy. The increase in energy prices represents an opportunity for lignocellulosic energy crops such as acacia and poplar. However, for Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) and Short Rotation Forestry (SRF) to be adopted by farmers, these crops must be perceived to be at least as profitable as crops that normally compete with these plantations for land use. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the economic feasibility of acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) as an energy crop in a low input production regime in Italy and, in particular, to consider its competitiveness with wheat. Our results show that neither SRC and SRF techniques using assumed production costs (EUR3820 and EUR5285 ha -1 yr -1 ) nor biomass productions are able to obtain a positive profit (-EUR184 and -EUR172 ha -1 yr -1 ) that can convince farmers to invest in biomass plantations on their land. The results demonstrate that wheat is a more economically secure option than SRC or SRF. The viability of local biomass production in Italy and Southern Europe depends on the active support of the governments; without them, biomass is not economically competitive for the farmers when compared to crops such as wheat. (author)

  3. Crop resistance traits modify the effects of an aboveground herbivore, brown planthopper, on soil microbial biomass and nematode community via changes to plant performance.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huang, J.; Liu, M.; Chen, F.; Griffiths, B.S.; Chen, X.; Johnson, S.N.; Hu, F.

    2012-01-01

    Plant-mediated effects of aboveground herbivory on the belowground ecosystem are well documented, but less attention has been paid to agro-ecosystems and in particular how crop cultivars with different traits (i.e. resistance to pests) shape such interactions. A fully factorial experiment was

  4. Effects of uranium on soil microbial biomass carbon, enzymes, plant biomass and microbial diversity in yellow soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yan, X.; Zhang, Y.; Luo, X.; Yu, L.

    2016-01-01

    We conducted an experiment to investigate the effects of uranium (U) on soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC), enzymes, plant biomass and microbial diversity in yellow soils under three concentrations: 0 mg kg"-"1 (T1, control), 30 mg kg"-"1 (T2) and 60 mg kg"-"1 (T3). Under each treatment, elevated U did not reduce soil MBC or plant biomass, but inhibited the activity of the soil enzymes urease (UR), dehydrogenase (DH) and phosphatase (PHO). The microbial diversity was different, with eight dominant phyla in T1 and six in T2 and T3. Furthermore, Proteobacteria and material X were both detected in each treatment site (T1, T2 and T3). Pseudomonas sp. was the dominant strain, followed by Acidiphilium sp. This initial study provided valuable data for further research toward a better understanding of U contamination in yellow soils in China. (authors)

  5. Crop Registration: The Pathway to Public Access of Plant Genetic Materials to Build Crops for the Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starting as Crop Science Registrations in the American Journal of the Society of Agronomy in 1926, and continuing 80+ years later in the Journal of Plant Registrations, 11,241 plant cultivars, germplasm, parental lines, genetic stocks and mapping populations have been registered as of December 31, 2...

  6. RNA Silencing in Plants: Mechanisms, Technologies and Applications in Horticultural Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Qigao; Liu, Qing; Smith, Neil A; Liang, Guolu; Wang, Ming-Bo

    2016-12-01

    Understanding the fundamental nature of a molecular process or a biological pathway is often a catalyst for the development of new technologies in biology. Indeed, studies from late 1990s to early 2000s have uncovered multiple overlapping but functionally distinct RNA silencing pathways in plants, including the posttranscriptional microRNA and small interfering RNA pathways and the transcriptional RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway. These findings have in turn been exploited for developing artificial RNA silencing technologies such as hairpin RNA, artificial microRNA, intrinsic direct repeat, 3' UTR inverted repeat, artificial trans-acting siRNA, and virus-induced gene silencing technologies. Some of these RNA silencing technologies, such as the hairpin RNA technology, have already been widely used for genetic improvement of crop plants in agriculture. For horticultural plants, RNA silencing technologies have been used to increase disease and pest resistance, alter plant architecture and flowering time, improve commercial traits of fruits and flowers, enhance nutritional values, remove toxic compounds and allergens, and develop high-value industrial products. In this article we aim to provide an overview of the RNA silencing pathways in plants, summarize the existing RNA silencing technologies, and review the current progress in applying these technologies for the improvement of agricultural crops particularly horticultural crops.

  7. Biomass Co-Firing in Suspension-Fired Power Plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kær, Søren Knudsen; Hvid, Søren Lovmand; Baxter, Larry

    , in the future it is expected to become relevant to cofire in more advanced plants as the trend in the power plant structure is towards older plants having fewer operating hours or being decommissioned. A major product of this project is an experimentally validated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) based...... modelling tool adapted to accommodate biomass cofiring combustion features. The CFD tool will be able to predict deposit accumulation, particle conversion, fly ash composition, temperatures, velocities, and composition of furnace gases, etc. The computer model will primarily be used in the development...

  8. Accurate inference of shoot biomass from high-throughput images of cereal plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tester Mark

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract With the establishment of advanced technology facilities for high throughput plant phenotyping, the problem of estimating plant biomass of individual plants from their two dimensional images is becoming increasingly important. The approach predominantly cited in literature is to estimate the biomass of a plant as a linear function of the projected shoot area of plants in the images. However, the estimation error from this model, which is solely a function of projected shoot area, is large, prohibiting accurate estimation of the biomass of plants, particularly for the salt-stressed plants. In this paper, we propose a method based on plant specific weight for improving the accuracy of the linear model and reducing the estimation bias (the difference between actual shoot dry weight and the value of the shoot dry weight estimated with a predictive model. For the proposed method in this study, we modeled the plant shoot dry weight as a function of plant area and plant age. The data used for developing our model and comparing the results with the linear model were collected from a completely randomized block design experiment. A total of 320 plants from two bread wheat varieties were grown in a supported hydroponics system in a greenhouse. The plants were exposed to two levels of hydroponic salt treatments (NaCl at 0 and 100 mM for 6 weeks. Five harvests were carried out. Each time 64 randomly selected plants were imaged and then harvested to measure the shoot fresh weight and shoot dry weight. The results of statistical analysis showed that with our proposed method, most of the observed variance can be explained, and moreover only a small difference between actual and estimated shoot dry weight was obtained. The low estimation bias indicates that our proposed method can be used to estimate biomass of individual plants regardless of what variety the plant is and what salt treatment has been applied. We validated this model on an independent

  9. Biomass sector review for the Carbon Trust

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2005-10-26

    The review drew on an extensive number of sources, including a detailed literature survey, in-house references, questionnaires and interviews with trade associations, industry participants and industry observers. The policy observations that were drawn from the review, together with the results of the analysis itself, were subject to a detailed peer review with leading industry participants, observers and academics. The purpose of this document, is to place the results of this analysis in the public domain and to ensure that it is available to those interested in developing the biomass sector in the UK. Screening of the available biomass resource in the UK highlighted four key biomass fuels: forestry crops, dry agricultural residue, waste wood arid woody energy crops. The four fuels could have a material impact on UK energy supply when used for heat and power. Currently they have the potential to supply up to an additional. 41TWh/yr or about 1.5% of UK energy supply. In the future this could rise to c.80TWh/yr, mainly through expansion in the supply of woody energy crops and/or dry agricultural residue. If available resources are used for biofuels the level of potential carbon saving decreases significantly compared with providing heat or electricity due to lower conversion efficiency. Consequently, biofuels are not covered in depth in this report. Although the UK has a considerable amount of biomass resource, gaining access to it is not always viable for developers and end-users as the UK. currently has a relatively undeveloped biomass fuel supply infrastructure. Just as biomass can be drawn from a number or sources, it can be converted to useful energy through a number of processes and delivered to a variety of markets. Our screening of biomass conversion processes demonstrated that currently combustion represents the best area of focus. Combustion is a proven, established conversion process and the lowest cost option available today. Co-firing was not analysed

  10. Energy from biomass production - photosynthesis of microalgae?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lamparter, Tilman [Universitaet Karlsruhe, Botanisches Institut, Geb. 10.40, Kaiserstr. 2, D-76131 Karlsruhe (Germany)

    2009-07-01

    The composition of our atmosphere in the past, present and future is largely determined by photosynthetic activity. Other biological processes such as respiration consume oxygen and produce, like the use of the limited fossil fuel resources, CO{sub 2} whose increasing atmospheric concentration is a major concern. There is thus a demand on the development of alternative energy sources that replace fossil fuel. The use of crop plants for the production of biofuel is one step towards this direction. Since most often the same areas are used as for the production of food, the increased production of biofuel imposes secondary problems, however. In this context, the use of microalgae for biomass production has been proposed. Not only algae in the botanical sense (lower plants, photosynthetic eukaryotes) but also cyanobacteria, which belong to the prokaryotes, are used as ''microalgae''. The conversion of light energy into biomass can reach much higher efficiencies than in crop plants, in which a great portion of photosynthesis products is used to build up non-photosynthetic tissues such as roots or stems. Microalgae can grow in open ponds or bioreactors and can live on water of varying salinity. It has been proposed to grow microalgae in sea water on desert areas. Ongoing research projects aim at optimizing growth conditions in bioreactors, the recycling of CO{sub 2} from flue gases (e.g. from coal-fired power plants), the production of hydrogen, ethanol or lipids, and the production of valuable other substances such as carotenoids.

  11. Annual Removal of Aboveground Plant Biomass Alters Soil Microbial Responses to Warming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Xue

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Clipping (i.e., harvesting aboveground plant biomass is common in agriculture and for bioenergy production. However, microbial responses to clipping in the context of climate warming are poorly understood. We investigated the interactive effects of grassland warming and clipping on soil properties and plant and microbial communities, in particular, on microbial functional genes. Clipping alone did not change the plant biomass production, but warming and clipping combined increased the C4 peak biomass by 47% and belowground net primary production by 110%. Clipping alone and in combination with warming decreased the soil carbon input from litter by 81% and 75%, respectively. With less carbon input, the abundances of genes involved in degrading relatively recalcitrant carbon increased by 38% to 137% in response to either clipping or the combined treatment, which could weaken long-term soil carbon stability and trigger positive feedback with respect to warming. Clipping alone also increased the abundance of genes for nitrogen fixation, mineralization, and denitrification by 32% to 39%. Such potentially stimulated nitrogen fixation could help compensate for the 20% decline in soil ammonium levels caused by clipping alone and could contribute to unchanged plant biomass levels. Moreover, clipping tended to interact antagonistically with warming, especially with respect to effects on nitrogen cycling genes, demonstrating that single-factor studies cannot predict multifactorial changes. These results revealed that clipping alone or in combination with warming altered soil and plant properties as well as the abundance and structure of soil microbial functional genes. Aboveground biomass removal for biofuel production needs to be reconsidered, as the long-term soil carbon stability may be weakened.

  12. [Effects of large-area planting water hyacinth on macro-benthos community structure and biomass].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Guo-Feng; Liu, Hai-Qin; Zhang, Zhi-Yong; Zhang, Ying-Ying; Yan, Shao-Hua; Zhong, Ji-Cheng; Fan, Cheng-Xin

    2010-12-01

    The effects on macro-benthos and benthos environment of planting 200 hm2 water hyacinth (E. crassipens) in Zhushan Bay, Lake Taihu, were studied during 8-10 months consecutive surveys. Results indicated that average densities of mollusca (the main species were Bellamya aeruginosa) in far-planting, near-planting and planting area were 276.67, 371.11 and 440.00 ind/m2, respectively, and biomass were 373.15, 486.57 and 672.54 g/m2, respectively, showed that average density and biomass of planting area's were higher than those of others. However, the average density and biomass of Oligochaeta (the main species was Limodrilus hoffmeisteri) and Chironomidae in planting area were lower than that of outside planting area. The density and biomass of three dominant species of benthic animal increased quickly during 8-9 months, decreased quickly in October inside and outside water hyacinth planting area. The reason of this phenomenon could be possible that lots of cyanobacteria cells died and consumed dissolve oxygen in proceed decomposing. Algae cells released lots of phosphorus and nitrogen simultaneously, so macro-benthos died in this environment. The indexes of Shannon-Weaver and Simpson indicated that water environment was in moderate polluted state. On the basis of the survey results, the large-area and high-density planting water hyacinth haven't demonstrated a great impact on macrobenthos and benthos environment in short planting time (about 6 months planting time).

  13. Recent patents on genetic modification of plants and microbes for biomass conversion to biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubieniechi, Simona; Peranantham, Thinesh; Levin, David B

    2013-04-01

    Development of sustainable energy systems based on renewable biomass feedstocks is now a global effort. Lignocellulosic biomass contains polymers of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, bound together in a complex structure. Liquid biofuels, such as ethanol, can be made from biomass via fermentation of sugars derived from the cellulose and hemicellulose within lignocellulosic materials, but pre-treatment of the biomass to release sugars for microbial conversion is a significant barrier to commercial success of lignocellulosic biofuel production. Strategies to reduce the energy and cost inputs required for biomass pre-treatment include genetic modification of plant materials to reduce lignin content. Significant efforts are also underway to create recombinant microorganisms capable of converting sugars derived from lignocellulosic biomass to a variety of biofuels. An alternative strategy to reduce the costs of cellulosic biofuel production is the use of cellulolytic microorganisms capable of direct microbial conversion of ligno-cellulosic biomass to fuels. This paper reviews recent patents on genetic modification of plants and microbes for biomass conversion to biofuels.

  14. Modifying agricultural crops for improved nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGloughlin, Martina Newell

    2010-11-30

    The first generation of biotechnology products commercialized were crops focusing largely on input agronomic traits whose value was often opaque to consumers. The coming generations of crop plants can be grouped into four broad areas each presenting what, on the surface, may appear as unique challenges and opportunities. The present and future focus is on continuing improvement of agronomic traits such as yield and abiotic stress resistance in addition to the biotic stress tolerance of the present generation; crop plants as biomass feedstocks for biofuels and "bio-synthetics"; value-added output traits such as improved nutrition and food functionality; and plants as production factories for therapeutics and industrial products. From a consumer perspective, the focus on value-added traits, especially improved nutrition, is undoubtedly one of the areas of greatest interest. From a basic nutrition perspective, there is a clear dichotomy in demonstrated need between different regions and socioeconomic groups, the starkest being inappropriate consumption in the developed world and under-nourishment in Less Developed Countries (LDCs). Dramatic increases in the occurrence of obesity and related ailments in affluent regions are in sharp contrast to chronic malnutrition in many LDCs. Both problems require a modified food supply, and the tools of biotechnology have a part to play. Developing plants with improved traits involves overcoming a variety of technical, regulatory and indeed perception hurdles inherent in perceived and real challenges of complex traits modifications. Continuing improvements in molecular and genomic technologies are contributing to the acceleration of product development to produce plants with the appropriate quality traits for the different regions and needs. Crops with improved traits in the pipeline, the evolving technologies and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead are covered. Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  15. Evaluation of wheat growth, morphological characteristics, biomass yield and quality in Lunar Palace-1, plant factory, green house and field systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chen; Shao, Lingzhi; Fu, Yuming; Wang, Minjuan; Xie, Beizhen; Yu, Juan; Liu, Hong

    2015-06-01

    Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is one of the most important agricultural crops in both space such as Bioregenerative Life Support Systems (BLSS) and urban agriculture fields, and its cultivation is affected by several environmental factors. The objective of this study was to investigate the influences of different environmental conditions (BLSS, plant factory, green house and field) on the wheat growth, thousand kernel weight (TKW), harvest index (HI), biomass yield and quality during their life cycle. The results showed that plant height partially influenced by the interaction effects with environment, and this influence decreased gradually with the plant development. It was found that there was no significant difference between the BLSS and plant factory treatments on yields per square, but the yield of green house and field treatments were both lower. TKW and HI in BLSS and plant factory were larger than those in the green house and field. However, grain protein concentration can be inversely correlated with grain yield. Grain protein concentrations decreased under elevate CO2 condition and the magnitude of the reductions depended on the prevailing environmental condition. Conditional interaction effects with environment also influenced the components of straw during the mature stage. It indicated that CO2 enriched environment to some extent was better for inedible biomass degradation and had a significant effect on "source-sink flow" at grain filling stage, which was more beneficial to recycle substances in the processes of the environment regeneration.

  16. Impact of mine waste dumps on growth and biomass of economically important crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathiyazhagan, Narayanan; Natarajan, Devarajan

    2012-11-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effect of magnesite and bauxite waste dumps on growth and biochemical parameters of some edible and economically important plants such as Vigna radiata, V. mungo, V. unguiculata, Eleusine coracana, Cajanus cajan, Pennisetum glaucum, Macrotyloma uniflorum, Oryza sativa, Sorghum bicolour, Sesamum indicum, Ricinus communis, Brassica juncea, Gossypium hirsutum and Jatropha curcas. The growth rate of all the crops was observed in the range of 75 to 100% in magnesite and 15 to 100% in bauxite mine soil. The moisture content of roots and shoots of all the crops were in the range of 24 to 77, 20 to 88% and 42 to 87, 59 to 88% respectively. The height of the crops was in the range of 2.6 to 48 cm in magnesite soil and 3 to 33 cm in bauxite soil. Thus the study shows that both mine soils reflects some physical and biomolecule impact on selected crops.

