WorldWideScience

Sample records for switchgrass

  1. Switchgrass cultivar EG1101

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouton, Joseph H; Wood, Donald T

    2012-11-27

    A switchgrass cultivar designated EG1101 is disclosed. Also disclosed are seeds of switchgrass cultivar EG1101, plants of switchgrass EG1101, plant parts of switchgrass cultivar EG1101 and methods for producing a switchgrass plant produced by crossing switchgrass cultivar EG1101 with itself or with another switchgrass variety. Methods are also described for producing a switchgrass plant containing in its genetic material one or more transgenes and to the transgenic switchgrass plants and plant parts produced by those methods. Switchgrass cultivars or breeding cultivars and plant parts derived from switchgrass variety EG1101, methods for producing other switchgrass cultivars, lines or plant parts derived from switchgrass cultivar EG1101 and the switchgrass plants, varieties, and their parts derived from use of those methods are described herein. Hybrid switchgrass seeds, plants and plant parts produced by crossing the cultivar EG1101 with another switchgrass cultivar are also described.

  2. Switchgrass cultivar EG1102

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouton, Joseph H; Wood, Donald T

    2012-11-20

    A switchgrass cultivar designated EG1102 is disclosed. The invention relates to the seeds of switchgrass cultivar EG1102, to the plants of switchgrass EG1102, to plant parts of switchgrass cultivar EG1102 and to methods for producing a switchgrass plant produced by crossing switchgrass cultivar EG1102 with itself or with another switchgrass variety. The invention also relates to methods for producing a switchgrass plant containing in its genetic material one or more transgenes and to the transgenic switchgrass plants and plant parts produced by those methods. This invention also relates to switchgrass cultivars or breeding cultivars and plant parts derived from switchgrass variety EG1102, to methods for producing other switchgrass cultivars, lines or plant parts derived from switchgrass cultivar EG1102 and to the switchgrass plants, varieties, and their parts derived from use of those methods. The invention further relates to hybrid switchgrass seeds, plants and plant parts produced by crossing the cultivar EG1102 with another switchgrass cultivar.

  3. Genetic transformation of switchgrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xi, Yajun; Ge, Yaxin; Wang, Zeng-Yu

    2009-01-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a highly productive warm-season C4 species that is being developed into a dedicated biofuel crop. This chapter describes a protocol that allows the generation of transgenic switchgrass plants by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Embryogenic calluses induced from caryopses or inflorescences were used as explants for inoculation with A. tumefaciens strain EHA105. Hygromycin phosphotransferase gene (hph) was used as the selectable marker and hygromycin was used as the selection agent. Calluses resistant to hygromycin were obtained after 5-6 weeks of selection. Soil-grown switchgrass plants were regenerated about 6 months after callus induction and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation.

  4. Production of polyhydroxybutyrate in switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Somleva, Mariya N.; Snell, Kristi D.; Beaulieu, Julie; Peoples, Oliver P.; Garrison, Bradley; Patterson, Nii

    2013-07-16

    Transgenic plants, plant material, and plant cells for synthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates, preferably poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (also referred to a as PHB) are provided. Preferred plants that can be genetically engineered to produce PHB include plants that do not normally produce storage products such as oils and carbohydrates, and plants that have a C.sub.4 NAD-malic enzyme photosynthetic pathway. Such plants also advantageously produce lignocellulosic biomass that can be converted into biofuels. An exemplary plant that can be genetically engineered to produce PHB and produce lignocellulosic biomass is switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L. A preferred cultivar of switchgrass is Alamo. Other suitable cultivars of switchgrass include but are not limited to Blackwell, Kanlow, Nebraska 28, Pathfinder, Cave-in-Rock, Shelter and Trailblazer.

  5. The Switchgrass Genome: Tools and Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D. Casler

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Switchgrass ( L. is a perennial grass species receiving significant focus as a potential bioenergy crop. In the last 5 yr the switchgrass research community has produced a genetic linkage map, an expressed sequence tag (EST database, a set of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP markers that are distributed across the 18 linkage groups, 4x sampling of the AP13 genome in 400-bp reads, and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC libraries containing over 200,000 clones. These studies have revealed close collinearity of the switchgrass genome with those of sorghum [ (L. Moench], rice ( L., and (L. P. Beauv. Switchgrass researchers have also developed several microarray technologies for gene expression studies. Switchgrass genomic resources will accelerate the ability of plant breeders to enhance productivity, pest resistance, and nutritional quality. Because switchgrass is a relative newcomer to the genomics world, many secrets of the switchgrass genome have yet to be revealed. To continue to efficiently explore basic and applied topics in switchgrass, it will be critical to capture and exploit the knowledge of plant geneticists and breeders on the next logical steps in the development and utilization of genomic resources for this species. To this end, the community has established a switchgrass genomics executive committee and work group ( [verified 28 Oct. 2011].

  6. Efficient Methods of Estimating Switchgrass Biomass Supplies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is being developed as a biofuel feedstock for the United States. Efficient and accurate methods to estimate switchgrass biomass feedstock supply within a production area will be required by biorefineries. Our main objective was to determine the effectiveness of in...

  7. Sustainable Production of Switchgrass for Biomass Energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a C4 grass native to the North American tallgrass prairies, which historically extended from Mexico to Canada. It is the model perennial warm-season grass for biomass energy. USDA-ARS in Lincoln, NE has studied switchgrass continuously since 1936. Plot-scale rese...

  8. 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 ...

  9. Salt Tolerance of Six Switchgrass Cultivars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youping Sun

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Panicum virgatum L. (switchgrass cultivars (‘Alamo’, ‘Cimarron’, ‘Kanlow’, ‘NL 94C2-3’, ‘NSL 2009-1’, and ‘NSL 2009-2’ were evaluated for salt tolerance in two separate greenhouse experiments. In experiment (Expt. 1, switchgrass seedlings were irrigated with a nutrient solution at an electrical conductivity (EC of 1.2 dS·m−1 (control or a saline solution (spiked with salts at an EC of 5.0 dS·m−1 (EC 5 or 10.0 dS·m−1 (EC 10 for four weeks, once a week. Treatment EC 10 reduced the tiller number by 32% to 37% for all switchgrass cultivars except ‘Kanlow’. All switchgrass cultivars under EC 10 had a significant reduction of 50% to 63% in dry weight. In Expt. 2, switchgrass was seeded in substrates moistened with either a nutrient solution of EC 1.2 dS·m−1 (control or a saline solution of EC of 5.0, 10.0, or 20.0 dS·m−1 (EC 5, EC 10, or EC 20. Treatment EC 5 did not affect the seedling emergence, regardless of cultivar. Compared to the control, EC 10 reduced the seedling emergence of switchgrass ‘Alamo’, ‘Cimarron’, and ‘NL 94C2-3’ by 44%, 33%, and 82%, respectively. All switchgrass cultivars under EC 10 had a 46% to 88% reduction in the seedling emergence index except ‘NSL 2009-2’. No switchgrass seedlings emerged under EC 20. In summary, high salinity negatively affected switchgrass seedling emergence and growth. Dendrogram and cluster of six switchgrass cultivars indicated that ‘Alamo’ was the most tolerant cultivar, while ‘NSL 2009-2’ was the least tolerant cultivar at both seedling emergence and growth stages. A growth-stage dependent response to salinity was observed for the remaining switchgrass cultivars. ‘NSL 2009-1’ and ‘NL 94C2-3’ were more tolerant to salinity than ‘Cimarron’ and ‘Kanlow’ at the seedling emergence stage; however, ‘Kanlow’ and ‘Cimarron’ were more tolerant to salinity than ‘NSL 2009-1’ and ‘NL 94C2-3’ at the seedling growth

  10. Hybridization of downregulated-COMT transgenic switchgrass lines with field selected switchgrass for improved biomass traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Transgenic switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been produced for improved cell walls for biofuels. Downregulated caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) switchgrass produced significantly more biomass and biofuel than the non-transgenic progenitor line. In the present study we sought to further...

  11. Switching to switchgrass: Pathways and consequences of bioenergy switchgrass entering the Midwestern landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krohn, Brian

    The US has the ambitious goal of producing 60 billion liters of cellulosic biofuel by 2022. Researchers and US Federal Agencies have identified switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as a potential feedstock for next generation biofuels to help meet this goal because of its excellent agronomic and environmental characteristics. With national policy supporting the development of a switchgrass to bioenergy industry two key questions arise: 1) Under what economic and political conditions will switchgrass enter the landscape? 2) Where on the landscape will switchgrass be cultivated given varying economic and political conditions? The goal of this dissertation is to answer these questions by analyzing the adoption of switchgrass across the upper Midwestern US at a high spatial resolution (30m) under varying economic conditions. In the first chapter, I model switchgrass yields at a high resolution and find considerable variability in switchgrass yields across space, scale, time, and nitrogen management. Then in the second chapter, I use the spatial results from chapter one to challenge the assumption that low-input (unmanaged) switchgrass systems cannot compete economically with high-input (managed) switchgrass systems. Finally, in the third chapter, I evaluate the economic and land quality conditions required for switchgrass to be competitive with a corn/soy rotation. I find that switchgrass can displace low-yielding corn/soy on environmentally sensitive land but, to be competitive, it requires economic support through payments for ecosystem services equal to 360 ha-1. With a total expenditure of 4.3 billion annually for ecosystem services, switchgrass could displace corn/soy on 12.2 million hectares of environmentally sensitive land and increase ethanol production above that from the existing corn by 20 billion liters. Thus, ecosystem services can be an effective means of meeting both bioenergy and environmental goals. Taking the three chapters in aggregate it is apparent

  12. Production and supply logistics of switchgrass as an energy feedstock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a warm-season (C4), perennial grass that is native to the tallgrass ecoregion of North America (Figure 1). Historically, switchgrass has been used for summer forage, hay, ensiling, or in conservation plantings. At the end of the 20th century, switchgrass was de...

  13. Micro-mesh fabric pollination bags for switchgrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollination bags for making controlled crosses between switchgrass plants were made from a polyester micro-mesh fabric with a mesh size of 41 µm which is smaller than the mean reported 43 µm diameter of switchgrass pollen. When used in paired plant crosses between switchgrass plants, the mean amoun...

  14. Determining switchgrass biomass supplies for cellulosic biorefineries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is being developed into a bioenergy crop for use in temperate regions of the USA. Information on spatial and temporial variation for stands and biomass yield among and within fields in large agroecoregions is not available. A reliable feedstock supply will be essent...

  15. Production of deuterated switchgrass by hydroponic cultivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Barbara R; Bali, Garima; Foston, Marcus; Ragauskas, Arthur J; O'Neill, Hugh M; Shah, Riddhi; McGaughey, Joseph; Reeves, David; Rempe, Caroline S; Davison, Brian H

    2015-07-01

    The bioenergy crop switchgrass was grown hydroponically from tiller cuttings in 50 % D 2 O to obtain biomass with 34 % deuterium substitution and physicochemical properties similar to those of H 2 O-grown switchgrass controls. Deuterium enrichment of biological materials can potentially enable expanded experimental use of small angle neutron scattering (SANS) to investigate molecular structural transitions of complex systems such as plant cell walls. Two key advances have been made that facilitate cultivation of switchgrass, an important forage and biofuel crop, for controlled isotopic enrichment: (1) perfusion system with individual chambers and (2) hydroponic growth from tiller cuttings. Plants were grown and maintained for several months with periodic harvest. Photosynthetic activity was monitored by measurement of CO2 in outflow from the growth chambers. Plant morphology and composition appeared normal compared to matched controls grown with H2O. Using this improved method, gram quantities of switchgrass leaves and stems were produced by continuous hydroponic cultivation using growth medium consisting of basal mineral salts in 50 % D2O. Deuterium incorporation was confirmed by detection of the O-D and C-D stretching peaks with FTIR and quantified by (1)H- and (2)H-NMR. This capability to produce deuterated lignocellulosic biomass under controlled conditions will enhance investigation of cell wall structure and its deconstruction by neutron scattering and NMR techniques.

  16. Microwave pretreatment of switchgrass for bioethanol production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keshwani, Deepak Radhakrishin

    Lignocellulosic materials are promising alternative feedstocks for bioethanol production. These materials include agricultural residues, cellulosic waste such as newsprint and office paper, logging residues, and herbaceous and woody crops. However, the recalcitrant nature of lignocellulosic biomass necessitates a pretreatment step to improve the yield of fermentable sugars. The overall goal of this dissertation is to expand the current state of knowledge on microwave-based pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass. Existing research on bioenergy and value-added applications of switchgrass is reviewed in Chapter 2. Switchgrass is an herbaceous energy crop native to North America and has high biomass productivity, potentially low requirements for agricultural inputs and positive environmental impacts. Based on results from test plots, yields in excess of 20 Mg/ha have been reported. Environmental benefits associated with switchgrass include the potential for carbon sequestration, nutrient recovery from run-off, soil remediation and provision of habitats for grassland birds. Published research on pretreatment of switchgrass reported glucose yields ranging from 70-90% and xylose yields ranging from 70-100% after hydrolysis and ethanol yields ranging from 72-92% after fermentation. Other potential value-added uses of switchgrass include gasification, bio-oil production, newsprint production and fiber reinforcement in thermoplastic composites. Research on microwave-based pretreatment of switchgrass and coastal bermudagrass is presented in Chapter 3. Pretreatments were carried out by immersing the biomass in dilute chemical reagents and exposing the slurry to microwave radiation at 250 watts for residence times ranging from 5 to 20 minutes. Preliminary experiments identified alkalis as suitable chemical reagents for microwave-based pretreatment. An evaluation of different alkalis identified sodium hydroxide as the most effective alkali reagent. Under optimum pretreatment

  17. ESTABLISHMENT AND EVALUATION OF SWITCHGRASS ON RECLAIMED MINE SOIL [English

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lang, David; Shankle, Brandon; Oswalt, Ernest; Duckworth, Jeremy; Sanborn, Judd; Buell, Rebecca; Roberson, Bill

    2010-06-30

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a native warm season perennial grass that has productive potential of up to 20 Mg ha-1 of biomass and it persists for decades when harvested once per year. Switchgrass provides excellent ground cover and soil stabilization once established and contributes to soil sequestration of new carbon. Slow establishment on newly reclaimed soil, however, provides for significant erosive opportunities thereby requiring initial soil stabilization with a cover crop. Several planting options were evaluated on two topsoil substitute soils. The planting options included: 1) an existing stand of bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) that was killed with glyphosate followed by disking in red oxidized topsoil substitute and prime farmland topsoil respread in 2007, 2) red oxidized topsoil substitute was seeded directly with switchgrass, 3) browntop millet (Panicum ramosum) was established with switchgrass, 4) or switchgrass was established in senescing browntop millet or wheat without tillage. Switchgrass was successfully established into a bermudagrass sod that had been killed with herbicides and disked as well as into a senescing stand of browntop millet or wheat. Significant soil erosion occurred on the disked area in 2008 leading to considerable repair work followed by planting wheat. Disked areas that did not erode had an excellent stand of switchgrass with 23.3 plants m-2 in November, 2008. Eroded areas replanted in April, 2009 into senescing wheat had 46 plants m-2 by July, 2009. The area planted directly into newly respread soil in May, 2009 was eroded severely by a 75 mm thunderstorm and was repaired, disked and replanted to switchgrass and browntop millet. Switchgrass seeded with browntop millet had a sparse switchgrass stand and was replanted to switchgrass in August, 2009. Rainfall volumes from August, 2009 to October, 2009 totaled 750 mm, but new erosion damage in areas successfully planted to switchgrass has been minimal.

  18. Response of switchgrass yield to future climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tulbure, Mirela G; Wimberly, Michael C; Owens, Vance N

    2012-01-01

    A climate envelope approach was used to model the response of switchgrass, a model bioenergy species in the United States, to future climate change. The model was built using general additive models (GAMs), and switchgrass yields collected at 45 field trial locations as the response variable. The model incorporated variables previously shown to be the main determinants of switchgrass yield, and utilized current and predicted 1 km climate data from WorldClim. The models were run with current WorldClim data and compared with results of predicted yield obtained using two climate change scenarios across three global change models for three time steps. Results did not predict an increase in maximum switchgrass yield but showed an overall shift in areas of high switchgrass productivity for both cytotypes. For upland cytotypes, the shift in high yields was concentrated in northern and north-eastern areas where there were increases in average growing season temperature, whereas for lowland cultivars the areas where yields were projected to increase were associated with increases in average early growing season precipitation. These results highlight the fact that the influences of climate change on switchgrass yield are spatially heterogeneous and vary depending on cytotype. Knowledge of spatial distribution of suitable areas for switchgrass production under climate change should be incorporated into planning of current and future biofuel production. Understanding how switchgrass yields will be affected by future changes in climate is important for achieving a sustainable biofuels economy. (letter)

  19. Transmission of Switchgrass mosaic virus by Graminella aureovitatta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass mosaic virus (SwMV) was identified in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and was proposed as a new marafivirus based on its genome sequence and comparison with its closest relative, Maize rayado fino virus (MRFV), a type member of the genus, Marafivirus. MRFV only infects maize (Zea mays) an...

  20. Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity of switchgrass-derived extractives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labbe, Nicole; Ownley, Bonnie H.; Gwinn, Kimberly D.; Moustaid-Moussa, Naima; D'Souza, Doris H.

    2016-03-15

    Switchgrass is an increasingly important biofuel crop, but knowledge of switchgrass fungal pathogens is not extensive. The purpose of this research was to identify the fungal pathogens that decrease crop yield of switchgrass grown in Tennessee and to investigate a potential sustainable disease management strategy from a value-added by-product of the switchgrass biofuel conversion process. The specific objectives were 1) to identify and characterize prevalent fungal pathogens of switchgrass in Tennessee, 2) assess switchgrass seed produced in the United States for seedborne fungal pathogens, and 3) evaluate switchgrass extractives for antimicrobial activity against plant pathogens.

  1. Switchgrass growth and pine–switchgrass interactions in established intercropping systems

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tian, S.; Cacho, J. F.; Youssef, M. A.; Chescheir, G. M.; Fischer, Milan; Nettles, J. E.; King, J. S.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 5 (2017), s. 845-857 ISSN 1757-1693 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : agroforestry * competition * grass growth * interspecific interactions * loblolly pine * switchgrass Subject RIV: GC - Agronomy OBOR OECD: Agronomy, plant breeding and plant protection Impact factor: 4.655, year: 2016

  2. Responses of switchgrass to precipitation changes: Nonlinear and asymmetric?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods: Climate changes, including chronic changes in precipitation amounts, will influence plant physiology, biomass and productivity, and soil respiration. However, such precipitation effects on switchgrass, a major bioenergy crop, have not been well investigated. Two preci...

  3. The WRKY transcription factor family and senescence in switchgrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinerson, Charles I; Scully, Erin D; Palmer, Nathan A; Donze-Reiner, Teresa; Rabara, Roel C; Tripathi, Prateek; Shen, Qingxi J; Sattler, Scott E; Rohila, Jai S; Sarath, Gautam; Rushton, Paul J

    2015-11-09

    Early aerial senescence in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) can significantly limit biomass yields. WRKY transcription factors that can regulate senescence could be used to reprogram senescence and enhance biomass yields. All potential WRKY genes present in the version 1.0 of the switchgrass genome were identified and curated using manual and bioinformatic methods. Expression profiles of WRKY genes in switchgrass flag leaf RNA-Seq datasets were analyzed using clustering and network analyses tools to identify both WRKY and WRKY-associated gene co-expression networks during leaf development and senescence onset. We identified 240 switchgrass WRKY genes including members of the RW5 and RW6 families of resistance proteins. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis of the flag leaf transcriptomes across development readily separated clusters of co-expressed genes into thirteen modules. A visualization highlighted separation of modules associated with the early and senescence-onset phases of flag leaf growth. The senescence-associated module contained 3000 genes including 23 WRKYs. Putative promoter regions of senescence-associated WRKY genes contained several cis-element-like sequences suggestive of responsiveness to both senescence and stress signaling pathways. A phylogenetic comparison of senescence-associated WRKY genes from switchgrass flag leaf with senescence-associated WRKY genes from other plants revealed notable hotspots in Group I, IIb, and IIe of the phylogenetic tree. We have identified and named 240 WRKY genes in the switchgrass genome. Twenty three of these genes show elevated mRNA levels during the onset of flag leaf senescence. Eleven of the WRKY genes were found in hotspots of related senescence-associated genes from multiple species and thus represent promising targets for future switchgrass genetic improvement. Overall, individual WRKY gene expression profiles could be readily linked to developmental stages of flag leaves.

  4. Developing Switchgrass as a Bioenergy Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bouton, J.; Bransby, D.; Conger, B.; McLaughlin, S.; Ocumpaugh, W.; Parrish, D.; Taliaferro, C.; Vogel, K.; Wullschleger, S.

    1998-11-08

    The utilization of energy crops produced on American farms as a source of renewable fuels is a concept with great relevance to current ecological and economic issues at both national and global scales. Development of a significant national capacity to utilize perennial forage crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum, L.) as biofuels could benefit our agricultural economy by providing an important new source of income for farmers. In addition energy production from perennial cropping systems, which are compatible with conventional fining practices, would help reduce degradation of agricultural soils, lower national dependence on foreign oil supplies, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and toxic pollutants to the atmosphere (McLaughlin 1998). Interestingly, on-farm energy production is a very old concept, extending back to 19th century America when both transpofiation and work on the farm were powered by approximately 27 million draft animals and fueled by 34 million hectares of grasslands (Vogel 1996). Today a new form of energy production is envisioned for some of this same acreage. The method of energy production is exactly the same - solar energy captured in photosynthesis, but the subsequent modes of energy conversion are vastly different, leading to the production of electricity, transportation fuels, and chemicals from the renewable feedstocks. While energy prices in the United States are among the cheapest in the world, the issues of high dependency on imported oil, the uncertainties of maintaining stable supplies of imported oil from finite reserves, and the environmental costs associated with mining, processing, and combusting fossil fuels have been important drivers in the search for cleaner burning fuels that can be produced and renewed from the landscape. At present biomass and bioenergy combine provide only about 4% of the total primary energy used in the U.S. (Overend 1997). By contrast, imported oil accounts for approximately 44% of the

  5. A Probabilistic Analysis of the Switchgrass Ethanol Cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadeusz W. Patzek

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The switchgrass-driven process for producing ethanol has received much popular attention. However, a realistic analysis of this process indicates three serious limitations: (a If switchgrass planted on 140 million hectares (the entire area of active U.S. cropland were used as feedstock and energy source for ethanol production, the net ethanol yield would replace on average about 20% of today’s gasoline consumption in the U.S. (b Because nonrenewable resources are required to produce ethanol from switchgrass, the incremental gas emissions would be on average 55 million tons of equivalent carbon dioxide per year to replace just 10% of U.S. automotive gasoline. (c In terms of delivering electrical or mechanical power, ethanol from 1 hectare (10,000 m2 of switchgrass is equivalent, on average, to 30 m2 of low-efficiency photovoltaic cells. This analysis suggests that investing toward more efficient and durable solar cells, and batteries, may be more promising than investing in a process to convert switchgrass to ethanol.

  6. Towards uncovering the roles of switchgrass peroxidases in plant processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron eSaathoff

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Herbaceous perennial plants selected as potential biofuel feedstocks had been understudied at the genomic and functional genomic levels. Recent investments, primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy, have led to the development of a number of molecular resources for bioenergy grasses, such as the partially annotated genome for switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L., and some related diploid species. In its current version, the switchgrass genome contains 65,878 gene models arising from the A and B genomes of this tetraploid grass. The availability of these gene sequences provides a framework to exploit transcriptomic data obtained from next generation sequencing platforms to address questions of biological importance. One such question pertains to discovery of genes and proteins important for biotic and abiotic stress responses, and how these components might affect biomass quality and stress response in plants engineered for a specific end purpose. It can be expected that production of switchgrass on marginal lands will expose plants to diverse stresses, including herbivory by insects. Class III plant peroxidases have been implicated in many developmental responses such as lignification and in the adaptive responses of plants to insect feeding. Here, we have analyzed the class III peroxidases encoded by the switchgrass genome, and have mined available transcriptomic datasets to develop a first understanding of the expression profiles of the class III peroxidases in different plant tissues. Lastly, we have identified switchgrass peroxidases that appear to be orthologs of enzymes shown to play key roles in lignification and plant defense responses to hemipterans.

  7. Investigation of Pleurotus ostreatus pretreatment on switchgrass for ethanol production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slavens, Shelyn Gehle

    Fungal pretreatment using the white-rot fungus Pleurotus ostreatus on switchgrass for ethanol production was studied. In a small-scale storage study, small switchgrass bales were inoculated with fungal spawn and automatically watered to maintain moisture. Sampled at 25, 53, and 81 d, the switchgrass composition was determined and liquid hot water (LHW) pretreatment was conducted. Fungal pretreatment significantly decreased the xylan and lignin content; glucan was not significantly affected by fungal loading. The glucan, xylan, and lignin contents significantly decreased with increased fungal pretreatment time. The effects of the fungal pretreatment were not highly evident after the LHW pretreatment, showing only changes based on sampling time. Although other biological activity within the bales increased cellulose degradation, the fungal pretreatment successfully reduced the switchgrass lignin and hemicellulose contents. In a laboratory-scale nutrient supplementation study, copper, manganese, glucose, or water was added to switchgrass to induce production of ligninolytic enzymes by P. ostreatus. After 40 d, ligninolytic enzyme activities and biomass composition were determined and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) was conducted to determine ethanol yield. Laccase activity was similar for all supplements and manganese peroxidase (MnP) activity was significantly less in copper-treated samples than in the other fungal-inoculated samples. The fungal pretreatment reduced glucan, xylan, and lignin content, while increasing extractable sugars content. The lowest lignin contents occurred in the water-fungal treated samples and produced the greatest ethanol yields. The greatest lignin contents occurred in the copper-fungal treated samples and produced the lowest ethanol yields. Manganese-fungal and glucose-fungal treated samples had similar, intermediate lignin contents and produced similar, intermediate ethanol yields. Ethanol yields from switchgrass

  8. Impact of switching production to bioenergy crops: the switchgrass example

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McDonald, S. [Sheffield Univ. (United Kingdom); Robinson, S. [Sussex Univ., Brighton (United Kingdom); Thierfelder, K. [U.S. Naval Academy (United States)

    2006-03-15

    This paper reports the results from simulations that evaluate the general equilibrium effects of substituting switchgrass, a biomass, for crude oil in USA petroleum production. The new production process is less efficient and USA GDP declines slightly. As switchgrass production expands, USA agriculture contracts and the world price of cereals increases. The world price of crude oil falls as USA import demand declines. The net effect of the price and income changes is a general decline in economic welfare. Moreover, the declines in welfare are proportionately greater for developing countries who produce small quantities of agricultural commodities whose prices increase. (author)

  9. A geospatial suitability model for drought-tolerant switchgrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, S. M.; Kelly, M.

    2011-12-01

    A perennial grass native to the North America, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been targeted by the USDA as a model mass bioenergy crop to replace petroleum energy products and meet policy demands. Although highly water use efficient, as a warm-season crop, switchgrass requires a significant amount of water during the growing season (April -September). However, locations that have highly reliable water availability are also ideal for profitable food crops (e.g. corn and soy growing regions) and food competition is a significant concern in regards to biofuel crops being grown on productive agricultural lands. Drier, marginal lands (lands on which normal agricultural crops are difficult to cultivate) are therefore potentially ideal locations to grow biofuel crops to ensure that food competition is not an issue. Genetics scientists at UC Davis are in the process of developing a modified variety of switchgrass that can withstand extended periods of drought while not substantially affecting overall yield. As this product is being developed, it is important to identify the potential geographical niche for this new drought-tolerant variety of switchgrass. This project introduces a geospatial approach that utilizes both physical and economic variables to identify ideal geographic locations for this innovative crop.

  10. Nitrogen management of switchgrass and miscanthus on marginal soils

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. Topsoil thickness and harvest management influence switchgrass production and profitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is an attractive dual use forage and/or biomass crop option for eroded or marginal soils where corn (Zea mays L.) grain production often is not profitable. Topsoil thickness, especially above soils with a claypan, relates to crop productivity and nutrient removal an...

  12. Translational Genomics for the Improvement of Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carpita, Nicholas; McCann, Maureen

    2014-05-07

    Our objectives were to apply bioinformatics and high throughput sequencing technologies to identify and classify the genes involved in cell wall formation in maize and switchgrass. Targets for genetic modification were to be identified and cell wall materials isolated and assayed for enhanced performance in bioprocessing. We annotated and assembled over 750 maize genes into gene families predicted to function in cell wall biogenesis. Comparative genomics of maize, rice, and Arabidopsis sequences revealed differences in gene family structure. In addition, differences in expression between gene family members of Arabidopsis, maize and rice underscored the need for a grass-specific genetic model for functional analyses. A forward screen of mature leaves of field-grown maize lines by near-infrared spectroscopy yielded several dozen lines with heritable spectroscopic phenotypes, several of which near-infrared (nir) mutants had altered carbohydrate-lignin compositions. Our contributions to the maize genome sequencing effort built on knowledge of copy number variation showing that uneven gene losses between duplicated regions were involved in returning an ancient allotetraploid to a genetically diploid state. For example, although about 25% of all duplicated genes remain genome-wide, all of the cellulose synthase (CesA) homologs were retained. We showed that guaiacyl and syringyl lignin in lignocellulosic cell-wall materials from stems demonstrate a two-fold natural variation in content across a population of maize Intermated B73 x Mo7 (IBM) recombinant inbred lines, a maize Association Panel of 282 inbreds and landraces, and three populations of the maize Nested Association Mapping (NAM) recombinant inbred lines grown in three years. We then defined quantitative trait loci (QTL) for stem lignin content measured using pyrolysis molecular-beam mass spectrometry, and glucose and xylose yield measured using an enzymatic hydrolysis assay. Among five multi-year QTL for lignin

  13. ASSESSING OF HERBIVOROUS AND BENEFICIAL INSECTS ON SWITCHGRASS IN UKRAINE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanovska, T; Kucherovska, S; Pisdlisnyuk, V

    2014-01-01

    A perennial switchgrass, (Panicum virgatum L.), (C4) that is native to North America has good potential for biomass production because of its wide geographic distribution and adaptability to diverse environmental conditions. Insects can significantly impact the yield and quality of biofuel crops. If switchgrass are to be grown on marginally arable land or in monoculture, it are likely to be plagued with herbivore pests and plant diseases at a rate that exceeds what would be expected if the plants were not stressed in this manner. This biofuel crop has been under evaluation for commercial growing in Ukraine for eight years. However, insect diversity and the potential impact of pests on biomass production of this feedstock have not been accessed yet. The objective of our study, started in 2011, is a survey of switch grass insects by trophic groups and determine species that have pest status at two sites in the Central part of Ukraine (Kiev and Poltava regions). In Poltava site we investigated the effect of nine varieties of switchgrass (lowland and upland) to insects' diversity. We assessed changes over time in the densities of major insects' trophic groups, identifying potential pests and natural enemies. Obtained results indicates that different life stages of herbivorous insects from Hymenoptera, Homoptera, Diptera and Coleoptera orders were present on switchgrass during the growing season. Our study results suggests that choice of variety has an impact on trophic groups' structure and number of insects from different orders on swicthgrass. Herbivores and beneficial insects were the only groups that showed significant differences across sampling dates. The highest population of herbivores insects we recorded on 'Alamo' variety for studied years, although herbivore diversity tended to increase on 'Shelter', 'Alamo' and 'Cave-in-Rock' during 2012 and 2013. 'Dacotah', 'Nebraska', 'Sunburst', 'Forestburg' and 'Carthage' showed the highest level of beneficial insects

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhuang Qianlai; Qin Zhangcai; Chen Min

    2013-01-01

    The productive cellulosic crops switchgrass and Miscanthus are considered as viable biofuel sources. To meet the 2022 national biofuel target mandate, actions must be taken, e.g., maize cultivation must be intensified and expanded, and other biofuel crops (switchgrass and Miscanthus) must be cultivated. This raises questions on the use efficiencies of land and water; to date, the demand on these resources to meet the national biofuel target has rarely been analyzed. Here, we present a data-model assimilation analysis, assuming that maize, switchgrass and Miscanthus will be grown on currently available croplands in the US. Model simulations suggest that maize can produce 3.0–5.4 kiloliters (kl) of ethanol for every hectare of land, depending on the feedstock to ethanol conversion efficiency; Miscanthus has more than twice the biofuel production capacity relative to maize, and switchgrass is the least productive of the three potential sources of ethanol. To meet the biofuel target, about 26.5 million hectares of land and over 90 km 3 of water (of evapotranspiration) are needed if maize grain alone is used. If Miscanthus was substituted for maize, the process would save half of the land and one third of the water. With more advanced biofuel conversion technology for Miscanthus, only nine million hectares of land and 45 km 3 of water would probably meet the national target. Miscanthus could be a good alternative biofuel crop to maize due to its significantly lower demand for land and water on a per unit of ethanol basis. (letter)

  15. Research and Technology Development for Genetic Improvement of Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kausch, Albert [Univ. of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI (United States); Rhodes, Richard [Univ. of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI (United States)

    2017-05-02

    This research adds to the understanding of switchgrass genetics and the increasing of biomass relevant to production of bioenergy. Switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L., and its related species are well known as potential bioenergy crops since the early 1990s. There are global economic, political, US national security and environmental pressures to increase renewable biofuel production and utilization to offset gasoline and diesel fuel use and climate change, especially in the liquid fuel transportation sector. To realize the potential of bioenergy crops, rapid genetic improvement of the most promising perennial grass feedstocks, such as switchgrass, are anticipated by current genomics, association genetics, marker assisted breeding, hybrid plant development, advanced tissue culture, conventional genetics and other approaches to increase yield, processability, and regional adaptation. The technical effectiveness and economic feasibility of the methods or techniques investigated are demonstrated by several publications, presentations and patents produced as an outcome and deliverable of this research. This project is of a broad benefit to the public not only through the dissemination of this information but also to the development of new methods which will be applied to future bioenergy crop improvement as well as other crops.

  16. Depolymerization and hydrodeoxygenation of switchgrass lignin with formic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Weiyin; Miller, Stephen J; Agrawal, Pradeep K; Jones, Christopher W

    2012-04-01

    Organosolv switchgrass lignin is depolymerized and hydrodeoxygenated with a formic acid hydrogen source, 20 wt % Pt/C catalyst, and ethanol solvent. The combination of formic acid and Pt/C is found to promote production of higher fractions of lower molecular weight compounds in the liquid products. After 4 h of reaction, all of the switchgrass lignin is solubilized and 21 wt % of the biomass is shown to be converted into seven prominent molecular species that are identified and quantified. Reaction time is shown to be an important variable in affecting changes in product distributions and bulk liquid product properties. At 20 h of reaction, the lignin is significantly depolymerized to form liquid products with a 76 % reduction in the weighted average molecular weight. Elemental analysis also shows that the resultant liquid products have a 50 % reduction in O/C and 10 % increase in H/C molar ratios compared to the switchgrass lignin after 20 h. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Comparison of corn and switchgrass on marginal soils for bioenergy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Varvel, G.E.; Vogel, K.P.; Mitchell, R.B. [USDA-ARS, 344 Keim Hall, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, P.O. Box 830937, Lincoln, NE 68583-0937 (United States); Follett, R.F. [USDA-ARS, Room S-100, 2150 Centre Avenue Building D, Ft. Collins, CO 80526-8119 (United States); Kimble, J.M. [USDA-NRCS, National Soil Survey Center, 100 Centennial Mall North, Lincoln, NE 68508-3866 (United States)

    2008-01-15

    Crop residues such as corn (Zea mays L.) stover are viewed as an abundant and inexpensive source of biomass that can be removed from fields to produce bioenergy. Assumptions include that with minimum or no-tillage farming methods, there will be no deleterious production or environmental effects. A long-term field study was established in eastern Nebraska, USA, to compare the switchgrass managed as a biomass energy crop versus no-till corn on a non-irrigated site, marginal for row-crop production, in the western Corn Belt. Our objective in this paper is to report on corn stover removal effects on corn grain yields and potential ethanol production in both cropping systems. Corn, under no-till management, and switchgrass were grown at three N fertilizer levels. In the first 5 years (2001-2005), removal of half the available stover significantly reduced corn yields. During that same time period, the potential ethanol yield for switchgrass was equal to or greater than the potential total ethanol yield of corn grain and harvested stover fertilized at the same optimum N rate. The effect of crop residue removal on crop productivity needs to be investigated in other agro-ecosystems and the potential use of dedicated perennial biomass energy crops should remain a viable renewable energy option on non-irrigated marginal croplands. (author)

  18. Glycoside hydrolase activities of thermophilic bacterial consortia adapted to switchgrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gladden, John M; Allgaier, Martin; Miller, Christopher S; Hazen, Terry C; VanderGheynst, Jean S; Hugenholtz, Philip; Simmons, Blake A; Singer, Steven W

    2011-08-15

    Industrial-scale biofuel production requires robust enzymatic cocktails to produce fermentable sugars from lignocellulosic biomass. Thermophilic bacterial consortia are a potential source of cellulases and hemicellulases adapted to harsher reaction conditions than commercial fungal enzymes. Compost-derived microbial consortia were adapted to switchgrass at 60°C to develop thermophilic biomass-degrading consortia for detailed studies. Microbial community analysis using small-subunit rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing and short-read metagenomic sequencing demonstrated that thermophilic adaptation to switchgrass resulted in low-diversity bacterial consortia with a high abundance of bacteria related to thermophilic paenibacilli, Rhodothermus marinus, and Thermus thermophilus. At lower abundance, thermophilic Chloroflexi and an uncultivated lineage of the Gemmatimonadetes phylum were observed. Supernatants isolated from these consortia had high levels of xylanase and endoglucanase activities. Compared to commercial enzyme preparations, the endoglucanase enzymes had a higher thermotolerance and were more stable in the presence of 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2mim][OAc]), an ionic liquid used for biomass pretreatment. The supernatants were used to saccharify [C2mim][OAc]-pretreated switchgrass at elevated temperatures (up to 80°C), demonstrating that these consortia are an excellent source of enzymes for the development of enzymatic cocktails tailored to more extreme reaction conditions.

  19. Switchgrass ecotypes alter microbial contribution to deep-soil C

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roosendaal, Damaris; Stewart, Catherine E.; Denef, Karolien; Follett, Ronald F.; Pruessner, Elizabeth; Comas, Louise H.; Varvel, Gary E.; Saathoff, Aaron; Palmer, Nathan; Sarath, Gautam; Jin, Virginia L.; Schmer, Marty; Soundararajan, Madhavan

    2016-05-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a C4, perennial grass that is being developed as a bioenergy crop for the United States. While aboveground biomass production is well documented for switchgrass ecotypes (lowland, upland), little is known about the impact of plant belowground productivity on microbial communities down deep in the soil profiles. Microbial dynamics in deeper soils are likely to exert considerable control on ecosystem services, including C and nutrient cycles, due to their involvement in such processes as soil formation and ecosystem biogeochemistry. Differences in root biomass and rooting characteristics of switchgrass ecotypes could lead to distinct differences in belowground microbial biomass and microbial community composition. We quantified root abundance and root architecture and the associated microbial abundance, composition, and rhizodeposit C uptake for two switchgrass ecotypes using stable-isotope probing of microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) after 13CO2 pulse-chase labeling. Kanlow, a lowland ecotype with thicker roots, had greater plant biomass above- and belowground (g m-2), greater root mass density (mg cm-3), and lower specific root length (m g-1) compared to Summer, an upland ecotype with finer root architecture. The relative abundance of bacterial biomarkers dominated microbial PLFA profiles for soils under both Kanlow and Summer (55.4 and 53.5 %, respectively; P = 0.0367), with differences attributable to a greater relative abundance of Gram-negative bacteria in soils under Kanlow (18.1 %) compared to soils under Summer (16.3 %; P = 0.0455). The two ecotypes also had distinctly different microbial communities process rhizodeposit C: greater relative atom % 13C excess in Gram-negative bacteria (44.1 ± 2.3 %) under the thicker roots of Kanlow and greater relative atom % 13C excess in saprotrophic fungi under the thinner roots of Summer (48.5 ± 2.2 %). For bioenergy production systems, variation between switchgrass

  20. Isolation, Characterization, and Quantification of Steroidal Saponins in Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been identified for development into an efficient and environment friendly biomass energy crop. A recent five-year study demonstrated that switchgrass grown for biofuel production produced 540 percent more energy than what is needed to grow, harvest and process...

  1. Genome-size variation in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum): flow cytometry and cytology reveal rampant aneuploidy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a native perennial dominant of the prairies of North America, has been targeted as a model herbaceous species for biofeedstock development. A flow-cytometric survey of a core set of 11 primarily upland polyploid switchgrass accessions indicated that there was con...

  2. Switchgrass harvest time management can impact biomass yield and nutrient content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a dedicated energy crop native to much of North America. While high-biomass yield is of significant importance for the development of switchgrass as a bioenergy crop, nutrient content in the biomass as it relates to biofuel conversion efficiency is also critical...

  3. Preference by horses for bedding pellets made from switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) straw

    Science.gov (United States)

    The bedding system used for stalled horses can impact their health and well-being. This study examined the saponin concentration in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) straw, and bedding pellets made from switchgrass straw. Further, this study determined the palatability of bedding pellets made from sw...

  4. Co-processing of agricultural plastic waste and switchgrass via tail gas reactive pyrolysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mixtures of agricultural plastic waste in the form of polyethylene hay bale covers (PE) (4-37%) and switchgrass were investigated using the US Department of Agriculture’s tail gas reactive pyrolysis (TGRP) at different temperatures (400-570 deg C). TGRP of switchgrass and plastic mixtures significan...

  5. Switchgrass genomic diversity, ploidy, and evolution: novel insights from a network-based SNP discovery protocol.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Lu

    Full Text Available Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. is a perennial grass that has been designated as an herbaceous model biofuel crop for the United States of America. To facilitate accelerated breeding programs of switchgrass, we developed both an association panel and linkage populations for genome-wide association study (GWAS and genomic selection (GS. All of the 840 individuals were then genotyped using genotyping by sequencing (GBS, generating 350 GB of sequence in total. As a highly heterozygous polyploid (tetraploid and octoploid species lacking a reference genome, switchgrass is highly intractable with earlier methodologies of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP discovery. To access the genetic diversity of species like switchgrass, we developed a SNP discovery pipeline based on a network approach called the Universal Network-Enabled Analysis Kit (UNEAK. Complexities that hinder single nucleotide polymorphism discovery, such as repeats, paralogs, and sequencing errors, are easily resolved with UNEAK. Here, 1.2 million putative SNPs were discovered in a diverse collection of primarily upland, northern-adapted switchgrass populations. Further analysis of this data set revealed the fundamentally diploid nature of tetraploid switchgrass. Taking advantage of the high conservation of genome structure between switchgrass and foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L. P. Beauv., two parent-specific, synteny-based, ultra high-density linkage maps containing a total of 88,217 SNPs were constructed. Also, our results showed clear patterns of isolation-by-distance and isolation-by-ploidy in natural populations of switchgrass. Phylogenetic analysis supported a general south-to-north migration path of switchgrass. In addition, this analysis suggested that upland tetraploid arose from upland octoploid. All together, this study provides unparalleled insights into the diversity, genomic complexity, population structure, phylogeny, phylogeography, ploidy, and evolutionary dynamics

  6. An empirical model to predict infield thin layer drying rate of cut switchgrass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khanchi, A.; Jones, C.L.; Sharma, B.; Huhnke, R.L.; Weckler, P.; Maness, N.O.

    2013-01-01

    A series of 62 thin layer drying experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of solar radiation, vapor pressure deficit and wind speed on drying rate of switchgrass. An environmental chamber was fabricated that can simulate field drying conditions. An empirical drying model based on maturity stage of switchgrass was also developed during the study. It was observed that solar radiation was the most significant factor in improving the drying rate of switchgrass at seed shattering and seed shattered maturity stage. Therefore, drying switchgrass in wide swath to intercept the maximum amount of radiation at these stages of maturity is recommended. Moreover, it was observed that under low radiation intensity conditions, wind speed helps to improve the drying rate of switchgrass. Field operations such as raking or turning of the windrows are recommended to improve air circulation within a swath on cloudy days. Additionally, it was found that the effect of individual weather parameters on the drying rate of switchgrass was dependent on maturity stage. Vapor pressure deficit was strongly correlated with the drying rate during seed development stage whereas, vapor pressure deficit was weakly correlated during seed shattering and seed shattered stage. These findings suggest the importance of using separate drying rate models for each maturity stage of switchgrass. The empirical models developed in this study can predict the drying time of switchgrass based on the forecasted weather conditions so that the appropriate decisions can be made. -- Highlights: • An environmental chamber was developed in the present study to simulate field drying conditions. • An empirical model was developed that can estimate drying rate of switchgrass based on forecasted weather conditions. • Separate equations were developed based on maturity stage of switchgrass. • Designed environmental chamber can be used to evaluate the effect of other parameters that affect drying of crops

  7. Characterization of Brachypodium distachyon as a nonhost model against switchgrass rust pathogen Puccinia emaculata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Upinder S; Uppalapati, Srinivasa R; Nakashima, Jin; Mysore, Kirankumar S

    2015-05-08

    Switchgrass rust, caused by Puccinia emaculata, is an important disease of switchgrass, a potential biofuel crop in the United States. In severe cases, switchgrass rust has the potential to significantly affect biomass yield. In an effort to identify novel sources of resistance against switchgrass rust, we explored nonhost resistance against P. emaculata by characterizing its interactions with six monocot nonhost plant species. We also studied the genetic variations for resistance among Brachypodium inbred accessions and the involvement of various defense pathways in nonhost resistance of Brachypodium. We characterized P. emaculata interactions with six monocot nonhost species and identified Brachypodium distachyon (Bd21) as a suitable nonhost model to study switchgrass rust. Interestingly, screening of Brachypodium accessions identified natural variations in resistance to switchgrass rust. Brachypodium inbred accessions Bd3-1 and Bd30-1 were identified as most and least resistant to switchgrass rust, respectively, when compared to tested accessions. Transcript profiling of defense-related genes indicated that the genes which were induced in Bd21after P. emaculata inoculation also had higher basal transcript abundance in Bd3-1 when compared to Bd30-1 and Bd21 indicating their potential involvement in nonhost resistance against switchgrass rust. In the present study, we identified Brachypodium as a suitable nonhost model to study switchgrass rust which exhibit type I nonhost resistance. Variations in resistance response were also observed among tested Brachypodium accessions. Brachypodium nonhost resistance against P. emaculata may involve various defense pathways as indicated by transcript profiling of defense related genes. Overall, this study provides a new avenue to utilize novel sources of nonhost resistance in Brachypodium against switchgrass rust.

  8. Switchgrass as a biofuels crop for the upper Southeast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parrish, D.J.; Wolf, D.D. [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg, VA (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been identified in DOE-sponsored studies as a widely adapted, productive herbaceous candidate for biofuels cropping. It is a perennial that has been planted using no-till procedures, and it appears to have positive effects on the soils in which it grows. We have been looking at this species as a potential fuelcrop (as well as a valuable forage) for several years. In this presentation, we note several {open_quotes}lessons learned{close_quotes} about switchgrass establishment and management as an energy crop. Data include results from recent plantings in the upper Southeast USA and from cutting management studies. Six varieties of switchgrass (Alamo, Cave-in-Rock, Kanlow, Shelter, and two breeder`s lines) varied markedly in the success of their no-till establishment at eight locations across the upper Southeast. Better weed control, which was achieved at later planting dates, seemed to be the key. Yields obtained in the establishment stands revealed that two harvests per season are more productive (by 2 to 3 Mg/ha) than one, but the date of first cutting is crucial. First cutting should be from late-June to mid-July. A two-cut system may not be economically advantageous, however. Another cutting-management study detected losses of standing biomass at the end of the growing season. As much as 15% of the above-ground biomass present in early-September was no longer harvestable in early-November. We think this loss results from translocation of dry matter to below-ground parts.

  9. Drought-Induced Leaf Proteome Changes in Switchgrass Seedlings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhujia Ye

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum is a perennial crop producing deep roots and thus highly tolerant to soil water deficit conditions. However, seedling establishment in the field is very susceptible to prolonged and periodic drought stress. In this study, a “sandwich” system simulating a gradual water deletion process was developed. Switchgrass seedlings were subjected to a 20-day gradual drought treatment process when soil water tension was increased to 0.05 MPa (moderate drought stress and leaf physiological properties had expressed significant alteration. Drought-induced changes in leaf proteomes were identified using the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ labeling method followed by nano-scale liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (nano-LC-MS/MS analysis. Additionally, total leaf proteins were processed using a combinatorial library of peptide ligands to enrich for lower abundance proteins. Both total proteins and those enriched samples were analyzed to increase the coverage of the quantitative proteomics analysis. A total of 7006 leaf proteins were identified, and 257 (4% of the leaf proteome expressed a significant difference (p < 0.05, fold change <0.6 or >1.7 from the non-treated control to drought-treated conditions. These proteins are involved in the regulation of transcription and translation, cell division, cell wall modification, phyto-hormone metabolism and signaling transduction pathways, and metabolic pathways of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fatty acids. A scheme of abscisic acid (ABA-biosynthesis and ABA responsive signal transduction pathway was reconstructed using these drought-induced significant proteins, showing systemic regulation at protein level to deploy the respective mechanism. Results from this study, in addition to revealing molecular responses to drought stress, provide a large number of proteins (candidate genes that can be employed to improve switchgrass seedling growth and

  10. Economic and Environmental Assessment of Switchgrass Production on High-Fertility Soil and an Assessment of Anaerobic Digests as an Intermediate Market for Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rhykerd, Robert [Illinois State Univ., Normal, IL (United States); Bierma, Thomas [Illinois State Univ., Normal, IL (United States); Jin, Guang [Illinois State Univ., Normal, IL (United States); Walker, Paul [Illinois State Univ., Normal, IL (United States)

    2014-03-31

    This project had two parts. Part 1 was an economic and environmental assessment of switchgrass production on high-fertility soil, and included an assessment of the effects of field irrigation with treated municipal wastewater (Studies A,C, and E in Final Agreement). Part 2 was an assessment of methods to enhance anaerobic digestion of switchgrass, and included evaluation of several other potential biomass feedstocks (Studies B and D in Final Agreement). Results from Part 1 demonstrated that switchgrass does not compete economically against a corn and soybean rotation on highly productive soils. All four varieties of switchgrass lost money while corn and soybeans were profitable in all four years of this study. Breakeven prices for the four switchgrass varieties were calculated using production costs. The installation of a center pivot irrigation system had minimal impact on crop production and corn and soybean production remained profitable in the year the irrigator was installed. Because of drought and delays in installing the wastewater treatment plant, the irrigation system was not used until year 4 of this study. Therefore, longer term studies evaluating multiple year studies on the impact of irrigation on switchgrass are warranted. Results from irrigating with treated municipal wastewater showed no negative impact on soil quality. Results from Part 2 demonstrated that anaerobic digestion (AD) of switchgrass could be significantly enhanced using low heat (100oC) and mild caustic pretreatment without fine-grinding. Heat for pretreatment could be available from biogas-based combined heat and power (CHP) systems. In bench-top digesters simulating municipal wastewater treatment AD, methane production of coarse-ground switchgrass increased over 20-fold with pretreatment compared to untreated switchgrass. Bench-top studies simulating dairy-based AD also found high specific methane yield, but even untreated switchgrass digested reasonably well, indicating the value of

  11. Compatibility of switchgrass as an energy crop in farming systems of the southeastern USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bransby, D.I.; Rodriguez-Kabana, R.; Sladden, S.E. [Auburn Univ., AL (United States)

    1993-12-31

    The objective of this paper is to examine the compatibility of switchgrass as an energy crop in farming systems in the southeastern USA, relative to other regions. In particular, the issues addressed are (1) competition between switchgrass as an energy crop and existing farm enterprises, based primarily on economic returns, (2) complementarity between switchgrass and existing farm enterprises, and (3) environmental benefits. Because projected economic returns for switchgrass as an energy crop are highest in the Southeast, and returns from forestry and beef pastures (the major existing enterprises) are low, there is a very strong economic incentive in this region. In contrast, based on current information, economic viability of switchgrass as an energy crop in other regions appears doubtful. In addition, switchgrass in the southeastern USA would complement forage-livestock production, row crop production and wildlife and would provide several additional environmental benefits. It is concluded that the southeastern USA offers the greatest opportunity for developing switchgrass as an economically viable energy crop.

  12. Overexpression of AtLOV1 in Switchgrass alters plant architecture, lignin content, and flowering time.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Xu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. is a prime candidate crop for biofuel feedstock production in the United States. As it is a self-incompatible polyploid perennial species, breeding elite and stable switchgrass cultivars with traditional breeding methods is very challenging. Translational genomics may contribute significantly to the genetic improvement of switchgrass, especially for the incorporation of elite traits that are absent in natural switchgrass populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we constitutively expressed an Arabidopsis NAC transcriptional factor gene, LONG VEGETATIVE PHASE ONE (AtLOV1, in switchgrass. Overexpression of AtLOV1 in switchgrass caused the plants to have a smaller leaf angle by changing the morphology and organization of epidermal cells in the leaf collar region. Also, overexpression of AtLOV1 altered the lignin content and the monolignol composition of cell walls, and caused delayed flowering time. Global gene-expression analysis of the transgenic plants revealed an array of responding genes with predicted functions in plant development, cell wall biosynthesis, and flowering. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: To our knowledge, this is the first report of a single ectopically expressed transcription factor altering the leaf angle, cell wall composition, and flowering time of switchgrass, therefore demonstrating the potential advantage of translational genomics for the genetic improvement of this crop.

  13. Breeding and Selection of New Switchgrass Varieties for Increased Biomass Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taliaferro, C.M.

    2003-05-27

    Switchgrass breeding and genetics research was conducted from 1992-2002 at the Oklahoma State University as part of the national DOE-Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program (BFDP) effort to develop the species as a bioenergy feedstock crop. The fundamental objective of the program was to implement and conduct a breeding program to increase biomass yield capability in switchgrass and develop cultivars for the central and southern United States. Supporting research objectives included: (1) switchgrass germplasm collection, characterization, and enhancement; (2) elucidation of cytogenetic and breeding behavior; and (3) identification of best breeding procedures.

  14. Dechlorination of PCBs in the rhizosphere of switchgrass and poplar

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meggo, Richard E.; Schnoor, Jerald L.; Hu, Dingfei

    2013-01-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners (PCB 52, 77, and 153) singly and in mixture were spiked and aged in soil microcosms and subsequently planted with switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) or poplar (Populus deltoids x nigra DN34). The planted reactors showed significantly greater reductions in PCB parent compounds when compared to unplanted systems after 32 weeks. There was evidence of reductive dechlorination in both planted and unplanted systems, but the planted microcosms with fully developed roots and rhizospheres showed greater biotransformation than the unplanted reactors. These dechlorination products accounted for approximately all of the molar mass of parent compound lost. Based on the transformation products, reductive dechlorination pathways are proposed for rhizospheric biotransformation of PCB 52, 77, and 153. This is the first report of rhizosphere biotransformation pathways for reductive dechlorination in marginally aerobic, intermittently flooded soil as evidenced by a mass balance on transformation products. -- Highlights: •Soil was spiked and aged and then planted with poplar and switchgrass. •Planted microcosms showed significant reductive dechlorination and greater biotransformation than unplanted reactor. •Rhizospheric reductive dechlorination pathways are proposed. -- This study provides insight into rhizospheric transformation of PCBs

  15. Environmental and economic analysis of switchgrass production for water quality improvement in northeast Kansas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Richard G; Ascough, James C; Langemeier, Michael R

    2006-06-01

    The primary objectives of this research were to determine SWAT model predicted reductions in four water quality indicators (sediment yield, surface runoff, nitrate nitrogen (NO(3)-N) in surface runoff, and edge-of-field erosion) associated with producing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) on cropland in the Delaware basin in northeast Kansas, and evaluate switchgrass break-even prices. The magnitude of potential switchgrass water quality payments based on using switchgrass as an alternative energy source was also estimated. SWAT model simulations showed that between 527,000 and 1.27 million metric tons (Mg) of switchgrass could be produced annually across the basin depending upon nitrogen (N) fertilizer application levels (0-224 kg N ha(-1)). The predicted reductions in sediment yield, surface runoff, NO(3)-N in surface runoff, and edge-of-field erosion as a result of switchgrass plantings were 99, 55, 34, and 98%, respectively. The average annual cost per hectare for switchgrass ranged from about 190 US dollars with no N applied to around 345 US dollars at 224 kg N ha(-1) applied. Edge-of-field break-even price per Mg ranged from around 41 US dollars with no N applied to slightly less than 25 US dollars at 224 kg N ha(-1) applied. A majority of the switchgrass produced had an edge-of-field break-even price of 30 Mg(-1) US dollars or less. Savings of at least 50% in each of the four water quality indicators could be attained for an edge-of-field break-even price of 22-27.49 US dollars Mg(-1).

  16. Development of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) as a bioenergy feedstock in the United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McLaughlin, Samuel B.; Adams Kszos, Lynn

    2005-01-01

    A 10-year US Department of Energy-sponsored research program designed to evaluate and develop switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), a native perennial warm-season grass, as a dedicated energy crop is reviewed. The programmatic objectives were to identify the best varieties and management practices to optimize productivity, while developing an understanding of the basis for long-term improvement of switchgrass through breeding and sustainable production in conventional agroecosystems. This research has reduced the projected production cost of switchgrass by about 25% ($8-9 Mg -1 ) through yield increases of about 50% achieved through selection of the best regionally adapted varieties; through optimizing cutting frequency and timing; and by reducing the level (by about 40%) and timing of nitrogen fertilization. Breeding research has made further gains in productivity of switchgrass that exceed the historical rate of yield improvement of corn. Studies of soil carbon storage under switchgrass indicate significant carbon sequestration will occur in soils that will improve soil productivity and nutrient cycling and can substantially augment greenhouse gas reductions associated with substituting renewable energy for fossil energy. Collaborative research with industry has included fuel production and handling in power production, herbicide testing and licensing, release of new cultivars, and genetic modifications for chemical coproduct enhancement. Economically based life cycle analyses based on this research suggest that switchgrass produced for energy will compete favorably both as an agricultural crop and as fuel for industry

  17. Anthracnose disease of switchgrass caused by the novel fungal species Colletotrichum navitas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crouch, Jo Anne; Beirn, Lisa A; Cortese, Laura M; Bonos, Stacy A; Clarke, Bruce B

    2009-12-01

    In recent years perennial grasses such as the native tallgrass prairie plant Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) have taken on a new role in the North American landscape as a plant-based source of renewable energy. Because switchgrass is a native plant, it has been suggested that disease problems will be minimal, but little research in this area has been conducted. Recently, outbreaks of switchgrass anthracnose disease have been reported from the northeastern United States. Incidences of switchgrass anthracnose are known in North America since 1886 through herbarium specimens and disease reports, but the causal agent of this disease has never been experimentally determined or taxonomically evaluated. In the present work, we evaluate the causal agent of switchgrass anthracnose, a new species we describe as Colletotrichum navitas (navitas=Latin for energy). Multilocus molecular phylogenetics and morphological characters show C. navitas is a novel species in the falcate-spored graminicolous group of the genus Colletotrichum; it is most closely related to the corn anthracnose pathogen Colletotrichum graminicola. We present a formal description and illustrations for C. navitas and provide experimental confirmation that this organism is responsible for switchgrass anthracnose disease.

  18. Switchgrass, Bermudagrass, Flaccidgrass, and Lovegrass biomass yield response to nitrogen for single and double harvest

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aravindhakshan, Sijesh C.; Epplin, Francis M.; Taliaferro, Charles M.

    2011-01-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been identified as a model dedicated energy crop species. After a perennial grass is established, the major variable costs are for nitrogen (N) fertilizer and harvest. Prior to establishing switchgrass on millions of ha in a particular agro-climatic region, it would be useful to determine switchgrass yield response to N and its response to harvest frequency relative to alternative grass species. The objective of this research is to determine biomass yield response to N for four perennial grass species and to determine the species, N level, and harvest frequency that will maximize expected net returns, given the climate and soils of the U.S.A. Southern Plains. Yield data were produced in an experiment that includes four species (switchgrass, bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula), and carostan flaccidgrass (Pennisetum flaccidum)), four N levels, and two harvest levels. Linear response plateau (LRP), linear response stochastic plateau (LRSP), and quadratic response (QR) functions are estimated. For all combinations of biomass and N prices considered, the optimal species is switchgrass. For most price situations, it is economically optimal to fertilize established stands of switchgrass with 69 kg N ha -1 yr -1 and to harvest once yr -1 after senescence.