  17. Overexpression of the WOX gene STENOFOLIA improves biomass yield and sugar release in transgenic grasses and display altered cytokinin homeostasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Wang

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Lignocellulosic biomass can be a significant source of renewable clean energy with continued improvement in biomass yield and bioconversion strategies. In higher plants, the leaf blade is the central energy convertor where solar energy and CO2 are assimilated to make the building blocks for biomass production. Here we report that introducing the leaf blade development regulator STENOFOLIA (STF, a WOX family transcription factor, into the biofuel crop switchgrass, significantly improves both biomass yield and sugar release. We found that STF overexpressing switchgrass plants produced approximately 2-fold more dry biomass and release approximately 1.8-fold more solubilized sugars without pretreatment compared to controls. The biomass increase was attributed mainly to increased leaf width and stem thickness, which was also consistent in STF transgenic rice and Brachypodium, and appeared to be caused by enhanced cell proliferation. STF directly binds to multiple regions in the promoters of some cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (CKX genes and represses their expression in all three transgenic grasses. This repression was accompanied by a significant increase in active cytokinin content in transgenic rice leaves, suggesting that the increase in biomass productivity and sugar release could at least in part be associated with improved cytokinin levels caused by repression of cytokinin degrading enzymes. Our study provides a new tool for improving biomass feedstock yield in bioenergy crops, and uncovers a novel mechanistic insight in the function of STF, which may also apply to other repressive WOX genes that are master regulators of several key plant developmental programs.

  18. Application of Endophytic Pseudomonas fluorescens and a Bacterial Consortium to Brassica napus Can Increase Plant Height and Biomass under Greenhouse and Field Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard D. Lally

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Plant associated bacteria with plant growth promotion (PGP properties have been proposed for use as environmentally friendly biofertilizers for sustainable agriculture; however, analysis of their efficacy in the field is often limited. In this study, greenhouse and field trials were carried out using individual endophytic Pseudomonas fluorescens strains, the well characterized rhizospheric P. fluorescens F113 and an endophytic microbial consortium of 10 different strains. These bacteria had been previously characterized with respect to their PGP properties in vitro and had been shown to harbor a range of traits associated with PGP including siderophore production, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC deaminase activity, and inorganic phosphate solubilization. In greenhouse experiments individual strains tagged with gfp and Kmr were applied to Brassica napus as a seed coat and were shown to effectively colonize the rhizosphere and root of B. napus and in addition they demonstrated a significant increase in plant biomass compared with the non-inoculated control. In the field experiment, the bacteria (individual and consortium were spray inoculated to winter oilseed rape B. napus var. Compass which was grown under standard North Western European agronomic conditions. Analysis of the data provides evidence that the application of the live bacterial biofertilizers can enhance aspects of crop development in B. napus at field scale. The field data demonstrated statistically significant increases in crop height, stem/leaf, and pod biomass, particularly, in the case of the consortium inoculated treatment. However, although seed and oil yield were increased in the field in response to inoculation, these data were not statistically significant under the experimental conditions tested. Future field trials will investigate the effectiveness of the inoculants under different agronomic conditions.

  19. The effect of D123 wheat as a companion crop on soil enzyme activities, microbial biomass and microbial communities in the rhizosphere of watermelon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Weihui; Wang, Zhigang; Wu, Fengzhi

    2015-01-01

    The growth of watermelon is often threatened by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum (Fon) in successively monocultured soil, which results in economic loss. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of D123 wheat as a companion crop on soil enzyme activities, microbial biomass and microbial communities in the rhizosphere of watermelon and to explore the relationship between the effect and the incidence of wilt caused by Fon. The results showed that the activities of soil polyphenol oxidase, urease and invertase were increased, the microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN) and microbial biomass phosphorus (MBP) were significantly increased, and the ratio of MBC/MBN was decreased (P Fusarium wilt was also decreased in the watermelon/wheat companion system. In conclusion, this study indicated that D123 wheat as a companion crop increased soil enzyme activities and microbial biomass, decreased the Fon population, and changed the relative abundance of microbial communities in the rhizosphere of watermelon, which may be related to the reduction of Fusarium wilt in the watermelon/wheat companion system.

  20. Impact of crop residues on seed germination of native desert plants ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Crop residues produce allelochemicals that may inhibit seed germination of many weeds. In this study, I assessed the effect of aqueous extracts of three crop residues (radish, rocket and rhodes) on final germination percentage and germination rate of four desert plants recorded as weeds in the United Arab Emirates farms ...

  1. Driftless Area Initiative Biomass Energy Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, Angie [Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development, Inc., Postville, IA (United States); Bertjens, Steve [Natural Resources Conservation Service, Madison, WI (United States); Lieurance, Mike [Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development, Inc., Postville, IA (United States); Berguson, Bill [Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States). Natural Resources Research Inst.; Buchman, Dan [Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States). Natural Resources Research Inst.

    2012-12-31

    The Driftless Area Initiative Biomass Energy Project evaluated the potential for biomass energy production and utilization throughout the Driftless Region of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The research and demonstration aspect of the project specifically focused on biomass energy feedstock availability and production potential in the region, as well as utilization potential of biomass feedstocks for heat, electrical energy production, or combined heat and power operations. The Driftless Region was evaluated because the topography of the area offers more acres of marginal soils on steep slopes, wooded areas, and riparian corridors than the surrounding “Corn Belt”. These regional land characteristics were identified as potentially providing opportunity for biomass feedstock production that could compete with traditional agriculture commodity crops economically. The project researched establishment methods and costs for growing switchgrass on marginal agricultural lands to determine the economic and quantitative feasibility of switchgrass production for biomass energy purposes. The project was successful in identifying the best management and establishment practices for switchgrass in the Driftless Area, but also demonstrated that simple economic payback versus commodity crops could not be achieved at the time of the research. The project also analyzed the availability of woody biomass and production potential for growing woody biomass for large scale biomass energy production in the Driftless Area. Analysis determined that significant resources exist, but costs to harvest and deliver to the site were roughly 60% greater than that of natural gas at the time of the study. The project contributed significantly to identifying both production potential of biomass energy crops and existing feedstock availability in the Driftless Area. The project also analyzed the economic feasibility of dedicated energy crops in the Driftless Area. High commodity crop prices

  2. Emission of CO2 from energy crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turhollow, A.F.

    1991-01-01

    The production of cellulosic energy crops (e.g., short rotation woody crops and herbaceous crops) make a net contribution of CO 2 to the atmosphere to the extent that fossil-fuel based inputs are used in their production. The CO 2 released from the use of the biomass is merely CO 2 that has recently been removed from the atmosphere by the plant growth process. Fossil inputs used in the production of energy corps include energy invested in fertilizers and pesticides, and petroleum fuels used for machinery operation such as site preparation, weed control, harvesting, and hauling. Fossil inputs used come from petroleum, natural gas, and electricity derived from fossil sources. No fossil inputs for the capital used to produce fertilizers, pesticides, or machinery is calculated in this analysis. In this paper calculations are made for the short rotation woody crop hybrid poplar (Populus spp.), the annual herbaceous crop sorghum (Sorghum biocolor [L.] Moench), and the perennial herbaceous crop switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). For comparison purposes, emissions of CO 2 from corn (Zea mays L.) are calculated

  3. Weed Control with Cover Crops in Irrigated Potatoes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.H. Mehring

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Field experiments at Oakes, ND, USA in 2010 and Carrington, ND, USA in 2011 were conducted to evaluate the potential for cover crops grown in the Northern Great Plains, USA in order to reduce weed emergence and density in irrigated potatoes. Treatments included five cover crop treatments and three cover crop termination treatments. Termination of cover crops was done with glyphosate, disk-till, and roto-till. Cover crop biomass accumulation was greatest for rye/canola and triticale at Oakes, and hairy vetch and hairy vetch/rye at Carrington. Cover crop and termination affected weed control 14, 29, and 51 days after planting (DAP at Oakes. Weed control at Carrington was at least 90% for all cover crop and termination treatments at all three evaluation timings. Marketable yield at Oakes was greater when roto-till was used to terminate the cover crops compared with disk-till or herbicide, which is beneficial for organic systems where herbicides are not used. Marketable yield at Carrington was not affected by cover crop or termination treatments. Results suggest that cover crops can successfully be integrated into irrigated potato production for weed control with yields equal to no cover crop, and with attention to potential mechanical difficulties.

  4. Next biotech plants: new traits, crops, developers and technologies for addressing global challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricroch, Agnès E; Hénard-Damave, Marie-Cécile

    2016-08-01

    Most of the genetically modified (GM) plants currently commercialized encompass a handful of crop species (soybean, corn, cotton and canola) with agronomic characters (traits) directed against some biotic stresses (pest resistance, herbicide tolerance or both) and created by multinational companies. The same crops with agronomic traits already on the market today will continue to be commercialized, but there will be also a wider range of species with combined traits. The timeframe anticipated for market release of the next biotech plants will not only depend on science progress in research and development (R&D) in laboratories and fields, but also primarily on how demanding regulatory requirements are in countries where marketing approvals are pending. Regulatory constraints, including environmental and health impact assessments, have increased significantly in the past decades, delaying approvals and increasing their costs. This has sometimes discouraged public research entities and small and medium size plant breeding companies from using biotechnology and given preference to other technologies, not as stringently regulated. Nevertheless, R&D programs are flourishing in developing countries, boosted by the necessity to meet the global challenges that are food security of a booming world population while mitigating climate change impacts. Biotechnology is an instrument at the service of these imperatives and a wide variety of plants are currently tested for their high yield despite biotic and abiotic stresses. Many plants with higher water or nitrogen use efficiency, tolerant to cold, salinity or water submergence are being developed. Food security is not only a question of quantity but also of quality of agricultural and food products, to be available and accessible for the ones who need it the most. Many biotech plants (especially staple food) are therefore being developed with nutritional traits, such as biofortification in vitamins and metals. The main

  5. Effects of low doses of radiation on crop plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1966-01-01

    Claims for radiation-induced growth stimulations in plants have been made, starting almost from the time of the discovery of X-rays. However, there is general disagreement on this question, since the numerous studies designed to prove or disprove the existence of the phenomenon have produced inconclusively and erratic results. It is obvious that small, but significant, growth increases may be produced at times by ionizing radiations in certain crop plants, but such increases have not always been reproducible from one experiment to another, and marked inconsistencies often occur with regard to the optimal exposures to produce such effects. The purpose of the FAO/IAEA Panel meeting held in Rome on 1 June, 1964, was to review and evaluate the experimental results in this area and applications for increasing crop yields. Refs, figs and tabs

  6. Root characteristics of cover crops and their erosion-reducing potential during concentrated runoff

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Baets, S.; Poesen, J.

    2009-04-01

    In the loam region in central Belgium, a lot of research has been conducted on the effects of cover crops for preventing splash and interrill erosion and on their nutrient pumping effectiveness. As this is a very effective erosion and environment conservation technique, planting cover crops during the winter season is widely applied in the loess belt. Most of these cover crops freeze at the beginning of the winter period. Consequently, the above-ground biomass becomes less effective in protecting the soil from water erosion. Apart from the effects of the above-ground biomass in protecting the soil against raindrop impacts and reducing flow velocities by the retarding effects of their stems, plant roots also play an important role in improving soil strength. Previous research showed that roots contribute to a large extent to the resistance of topsoils against concentrated flow erosion. Unfortunately, information on root properties of common cover crops (e.g. Sinapis alba, Phacelia tanacetifoli, Lolium perenne, Avena sativa, Secale cereale, Raphanus sativus subsp. oleiferus) is very scarce. Therefore, root density distribution with depth and their erosion-reducing effects during concentrated flow erosion were assessed by conducting root auger measurements and concentrated flow experiments at the end of the growth period (December). The preliminary results indicate that the studied cover crops are not equally effective in preventing soil loss by concentrated flow erosion at the end of the growing season. Cover crops with thick roots, such as Sinapis alba and Raphanus sativus subsp. oleiferus are less effective than cover crops with fine-branched roots such as Phacelia tanacetifoli, Lolium perenne (Ryegrass), Avena sativa (Oats) and Secale cereale (Rye) in preventing soil losses by concentrated flow erosion. These results enable soil managers to select the most suitable crops and maximize soil protection.

  7. From the idea to the construction of a biomass fuelled plant. The marketing potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beyer, Ranveig Vaa

    2000-12-01

    The report deals with the case handling in connection with the planning of a biomass fuelled plant as well as the market potential for a biomass fuelled Stirling engines and direct combustion of biomass with a steam circuit

  8. The environmental benefits of cellulosic energy crops at a landscape scale

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graham, R.L.; Liu, W.; English, B.C.

    1995-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to present a broad overview of the potential environmental impacts of biomass energy from energy crops--particularly the cellulosic energy crops current under development. For this discussion, the term energy crop refers to a crop grown primarily to create feedstock for either making biofuels such as ethanol or burning in a heat or electricity generation facility. Cellulosic energy crops are designed to be used in cellulose-based ethanol conversion processes (as opposed to starch or sugar-based ethanol conversion processes). As more cellulose can be produced per hectare of land than can sugar or starch, the cellulose-based ethanol conversion process is a more efficient sue of land for ethanol production. Assessing the environmental impacts of biomass energy from energy crops is complex because the environmental impact of using biomass for energy must be considered in the context of alternative energy options while the environmental impact of producing biomass from energy crops must be considered in the context of alternative land-uses. Using biomass-derived energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase them; growing biomass energy crops can enhance soil fertility or degrade it. Without knowing the context of the biomass energy, one can say little about its specific environmental impacts. The primary focus of this paper is an evaluation of the environmental impacts of growing cellulosic energy crops especially at the landscape or regional scale. However, to set the stage for this discussion, the authors begin by comparing the environmental advantages and disadvantages of biomass-derived energy relative to other energy alternatives such as coal, hydropower, nuclear power, oil/gasoline, natural gas and photovoltaics

  9. Fluid selection for the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) in biomass power and heat plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drescher, Ulli; Brueggemann, Dieter

    2007-01-01

    In small solid biomass power and heat plants, the ORC is used for cogeneration. This application shows constraints different from other ORC. These constraints are described and an adapted power plant design is presented. The new design influences the selection criteria of working fluids. A software has been developed to find thermodynamic suitable fluids for ORC in biomass power and heat plants. Highest efficiencies are found within the family of alkylbenzenes

  10. Materials Problems and Solutions in Biomass fired plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ole Hede; Montgomery, Melanie

    2006-01-01

    be directly ascribed to the composition of the deposit and the metal surface temperature. In woodchip boilers, a similar corrosion rate and corrosion mechanism has on some occasions been observed. Cofiring of straw (10 and 20% energy basis) with coal has shown corrosion rates lower than those in straw fired......Owing to Denmark's pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, biomass is being increasingly utilised as a fuel for generating energy. Extensive research and development projects, especially in the area of material performance for biomass fired boilers, have been undertaken to make biomass a viable...... fuel resource. When straw is combusted, potassium chloride and potassium sulphate are present in ash products, which condense on superheater components. This gives rise to specific chlorine corrosion problems not previously encountered in coal fired power plants. The type of corrosion attack can...

  11. Hydrothermal processing of biomass from invasive aquatic plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. James Catallo; Todd F. Shupe; Thomas L. Eberhardt

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the hydrothermal (HT) treatment of three invasive aquatic plants (i.e., Lemna sp., Hydrilla sp., and Eichhornia sp.) with respect to the generation of semi-volatile hydrocarbon product mixtures and biomass volume reduction. Identical HT treatments yielded similar semi-...

  12. Measuring Biomass and Carbon Stock in Resprouting Woody Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matula, Radim; Damborská, Lenka; Nečasová, Monika; Geršl, Milan; Šrámek, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Resprouting multi-stemmed woody plants form an important component of the woody vegetation in many ecosystems, but a clear methodology for reliable measurement of their size and quick, non-destructive estimation of their woody biomass and carbon stock is lacking. Our goal was to find a minimum number of sprouts, i.e., the most easily obtainable, and sprout parameters that should be measured for accurate sprout biomass and carbon stock estimates. Using data for 5 common temperate woody species, we modelled carbon stock and sprout biomass as a function of an increasing number of sprouts in an interaction with different sprout parameters. The mean basal diameter of only two to five of the thickest sprouts and the basal diameter and DBH of the thickest sprouts per stump proved to be accurate estimators for the total sprout biomass of the individual resprouters and the populations of resprouters, respectively. Carbon stock estimates were strongly correlated with biomass estimates, but relative carbon content varied among species. Our study demonstrated that the size of the resprouters can be easily measured, and their biomass and carbon stock estimated; therefore, resprouters can be simply incorporated into studies of woody vegetation. PMID:25719601

  13. Unpreferred plants affect patch choice and spatial distribution of European brown hares

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuijper, D.P.J.; Bakker, J.P.