  19. Switchgrass, Bermudagrass, Flaccidgrass, and Lovegrass biomass yield response to nitrogen for single and double harvest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aravindhakshan, Sijesh C.; Epplin, Francis M. [Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078-6026 (United States); Taliaferro, Charles M. [Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078 (United States)

    2011-01-15

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been identified as a model dedicated energy crop species. After a perennial grass is established, the major variable costs are for nitrogen (N) fertilizer and harvest. Prior to establishing switchgrass on millions of ha in a particular agro-climatic region, it would be useful to determine switchgrass yield response to N and its response to harvest frequency relative to alternative grass species. The objective of this research is to determine biomass yield response to N for four perennial grass species and to determine the species, N level, and harvest frequency that will maximize expected net returns, given the climate and soils of the U.S.A. Southern Plains. Yield data were produced in an experiment that includes four species (switchgrass, bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula), and carostan flaccidgrass (Pennisetum flaccidum)), four N levels, and two harvest levels. Linear response plateau (LRP), linear response stochastic plateau (LRSP), and quadratic response (QR) functions are estimated. For all combinations of biomass and N prices considered, the optimal species is switchgrass. For most price situations, it is economically optimal to fertilize established stands of switchgrass with 69 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} and to harvest once yr{sup -1} after senescence. (author)

  20. Rheology of transgenic switchgrass reveals practical aspects of biomass processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Guigui; Frazier, Taylor; Jorgensen, Julianne; Zhao, Bingyu; Frazier, Charles E

    2018-01-01

    Mechanical properties of transgenic switchgrass have practical implications for biorefinery technologies. Presented are fundamentals for simple (thermo)mechanical measurements of genetically transformed switchgrass. Experimental basics are provided for the novice, where the intention is to promote collaboration between plant biologists and materials scientists. Stem sections were subjected to two stress modes: (1) torsional oscillation in the linear response region, and (2) unidirectional torsion to failure. Specimens were analyzed while submerged/saturated in ethylene glycol, simulating natural hydration and allowing experimental temperatures above 100 °C for an improved view of the lignin glass transition. Down-regulation of the 4-Coumarate:coenzyme A ligase gene (reduced lignin content and altered monomer composition) generally resulted in less stiff and weaker stems. These observations were associated with a reduction in the temperature and activation energy of the lignin glass transition, but surprisingly with no difference in the breadth and intensity of the tan  δ signal. The results showed promise in further investigations of how rheological methods relate to stem lignin content, composition, and functional properties in the field and in bioprocessing. Measurements such as these are complicated by small specimen size; however, torsional rheometers (relatively common in polymer laboratories) are well suited for this task. As opposed to the expense and complication of relative humidity control, solvent-submersion rheological methods effectively reveal fundamental structure/property relationships in plant tissues. Demonstrated are low-strain linear methods, and also nonlinear yield and failure analysis; the latter is very uncommon for typical rheological equipment.

  1. MicroRNA expression analysis in the cellulosic biofuel crop switchgrass (Panicum virgatum under abiotic stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guiling Sun

    Full Text Available Switchgrass has increasingly been recognized as a dedicated biofuel crop for its broad adaptation to marginal lands and high biomass. However, little is known about the basic biology and the regulatory mechanisms of gene expression in switchgrass, particularly under stress conditions. In this study, we investigated the effect of salt and drought stress on switchgrass germination, growth and the expression of small regulatory RNAs. The results indicate that salt stress had a gradual but significant negative effect on switchgrass growth and development. The germination rate was significantly decreased from 82% for control to 36% under 1% NaCl treatment. However, drought stress had little effect on the germination rate but had a significant effect on the growth of switchgrass under the severest salinity stress. Both salt and drought stresses altered the expression pattern of miRNAs in a dose-dependent manner. However, each miRNA responded to drought stress in a different pattern. Salt and drought stress changed the expression level of miRNAs mainly from 0.9-fold up-regulation to 0.7-fold down-regulation. miRNAs were less sensitive to drought treatment than salinity treatment, as evidenced by the narrow fold change in expression levels. Although the range of change in expression level of miRNAs was similar under salt and drought stress, no miRNAs displayed significant change in expression level under all tested salt conditions. Two miRNAs, miR156 and miR162, showed significantly change in expression level under high drought stress. This suggests that miR156 and miR162 may attribute to the adaption of switchgrass to drought stress and are good candidates for improving switchgrass as a biofuel crop by transgenic technology.

  2. Evaluation of Switchgrass as a co-firing fuel in the Southeast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Southern Research Institute

    2001-11-01

    The ''Evaluation of Switchgrass as a Co-Firing Fuel in the Southeast'' is a comprehensive project incorporating the highest yielding variety of switchgrass, unique harvesting methods, detailed parametric evaluations in a state-of-the-art combustion research facility, and a full-scale demonstration in a tangentially-fired Alabama Power Company power boiler. These features were incorporated into the project to reduce the technical and economic risk of yielding a practical renewable energy option for the southeastern US. There are particular incentives for proving the feasibility of switchgrass as a biomass fuel in the southeastern US. Even though agriculture is a predominant industry much of the land in this region is under-utilized, marginal farmland. As a result, some of the poorest counties in the nation are located in this region. The yields of switchgrass are substantially higher in the southeastern US than in other regions. Yield, or productivity, is a critical factor in determining the feasibility of biomass fuel. Yields in small research plots in the region averaged 25.8 Mg/ha (11.5 tons/acre) over the period 1990-1994. Achievable commercial yield in the southeastern US will likely be about 15.7 Mg/ha (7 tons/acre) with currently available varieties. Use of switchgrass as a supplemental fuel for coal-fired utility boilers could create an enormous market for growers. The Southern Company has 23,000 MW of coal-fired capacity in the southeast. If only 1% of this capacity was provided by switchgrass instead of coal, 74,500 ha (184,000 acres) of production would be needed. This would generate 1,288,000 tons of switchgrass which, if valued at $35/ton, would amount to over $45 million.

  3. Policy incentives for switchgrass production using valuation of non-market ecosystem services

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chamberlain, Jim F.; Miller, Shelie A.

    2012-01-01

    This study presents a linear profit model with combined economic and environmental factors for a switchgrass-for-biofuels agricultural system in the southeastern U.S. The objectives are to establish conversion-to-switchgrass thresholds for various market prices and identify policy incentives that would ensure economic profit while also maximizing environmental benefits (carbon sequestration, displacement of fossil fuels) and minimizing negative impacts (global warming potential, nitrate loss). Weighting factors are chosen to represent incentives and penalties by assigning value to the impacts. With no other incentives, switchgrass market prices of at least $51 and $58/dton would be needed in order to make a profitable switch from corn/Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands and cotton, respectively. At a mid-range offering of $50/dton, feasible carbon credit prices of $3/ $8/ $23 per metric tonne CO 2 e would incentivize conversion from corn, CRP, or cotton, respectively. Similarly, a water quality penalty of $0.20/ $3/ $2 per kilogram NO 3 –N leached would incentivize the same conversions with resultant watershed improvement. At a lower price of $30/dton switchgrass, incentives based on valuation of ecosystem services begin to exceed feasible ranges of these valuations. - Highlights: ► A linear effective profit model predicts conversion thresholds to switchgrass. ► Carbon and nitrogen fluxes can be valued and incorporated into producer choices. ► Farmgate prices alone of $51 and $58/dton switchgrass will entice conversion. ► Reasonable ecosystem service valuations will encourage adoption of switchgrass.

  4. Impact of harvesting time on ultimate methane yield of switchgrass grown in eastern Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gilbert, Y.; Masse, D. [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Sherbrooke, PQ (Canada). Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre; Savoie, P.; Belanger, G.; Parent, G. [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Quebec City, PQ (Canada). Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre; Babineau, D.L. [Groupe EBI, Berthierville, PQ (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    European research in green energy production from crops has resulted in the development of full scale bioreactors that use energy crops as feedstock. Switchgrass has been touted as one of the most promising crops for energy production among several perennial grass species grown under moderate to hot climates. However, few studies have been conducted in colder climate conditions. This study examined the mesophilic methane yield of switchgrass grown under the cooler growing conditions that exist in northeastern North America. In 2007, switchgrass was harvested in late July, August and September and conserved as silage. The regrowth of plots harvested in late July was also harvested in late September as a two-cut strategy. A 30 L small-scale laboratory digester was used to anaerobically digest the switchgrass silage samples. Specific methane yield decreased considerably with advancing plant development, but was similar between the first harvest in late July and the regrowth in late September. Nearly 25 per cent more methane could be produced by hectare for the two-cut strategy compared to harvesting once in late August. It was concluded that additional studies are needed to determine the effect of cutting times and strategies on the long term yield of switchgrass and to establish the production cost of this renewable energy.

  5. Extraction and characterization of triglycerides from coffeeweed and switchgrass seeds as potential feedstocks for biodiesel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armah-Agyeman, Grace; Gyamerah, Michael; Biney, Paul O; Woldesenbet, Selamawit

    2016-10-01

    Although switchgrass has been developed as a biofuel feedstock and its potential for bioethanol and bio-oil from fast pyrolysis reported in the literature, the use of the seeds of switchgrass as a source of triglycerides for biodiesel production has not been reported. Similarly, the potential for extracting triglycerides from coffeeweed (an invasive plant of no current economic value) needs to be investigated to ascertain its potential economic use for biodiesel production. The results show that coffeeweed and switchgrass seeds contain known triglycerides which are 983 and 1000 g kg(-1) respectively of the fatty acids found in edible vegetable oils such as sunflower, corn and soybean oils. In addition, the triglyceride yields of 53-67 g kg(-1) of the seed samples are in the range of commercial oil-producing seeds such as corn (42 g kg(-1) ). The results also indicate that the two non-edible oils could be used as substitutes for edible oil for biodiesel production. In addition, the use of seeds of switchgrass for non-edible oil production (as a feedstock for the production of biodiesel) further increases the total biofuel yield when switchgrass is cultivated for use as energy feedstock for pyrolysis oil and biodiesel production. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  6. In-field direct combustion fuel property changes of switchgrass harvested from summer to fall

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ogden, C.A.; Ileleji, K.E. [Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (United States); Johnson, K.D. [Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (United States); Wang, Q. [State Key Laboratory for Clean Energy Utilization, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310027 (China)

    2010-03-15

    Switchgrass, a perennial warm-season grass and potential energy crop, is usually harvested during the time between full maturity in the fall to the following spring. During this wide harvest window, the changes in fuel properties that could occur are important for making appropriate decisions with respect to the optimum harvest time for maximum fuel quality. A field plot study was carried out to investigate the quantitative fuel properties (proximate, ultimate and mineral analyses) of switchgrass over a harvest period from crop maturity in July through November. Harvest moisture decreased from July to November and moisture was uniformly distributed in the switchgrass plant at all times in the harvest period. There were significant differences in ash, volatiles, fixed carbon and nitrogen among months of harvest. Nitrogen, ash and fixed carbon contents decreased while oxygen and volatiles increased through the harvest period. Also, there were significant differences in oxides of silicon, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and sulfur among harvest times. The concentration of oxides of potassium and sulfur decreased at the end of the harvesting period. Fouling and slagging indices decreased as harvest was delayed but remained low throughout harvest. However, the decreases are small and might not dramatically impact fouling and slagging. Overall, the results appear to favor a later harvest for switchgrass used for direct combustion. This study will benefit feedstock producers as well as biomass feedstock facility operators by providing a better understanding of how the properties of switchgrass vary over a typical harvest period and their potential effect on boiler equipment. (author)

  7. A review of carbon and nitrogen balances in switchgrass grown for energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bransby, D.I.; McLaughlin, S.B.; Parrish, D.J.

    1998-01-01

    Increased atmospheric CO 2 caused partly by burning fossil fuels, is assumed to elevate the risk of global warming, while nitrate contamination of surface runoff and groundwater from fertilizer and agricultural wastes constitutes a serious environmental hazard on a regional scale. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) grown as an energy crop could reduce atmospheric CO 2 accumulation by replacing fossil fuels and sequestering C. It could also improve soil productivity by C sequestration, and reduce NO 3 -1 contamination of water by absorbing N lost from fertilizer and agricultural waste if planted in filter strips on adjacent land. The objective of this study was to assess potential impacts of switchgrass on C and N balances by reviewing and synthesizing information from current literature, unpublished data and on-going research. Replacing fossil fuels with switchgrass, or any other biomass, will have a much greater effect on atmospheric CO 2 than C sequestration. This is because replacing fossil fuels provides a cumulative effect, while C sequestration offers only a one-time benefit. Furthermore, switchgrass will provide net gains in C sequestration only if it replaces annual row crops, but not if it replaces grazed pasture. Nitrogen recovery by switchgrass in an Alabama study was 65.6%, which compares favorably with the 50% recovery frequently quoted as the norm for wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and corn (Zea mays L.). (Author)

  8. 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

  9. Transcriptional and physiological data reveal the dehydration memory behavior in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chao; Peng, Xi; Guo, Xiaofeng; Tang, Gaijuan; Sun, Fengli; Liu, Shudong; Xi, Yajun

    2018-01-01

    Switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum L.) is a model biofuel plant because of its high biomass, cellulose-richness, easy degradation to ethanol, and the availability of extensive genomic information. However, a little is currently known about the molecular responses of switchgrass plants to dehydration stress, especially multiple dehydration stresses. Studies on the transcriptional profiles of 35-day-old tissue culture plants revealed 741 dehydration memory genes. Gene Ontology and pathway analysis showed that these genes were enriched in phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, starch and sucrose metabolism, and plant hormone signal transduction. Further analysis of specific pathways combined with physiological data suggested that switchgrass improved its dehydration resistance by changing various aspects of its responses to secondary dehydration stress (D2), including the regulation of abscisic acid (ABA) and jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthesis and signal transduction, the biosynthesis of osmolytes (l-proline, stachyose and trehalose), energy metabolism (i.e., metabolic process relating to photosynthetic systems, glycolysis, and the TCA cycle), and lignin biosynthesis. The transcriptional data and chemical substance assays showed that ABA was significantly accumulated during both primary (D1) and secondary (D2) dehydration stresses, whereas JA accumulated during D1 but became significantly less abundant during D2. This suggests the existence of a complicated signaling network of plant hormones in response to repeated dehydration stresses. A homology analysis focusing on switchgrass, maize, and Arabidopsis revealed the conservation and species-specific distribution of dehydration memory genes. The molecular responses of switchgrass plants to successive dehydration stresses have been systematically characterized, revealing a previously unknown transcriptional memory behavior. These results provide new insights into the mechanisms of dehydration stress responses in plants. The genes and

  10. Investigating the impact of biomass quality on near-infrared models for switchgrass feedstocks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsey M. Kline

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to determine the impact of incorporating switchgrass samples that have been in long term storage on the development of near-infrared (NIR multivariate calibration models and their predictive capabilities. Stored material contains more variation in their respective spectral signatures due to chemical changes in the bales with storage time. Partial least squares (PLS regression models constructed using NIR spectra of stored switchgrass possessed an instability that interfered with the correlation between the spectral data and measured chemical composition. The models were improved using calibration sample sets of equal parts stored and fresh switchgrass to more accurately predict the chemical composition of stored switchgrass. Acceptable correlation values (rcalibration were obtained using a calibration sample set composed of 25 stored samples and 25 samples of fresh switchgrass for cellulose (0.91, hemicellulose (0.74, total carbohydrates (0.76, lignin (0.98, extractives (0.92, and ash (0.87. Increasing the calibration sample set to 100 samples of equal parts stored to senesced material resulted in statistically increased (p = 0.05 correlations for total carbohydrates (0.89 and ash (0.96. When these models were applied to a separate validation set (equal to 10% of the calibration sample set, high correlation coefficients (r for predicted versus measured constituent content were observed for cellulose (0.94, total carbohydrates (0.98, lignin (0.91, extractives (0.97, and ash (0.90. For optimization of processing economics, the impact of feedstock storage must be investigated for implementation in conversion processes. While NIR is a well-known high-throughput technique for characterization of senesced switchgrass, the selection of appropriate calibration samples and consequent multivariate models must be taken into careful consideration for NIR application in a biomass storage facility for rapid chemical compositional

  11. Analysis of environmental and economic tradeoffs in switchgrass supply chains for biofuel production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhong, Jia; Yu, T. Edward; Larson, James A.; English, Burton C.; Fu, Joshua S.; Calcagno, James

    2016-01-01

    This study considered the environmental advantages of switchgrass, along with the economic challenges in its logistics, in the design of a sustainable switchgrass supply chain in Tennessee. Applying a multi-objective optimization model to high-resolution spatial data, potential tradeoffs among the objectives of minimizing feedstock costs, GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, and soil erosion were identified for a set of conversion facilities on an efficient frontier. The tradeoff relationship was primarily driven by the type of agricultural land converted to switchgrass. Hay and pasture lands were more cost effective but resulted in higher soil carbon losses and soil erosion after being converted to switchgrass. Converting crop lands reduced GHG emissions and soil erosion but caused higher feedstock cost primarily due to the higher opportunity cost of land use. The respective average costs of abating GHG emissions and soil erosion on the efficient frontier were $2378 Mg"−"1 and $10 Mg"−"1. The compromise solution conversion facility site generated 63% higher feedstock cost compared to the cost minimizing location, while reducing soil erosion by 70 fold and diminishing GHG emissions by 27%. Reducing soil erosion may be a more cost effective environmental criterion than reducing GHG emissions in developing a sustainable switchgrass supply chain in Tennessee. - Highlights: • Multi-objective optimization is applied to a switchgrass supply chain in Tennessee. • Tradeoffs are identified among costs, greenhouse gas, and soil erosion in supply chain. • The type of agricultural land converted to feedstock is a key factor to the tradeoffs. • Abating soil erosion rather than greenhouse gas is more cost effective in Tennessee.

  12. Allelopathic Potential of Switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum L.) on Perennial Ryegrass ( Lolium perenne L.) and Alfalfa ( Medicago sativa L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shui, Junfeng; An, Yu; Ma, Yongqing; Ichizen, Nobumasa

    2010-10-01

    This study investigated allelopathy and its chemical basis in nine switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum L.) accessions. Perennial ryegrass ( Lolium perenne L.) and alfalfa ( Medicago sativa L.) were used as test species. Undiluted aqueous extracts (5 g plant tissue in 50 ml water) from the shoots and roots of most of the switchgrass accessions inhibited the germination and growth of the test species. However, the allelopathic effect of switchgrass declined when extracts were diluted 5- or 50-fold. Seedling growth was more sensitive than seed germination as an indicator of allelopathic effect. Allelopathic effect was related to switchgrass ecotype but not related to ploidy level. Upland accessions displayed stronger allelopathic potential than lowland accessions. The aqueous extract from one switchgrass accession was separated into phenols, organic acids, neutral chemicals, and alkaloids, and then these fractions were bioassayed to test for allelopathic potential. Alkaloids had the strongest allelopathic effect among the four chemical fractions. In summary, the results indicated that switchgrass has allelopathic potential; however, there is not enough evidence to conclude that allelopathic advantage is the main factor that has contributed to the successful establishment of switchgrass on China’s Loess Plateau.

  13. Generation of Transcript Assemblies and Identification of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms from Seven Lowland and Upland Cultivars of Switchgrass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin L. Childs

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Switchgrass is a North American perennial prairie species that has been used as a rangeland and forage crop and has recently been targeted as a potential biofuel feedstock species. Switchgrass, which occurs as tetraploid and octoploid forms, is classified into lowland or upland ecotypes that differ in growth phenotypes and adaptation to distinct habitats. Using RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq reads derived from crown, young shoot, and leaf tissues, we generated sequence data from seven switchgrass cultivars, three lowland and four upland, to enable comparative analyses between switchgrass cultivars and to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs for use in breeding and genetic analysis. We also generated individual transcript assemblies for each of the cultivars. Transcript data indicate that subgenomes of octoploid switchgrass are not substantially different from subgenomes of tetraploids as expected for an autopolyploid origin of switchgrass octoploids. Using RNA-seq reads aligned to the switchgrass Release 0 AP13 reference genome, we identified 1,305,976 high-confidence SNPs. Of these SNPs, 438,464 were unique to lowland cultivars, but only 12,002 were found in all lowlands. Conversely, 723,678 SNPs were unique to upland cultivars, with only 34,665 observed in all uplands. Comparison of our high-confidence transcriptome-derived SNPs with SNPs previously identified in a genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS study of an association panel revealed limited overlap between the two methods, highlighting the utility of transcriptome-based SNP discovery in augmenting genome diversity polymorphism datasets. The transcript and SNP data described here provide a useful resource for switchgrass gene annotation and marker-based analyses of the switchgrass genome.

  14. Historical Perspective on How and Why Switchgrass was Seleced as a "Model" High-Potential Energy Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, Lynn [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2007-07-01

    Economic and environmental assessments by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program staff together with the screening project results, and funding limitations lead to making the decision to further develop only switchgrass as a “model” or “prototype” species in about 1990. This paper describes the conditions under which the herbaceous species were screened, summarizes results from those trials, discusses the various factors which influenced the selection of switchgrass, and provides a brief evaluation of switchgrass with respect to criteria that should be considered when selecting and developing a crop for biofuels and bioproducts.

  15. Targeted discovery of glycoside hydrolases from a switchgrass-adapted compost community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allgaier, M.; Reddy, A.; Park, J. I.; Ivanova, N.; D' haeseleer, P.; Lowry, S.; Sapra, R.; Hazen, T.C.; Simmons, B.A.; VanderGheynst, J. S.; Hugenholtz, P.

    2009-11-15

    Development of cellulosic biofuels from non-food crops is currently an area of intense research interest. Tailoring depolymerizing enzymes to particular feedstocks and pretreatment conditions is one promising avenue of research in this area. Here we added a green-waste compost inoculum to switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and simulated thermophilic composting in a bioreactor to select for a switchgrass-adapted community and to facilitate targeted discovery of glycoside hydrolases. Small-subunit (SSU) rRNA-based community profiles revealed that the microbial community changed dramatically between the initial and switchgrass-adapted compost (SAC) with some bacterial populations being enriched over 20-fold. We obtained 225 Mbp of 454-titanium pyrosequence data from the SAC community and conservatively identified 800 genes encoding glycoside hydrolase domains that were biased toward depolymerizing grass cell wall components. Of these, {approx}10% were putative cellulases mostly belonging to families GH5 and GH9. We synthesized two SAC GH9 genes with codon optimization for heterologous expression in Escherichia coli and observed activity for one on carboxymethyl cellulose. The active GH9 enzyme has a temperature optimum of 50 C and pH range of 5.5 to 8 consistent with the composting conditions applied. We demonstrate that microbial communities adapt to switchgrass decomposition using simulated composting condition and that full-length genes can be identified from complex metagenomic sequence data, synthesized and expressed resulting in active enzyme.

  16. Accuracy of Genomic Prediction in Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. Improved by Accounting for Linkage Disequilibrium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume P. Ramstein

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Switchgrass is a relatively high-yielding and environmentally sustainable biomass crop, but further genetic gains in biomass yield must be achieved to make it an economically viable bioenergy feedstock. Genomic selection (GS is an attractive technology to generate rapid genetic gains in switchgrass, and meet the goals of a substantial displacement of petroleum use with biofuels in the near future. In this study, we empirically assessed prediction procedures for genomic selection in two different populations, consisting of 137 and 110 half-sib families of switchgrass, tested in two locations in the United States for three agronomic traits: dry matter yield, plant height, and heading date. Marker data were produced for the families’ parents by exome capture sequencing, generating up to 141,030 polymorphic markers with available genomic-location and annotation information. We evaluated prediction procedures that varied not only by learning schemes and prediction models, but also by the way the data were preprocessed to account for redundancy in marker information. More complex genomic prediction procedures were generally not significantly more accurate than the simplest procedure, likely due to limited population sizes. Nevertheless, a highly significant gain in prediction accuracy was achieved by transforming the marker data through a marker correlation matrix. Our results suggest that marker-data transformations and, more generally, the account of linkage disequilibrium among markers, offer valuable opportunities for improving prediction procedures in GS. Some of the achieved prediction accuracies should motivate implementation of GS in switchgrass breeding programs.

  17. Effects of precipitation changes on aboveground net primary production and soil respiration in a switchgrass field

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study attempted to test whether switchgrass aboveground net primary production (ANPP) responds to precipitation (PPT) changes in a double asymmetry pattern as framed by Knapp et al. (2016), and whether it is held true for other ecosystem processes such as soil respiration (SR). Data were colle...

  18. Responses of switchgrass soil respiration and its components to precipitation gradient in a mescocosm study

    Science.gov (United States)

    The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of the precipitation changes on soil, microbial and root respirations of switchgrass soils, and the relationships between soil respiration and plant growth, soil moisture and temperature. A mesocosm experiment was conducted with five prec...

  19. Low-heat, mild alkaline pretreatment of switchgrass for anaerobic digestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Guang; Bierma, Tom; Walker, Paul M

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the effectiveness of alkaline pretreatment under mild heat conditions (100°C or 212°F) on the anaerobic co-digestion of switchgrass. The effects of alkaline concentration, types of alkaline, heating time and rinsing were evaluated. In addition to batch studies, continuous-feed studies were performed in triplicate to identify potential digester operational problems caused by switchgrass co-digestion while accounting for uncertainty due to digester variability. Few studies have examined anaerobic digestion of switchgrass or the effects of mild heating to enhance alkaline pretreatment prior to biomass digestion. Results indicate that pretreatment can significantly enhance digestion of coarse-ground (≤ 0.78 cm particle size) switchgrass. Energy conversion efficiency as high as 63% was observed, and was comparable or superior to fine-grinding as a pretreatment method. The optimal NaOH concentration was found to be 5.5% (wt/wt alkaline/biomass) with a 91.7% moisture level. No evidence of operational problems such as solids build-up, poor mixing, or floating materials were observed. These results suggest the use of waste heat from a generator could reduce the concentration of alkaline required to adequately pretreat lignocellulosic feedstock prior to anaerobic digestion.

  20. Targeted discovery of glycoside hydrolases from a switchgrass-adapted compost community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Allgaier

    Full Text Available Development of cellulosic biofuels from non-food crops is currently an area of intense research interest. Tailoring depolymerizing enzymes to particular feedstocks and pretreatment conditions is one promising avenue of research in this area. Here we added a green-waste compost inoculum to switchgrass (Panicum virgatum and simulated thermophilic composting in a bioreactor to select for a switchgrass-adapted community and to facilitate targeted discovery of glycoside hydrolases. Small-subunit (SSU rRNA-based community profiles revealed that the microbial community changed dramatically between the initial and switchgrass-adapted compost (SAC with some bacterial populations being enriched over 20-fold. We obtained 225 Mbp of 454-titanium pyrosequence data from the SAC community and conservatively identified 800 genes encoding glycoside hydrolase domains that were biased toward depolymerizing grass cell wall components. Of these, approximately 10% were putative cellulases mostly belonging to families GH5 and GH9. We synthesized two SAC GH9 genes with codon optimization for heterologous expression in Escherichia coli and observed activity for one on carboxymethyl cellulose. The active GH9 enzyme has a temperature optimum of 50 degrees C and pH range of 5.5 to 8 consistent with the composting conditions applied. We demonstrate that microbial communities adapt to switchgrass decomposition using simulated composting condition and that full-length genes can be identified from complex metagenomic sequence data, synthesized and expressed resulting in active enzyme.

  1. Plant mortality and natural selection may increase biomass yield in switchgrass swards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is an important candidate for bioenergy feedstock production, prompting significant efforts to increase the number of breeding programs and the output of those programs. The objective of this experiment was to determine the potential utility of natural selection for...

  2. Comparison of Dilute Acid and Ionic Liquid Pretreatment of Switchgrass: Biomass Recalcitrance, Delignification and Enzymatic Saccharification

    Science.gov (United States)

    The efficiency of two biomass pretreatment technologies, dilute acid hydrolysis and dissolution in an ionic liquid, are compared in terms of delignification, saccharification efficiency and saccharide yields with switchgrass serving as a model bioenergy crop. When subject to ionic liquid pretreatme...

  3. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as a reinforcing fibre in polypropylene composites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oever, van den M.J.A.; Elbersen, H.W.; Keijsers, E.R.P.; Gosselink, R.J.A.; Klerk-Engels, de B.

    2003-01-01

    In this study the switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a biomass crop being developed in North America and Europe, was tested as a stiffening and reinforcing agent in polypropylene (PP) composites with and without maleic anhydride grafted PP (MAPP) as a compatibiliser and to evaluate the effect of

  4. Effects of precipitation changes on switchgrass photosynthesis, growth, and biomass: A mesocosm experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  5. Predicted harvest time effects on switchgrass moisture content, nutrient concentration, yield, and profitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Production costs change with harvest date of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as a result of nutrient recycling and changes in yield of this perennial crop. This study examines the range of cost of production from an early, yield-maximizing harvest date to a late winter harvest date at low moisture...

  6. Ethanol yields and cell wall properties in divergently bred switchgrass genotypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic modification of herbaceous plant cell walls to increase biofuels yields from harvested biomass is a primary bioenergy research goal. The focus of much of this research has been on cell wall lignin concentration. Using switchgrass genotypes developed by divergent breeding for ruminant diges...

  7. RNA-seq analysis of overexpressing ovine AANAT gene of melatonin biosynthesis in switchgrass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shan Yuan

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Melatonin serves important functions in the promotion of growth and anti-stress regulation by efficient radical scavenging and regulation of antioxidant enzyme activity in various plants. To investigate its regulatory roles and metabolism pathways, the transcriptomic profile of overexpressing the ovine arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (oAANAT gene, encoding the penultimate enzyme in melatonin biosynthesis, was compared with empty vector (EV control using RNA-seq in switchgrass, a model plant of cellulosic ethanol conversion. The 85.22 million high quality reads that were assembled into 135,684 unigenes were generated by Illumina sequencing for transgenic oAANAT switchgrass with an average sequence length of 716 bp. A total of 946 differential expression genes (DEGs in transgenic line comparing to control switchgrass, including 737 up-regulated and 209 down-regulated genes, were mainly enriched with two main functional patterns of melatonin identifying by gene ontology analysis: the growth regulator and stress tolerance. Furthermore, KEGG maps indicated that the biosynthetic pathways of secondary metabolite (phenylpropanoids, flavonoids, steroids, stilbenoid, diarylheptanoid and gingerol and signaling pathways (MAPK signaling pathway, estrogen signaling pathway were involved in melatonin metabolism. This study substantially expands the transcriptome information for switchgrass and provides valuable clues for identifying candidate genes involved in melatonin biosynthesis and elucidating the mechanism of melatonin metabolism.

  8. Fiber length and pulping characteristics of switchgrass, alfalfa stems, hybrid poplar and willow biomasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ai, Jun; Tschirner, Ulrike

    2010-01-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), alfalfa stems (Medicago sativa), second year growth hybrid poplar (Populus) and willow (Salix spp.) were examined to determine fiber characteristics, pulping behavior and paper properties. Alfalfa stems and switchgrass both showed length weighted average fiber length (LWW) of 0.78 mm, a very narrow fiber length distribution and high fines content. Willow and hybrid poplar have lower fines content but a very low average fiber length (0.42 and 0.48 mm LWW). In addition, the four biomass species showed distinctly different chemical compositions. Switchgrass was defibered successfully using Soda and Soda Anthraquinone (AQ) pulping and demonstrated good paper properties. Both fast-growing wood species pulped well using the Kraft process, and showed acceptable tensile strength, but low tear strength. Alfalfa stems reacted very poorly to Soda and Soda AQ pulping but responded well to Kraft and Kraft AQ. Pulps with tensile and tear strength considerably higher than those found for commercial aspen pulps were observed for alfalfa. All four biomass species examined demonstrated low pulp yield. The highest yields were obtained with poplar and switchgrass (around 43%). Considering the short fibers and low yields, all four biomass types will likely only be used in paper manufacturing if they offer considerable economic advantage over traditional pulp wood.