    2008-01-01

    Many herbivore species prefer to forage on patches of intermediate biomass. Plant quality and forage efficiency are predicted to decrease with increasing plant standing crop which explains the lower preference of the herbivore. However, often is ignored that on the long-term, plant species

  14. Process simulation of co-firing torrefied biomass in a 220 MWe coal-fired power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Jun; Zhang, Xiaolei; Pawlak-Kruczek, Halina; Yang, Weihong; Kruczek, Pawel; Blasiak, Wlodzimierz

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • The performances of torrefaction based co-firing power plant are simulated by using Aspen Plus. • Mass loss properties and released gaseous components have been studied during biomass torrefaction processes. • Mole fractions of CO 2 and CO account for 69–91% and 4–27% in total torrefied gases. • The electrical efficiency reduced when increasing either torrefaction temperature or substitution ratio of biomass. - Abstract: Torrefaction based co-firing in a pulverized coal boiler has been proposed for large percentage of biomass co-firing. A 220 MWe pulverized coal-power plant is simulated using Aspen Plus for full understanding the impacts of an additional torrefaction unit on the efficiency of the whole power plant, the studied process includes biomass drying, biomass torrefaction, mill systems, biomass/coal devolatilization and combustion, heat exchanges and power generation. Palm kernel shells (PKS) were torrefied at same residence time but 4 different temperatures, to prepare 4 torrefied biomasses with different degrees of torrefaction. During biomass torrefaction processes, the mass loss properties and released gaseous components have been studied. In addition, process simulations at varying torrefaction degrees and biomass co-firing ratios have been carried out to understand the properties of CO 2 emission and electricity efficiency in the studied torrefaction based co-firing power plant. According to the experimental results, the mole fractions of CO 2 and CO account for 69–91% and 4–27% in torrefied gases. The predicted results also showed that the electrical efficiency reduced when increasing either torrefaction temperature or substitution ratio of biomass. A deep torrefaction may not be recommended, because the power saved from biomass grinding is less than the heat consumed by the extra torrefaction process, depending on the heat sources

  15. The opportunities for obtaining of the biogas on methane fermentation from marine algae biomass and water plant biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jachniak Ewa

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the research was to try to obtain of the biogas on a laboratory scale from marine algae biomass and water plant biomass. The research was conducted in 2016 year and samples were taken from the Polish coast of the Baltic Sea. In laboratory work, algae and plant species were first identified. The next, in order to subject them to methane fermentation processes and to obtain biogas,partial mechanical treatment of the biomass was conducted. Dry matter content and dry organic matter content were also determined. The research has shown different production of the biogas depending on the various species of the algae and plants. The percentage composition of the biogas was also determined (% CO2 and % CH4. In this research some kinds and species of algae and aquatic plants were distinguished: Scytosiphon cf. S. tortilis, Fucus vesiculosus, Cladophora, Audouinella, Potamogeton perfoliatus. Production of biogas from selected algae and water plants oscillated between 0.023 dm3·g-1 and 0.303 dm3·g-1. The highest content of the methane in biogas was obtained from the mixture of Ectocarpus from spring and autumn harvest (values oscillated from 80.7 % to 81.2 %, while the highest percentage share of carbon dioxide in the biogas was characterized by the mixture Fucus vesiculosus and Audouinella (22 %. Due to a small amount of the research in this field, more research is needed.

  16. PHA bioplastics, biochemicals, and energy from crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somleva, Maria N; Peoples, Oliver P; Snell, Kristi D

    2013-02-01

    Large scale production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) in plants can provide a sustainable supply of bioplastics, biochemicals, and energy from sunlight and atmospheric CO(2). PHAs are a class of polymers with various chain lengths that are naturally produced by some microorganisms as storage materials. The properties of these polyesters make them functionally equivalent to many of the petroleum-based plastics that are currently in the market place. However, unlike most petroleum-derived plastics, PHAs can be produced from renewable feedstocks and easily degrade in most biologically active environments. This review highlights research efforts over the last 20 years to engineer the production of PHAs in plants with a focus on polyhydroxybutryrate (PHB) production in bioenergy crops with C(4) photosynthesis. PHB has the potential to be a high volume commercial product with uses not only in the plastics and materials markets, but also in renewable chemicals and feed. The major challenges of improving product yield and plant fitness in high biomass yielding C(4) crops are discussed in detail. Plant Biotechnology Journal © 2013 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Plant mutation breeding for crop improvement. V.2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    This volume contains the proceedings of the final two sessions of the FAO/IAEA Symposium on Plant Mutation Breeding for Crop Improvement, focussing on mutation breeding with particular objectives and the methodology of mutation breeding. The individual contributions are indexed separately. Although a wide variety of topics is included, the emphasis is on the use of (mainly gamma) radiation to induce economically useful mutants in cereals and legumes. The results of many conventional plant breeding programs are also presented. Refs, figs and tabs

  18. Long-term evaluation of biomass production and quality of two cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) cultivars for energy use

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Angelini, Luciana G.; Ceccarini, Lucia; Nassi o Di Nasso, Nicoletta [University of Pisa, Dipartimento di Agronomia e Gestione dell' Agroecosistema, Via S. Michele degli Scalzi, 2, 56100 Pisa (Italy); Bonari, Enrico [Scuola Sant' Anna, Piazza Martiri della Liberta, 33, 56100 Pisa (Italy)

    2009-05-15

    Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) is an herbaceous species indicated as one of the most suitable energy crop for southern European countries. The aim of this work was to outline the productivity of two cardoon cultivars, Bianco Avorio (BA) and Gigante di Romagna (GR), over 11 years of cultivation in rain fed field conditions in the temperate climate of Central Italy. The quantitative and qualitative aspects of its biomass (calorific value, ultimate and proximate analyses, ash composition) as well as its energy balance (energy efficiency, net energy yield) have been determined. Crop dry yield was not different between the two cultivars and it was rather stable with a mean value (averaged from year 3 to 11) of 14 and 13 t ha{sup -1} for GR and BA respectively. Furthermore the biomass dry matter content was higher in BA than GR (51% vs 42%). The chemical analysis of cardoon biomass showed a similar composition in both cultivars with good calorific value (15 MJ kg{sup -1}) but with an ash content (13.9% d.w.) higher than other herbaceous energy crops. The total energy input was higher in the establishing than in the following years, however from the planting year onward, both cardoon crops were characterised by a positive energy balance. Even if its mean net energy is lower than other perennial energy crops (182 GJ ha{sup -1} year{sup -1}), cardoon can be easily propagated by seed with important advantages for crop management and production costs. The results confirmed cardoon's good biomass yield and favourable energy balance even in cultivation systems characterised by limited water input. Moreover future works are necessary in order to improve cardoon biomass quality and to evaluate the possibility of using it in blends with other biomass sources. (author)

  19. Long-term evaluation of biomass production and quality of two cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) cultivars for energy use

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angelini, Luciana G.; Ceccarini, Lucia; Nassi o Di Nasso, Nicoletta; Bonari, Enrico

    2009-01-01

    Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) is an herbaceous species indicated as one of the most suitable energy crop for southern European countries. The aim of this work was to outline the productivity of two cardoon cultivars, Bianco Avorio (BA) and Gigante di Romagna (GR), over 11 years of cultivation in rain fed field conditions in the temperate climate of Central Italy. The quantitative and qualitative aspects of its biomass (calorific value, ultimate and proximate analyses, ash composition) as well as its energy balance (energy efficiency, net energy yield) have been determined. Crop dry yield was not different between the two cultivars and it was rather stable with a mean value (averaged from year 3 to 11) of 14 and 13 t ha -1 for GR and BA respectively. Furthermore the biomass dry matter content was higher in BA than GR (51% vs 42%). The chemical analysis of cardoon biomass showed a similar composition in both cultivars with good calorific value (15 MJ kg -1 ) but with an ash content (13.9% d.w.) higher than other herbaceous energy crops. The total energy input was higher in the establishing than in the following years, however from the planting year onward, both cardoon crops were characterised by a positive energy balance. Even if its mean net energy is lower than other perennial energy crops (182 GJ ha -1 year -1 ), cardoon can be easily propagated by seed with important advantages for crop management and production costs. The results confirmed cardoon's good biomass yield and favourable energy balance even in cultivation systems characterised by limited water input. Moreover future works are necessary in order to improve cardoon biomass quality and to evaluate the possibility of using it in blends with other biomass sources.

  20. Determination of biomass of mango (Mangifera indica L.) trees by non-destructive method using principle of isotope dilution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kotur, S.C.; Keshava Murthy, S.V.

    2003-01-01

    Biomass of 4-year old trees alphonso mango was estimated by injecting of carrier-free 32 P into the trunk followed by radio-assay of the isotope after a complete dilution of 32 P in the tree, being 3 months after injection. The isotopically calculated plant volume (59 903-68 981 cc plant -1 ) and biomass (31.70 - 36.23 kg plant -1 ) showed good agreement but generally overestimated both by about 23% compared to the actual values determined physically (43 720-60 693 cc plant -1 and 22.88-34.78 kg plant -1 , respectively). Application of the technique in a set of another four 15-year old mango trees yielded volume estimates of 1, 70, 749-1 75 835 cc plant -1 (mean=1, 75 835±1.12%) and biomass estimates of 73.0 - 87.4 kg plant -1 (mean=80.45±6.8%). The technique is of promise in fertilizer use efficiency and nutrient dynamics studies in tree crops. (author)

  1. Effects of precipitation changes on switchgrass photosynthesis, growth, and biomass: A mesocosm experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Dafeng; Yu, Chih-Li; Deng, Qi; Dzantor, E Kudjo; Zhou, Suping; Dennis, Sam; Sauve, Roger; Johnson, Terrance L; Fay, Philip A; Shen, Weijun; Luo, Yiqi

    2018-01-01

    Climate changes, including chronic changes in precipitation amounts, will influence plant physiology and growth. However, such precipitation effects on switchgrass, a major bioenergy crop, have not been well investigated. We conducted a two-year precipitation simulation experiment using large pots (95 L) in an environmentally controlled greenhouse in Nashville, TN. Five precipitation treatments (ambient precipitation, and -50%, -33%, +33%, and +50% of ambient) were applied in a randomized complete block design with lowland "Alamo" switchgrass plants one year after they were established from tillers. The growing season progression of leaf physiology, tiller number, height, and aboveground biomass were determined each growing season. Precipitation treatments significantly affected leaf physiology, growth, and aboveground biomass. The photosynthetic rates in the wet (+50% and +33%) treatments were significantly enhanced by 15.9% and 8.1%, respectively, than the ambient treatment. Both leaf biomass and plant height were largely increased, resulting in dramatically increases in aboveground biomass by 56.5% and 49.6% in the +50% and +33% treatments, respectively. Compared to the ambient treatment, the drought (-33% and -50%) treatments did not influence leaf physiology, but the -50% treatment significantly reduced leaf biomass by 37.8%, plant height by 16.3%, and aboveground biomass by 38.9%. This study demonstrated that while switchgrass in general is a drought tolerant grass, severe drought significantly reduces Alamo's growth and biomass, and that high precipitation stimulates its photosynthesis and growth.

  2. ASSESSMENT OF TOXICITY OF INDUSTRIAL WASTES USING CROP PLANT ASSAYS

    OpenAIRE

    Carmen Alice Teacă; Ruxanda Bodîrlău

    2008-01-01

    Environmental pollution has a harmful action on bioresources, including agricultural crops. It is generated through many industrial activities such as mining, coal burning, chemical technology, cement production, pulp and paper industry, etc. The toxicity of different industrial wastes and heavy metals excess was evaluated using crop plant assays (germination and hydroponics seedlings growth tests). Experimental data regarding the germination process of wheat (from two cultivars) and rye seed...

  3. ASSESSMENT OF TOXICITY OF INDUSTRIAL WASTES USING CROP PLANT ASSAYS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Alice Teacă

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Environmental pollution has a harmful action on bioresources, including agricultural crops. It is generated through many industrial activities such as mining, coal burning, chemical technology, cement production, pulp and paper industry, etc. The toxicity of different industrial wastes and heavy metals excess was evaluated using crop plant assays (germination and hydroponics seedlings growth tests. Experimental data regarding the germination process of wheat (from two cultivars and rye seeds in the presence of industrial wastes (thermal power station ash, effluents from a pre-bleaching stage performed on a Kraft cellulose – chlorinated lignin products or chlorolignin, along with use of an excess of some heavy metals (Zn and Cu are presented here. Relative seed germination, relative root elongation, and germination index (a factor of relative seed germination and relative root elongation were determined. Relative root elongation and germination index were more sensitive indicators of toxicity than seed germination. The toxic effects were also evaluated in hydroponics experiments, the sensitivity of three crop plant species, namely Triticum aestivum L. (wheat, Secale cereale (rye, and Zea mays (corn being compared. Physiological aspects, evidenced both by visual observation and biometric measurements (mean root, aerial part and plant length, as well as the cellulose and lignin content were examined.

  4. Ecological Weed Management by Cover Cropping: Effect on Winter Weeds and Summer Weeds Establishment in Potato

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Ghaffari

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Now a day winter cover crops planting has been attended to reduce herbicide application. An experiment was carried out at the Research Farm of Agriculture Faculty, Bu- Ali Sina, University, in 2009. The experiment was a randomized complete block design with three replications. The trial included of five treatments consists of no cover crop, rye, winter oilseed rape, barley and triticale. The results showed that winter cereals were produced more biomass than winter oilseed rape. living mulch of rye, barley, oilseed rape and triticale reduced winter weeds biomass 89, 86, 82 and 70 percent respectively, in compare to control. Cover crop treatments showed significant different weeds control of potato at 3 time (15, 45 and 75 DAPG compare to control treatment. Residues mixed to soil of oilseed rape and rye had the most inhibition affects on summer weeds. These treatments, average weeds biomass decreased 61 and 57 percent respectively, in compare to control. Oilseed rape and rye in compare to control reduced weeds density in potato 36 and 35 percent, respectively. Significant negation correlations of weeds plant population, weeds dry matter with average tuber weight and potato yield. The treatments, oilseed rape and rye in compare to control increased tuber yield of potato 54 and 50 percent, respectively. These treatments, the average tuber weight increased 74 and 38 percent in compare with control, respectively.

  5. Analysis and co-ordination of the activities concerning gasification of biomass. Summary country report, Denmark and Norway

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoholm, P.; Olsen, A.

    1996-11-01

    The analysis summarises the coordination of activities concerning the gasification of biomass in Denmark and Norway. The total quantity of available biomass for energy production in Denmark corresponds to ca. 115 PJ of which ca. 40% is utilized - and this constitutes ca. 6% of the country's total energy consumption. The resulting energy from biomass is currently mostly used for heating purposes utilizing small wood/straw household or farm stoves in addition to ca. 100 district heating systems. There is a tendency to use biomass fuels for electric power production as in the case of all major waste incineration plants and about 10 fully or partly wood/straw-fired cogeneration plants which are found within the range of 2 -20 MWe. A table shows details of all Danish biomass gasification plants and information is given on the types of biomass, under the titles of residue products and energy crops, most relevant to energy production in Denmark. Data is presented on the consumption of renewable energy in Denmark, recalculated in fuel equivalents, and Danish national energy policy and related legislation are described. Information on Norway's use of biomass as fuel is given under the headings of primary consumption, biomass sources and use, legislation, and brief evaluations of commercial gasification plants, pilot and demonstration plants, and laboratory plants and studies. It has recently been decided to speed up the development of small-scale gasification plants for combined heat and electricity production using biomass as fuel in Denmark. Total Norwegian energy consumption is 25% higher than Denmark's, and biomass fuels cover only 3.6% of this. (ARW) 32 refs

  6. Energy plants increasingly important. Scientific results and practical experiences on the production of biogas plants and short rotation coppices. Symposium; Energiepflanzen im Aufwind. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse und praktische Erfahrungen zur Produktion von Biogaspflanzen und Feldholz. Fachtagung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heiermann, M.; Scholz, V.; Foltan, H. (comps.)

    2007-05-15

    The conference proceedings contain 15 contributions on energy plants: energy plant production in Germany - developments and research activities; potentials and constraints of cultivating energy crops; environmental aspects of production and utilization of energy plants; costs of energy crop supply; crops for the biogas production in the territory of Brandenburg; mixed cropping systems on sandy soils - alternative cropping strategies; impact of ensiling process on biogas production - recent research results; solid state anaerobic digestion of renewable biomass sources - state of research and development; energy crops as feedstock in a biogas plant; proffer and demand of wood fuel in the State of Brandenburg; regulatory framework of growing short rotation coppice; mechanization of SRC production; 20 years of short rotation coppice; willow production and marketing in Denmark; short rotation coppice production in Italy.

  7. Fitting maize into sustainable cropping systems on acid soils of the tropics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horst, W.J.

    2000-01-01

    One of the key elements of sustainable cropping systems is the integration of crops and/or crop cultivars with high tolerance of soil acidity and which make most efficient use of the nutrients supplied by soil and fertilizer. This paper is based mainly on on-going work within an EU-funded project combining basic research on plant adaptation mechanisms by plant physiologists, and field experimentation on acid soils in Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia and Guadeloupe by breeders, soil scientists and a agronomists. The results suggest that large genetic variability exists in adaptation of plants to acid soils. A range of morphological and physiological plant characteristics contribute to tolerance of acid soils, elucidation of which has contributed to the development of rapid techniques for screening for tolerance. Incorporation of acid-soil-tolerant species and cultivars into cropping systems contributes to improved nutrient efficiency overall, and thus reduces fertilizer needs. This may help to minimize maintenance applications of fertiliser through various pathways: (i) deeper root growth resulting in more-efficient uptake of nutrients from the sub-soil and less leaching, (ii) more biomass production resulting in less seepage and less leaching, with more intensive nutrient cycling, maintenance of higher soil organic-matter content, and, consequently, less erosion owing to better soil protection by vegetation and mulch. (author)

  8. Production of marine plant biomass: Management, cultivation, and genetic modification of macrophytic algae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandermeer, J. P.

    1982-12-01

    Every second of every day, the Sun's fusion reactions convert thousands of tons of hydrogen into helium with the release of almost unimaginable amounts of energy. Through the photosynthetic activity of plants, both aquatic and terrestrial, a small fraction of this energy is trapped and stored as plant biomass. The oceans cover a greater fraction of the globe than do the land masses, making it appropriate to consider their contribution to the total biomass production, and their potential as a source of raw materials for the extraction of chemicals and fuels. A rather broad synthesis, convering the total seaweed resource and some of the constraints placed on harvesting these plants, attempts to farm the oceans to increase the supply of desirable species, attempts to cultivate seaweeds in enclosures where environmental parameters are controlled, and finally, the limited amount of genetic manipulation that was applied to these plants was presented. Only the larger red and brown seaweeds were considered because they represent the bulk of the biomass.

  9. Testing the generality of above-ground biomass allometry across plant functional types at the continent scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Keryn I; Roxburgh, Stephen H; Chave, Jerome; England, Jacqueline R; Zerihun, Ayalsew; Specht, Alison; Lewis, Tom; Bennett, Lauren T; Baker, Thomas G; Adams, Mark A; Huxtable, Dan; Montagu, Kelvin D; Falster, Daniel S; Feller, Mike; Sochacki, Stan; Ritson, Peter; Bastin, Gary; Bartle, John; Wildy, Dan; Hobbs, Trevor; Larmour, John; Waterworth, Rob; Stewart, Hugh T L; Jonson, Justin; Forrester, David I; Applegate, Grahame; Mendham, Daniel; Bradford, Matt; O'Grady, Anthony; Green, Daryl; Sudmeyer, Rob; Rance, Stan J; Turner, John; Barton, Craig; Wenk, Elizabeth H; Grove, Tim; Attiwill, Peter M; Pinkard, Elizabeth; Butler, Don; Brooksbank, Kim; Spencer, Beren; Snowdon, Peter; O'Brien, Nick; Battaglia, Michael; Cameron, David M; Hamilton, Steve; McAuthur, Geoff; Sinclair, Jenny

    2016-06-01

    Accurate ground-based estimation of the carbon stored in terrestrial ecosystems is critical to quantifying the global carbon budget. Allometric models provide cost-effective methods for biomass prediction. But do such models vary with ecoregion or plant functional type? We compiled 15 054 measurements of individual tree or shrub biomass from across Australia to examine the generality of allometric models for above-ground biomass prediction. This provided a robust case study because Australia includes ecoregions ranging from arid shrublands to tropical rainforests, and has a rich history of biomass research, particularly in planted forests. Regardless of ecoregion, for five broad categories of plant functional type (shrubs; multistemmed trees; trees of the genus Eucalyptus and closely related genera; other trees of high wood density; and other trees of low wood density), relationships between biomass and stem diameter were generic. Simple power-law models explained 84-95% of the variation in biomass, with little improvement in model performance when other plant variables (height, bole wood density), or site characteristics (climate, age, management) were included. Predictions of stand-based biomass from allometric models of varying levels of generalization (species-specific, plant functional type) were validated using whole-plot harvest data from 17 contrasting stands (range: 9-356 Mg ha(-1) ). Losses in efficiency of prediction were <1% if generalized models were used in place of species-specific models. Furthermore, application of generalized multispecies models did not introduce significant bias in biomass prediction in 92% of the 53 species tested. Further, overall efficiency of stand-level biomass prediction was 99%, with a mean absolute prediction error of only 13%. Hence, for cost-effective prediction of biomass across a wide range of stands, we recommend use of generic allometric models based on plant functional types. Development of new species

  10. Efficient plant biomass degradation by thermophilic fungus Myceliophthora heterothallica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Brink, Joost; van Muiswinkel, Gonny C J; Theelen, Bart; Hinz, Sandra W A; de Vries, Ronald P

    2013-02-01

    Rapid and efficient enzymatic degradation of plant biomass into fermentable sugars is a major challenge for the sustainable production of biochemicals and biofuels. Enzymes that are more thermostable (up to 70°C) use shorter reaction times for the complete saccharification of plant polysaccharides compared to hydrolytic enzymes of mesophilic fungi such as Trichoderma and Aspergillus species. The genus Myceliophthora contains four thermophilic fungi producing industrially relevant thermostable enzymes. Within this genus, isolates belonging to M. heterothallica were recently separated from the well-described species M. thermophila. We evaluate here the potential of M. heterothallica isolates to produce efficient enzyme mixtures for biomass degradation. Compared to the other thermophilic Myceliophthora species, isolates belonging to M. heterothallica and M. thermophila grew faster on pretreated spruce, wheat straw, and giant reed. According to their protein profiles and in vitro assays after growth on wheat straw, (hemi-)cellulolytic activities differed strongly between M. thermophila and M. heterothallica isolates. Compared to M. thermophila, M. heterothallica isolates were better in releasing sugars from mildly pretreated wheat straw (with 5% HCl) with a high content of xylan. The high levels of residual xylobiose revealed that enzyme mixtures of Myceliophthora species lack sufficient β-xylosidase activity. Sexual crossing of two M. heterothallica showed that progenies had a large genetic and physiological diversity. In the future, this will allow further improvement of the plant biomass-degrading enzyme mixtures of M. heterothallica.

  11. Soil microbial species loss affects plant biomass and survival of an introduced bacterial strain, but not inducible plant defences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurm, Viola; van der Putten, Wim H; Pineda, Ana; Hol, W H Gera

    2018-02-12

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) strains can influence plant-insect interactions. However, little is known about the effect of changes in the soil bacterial community in general and especially the loss of rare soil microbes on these interactions. Here, the influence of rare soil microbe reduction on induced systemic resistance (ISR) in a wild ecotype of Arabidopsis thaliana against the aphid Myzus persicae was investigated. To create a gradient of microbial abundances, soil was inoculated with a serial dilution of a microbial community and responses of Arabidopsis plants that originated from the same site as the soil microbes were tested. Plant biomass, transcription of genes involved in plant defences, and insect performance were measured. In addition, the effects of the PGPR strain Pseudomonas fluorescens SS101 on plant and insect performance were tested under the influence of the various soil dilution treatments. Plant biomass showed a hump-shaped relationship with soil microbial community dilution, independent of aphid or Pseudomonas treatments. Both aphid infestation and inoculation with Pseudomonas reduced plant biomass, and led to downregulation of PR1 (salicylic acid-responsive gene) and CYP79B3 (involved in synthesis of glucosinolates). Aphid performance and gene transcription were unaffected by soil dilution. Neither the loss of rare microbial species, as caused by soil dilution, nor Pseudomonas affect the resistance of A. thaliana against M. persicae. However, both Pseudomonas survival and plant biomass respond to rare species loss. Thus, loss of rare soil microbial species can have a significant impact on both above- and below-ground organisms. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Relationships between Plant Biomass and Species Richness under ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study was conducted in a montane grassland of Kokosa District, West Arsi Zone of Oromia Region, southern Ethiopia. The objective of the study was to investigate the relationships between aboveground plant biomass and species richness in three farming systems and four grazing management systems. A total of 180 ...

  13. Adoption of an unmanned helicopter for low-altitude remote sensing to estimate yield and total biomass of a rice crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    A radio-controlled unmanned helicopter-based LARS (Low-Altitude Remote Sensing) platform was used to acquire quality images of high spatial and temporal resolution, in order to estimate yield and total biomass of a rice crop (Oriza Sativa, L.). Fifteen rice field plots with five N-treatments (0, 33,...

  14. Life cycle assessment of a willow bioenergy cropping system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heller, M.C.; Keoleian, G.A.; Volk, Timothy A.

    2003-01-01

    The environmental performance of willow biomass crop production systems in New York (NY) is analyzed using life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. The base-case, which represents current practices in NY, produces 55 units of biomass energy per unit of fossil energy consumed over the biomass crop's 23-year lifetime. Inorganic nitrogen fertilizer inputs have a strong influence on overall system performance, accounting for 37% of the non-renewable fossil energy input into the system. Net energy ratio varies from 58 to below 40 as a function of fertilizer application rate, but application rate also has implications on the system nutrient balance. Substituting inorganic N fertilizer with sewage sludge biosolids increases the net energy ratio of the willow biomass crop production system by more than 40%. While CO 2 emitted in combusting dedicated biomass is balanced by CO 2 adsorbed in the growing biomass, production processes contribute to the system's net global warming potential. Taking into account direct and indirect fuel use, N 2 O emissions from applied fertilizer and leaf litter, and carbon sequestration in below ground biomass and soil carbon, the net greenhouse gas emissions total 0.68 g CO 2 eq. MJ biomassproduced -1 . Site specific parameters such as soil carbon sequestration could easily offset these emissions resulting in a net reduction of greenhouse gases. Assuming reasonable biomass transportation distance and energy conversion efficiencies, this study implies that generating electricity from willow biomass crops could produce 11 units of electricity per unit of fossil energy consumed. Results form the LCA support the assertion that willow biomass crops are sustainable from an energy balance perspective and contribute additional environmental benefits

  15. Evaluation of the Environmental DNA Method for Estimating Distribution and Biomass of Submerged Aquatic Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuhashi, Saeko; Doi, Hideyuki; Fujiwara, Ayaka; Watanabe, Sonoko; Minamoto, Toshifumi

    2016-01-01

    The environmental DNA (eDNA) method has increasingly been recognized as a powerful tool for monitoring aquatic animal species; however, its application for monitoring aquatic plants is limited. To evaluate eDNA analysis for estimating the distribution of aquatic plants, we compared its estimated distributions with eDNA analysis, visual observation, and past distribution records for the submerged species Hydrilla verticillata. Moreover, we conducted aquarium experiments using H. verticillata and Egeria densa and analyzed the relationships between eDNA concentrations and plant biomass to investigate the potential for biomass estimation. The occurrences estimated by eDNA analysis closely corresponded to past distribution records, and eDNA detections were more frequent than visual observations, indicating that the method is potentially more sensitive. The results of the aquarium experiments showed a positive relationship between plant biomass and eDNA concentration; however, the relationship was not always significant. The eDNA concentration peaked within three days of the start of the experiment in most cases, suggesting that plants do not release constant amounts of DNA. These results showed that eDNA analysis can be used for distribution surveys, and has the potential to estimate the biomass of aquatic plants.

  16. Responses of plant community composition and biomass production to warming and nitrogen deposition in a temperate meadow ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao; Guo, Rui; Gao, Song; Guo, Jixun; Sun, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has profound influences on plant community composition and ecosystem functions. However, its effects on plant community composition and biomass production are not well understood. A four-year field experiment was conducted to examine the effects of warming, nitrogen (N) addition, and their interactions on plant community composition and biomass production in a temperate meadow ecosystem in northeast China. Experimental warming had no significant effect on plant species richness, evenness, and diversity, while N addition highly reduced the species richness and diversity. Warming tended to reduce the importance value of graminoid species but increased the value of forbs, while N addition had the opposite effect. Warming tended to increase the belowground biomass, but had an opposite tendency to decrease the aboveground biomass. The influences of warming on aboveground production were dependent upon precipitation. Experimental warming had little effect on aboveground biomass in the years with higher precipitation, but significantly suppressed aboveground biomass in dry years. Our results suggest that warming had indirect effects on plant production via its effect on the water availability. Nitrogen addition significantly increased above- and below-ground production, suggesting that N is one of the most important limiting factors determining plant productivity in the studied meadow steppe. Significant interactive effects of warming plus N addition on belowground biomass were also detected. Our observations revealed that environmental changes (warming and N deposition) play significant roles in regulating plant community composition and biomass production in temperate meadow steppe ecosystem in northeast China.

  17. An update technology for integrated biomass gasification combined cycle power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhattacharya, P.; Dey, S.

    2014-01-01

    A discussion is presented on the technical analysis of a 6.4 M W_e integrated biomass gasification combined cycle (IBGCC) plant. It features three numbers of downdraft biomass gasifier systems with suitable gas clean-up trains, three numbers of internal combustion (IC) producer gas engines for producing 5.85 MW electrical power in open cycle and 550 kW power in a bottoming cycle using waste heat. Comparing with IC gas engine single cycle systems, this technology route increases overall system efficiency of the power plant, which in turn improves plant economics. Estimated generation cost of electricity indicates that mega-watt scale IBGCC power plants can contribute to good economies of scale in India. This paper also highlight's the possibility of activated carbon generation from the char, a byproduct of gasification process, and use of engine's jacket water heat to generate chilled water through VAM for gas conditioning. (author)

  18. Understanding plant response to nitrogen limitation for the improvement of crop nitrogen use efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, Surya; Bi, Yong-Mei; Rothstein, Steven J

    2011-02-01

    Development of genetic varieties with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is essential for sustainable agriculture. Generally, NUE can be divided into two parts. First, assimilation efficiency involves nitrogen (N) uptake and assimilation and second utilization efficiency involves N remobilization. Understanding the mechanisms regulating these processes is crucial for the improvement of NUE in crop plants. One important approach is to develop an understanding of the plant response to different N regimes, especially to N limitation, using various methods including transcription profiling, analysing mutants defective in their normal response to N limitation, and studying plants that show better growth under N-limiting conditions. One can then attempt to improve NUE in crop plants using the knowledge gained from these studies. There are several potential genetic and molecular approaches for the improvement of crop NUE discussed in this review. Increased knowledge of how plants respond to different N levels as well as to other environmental conditions is required to achieve this.

  19. Pilot project concerning the establishment of a collective biomass conversion plant on the island of Mors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-06-01

    This pilot project comprises a feasibility study in connection with plans to establish a biomass conversion plant, on the Danish island of Mors, which would provide methane to be used as fuel, in combination with natural gas, for a cogeneration plant serving six villages. The subjects of location, organization, the transportation of biomass, the design of the biomass conversion plant, economical aspects and conditions of the use of the methane are discussed as a basis for decisions in this respect. Environmental considerations are also dealt with. (AB)

  20. Time interval between cover crop termination and planting influences corn seedling disease, plant growth, and yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Experiments were established in controlled and field environment to evaluate the effect of time intervals between cereal rye cover crop termination and corn planting on corn seedling disease, corn growth, and grain yield in 2014 and 2015. Rye termination dates ranged from 25 days before planting (DB...

  1. Assessing winter cover crop nutrient uptake efficiency using a water quality simulation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeo, I.-Y.; Lee, S.; Sadeghi, A. M.; Beeson, P. C.; Hively, W. D.; McCarty, G. W.; Lang, M. W.

    2014-12-01

    Winter cover crops are an effective conservation management practice with potential to improve water quality. Throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed (CBW), which is located in the mid-Atlantic US, winter cover crop use has been emphasized, and federal and state cost-share programs are available to farmers to subsidize the cost of cover crop establishment. The objective of this study was to assess the long-term effect of planting winter cover crops to improve water quality at the watershed scale (~ 50 km2) and to identify critical source areas of high nitrate export. A physically based watershed simulation model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), was calibrated and validated using water quality monitoring data to simulate hydrological processes and agricultural nutrient cycling over the period of 1990-2000. To accurately simulate winter cover crop biomass in relation to growing conditions, a new approach was developed to further calibrate plant growth parameters that control the leaf area development curve using multitemporal satellite-based measurements of species-specific winter cover crop performance. Multiple SWAT scenarios were developed to obtain baseline information on nitrate loading without winter cover crops and to investigate how nitrate loading could change under different winter cover crop planting scenarios, including different species, planting dates, and implementation areas. The simulation results indicate that winter cover crops have a negligible impact on the water budget but significantly reduce nitrate leaching to groundwater and delivery to the waterways. Without winter cover crops, annual nitrate loading from agricultural lands was approximately 14 kg ha-1, but decreased to 4.6-10.1 kg ha-1 with cover crops resulting in a reduction rate of 27-67% at the watershed scale. Rye was the most effective species, with a potential to reduce nitrate leaching by up to 93% with early planting at the field scale. Early planting of cover crops (~ 30

  2. Molecular Dissection of The Cellular Mechanisms Involved In Nickel Hyperaccumulation in Plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David E. Salt

    2002-04-08

    Hyperaccumulator plant species are able to accumulate between 1-5% of their biomass as metal. However, these plants are often small, slow growing, and do not produce a high biomass. Phytoextraction, a cost-effective, in situ, plant based approach to soil remediation takes advantage of the remarkable ability of hyperaccumulating plants to concentrate metals from the soil and accumulate them in their harvestable, above-ground tissues. However, to make use of the valuable genetic resources identified in metal hyperaccumulating species, it will be necessary to transfer this material to high biomass rapidly growing crop plants. These plants would then be ideally suited to the phytoremediation process, having the ability to produce large amount of metal-rich plant biomass for rapid harvest and soil cleanup. Although progress is being made in understanding the genetic basis of metal hyperaccumulation a more complete understanding will be necessary before we can take full advantage of the genetic potential of these plants.