  9. 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

  10. Targeted Discovery of Glycoside Hydrolases from a Switchgrass-Adapted Compost Community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reddy, Amitha; Allgaier, Martin; Park, Joshua I.; Ivanoval, Natalia; Dhaeseleer, Patrik; Lowry, Steve; Sapra, Rajat; Hazen, Terry C.; Simmons, Blake A.; VanderGheynst, Jean S.; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2011-05-11

    Development of cellulosic biofuels from non-food crops is currently an area of intense research interest. Tailoring depolymerizing enzymes to particular feedstocks and pretreatment conditions is one promising avenue of research in this area. Here we added a green-waste compost inoculum to switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and simulated thermophilic composting in a bioreactor to select for a switchgrass-adapted community and to facilitate targeted discovery of glycoside hydrolases. Smallsubunit (SSU) rRNA-based community profiles revealed that the microbial community changed dramatically between the initial and switchgrass-adapted compost (SAC) with some bacterial populations being enriched over 20-fold. We obtained 225 Mbp of 454-titanium pyrosequence data from the SAC community and conservatively identified 800 genes encoding glycoside hydrolase domains that were biased toward depolymerizing grass cell wall components. Of these, ,10percent were putative cellulasesmostly belonging to families GH5 and GH9. We synthesized two SAC GH9 genes with codon optimization for heterologous expression in Escherichia coli and observed activity for one on carboxymethyl cellulose. The active GH9 enzyme has a temperature optimum of 50uC and pH range of 5.5 to 8 consistent with the composting conditions applied. We demonstrate that microbial communities adapt to switchgrass decomposition using simulated composting condition and that full-length genes can be identified from complex metagenomic sequence data, synthesized and expressed resulting in active enzyme.

  11. Identifying Differences in Abiotic Stress Gene Networks between Lowland and Upland Ecotypes of Switchgrass (DE-SC0008338)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Childs, Kevin [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Buell, Robin [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Zhao, Bingyu [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States); Zhang, Xunzhong [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States)

    2016-11-10

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a warm-season C4 grass that is a target lignocellulosic biofuel species for use in the United States due to its local adaption capabilities and high biomass accumulation. Two ecotypes of switchgrass have been described. Members of the lowland ecotype are taller, have narrower leaf blades and generate more biomass compared to individuals from the upland ecotype. Additionally, lowland plants are generally found in the southern United States while upland switchgrass is more typically present in the northern United States. These differences are important as it is envisioned that switchgrass for biofuel production will typically be grown on marginal lands in the northern United States to supplement and diversify farmers' traditional crop incomes. While lowland switchgrass is more productive, it has poor winter survivability in northern latitudes where upland switchgrass is expected to be grown for biofuel use. Abiotic stresses likely to be encountered by switchgrass include drought and salinity. Despite initially being described as preferring wetter environments, members of the lowland ecotype have been characterized as being more drought tolerant than plants of the upland ecotype. Nonetheless, direct trials have indicated that variation for drought tolerance exists in both ecotypes, but prior to this project, only a relatively small number of switchgrass lines had been tested for drought responses. Similarly, switchgrass cultivars have not been widely tested for salt tolerance, but a few studies have shown that even mild salt stress can inhibit growth. The effects of drought and salt stress on plant growth are complex. Both drought and salinity affect the osmotic potential of plant cells and negatively affect plant growth due to reduced water potential and reduced photosynthesis that results from lower stomatal conductance of CO2. Plants respond to drought and salt stress by activating genes that directly attempt to

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aravindhakshan, Sijesh C.; Epplin, Francis M.; Taliaferro, Charles M.

    2010-01-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) serves as a model dedicated energy crop in the U.S.A. Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) has served a similar role in Europe. This study was conducted to determine the most economical species, harvest frequency, and carbon tax required for either of the two candidate feedstocks to be an economically viable alternative for cofiring with coal for electricity generation. Biomass yield and energy content data were obtained from a field experiment conducted near Stillwater, Oklahoma, U.S.A., in which both grasses were established in 2002. Plots were split to enable two harvest treatments (once and twice yr -1 ). The switchgrass variety 'Alamo', with a single annual post-senescence harvest, produced more biomass (15.87 Mg ha -1 yr -1 ) than miscanthus (12.39 Mg ha -1 yr -1 ) and more energy (249.6 million kJ ha -1 yr -1 versus 199.7 million kJ ha -1 yr -1 for miscanthus). For the average yields obtained, the estimated cost to produce and deliver biomass an average distance of 50 km was $43.9 Mg -1 for switchgrass and $51.7 Mg -1 for miscanthus. Given a delivered coal price of $39.76 Mg -1 and average energy content, a carbon tax of $7 Mg -1 CO 2 would be required for switchgrass to be economically competitive. For the location and the environmental conditions that prevailed during the experiment, switchgrass with one harvest per year produced greater yields at a lower cost than miscanthus. In the absence of government intervention such as requiring biomass use or instituting a carbon tax, biomass is not an economically competitive feedstock for electricity generation in the region studied. (author)

  13. Physiological Evaluation of Alkali-Salt Tolerance of Thirty Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum Lines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guofu Hu

    Full Text Available Soil salt-alkalization is a major limiting factor for crop production in many regions. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. is a warm-season C4 perennial rhizomatous bunchgrass and a target lignocellulosic biofuel species. The objective of this study was to evaluate relative alkali-salt tolerance among 30 switchgrass lines. Tillers of each switchgrass line were transplanted into pots filled with fine sand. Two months after transplanting, plants at E5 developmental stage were grown in either half strength Hoagland's nutrient solution with 0 mM Na+ (control or half strength Hoagland's nutrient solution with 150 mM Na+ and pH of 9.5 (alkali-salt stress treatment for 20 d. Alkali-salt stress damaged cell membranes [higher electrolyte leakage (EL], reduced leaf relative water content (RWC, net photosynthetic rate (Pn, stomatal conductance (gs, and transpiration rate (Tr. An alkali-salt stress tolerance trait index (ASTTI for each parameter was calculated based on the ratio of the value under alkali-salt stress and the value under non-stress conditions for each parameter of each line. Relative alkali-salt tolerance was determined based on principal components analysis and cluster analysis of the physiological parameters and their ASTTI values. Significant differences in alkali-salt stress tolerance were found among the 30 lines. Lowland lines TEM-SEC, Alamo, TEM-SLC and Kanlow were classified as alkali-salt tolerant. In contrast, three lowland lines (AM-314/MS-155, BN-13645-64 and two upland lines (Caddo and Blackwell-1 were classified as alkali-salt sensitive. The results suggest wide variations exist in alkali-salt stress tolerance among the 30 switchgrass lines. The approach of using a combination of principal components and cluster analysis of the physiological parameters and related ASTTI is feasible for evaluating alkali-salt tolerance in switchgrass.

  14. Physiological Evaluation of Alkali-Salt Tolerance of Thirty Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) Lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Guofu; Liu, Yiming; Zhang, Xunzhong; Yao, Fengjiao; Huang, Yan; Ervin, Erik H; Zhao, Bingyu

    2015-01-01

    Soil salt-alkalization is a major limiting factor for crop production in many regions. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a warm-season C4 perennial rhizomatous bunchgrass and a target lignocellulosic biofuel species. The objective of this study was to evaluate relative alkali-salt tolerance among 30 switchgrass lines. Tillers of each switchgrass line were transplanted into pots filled with fine sand. Two months after transplanting, plants at E5 developmental stage were grown in either half strength Hoagland's nutrient solution with 0 mM Na+ (control) or half strength Hoagland's nutrient solution with 150 mM Na+ and pH of 9.5 (alkali-salt stress treatment) for 20 d. Alkali-salt stress damaged cell membranes [higher electrolyte leakage (EL)], reduced leaf relative water content (RWC), net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (gs), and transpiration rate (Tr). An alkali-salt stress tolerance trait index (ASTTI) for each parameter was calculated based on the ratio of the value under alkali-salt stress and the value under non-stress conditions for each parameter of each line. Relative alkali-salt tolerance was determined based on principal components analysis and cluster analysis of the physiological parameters and their ASTTI values. Significant differences in alkali-salt stress tolerance were found among the 30 lines. Lowland lines TEM-SEC, Alamo, TEM-SLC and Kanlow were classified as alkali-salt tolerant. In contrast, three lowland lines (AM-314/MS-155, BN-13645-64) and two upland lines (Caddo and Blackwell-1) were classified as alkali-salt sensitive. The results suggest wide variations exist in alkali-salt stress tolerance among the 30 switchgrass lines. The approach of using a combination of principal components and cluster analysis of the physiological parameters and related ASTTI is feasible for evaluating alkali-salt tolerance in switchgrass.

  15. New genomic resources for switchgrass: a BAC library and comparative analysis of homoeologous genomic regions harboring bioenergy traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feltus Frank A

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Switchgrass, a C4 species and a warm-season grass native to the prairies of North America, has been targeted for development into an herbaceous biomass fuel crop. Genetic improvement of switchgrass feedstock traits through marker-assisted breeding and biotechnology approaches calls for genomic tools development. Establishment of integrated physical and genetic maps for switchgrass will accelerate mapping of value added traits useful to breeding programs and to isolate important target genes using map based cloning. The reported polyploidy series in switchgrass ranges from diploid (2X = 18 to duodecaploid (12X = 108. Like in other large, repeat-rich plant genomes, this genomic complexity will hinder whole genome sequencing efforts. An extensive physical map providing enough information to resolve the homoeologous genomes would provide the necessary framework for accurate assembly of the switchgrass genome. Results A switchgrass BAC library constructed by partial digestion of nuclear DNA with EcoRI contains 147,456 clones covering the effective genome approximately 10 times based on a genome size of 3.2 Gigabases (~1.6 Gb effective. Restriction digestion and PFGE analysis of 234 randomly chosen BACs indicated that 95% of the clones contained inserts, ranging from 60 to 180 kb with an average of 120 kb. Comparative sequence analysis of two homoeologous genomic regions harboring orthologs of the rice OsBRI1 locus, a low-copy gene encoding a putative protein kinase and associated with biomass, revealed that orthologous clones from homoeologous chromosomes can be unambiguously distinguished from each other and correctly assembled to respective fingerprint contigs. Thus, the data obtained not only provide genomic resources for further analysis of switchgrass genome, but also improve efforts for an accurate genome sequencing strategy. Conclusions The construction of the first switchgrass BAC library and comparative analysis of

  16. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. Genotypes Differ between Coastal Sites and Inland Road Corridors in the Northeastern US.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey Ecker

    Full Text Available Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. is a North American grass that exhibits vast genetic diversity across its geographic range. In the Northeastern US, local switchgrass populations were restricted to a narrow coastal zone before European settlement, but current populations inhabit inland road verges raising questions about their origin and genetics. These questions are important because switchgrass lines with novel traits are being cultivated as a biofuel feedstock, and gene flow could impact the genetic integrity and distribution of local populations. This study was designed to determine if: 1 switchgrass plants collected in the Long Island Sound Coastal Lowland coastal Level IV ecoregion represented local populations, and 2 switchgrass plants collected from road verges in the adjacent inland regions were most closely related to local coastal populations or switchgrass from other geographic regions. The study used 18 microsatellite markers to infer the genetic relationships between 122 collected switchgrass plants and a reference dataset consisting of 28 cultivars representing ecotypes, ploidy levels, and lineages from North America. Results showed that 84% of 88 plants collected in the coastal plants were most closely aligned with the Lowland tetraploid genetic pool. Among this group, 61 coastal plants were similar to, but distinct from, all Lowland tetraploid cultivars in the reference dataset leading to the designation of a genetic sub-population called the Southern New England Lowland Tetraploids. In contrast, 67% of 34 plants collected in road verges in the inland ecoregions were most similar to two Upland octoploid cultivars; only 24% of roadside plants were Lowland tetraploid. These results suggest that cryptic, non-local genotypes exist in road verges and that gene flow from biofuels plantations could contribute to further changes in switchgrass population genetics in the Northeast.

  17. Model evaluation of plant metal content and biomass yield for the phytoextraction of heavy metals by switchgrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bo-Ching; Lai, Hung-Yu; Juang, Kai-Wei

    2012-06-01

    To better understand the ability of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a perennial grass often relegated to marginal agricultural areas with minimal inputs, to remove cadmium, chromium, and zinc by phytoextraction from contaminated sites, the relationship between plant metal content and biomass yield is expressed in different models to predict the amount of metals switchgrass can extract. These models are reliable in assessing the use of switchgrass for phytoremediation of heavy-metal-contaminated sites. In the present study, linear and exponential decay models are more suitable for presenting the relationship between plant cadmium and dry weight. The maximum extractions of cadmium using switchgrass, as predicted by the linear and exponential decay models, approached 40 and 34 μg pot(-1), respectively. The log normal model was superior in predicting the relationship between plant chromium and dry weight. The predicted maximum extraction of chromium by switchgrass was about 56 μg pot(-1). In addition, the exponential decay and log normal models were better than the linear model in predicting the relationship between plant zinc and dry weight. The maximum extractions of zinc by switchgrass, as predicted by the exponential decay and log normal models, were about 358 and 254 μg pot(-1), respectively. To meet the maximum removal of Cd, Cr, and Zn, one can adopt the optimal timing of harvest as plant Cd, Cr, and Zn approach 450 and 526 mg kg(-1), 266 mg kg(-1), and 3022 and 5000 mg kg(-1), respectively. Due to the well-known agronomic characteristics of cultivation and the high biomass production of switchgrass, it is practicable to use switchgrass for the phytoextraction of heavy metals in situ. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Comparison of Chemical Composition and Energy Property of Torrefied Switchgrass and Corn Stover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tumuluru, Jaya Shankar, E-mail: jayashankar.tumuluru@inl.gov [Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    2015-11-30

    In the present study, 6-mm ground corn stover and switchgrass were torrefied in temperatures ranging from 180 to 270°C for 15- to 120-min residence time. Thermogravimetric analyzer was used to do the torrefaction studies. At a torrefaction temperature of 270°C and a 30-min residence time, the weight loss increased to >45%. At 180°C and 120 min, there was about 56 and 73% of moisture loss in the corn stover and switchgrass; further increasing the temperature to 270°C and 120 min resulted in about 78.8–88.18% moisture loss in both the feedstock. Additionally, at these temperatures, there was a significant decrease in the volatile content and increase in the fixed carbon content, and the ash content for both the biomasses tested. The ultimate composition like carbon content increased and hydrogen content decreased with increase in the torrefaction temperature and time. At 270°C and 120-min residence time, the carbon content observed was 56.63 and 58.04% and hydrogen content observed was 2.74 and 3.14%. Nitrogen and sulfur content measured at 270°C and 120 min were 0.98, 0.8, 0.076, and 0.07% for both the corn stover and switchgrass. The hydrogen/carbon and oxygen/carbon ratios calculated decreased to the lowest values of 0.59 and 0.64, and 0.71 and 0.76 for both biomasses. The van Krevelen diagram drawn for corn stover and switchgrass torrefied at 270°C indicated that H/C and O/C values are closer to coals like Illinois Basis and Powder River Basin. In the present study, the maximum higher heating value that was observed by corn stover and switchgrass was 21.51 and 21.53 MJ/kg at 270°C and a 120-min residence time. From these results, it can be concluded that corn stover and switchgrass, after torrefaction, shows consistent proximate, ultimate, and energy properties.

  19. Comparison of Chemical Composition and Energy Property of Torrefied Switchgrass and Corn Stover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tumuluru, Jaya Shankar

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, 6-mm ground corn stover and switchgrass were torrefied in temperatures ranging from 180 to 270°C for 15- to 120-min residence time. Thermogravimetric analyzer was used to do the torrefaction studies. At a torrefaction temperature of 270°C and a 30-min residence time, the weight loss increased to >45%. At 180°C and 120 min, there was about 56 and 73% of moisture loss in the corn stover and switchgrass; further increasing the temperature to 270°C and 120 min resulted in about 78.8–88.18% moisture loss in both the feedstock. Additionally, at these temperatures, there was a significant decrease in the volatile content and increase in the fixed carbon content, and the ash content for both the biomasses tested. The ultimate composition like carbon content increased and hydrogen content decreased with increase in the torrefaction temperature and time. At 270°C and 120-min residence time, the carbon content observed was 56.63 and 58.04% and hydrogen content observed was 2.74 and 3.14%. Nitrogen and sulfur content measured at 270°C and 120 min were 0.98, 0.8, 0.076, and 0.07% for both the corn stover and switchgrass. The hydrogen/carbon and oxygen/carbon ratios calculated decreased to the lowest values of 0.59 and 0.64, and 0.71 and 0.76 for both biomasses. The van Krevelen diagram drawn for corn stover and switchgrass torrefied at 270°C indicated that H/C and O/C values are closer to coals like Illinois Basis and Powder River Basin. In the present study, the maximum higher heating value that was observed by corn stover and switchgrass was 21.51 and 21.53 MJ/kg at 270°C and a 120-min residence time. From these results, it can be concluded that corn stover and switchgrass, after torrefaction, shows consistent proximate, ultimate, and energy properties.

  20. Simulated biomass, environmental impacts and best management practices for long-term switchgrass systems in a semi-arid region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Limei; Qian, Yaling; Brummer, Joe E.; Zheng, Jiyong; Wilhelm, Sarah; Parton, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Long-term information on switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as a biomass energy crop grown on marginally saline soil and the associated impacts on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and best management practices (BMPs) are limited. In this study, we employed the DAYCENT model, based on a 4-year switchgrass field experiment, to evaluate the long-term biomass yield potential and environmental impacts, and further to develop BMPs for switchgrass in a semi-arid region. The model showed that long-term (14-year) annual mean biomass yields were 9.6 and 5.2 Mg ha −1 for irrigated and rainfed switchgrass systems, respectively. The simulated biomass yields correlated well with field-measured biomass with r 2 values of 0.99 and 0.89 for irrigated and rainfed systems, respectively. Soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil total nitrogen (STN) accumulated rapidly after switchgrass establishment, with mean accrual rates of 0.99–1.13 Mg C ha −1  yr −1 and 0.04–0.08 Mg N ha −1  yr −1 , respectively. Based on the outputs of numerous long-term model simulations with variable irrigation water supplies and N rates, the irrigation regime and N rate with the highest yield to input ratio were chosen as BMPs. The DAYCENT model predicted-BMP was irrigating every 14 days at 70% potential evapotranspiration combined with an N rate of 67 kg ha −1  yr −1 . Switchgrass established and produced biomass reasonably well in this semi-arid region; however, appropriate irrigation and N fertilization were needed for optimal biomass yield. Switchgrass had a great potential to sequester C into soils with low N 2 O emissions while supplying significant quantities of biomass for biofuel synthesis. - Highlights: • The DAYCENT model reliably simulated the growth of switchgrass on marginal land. • Long-term biomass and environmental impacts were simulated using the DAYCENT model. • Switchgrass produced biomass well on marginal land, but

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bocqueho, G.; Jacquet, F.

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Willingness to pay for E85 from corn, switchgrass, and wood residues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jensen, Kimberly L.; Clark, Christopher D.; English, Burton C.; Menard, R. Jamey; Skahan, Denise K.; Marra, Adrienne C.

    2010-01-01

    Willingness to pay (WTP) for E85 (automotive fuel blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) was estimated from a contingent choice exercise contained in a national survey of consumers. The choice exercise included E85 blends from three different feedstock sources (corn grain, switchgrass, and wood wastes) and an E10 blend (10% ethanol and 90% gasoline) with corn grain as the ethanol feedstock. Results from the study indicate willingness to pay a premium for E85 from switchgrass compared with E10 from corn. Concerns about land use for ''food versus fuel'' had a negative impact on WTP for E85 from corn grain, while greater concerns about fuel security relative to the environment had a positive impact. (author)

  3. Structural Characterization of Lignin in Wild-Type versus COMT Down-Regulated Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Samuel, Reichel [School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States); BioEnergy Science Center, Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Pu, Yunqiao, E-mail: yunqiao.pu@ipst.gatech.edu [BioEnergy Science Center, Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Institute of Paper Science and Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States); Jiang, Nan [School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States); BioEnergy Science Center, Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Fu, Chunxiang [Forage Improvement Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK (United States); Wang, Zeng-Yu [BioEnergy Science Center, Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Forage Improvement Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK (United States); Ragauskas, Arthur, E-mail: yunqiao.pu@ipst.gatech.edu [School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States); BioEnergy Science Center, Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2014-01-20

    This study examined the chemical structural characteristics of cellulolytic enzyme lignin isolated from switchgrass focusing on comparisons between wild-type control and caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) down-regulated transgenic line. Nuclear magnetic resonance techniques including {sup 13}C, {sup 31}P, and two-dimensional {sup 13}C-{sup 1}H heteronuclear single quantum coherence as well as gel permeation chromatography were employed. Compared to the wild-type, the COMT down-regulated transgenic switchgrass lignin demonstrated a decrease in syringyl (S):guaiacyl (G) ratio and p-coumarate:ferulate ratio, an increase in relative abundance of phenylcoumaran unit, and a comparable content of total free phenolic OH groups along with formation of benzodioxane unit. In addition, COMT down-regulation had no significant effects on the lignin molecular weights during its biosynthesis process.

  4. An evaluation of biomass yield stability of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) cultivars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharma, N.; Piscioneri, I.; Pignatelli, V.

    2003-01-01

    The present work deals with evaluation of the adaptation and biomass production of various switchgrass cultivars (upland and lowland type) in Southern Italy. A field trial was established in 1998 with 15 switchgrass varieties in ENEA Trisaia (Matera). The experiment was conducted for four years (1998-2001). During each growing period, a series of measurements were taken. At the end of each growing season, a final harvest was made in order to estimate the fresh and dry matter yields of the different varieties. The mean dry matter yield was recorded at a maximum (12.36 t/ha) in the third year, and it fluctuated from 5.63 (9005439) to 26.08 (SL 93-3) t/ha. The crop yields tend to stabilize from the fourth year of its cultivation. In fact, the yield recorded for this year was reduced to 10.27 t/ha, averaged over all the varieties

  5. Switchgrass storage effects on the recovery of carbohydrates after liquid hot water pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle Julie Carrier

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Perennial grasses that would be used for bioenergy and bioproducts production will need to be stored for various periods of time to ensure a continual feedstock supply to a bioprocessing facility. The effects of storage practices on grass composition and the response of grasses to subsequent bioprocesses such as pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis needs to be understood to develop the most efficient storage protocols. This study examined the effect of outdoor storage of round switchgrass bales on composition before and after liquid hot water pretreatment (LHW and enzymatic hydrolysis. This study also examined the effect of washing LHW pretreated biomass prior to enzymatic hydrolysis. It was determined that switchgrass composition after baling was stable. As expected, glucan and lignin contents increased after LHW due to decreases in xylan and galactan. Washing biomass prior to enzymatic hydrolysis reduced saccharification, especially in samples from the interior of the bale, by at least 5%.

  6. Willingness to pay for E85 from corn, switchgrass, and wood residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jensen, Kimberly L.; Clark, Christopher D.; English, Burton C.; Menard, R. Jamey; Skahan, Denise K.; Marra, Adrienne C. [Department of Agricultural Economics, The University of Tennessee, 302 Morgan Hall, Knoxville, TN, 37996 (United States)

    2010-11-15

    Willingness to pay (WTP) for E85 (automotive fuel blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) was estimated from a contingent choice exercise contained in a national survey of consumers. The choice exercise included E85 blends from three different feedstock sources (corn grain, switchgrass, and wood wastes) and an E10 blend (10% ethanol and 90% gasoline) with corn grain as the ethanol feedstock. Results from the study indicate willingness to pay a premium for E85 from switchgrass compared with E10 from corn. Concerns about land use for ''food versus fuel'' had a negative impact on WTP for E85 from corn grain, while greater concerns about fuel security relative to the environment had a positive impact. (author)

  7. Switchgrass as a fuel stock for electric power generation in Tennessee

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hewitt, W.J.; English, B.C.; Daly, M.; Graham, R.

    1997-01-01

    This study examined the economic feasibility of switchgrass production and utilization for electric power production in Tennessee. Economic feasibility of switchgrass utilization as a feedstock for electric power generation is related to location of production area, electric facility location, production and transport costs, and harvesting method. Analysis of the feasibility of biomass includes the internalizing of environmental costs of SO 2 and CO 2 into the coal price. A final comparison of the costs of using biomass plus a 12.5 cent/kilowatt hour subsidy is also examined. Finally, the cost savings of a reorganization of harvesting methods is evaluated and the impacts this reorganization might have on the breakeven cost of biomass is compared to the current harvesting methods. (author)

  8. Switchgrass-Based Bioethanol Productivity and Potential Environmental Impact from Marginal Lands in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xun Zhang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Switchgrass displays an excellent potential to serve as a non-food bioenergy feedstock for bioethanol production in China due to its high potential yield on marginal lands. However, few studies have been conducted on the spatial distribution of switchgrass-based bioethanol production potential in China. This study created a land surface process model (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate GIS (Geographic Information System-based (GEPIC model coupled with a life cycle analysis (LCA to explore the spatial distribution of potential bioethanol production and present a comprehensive analysis of energy efficiency and environmental impacts throughout its whole life cycle. It provides a new approach to study the bioethanol productivity and potential environmental impact from marginal lands based on the high spatial resolution GIS data, and this applies not only to China, but also to other regions and to other types of energy plant. The results indicate that approximately 59 million ha of marginal land in China are suitable for planting switchgrass, and 22 million tons of ethanol can be produced from this land. Additionally, a potential net energy gain (NEG of 1.75 x 106 million MJ will be achieved if all of the marginal land can be used in China, and Yunnan Province offers the most significant one that accounts for 35% of the total. Finally, this study obtained that the total environmental effect index of switchgrass-based bioethanol is the equivalent of a population of approximately 20,300, and a reduction in the global warming potential (GWP is the most significant environmental impact.

  9. Five nuclear loci resolve the polyploid history of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. and relatives.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jimmy K Triplett

    Full Text Available Polyploidy poses challenges for phylogenetic reconstruction because of the need to identify and distinguish between homoeologous loci. This can be addressed by use of low copy nuclear markers. Panicum s.s. is a genus of about 100 species in the grass tribe Paniceae, subfamily Panicoideae, and is divided into five sections. Many of the species are known to be polyploids. The most well-known of the Panicum polyploids are switchgrass (Panicum virgatum and common or Proso millet (P. miliaceum. Switchgrass is in section Virgata, along with P. tricholaenoides, P. amarum, and P. amarulum, whereas P. miliaceum is in sect. Panicum. We have generated sequence data from five low copy nuclear loci and two chloroplast loci and have clarified the origin of P. virgatum. We find that all members of sects. Virgata and Urvilleana are the result of diversification after a single allopolyploidy event. The closest diploid relatives of switchgrass are in sect. Rudgeana, native to Central and South America. Within sections Virgata and Urvilleana, P. tricholaenoides is sister to the remaining species. Panicum racemosum and P. urvilleanum form a clade, which may be sister to P. chloroleucum. Panicum amarum, P. amarulum, and the lowland and upland ecotypes of P. virgatum together form a clade, within which relationships are complex. Hexaploid and octoploid plants are likely allopolyploids, with P. amarum and P. amarulum sharing genomes with P. virgatum. Octoploid P. virgatum plants are formed via hybridization between disparate tetraploids. We show that polyploidy precedes diversification in a complex set of polyploids; our data thus suggest that polyploidy could provide the raw material for diversification. In addition, we show two rounds of allopolyploidization in the ancestry of switchgrass, and identify additional species that may be part of its broader gene pool. This may be relevant for development of the crop for biofuels.

  10. Association Mapping of Cell Wall Synthesis Regulatory Genes and Cell Wall Quality in Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bartley, Laura [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Dept. of Microbiology and Plant Biology; Wu, Y. [Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK (United States); Zhu, L. [Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK (United States); Brummer, E. C. [Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK (United States); Saha, M. [Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK (United States)

    2016-05-31

    Inefficient conversion of biomass to biofuels is one of the main barriers for biofuel production from such materials. Approximately half of polysaccharides in biomass remain unused by typical biochemical conversion methods. Conversion efficiency is influenced by the composition and structure of cell walls of biomass. Grasses such as wheat, maize, and rice, as well as dedicated perennial bioenergy crops, like switchgrass, make up ~55% of biomass that can be produced in the United States. Grass cell walls have a different composition and patterning compared with dicotyledonous plants, including the well-studied model plant, Arabidopsis. This project identified genetic determinants of cell wall composition in grasses using both naturally occurring genetic variation of switchgrass and gene network reconstruction and functional assays in rice. In addition, the project linked functional data in rice and other species to switchgrass improvement efforts through curation of the most abundant class of regulators in the switchgrass genome. Characterizing natural diversity of switchgrass for variation in cell wall composition and properties, also known as quality, provides an unbiased avenue for identifying biologically viable diversity in switchgrass cell walls. To characterizing natural diversity, this project generated cell wall composition and enzymatic deconstruction data for ~450 genotypes of the Switchgrass Southern Association Collection (SSAC), a diverse collection composed of 36 switchgrass accessions from the southern U.S. distribution of switchgrass. Comparing these data with other measures of cell wall quality for the same samples demonstrated the complementary nature of the diverse characterization platforms now being used for biomass characterization. Association of the composition data with ~3.2K single nucleotide variant markers identified six significant single nucleotide variant markers co-associated with digestibility and another compositional trait. These

  11. Switchgrass Cultivar/Ecotype Selection and Management for Biofuels in the Upper Southeast USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrish, David J.; Wolf, Dale D.

    2014-01-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a perennial warm-season grass indigenous to the eastern USA, has potential as a biofuels feedstock. The objective of this study was to investigate the performance of upland and lowland switchgrass cultivars under different environments and management treatments. Four cultivars of switchgrass were evaluated from 2000 to 2001 under two management regimes in plots established in 1992 at eight locations in the upper southeastern USA. Two management treatments included 1) a single annual harvest (in late October to early November) and a single application of 50 kg N/ha/yr and 2) two annual harvests (in midsummer and November) and a split application of 100 kg N/ha/yr. Biomass yields averaged 15 Mg/ha/yr and ranged from 10 to 22 Mg/ha/yr across cultivars, managements, locations, and years. There was no yield advantage in taking two harvests of the lowland cultivars (Alamo and Kanlow). When harvested twice, upland cultivars (Cave-in-Rock and Shelter) provided yields equivalent to the lowland ecotypes. Tiller density was 36% lower in stands cutting only once per year, but the stands appeared vigorous after nine years of such management. Lowland cultivars and a one-cutting management (after the tops have senesced) using low rates of applied N (50 kg/ha) are recommended. PMID:25105170

  12. Impact of an innovated storage technology on the quality of preprocessed switchgrass bales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher N. Boyer

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of three particle sizes of feedstock and two types of novel bale wraps on the quality of switchgrass by monitoring the chemical changes in cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, extractives, and ash over a 225-day period. Using NIR (Near-infrared modeling to predict the chemical composition of the treated biomass, differences were found in cellulose, lignin, and ash content across switchgrass bales with different particle sizes. Enclosing bales in a net and film impacted the cellulose, lignin, and ash content. Cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, extractives, and ash were different across the 225-day storage period. A quadratic response function made better prediction about cellulose, lignin, and ash response to storage, and a linear response function best described hemicellulose and extractives response to storage. This study yields valuable information regarding the quality of switchgrass at different intervals between the start and end date of storage, which is important to conversion facilities when determining optimal storage strategies to improve quality of the biomass feedstock, based on potential output yield of a bale over time.

  13. Community dynamics and glycoside hydrolase activities of thermophilic bacterial consortia adapted to switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gladden, J.M.; Allgaier, M.; Miller, C.S.; Hazen, T.C.; VanderGheynst, J.S.; Hugenholtz, P.; Simmons, B.A.; Singer, S.W.