  3. Parameters on the radionuclide transfer in crop plants for Korean food chain dose assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choi, Yong Ho; Lim, K. M.; Cho, Y. H.

    2001-12-01

    For more realistic assessment of Korean food chain radiation doses due to the operation of nuclear facilities, it is required to use domestically produced data for radionuclide transfer parameters in crop plants. In this report, results of last about 15 years' studies on radionuclide transfer parameters in major crop plants by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, were summarized and put together. Soil-to-plant transfer factors, parameters quantifying the root uptake of radionuclides, were measured through greenhouse experiments and field studies. In addition to traditional transfer factors, which are based on the activity in unit weight of soil, those based on the activity applied to unit area of soil surface were also investigated. Interception factors, translocation factors and weathering half lives, parameters in relation to direct plant contamination, were investigated through greenhouse experiments. The levels of initial plant contamination with HTO and I2 vapor were described with absorption factors. Especially for HTO vapor, 3H levels in crop plants at harvest were expressed with TFWT (tissue free water tritium) reduction factors and OBT (organically bound tritium) production factors. The above-mentioned parameters generally showed great variations with soils, crops and radionuclide species and application times. On the basis of summarized results, the points to be amended or improved in food chain dose assessment models were discussed both for normal operation and for accidental release

  4. A plant culture system for producing food and recycling materials with sweetpotato in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitaya, Yoshiaki; Yano, Sachiko; Hirai, Hiroaki

    2016-07-01

    The long term human life support in space is greatly dependent on the amounts of food, atmospheric O2 and clean water produced by plants. Therefore, the bio-regenerative life support system such as space farming with scheduling of crop production, obtaining high yields with a rapid turnover rate, converting atmospheric CO2 to O2 and purifying water should be established with employing suitable plant species and varieties and precisely controlling environmental variables around plants grown at a high density in a limited space. We are developing a sweetpotato culture system for producing tuberous roots as a high-calorie food and fresh edible leaves and stems as a nutritive functional vegetable food in space. In this study, we investigated the ability of food production, CO2 to O2 conversion through photosynthesis, and clean water production through transpiration in the sweetpotato production system. The biomass of edible parts in the whole plant was almost 100%. The proportion of the top (leaves and stems) and tuberous roots was strongly affected by environmental variables even when the total biomass production was mostly the same. The production of biomass and clean water was controllable especially by light, atmospheric CO2 and moisture and gas regimes in the root zone. It was confirmed that sweetpotato can be utilized for the vegetable crop as well as the root crop allowing a little waste and is a promising functional crop for supporting long-duration human activity in space.

  5. A simple algorithm to retrieve soil moisture and vegetation biomass using passive microwave measurements over crop fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wigneron, J.P.; Chanzy, A.; Calvet, J.C.; Bruguier, N.

    1995-01-01

    A simple algorithm to retrieve sail moisture and vegetation water content from passive microwave measurements is analyzed in this study. The approach is based on a zeroth-order solution of the radiative transfer equations in a vegetation layer. In this study, the single scattering albedo accounts for scattering effects and two parameters account for the dependence of the optical thickness on polarization, incidence angle, and frequency. The algorithm requires only ancillary information about crop type and surface temperature. Retrievals of the surface parameters from two radiometric data sets acquired over a soybean and a wheat crop have been attempted. The model parameters have been fitted in order to achieve best match between measured and retrieved surface data. The results of the inversion are analyzed for different configurations of the radiometric observations: one or several look angles, L-band, C-band or (L-band and C-band). Sensitivity of the retrievals to the best fit values of the model parameters has also been investigated. The best configurations, requiring simultaneous measurements at L- and C-band, produce retrievals of soil moisture and biomass with a 15% estimated precision (about 0.06 m 3 /m 3 for soil moisture and 0.3 kg/m 2 for biomass) and exhibit a limited sensitivity to the best fit parameters. (author)

  6. Response of sunflower to different planting dates in cotton based cropping system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yousaf, M.; Shakoor, A.; Rana, M.A.

    2007-01-01

    A field study on sunflower (Helianthus annuus L) was conducted for three. years (1991-1993) on different planting dates. Two hybrids (Hysun-33 and PI-6480) were sown on five different dates with 15 days interval from January 15 to March 15 at Cotton Research Station, Multan. Significant higher seed yield of 1880 and 2097 kg ha-1 was obtained when the crop was planted on February 1 and 15 than other treatments. The yield significantly decreased when sunflower was planted on January 15 (1264 kg ha-l), March 1 (1382 kg ha-l) and March 15 (927 kg hall. Maturity period was longest (128 days) of early sown (January 15) and shortest of late sown (March 15) sunflower hybrids. Therefore, it can be concluded that sunflower planted on February 1 to 15 gave higher seed yield as well as allowed enough time for land preparation and thereby, planting of cotton crop in the same field during its regular planting time. (author)

  7. Plant biomass degrading ability of the coprophilic ascomycete fungus Podospora anserina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couturier, Marie; Tangthirasunun, Narumon; Ning, Xie; Brun, Sylvain; Gautier, Valérie; Bennati-Granier, Chloé; Silar, Philippe; Berrin, Jean-Guy

    2016-01-01

    The degradation of plant biomass is a major challenge towards the production of bio-based compounds and materials. As key lignocellulolytic enzyme producers, filamentous fungi represent a promising reservoir to tackle this challenge. Among them, the coprophilous ascomycete Podospora anserina has been used as a model organism to study various biological mechanisms because its genetics are well understood and controlled. In 2008, the sequencing of its genome revealed a great diversity of enzymes targeting plant carbohydrates and lignin. Since then, a large array of lignocellulose-acting enzymes has been characterized and genetic analyses have enabled the understanding of P. anserina metabolism and development on plant biomass. Overall, these research efforts shed light on P. anserina strategy to unlock recalcitrant lignocellulose deconstruction. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Investigation of Sensitivity of Some Pulses and Agronomic Crops to Soil Residue of Idosulfuron-mesosulfurun Herbicide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Izadi-Darbandi

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available To study the sensitivity of chick pea, bean, lentil, rapeseed, sugarbeet and tomato to soil residual concentration of Idosulfuron-mesosulfurun herbicide, an experiment was carried out under controlled conditions at the College of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, in 2010. The studied factors were the 6 mentioned crops, and 7 levels of soil residual concentration of Idosulfuron-mesosulfurun herbicide (0, 0.0015, 0.0037, 0.0079, 0.015, 0.031 and 0.047 mg per kg of soil. The factorial experiment was carried out as a completely randomized design with three replications. Crops' emergence percentage was determined one week after their emergence. Plants' survival percentage and shoot and root biomass production were measured 30 days after their emergence. Results showed that all mentioned characteristics decreased significantly (P<0.01 in the presence of soil residue of the herbicide. Increasing Idosulfuron-mesosulfurun residual concentration in soil decreased emergence and shoot and root biomass production. Bean had the lowest shoot (44% and root (66.78% biomass loss and tomato had the highest shoot (96.38% and root (89.64% biomass loss. Based on ED50 index, pea (0.0079 mg/kg soil was the most tolerant and tomato (0.0003 mg/kg soil was the most susceptible crop to soil residues of Idosulfuron-mesosulfurun, and other crops ranked in between as: tomato< sugarbeet< rapeseed< lentil< bean< pea. In general, these results showed that soil residue of Idosulfuron-mesosulfurun can injure rotation crops and it is important to consider their sensitivity in rotation programming.

  9. Biomass: An overview in the United States of America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robertson, T. [USDA Soil Conservation Service, Washington, DC (United States); Shapouri, H.

    1993-12-31

    Concerns about the heavy reliance on foreign sources of fossil fuels, environmental impacts of burning fossil fuels, environmental impacts of agricultural activities, the need to find sustainable renewable sources of energy, and the need for a sustainable agricultural resource base have been driving forces for the development of biomass as a source of energy. The development of biomass conversion technologies, of high-yielding herbaceous and short-rotation woody biomass crops, of high-yielding food, feed, and fiber crops, and of livestock with higher levels of feed conversion efficiencies has made the transition from total reliance on fossil fuels to utilization of renewable sources of energy from biomass a reality. A variety of biomass conversion technologies have been developed and tested. Public utilities, private power companies, and the paper industry are interested in applying this technology. Direct burning of biomass and/or cofiring in existing facilities will reduce emissions of greenhouse and other undesirable gases. Legislation has been passed to promote biomass production and utilization for liquid fuels and electricity. Land is available. The production of short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses provides alternatives to commodity crops to stabilize income in the agricultural sector. The production of biomass crops can also reduce soil erosion, sediment loadings to surface water, and agricultural chemical loadings to ground and surface water; provide wildlife habitat; increase income and employment opportunities in rural areas; and provide a more sustainable agricultural resource base.

  10. 75 FR 6263 - Biomass Crop Assistance Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-08

    ... guidelines followed for any harvesting, collecting, storing or transporting of such material from such... for the purposes of transport and delivery to eligible biomass conversion facilities. As specified in... or proposes to convert renewable biomass into heat, power, biobased products, advanced biodiesel, or...

  11. Aboveground dry biomass partitioning and nitrogen accumulation in early maturing soybean ‘Merlin’

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadeusz Zając

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to determine the biomass and nitrogen accumulation in early maturing soybean plants experiencing contrasting weather conditions. Soybean (Glycine max is a species of agricultural crop plant that is widely described in scientific publications. During 2014–2016, a field experiment with early maturing soybean ‘Merlin’ was carried out at Grodziec Śląski, Poland (49°48'01" N, 18°52'04" E. Results showed that the morphological traits of the plants, the yield of individual plants, and the soybean crop were all closely related to the climatic conditions. A high amount of precipitation stimulated seed development, resulting in a high production potential. The harvest index calculated for soybean ‘Merlin’ was high and exceeded 0.5 g g−1. The nitrogen content of the aboveground biomass increased during ontogenesis. The maximum yield of dry matter was noted at the green maturity phase, which subsequently decreased at the full maturity phase because of the loss of the leaf fraction. The variation in the effectiveness of nitrogen accumulation in seeds between 2015 and 2016 was 30%. The nitrogen harvest index values were high in each year of the experiment and exceeded 0.92 g−1. For the production of 1 ton of seeds with an adequate amount of soybean straw, plants needed, on average, 68 kg of nitrogen.

  12. Directed plant cell-wall accumulation of iron: embedding co-catalyst for efficient biomass conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien-Yuan Lin; Joseph E. Jakes; Bryon S. Donohoe; Peter N. Ciesielski; Haibing Yang; Sophie-Charlotte Gleber; Stefan Vogt; Shi-You Ding; Wendy A. Peer; Angus S. Murphy; Maureen C. McCann; Michael E. Himmel; Melvin P. Tucker; Hui Wei

    2016-01-01

    Background: Plant lignocellulosic biomass is an abundant, renewable feedstock for the production of biobased fuels and chemicals. Previously, we showed that iron can act as a co-catalyst to improve the deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass. However, directly adding iron catalysts into biomass prior to pretreatment is diffusion limited,...

  13. Field biomass as energy resource for the future; Peltobiomassat tulevaisuuden energiaresurssina

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pahkala, K.; Loetjoenen, T. (eds.)

    2012-11-01

    Bioenergy can be derived from biomasses especially produced for bioenergy or from by-products, side streams and waste from wood processing industry, agriculture and forestry, or e.g. municipal waste. In the Nordic countries and Russia forests are a natural source of bioenergy. In many other European countries forests may be too scarce for bioenergy use. Therefore field biomasses form an interesting potential source for bioenergy. Production of field biomasses for non-food purposes has been criticized, especially as there is not enough food for everyone even at present, and in the future more food has to be produced as the world population increases. We studied the field biomass potential in different European countries with different scenarios for development. 'Good development' scenario includes improvements in plant breeding and food production and processing technologies, with increasing yields and decreasing waste of food products and raw materials. 'Bad development' scenario assumes stagnating yields and little improvement in technologies in the OECD countries, and only small improvements in former Soviet Union countries. The foci of the present research were the effects of development of food production, population growth and climate change on regional potential of field biomasses for bioenergy and sustainable use of crop residues and grasses for bioenergy. The field area that could be allocated to energy crops after growing enough food for the citizens of each country depends mostly on the diet. Growing food for vegetarian diet would occupy so little field area that every country under study could set aside at least half of their field area for bioenergy purposes already at present, if the 'good development' scenario was applied. With 'bad development' scenario some of the countries would be unable to set aside fields for bioenergy production even with vegetarian diet. With affluent diet there would be little field

  14. Agro-ecological potential of the cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.) from a biodiversity perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrader, Stefan; Schorpp, Quentin; Lena Müller, Anna; Dauber, Jens

    2017-04-01

    The cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.) is an alternative bioenergy crop that may contribute to a more environmentally friendly production of renewable resources. The potential benefits of the cup plant are the perennial cultivation without tillage and its flowering-characteristics. Hence it can be hypothesized that beneficial organisms are promoted which in turn improves the provision of ecosystem services like soil fertility and pollination. To date biomass production in Germany is based mainly on cropping systems like intensive maize cultivation that bear a risk for biodiversity and ecosystem services. The importance to counteract this development increases considering the large land requirements for significant generation of energy from biomass. To what extent cropping of the cup plant meets the expectations of a sustainable biomass production was investigated within a comprehensive assessment of soil fauna communities (earthworms, collembolans, nematodes) including their functional groups as well as pollinating insects (bees and hoverflies) including the quantification of pollen and nectar in cup-plant cultivation systems with a crop management close to agricultural practice. From the results it became obvious that the cup plant as a bioenergy crop has got the necessary potential to mitigate the negative development of biodiversity and ecosystem services, especially in regions with a large share of maize monocultures. This agro-ecological potential can only be reached if certain agronomic requirements are met, i.e. a late harvest and cultivation periods of at least five years. Under these conditions the landscape context has to be considered. Semi-natural habitats in the surrounding landscape are required for nesting and larval development of wild pollinator groups. The development of biological functions in soil is tied to the land use history i.e. previous land use: Positive developments are expected for conversion of intensively managed crop fields to the

  15. Efficient genome-wide genotyping strategies and data integration in crop plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torkamaneh, Davoud; Boyle, Brian; Belzile, François

    2018-03-01

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized plant and animal research by providing powerful genotyping methods. This review describes and discusses the advantages, challenges and, most importantly, solutions to facilitate data processing, the handling of missing data, and cross-platform data integration. Next-generation sequencing technologies provide powerful and flexible genotyping methods to plant breeders and researchers. These methods offer a wide range of applications from genome-wide analysis to routine screening with a high level of accuracy and reproducibility. Furthermore, they provide a straightforward workflow to identify, validate, and screen genetic variants in a short time with a low cost. NGS-based genotyping methods include whole-genome re-sequencing, SNP arrays, and reduced representation sequencing, which are widely applied in crops. The main challenges facing breeders and geneticists today is how to choose an appropriate genotyping method and how to integrate genotyping data sets obtained from various sources. Here, we review and discuss the advantages and challenges of several NGS methods for genome-wide genetic marker development and genotyping in crop plants. We also discuss how imputation methods can be used to both fill in missing data in genotypic data sets and to integrate data sets obtained using different genotyping tools. It is our hope that this synthetic view of genotyping methods will help geneticists and breeders to integrate these NGS-based methods in crop plant breeding and research.

  16. Environmental impacts of biomass energy resource production and utilization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Easterly, J L; Dunn, S M [DynCorp, Alexandria, VA (United States)

    1995-12-01

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a broad overview of the environmental impacts associated with the production, conversion and utilization of biomass energy resources and compare them with the impacts of conventional fuels. The use of sustainable biomass resources can play an important role in helping developing nations meet their rapidly growing energy needs, while providing significant environmental advantages over the use of fossil fuels. Two of the most important environmental benefits biomass energy offers are reduced net emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly CO{sub 2}, and reduced emissions of SO{sub 2}, the primary contributor to acid rain. The paper also addresses the environmental impacts of supplying a range of specific biomass resources, including forest-based resources, numerous types of biomass residues and energy crops. Some of the benefits offered by the various biomass supplies include support for improved forest management, improved waste management, reduced air emissions (by eliminating the need for open-field burning of residues) and reduced soil erosion (for example, where perennial energy crops are planted on degraded or deforested land). The environmental impacts of a range of biomass conversion technologies are also addressed, including those from the thermochemical processing of biomass (including direct combustion in residential wood stoves and industrial-scale boilers, gasification and pyrolysis); biochemical processing (anaerobic digestion and fermentation); and chemical processing (extraction of organic oils). In addition to reducing CO{sub 2} and SO{sub 2}, other environmental benefits of biomass conversion technologies include the distinctly lower toxicity of the ash compared to coal ash, reduced odours and pathogens from manure, reduced vehicle emissions of CO{sub 2}, with the use of ethanol fuel blends, and reduced particulate and hydrocarbon emissions where biodiesel is used as a substitute for diesel fuel. In general

  17. Environmental impacts of biomass energy resource production and utilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Easterly, J.L.; Dunn, S.M.

    1995-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a broad overview of the environmental impacts associated with the production, conversion and utilization of biomass energy resources and compare them with the impacts of conventional fuels. The use of sustainable biomass resources can play an important role in helping developing nations meet their rapidly growing energy needs, while providing significant environmental advantages over the use of fossil fuels. Two of the most important environmental benefits biomass energy offers are reduced net emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly CO 2 , and reduced emissions of SO 2 , the primary contributor to acid rain. The paper also addresses the environmental impacts of supplying a range of specific biomass resources, including forest-based resources, numerous types of biomass residues and energy crops. Some of the benefits offered by the various biomass supplies include support for improved forest management, improved waste management, reduced air emissions (by eliminating the need for open-field burning of residues) and reduced soil erosion (for example, where perennial energy crops are planted on degraded or deforested land). The environmental impacts of a range of biomass conversion technologies are also addressed, including those from the thermochemical processing of biomass (including direct combustion in residential wood stoves and industrial-scale boilers, gasification and pyrolysis); biochemical processing (anaerobic digestion and fermentation); and chemical processing (extraction of organic oils). In addition to reducing CO 2 and SO 2 , other environmental benefits of biomass conversion technologies include the distinctly lower toxicity of the ash compared to coal ash, reduced odours and pathogens from manure, reduced vehicle emissions of CO 2 , with the use of ethanol fuel blends, and reduced particulate and hydrocarbon emissions where biodiesel is used as a substitute for diesel fuel. In general, the key elements for

  18. Lotus corniculatus Crop Growth of in Crude Oil Contaminated Soil. Part 2 Biomass Metals Bioaccumulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florica Morariu

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Phytoremediation involves the ability of plants to remove pollutants and is a promise on low costs and efficient processes for cleaning oil polluted soil. Studies for phytoremediation of soils polluted with petroleum products were critical and were based on monitoring strategies implemented efficiency. These strategies are based on the necessity of treating polluted soil and plant cultivation. Treatment was performed with recycled materials, sewage sludge as fertilizer and fly ash as amendment. The studies took on the characteristics of qualitative and quantitative of Lotus corniculatus crops, plants tolerant to conditions for phytoremediation strategy implemented on polluted soils by 80.5 ± 3.9 g·kg-1 D.M. The use of sewage sludge mixed with fly ash resulted in formation of a layer covering the surface with vegetable grown by 85 - 94 % in July and by 67 - 83 % in August. In Lotus corniculatus crops have not been registered bioaccumulation of toxic metals according to legislation from Romania.

  19. Evaluating and optimizing horticultural regimes in space plant growth facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkovich, Y.; Chetirkin, R.; Wheeler, R.; Sager, J.

    In designing innovative Space Plant Growth Facilities (SPGF) for long duration space f ightl various limitations must be addressed including onboard resources: volume, energy consumption, heat transfer and crew labor expenditure. The required accuracy in evaluating onboard resources by using the equivalent mass methodology and applying it to the design of such facilities is not precise. This is due to the uncertainty of the structure and not completely understanding of the properties of all associated hardware, including the technology in these systems. We present a simple criteria of optimization for horticultural regimes in SPGF: Qmax = max [M · (EBI) 2 / (V · E · T) ], where M is the crop harvest in terms of total dry biomass in the plant growth system; EBI is the edible biomass index (harvest index), V is a volume occupied by the crop; E is the crop light energy supply during growth; T is the crop growth duration. The criterion reflects directly on the consumption of onboard resources for crop production. We analyzed the efficiency of plant crops and the environmental parameters by examining the criteria for 15 salad and 12 wheat crops from the data in the ALS database at Kennedy Space Center. Some following conclusion have been established: 1. The technology involved in growing salad crops on a cylindrical type surface provides a more meaningful Q-criterion; 2. Wheat crops were less efficient than leafy greens (salad crops) when examining resource utilization; 3. By increasing light intensity of the crop the efficiency of the resource utilization could decrease. Using the existing databases and Q-criteria we have found that the criteria can be used in optimizing design and horticultural regimes in the SPGF.

  20. Accumulation of americium-241 in the biomass of aquatic plants of the Yenisei river: experimental study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zotina, T.A.; Bolsunovsky, A.Y.A.; Bondareva, L.G.

    2004-01-01

    Due to the operation of the Mining-and-Chemical Combine (Krasnoyarsk-26), which has been manufacturing weapons-grade plutonium for several decades, the Yenisei River is contaminated with transuranic elements (including 241 Am). 241 Am was found in the riverside soil, sediment and in the biomass of aquatic plants (Bolsunovsky et al., 1999, 2002). Aquatic plants are an important link in the migration of radionuclides in an aquatic ecosystem. In laboratory experiments, we investigated accumulation of 241 Am by the submerged macrophyte from the Yenisei River: the pond weed (Elodea canadensis) and the aquatic moss (Fontinalis antipyretica), and release of 241 Am from the biomass. The content of 241 Am was measured on a Canberra (USA) gamma-spectrometer. The experiments showed that specific accumulation and concentration factors of 241 Am in the plants were in inverse proportion to their biomass. We obtained new data on release of 241 Am from the biomass of macrophyte. Americium-241 was more firmly fixed in the biomass of the aquatic moss. In 12 months, the biomass of the aquatic moss released about 30% of the initial americium activity into the water. To compare, the biomass of the pond weed released into the water medium up to 64% of the initial 241 Am activity in 1.5 4 months. The release rate was dependent on the decomposition rate of the plant biomass. The experiments showed that submerged macrophyte of the Yenisei River can accumulate considerable activities of 241 Am and retain americium for long periods of time in biomass. (author)

  1. On Farm Agronomic and First Environmental Evaluation of Oil Crops for Sustainable Bioenergy Chains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Lazzeri

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Energy crops, and in particular oil crops, could be an important occasion for developing new non food production rows for a new multi-functional agriculture in Italy. In this view, the use of local biomass is a fundamental starting point for the development of a virtuous energy chain that should pursue not only agricultural profitability, but also chain sustainability and that is less dependent on the global market, characterized by instability in terms of biomass availability and price. From this perspective, particular attention must be paid to crop choice on the basis of its rusticity and of its adaptability to local growing conditions and to low input cropping systems. In this context, alike woody and herbaceous biomasses, oil crops such as sunflower and rapeseed should be able to support local agricultural bioenergy chain in Italy. In addition, in a local bioenergy chain, the role of the farmers should not be limited just to grain production; but also grain processing should be performed at farm or consortium level in oilseed extraction plants well proportioned to the cropped surface. In this way, by means of a simple power generator, farmer could thus produce its own thermal and electric energy from the oil, maximizing his profit. This objective could also be achieved through the exploitation of the total biomass, including crop residues and defatted seed meals, that may be considered as fundamental additional economic and/or environmental benefits of the chain. This paper reports some results of three-years on-farm experiments on oil crop chain carried out in the framework of “Bioenergie” project, that was focused to enhance farmers awareness of these criteria and to the feasibility at open field scale of low-input cultivation of rapeseed, sunflower and Brassica carinata in seven Italian regions. In several on-farm experiences, these crops produced more than 800 kg ha-1 of oil with good energy properties. Defatted seed meals could be

  2. On Farm Agronomic and First Environmental Evaluation of Oil Crops for Sustainable Bioenergy Chains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Lazzeri

    Full Text Available Energy crops, and in particular oil crops, could be an important occasion for developing new non food production rows for a new multi-functional agriculture in Italy. In this view, the use of local biomass is a fundamental starting point for the development of a virtuous energy chain that should pursue not only agricultural profitability, but also chain sustainability and that is less dependent on the global market, characterized by instability in terms of biomass availability and price. From this perspective, particular attention must be paid to crop choice on the basis of its rusticity and of its adaptability to local growing conditions and to low input cropping systems. In this context, alike woody and herbaceous biomasses, oil crops such as sunflower and rapeseed should be able to support local agricultural bioenergy chain in Italy. In addition, in a local bioenergy chain, the role of the farmers should not be limited just to grain production; but also grain processing should be performed at farm or consortium level in oilseed extraction plants well proportioned to the cropped surface. In this way, by means of a simple power generator, farmer could thus produce its own thermal and electric energy from the oil, maximizing his profit. This objective could also be achieved through the exploitation of the total biomass, including crop residues and defatted seed meals, that may be considered as fundamental additional economic and/or environmental benefits of the chain. This paper reports some results of three-years on-farm experiments on oil crop chain carried out in the framework of “Bioenergie” project, that was focused to enhance farmers awareness of these criteria and to the feasibility at open field scale of low-input cultivation of rapeseed, sunflower and Brassica carinata in seven Italian regions. In several on-farm experiences, these crops produced more than 800 kg ha-1 of oil with good energy properties. Defatted seed meals could be

  3. Biomass production potentials in Central and Eastern Europe under different scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dam, J. van; Faaij, A.P.C.; Lewandowski, I.; Fischer, G.

    2007-01-01

    A methodology for the assessment of biomass potentials was developed and applied to Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC). Biomass resources considered are agricultural residues, forestry residues, and wood from surplus forest and biomass from energy crops. Only land that is not needed for food and feed production is considered as available for the production of energy crops. Five scenarios were built to depict the influences of different factors on biomass potentials and costs. Scenarios, with a domination of current level of agricultural production or ecological production systems, show the smallest biomass potentials of 2-5.7 EJ for all CEEC. Highest potentials can reach up to 11.7 EJ (85% from energy crops, 12% from residues and 3% from surplus forest wood) when 44 million ha of agricultural land become available for energy crop production. This potential is, however, only realizable under high input production systems and most advanced production technology, best allocation of crop production over all CEEC and by choosing willow as energy crops. The production of lignocellulosic crops, and willow in particular, best combines high biomass production potentials and low biomass production costs. Production costs for willow biomass range from 1.6 to 8.0 EUR/GJ HHV in the scenario with the highest agricultural productivity and 1.0-4.5 EUR/GJ HHV in the scenario reflecting the current status of agricultural production. Generally the highest biomass production costs are experienced when ecological agriculture is prevailing and on land with lower quality. In most CEEC, the production potentials are larger than the current energy use in the more favourable scenarios. Bulk of the biomass potential can be produced at costs lower than 2 EUR/GJ. High potentials combined with the low cost levels gives CEEC major export opportunities. (author)

  4. Assessment of potential biomass energy production in China towards 2030 and 2050

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao, Guangling

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to provide a more detailed picture of potential biomass energy production in the Chinese energy system towards 2030 and 2050. Biomass for bioenergy feedstocks comes from five sources, which are agricultural crop residues, forest residues and industrial wood waste, energy crops and woody crops, animal manure, and municipal solid waste. The potential biomass production is predicted based on the resource availability. In the process of identifying biomass resources...

  5. Plant biomass increase linked to biological activity in soils amended with sewage sludge compost

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ibanez-Burgos, A.; Lopez-Lopez, G.; Vera, J.; Rovira, J. M.; Reolid, C.; Sastre-Conde, I.

    2009-01-01

    Sewage sludge compost application to almond tree plantations presents a potential management alternative to combat soil mismanagement in Mediterranean areas where almonds are grown. this practice could also be used to restore vegetable biomass to soils which are not fertile enough to support other crops, as well as to fight climatic change. (Author)

  6. Plant biomass increase linked to biological activity in soils amended with sewage sludge compost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ibanez-Burgos, A.; Lopez-Lopez, G.; Vera, J.; Rovira, J. M.; Reolid, C.; Sastre-Conde, I.

    2009-07-01

    Sewage sludge compost application to almond tree plantations presents a potential management alternative to combat soil mismanagement in Mediterranean areas where almonds are grown. this practice could also be used to restore vegetable biomass to soils which are not fertile enough to support other crops, as well as to fight climatic change. (Author)

  7. Life cycle assessment of a Brassica carinata bioenergy cropping system in southern Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gasol, Carles M.; Gabarrell, Xavier; Rieradevall, Joan; Anton, Assumpcio; Rigola, Miquel; Carrasco, Juan; Ciria, Pilar; Solano, M.L.

    2007-01-01

    The energetic and environmental performance of production and distribution of the Brassica carinata biomass crop in Soria (Spain) is analysed using life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology in order to demonstrate the major potential that the crop has in southern Europe as a lignocellulosic fuel for use as a renewable energy source. The Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) including midpoint impact analysis that was performed shows that the use of fertilizers is the action with the highest impact in six of the 10 environmental categories considered, representing between 51% and 68% of the impact in these categories. The second most important impact is produced when the diesel is used in tractors and transport vehicles which represents between 48% and 77%. The contribution of the B. carinata cropping system to the global warming category is 12.7 g CO 2 eq. MJ -1 biomass produced. Assuming a preliminary estimation of the B. carinata capacity of translocated CO 2 (631 kg CO 2 ha -1 ) from below-ground biomass into the soil, the emissions are reduced by up to 5.2 g CO 2 eq. MJ -1 . The production and transport are as far as a thermoelectric plant of the B. carinata biomass used as a solid fuel consumes 0.12 MJ of primary energy per 1 MJ of biomass energy stored. In comparison with other fossil fuels such as natural gas, it reduces primary energy consumption by 33.2% and greenhouse gas emission from 33.1% to 71.2% depending on whether the capacity of translocated CO 2 is considered or not. The results of the analysis support the assertion that B. carinata crops are viable from an energy balance and environmental perspective for producing lignocellulosic solid fuel destined for the production of energy in southern Europe. Furthermore, the performance of the crop could be improved, thus increasing the energy and environmental benefits. (author)

  8. Biomass Allocation Patterns Are Linked to Genotypic Differences in Whole-Plant Transpiration Efficiency in Sunflower

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciano Velázquez

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Increased transpiration efficiency (the ratio of biomass to water transpired, TE could lead to increased drought tolerance under some water deficit scenarios. Intrinsic (i.e., leaf-level TE is usually considered as the primary source of variation in whole-plant TE, but empirical data usually contradict this assumption. Sunflower has a significant variability in TE, but a better knowledge of the effect of leaf and plant-level traits could be helpful to obtain more efficient genotypes for water use. The objective of this study was, therefore, to assess if genotypic variation in whole-plant TE is better related to leaf- or plant-level traits. Three experiments were conducted, aimed at verifying the existence of variability in whole-plant TE and whole-plant and leaf-level traits, and to assess their correlation. Sunflower public inbred lines and a segregating population of recombinant inbred lines were grown under controlled conditions and subjected to well-watered and water-deficit treatments. Significant genotypic variation was found for TE and related traits. These differences in whole-plant transpiration efficiency, both between genotypes and between plants within each genotype, showed no association to leaf-level traits, but were significantly and negatively correlated to biomass allocation to leaves and to the ratio of leaf area to total biomass. These associations are likely of a physiological origin, and not only a consequence of genetic linkage in the studied population. These results suggest that genotypic variation for biomass allocation could be potentially exploited as a source for increased transpiration efficiency in sunflower breeding programmes. It is also suggested that phenotyping for TE in this species should not be restricted to leaf-level measurements, but also include measurements of plant-level traits, especially those related to biomass allocation between photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic organs.

  9. Biomass Allocation Patterns Are Linked to Genotypic Differences in Whole-Plant Transpiration Efficiency in Sunflower.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velázquez, Luciano; Alberdi, Ignacio; Paz, Cosme; Aguirrezábal, Luis; Pereyra Irujo, Gustavo

    2017-01-01

    Increased transpiration efficiency (the ratio of biomass to water transpired, TE) could lead to increased drought tolerance under some water deficit scenarios. Intrinsic (i.e., leaf-level) TE is usually considered as the primary source of variation in whole-plant TE, but empirical data usually contradict this assumption. Sunflower has a significant variability in TE, but a better knowledge of the effect of leaf and plant-level traits could be helpful to obtain more efficient genotypes for water use. The objective of this study was, therefore, to assess if genotypic variation in whole-plant TE is better related to leaf- or plant-level traits. Three experiments were conducted, aimed at verifying the existence of variability in whole-plant TE and whole-plant and leaf-level traits, and to assess their correlation. Sunflower public inbred lines and a segregating population of recombinant inbred lines were grown under controlled conditions and subjected to well-watered and water-deficit treatments. Significant genotypic variation was found for TE and related traits. These differences in whole-plant transpiration efficiency, both between genotypes and between plants within each genotype, showed no association to leaf-level traits, but were significantly and negatively correlated to biomass allocation to leaves and to the ratio of leaf area to total biomass. These associations are likely of a physiological origin, and not only a consequence of genetic linkage in the studied population. These results suggest that genotypic variation for biomass allocation could be potentially exploited as a source for increased transpiration efficiency in sunflower breeding programmes. It is also suggested that phenotyping for TE in this species should not be restricted to leaf-level measurements, but also include measurements of plant-level traits, especially those related to biomass allocation between photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic organs.