    2011-05-01

    Industrial-scale biofuel production requires robust enzymatic cocktails to produce fermentable sugars from lignocellulosic biomass. Thermophilic bacterial consortia are a potential source of cellulases and hemicellulases adapted to harsher reaction conditions than commercial fungal enzymes. Compost-derived microbial consortia were adapted to switchgrass at 60 C to develop thermophilic biomass-degrading consortia for detailed studies. Microbial community analysis using small-subunit rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing and short-read metagenomic sequencing demonstrated that thermophilic adaptation to switchgrass resulted in low-diversity bacterial consortia with a high abundance of bacteria related to thermophilic paenibacilli, Rhodothermus marinus, and Thermus thermophilus. At lower abundance, thermophilic Chloroflexi and an uncultivated lineage of the Gemmatimonadetes phylum were observed. Supernatants isolated from these consortia had high levels of xylanase and endoglucanase activities. Compared to commercial enzyme preparations, the endoglucanase enzymes had a higher thermotolerance and were more stable in the presence of 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2mim][OAc]), an ionic liquid used for biomass pretreatment. The supernatants were used to saccharify [C2mim][OAc]-pretreated switchgrass at elevated temperatures (up to 80 C), demonstrating that these consortia are an excellent source of enzymes for the development of enzymatic cocktails tailored to more extreme reaction conditions.

  14. 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.

  15. Global changes in mineral transporters in tetraploid switchgrasses (Panicum virgatum L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan A. Palmer

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L is perennial, C4 grass with great potential as a biofuel crop. An in-depth understanding of the mechanisms that control mineral uptake, distribution and remobilization will benefit sustainable production. Nutrients are mobilized from aerial portions to below-ground crowns and rhizomes as a natural accompaniment to above-ground senescence post seed-set. Mineral uptake and remobilization is dependent on transporters, however, little if any information is available about the specific transporters that are needed and how their relative expression changes over a growing season. Using well-defined classes of mineral transporters, we identified 520 genes belonging to 40 different transporter classes in the tetraploid switchgrass genome. Expression patterns were determined for many of these genes using publically available transcriptomic datasets obtained from both greenhouse and field grown plants. Certain transporters showed strong temporal patterns of expression in distinct developmental stages of the plant. Gene-expression was verified for selected transporters using qRT-PCR. By and large these analyses confirmed the developmental stage-specific expression of these genes. Mineral analyses indicated that K, Fe, Mg, Co and As had a similar pattern of accumulation with apparent limited remobilization at the end of the growing season. These initial analyses will serve as a foundation for more detailed examination of the nutrient biology of switchgrass.

  16. Microbial community analysis of switchgrass planted and unplanted soil microcosms displaying PCB dechlorination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Yi; Meggo, Richard; Hu, Dingfei; Schnoor, Jerald L; Mattes, Timothy E

    2015-08-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) pose potential risks to human and environmental health because they are carcinogenic, persistent, and bioaccumulative. In this study, we investigated bacterial communities in soil microcosms spiked with PCB 52, 77, and 153. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) was employed to improve overall PCB removal, and redox cycling (i.e., sequential periods of flooding followed by periods of no flooding) was performed in an effort to promote PCB dechlorination. Lesser chlorinated PCB transformation products were detected in all microcosms, indicating the occurrence of PCB dechlorination. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and clone library analysis showed that PCB spiking, switchgrass planting, and redox cycling affected the microbial community structure. Putative organohalide-respiring Chloroflexi populations, which were not found in unflooded microcosms, were enriched after 2 weeks of flooding in the redox-cycled microcosms. Sequences classified as Geobacter sp. were detected in all microcosms and were most abundant in the switchgrass-planted microcosm spiked with PCB congeners. The presence of possible organohalide-respiring bacteria in these soil microcosms suggests that they play a role in PCB dechlorination therein.

  17. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum Intercropping within Managed Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda Does Not Affect Wild Bee Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua W. Campbell

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Intensively-managed pine (Pinus spp. have been shown to support diverse vertebrate communities, but their ability to support invertebrate communities, such as wild bees, has not been well-studied. Recently, researchers have examined intercropping switchgrass (Panicum virgatum, a native perennial, within intensively managed loblolly pine (P. taeda plantations as a potential source for cellulosic biofuels. To better understand potential effects of intercropping on bee communities, we investigated visitation of bees within three replicates of four treatments of loblolly pine in Mississippi, U.S.A.: 3–4 year old pine plantations and 9–10 year old pine plantations with and without intercropped switchgrass. We used colored pan traps to capture bees during the growing seasons of 2013 and 2014. We captured 2507 bees comprised of 18 different genera during the two-year study, with Lasioglossum and Ceratina being the most common genera captured. Overall, bee abundances were dependent on plantation age and not presence of intercropping. Our data suggests that switchgrass does not negatively impact or promote bee communities within intensively-managed loblolly pine plantations.

  18. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) Intercropping within Managed Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) Does Not Affect Wild Bee Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Joshua W; Miller, Darren A; Martin, James A

    2016-11-04

    Intensively-managed pine ( Pinus spp.) have been shown to support diverse vertebrate communities, but their ability to support invertebrate communities, such as wild bees, has not been well-studied. Recently, researchers have examined intercropping switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum ), a native perennial, within intensively managed loblolly pine ( P. taeda ) plantations as a potential source for cellulosic biofuels. To better understand potential effects of intercropping on bee communities, we investigated visitation of bees within three replicates of four treatments of loblolly pine in Mississippi, U.S.A.: 3-4 year old pine plantations and 9-10 year old pine plantations with and without intercropped switchgrass. We used colored pan traps to capture bees during the growing seasons of 2013 and 2014. We captured 2507 bees comprised of 18 different genera during the two-year study, with Lasioglossum and Ceratina being the most common genera captured. Overall, bee abundances were dependent on plantation age and not presence of intercropping. Our data suggests that switchgrass does not negatively impact or promote bee communities within intensively-managed loblolly pine plantations.

  19. Comparative transcriptomic analyses of differentially expressed genes in transgenic melatonin biosynthesis ovine HIOMT gene in switchgrass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shan Yuan

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Melatonin serves pleiotropic functions in prompting plant growth and resistance to various stresses. The accurate biosynthetic pathway of melatonin remains elusive in plant species, while the N-acetyltransferase and O-methyltransferase were considered to be the last two key enzymes during its biosynthesis. To investigate the biosynthesis and metabolic pathway of melatonin in plants, the RNA-seq profile of overexpression of the ovine HIOMT was analyzed and compared with the previous transcriptome of transgenic oAANAT gene in switchgrass, a model plant for cellulosic ethanol production. A total of 946, 405 and 807 differentially expressed unigenes were observed in AANAT vs. control, HIOMT vs. control, and AANAT vs. HIOMT, respectively. The significantly upregulated (F-box/kelch-repeat protein, zinc finger BED domain-containing protein-3 genes were consistent with enhanced phenotypes of shoot, stem and root growth in transgenic oHIOMT switchgrass. Early flowering in overexpression of oHIOMT switchgrass involved in the regulation of flowering-time genes (APETALA2. Several stress resistant related genes (SPX domain-containing membrane protein, copper transporter 1, late blight resistance protein homolog R1A-6 OS etc. were specifically and significantly upregulated in transgenic oHIOMT only, while metabolism-related genes (phenylalanine-4-hydroxylase, tyrosine decarboxylase 1, protein disulfide-isomerase and galactinol synthase 2 etc. were significantly upregulated in transgenic oAANAT only. These results provide new sights into the biosynthetic and physiological functional networks of melatonin in plants.

  20. Accelerating the Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) Breeding Cycle Using Genomic Selection Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipka, Alexander E.; Lu, Fei; Cherney, Jerome H.; Buckler, Edward S.; Casler, Michael D.; Costich, Denise E.

    2014-01-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a perennial grass undergoing development as a biofuel feedstock. One of the most important factors hindering breeding efforts in this species is the need for accurate measurement of biomass yield on a per-hectare basis. Genomic selection on simple-to-measure traits that approximate biomass yield has the potential to significantly speed up the breeding cycle. Recent advances in switchgrass genomic and phenotypic resources are now making it possible to evaluate the potential of genomic selection of such traits. We leveraged these resources to study the ability of three widely-used genomic selection models to predict phenotypic values of morphological and biomass quality traits in an association panel consisting of predominantly northern adapted upland germplasm. High prediction accuracies were obtained for most of the traits, with standability having the highest ten-fold cross validation prediction accuracy (0.52). Moreover, the morphological traits generally had higher prediction accuracies than the biomass quality traits. Nevertheless, our results suggest that the quality of current genomic and phenotypic resources available for switchgrass is sufficiently high for genomic selection to significantly impact breeding efforts for biomass yield. PMID:25390940

  1. Towards the Development of a Molecular Map in Switchgrass: I. Microsatellite Marker Development; ANNUAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gunter, L.E.

    2001-01-01

    The long-term goal of the switchgrass breeding program is to improve regionally adapted varieties and increase biomass yield and feedstock quality. Although, to some extent, biomass yields are dependent on environmental constraints, increased yield can be achieved through the development of genotypes with improved seasonal adaptation, tolerance to unfavorable environmental conditions, and improved resistance to pest and disease. To date, improvement in switchgrass has relied on recurrent breeding strategies based on phenotypic or genotypic selection. Yield improvements have been modest by this method. If we expect to make significant increase in yields, we need tools that will allow us to map complex traits and uncover the genes that influence them. A genetic linkage map could be a powerful tool for accelerating switchgrass development through marker-assisted selection, breeding and recombination. This type of mapping requires the development of markers that can be associated with phenotypic traits in a population of known pedigree. The most commonly used markers for mapping include restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) and simple sequence repeats (SSR). At ORNL, we have been concentrating on the development of SSR markers, while our colleagues at the University of Georgia are developing RFLP markers in order to select parents to produce a mapping population and from there to create a framework map from(approx)100 F1 progeny

  2. Development of a Low Input and sustainable Switchgrass Feedstock Production System Utilizing Beneficial Bacterial Endophytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mei, Chuansheng [IALR; Nowak, Jerzy [VPISU; Seiler, John [VPISU

    2014-10-24

    Switchgrass represents a promising feedstock crop for US energy sustainability. However, its broad utilization for bioenergy requires improvements of biomass yields and stress tolerance. In this DOE funded project, we have been working on harnessing beneficial bacterial endophytes to enhance switchgrass performance and to develop a low input feedstock production system for marginal lands that do not compete with the production of food crops. We have demonstrated that one of most promising plant growth-promoting bacterial endophytes, Burkholderia phytofirmans strain PsJN, is able to colonize roots and significantly promote growth of switchgrass cv. Alamo under in vitro, growth chamber, greenhouse, as well as field conditions. Furthermore, PsJN bacterization improved growth and development of switchgrass seedlings, significantly stimulated plant root and shoot growth, and tiller number in the field, and enhanced biomass accumulation on both poor (p<0.001) and rich (p<0.05) soils, with more effective stimulation of plant growth in low fertility soil. Plant physiology measurements showed that PsJN inoculated Alamo had consistently lower transpiration, lower stomatal conductance, and higher water use efficiency in greenhouse conditions. These physiological changes may significantly contribute to the recorded growth enhancement. PsJN inoculation rapidly results in an increase in photosynthetic rates which contributes to the advanced growth and development. Some evidence suggests that this initial growth advantage decreases with time when resources are not limited such as in greenhouse studies. Additionally, better drought resistance and drought hardening were observed in PsJN inoculated switchgrass. Using the DOE-funded switchgrass EST microarray, in a collaboration with the Genomics Core Facility at the Noble Foundation, we have determined gene expression profile changes in both responsive switchgrass cv. Alamo and non-responsive cv. Cave-in-Rock (CR) following Ps

  3. Gas exchange and stand-level estimates of water use and gross primary productivity in an experimental pine and switchgrass intercrop forestry system on the Lower Coastal Plain of North Carolina, U.S.A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janine M. Albaugha; Jean-Christophe Domeca; Chris A. Maier; Eric B. Sucre; Zakiya H. Leggett; John S. King

    2014-01-01

    Despite growing interest in using switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as a biofuel, there are limiteddata on the physiology of this species and its effect on stand water use and carbon (C) assimilationwhen grown as a forest intercrop for bioenergy. Therefore, we quantified gas exchange rates of switch-grass within intercropped plots and in pure switchgrass plots during...

  4. Extended light exposure increases stem digestibility and biomass production of switchgrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Chunqiao; Hou, Xincun; Zhu, Yi; Yue, Yuesen; Wu, Juying

    2017-01-01

    Switchgrass is a photoperiod-sensitive energy grass suitable for growing in the marginal lands of China. We explored the effects of extended photoperiods of low-irradiance light (7 μmol·m-2·s-1, no effective photosynthesis) on the growth, the biomass dry weight, the biomass allocation, and, especially, the stem digestibility and cell wall characteristics of switchgrass. Two extended photoperiods (i.e., 18 and 24 h) were applied over Alamo. Extended light exposure (18 and 24 h) resulted in delayed heading and higher dry weights of vegetative organs (by 32.87 and 35.94%, respectively) at the expense of reducing the amount of sexual organs (by 40.05 and 50.87%, respectively). Compared to the control group (i.e., natural photoperiod), the yield of hexoses (% dry matter) in the stems after a direct enzymatic hydrolysis (DEH) treatment significantly increased (by 44.02 and 46.10%) for those groups irradiated during 18 and 24 h, respectively. Moreover, the yield of hexoses obtained via enzymatic hydrolysis increased after both basic (1% NaOH) and acid (1% H2SO4) pretreatments for the groups irradiated during 18 and 24 h. Additionally, low-irradiance light extension (LILE) significantly increased the content of non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs) while notably reducing the lignin content and the syringyl to guaiacyl (S/G) ratio. These structural changes were in part responsible for the observed improved stem digestibility. Remarkably, LILE significantly decreased the cellulose crystallinity index (CrI) of switchgrass by significantly increasing both the arabinose substitution degree in xylan and the content of ammonium oxalate-extractable uronic acids, both favoring cellulose digestibility. Despite this LILE technology is not applied to the cultivation of switchgrass on a large scale yet, we believe that the present work is important in that it reveals important relationships between extended day length irradiations and biomass production and quality. Additionally, this

  5. Comparison of ethanol production from corn cobs and switchgrass following a pyrolysis-based biorefinery approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luque, Luis; Oudenhoven, Stijn; Westerhof, Roel; van Rossum, Guus; Berruti, Franco; Kersten, Sascha; Rehmann, Lars

    2016-01-01

    One of the main obstacles in lignocellulosic ethanol production is the necessity of pretreatment and fractionation of the biomass feedstocks to produce sufficiently pure fermentable carbohydrates. In addition, the by-products (hemicellulose and lignin fraction) are of low value, when compared to dried distillers grains (DDG), the main by-product of corn ethanol. Fast pyrolysis is an alternative thermal conversion technology for processing biomass. It has recently been optimized to produce a stream rich in levoglucosan, a fermentable glucose precursor for biofuel production. Additional product streams might be of value to the petrochemical industry. However, biomass heterogeneity is known to impact the composition of pyrolytic product streams, as a complex mixture of aromatic compounds is recovered with the sugars, interfering with subsequent fermentation. The present study investigates the feasibility of fast pyrolysis to produce fermentable pyrolytic glucose from two abundant lignocellulosic biomass sources in Ontario, switchgrass (potential energy crop) and corn cobs (by-product of corn industry). Demineralization of biomass removes catalytic centers and increases the levoglucosan yield during pyrolysis. The ash content of biomass was significantly decreased by 82-90% in corn cobs when demineralized with acetic or nitric acid, respectively. In switchgrass, a reduction of only 50% for both acids could be achieved. Conversely, levoglucosan production increased 9- and 14-fold in corn cobs when rinsed with acetic and nitric acid, respectively, and increased 11-fold in switchgrass regardless of the acid used. After pyrolysis, different configurations for upgrading the pyrolytic sugars were assessed and the presence of potentially inhibitory compounds was approximated at each step as double integral of the UV spectrum signal of an HPLC assay. The results showed that water extraction followed by acid hydrolysis and solvent extraction was the best upgrading strategy

  6. Impact of mechanical, chemical and enzymatic pre-treatments on the methane yield from the anaerobic digestion of switchgrass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frigon, Jean-Claude; Mehta, Punita; Guiot, Serge R.

    2012-01-01

    The conversion of cellulosic crops into biofuels, including methane, is receiving a lot of attention lately. Panicum vergatum, or switchgrass, is a warm season perennial grass well adapted to grow in North America. Different pre-treatments were tested in 0.5 l batch reactors, at 35 °C, in order to enhance the methane production from switchgrass, including temperature, sonication, alkalinization and autoclaving. The methane production on the basis of volatile solids (VS) added to the fermentation were 112.4 ± 8.4, 132.5 ± 9.7 and 139.8 ml g −1 after 38 days of incubation for winter harvested switchgrass (WHS) after grinding, grinding with alkalinization, and grinding with alkalinization and autoclaving, respectively. The methane production was higher for fresh summer harvested switchgrass (SHS), with a production of 256.6 ± 8.2 ml g −1 VS after mulching, alkalinization and autoclaving. The methane production from SHS was improved by 29 and 42% when applying lignin (LiP) or manganese peroxidase (MnP), at 202.1 ± 9.8 and 222.9 ± 22.5 ml g −1 VS, respectively. The combination of an alkali pre-treatment with the MnP increased the methane production furthermore at 297.7 ml g −1 VS. The use of pectinases without chemical pre-treatment showed promising yields at 287.4 and 239.5 ml g −1 VS for pectate-lyase and poly-galacturonase, respectively. An estimation of the methane yield per hectare of crop harvested resulted in net energy production of 29.8, 49.7 and 78.1 GJ for winter harvested switchgrass, mulched and pretreated summer harvested switchgrass, respectively. Switchgrass represents an interesting candidate as a lignocellulosic crop for methane production. -- Highlights: ► Switchgrass is a model energy crops for biofuels production. ► This study evaluated different pre-treatments to enhance methane production. ► Pre-treatments increase significantly the methane produced from switchgrass. ► Enzymatic pre-treatments were superior to physical and

  7. Utility of remote sensing-based surface energy balance models to track water stress in rain-fed switchgrass under dry and wet conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    The ability of remote sensing-based surface energy balance (SEB) models to track water stress in rain-fed switchgrass has not been explored yet. In this paper, the theoretical framework of crop water stress index (CWSI) was utilized to estimate CWSI in rain-fed switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) usin...

  8. Historical Perspective on How and Why Switchgrass was Selected as a "Model" High-Potential Energy Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, Lynn L [ORNL

    2007-11-01

    A review of several publications of the Biofuels Feedstock Development Program, and final reports from the herbaceous crop screening trials suggests that there were several technical and non-technical factors that influenced the decision to focus on one herbaceous "model" crop species. The screening trials funded by the U.S. Department of Energy in the late 1980's to early 1990's assessed a wide range of about 34 species with trials being conducted on a wide range of soil types in 31 different sites spread over seven states in crop producing regions of the U.S. While several species, including sorghums, reed canarygrass and other crops, were identified as having merit for further development, the majority of institutions involved in the herbaceous species screening studies identified switchgrass as having high priority for further development. Six of the seven institutions included switchgrass among the species recommended for further development in their region and all institutions recommended that perennial grasses be given high research priority. Reasons for the selection of switchgrass included the demonstration of relatively high, reliable productivity across a wide geographical range, suitability for marginal quality land, low water and nutrient requirements, and positive environmental attributes. Economic and environmental assessments by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Biofuels Feedstock Development Program staff together with the screening project results, and funding limitations lead to making the decision to further develop only switchgrass as a "model" or "prototype" species in about 1990. This paper describes the conditions under which the herbaceous species were screened, summarizes results from those trials, discusses the various factors which influenced the selection of switchgrass, and provides a brief evaluation of switchgrass with respect to criteria that should be considered when selecting and developing a crop for biofuels and

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barney, Jacob N.; DiTomaso, Joseph M.

    2010-01-01

    Dedicated biofuel crops, while providing economic and other benefits, may adversely impact biodiversity directly via land use conversion, or indirectly via creation of novel invasive species. To mitigate negative impacts bioclimatic envelope models (BEM) can be used to estimate the potential distribution and suitable habitat based on the climate and distribution in the native range. We used CLIMEX to evaluate the regions of North America suitable for agronomic production, as well as regions potentially susceptible to an invasion of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) under both current and future climate scenarios. Model results show that >8.7 million km 2 of North America has suitable to very favorable habitat, most of which occurs east of the Rocky Mountains. The non-native range of western North America is largely unsuitable to switchgrass as a crop or potential weed unless irrigation or permanent water is available. Under both the CGCM2 and HadCM3 climate models and A2 and B2 emissions scenarios, an overall increase in suitable habitat is predicted over the coming century, although the western US remains unsuitable. Our results suggest that much of North America is suitable for switchgrass cultivation, although this is likely to shift north in the coming century. Our results also agree with field collections of switchgrass outside its native range, which indicate that switchgrass is unlikely to establish unless it has access to water throughout the year (e.g., along a stream). Thus, it is the potential invasion of switchgrass into riparian habitats in the West that requires further investigation. (author)

  10. Nitrogen fertilization of switchgrass increases biomass yield and improves net greenhouse gas balance in northern Michigan, U.S.A

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nikiema, Paligwende; Rothstein, David E.; Min, Doo-Hong; Kapp, Christian J.

    2011-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) fertilization can increase bioenergy crop production; however, fertilizer production and application can contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, potentially undermining the GHG benefits of bioenergy crops. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of N fertilization on GHG emissions and biomass production of switchgrass bioenergy crop, in northern Michigan. Nitrogen fertilization treatments included 0 kg ha -1 (control), 56 kg ha -1 (low) and 112 kg ha -1 (high) of N applied as urea. Soil fluxes of CO 2 , N 2 O and CH 4 were measured every two weeks using static chambers. Indirect GHG emissions associated with field activities, manufacturing and transport of fertilizer and pesticides were derived from the literature. Switchgrass aboveground biomass yield was evaluated at the end of the growing season. Nitrogen fertilization contributed little to soil GHG emissions; relative to the control, there were additional global warming potential of 0.7 Mg ha -1 y -1 and 1.5 Mg ha -1 y -1 as CO 2 equivalents (CO 2 eq), calculated using the IPCC values, in the low and high N fertilization treatments, respectively. However, N fertilization greatly stimulated CO 2 uptake by switchgrass, resulting in 1.5- and 2.5-fold increases in biomass yield in the low and high N fertilization treatments, respectively. Nitrogen amendments improved the net GHG benefits by 2.6 Mg ha -1 y -1 and 9.4 Mg ha -1 y -1 as CO 2 eq relative to the control. Results suggest that N fertilization of switchgrass in this region could reduce (15-50%) the land base needed for bioenergy production and decrease pressure on land for food and forage crop production. -- Highlights: → We examine the effects of N fertilization of switchgrass on GHG emissions. → Effects of N fertilization on biomass production of switchgrass bioenergy crop. → N fertilization contributed little to greenhouse gas emissions. → N fertilization greatly stimulated CO 2 uptake by the switchgrass. → N

  11. Targeted mutagenesis in tetraploid switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) using CRISPR/Cas9.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Merrick, Paul; Zhang, Zhengzhi; Ji, Chonghui; Yang, Bing; Fei, Shui-Zhang

    2018-02-01

    The CRISPR/Cas9 system has become a powerful tool for targeted mutagenesis. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a high yielding perennial grass species that has been designated as a model biomass crop by the U.S. Department of Energy. The self-infertility and high ploidy level make it difficult to study gene function or improve germplasm. To overcome these constraints, we explored the feasibility of using CRISPR/Cas9 for targeted mutagenesis in a tetraploid cultivar 'Alamo' switchgrass. We first developed a transient assay by which a non-functional green-fluorescent protein gene containing a 1-bp frameshift insertion in its 5' coding region was successfully mutated by a Cas9/sgRNA complex resulting in its restored function. Agrobacterium-mediated stable transformation of embryogenic calli derived from mature caryopses averaged a 3.0% transformation efficiency targeting the genes of teosinte branched 1(tb1)a and b and phosphoglycerate mutase (PGM). With a single construct containing two sgRNAs targeting different regions of tb1a and tb1b genes, primary transformants (T0) containing CRISPR/Cas9-induced mutations were obtained at frequencies of 95.5% (tb1a) and 11% (tb1b), respectively, with T0 mutants exhibiting increased tiller production. Meanwhile, a mutation frequency of 13.7% was obtained for the PGM gene with a CRISPR/Cas9 construct containing a single sgRNA. Among the PGM T0 mutants, six are heterozygous and one is homozygous for a 1-bp deletion in the target region with no apparent phenotypical alterations. We show that CRISPR/Cas9 system can generate targeted mutagenesis effectively and obtain targeted homozygous mutants in T0 generation in switchgrass, circumventing the need of inbreeding. © 2017 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Effect of Removal of Woody Biomass after Clearcutting and Intercropping Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum with Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda on Rodent Diversity and Populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew M. Marshall

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Plant-based feedstocks have long been considered viable, potential sources for biofuels. However, concerns regarding production effects may outweigh gains like carbon savings. Additional information is needed to understand environmental effects of growing feedstocks, including effects on wildlife communities and populations. We used a randomized and replicated experimental design to examine initial effects of biofuel feedstock treatment options, including removal of woody biomass after clearcutting and intercropping switchgrass (Panicum virgatum, on rodents to 2 years post-treatment in regenerating pine plantations in North Carolina, USA. Rodent community composition did not change with switchgrass production or residual biomass removal treatments. Further, residual biomass removal had no influence on rodent population abundances. However, Peromyscus leucopus was found in the greatest abundance and had the greatest survival in treatments without switchgrass. In contrast, abundance of invasive Mus musculus was greatest in switchgrass treatments. Other native species, such as Sigmodon hispidus, were not influenced by the presence of switchgrass. Our results suggest that planting of switchgrass, but not biomass removal, had species-specific effects on rodents at least 2 years post-planting in an intensively managed southern pine system. Determining ecological mechanisms underlying our observed species associations with switchgrass will be integral for understanding long-term sustainability of biofuels production in southern pine forest.

  13. Bio-remediation of Pb and Cd polluted soils by switchgrass: A case study in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, Kalpana; Sharma, Satyawati; Monti, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    In the present study bioremediation potential of a high biomass yielding grass, Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), along with plant associated microbes (AM fungi and Azospirillum), was tested against lead and cadmium in pot trials. A pot trial was set up in order to evaluate bioremediation efficiency of P. virgatum in association with PAMs (Plant Associated Microbes). Growth parameters and bioremediation potential of endomycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and Azospirillum against different concentrations of Pb and Cd were compared. AM fungi and Azospirillum increased the root length, branches, surface area, and root and shoot biomass. The soil pH was found towards neutral with AMF and Azospirillum inoculations. The bioconcentration factor (BCF) for Pb (12 mg kg(-1)) and Cd (10 mg kg(-1)) were found to be 0.25 and 0.23 respectively and translocation index (Ti) was 17.8 and 16.7 respectively (approx 45% higher than control). The lower values of BCF and Ti, even at highest concentration of Pb and Cd, revealed the capability of switchgrass of accumulating high concentration of Pb and Cd in the roots, while preventing the translocation of Pb and Cd to aerial biomass.

  14. Pyrolysis and Combustion Kinetics of Raw and Carbonized Cottonwood and Switchgrass Agroforests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sammy Sadaka

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Raw biomass is not commonly suitable as feedstock for existing power plants, mainly because of the substantial required infrastructural changes. As a result, most raw feedstock requires pre-treatment to improve its physical and thermal characteristics. Biomass carbonization is one of the pre-treatments that produces charcoal-like feedstock. This paper explores the effects of the carbonization process on the physiochemical characteristics of biomass produced from two cottonwood clones, S7C20 and ST66, and switchgrass (var. Alamo. Additionally, it studies the thermal degradation kinetics of raw and carbonized agroforestry products in nitrogen and air environments. Feedstock samples were carbonized in a batch reactor at 400 °C in an oxygen-free environment for 2 hours. Carbonization decreased biomass bulk density, moisture content, and volatile solids while increasing fixed carbon, ash content, pH, and heating values. The heating value of S7C20, ST66, and switchgrass increased by 58.6%, 60.3%, and 69.7%, respectively. Carbonization increased the activation energy values under the condition of pyrolysis and decreased these values under the condition of combustion. The carbonization process produced a charcoal-like feedstock that may be processed with coal or even replace it.

  15. Integrated energy, environmental and financial analysis of ethanol production from cellulosic switchgrass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Felix, Erika; Tilley, David R.

    2009-01-01

    Ethanol production from cellulosic sources such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) requires the use of natural resources, fossil fuels, electricity, and human-derived goods and services. We used emergy accounting to integrate the ultimate amount of environmental, fossil fuel, and human-derived energy required to produce ethanol from switchgrass. Emergy is the total amount of energy of one form required directly and indirectly to make another form of energy. Forty-four percent of required emergy came from the environment either directly or embodied in purchased goods, 30% came from fossil fuels either directly or embodied in purchased goods, and 25% came from human-derived services indirectly. Ethanol production per petroleum use (emergy/emergy) was 4.0-to-1 under our Baseline Scenario, but dropped to 0.5-to-1 under a scenario that assumed higher input prices, lower conversion efficiencies and less waste recycling. At least 75% of total emergy was from non-renewable sources. Energy 'hidden' in indirect paths such as goods and services was 65% of the total. Cellulosic-ethanol is not a primary fuel source that substitutes for petroleum because its production relies heavily on non-renewable energy and purchased inputs. It is a means for converting natural resources to liquid fuel. (author)

  16. Global Simulation of Bioenergy Crop Productivity: Analytical Framework and Case Study for Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Shujiang [ORNL; Kline, Keith L [ORNL; Nair, S. Surendran [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Nichols, Dr Jeff A [ORNL; Post, Wilfred M [ORNL; Brandt, Craig C [ORNL; Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL; Wei, Yaxing [ORNL; Singh, Nagendra [ORNL

    2013-01-01

    A global energy crop productivity model that provides geospatially explicit quantitative details on biomass potential and factors affecting sustainability would be useful, but does not exist now. This study describes a modeling platform capable of meeting many challenges associated with global-scale agro-ecosystem modeling. We designed an analytical framework for bioenergy crops consisting of six major components: (i) standardized natural resources datasets, (ii) global field-trial data and crop management practices, (iii) simulation units and management scenarios, (iv) model calibration and validation, (v) high-performance computing (HPC) simulation, and (vi) simulation output processing and analysis. The HPC-Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (HPC-EPIC) model simulated a perennial bioenergy crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), estimating feedstock production potentials and effects across the globe. This modeling platform can assess soil C sequestration, net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, nonpoint source pollution (e.g., nutrient and pesticide loss), and energy exchange with the atmosphere. It can be expanded to include additional bioenergy crops (e.g., miscanthus, energy cane, and agave) and food crops under different management scenarios. The platform and switchgrass field-trial dataset are available to support global analysis of biomass feedstock production potential and corresponding metrics of sustainability.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Genome-size Variation in Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum: Flow Cytometry and Cytology Reveal Rampant Aneuploidy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise E. Costich

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Switchgrass ( L., a native perennial dominant of the prairies of North America, has been targeted as a model herbaceous species for biofeedstock development. A flow-cytometric survey of a core set of 11 primarily upland polyploid switchgrass accessions indicated that there was considerable variation in genome size within each accession, particularly at the octoploid (2 = 8 = 72 chromosome ploidy level. Highly variable chromosome counts in mitotic cell preparations indicated that aneuploidy was more common in octoploids (86.3% than tetraploids (23.2%. Furthermore, the incidence of hyper- versus hypoaneuploidy is equivalent in tetraploids. This is clearly not the case in octoploids, where close to 90% of the aneuploid counts are lower than the euploid number. Cytogenetic investigation using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH revealed an unexpected degree of variation in chromosome structure underlying the apparent genomic instability of this species. These results indicate that rapid advances in the breeding of polyploid biofuel feedstocks, based on the molecular-genetic dissection of biomass characteristics and yield, will be predicated on the continual improvement of our understanding of the cytogenetics of these species.