  10. Biomass crops in the agroecosystem. Its benefits agroecological; La biomasa de los cultivos en el oecosistema. Sus beneficios agroecológicos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martínez Romero, Anirebis [Reserva Científica del departamento de Fitotecnia, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Agrícolas (INCA), gaveta postal 1, San José de las Lajas, Mayabeque (Cuba); Leyva Galán, Angel [Investigador Titular del departamento de Fitotecnia, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Agrícolas(INCA), gaveta postal 1, San José de las Lajas, Mayabeque, (Cuba)

    2014-07-01

    Biomass is the result of the transformation of solar energy into chemical energy. The man throughout history has used not only for food but also for feeding their animals. The progress of science promoted agricultural development based on the green revolution, which only promotes the production of either food or feed, marginalizing the importance of biomass as enriching the soil resources available inputs needed to replace their fertility natural. At present the production and preservation of any crop biomass becomes transcendent importance, because it also contributes to environmental protection through carbon sequestration. This study aimed to show the importance of providing non-food biomass generally for humans to use it not only as animal feed but also as a natural resource rich soil. Research in Cuba on the subject is poor, even though today is very important to find alternatives to deepen in the production of biomass in relation to the environment. Finally, we present preliminary results on the production of biomass from agricultural biodiversity present in production scenarios, while reflecting on the important question for future research. (author)

  11. Exploring the efficacy of wastewater-grown microalgal biomass as a biofertilizer for wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renuka, Nirmal; Prasanna, Radha; Sood, Anjuli; Ahluwalia, Amrik S; Bansal, Radhika; Babu, Santosh; Singh, Rajendra; Shivay, Yashbir S; Nain, Lata

    2016-04-01

    Microalgae possess the ability to grow and glean nutrients from wastewater; such wastewater-grown biomass can be used as a biofertilizer for crops. The present investigation was undertaken to evaluate two formulations (formulation with unicellular microalgae (MC1) and formulation with filamentous microalgae (MC2); T4 and T5, respectively), prepared using wastewater-grown microalgal biomass, as a biofertilizer (after mixing with vermiculite/compost as a carrier) in wheat crop (Triticum aestivum L. HD2967) under controlled conditions. The highest values of available nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in soil and nitrogen-fixing potential were recorded in treatment T5 (75% N + full-dose PK + formulation with filamentous microalgae (MC2). Microbial biomass carbon was significantly enhanced by 31.8-67.0% in both the inoculated treatments over control (recommended dose of fertilizers), with highest values in T4 (75% N + full-dose PK + formulation with unicellular microalgae (MC1)). Both the microalgal formulations significantly increased the N, P, and K content of roots, shoots, and grains, and the highest total N content of 3.56% in grains was observed in treatment T5. At harvest stage, the treatments inoculated with microalgal formulations (T4 and T5) recorded a 7.4-33% increase in plant dry weight and up to 10% in spike weight. The values of 1000-grain weight showed an enhancement of 5.6-8.4%, compared with T1 (recommended doses of fertilizers). A positive correlation was observed between soil nutrient availability at mid crop stage and plant biometrical parameters at harvest stage. This study revealed the promise of such microalgal consortia as a biofertilizer for 25% N savings and improved yields of wheat crop.

  12. 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)

  13. Engineering Mycorrhizal Symbioses to Alter Plant Metabolism and Improve Crop Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine E. French

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Creating sustainable bioeconomies for the 21st century relies on optimizing the use of biological resources to improve agricultural productivity and create new products. Arbuscular mycorrhizae (phylum Glomeromycota form symbiotic relationships with over 80% of vascular plants. In return for carbon, these fungi improve plant health and tolerance to environmental stress. This symbiosis is over 400 million years old and there are currently over 200 known arbuscular mycorrhizae, with dozens of new species described annually. Metagenomic sequencing of native soil communities, from species-rich meadows to mangroves, suggests biologically diverse habitats support a variety of mycorrhizal species with potential agricultural, medical, and biotechnological applications. This review looks at the effect of mycorrhizae on plant metabolism and how we can harness this symbiosis to improve crop health. I will first describe the mechanisms that underlie this symbiosis and what physiological, metabolic, and environmental factors trigger these plant-fungal relationships. These include mycorrhizal manipulation of host genetic expression, host mitochondrial and plastid proliferation, and increased production of terpenoids and jasmonic acid by the host plant. I will then discuss the effects of mycorrhizae on plant root and foliar secondary metabolism. I subsequently outline how mycorrhizae induce three key benefits in crops: defense against pathogen and herbivore attack, drought resistance, and heavy metal tolerance. I conclude with an overview of current efforts to harness mycorrhizal diversity to improve crop health through customized inoculum. I argue future research should embrace synthetic biology to create mycorrhizal chasses with improved symbiotic abilities and potentially novel functions to improve plant health. As the effects of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance increase, the global diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi should be monitored

  14. Molecular Dissection of The Cellular Mechanisms Involved In Nickel Hyperaccumulation in Plants; FINAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    David E. Salt

    2002-01-01

    Hyperaccumulator plant species are able to accumulate between 1-5% of their biomass as metal. However, these plants are often small, slow growing, and do not produce a high biomass. Phytoextraction, a cost-effective, in situ, plant based approach to soil remediation takes advantage of the remarkable ability of hyperaccumulating plants to concentrate metals from the soil and accumulate them in their harvestable, above-ground tissues. However, to make use of the valuable genetic resources identified in metal hyperaccumulating species, it will be necessary to transfer this material to high biomass rapidly growing crop plants. These plants would then be ideally suited to the phytoremediation process, having the ability to produce large amount of metal-rich plant biomass for rapid harvest and soil cleanup. Although progress is being made in understanding the genetic basis of metal hyperaccumulation a more complete understanding will be necessary before we can take full advantage of the genetic potential of these plants

  15. Impact of different national biomass policies on investment costs of biomass district heating plants. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2000-04-01

    The BIO-COST project - co-ordinated by E.V.A. - was funded by the European Commission's THERMIE Type B Programme. The objective of BIO-COST was to analyse the impact of national biomass policies on the investment costs of biomass district heating (DH) plants. The European comparison should help identifying measures to reduce investment costs for biomass DH plants and/or components down to a 'best practice' level. The investigation is based on the comparison of 20 biomass DH plants by country, with Denmark and Sweden having mainly high energy taxes as driver, while Austria and France rely mainly on subsidy systems. The results of BIO-COST show, that governmental policies can have a big impact especially on grid and buildings costs, effecting of course the overall costs of the plant enormously. Emission standards have their effects especially on the costs for technical equipment, however, this fact was not reflected in the BIO-COST data. The results do not show a clear advantage of either the energy tax approach or the subsidy approach: The French subsidy approach leads to fairly low cost levels compared to the Danish tax approach, while the Swedish tax approach seems to yield the lowest cost level. On the other hand the Austrian subsidy approach seems to intercrease investment costs. In principle both the tax as the subsidy approach can lead to the same effect: a project is calculated in such a way, that it just meets economic breakeven. This is typically the case when the project is not carried out by a private enterprise but by an operator aiming at enhanced public welfare (e.g. co-operative, municipality). In this case a subsidy model might yield more possibilities to encourage an economically efficient development, than a tax. Instead of giving subsidies as a fixed percentage of investments they could be adjusted to the actual needs of the project as proven by a standardised calculation. Of course this can create the incentive to expect higher

  16. Coping mechanisms for crop plants in drought-prone environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Peter M

    2008-05-01

    Drought is a major limitation to plant productivity. Various options are available for increasing water availability and sustaining growth of crop plants in drought-prone environments. After a general introduction to the problems of water availability, this review focuses on a critical evaluation of recent progress in unravelling mechanisms for modifying plant growth responses to drought. Investigations of key regulatory mechanisms integrating plant growth responses to water deficits at the whole-organism, cellular and genomic levels continue to provide novel and exiting research findings. For example, recent reports contradict the widespread conception that root-derived abscisic acid is necessarily involved in signalling for stomatal and shoot-growth responses to soil water deficits. The findings bring into question the theoretical basis for alternate-side root-irrigation techniques. Similarly, recent reports indicate that increased ABA production or increased aquaporin expression did not lead to improved drought resistance. Other reports have concerned key genes and proteins involved in regulation of flowering (FT), vegetative growth (DELLA), leaf senescence (IPT) and desiccation tolerance (LEA). Introgression of such genes, with suitable promoters, can greatly impact on whole-plant responses to drought. Further developments could facilitate the introduction by breeders of new crop varieties with growth physiologies tailored to improved field performance under drought. Parallel efforts to encourage the introduction of supplementary irrigation with water made available by improved conservation measures and by sea- or brackish-water desalination, will probably provide comprehensive solutions to coping with drought-prone environments.

  17. Assessment of potential biomass energy production in China towards 2030 and 2050

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Guangling

    2018-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to provide a more detailed picture of potential biomass energy production in the Chinese energy system towards 2030 and 2050. Biomass for bioenergy feedstocks comes from five sources, which are agricultural crop residues, forest residues and industrial wood waste, energy crops and woody crops, animal manure, and municipal solid waste. The potential biomass production is predicted based on the resource availability. In the process of identifying biomass resources production, assumptions are made regarding arable land, marginal land, crops yields, forest growth rate, and meat consumption and waste production. Four scenarios were designed to describe the potential biomass energy production to elaborate the role of biomass energy in the Chinese energy system in 2030. The assessment shows that under certain restrictions on land availability, the maximum potential biomass energy productions are estimated to be 18,833 and 24,901 PJ in 2030 and 2050.

  18. Differential antimicrobial activity of silver nanoparticles to bacteria Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, and toxicity to crop plant Zea mays and beneficial B. subtilis-inoculated Z. mays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doody, Michael A.; Wang, Dengjun; Bais, Harsh P.; Jin, Yan

    2016-10-01

    As silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have become increasingly used in commercial antimicrobial agents and industrial and military products, concerns are increasing over their broad environmental and health impacts and risks because they are finding their way to the environment. This study was designed to quantify the antimicrobial activity of citrate-coated AgNPs (c-AgNPs; transmission electron microscope size of 44.9 ± 7.2 nm) to two species of bacteria, i.e., Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis and Gram-negative Escherichia coli, and toxicity to a major crop plant Zea mays and beneficial bacteria-inoculated plant (i.e., B. subtilis-inoculated Z. mays symbiont). Our results reveal that the exposure of c-AgNPs significantly inhibited bacteria growth and altered their growth kinetics. Z. mays experienced significant sublethal effects including reduced root length and biomass, and hyper-accumulation of Ag in roots. The beneficial interactions between B. subtilis and Z. mays were weakened as well because both species suffered sublethal effects. Potential mechanisms leading to the antimicrobial activity and toxicity of c-AgNPs to the bacteria, plant, and plant-bacteria symbiont examined in this study were discussed. Taken together, our findings advance the current knowledge of AgNPs antimicrobial property or toxicity to bacteria, crop plant, and beneficial plant-bacteria symbiotic interaction, which is a critical component for NPs environmental impact and risk assessment.

  19. Liquid fuels from biomass in Europe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coombs, J.

    1984-03-01

    The incorporation of solar energy into plant material through photosynthesis has the advantage that the energy is stored in a fixed form which is relatively stable, but the disadvantage is that plant biomass is not immediately compatible with the use in internal combustion engines to provide motive power. However, by choice of suitable crops, conversion technologies and engine modification it is possible to produce biomassderived liquid transport fuels; either substitutes for petroleum in the form of alcohols or replacements for diesel fuel in the form of vegetable oils or their esters. Using more complex conversion technologies it is also possible to produce hydrocarbon mixtures similar to petroleum. Some of these methodologies are available on a farm or commercial scale now; some are still at the research and development or demonstration stage, whereas others remain speculative. The purpose of this paper is to consider the present state of the art in respect of the production of liquid transport fuels from biomass and to indicate how the various possibilities might fit with present and future energy needs in the European Community.

  20. Cover crops influence soil microorganisms and phytoextraction of copper from a moderately contaminated vineyard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackie, K A; Schmidt, H P; Müller, T; Kandeler, E

    2014-12-01

    We investigated the ability of summer (Avena sativa [oat], Trifolium incarnatum [crimson clover], Chenopodium [goosefoot]) and winter (Vicia villosa [hairy vetch], Secale Cereale L. [Rye], Brassica napus L. partim [rape]) cover crops, including a mixed species treatment, to extract copper from an organic vineyard soil in situ and the microbial communities that may support it. Clover had the highest copper content (14.3mgCukg(-1) DM). However, it was the amount of total biomass production that determined which species was most effective at overall copper removal per hectare. The winter crop rye produced significantly higher amounts of biomass (3532kgDMha(-1)) and, therefore, removed significantly higher amounts of copper (14,920mgCuha(-1)), despite less accumulation of copper in plant shoots. The maximum annual removal rate, a summation of best performing summer and winter crops, would be 0.033kgCuha(-1)y(-1). Due to this low annual extraction efficiency, which is less than the 6kgCuha(-1)y(-1) permitted for application, phytoextraction cannot be recommended as a general method of copper extraction from vineyards. Copper concentration did not influence aboveground or belowground properties, as indicated by sampling at two distances from the grapevine row with different soil copper concentrations. Soil microorganisms may have become tolerant to the copper levels at this site. Microbial biomass and soil enzyme activities (arylsulfatase and phosphatase) were instead driven by seasonal fluxes of resource pools. Gram+ bacteria were associated with high soil moisture, while fungi seemed to be driven by extractable carbon, which was linked to high plant biomass. There was no microbial group associated with the increased phytoextraction of copper. Moreover, treatment did not influence the abundance, activity or community structure of soil microorganisms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Coupling sensing to crop models for closed-loop plant production in advanced life support systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavazzoni, James; Ling, Peter P.

    1999-01-01

    We present a conceptual framework for coupling sensing to crop models for closed-loop analysis of plant production for NASA's program in advanced life support. Crop status may be monitored through non-destructive observations, while models may be independently applied to crop production planning and decision support. To achieve coupling, environmental variables and observations are linked to mode inputs and outputs, and monitoring results compared with model predictions of plant growth and development. The information thus provided may be useful in diagnosing problems with the plant growth system, or as a feedback to the model for evaluation of plant scheduling and potential yield. In this paper, we demonstrate this coupling using machine vision sensing of canopy height and top projected canopy area, and the CROPGRO crop growth model. Model simulations and scenarios are used for illustration. We also compare model predictions of the machine vision variables with data from soybean experiments conducted at New Jersey Agriculture Experiment Station Horticulture Greenhouse Facility, Rutgers University. Model simulations produce reasonable agreement with the available data, supporting our illustration.

  2. The potential of Arachis pintoi biomass to improve quality of soil continuously used for cassava cropping

    OpenAIRE

    N. Muddarisna; S. Prijono

    2014-01-01

    A field experiment that was aimed to elucidate the effects of application of Arachis pintoi biomass and animal dung on quality of soil continuously used for cassava cropping was conducted at Jatikerto Village, Kromengan District of Malang Regency. Eight treatments tested were 100% NPK inorganic fertilizer, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi/ha, (3) 100 kg N chicken dung / ha, 100 kg N cow dung /ha, 100 kg N goat dung /ha, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + chicken dung /ha, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + cow dung /h...