  19. Induced Phytoextraction of Lead Through Chemical Manipulation of Switchgrass and Corn; Role of Iron Supplement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Deayne M; Deocampo, Daniel M; El-Mayas, Hanan; Greipsson, Sigurdur

    2015-01-01

    The effects of combined chemical application of benomyl, ethylenedianinetetraacetate (EDTA), and iron (Fe) (foliar and root) on lead (Pb) phytoextraction by switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and corn (Zea mays) was examined. Switchgrass was grown in Pb-contaminated urban topsoil with the following treatments: (C) Control, (B) benomyl, (E) EDTA, (F) foliar-Fe, (BE) benomyl + EDTA, (BF) benomyl + foliar-Fe, (FE) foliar-Fe + EDTA, (BFE) benomyl + foliar-Fe + EDTA. Corn was grown in sand-culture supplemented with Pb (500 mg kg(-1)) with the following treatments: (C) control, (B) benomyl, (E) EDTA, (F) root-Fe, (BE) benomyl + EDTA, (BF) benomyl + root-Fe, (FE) root-iron + EDTA, and, (BFE) benomyl + root-Fe + EDTA. All treatments were replicated three times and pots were arranged in a completely randomized design. Plants were analyzed for element concentration (Fe, Zn, P, and Pb) using either inductively coupled plasma (argon) atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) or graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer. Iron supplementation (foliar and root) affected Pb-translocation in plants. Foliar-Fe treatment increased translocation ratio of Pb (TF-Pb) significantly compared to other treatments with the exception of plants treated with benomyl and BF. Root-Fe treatment in combination with EDTA (FE) increased TF-Pb significantly compared to other treatments. Phytoextraction was improved by the combined chemical application; plants treated with BFE treatment increased Pb-total-phytoextraction by 424% compared to Control plants.

  20. Factors affecting polyhydroxybutyrate accumulation in mesophyll cells of sugarcane and switchgrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Polyhydroxyalkanoates are linear biodegradable polyesters produced by bacteria as a carbon store and used to produce a range of bioplastics. Widespread polyhydroxyalkanoate production in C4 crops would decrease petroleum dependency by producing a renewable supply of biodegradable plastics along with residual biomass that could be converted into biofuels or energy. Increasing yields to commercial levels in biomass crops however remains a challenge. Previously, lower accumulation levels of the short side chain polyhydroxyalkanoate, polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), were observed in the chloroplasts of mesophyll (M) cells compared to bundle sheath (BS) cells in transgenic maize (Zea mays), sugarcane (Saccharum sp.), and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) leading to a significant decrease in the theoretical yield potential. Here we explore various factors which might affect polymer accumulation in mesophyll cells, including targeting of the PHB pathway enzymes to the mesophyll plastid and their access to substrate. Results The small subunit of Rubisco from pea effectively targeted the PHB biosynthesis enzymes to both M and BS chloroplasts of sugarcane and switchgrass. PHB enzyme activity was retained following targeting to M plastids and was equivalent to that found in the BS plastids. Leaf total fatty acid content was not affected by PHB production. However, when fatty acid synthesis was chemically inhibited, polymer accumulated in M cells. Conclusions In this study, we provide evidence that access to substrate and neither poor targeting nor insufficient activity of the PHB biosynthetic enzymes may be the limiting factor for polymer production in mesophyll chloroplasts of C4 plants. PMID:25209261

  1. Evaluation of biogas production potential by dry anaerobic digestion of switchgrass--animal manure mixtures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, H K; Smith, M C; Kondrad, S L; White, J W

    2010-02-01

    Anaerobic digestion is a biological method used to convert organic wastes into a stable product for land application with reduced environmental impacts. The biogas produced can be used as an alternative renewable energy source. Dry anaerobic digestion [>15% total solid (TS)] has an advantage over wet digestion (anaerobic digestion of animal manure-switchgrass mixture was evaluated under dry (15% TS) and thermophilic conditions (55 degrees C). Three different mixtures of animal manure (swine, poultry, and dairy) and switchgrass were digested using batch-operated 1-L reactors. The swine manure test units showed 52.9% volatile solids (VS) removal during the 62-day trial, while dairy and poultry manure test units showed 9.3% and 20.2%, respectively. Over the 62 day digestion, the swine manure test units yielded the highest amount of methane 0.337 L CH4/g VS, while the dairy and poultry manure test units showed very poor methane yield 0.028 L CH4/g VS and 0.002 L CH4/g VS, respectively. Although dairy and poultry manure performed poorly, they may still have high potential as biomass for dry anaerobic digestion if appropriate designs are developed to prevent significant volatile fatty acid (VFA) accumulation and pH drop.

  2. 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.

  3. Inside out: high-efficiency plant regeneration and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of upland and lowland switchgrass cultivars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yan-Rong; Cen, Hui-Fang; Yan, Jian-Ping; Zhang, Yun-Wei; Zhang, Wan-Jun

    2015-07-01

    Selection of pre-embryogenic callus from a core structure from mature seed-derived callus is the key for high-efficiency plant regeneration and transformation of switchgrass different cultivars. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been identified as a dedicated biofuel crop. For its trait improvement through biotechnological approaches, we have developed a highly efficient plant regeneration and genetic transformation protocol for both lowland and upland cultivars. We identified and separated a pre-embryogenic "core" structure from the seed-derived callus, which often leads to development of highly regenerative type II calluses. From the type II callus, plant regeneration rate of lowland cultivars Alamo and Performer reaches 95%, and upland cultivars Blackwell and Dacotah, 50 and 76%, respectively. The type II callus was also amenable for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Transformation efficiency of 72.8% was achieved for lowland cultivar Alamo, and 8.0% for upland cultivar Dacotah. PCR, Southern blot and GUS staining assays were performed to verify the transgenic events. High regenerative callus lines could be established in 3 months, and transgenic plants could be obtained in 2 months after Agrobacterium infection. To our knowledge, this is the first report on successful plant regeneration and recovery of transgenic plants from upland switchgrass cultivars by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The method presented here could be helpful in breaking through the bottleneck of regeneration and transformation of lowland and upland switchgrass cultivars and probably other recalcitrant grass crops.

  4. Effect of topsoil thickness on soil water infiltration in corn-soybean rotation and switchgrass production systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass and corn are sometimes used as a resource for biofuel production. The effect of production management systems on water infiltration is very critical in claypan landscape to increase production as well as minimize economic and environmental risks. The objective of this study was to evalua...

  5. Economic potential for switchgrass production in the U.S. Northern Plains: A minimum-data analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    There is a demand for timely information to support policy decision making. There is also interest in the potential for alternative crops such as switchgrass to be used for ethanol production and which would have a positive impact on net greenhouse gas emission. This paper uses a new minimum-data mo...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Genome-Wide Identification, Phylogeny, and Expression Analysis of ARF Genes Involved in Vegetative Organs Development in Switchgrass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianli Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Auxin response factors (ARFs have been reported to play vital roles during plant growth and development. In order to reveal specific functions related to vegetative organs in grasses, an in-depth study of the ARF gene family was carried out in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L., a warm-season C4 perennial grass that is mostly used as bioenergy and animal feedstock. A total of 47 putative ARF genes (PvARFs were identified in the switchgrass genome (2n = 4x = 36, 42 of which were anchored to the seven pairs of chromosomes and found to be unevenly distributed. Sixteen PvARFs were predicted to be potential targets of small RNAs (microRNA160 and 167. Phylogenetically speaking, PvARFs were divided into seven distinct subgroups based on the phylogeny, exon/intron arrangement, and conserved motif distribution. Moreover, 15 pairs of PvARFs have different temporal-spatial expression profiles in vegetative organs (2nd, 3rd, and 4th internode and leaves, which implies that different PvARFs have specific functions in switchgrass growth and development. In addition, at least 14 pairs of PvARFs respond to naphthylacetic acid (NAA treatment, which might be helpful for us to study on auxin response in switchgrass. The comprehensive analysis, described here, will facilitate the future functional analysis of ARF genes in grasses.

  8. Toxicity of coal fly ash (CFA) and toxicological response of switchgrass in mycorrhiza-mediated CFA-soil admixtures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awoyemi, Olushola M; Dzantor, E Kudjo

    2017-10-01

    Increasing support for the use of Coal fly ash (CFA) in agriculture has necessitated a better understanding of the effects of the CFA in various cropping schemes. Experiments were conducted to assess mutagenic response of a mutant strain of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (TA100) to varying concentrations of CFA-water extracts, determine oxidative stress in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) at varying levels of CFA-soil admixtures, and evaluate mycorrhiza-mediated modulation of oxidative stress responses of CFA-grown switchgrass. The TA100 exposed to 0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% (w/v) CFA-water extracts elicited significant (p CFA-soil admixtures at 7.5% and 15% (w/w) significantly (p CFA/soil). Under the same conditions, activities of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) decreased by 75.9% and 66.9%. In contrast to the antioxidant enzyme activities, levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) an indicator of lipid peroxidation increased significantly (p CFA-soil admixtures with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), Rhizophaga clarus enhanced the activities of both SOD and GPx in the switchgrass, while it significantly (p CFA (at concentrations considered to be non-mutagenic against TA100) as soil amendment produced concentration-dependent oxidative stress responses in switchgrass; however, inoculation of the CFA-soil admixtures with AMF significantly modulated the oxidative stress responses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Genetic variation, population structure and linkage disequilibrium in Switchgrass with ISSR, SCoT and EST-SSR markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu; Yan, Haidong; Jiang, Xiaomei; Wang, Xiaoli; Huang, Linkai; Xu, Bin; Zhang, Xinquan; Zhang, Lexin

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate genetic variation, population structure, and the extent of linkage disequilibrium (LD), 134 switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum L.) samples were analyzed with 51 markers, including 16 ISSRs, 20 SCoTs, and 15 EST-SSRs. In this study, a high level of genetic variation was observed in the switchgrass samples and they had an average Nei's gene diversity index (H) of 0.311. A total of 793 bands were obtained, of which 708 (89.28 %) were polymorphic. Using a parameter marker index (MI), the efficiency of the three types of markers (ISSR, SCoT, and EST-SSR) in the study were compared and we found that SCoT had a higher marker efficiency than the other two markers. The 134 switchgrass samples could be divided into two sub-populations based on STRUCTURE, UPGMA clustering, and principal coordinate analyses (PCA), and upland and lowland ecotypes could be separated by UPGMA clustering and PCA analyses. Linkage disequilibrium analysis revealed an average r 2 of 0.035 across all 51 markers, indicating a trend of higher LD in sub-population 2 than that in sub-population 1 ( P  < 0.01). The population structure revealed in this study will guide the design of future association studies using these switchgrass samples.

  10. Selection signatures in four lignin genes from switchgrass populations divergently selected for in vitro dry matter digestibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass is undergoing development as a dedicated cellulosic bioenergy crop. Fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol in a bioenergy system, or to volatile fatty acids in a livestock production system, is strongly and negatively influenced by lignification of cell walls. This study dete...

  11. Comparative relationships and chromosome evolution in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and its genomic model, foxtail millet (Setaria italica)

    Science.gov (United States)

    A switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) consensus map was developed that combined data from two mapping populations and integrated recombination data from both parents of this largely obligate outcrossing species. The consensus map consisted of 1,321 loci and spanned 2,122 cM. An analysis of the distri...

  12. Effect of alfalfa (medicago sativa) on fermentation profile and nutritive value of switchgrass (panicum virgatum) and bermudagrass (cynodon dactylon) silages

    Science.gov (United States)

    An experiment was conducted at the University of Kentucky Spindletop Farm in Lexington, Kentucky between October and November, 2009 to evaluate the effect of different percentages of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) as mixtures in switchgrass (Panicum virgatus) and bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) silages. ...

  13. Greenhouse gas fluxes and root productivity in a switchgrass and loblolly pine intercropping system for bioenergy production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paliza Shrestha; John R. Seiler; Brian D. Strahm; Eric B. Sucre; Zakiya H. Leggett

    2015-01-01

    This study is part of a larger collaborative effort to determine the overall environmental sustainability of intercropping pine (Pinus taeda L.) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), both of which are promising feedstock for bioenergy production in the Lower Coastal Plain in North Carolina.

  14. Direct measures of mechanical energy for knife mill size reduction of switchgrass, wheat straw, and corn stover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitra, Venkata S P; Womac, Alvin R; Igathinathane, C; Miu, Petre I; Yang, Yuechuan T; Smith, David R; Chevanan, Nehru; Sokhansanj, Shahab

    2009-12-01

    Lengthy straw/stalk of biomass may not be directly fed into grinders such as hammer mills and disc refiners. Hence, biomass needs to be preprocessed using coarse grinders like a knife mill to allow for efficient feeding in refiner mills without bridging and choking. Size reduction mechanical energy was directly measured for switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), wheat straw (Triticum aestivum L.), and corn stover (Zea mays L.) in an instrumented knife mill. Direct power inputs were determined for different knife mill screen openings from 12.7 to 50.8 mm, rotor speeds between 250 and 500 rpm, and mass feed rates from 1 to 11 kg/min. Overall accuracy of power measurement was calculated to be +/-0.003 kW. Total specific energy (kWh/Mg) was defined as size reduction energy to operate mill with biomass. Effective specific energy was defined as the energy that can be assumed to reach the biomass. The difference is parasitic or no-load energy of mill. Total specific energy for switchgrass, wheat straw, and corn stover chopping increased with knife mill speed, whereas, effective specific energy decreased marginally for switchgrass and increased for wheat straw and corn stover. Total and effective specific energy decreased with an increase in screen size for all the crops studied. Total specific energy decreased with increase in mass feed rate, but effective specific energy increased for switchgrass and wheat straw, and decreased for corn stover at increased feed rate. For knife mill screen size of 25.4 mm and optimum speed of 250 rpm, optimum feed rates were 7.6, 5.8, and 4.5 kg/min for switchgrass, wheat straw, and corn stover, respectively, and the corresponding total specific energies were 7.57, 10.53, and 8.87 kWh/Mg and effective specific energies were 1.27, 1.50, and 0.24 kWh/Mg for switchgrass, wheat straw, and corn stover, respectively. Energy utilization ratios were calculated as 16.8%, 14.3%, and 2.8% for switchgrass, wheat straw, and corn stover, respectively. These

  15. Identification and overexpression of a Knotted1-like transcription factor in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. for lignocellulosic feedstock improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wegi eWuddineh

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available High biomass production and wide adaptation has made switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. an important candidate lignocellulosic bioenergy crop. One major limitation of this and other lignocellulosic feedstocks is the recalcitrance of complex carbohydrates to hydrolysis for conversion to biofuels. Lignin is the major contributor to recalcitrance as it limits the accessibility of cell wall carbohydrates to enzymatic breakdown into fermentable sugars. Therefore, genetic manipulation of the lignin biosynthesis pathway is one strategy to reduce recalcitrance. Here, we identified a switchgrass Knotted1 transcription factor, PvKN1, with the aim of genetically engineering switchgrass for reduced biomass recalcitrance for biofuel production. Gene expression of the endogenous PvKN1 gene was observed to be highest in young inflorescences and stems. Ectopic overexpression of PvKN1 in switchgrass altered growth, especially in early developmental stages. Transgenic lines had reduced expression of most lignin biosynthetic genes accompanied by a reduction in lignin content suggesting the involvement of PvKN1 in the broad regulation of the lignin biosynthesis pathway. Moreover, the reduced expression of the Gibberellin 20-oxidase (GA20ox gene in tandem with the increased expression of Gibberellin 2-oxidase (GA2ox genes in transgenic PvKN1 lines suggest that PvKN1 may exert regulatory effects via modulation of GA signalling. Furthermore, overexpression of PvKN1 altered the expression of cellulose and hemicellulose biosynthetic genes and increased sugar release efficiency in transgenic lines. Our results demonstrated that switchgrass PvKN1 is a putative ortholog of maize KN1 that is linked to plant lignification and cell wall and development traits as a major regulatory gene. Therefore, targeted overexpression of PvKN1 in bioenergy feedstocks may provide one feasible strategy for reducing biomass recalcitrance and simultaneously improving plant growth characteristics.

  16. Functional Characterization of NAC and MYB Transcription Factors Involved in Regulation of Biomass Production in Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruiqin Zhong

    Full Text Available Switchgrass is a promising biofuel feedstock due to its high biomass production and low agronomic input requirements. Because the bulk of switchgrass biomass used for biofuel production is lignocellulosic secondary walls, studies on secondary wall biosynthesis and its transcriptional regulation are imperative for designing strategies for genetic improvement of biomass production in switchgrass. Here, we report the identification and functional characterization of a group of switchgrass transcription factors, including several NACs (PvSWNs and a MYB (PvMYB46A, for their involvement in regulating secondary wall biosynthesis. PvSWNs and PvMYB46A were found to be highly expressed in stems and their expression was closely associated with sclerenchyma cells. Overexpression of PvSWNs and PvMYB46A in Arabidopsis was shown to result in activation of the biosynthetic genes for cellulose, xylan and lignin and ectopic deposition of secondary walls in normally parenchymatous cells. Transactivation and complementation studies demonstrated that PvSWNs were able to activate the SNBE-driven GUS reporter gene and effectively rescue the secondary wall defects in the Arabidopsis snd1 nst1 double mutant, indicating that they are functional orthologs of Arabidopsis SWNs. Furthermore, we showed that PvMYB46A could activate the SMRE-driven GUS reporter gene and complement the Arabidopsis myb46 myb83 double mutant, suggesting that it is a functional ortholog of Arabidopsis MYB46/MYB83. Together, these results indicate that PvSWNs and PvMYB46A are transcriptional switches involved in regulating secondary wall biosynthesis, which provides molecular tools for genetic manipulation of biomass production in switchgrass.

  17. Soil respiration, microbial biomass and exoenzyme activity in switchgrass stands under nitrogen fertilization management and climate warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jian, S.; Li, J.; de Koff, J.; Celada, S.; Mayes, M. A.; Wang, G.; Guo, C.

    2016-12-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), as a model bioenergy crop, received nitrogen fertilizers for increasing its biomass yields. Studies rarely investigate the interactive effects of nitrogen fertilization and climate warming on soil microbial activity and carbon cycling in switchgrass cropping systems. Enhanced nitrogen availability under fertilization can alter rates of soil organic matter decomposition and soil carbon emissions to the atmosphere and thus have an effect on climate change. Here, we assess soil CO2 emission, microbial biomass and exoenzyme activities in two switchgrass stands with no fertilizer and 60 lbs N / acre. Soils were incubated at 15 ºC and 20 ºC for 180-day. Dry switchgrass plant materials were added to incubation jars and the 13C stable isotopic probing technique was used to monitor soil CO2 respiration derived from relatively labile litter and indigenous soil. Measurements of respiration, δ13C of respiration, microbial biomass carbon and exoenzyme activity were performed on days 1, 5, 10, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180. Soil respiration rate was greater in the samples incubated at 20 ºC as compared to those incubated at 15 ºC. Exoenzyme activities were significantly altered by warming, litter addition and nitrogen fertilization. There was a significant interactive effect of nitrogen fertilization and warming on the proportion of CO2 respired from soils such that nitrogen fertilization enhanced warming-induced increase by 12.0% (Pmineralization. Fertilization increased soil microbial biomass carbon at both temperatures (9.0% at 15 ºC and 14.5% at 20 ºC). Our preliminary analysis suggested that warming effects on enhanced soil respiration can be further increased with elevated fertilizer input via greater microbial biomass and exoenzyme activity. In addition to greater biomass yield under N fertilization, this study informs potential soil carbon loss from stimulated soil respiration under nitrogen fertilization and warming in

  18. Anaerobic decomposition of switchgrass by tropical soil-derived feedstock-adapted consortia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Kristen M; Fortney, Julian L; Borglin, Sharon; Silver, Whendee L; Simmons, Blake A; Hazen, Terry C

    2012-01-01

    Tropical forest soils decompose litter rapidly with frequent episodes of anoxic conditions, making it likely that bacteria using alternate terminal electron acceptors (TEAs) play a large role in decomposition. This makes these soils useful templates for improving biofuel production. To investigate how TEAs affect decomposition, we cultivated feedstock-adapted consortia (FACs) derived from two tropical forest soils collected from the ends of a rainfall gradient: organic matter-rich tropical cloud forest (CF) soils, which experience sustained low redox, and iron-rich tropical rain forest (RF) soils, which experience rapidly fluctuating redox. Communities were anaerobically passed through three transfers of 10 weeks each with switchgrass as a sole carbon (C) source; FACs were then amended with nitrate, sulfate, or iron oxide. C mineralization and cellulase activities were higher in CF-FACs than in RF-FACs. Pyrosequencing of the small-subunit rRNA revealed members of the Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Alphaproteobacteria as dominant. RF- and CF-FAC communities were not different in microbial diversity or biomass. The RF-FACs, derived from fluctuating redox soils, were the most responsive to the addition of TEAs, while the CF-FACs were overall more efficient and productive, both on a per-gram switchgrass and a per-cell biomass basis. These results suggest that decomposing microbial communities in fluctuating redox environments are adapted to the presence of a diversity of TEAs and ready to take advantage of them. More importantly, these data highlight the role of local environmental conditions in shaping microbial community function that may be separate from phylogenetic structure. After multiple transfers, we established microbial consortia derived from two tropical forest soils with different native redox conditions. Communities derived from the rapidly fluctuating redox environment maintained a capacity to use added terminal electron acceptors (TEAs) after multiple

  19. Process and technoeconomic analysis of leading pretreatment technologies for lignocellulosic ethanol production using switchgrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Ling; Aden, Andy; Elander, Richard T; Pallapolu, Venkata Ramesh; Lee, Y Y; Garlock, Rebecca J; Balan, Venkatesh; Dale, Bruce E; Kim, Youngmi; Mosier, Nathan S; Ladisch, Michael R; Falls, Matthew; Holtzapple, Mark T; Sierra, Rocio; Shi, Jian; Ebrik, Mirvat A; Redmond, Tim; Yang, Bin; Wyman, Charles E; Hames, Bonnie; Thomas, Steve; Warner, Ryan E

    2011-12-01

    Six biomass pretreatment processes to convert switchgrass to fermentable sugars and ultimately to cellulosic ethanol are compared on a consistent basis in this technoeconomic analysis. The six pretreatment processes are ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX), dilute acid (DA), lime, liquid hot water (LHW), soaking in aqueous ammonia (SAA), and sulfur dioxide-impregnated steam explosion (SO(2)). Each pretreatment process is modeled in the framework of an existing biochemical design model so that systematic variations of process-related changes are consistently captured. The pretreatment area process design and simulation are based on the research data generated within the Biomass Refining Consortium for Applied Fundamentals and Innovation (CAFI) 3 project. Overall ethanol production, total capital investment, and minimum ethanol selling price (MESP) are reported along with selected sensitivity analysis. The results show limited differentiation between the projected economic performances of the pretreatment options, except for processes that exhibit significantly lower monomer sugar and resulting ethanol yields. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Diurnal Patterns of Heterotrophic and Autotrophic Soil Respiration in Maize and Switchgrass Bioenergy Cropping Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Haden, A.; Marin-Spiotta, E.; Jackson, R. D.; Kucharik, C. J.

    2016-12-01

    A high proportion of carbon lost from terrestrial ecosystems occurs via soil CO2 respiration. Soil respiration is comprised of two contrasting sources: heterotrophic respiration (RH) from the decomposition of organic matter and autotrophic respiration (RA) from plant root metabolism. Since the two sources of soil respiration vary widely in their origin, the controls of each source are also likely to differ. However, the challenge of partitioning soil respiration sources in situ has limited our mechanistic understanding of RH and RA. Our objective was to evaluate the in situ diurnal controls of RH and RA in maize (Zea mays L.) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) bioenergy cropping systems. We hypothesized that both RH and RA would follow diurnal soil temperature trends, but that RA would also respond to diel patterns of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). We also expected that diurnal soil respiration patterns would vary significantly within the growing season. We evaluated our hypothesis with six diurnal soil respiration campaigns during the 2015 and 2016 growing seasons at Arlington, WI, USA. RH showed clear oscillating diel trends, typically peaking in the mid-afternoon when near-surface soil temperatures were highest. Diurnal RA patterns were more nuanced than RH, but were generally highest in the late afternoon and showed the most pronounced diel trends during peak growing season in July. RA also tended to spike in concert with PAR, but this effect was much more prominent in maize than switchgrass. Continuing efforts will attempt to quantitatively separate the effects of soil temperature and PAR on RA.

  1. Comparative Genomics in Switchgrass Using 61,585 High-Quality Expressed Sequence Tags

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian M. Tobias

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available The development of genomic resources for switchgrass ( L., a perennial NAD-malic enzyme type C grass, is required to enable molecular breeding and biotechnological approaches for improving its value as a forage and bioenergy crop. Expressed sequence tag (EST sequencing is one method that can quickly sample gene inventories and produce data suitable for marker development or analysis of tissue-specific patterns of expression. Toward this goal, three cDNA libraries from callus, crown, and seedling tissues of ‘Kanlow’ switchgrass were end-sequenced to generate a total of 61,585 high-quality ESTs from 36,565 separate clones. Seventy-three percent of the assembled consensus sequences could be aligned with the sorghum [ (L. Moench] genome at a -value of <1 × 10, indicating a high degree of similarity. Sixty-five percent of the ESTs matched with gene ontology molecular terms, and 3.3% of the sequences were matched with genes that play potential roles in cell-wall biogenesis. The representation in the three libraries of gene families known to be associated with C photosynthesis, cellulose and β-glucan synthesis, phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, and peroxidase activity indicated likely roles for individual family members. Pairwise comparisons of synonymous codon substitutions were used to assess genome sequence diversity and indicated an overall similarity between the two genome copies present in the tetraploid. Identification of EST–simple sequence repeat markers and amplification on two individual parents of a mapping population yielded an average of 2.18 amplicons per individual, and 35% of the markers produced fragment length polymorphisms.

  2. The Hunt for Green Every April: Factors Affecting Fitness in Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sarath, Gautam [US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), Lincoln, NE (United States). Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Wheat, Sorghum and Forage Research

    2014-12-10

    This grant funded work was undertaken to develop fundamental biological knowledge of the factors affecting the complex plant trait “fitness” in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a plant being developed as a biomass crop. Using a diverse range of latitudinally-adapted switchgrass plants, genomic, molecular and physiological studies were performed to track a number of different aspects of plant genetics and physiology over the course of the growing season. Work was performed on both genetically unrelated and genetically related plants. Plants were established in the field from seedlings raised in a greenhouse, or from clones present in other field nurseries. Field grown plants were used as the source of all tissues. The three objectives of this proposal were:(1) Transcript Profiling, Metabolomics, and C and N Partitioning and Recycling in Crowns and Rhizomes of Switchgrass over two growing seasons; (2) Gene Profiling During Regreening and Dormancy of Bulked Segregants; (3) Extent of Linkage Disequilibrium in Populations for Adaptation and Fitness Traits Being Developed for Central and Northern USA, that Show Significant Heterosis. Objective 1 results: Plants were labeled using 13CO2 (a stable isotope) using an acrylic chamber constructed specifically for this purpose. Plants became labeled with 13C and label decayed in aerial tissues over the course of the growing season. Varying amounts of 13C were recovered in the rhizomes. These data are being analyzed. Plants were also labeled with 15N-urea. Plants absorbed significant amounts of label that was remobilized to the growing shoots. N-dynamics would suggest that a portion of the 15N absorbed into the crowns and rhizomes is sequestered below ground. Variable amounts of 15N were translocated from the shoots to the roots over the course of the growing season. Polar metabolites extracted from a diverse array of rhizomes were analyzed using GCMS. Data

  3. Runoff, sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus losses from agricultural land converted to sweetgum and switchgrass bioenergy feedstock production in north Alabama

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nyakatawa, E.Z.; Mays, D.A. [Alabama A and M University, Normal (United States). Department of Plant and Soil Science; Tolbert, V.R. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Bionergy Feedstock Development Project; Green, T.H.; Bingham, L. [Alabama A and M University, Normal (United States). Center for Forestry and Ecology

    2006-07-15

    Renewable energy sources such as bioenergy crops have significant potential as alternatives to fossil fuels. Potential environmental problems arising from soil sediment and nutrient losses in runoff water from bioenergy crops need to be evaluated in order to determine the sustainability and overall feasibility of implementing bioenergy development strategies. This paper discusses runoff, sediment, N, and total P losses from agricultural land (continuous cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)) converted to short-rotation sweetgum (Liquidamber styraciflua L.) plantations with and without fescue (Festuca elatior L.) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) bioenergy crops, compared to corn (Zea mays L.), on a Decatur silt loam soil in north Alabama, from 1995 to 1999. Runoff volume was significantly correlated to total rainfall and sediment yield in each year, but treatment differences were not significant. Sweetgum plots produced the highest mean sediment yield of up to 800kgha{sup -1}compared to corn and switchgrass plots, which averaged less than 200kgha{sup -1}. Runoff NH{sub 4}{sup +} N losses averaged over treatments and years for spring season (3.1kgha{sup -1}) were three to five times those for summer, fall, and winter seasons. Runoff NO{sub 3}{sup -} N for no-till corn and switchgrass plots in spring and summer were five to ten times that for sweetgum plots. No-till corn and switchgrass treatments had 2.4 and 2.1kgha{sup -1} average runoff total P, respectively, which were two to three times that for sweetgum treatments. Growing sweetgum with a fescue cover crop provides significantly lower risk of water pollution from sediment, runoff NH{sub 4}{sup +} N, and NO{sub 3}{sup -} N. (author)

  4. Non-targeted Colonization by the Endomycorrhizal Fungus, Serendipita vermifera, in Three Weeds Typically Co-occurring with Switchgrass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prasun Ray

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Serendipita vermifera (=Sebacina vermifera; isolate MAFF305830 is a mycorrhizal fungus originally isolated from the roots of an Australian orchid that we have previously shown to be beneficial in enhancing biomass yield and drought tolerance in switchgrass, an important bioenergy crop for cellulosic ethanol production in the United States. However, almost nothing is known about how this root-associated fungus proliferates and grows through the soil matrix. Such information is critical to evaluate the possibility of non-target effects, such as unintended spread to weedy plants growing near a colonized switchgrass plant in a field environment. A microcosm experiment was conducted to study movement of vegetative mycelia of S. vermifera between intentionally inoculated switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. and nearby weeds. We constructed size-exclusion microcosms to test three different common weeds, large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis L., Texas panicum (Panicum texanum L., and Broadleaf signalgrass (Brachiaria platyphylla L., all species that typically co-occur in Southern Oklahoma and potentially compete with switchgrass. We report that such colonization of non-target plants by S. vermifera can indeed occur, seemingly via co-mingled root systems. As a consequence of colonization, significant enhancement of growth was noted in signalgrass, while a mild increase (albeit not significant was evident in crabgrass. Migration of the fungus seems unlikely in root-free bulk soil, as we failed to see transmission when the roots were kept separate. This research is the first documentation of non-targeted colonization of this unique root symbiotic fungus and highlights the need for such assessments prior to deployment of biological organisms in the field.

  5. Soil and variety effects on energy use and carbon emissions associated with switchgrass-based ethanol production in Mississippi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woli, Prem; Paz, Joel O.; Baldwin, Brian S.; Lang, David J.; Kiniry, James R.

    2012-06-29

    High biomass production potential, wide adaptability, low input requirement, and low environmental risk make switchgrass an economically and ecologically viable energy crop.The inherent variablity in switchgrass productivity due to variations in soil and variety could affect the sustainability and eco-friendliness of switchgrass-based ethanol production. This study examined the soil and variety effects on these variables. Three locations in Mississippi were selected based on latitude and potential acreage. Using ALMANAC, switchgrass biomass yields were simulated for several scenarios of soils and varities. The simulated yields were fed to IBSAL to compute energy use and CO2 emissions in various operations in the biomass supply From the energy and emissions values, the sustainability and eco-friendliness of ethanol production were determined using net energy value (NEV) and carbon credit balance (CCB) as indicators, respectively. Soil and variety effects on NEV and CCB were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test. Results showed significant differences in NEV and CCB across soils and varieties. Both NEV and CCB increased in the direction of heavier to lighter soils and on the order of north-upland , south-upland, north-lowland, and south-lowland varieties. Only north-upland and south-lowland varieties were significantly significantly different because they were different in both cytotype and ecotype. Gaps between lowland and upland varieties were smaller in a dry year than in a wet year. The NEV and CCB increased in the direction of dry to wet year. From south to north, they decreased for lowland cytotypes but increased for upland cytotypes. Thus, the differences among varieties decreased northwards.

  6. Effects of nitrogen fertilization on biomass yield and quality in large fields of established switchgrass in southern Iowa, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lemus, Roque [Department of Agricultural Sciences, Texas A and M University, Commerce, TX 75429 (United States); Charles Brummer, E. [Center for Applied Genetic Technologies, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (United States); Lee Burras, C.; Moore, Kenneth J.; Barker, Michael F. [Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 (United States); Molstad, Neil E. [USDA-NRCS Hawaii Resource Office, 101 Aupuni Street Suite 229, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States)

    2008-12-15

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a potential biofuel crop in the midwestern United States. The objective of this experiment was to test the effect of nitrogen application on biomass dry matter yield and fiber and mineral concentrations in large field plots in Lucas and Wayne counties in southern Iowa. Two established switchgrass fields with a previous history of limited management were evaluated from 1998 through 2002. Nitrogen was applied in the spring at rates of 0, 56, 112, and 224 kg N ha{sup -1}, and a single biomass harvest was made in autumn. Biomass production averaged across locations and N levels increased by 3.6 mg ha{sup -1} between 1998 and 2002 to 6.5 mg ha{sup -1}. Nitrogen improved yields, with the response declining as N levels increased. The highest yield throughout the experiment was 8.5 mg ha{sup -1} at the Lucas location in 2002. Changes in fiber and mineral concentrations did not follow any trend over years but were likely due to differences in harvest date among years. Nitrogen fertilization had no meaningful effect on the quality of the biofuel produced. This study clearly shows that nitrogen application and proper agronomic management can substantially increase the yield of established switchgrass fields over time without affecting the quality of the feedstock. As this experiment was conducted in large plots using commercial farm machinery, the results should be broadly applicable to real world situations. (author)

  7. Effect of acid, steam explosion, and size reduction pretreatments on bio-oil production from sweetgum, switchgrass, and corn stover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hui; Srinivasan, Radhakrishnan; Yu, Fei; Steele, Philip; Li, Qi; Mitchell, Brian; Samala, Aditya

    2012-05-01

    Bio-oil produced from biomass by fast pyrolysis has the potential to be a valuable substitute for fossil fuels. In a recent work on pinewood, we found that pretreatment alters the structure and chemical composition of biomass, which influence fast pyrolysis. In this study, we evaluated dilute acid, steam explosion, and size reduction pretreatments on sweetgum, switchgrass, and corn stover feedstocks. Bio-oils were produced from untreated and pretreated feedstocks in an auger reactor at 450 °C. The bio-oil's physical properties of pH, water content, acid value, density, and viscosity were measured. The chemical characteristics of the bio-oils were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The results showed that bio-oil yield and composition were influenced by the pretreatment method and feedstock type. Bio-oil yields of 52, 33, and 35 wt% were obtained from medium-sized (0.68-1.532 mm) untreated sweetgum, switchgrass, and corn stover, respectively, which were higher than the yields from other sizes. Bio-oil yields of 56, 46, and 51 wt% were obtained from 1% H(2)SO(4)-treated medium-sized sweetgum, switchgrass, and corn stover, respectively, which were higher than the yields from untreated and steam explosion treatments.

  8. Model optimization of cadmium and accumulation in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.): potential use for ecological phytoremediation in Cd-contaminated soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Quanzhen; Gu, Muyu; Ma, Xiaomin; Zhang, Hongjuan; Wang, Yafang; Cui, Jian; Gao, Wei; Gui, Jing

    2015-11-01

    Soil pollution with heavy metals is an increasingly serious threat to the environment, food security, and human health. Therefore, it is urgent to develop economic and highly efficient soil restoration technology for environmental improvement; phytoremediation is an option that is safe, has low cost, and is environmentally friendly. However, in selecting hyperaccumulators or tolerant plants, theories and operation technologies for optimal restoration should be satisfied. In this study, the switchgrass growth response and performance of phytoextraction under the coupling effect of Cd and pH were investigated by evaluating seed germination, seedling growth, and the Cd content in the plant to evaluate the potential use of switchgrass as a phytoremediation plant in cadmium contaminated soil. This study conducted three sets of independent experiments with five levels of Cd concentrations, including two orthogonal matrix designs of combining Cd with pH values. The results showed that switchgrass was germinated well under all treatments (Cd concentration of 0-500 μM), but the seedling growth was significantly affected by Cd and pH, as shown by multivariate regression analyses. Hormesis was found during the growth of switchgrass plants exposed to low Cd concentrations under hydroponic conditions, and switchgrass plants were capable of developing with a Cd concentration of 100-175 μM and pH of 4.1-5.9. Mild acidic conditions can enhance the ability of Cd to accumulate in switchgrass. Switchgrass was moderately tolerant to Cd and may be used as a phytoremediation plant for Cd-contaminated soils in the future. Our results also suggest that hormetic effects should be taken into consideration in the phytoremediation of Cd-contaminated soils. We discuss the physiological and biochemical mechanisms contributing to the effective application of the plant for the phytoremediation of Cd-contaminated soils.

  9. Deciphering Natural Allelic Variation in Switchgrass for Biomass Yield and Quality Using a Nested Association Mapping Population

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saha, Malay C. [The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc., Ardmore, OK (United States). Forage Improvement Division (FID); Brummer, E. Charles [The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc., Ardmore, OK (United States); Kaeppler, Shawn [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Bhandari, Hem S. [Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)

    2016-10-28

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a C4 grass with high biomass yield potential and a model species for bioenergy feedstock development. Understanding the genetic basis of quantitative traits is essential to facilitate genome-enabled breeding programs. The nested association mapping (NAM) analysis combines the best features of both bi-parental and association analyses and can provide high power and high resolution in QTL detection and will ensure significant improvements in biomass yield and quality. To develop a NAM population of switchgrass, 15 highly diverse genotypes with specific characteristics were selected from a diversity panel and crossed to a recurrent parent, AP13, a genotype selected for whole genome sequencing and parent of a mapping population. Ten genotypes from each of the 15 F1 families were then chain crossed. Progenies form each family were randomly selected to develop the NAM population. The switchgrass NAM population consists of a total of 2000 genotypes from 15 families. All the progenies, founder parents, F1 parents (n=2350) were evaluated in replicated field trials at Ardmore, OK and Knoxville, TN. Phenotypic data on plant height, tillering ability, regrowth, flowering time, and biomass yield were collected. Dried biomass samples were also analyzed using prediction equations of NIRS at the Noble Foundation and for lignin content, S/G ratio, and sugar release characteristics at the NREL. Genomic shotgun sequencing of 15 switchgrass NAM founder parental genomes at JGI produced 28-66 Gb high-quality sequence data. Alignment of these sequences with the reference genome, AP13 (v3.0), revealed that up to 99% of the genomic sequences mapped to the reference genome. A total of 2,149 individuals from NAM populations were sequenced by exome capture and two sets of 15 SNP matrices (one for each family) were generated. QTL associated with important traits have been identified and verified in breeding populations. The QTL detected and their associated

  10. Genetic Improvement of Switchgrass and Other Herbaceous Plants for Use as Biomass Fuel Feedstock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vogel, K.P.

    2001-01-11

    It should be highly feasible to genetically modify the feedstock quality of switchgrass and other herbaceous plants using both conventional and molecular breeding techniques. Effectiveness of breeding to modify herbages of switchgrass and other perennial and annual herbaceous species has already been demonstrated. The use of molecular markers and transformation technology will greatly enhance the capability of breeders to modify the plant structure and cell walls of herbaceous plants. It will be necessary to monitor gene flow to remnant wild populations of plants and have strategies available to curtail gene flow if it becomes a potential problem. It also will be necessary to monitor plant survival and long-term productivity as affected by genetic changes that improve forage quality. Information on the conversion processes that will be used and the biomass characteristics that affect conversion efficiency and rate is absolutely essential as well as information on the relative economic value of specific traits. Because most forage or biomass quality characteristics are highly affected by plant maturity, it is suggested that plant material of specific maturity stages be used in research to determining desirable feedstock quality characteristics. Plant material could be collected at various stages of development from an array of environments and storage conditions that could be used in conversion research. The same plant material could be used to develop NIRS calibrations that could be used by breeders in their selection programs and also to develop criteria for a feedstock quality assessment program. Breeding for improved feedstock quality will likely affect the rate of improvement of biomass production per acre. If the same level of resources are used, multi-trait breeding simply reduces the selection pressure and hence the breeding progress that can be made for a single trait unless all the traits are highly correlated. Since desirable feedstock traits are likely

  11. Survival of Salmonella, Escherichia coli 0157:H7, non-0157 shiga toxin producing E.coli, and potential surrogate bacteria in crop soil as affected by the addition of fast pyrolysis-generated switchgrass biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fast pyrolysis of switchgrass (and resultant biochar) can be used for bio-fuel production, soil amendments for fertilizing crops, binding heavy metals, and sequestering environmental biocarbon. To determine the influence of fast pyrolysis-generated switchgrass biochar on survival of foodborne path...

  12. Synthesis of three advanced biofuels from ionic liquid-pretreated switchgrass using engineered Escherichia coli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokinsky, Gregory; Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P.; George, Anthe; Holmes, Bradley M.; Steen, Eric J.; Dietrich, Jeffrey; Soon Lee, Taek; Tullman-Ercek, Danielle; Voigt, Christopher A.; Simmons, Blake A.; Keasling, Jay D.

    2011-01-01

    One approach to reducing the costs of advanced biofuel production from cellulosic biomass is to engineer a single microorganism to both digest plant biomass and produce hydrocarbons that have the properties of petrochemical fuels. Such an organism would require pathways for hydrocarbon production and the capacity to secrete sufficient enzymes to efficiently hydrolyze cellulose and hemicellulose. To demonstrate how one might engineer and coordinate all of the necessary components for a biomass-degrading, hydrocarbon-producing microorganism, we engineered a microorganism naïve to both processes, Escherichia coli, to grow using both the cellulose and hemicellulose fractions of several types of plant biomass pretreated with ionic liquids. Our engineered strains express cellulase, xylanase, beta-glucosidase, and xylobiosidase enzymes under control of native E. coli promoters selected to optimize growth on model cellulosic and hemicellulosic substrates. Furthermore, our strains grow using either the cellulose or hemicellulose components of ionic liquid-pretreated biomass or on both components when combined as a coculture. Both cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic strains were further engineered with three biofuel synthesis pathways to demonstrate the production of fuel substitutes or precursors suitable for gasoline, diesel, and jet engines directly from ionic liquid-treated switchgrass without externally supplied hydrolase enzymes. This demonstration represents a major advance toward realizing a consolidated bioprocess. With improvements in both biofuel synthesis pathways and biomass digestion capabilities, our approach could provide an economical route to production of advanced biofuels. PMID:22123987

  13. Microwave Pretreatments of Switchgrass Leaf and Stem Fractions to Increase Methane Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunhui Wu

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of microwave pretreatments on methane production from two switchgrass tissues (leaf vs. stem. The methane production from the leaf fraction was significantly affected by the microwave final temperature, while production from the stem fraction was affected by the combination of the microwave final temperature and heating rate. Thus, the highest methane yield from the leaf (134.81 mL CH4/g of volatile solids (VS was obtained at 100 °C, while the highest yield from the stem (99.35 mL CH4/g VS was obtained at 150 °C, with a heating rate of 10 °C/min. Although methane production from the leaf fraction was merely enhanced by 9.1% after microwave pretreatments, the time required to reach 80% of ultimate methane production was reduced by 12 days. For the stem fraction, methane production was improved by 5.2% after microwave pretreatment, and the time to obtain 80% of ultimate methane production increased.

  14. Maize, switchgrass, and ponderosa pine biochar added to soil increased herbicide sorption and decreased herbicide efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clay, Sharon A; Krack, Kaitlynn K; Bruggeman, Stephanie A; Papiernik, Sharon; Schumacher, Thomas E

    2016-08-02

    Biochar, a by-product of pyrolysis made from a wide array of plant biomass when producing biofuels, is a proposed soil amendment to improve soil health. This study measured herbicide sorption and efficacy when soils were treated with low (1% w/w) or high (10% w/w) amounts of biochar manufactured from different feedstocks [maize (Zea mays) stover, switchgrass (Panicum vigatum), and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)], and treated with different post-processing techniques. Twenty-four hour batch equilibration measured sorption of (14)C-labelled atrazine or 2,4-D to two soil types with and without biochar amendments. Herbicide efficacy was measured with and without biochar using speed of seed germination tests of sensitive species. Biochar amended soils sorbed more herbicide than untreated soils, with major differences due to biochar application rate but minor differences due to biochar type or post-process handling technique. Biochar presence increased the speed of seed germination compared with herbicide alone addition. These data indicate that biochar addition to soil can increase herbicide sorption and reduce efficacy. Evaluation for site-specific biochar applications may be warranted to obtain maximal benefits without compromising other agronomic practices.

  15. Potential of potassium hydroxide pretreatment of switchgrass for fermentable sugar production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Rajat; Palled, Vijaykumar; Sharma-Shivappa, Ratna R; Osborne, Jason

    2013-02-01

    Chemical pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass has been extensively investigated for sugar generation and subsequent fuel production. Alkaline pretreatment has emerged as one of the popular chemical pretreatment methods, but most attempts thus far have utilized NaOH for the pretreatment process. This study aimed at investigating the potential of potassium hydroxide (KOH) as a viable alternative alkaline reagent for lignocellulosic pretreatment based on its different reactivity patterns compared to NaOH. Performer switchgrass was pretreated at KOH concentrations of 0.5-2% for varying treatment times of 6-48 h, 6-24 h, and 0.25-1 h at 21, 50, and 121 °C, respectively. The pretreatments resulted in the highest percent sugar retention of 99.26% at 0.5%, 21 °C, 12 h while delignification up to 55.4% was observed with 2% KOH, 121 °C, 1 h. Six pretreatment conditions were selected for subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis with Cellic CTec2® for sugar generation. The pretreatment condition of 0.5% KOH, 24 h, 21 °C was determined to be the most effective as it utilized the least amount of KOH while generating 582.4 mg sugar/g raw biomass for a corresponding percent carbohydrate conversion of 91.8%.

  16. Changes in lignocellulosic supramolecular and ultrastructure during dilute acid pretreatment of Populus and switchgrass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foston, Marcus; Ragauskas, Art J.

    2010-01-01

    Dilute acid pretreatment (DAP) is commonly employed prior to enzymatic deconstruction of cellulose to increase overall sugar and subsequent ethanol yields from downstream bioconversion processes. Typically optimization of pretreatment is evaluated by determining hemicellulose removal, subsequent reactivity towards enzymatic deconstruction, and recoverable polysaccharide yields. In this study, the affect of DAP on the supramolecular and ultrastructure of lignocellulosic biomass was evaluated. A series of dilute acidic pretreatments, employing ∼0.10-0.20 mol/m 3 H 2 SO 4 at ∼160-180 o C, for varying residence times were conducted on both Populus and switchgrass samples. The untreated and pretreated biomass samples were characterized by carbohydrate and lignin analysis, gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and 13 C cross polarization magic angle spinning (CPMAS) NMR spectroscopy. GPC analysis shows a reduction in the molecular weight of cellulose and change in its polydispersity index (PDI) with increasing residence time, indicating that pretreatment is actually degrading the cellulose chains. 13 C CPMAS and non-linear line-fitting of the C 4 region in the carbon spectrum of the isolated cellulose not only showed that the crystallinity index increases with residence time, but that the lateral fibril dimension (LFD) and lateral fibril aggregate dimension (LFAD) increase as well.

  17. Switchgrass biomass energy storage project. Final report, September 23, 1996--December 31, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, G.A.; Teel, A.; Brown, S.S. [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    1996-07-01

    The Chariton Valley Biomass Power Project, sponsored by the Chariton Valley RC&D Inc., a USDA-sponsored rural development organization, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Energy Bureau (IDNR-EB), and IES Utilities, a major Iowa energy company, is directed at the development of markets for energy crops in southern Iowa. This effort is part of a statewide coalition of public and private interests cooperating to merge Iowa`s agricultural potential and its long-term energy requirements to develop locally sustainable sources of biomass fuel. The four-county Chariton Valley RC&D area (Lucas, Wayne, Appanoose and Monroe counties) is the site of one of eleven NREL/EPRI feasibility studies directed at the potential of biomass power. The focus of renewable energy development in the region has centered around the use of swithgrass (Panicum virgatum, L.). This native Iowa grass is one of the most promising sustainable biomass fuel crops. According to investigations by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), switchgrass has the most potential of all the perennial grasses and legumes evaluated for biomass production.

  18. Substrate-Specific Development of Thermophilic Bacterial Consortia by Using Chemically Pretreated Switchgrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichorst, Stephanie A; Joshua, Chijioke; Sathitsuksanoh, Noppadon; Singh, Seema; Simmons, Blake A; Singer, Steven W

    2014-12-01

    Microbial communities that deconstruct plant biomass have broad relevance in biofuel production and global carbon cycling. Biomass pretreatments reduce plant biomass recalcitrance for increased efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis. We exploited these chemical pretreatments to study how thermophilic bacterial consortia adapt to deconstruct switchgrass (SG) biomass of various compositions. Microbial communities were adapted to untreated, ammonium fiber expansion (AFEX)-pretreated, and ionic-liquid (IL)-pretreated SG under aerobic, thermophilic conditions using green waste compost as the inoculum to study biomass deconstruction by microbial consortia. After microbial cultivation, gravimetric analysis of the residual biomass demonstrated that both AFEX and IL pretreatment enhanced the deconstruction of the SG biomass approximately 2-fold. Two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (2D-NMR) experiments and acetyl bromide-reactive-lignin analysis indicated that polysaccharide hydrolysis was the dominant process occurring during microbial biomass deconstruction, and lignin remaining in the residual biomass was largely unmodified. Small-subunit (SSU) rRNA gene amplicon libraries revealed that although the dominant taxa across these chemical pretreatments were consistently represented by members of the Firmicutes, the Bacteroidetes, and Deinococcus-Thermus, the abundance of selected operational taxonomic units (OTUs) varied, suggesting adaptations to the different substrates. Combining the observations of differences in the community structure and the chemical and physical structure of the biomass, we hypothesize specific roles for individual community members in biomass deconstruction. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  19. Evaluating the impacts of landscape positions and nitrogen fertilizer rates on dissolved organic carbon on switchgrass land seeded on marginally yielding cropland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Liming; Kumar, Sandeep; Mbonimpa, Eric G; Hong, Chang Oh; Owens, Vance N; Neupane, Ram P

    2016-04-15

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) through leaching into the soils is another mechanism of net C loss. It plays an important role in impacting the environment and impacted by soil and crop management practices. However, little is known about the impacts of landscape positions and nitrogen (N) fertilizer rates on DOC leaching in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). This experimental design included three N fertilizer rates [0 (low); 56 (medium); 112 (high) kg N ha(-1)] and three landscape positions (shoulder, backslope and footslope). Daily average DOC contents at backslope were significantly lower than that at shoulder and footslope. The DOC contents from the plots that received medium N rate were also significantly lower than the plots that received low N rates. The interactions of landscape and N rates on DOC contents were different in every year from 2009 to 2014, however, no significant consistent trend of DOC contents was observed over time. Annual average DOC contents from the plots managed with low N rate were higher than those with high N rate. These contents at the footslope were higher than that at the shoulder position. Data show that there is a moderate positive relationship between the total average DOC contents and the total average switchgrass biomass yields. Overall, the DOC contents from leachate in the switchgrass land were significantly influenced by landscape positions and N rates. The N fertilization reduced DOC leaching contents in switchgrass field. The switchgrass could retain soil and environment sustainability to some extent. These findings will assist in understanding the mechanism of changes in DOC contents with various parameters in the natural environment and crop management systems. However, use of long-term data might help to better assess the effects of above factors on DOC leaching contents and loss in the switchgrass field in the future. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Influence of Pyrolysis Temperature and Production Conditions on Switchgrass Biochar for Use as a Soil Amendment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Joy Ashworth

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Biochars form recalcitrant carbon and increase water and nutrient retention in soils; however, the magnitude is contingent upon production conditions and thermo-chemical conversion processes. Herein we aim at (i characterizing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.-biochar morphology, (ii estimating water-holding capacity under increasing ratios of char: soil; and, (iii determining nutrient profile variation as a function of pyrolysis conversion methodologies (i.e. continuous, auger pyrolysis system versus batch pyrolysis systems for terminal use as a soil amendment. Auger system chars produced at 600°C had the greatest lignin portion by weight among the biochars produced from the continuous system. On the other hand, a batch pyrolysis system (400 °C – 3h yielded biochar with 73.10% lignin (12 fold increases, indicating higher recalcitrance, whereas lower production temperatures (400 °C yielded greater hemicellulose (i.e. greater mineralization promoting substrate. Under both pyrolysis methods, increasing biochar soil application rates resulted in linear decreases in bulk density (g cm-3. Increases in auger-char (400 °C applications increased soil water-holding capacities; however, application rates of >2 Mt ha-1 are required. Pyrolysis batch chars did not influence water-holding abilities (P>0.05. Biochar macro and micronutrients increased, as the pyrolysis temperature increased in the auger system from 400 to 600 °C, and the residence time increased in the batch pyrolysis system from 1 to 3 h. Conversely, nitrogen levels tended to decrease under the two previously mentioned conditions. Consequently, not all chars are inherently equal, in that varying operation systems, residence times, and production conditions greatly affect uses as a soil amendment and overall rate of efficacy.

  1. Development of In Vitro Systems for Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) - Final Report for 1992 to 2002

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Conger, B.V.

    2003-01-16

    Our project began on July 1, 1992, with the objective of developing systems that could be used in biotechnological approaches to switchgrass improvement. Within six months after initiation of the project, we had worked out protocols in which plants could be regenerated from callus cultures through both organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis. Documentation for both modes of regeneration was provided in our progress reports and in publications. One thousand regenerated plants were established in the field during the first year. We found that Alamo (lowland type) was much more amenable to in vitro culture, and plants could be regenerated much more easily than from Cave-in-Rock (upland type). During the first three years of the project, we studied the influence of genotype, culture medium components, explant type, etc., on regeneration. As mentioned, we found that the lowland cultivars Alamo and Kanlow were much easier to regenerate than upland cultivars, such as Trailblazer, Blackwell, and Cave-in-Rock. For callus induction, we initially used mature caryopses, young leaf tissue, and portions of seedlings. We were successful in inducing callus and regenerating plants from all explants. Two other systems developed during the 4th to 6th year period of the project included multiple shoot formation initiated from germinated seedlings and regenerable suspension cultures. The latter were initiated from embryogenic calluses produced from in vitro developed inflorescences. An important factor for producing multiple shoots was the presence of thidiazuron in the medium. The shoots could be easily rooted and numerous plantlets produced. The last 3 to 4 years of the project focused on anther and microspore culture experiments to produce haploid plants and on genetic transformation. Although thousands of putative haploid plants were produced from a few anthers, they were very weak and difficult to keep alive. Chromosome counts revealed the gametic number in cells where it was

  2. Characteristics of Lignin Fractions from Dilute Acid Pretreated Switchgrass and Their Effect on Cellobiohydrolase from Trichoderma longibrachiatum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lan Yao

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available To investigate the interactions between acid pretreated switchgrass lignin and cellobiohydrolase (CBH, three different lignin fractions were isolated from dilute acid pretreated switchgrass by (i ethanol extraction, followed by (ii dioxane/H2O extraction, and (iii cellulase treatment, respectively. Structural properties of each lignin fraction were elucidated by GPC, 13C-NMR, and 2D-HSQC NMR analyses. The adsorptions of CBH to the isolated lignin fractions were also studied by Langmuir adsorption isotherms. Ethanol-extractable lignin fraction, mainly composed of syringyl (S and guaiacyl (G units, had the lowest molecular weight, while dioxane/H2O-extracted lignin fraction had the lowest S/G ratio with higher content of p-coumaric acid (pCA unit. The residual lignin fraction after enzymatic treatment had the highest S/G ratio without hydroxyphenyl (H unit. Strong associations were found between lignin properties such as lignin composition and S/G ratio and its non-productive enzyme adsorption factors including the maximum adsorption capacity and binding strength.

  3. Simultaneous Downregulation of MTHFR and COMT in Switchgrass Affects Plant Performance and Induces Lesion-Mimic Cell Death

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sijia Liu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum has been developed into a model lignocellulosic bioenergy crop. Downregulation of caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT, a key enzyme in lignin biosynthesis, has been shown to alter lignification and increase biofuel yield in switchgrass. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR mediates C1 metabolism and provides methyl units consumed by COMT. It was predicted that co-silencing of MTHFR and COMT would impact lignification even more than either of the single genes. However, our results showed that strong downregulation of MTHFR in a COMT-deficient background led to altered plant growth and development, but no significant change in lignin content or composition was found when compared with COMT plants. Another unexpected finding was that the double MTHFR/COMT downregulated plants showed a novel lesion-mimic leaf phenotype. Molecular analyses revealed that the lesion-mimic phenotype was caused by the synergistic effect of MTHFR and COMT genes, with MTHFR playing a predominant role. Microarray analysis showed significant induction of genes related to oxidative and defense responses. The results demonstrated the lack of additive effects of MTHFR and COMT on lignification. Furthermore, this research revealed an unexpected role of the two genes in the modulation of lesion-mimic cell death as well as their synergistic effects on agronomic performance.

  4. Phosphoric acid based pretreatment of switchgrass and fermentation of entire slurry to ethanol using a simplified process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wei; Rondon, Vanessa; Weeks, Kalvin; Pullammanappallil, Pratap; Ingram, Lonnie O; Shanmugam, K T

    2018-03-01

    Switchgrass (Alamo) was pretreated with phosphoric acid (0.75 and 1%, w/w) at three temperatures (160, 175 and 190 °C) and time (5, 7.5 and 10 min) using a steam gun. The slurry after pretreatment was liquefied by enzymes and the released sugars were fermented in a simultaneous saccharification and co-fermentation process to ethanol using ethanologenic Escherichia coli strain SL100. Among the three variables in pretreatment, temperature and time were critical in supporting ethanol titer and yield. Enzyme hydrolysis significantly increased the concentration of furans in slurries, apparently due to release of furans bound to the solids. The highest ethanol titer of 21.2 ± 0.3 g/L ethanol obtained at the pretreatment condition of 190-1-7.5 (temperature-acid concentration-time) and 10% solids loading accounted for 190 ± 2.9 g ethanol/kg of raw switch grass. This converts to 61.7 gallons of ethanol per ton of dry switchgrass, a value that is comparable to other published pretreatment conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Complete genome sequence of switchgrass mosaic virus, a member of a proposed new species in the genus Marafivirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agindotan, Bright O; Gray, Michael E; Hammond, Rosemarie W; Bradley, Carl A

    2012-09-01

    The complete genome sequence of a virus recently detected in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) was determined and found to be closely related to that of maize rayado fino virus (MRFV), genus Marafivirus, family Tymoviridae. The genomic RNA is 6408 nucleotides long. It contains three predicted open reading frames (ORFs 1-3), encoding proteins of 227 kDa, 43.9 kDa, and 31.5 kDa, compared to two ORFs (1 and 2) for MRFV. The complete genome shares 76 % sequence identity with MRFV. The nucleotide sequence of ORF2 of this virus and the amino acid sequence of its encoded protein are 49 % and 77 % identical, respectively, to those of MRFV. The virus-encoded polyprotein and capsid protein aa sequences are 83 % and 74-80 % identical, respectively, to those of MRFV. Although closely related to MRFV, the amino acid sequence of its capsid protein (CP) forms a clade that is separate from that of MRFV. Based on the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) sequence-related criteria for delineation of species within the genus Marafivirus, the virus qualifies as a member of a new species, and the name Switchgrass mosaic virus (SwMV) is proposed.