  3. Key factors for achieving profitable biogas production from agricultural waste and sustainable biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molinuevo-Salces, Beatriz; Larsen, Søren U.; Biswas, Rajib

    2013-01-01

    Based on numerous investigations on increasing the biogas yield of manure, a new concept was developed to increase the economical operation of manure based biogas plants by combining up concentration of manure with a more specific treatment of the recalcitrant lignocellulosic fiber fraction...... by implementing the treatment on the digested solid fraction. Catch crops have been identified as a sustainable co-substrate for biogas production with a high biogas potential. For exploiting this biomass for profitable biogas production, the biomass yield per hectare, harvest costs, TS concentration and specific...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2018-01-01

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

  5. Fiscalini Farms Biomass Energy Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    William Stringfellow; Mary Kay Camarillo; Jeremy Hanlon; Michael Jue; Chelsea Spier

    2011-09-30

    In this final report describes and documents research that was conducted by the Ecological Engineering Research Program (EERP) at the University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA) under subcontract to Fiscalini Farms LP for work under the Assistance Agreement DE-EE0001895 'Measurement and Evaluation of a Dairy Anaerobic Digestion/Power Generation System' from the United States Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory. Fiscalini Farms is operating a 710 kW biomass-energy power plant that uses bio-methane, generated from plant biomass, cheese whey, and cattle manure via mesophilic anaerobic digestion, to produce electricity using an internal combustion engine. The primary objectives of the project were to document baseline conditions for the anaerobic digester and the combined heat and power (CHP) system used for the dairy-based biomass-energy production. The baseline condition of the plant was evaluated in the context of regulatory and economic constraints. In this final report, the operation of the plant between start-up in 2009 and operation in 2010 are documented and an interpretation of the technical data is provided. An economic analysis of the biomass energy system was previously completed (Appendix A) and the results from that study are discussed briefly in this report. Results from the start-up and first year of operation indicate that mesophilic anaerobic digestion of agricultural biomass, combined with an internal combustion engine, is a reliable source of alternative electrical production. A major advantage of biomass energy facilities located on dairy farms appears to be their inherent stability and ability to produce a consistent, 24 hour supply of electricity. However, technical analysis indicated that the Fiscalini Farms system was operating below capacity and that economic sustainability would be improved by increasing loading of feedstocks to the digester. Additional operational modifications, such as increased utilization of

  6. Accumulation of americium-241 in the biomass of aquatic plants of the Yenisei river: experimental study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zotina, T.A.; Bolsunovsky, A.Y.A.; Bondareva, L.G. [Institute of Biophysics SB RAS, Akademgorodok, Krasnoyarsk (Russian Federation)

    2004-07-01

    Due to the operation of the Mining-and-Chemical Combine (Krasnoyarsk-26), which has been manufacturing weapons-grade plutonium for several decades, the Yenisei River is contaminated with transuranic elements (including {sup 241}Am). {sup 241}Am was found in the riverside soil, sediment and in the biomass of aquatic plants (Bolsunovsky et al., 1999, 2002). Aquatic plants are an important link in the migration of radionuclides in an aquatic ecosystem. In laboratory experiments, we investigated accumulation of {sup 241}Am by the submerged macrophyte from the Yenisei River: the pond weed (Elodea canadensis) and the aquatic moss (Fontinalis antipyretica), and release of {sup 241}Am from the biomass. The content of {sup 241}Am was measured on a Canberra (USA) gamma-spectrometer. The experiments showed that specific accumulation and concentration factors of {sup 241}Am in the plants were in inverse proportion to their biomass. We obtained new data on release of {sup 241}Am from the biomass of macrophyte. Americium-241 was more firmly fixed in the biomass of the aquatic moss. In 12 months, the biomass of the aquatic moss released about 30% of the initial americium activity into the water. To compare, the biomass of the pond weed released into the water medium up to 64% of the initial {sup 241}Am activity in 1.5 4 months. The release rate was dependent on the decomposition rate of the plant biomass. The experiments showed that submerged macrophyte of the Yenisei River can accumulate considerable activities of {sup 241}Am and retain americium for long periods of time in biomass. (author)

  7. Protection of plants from ambient ozone by applications of ethylenediurea (EDU): A meta-analytic review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feng Zhaozhong; Wang Shuguang; Szantoi, Zoltan; Chen Shuai; Wang Xiaoke

    2010-01-01

    A meta-analysis was conducted to quantitatively assess the effects of ethylenediurea (EDU) on ozone (O 3 ) injury, growth, physiology and productivity of plants grown in ambient air conditions. Results indicated that EDU significantly reduced O 3 -caused visible injury by 76%, and increased photosynthetic rate by 8%, above-ground biomass by 7% and crop yield by 15% in comparison with non-EDU treated plants, suggesting that ozone reduces growth and yield under current ambient conditions. EDU significantly ameliorated the biomass and yield of crops and grasses, but had no significant effect on tree growth with an exception of stem diameter. EDU applied as a soil drench at a concentration of 200-400 mg/L has the highest positive effect on crops grown in the field. Long-term research on full-grown tree species is needed. In conclusion, EDU is a powerful tool for assessing effects of ambient [O 3 ] on vegetation. - EDU effectively protect plants against ambient ozone.

  8. Review about corrosion of superheaters tubes in biomass plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berlanga-Labari, C.; Fernandez-Carrasquilla, J.

    2006-01-01

    The design of new biomass-fired power plants with increased steam temperature raises concerns of high-temperature corrosion. The high potassium and chlorine contents in many biomass, specially in wheat straw, are potentially harmful elements with regard to corrosion. Chlorine may cause accelerated corrosion resulting in increased oxidation, metal wastage, internal attack, void formations and loose non-adherent scales. The most severe corrosion problems in biomass-fired systems are expected to occur due to Cl-rich deposits formed on superheater tubes. In the first part of this revision the corrosion mechanism proposed are described in function of the conditions and compounds involved. The second part is focused on the behaviour of the materials tested so far in the boiler and in the laboratory. First the traditional commercial alloys are studied and secondly the new alloys and the coasting. (Author). 102 refs

  9. Improved methods for irrigation and planting of major crops in waterlogged areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kahlown, M.A.; Iqbal, M.; Raoof, A.

    2002-01-01

    The improved irrigation methods for wheat and cotton were evaluated in the fordwah Eastern Sadigia (South) Irrigation and Drainage Project area, during 1996-97 and 1997-98 cropping seasons, under three water table depths. Irrigation methods for wheat included 70, 95 and 120 cm Beds, with Flat Basin, as a check for comparative evaluation. Cotton had Ridge-planting on the top and side, Bed and Furrow, and Flat Basin as control. These irrigation methods were compared at water table depths of < 1 m, 1-2 and 2-3 m. The wheat variety inqalab-91, and cotton cultivar, CIM-109, were planted during the 3rd week of November and May every year. All the inputs and management practices, such as seed-rate, fertilizer, seeding method, weed control, plant-protection measures, etc. were kept common. The results on cotton indicated maximum water-use efficiency with the Bed and Furrow Method of irrigation Followed by ridge planting. The traditional Flat-planting had the lowest yield and the highest water-consumption, resulting in the minimum water-use efficiency. In harmony with cotton, the Flat Method of planting had maximum water-consumption. For wheat crop, the water-use efficiency was in descending order, with 120, 95 and 70 cm for Bed and Flat Methods. Bed planting of 95 cm had a fairly high water-use efficiency and yields were more were more comparable than Flat planting. This method had a high level of adaptabilities, especially when the groundwater was close to the root-zone and higher possibilities, especially when the groundwater was close to the root-zone and higher possibility of crop-submergence are existent during rainy spells. The results of the investigation strongly favoured the Bed and furrow methods to irrigate cotton and wheat. However, under well-drained soil conditions, Bed planting of wheat is not recommended. (author)

  10. How Fencing Affects the Soil Quality and Plant Biomass in the Grassland of the Loess Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Quanchao; Liu, Yang; Xiao, Li; Huang, Yimei

    2017-09-25

    Overgrazing is a severe problem in several regions in Northwestern China and has caused serious land degradation. Secondary natural succession plays an important role in the accumulation of soil carbon and nitrogen contents. Estimating the effects of grazing exclusion on soil quality and plant diversity will improve our understanding of the succession process after overgrazing and promote judicious management of degraded pastures. This experiment was designed to measure soil properties and plant diversity following an age chronosequence of grasslands (ages ranged from one year, 12 years, 20 years, and 30 years) in Northwestern China. The results showed that continuous fencing resulted in a considerable increase in plant coverage, plant biomass (above- and below-ground biomass), and plant diversity, which can directly or indirectly improve the accumulation of soil organic carbon and total nitrogen content. The plant coverage and the above- and below-ground biomass linearly increased along the succession time, whereas soil organic C and N contents showed a significant decline in the first 12 years and, subsequently, a significant increase. The increased plant biomass caused an increase in soil organic carbon and soil total nitrogen. These results suggested that soil restoration and plant cover were an incongruous process. Generally, soil restoration is a slow process and falls behind vegetation recovery after grazing exclusion. Although the accumulation of soil C and N stocks needed a long term, vegetation restoration was a considerable option for the degraded grassland due to the significant increase of plant biomass, diversity, and soil C and N stocks. Therefore, fencing with natural succession should be considered in the design of future degraded pastures.

  11. Establishment of a communal biomass conversion plant in the municipal area of Sydthy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-09-01

    The report should form the basis for an application to the Danish Energy Agency regarding potentials for a planned biomass conversion plant demonstration project, including effective storage of liquid manures. A survey of the needed resources in the form of organic wastes is given in addition to a description of immediate heat demand and heat production prices. The location of the plant and the supply of manures are discussed and the design of the plant is described in detail. The concentration of the biomass after conversion in order to facilitate storage and the organization and financing of the project are elucidated in addition to agricultural, environmental and administrational aspects. (AB)

  12. IMPROVING BIOMASS LOGISTICS COST WITHIN AGRONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY CONSTRAINTS AND BIOMASS QUALITY TARGETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Richard Hess; Kevin L. Kenney; Christopher T. Wright; David J. Muth; William Smith

    2012-10-01

    Equipment manufacturers have made rapid improvements in biomass harvesting and handling equipment. These improvements have increased transportation and handling efficiencies due to higher biomass densities and reduced losses. Improvements in grinder efficiencies and capacity have reduced biomass grinding costs. Biomass collection efficiencies (the ratio of biomass collected to the amount available in the field) as high as 75% for crop residues and greater than 90% for perennial energy crops have also been demonstrated. However, as collection rates increase, the fraction of entrained soil in the biomass increases, and high biomass residue removal rates can violate agronomic sustainability limits. Advancements in quantifying multi-factor sustainability limits to increase removal rate as guided by sustainable residue removal plans, and mitigating soil contamination through targeted removal rates based on soil type and residue type/fraction is allowing the use of new high efficiency harvesting equipment and methods. As another consideration, single pass harvesting and other technologies that improve harvesting costs cause biomass storage moisture management challenges, which challenges are further perturbed by annual variability in biomass moisture content. Monitoring, sampling, simulation, and analysis provide basis for moisture, time, and quality relationships in storage, which has allowed the development of moisture tolerant storage systems and best management processes that combine moisture content and time to accommodate baled storage of wet material based upon “shelf-life.” The key to improving biomass supply logistics costs has been developing the associated agronomic sustainability and biomass quality technologies and processes that allow the implementation of equipment engineering solutions.

  13. "Founder crops" v. wild plants: Assessing the plant-based diet of the last hunter-gatherers in southwest Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arranz-Otaegui, Amaia; González Carretero, Lara; Roe, Joe; Richter, Tobias

    2018-04-01

    The Natufian culture (c. 14.6-11.5 ka cal. BP) represents the last hunter-gatherer society that inhabited southwest Asia before the development of plant food production. It has long been suggested that Natufians based their economy on the exploitation of the wild ancestors of the Neolithic "founder crops", and that these hunter-gatherers were therefore on the "threshold to agriculture". In this work we review the available data on Natufian plant exploitation and we report new archaeobotanical evidence from Shubayqa 1, a Natufian site located in northeastern Jordan (14.6-11.5 ka cal. BP). Shubayqa 1 has produced an exceptionally large plant assemblage, including direct evidence for the continuous exploitation of club-rush tubers (often regarded as "missing foods") and other wild plants, which were probably used as food, fuel and building materials. Taking together this data we evaluate the composition of archaeobotanical assemblages (plant macroremains) from the Natufian to the Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (EPPNB). Natufian assemblages comprise large proportions of non-founder plant species (>90% on average), amongst which sedges, small-seeded grasses and legumes, and fruits and nuts predominate. During the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, in particular the EPPNB, the presence of "founder crops" increases dramatically and constitute up to c. 42% of the archaeobotanical assemblages on average. Our results suggest that plant exploitation strategies during the Natufian were very different from those attested during subsequent Neolithic periods. We argue that historically driven interpretations of the archaeological record have over-emphasized the role of the wild ancestors of domesticated crops previous to the emergence of agriculture.

  14. GIS-BASED location optimization of a biomass conversion plant on contaminated willow in the Campine region (Belgium)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voets, Thomas; Neven, An; Thewys, Theo; Kuppens, Tom

    2013-01-01

    The Campine region is diffusely contaminated with heavy metals like cadmium. Since traditional excavation techniques are too expensive, phytoremediation is preferred as a remediation technique. In a previous study, the biomass potential from phytoremediation of contaminated agricultural land in the Campine region in Belgium was assessed. Based on recently upgraded figures of willow potential from phytoremediation on agricultural land in the seven most contaminated municipalities of the Belgian Campine region, the current paper uses GIS-knowledge to investigate which of three previously identified locations is most suitable for a biomass plant, taking into account the spatial distribution of the contaminated willow supply and the total cost of willow transport. Biomass transport distance from the centroid of each contaminated agricultural parcel to each of the three potential biomass plant locations was determined following Euclidian distance calculations and distance calculations over the existing road network. A transport cost model consisting of distance fixed and distance dependent biomass transport costs was developed. Of the locations identified, the Overpelt Fabriek site results in the lowest biomass transport distance and costs. When willow allocation for each parcel occurs based on the nearest potential plant location, transport costs are on average 23% lower than when all biomass is transported to the single Overpelt Fabriek site location. Therefore, when only considering transport costs, installing a smaller plant at each of the three potential plant locations would be less expensive than when installing a single biomass plant at the Overpelt Fabriek site. -- Highlights: ► Overpelt Fabriek site most attractive for time frames considered. ► Average tortuosity factor in Campine region between 1.27 and 1.42. ► Share of willow transport costs in willow supply costs 21%. ► Optimal allocation of willow results in lower transport costs

  15. ZERO-DIMENSIONAL MODEL OF A DIMETHYL ETHER (DME) PLANT BASED ON GASIFICATION OF TORREFIED BIOMASS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Lasse Røngaard; Elmegaard, Brian; Houbak, Niels

    2009-01-01

    similar to coal, which enables the use of commercially available coal gasification processing equipment. The DME plant model is integrated with a steam cycle that utilizes waste heat from the plant and covers the on-site electricity consumption. The plant model predicts a fuel production efficiency of 67...... % (LHV) from torrefied biomass to DME and 70 % (LHV) if the exported electricity is included. When accounting for raw, untreated biomass, the efficiency for DME production is reduced to about 60 %....

  16. SERI biomass program annual technical report: 1982

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergeron, P.W.; Corder, R.E.; Hill, A.M.; Lindsey, H.; Lowenstein, M.Z.

    1983-02-01

    The biomass with which this report is concerned includes aquatic plants, which can be converted into liquid fuels and chemicals; organic wastes (crop residues as well as animal and municipal wastes), from which biogas can be produced via anerobic digestion; and organic or inorganic waste streams, from which hydrogen can be produced by photobiological processes. The Biomass Program Office supports research in three areas which, although distinct, all use living organisms to create the desired products. The Aquatic Species Program (ASP) supports research on organisms that are themselves processed into the final products, while the Anaerobic Digestion (ADP) and Photo/Biological Hydrogen Program (P/BHP) deals with organisms that transform waste streams into energy products. The P/BHP is also investigating systems using water as a feedstock and cell-free systems which do not utilize living organisms. This report summarizes the progress and research accomplishments of the SERI Biomass Program during FY 1982.

  17. Plant prebiotics and human health: Biotechnology to breed prebiotic-rich nutritious food crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangam Dwivedi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Microbiota in the gut play essential roles in human health. Prebiotics are non-digestible complex carbohydrates that are fermented in the colon, yielding energy and short chain fatty acids, and selectively promote the growth of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillae in the gastro-intestinal tract. Fructans and inulin are the best-characterized plant prebiotics. Many vegetable, root and tuber crops as well as some fruit crops are the best-known sources of prebiotic carbohydrates, while the prebiotic-rich grain crops include barley, chickpea, lentil, lupin, and wheat. Some prebiotic-rich crop germplasm have been reported in barley, chickpea, lentil, wheat, yacon, and Jerusalem artichoke. A few major quantitative trait loci and gene-based markers associated with high fructan are known in wheat. More targeted search in genebanks using reduced subsets (representing diversity in germplasm is needed to identify accessions with prebiotic carbohydrates. Transgenic maize, potato and sugarcane with high fructan, with no adverse effects on plant development, have been bred, which suggests that it is feasible to introduce fructan biosynthesis pathways in crops to produce health-imparting prebiotics. Developing prebiotic-rich and super nutritious crops will alleviate the widespread malnutrition and promote human health. A paradigm shift in breeding program is needed to achieve this goal and to ensure that newly-bred crop cultivars are nutritious, safe and health promoting.

  18. Model of yield response of corn to plant population and absorption of solar energy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allen R Overman

    Full Text Available Biomass yield of agronomic crops is influenced by a number of factors, including crop species, soil type, applied nutrients, water availability, and plant population. This article is focused on dependence of biomass yield (Mg ha(-1 and g plant(-1 on plant population (plants m(-2. Analysis includes data from the literature for three independent studies with the warm-season annual corn (Zea mays L. grown in the United States. Data are analyzed with a simple exponential mathematical model which contains two parameters, viz. Y(m (Mg ha(-1 for maximum yield at high plant population and c (m(2 plant(-1 for the population response coefficient. This analysis leads to a new parameter called characteristic plant population, x(c = 1/c (plants m(-2. The model is shown to describe the data rather well for the three field studies. In one study measurements were made of solar radiation at different positions in the plant canopy. The coefficient of absorption of solar energy was assumed to be the same as c and provided a physical basis for the exponential model. The three studies showed no definitive peak in yield with plant population, but generally exhibited asymptotic approach to maximum yield with increased plant population. Values of x(c were very similar for the three field studies with the same crop species.

  19. Utilization of ionizing radiations and radioisotopes in plant breeding and crop improvement in Arab countries

    Internat