  6. Production of butanol (a biofuel) from agricultural residues: Part II - Use of corn stover and switchgrass hydrolysates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qureshi, Nasib; Saha, Badal C.; Hector, Ronald E.; Dien, Bruce; Iten, Loren; Bowman, Michael J.; Cotta, Michael A. [United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR), Bioenergy Research, 1815 N. University Street, Peoria, IL 61604 (United States); Hughes, Stephen; Liu, Siqing [USDA-ARS-NCAUR, Renewable Product Technology, 1815 N. University Street, Peoria, IL 61604 (United States); Sarath, Gautam [USDA-ARS, Grain, Forage, and Bioenergy Research Unit, University of Nebraska, 314 Biochemistry Hall, East Campus, Lincoln, NE 68583 (United States)

    2010-04-15

    Acetone butanol ethanol (ABE) was produced from hydrolysed corn stover and switchgrass using Clostridium beijerinckii P260. A control experiment using glucose resulted in the production of 21.06 g L{sup -1} total ABE. In this experiment an ABE yield and productivity of 0.41 and 0.31 g L{sup -1} h{sup -1} was achieved, respectively. Fermentation of untreated corn stover hydrolysate (CSH) exhibited no growth and no ABE production; however, upon dilution with water (two fold) and wheat straw hydrolysate (WSH, ratio 1:1), 16.00 and 18.04 g L{sup -1} ABE was produced, respectively. These experiments resulted in ABE productivity of 0.17-0.21 g L{sup -1} h{sup -1}. Inhibitors present in CSH were removed by treating the hydrolysate with Ca(OH){sub 2} (overliming). The culture was able to produce 26.27 g L{sup -1} ABE after inhibitor removal. Untreated switchgrass hydrolysate (SGH) was poorly fermented and the culture did not produce more than 1.48 g L{sup -1} ABE which was improved to 14.61 g L{sup -1}. It is suggested that biomass pretreatment methods that do not generate inhibitors be investigated. Alternately, cultures resistant to inhibitors and able to produce butanol at high concentrations may be another approach to improve the current process. (author)

  7. Dynamic changes in transcriptome and cell wall composition underlying brassinosteroid-mediated lignification of switchgrass suspension cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Xiaolan; Shen, Hui; Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G; Gelineo-Albersheim, Ivana; Mohnen, Debra; Pu, Yunqiao; Ragauskas, Arthur J; Chen, Xin; Chen, Fang; Dixon, Richard A

    2017-01-01

    Plant cell walls contribute the majority of plant biomass that can be used to produce transportation fuels. However, the complexity and variability in composition and structure of cell walls, particularly the presence of lignin, negatively impacts their deconstruction for bioenergy. Metabolic and genetic changes associated with secondary wall development in the biofuel crop switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum ) have yet to be reported. Our previous studies have established a cell suspension system for switchgrass, in which cell wall lignification can be induced by application of brassinolide (BL). We have now collected cell wall composition and microarray-based transcriptome profiles for BL-induced and non-induced suspension cultures to provide an overview of the dynamic changes in transcriptional reprogramming during BL-induced cell wall modification. From this analysis, we have identified changes in candidate genes involved in cell wall precursor synthesis, cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin formation and ester-linkage generation. We have also identified a large number of transcription factors with expression correlated with lignin biosynthesis genes, among which are candidates for control of syringyl (S) lignin accumulation. Together, this work provides an overview of the dynamic compositional changes during brassinosteroid-induced cell wall remodeling, and identifies candidate genes for future plant genetic engineering to overcome cell wall recalcitrance.

  8. Simultaneous Downregulation of MTHFR and COMT in Switchgrass Affects Plant Performance and Induces Lesion-Mimic Cell Death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Sijia; Fu, Chunxiang; Gou, Jiqing; Sun, Liang; Huhman, David; Zhang, Yunwei; Wang, Zeng-Yu

    2017-01-01

    Switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum ) has been developed into a model lignocellulosic bioenergy crop. Downregulation of caffeic acid O -methyltransferase (COMT), a key enzyme in lignin biosynthesis, has been shown to alter lignification and increase biofuel yield in switchgrass. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) mediates C1 metabolism and provides methyl units consumed by COMT. It was predicted that co-silencing of MTHFR and COMT would impact lignification even more than either of the single genes. However, our results showed that strong downregulation of MTHFR in a COMT -deficient background led to altered plant growth and development, but no significant change in lignin content or composition was found when compared with COMT plants. Another unexpected finding was that the double MTHFR/COMT downregulated plants showed a novel lesion-mimic leaf phenotype. Molecular analyses revealed that the lesion-mimic phenotype was caused by the synergistic effect of MTHFR and COMT genes, with MTHFR playing a predominant role. Microarray analysis showed significant induction of genes related to oxidative and defense responses. The results demonstrated the lack of additive effects of MTHFR and COMT on lignification. Furthermore, this research revealed an unexpected role of the two genes in the modulation of lesion-mimic cell death as well as their synergistic effects on agronomic performance.

  9. Large-scale bioenergy production from soybeans and switchgrass in Argentina: Part A: Potential and economic feasibility for national and international markets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dam, J.; Faaij, A.P.C.; Hilbert, J.; Petruzzi, H.; Turkenburg, W.C.

    2009-01-01

    This study focuses on the economic feasibility for large-scale biomass production from soybeans or switchgrass from a region in Argentina. This is determined, firstly, by estimating whether the potential supply of biomass, when food and feed demand are met, is sufficient under different scenarios to

  10. Modeling the impacts of temperature and precipitation changes on soil CO2 fluxes from a Switchgrass stand recently converted from cropland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Liming; Kumar, Sandeep; Chintala, Rajesh; Owens, Vance N; Clay, David; Schumacher, Joseph; Nizami, Abdul-Sattar; Lee, Sang Soo; Rafique, Rashad

    2016-05-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a perennial C4 grass native to North America and successfully adapted to diverse environmental conditions. It offers the potential to reduce soil surface carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes and mitigate climate change. However, information on how these CO2 fluxes respond to changing climate is still lacking. In this study, CO2 fluxes were monitored continuously from 2011 through 2014 using high frequency measurements from Switchgrass land seeded in 2008 on an experimental site that has been previously used for soybean (Glycine max L.) in South Dakota, USA. DAYCENT, a process-based model, was used to simulate CO2 fluxes. An improved methodology CPTE [Combining Parameter estimation (PEST) with "Trial and Error" method] was used to calibrate DAYCENT. The calibrated DAYCENT model was used for simulating future CO2 emissions based on different climate change scenarios. This study showed that: (i) the measured soil CO2 fluxes from Switchgrass land were higher for 2012 which was a drought year, and these fluxes when simulated using DAYCENT for long-term (2015-2070) provided a pattern of polynomial curve; (ii) the simulated CO2 fluxes provided different patterns with temperature and precipitation changes in a long-term, (iii) the future CO2 fluxes from Switchgrass land under different changing climate scenarios were not significantly different, therefore, it can be concluded that Switchgrass grown for longer durations could reduce changes in CO2 fluxes from soil as a result of temperature and precipitation changes to some extent. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. Temporal dynamics of fibrolytic and methanogenic rumen microorganisms during in situ incubation of switchgrass determined by 16S rRNA gene profiling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hailan ePiao

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The rumen is known for its biomass-degrading and methane-producing phenotype. Fermentation of recalcitrant plant material necessitates the synergistic activity of diverse microbial taxonomic groups that inhabit this anaerobic environment. Although interspecies hydrogen (H2 transfer, a process during which bacterially generated H2 is transferred to methanogenic Archaea, has obtained significant attention over the last decades, the temporal variation of the different taxa involved in in situ biomass-degradation, H2 transfer and methanogenesis process remains to be established. We investigated the temporal succession of microbial taxa and its effect on fiber composition during rumen incubation using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Switchgrass filled nylon bags were placed in the rumen of a cannulated cow and collected at nine time points for DNA extraction and 16S pyrotag profiling. The microbial community colonizing the air-dried and non-incubated switchgrass was dominated by members of the Bacilli. During in situ incubation of the switchgrass, two major shifts in the community composition were observed: Bacilli were replaced within 30 min by members belonging to the Bacteroidia and Clostridia. A second significant shift was observed after 16 h of rumen incubation, when members of the Spirochaetes and Fibrobacteria classes became more abundant in the fiber-adherent community. During the first 30 min of rumen incubation ~13% of the switchgrass dry matter was degraded, whereas little biomass degradation appeared to have occurred between 30 min and 4 h after the switchgrass was placed in the rumen. Interestingly, methanogenic members of the Euryarchaeota increased up to 3-fold during this period of reduced biomass-degradation, with peak abundance just before rates of dry matter degradation increased again. We hypothesize that during this period microbial-mediated fibrolysis was temporarily inhibited until H2 was metabolized into CH4 by methanogens.

  12. Seasonality and Management Affect Land Surface Temperature Differences Between Loblolly Pine and Switchgrass Ecosystems in Central Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlswede, B.; Thomas, R. Q.; O'Halloran, T. L.; Rady, J.; LeMoine, J.

    2017-12-01

    Changes in land-use and land management can have biogeochemical and biophysical effects on local and global climate. While managed ecosystems provide known food and fiber benefits, their influence on climate is less well quantified. In the southeastern United States, there are numerous types of intensely managed ecosystems but pine plantations and switchgrass fields represent two biogeochemical and biophysical extremes; a tall, low albedo forest with trees harvested after multiple decades vs. a short, higher albedo C4 grass field that is harvested annually. Despite the wide spread use of these ecosystems for timber and bioenergy, a quantitative, empirical evaluation of the net influence of these ecosystems on climate is lacking because it requires measuring both the greenhouse gas and energy balance of the ecosystems while controlling for the background weather and soil environment. To address this need, we established a pair of eddy flux towers in these ecosystems that are co-located (1.5 km apart) in Central Virginia and measured the radiative energy, non-radiative energy and carbon fluxes, along with associated biometeorology variables; the paired site has run since April 2016. During the first 1.5 years (two growing seasons), we found strong seasonality in the difference in surface temperature between the two ecosystems. In the growing seasons, both sites had similar surface temperature despite higher net radiation in pine. Following harvest of the switchgrass in September, the switchgrass temperatures increased relative to pine. In the winter, the pine ecosystem was warmer. We evaluate the drivers of these intra-annual dynamics and compare the climate influence of these biophysical differences to the differences in carbon fluxes between the sites using a suite of established climate regulation services metrics. Overall, our results show tradeoffs exist between the biogeochemical and biophysical climate services in managed ecosystems in the southeastern United

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-09-30

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

  14. Anaerobic microplate assay for direct microbial conversion of switchgrass and Avicel using Clostridium thermocellum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oguntimein, Gbekeloluwa B. [Morgan State Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States); Rodriguez, Jr., Miguel [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); National Lab., Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center; Dumitrache, Alexandru [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); National Lab., Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center; Shollenberger, Todd [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Decker, Stephen R. [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Davison, Brian H. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); National Lab., Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center; Brown, Steven D. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); National Lab., Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center; LanzaTech, Inc., Skokie, IL (United States)

    2017-11-09

    Here, to develop and prototype a high-throughput microplate assay to assess anaerobic microorganisms and lignocellulosic biomasses in a rapid, cost-effective screen for consolidated bioprocessing potential. Clostridium thermocellum parent Δhpt strain deconstructed Avicel to cellobiose, glucose, and generated lactic acid, formic acid, acetic acid and ethanol as fermentation products in titers and ratios similar to larger scale fermentations confirming the suitability of a plate-based method for C. thermocellum growth studies. C. thermocellum strain LL1210, with gene deletions in the key central metabolic pathways, produced higher ethanol titers in the Consolidated Bioprocessing (CBP) plate assay for both Avicel and switchgrass fermentations when compared to the Δhpt strain. A prototype microplate assay system is developed that will facilitate high-throughput bioprospecting for new lignocellulosic biomass types, genetic variants and new microbial strains for bioethanol production.

  15. Understanding the Impacts of AFEX™ Pretreatment and Densification on the Fast Pyrolysis of Corn Stover, Prairie Cord Grass, and Switchgrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundaram, Vijay; Muthukumarappan, Kasiviswanathan; Gent, Stephen

    2017-03-01

    Lignocellulosic feedstocks corn stover, prairie cord grass, and switchgrass were subjected to ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX™) pretreatment and densified using extrusion pelleting and ComPAKco densification technique. The effects of AFEX™ pretreatment and densification were studied on the fast pyrolysis product yields. Feedstocks were milled in a hammer mill using three different screen sizes (2, 4, and 8 mm) and were subjected to AFEX™ pretreatment. The untreated and AFEX™-pretreated feedstocks were moisture adjusted at three levels (5, 10, and 15 % wb) and were extruded using a lab-scale single screw extruder. The barrel temperature of the extruder was maintained at 75, 100, and 125 °C. Durability of the extruded pellets made from AFEX™-pretreated corn stover, prairie cord grass, and switchgrass varied from 94.5 to 99.2, 94.3 to 98.7, and 90.1 to 97.5 %, respectively. Results of the thermogravimetric analysis showed the decrease in the decomposition temperature of the all the feedstocks after AFEX™ pretreatment indicating the increase in thermal stability. Loose and densified feedstocks were subjected to fast pyrolysis in a lab-scale reactor, and the yields (bio-oil and bio-char) were measured. Bio-char obtained from the AFEX™-pretreated feedstocks exhibited increased bulk and particle density compared to the untreated feedstocks. The properties of the bio-oil were statistically similar for the untreated, AFEX™-pretreated, and AFEX™-pretreated densified feedstocks. Based on the bio-char and bio-oil yields, the AFEX™-pretreated feedstocks and the densified AFEX™-pretreated feedstocks (pellets and PAKs) exhibited similar behavior. Hence, it can be concluded that densifying the AFEX™-pretreated feedstocks could be a viable option in the biomass-processing depots to reduce the transportation costs and the logistical impediments without affecting the product yields.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Riche, A.B.

    2004-04-01

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

  17. Comparison of solid-state and submerged-state fermentation for the bioprocessing of switchgrass to ethanol and acetate by Clostridium phytofermentans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Abhiney; Morlok, Charles K; Henson, J Michael

    2013-01-01

    The conversion of sustainable energy crops using microbiological fermentation to biofuels and bioproducts typically uses submerged-state processes. Alternatively, solid-state fermentation processes have several advantages when compared to the typical submerged-state processes. This study compares the use of solid-state versus submerged-state fermentation using the mesophilic anaerobic bacterium Clostridium phytofermentans in the conversion of switchgrass to the end products of ethanol, acetate, and hydrogen. A shift in the ratio of metabolic products towards more acetate and hydrogen production than ethanol production was observed when C. phytofermentans was grown under solid-state conditions as compared to submerged-state conditions. Results indicated that the end product concentrations (in millimolar) obtained using solid-state fermentation were higher than using submerged-state fermentation. In contrast, the total fermentation products (in weight of product per weight of carbohydrates consumed) and switchgrass conversion were higher for submerged-state fermentation. The conversion of xylan was greater than glucan conversion under both fermentation conditions. An initial pH of 7 and moisture content of 80 % resulted in maximum end products formation. Scanning electron microscopy study showed the presence of biofilm formed by C. phytofermentans growing on switchgrass under submerged-state fermentation whereas bacterial cells attached to surface and no apparent biofilm was observed when grown under solid-state fermentation. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting consolidated bioprocessing of a lignocellulosic substrate by a mesophilic anaerobic bacterium under solid-state fermentation conditions.

  18. The PIN1 family gene PvPIN1 is involved in auxin-dependent root emergence and tillering in switchgrass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaijie Xu

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.; family Poaceae is a warm-season C4 perennial grass. Tillering plays an important role in determining the morphology of aboveground parts and the final biomass yield of switchgrass. Auxin distribution in plants can affect a variety of important growth and developmental processes, including the regulation of shoot and root branching, plant resistance and biological yield. Auxin transport and gradients in plants are mediated by influx and efflux carriers. PvPIN1, a switchgrass PIN1-like gene that is involved in regulating polar transport, is a putative auxin efflux carrier. Neighbor-joining analysis using sequences deposited in NCBI databases showed that the PvPIN1gene belongs to the PIN1 family and is evolutionarily closer to the Oryza sativa japonica group. Tiller emergence and development was significantly promoted in plants subjected toPvPIN1 RNA interference (RNAi, which yielded a phenotype similar to that of wild-type plants treated with the auxin transport inhibitor TIBA (2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid. A transgenic approach that inducedPvPIN1 gene overexpression or suppression altered tiller number and the shoot/root ratio. These data suggest that PvPIN1plays an important role in auxin-dependent adventitious root emergence and tillering.

  19. Microplate-Based Evaluation of the Sugar Yield from Giant Reed, Giant Miscanthus and Switchgrass after Mild Chemical Pre-Treatments and Hydrolysis with Tailored Trichoderma Enzymatic Blends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianchetta, Stefano; Bregoli, Luca; Galletti, Stefania

    2017-11-01

    Giant reed, miscanthus, and switchgrass are considered prominent lignocellulosic feedstocks to obtain fermentable sugars for biofuel production. The bioconversion into sugars requires a delignifying pre-treatment step followed by hydrolysis with cellulase and other accessory enzymes like xylanase, especially in the case of alkali pre-treatments, which retain the hemicellulose fraction. Blends richer in accessory enzymes than commercial mix can be obtained growing fungi on feedstock-based substrates, thus ten selected Trichoderma isolates, including the hypercellulolytic strain Trichoderma reesei Rut-C30, were grown on giant reed, miscanthus, or switchgrass-based substrates. The produced enzymes were used to saccharify the corresponding feedstocks, compared to a commercial enzymatic mix (6 FPU/g). Feedstocks were acid (H 2 SO 4 0.2-2%, w/v) or alkali (NaOH 0.02-0.2%, w/v) pre-treated. A microplate-based approach was chosen for most of the experimental steps due to the large number of samples. The highest bioconversion was generally obtained with Trichoderma harzianum Or4/99 enzymes (78, 89, and 94% final sugar yields at 48 h for giant reed, miscanthus, and switchgrass, respectively), with significant increases compared to the commercial mix, especially with alkaline pre-treatments. The differences in bioconversion yields were only partially caused by xylanases (maximum R 2  = 0.5), indicating a role for other accessory enzymes.

  20. Phytoremediation of biosolids from an end-of-life municipal lagoon using cattail (Typha latifolia L.) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeke, Nicholson N; Hassan, Adenike O; Zvomuya, Francis

    2017-03-04

    Land spreading of biosolids as a disposal option is expensive and can disperse pathogens and contaminants in the environment. This growth room study examined phytoremediation using switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and cattail (Typha latifolia L.) as an alternative to land spreading of biosolids. Seedlings were transplanted into pots containing 3.9 kg of biosolids (dry wt.). Aboveground biomass (AGB) was harvested either once or twice during each 90-day growth period. Switchgrass AGB yield was greater with two harvests than with one harvest during the first 90-day growth period, whereas cattail yield was not affected by harvest frequency. In the second growth period, harvesting frequency did not affect the yield of either plant species. However, repeated harvesting significantly improved nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) uptake by both plants in the first period. Phytoextraction of P was significantly greater for switchgrass (3.9% of initial biosolids P content) than for cattail (2.8%), while plant species did not have a significant effect on N phytoextraction. The trace element accumulation in the AGB of both plant species was negligible. Phytoextraction rates attained in this study suggest that phytoremediation can effectively remove P from biosolids and offers a potentially viable alternative to the disposal of biosolids on agricultural land.

  1. Temporal dynamics of fibrolytic and methanogenic rumen microorganisms during in situ incubation of switchgrass determined by 16S rRNA gene profiling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piao, Hailan; Lachman, Medora; Malfatti, Stephanie; Sczyrba, Alexander; Knierim, Bernhard; Auer, Manfred; Tringe, Susannah G; Mackie, Roderick I; Yeoman, Carl J; Hess, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    The rumen microbial ecosystem is known for its biomass-degrading and methane-producing phenotype. Fermentation of recalcitrant plant material, comprised of a multitude of interwoven fibers, necessitates the synergistic activity of diverse microbial taxonomic groups that inhabit the anaerobic rumen ecosystem. Although interspecies hydrogen (H2) transfer, a process during which bacterially generated H2 is transferred to methanogenic Archaea, has obtained significant attention over the last decades, the temporal variation of the different taxa involved in in situ biomass-degradation, H2 transfer and the methanogenesis process remains to be established. Here we investigated the temporal succession of microbial taxa and its effect on fiber composition during rumen incubation using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Switchgrass filled nylon bags were placed in the rumen of a cannulated cow and collected at nine time points for DNA extraction and 16S pyrotag profiling. The microbial community colonizing the air-dried and non-incubated (0 h) switchgrass was dominated by members of the Bacilli (recruiting 63% of the pyrotag reads). During in situ incubation of the switchgrass, two major shifts in the community composition were observed: Bacilli were replaced within 30 min by members belonging to the Bacteroidia and Clostridia, which recruited 34 and 25% of the 16S rRNA reads generated, respectively. A second significant shift was observed after 16 h of rumen incubation, when members of the Spirochaetes and Fibrobacteria classes became more abundant in the fiber-adherent community. During the first 30 min of rumen incubation ~13% of the switchgrass dry matter was degraded, whereas little biomass degradation appeared to have occurred between 30 min and 4 h after the switchgrass was placed in the rumen. Interestingly, methanogenic members of the Euryarchaeota (i.e., Methanobacteria) increased up to 3-fold during this period of reduced biomass-degradation, with peak abundance just

  2. Combined inactivation of the Clostridium cellulolyticum lactate and malate dehydrogenase genes substantially increases ethanol yield from cellulose and switchgrass fermentations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Yongchao

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The model bacterium Clostridium cellulolyticum efficiently degrades crystalline cellulose and hemicellulose, using cellulosomes to degrade lignocellulosic biomass. Although it imports and ferments both pentose and hexose sugars to produce a mixture of ethanol, acetate, lactate, H2 and CO2, the proportion of ethanol is low, which impedes its use in consolidated bioprocessing for biofuels production. Therefore genetic engineering will likely be required to improve the ethanol yield. Plasmid transformation, random mutagenesis and heterologous expression systems have previously been developed for C. cellulolyticum, but targeted mutagenesis has not been reported for this organism, hindering genetic engineering. Results The first targeted gene inactivation system was developed for C. cellulolyticum, based on a mobile group II intron originating from the Lactococcus lactis L1.LtrB intron. This markerless mutagenesis system was used to disrupt both the paralogous L-lactate dehydrogenase (Ccel_2485; ldh and L-malate dehydrogenase (Ccel_0137; mdh genes, distinguishing the overlapping substrate specificities of these enzymes. Both mutations were then combined in a single strain, resulting in a substantial shift in fermentation toward ethanol production. This double mutant produced 8.5-times more ethanol than wild-type cells growing on crystalline cellulose. Ethanol constituted 93% of the major fermentation products, corresponding to a molar ratio of ethanol to organic acids of 15, versus 0.18 in wild-type cells. During growth on acid-pretreated switchgrass, the double mutant also produced four times as much ethanol as wild-type cells. Detailed metabolomic analyses identified increased flux through the oxidative branch of the mutant's tricarboxylic acid pathway. Conclusions The efficient intron-based gene inactivation system produced the first non-random, targeted mutations in C. cellulolyticum. As a key component of the genetic toolbox

  3. Environmental Performance of Miscanthus, Switchgrass and Maize: Can C4 Perennials Increase the Sustainability of Biogas Production?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Kiesel

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Biogas is considered a promising option for complementing the fluctuating energy supply from other renewable sources. Maize is currently the dominant biogas crop, but its environmental performance is questionable. Through its replacement with high-yielding and nutrient-efficient perennial C4 grasses, the environmental impact of biogas could be considerably improved. The objective of this paper is to assess and compare the environmental performance of the biogas production and utilization of perennial miscanthus and switchgrass and annual maize. An LCA was performed using data from field trials, assessing the impact in the five categories: climate change (CC, fossil fuel depletion (FFD, terrestrial acidification (TA, freshwater eutrophication (FE and marine eutrophication (ME. A system expansion approach was adopted to include a fossil reference. All three crops showed significantly lower CC and FFD potentials than the fossil reference, but higher TA and FE potentials, with nitrogen fertilizer production and fertilizer-induced emissions identified as hot spots. Miscanthus performed best and changing the input substrate from maize to miscanthus led to average reductions of −66% CC; −74% FFD; −63% FE; −60% ME and −21% TA. These results show that perennial C4 grasses and miscanthus in particular have the potential to improve the sustainability of the biogas sector.

  4. Downregulation of cinnamyl-alcohol dehydrogenase in switchgrass by RNA silencing results in enhanced glucose release after cellulase treatment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron J Saathoff

    Full Text Available Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD catalyzes the last step in monolignol biosynthesis and genetic evidence indicates CAD deficiency in grasses both decreases overall lignin, alters lignin structure and increases enzymatic recovery of sugars. To ascertain the effect of CAD downregulation in switchgrass, RNA mediated silencing of CAD was induced through Agrobacterium mediated transformation of cv. "Alamo" with an inverted repeat construct containing a fragment derived from the coding sequence of PviCAD2. The resulting primary transformants accumulated less CAD RNA transcript and protein than control transformants and were demonstrated to be stably transformed with between 1 and 5 copies of the T-DNA. CAD activity against coniferaldehyde, and sinapaldehyde in stems of silenced lines was significantly reduced as was overall lignin and cutin. Glucose release from ground samples pretreated with ammonium hydroxide and digested with cellulases was greater than in control transformants. When stained with the lignin and cutin specific stain phloroglucinol-HCl the staining intensity of one line indicated greater incorporation of hydroxycinnamyl aldehydes in the lignin.

  5. Downregulation of cinnamyl-alcohol dehydrogenase in switchgrass by RNA silencing results in enhanced glucose release after cellulase treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saathoff, Aaron J; Sarath, Gautam; Chow, Elaine K; Dien, Bruce S; Tobias, Christian M

    2011-01-27

    Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) catalyzes the last step in monolignol biosynthesis and genetic evidence indicates CAD deficiency in grasses both decreases overall lignin, alters lignin structure and increases enzymatic recovery of sugars. To ascertain the effect of CAD downregulation in switchgrass, RNA mediated silencing of CAD was induced through Agrobacterium mediated transformation of cv. "Alamo" with an inverted repeat construct containing a fragment derived from the coding sequence of PviCAD2. The resulting primary transformants accumulated less CAD RNA transcript and protein than control transformants and were demonstrated to be stably transformed with between 1 and 5 copies of the T-DNA. CAD activity against coniferaldehyde, and sinapaldehyde in stems of silenced lines was significantly reduced as was overall lignin and cutin. Glucose release from ground samples pretreated with ammonium hydroxide and digested with cellulases was greater than in control transformants. When stained with the lignin and cutin specific stain phloroglucinol-HCl the staining intensity of one line indicated greater incorporation of hydroxycinnamyl aldehydes in the lignin.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richie, A.B.

    2005-07-01

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

  7. Improved Activity of a Thermophilic Cellulase, Cel5A, from Thermotoga maritima on Ionic Liquid Pretreated Switchgrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhiwei; Pereira, Jose H.; Liu, Hanbin; Tran, Huu M.; Hsu, Nathan S. Y.; Dibble, Dean; Singh, Seema; Adams, Paul D.; Sapra, Rajat; Hadi, Masood Z.; Simmons, Blake A.; Sale, Kenneth L.

    2013-01-01

    Ionic liquid pretreatment of biomass has been shown to greatly reduce the recalcitrance of lignocellulosic biomass, resulting in improved sugar yields after enzymatic saccharification. However, even under these improved saccharification conditions the cost of enzymes still represents a significant proportion of the total cost of producing sugars and ultimately fuels from lignocellulosic biomass. Much of the high cost of enzymes is due to the low catalytic efficiency and stability of lignocellulolytic enzymes, especially cellulases, under conditions that include high temperatures and the presence of residual pretreatment chemicals, such as acids, organic solvents, bases, or ionic liquids. Improving the efficiency of the saccharification process on ionic liquid pretreated biomass will facilitate reduced enzyme loading and cost. Thermophilic cellulases have been shown to be stable and active in ionic liquids but their activity is typically at lower levels. Cel5A_Tma, a thermophilic endoglucanase from Thermotoga maritima, is highly active on cellulosic substrates and is stable in ionic liquid environments. Here, our motivation was to engineer mutants of Cel5A_Tma with higher activity on 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2mim][OAc]) pretreated biomass. We developed a robotic platform to screen a random mutagenesis library of Cel5A_Tma. Twelve mutants with 25–42% improvement in specific activity on carboxymethyl cellulose and up to 30% improvement on ionic-liquid pretreated switchgrass were successfully isolated and characterized from a library of twenty thousand variants. Interestingly, most of the mutations in the improved variants are located distally to the active site on the protein surface and are not directly involved with substrate binding. PMID:24244549

  8. NEW STRAIN PRODUCERS OF BIOBUTANOL. III. METHODS OF INCREASED BUTANOL ACCUMULATION FROM BIOMASS OF SWITCHGRASS Panicum virgatum L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tigunova O. O.

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to enlarge accumulation of butanol from switchgrass Panicum virgatum L. biomass using strains-producers obtained from grounds and silts of Kyiv lakes. The objects of the study were strains of C. acetobutylicum ІМВ B-7407 (IFBG C6H, Clostridium acetobutylicum IFBG C6H 5М and Clostridium tyrobutyricum IFBG C4B from the "Collections of microbial strains and lines of plants for food and agricultural biotechnology" of the Public Institution "Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics" of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Gas chromatography was used to determine the alcohol concentration at the stage of solvent synthesis. To determine the effect of butanol precursors during cultivation, butyric, lactic and acetic acids were used. Optimization of processing parameters, which was based on the needs of cultures, allowed us to increase the yield by 20 and 50% for the initial and mutant strain respectively. Using synthetic precursors (such as lactic, butyric and acetic acid during cultivation increased total concentration of butanol by 1.7 times. To optimize the process, a study was carried out using acetone- butyl grains. Using of acetone-butyl grains in concentrations up to 60% does not affect the synthesis of butanol by C. acetobutylicum IFBG C6H 5M. Increasing the concentration of grains led to decrease in accumulation of butanol. Almost double increase in accumulation of the target product (butanol was achieved using two-stage fermentation and/or precursors of synthesis. It was shown the possibility of using acetone-butyl grains in fermentation. As a result the mass fraction of the waste was reduced.

  9. Improved activity of a thermophilic cellulase, Cel5A, from Thermotoga maritima on ionic liquid pretreated switchgrass.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiwei Chen

    Full Text Available Ionic liquid pretreatment of biomass has been shown to greatly reduce the recalcitrance of lignocellulosic biomass, resulting in improved sugar yields after enzymatic saccharification. However, even under these improved saccharification conditions the cost of enzymes still represents a significant proportion of the total cost of producing sugars and ultimately fuels from lignocellulosic biomass. Much of the high cost of enzymes is due to the low catalytic efficiency and stability of lignocellulolytic enzymes, especially cellulases, under conditions that include high temperatures and the presence of residual pretreatment chemicals, such as acids, organic solvents, bases, or ionic liquids. Improving the efficiency of the saccharification process on ionic liquid pretreated biomass will facilitate reduced enzyme loading and cost. Thermophilic cellulases have been shown to be stable and active in ionic liquids but their activity is typically at lower levels. Cel5A_Tma, a thermophilic endoglucanase from Thermotoga maritima, is highly active on cellulosic substrates and is stable in ionic liquid environments. Here, our motivation was to engineer mutants of Cel5A_Tma with higher activity on 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2mim][OAc] pretreated biomass. We developed a robotic platform to screen a random mutagenesis library of Cel5A_Tma. Twelve mutants with 25-42% improvement in specific activity on carboxymethyl cellulose and up to 30% improvement on ionic-liquid pretreated switchgrass were successfully isolated and characterized from a library of twenty thousand variants. Interestingly, most of the mutations in the improved variants are located distally to the active site on the protein surface and are not directly involved with substrate binding.

  10. Combined inactivation of the Clostridium cellulolyticum lactate and malate dehydrogenase genes substantially increases ethanol yield from cellulose and switchgrass fermentations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Yongchao [ORNL; Tschaplinski, Timothy J [ORNL; Engle, Nancy L [ORNL; Hamilton, Choo Yieng [ORNL; Rodriguez, Jr., Miguel [ORNL; Liao, James C [ORNL; Schadt, Christopher Warren [ORNL; Guss, Adam M [ORNL; Yang, Yunfeng [ORNL; Graham, David E [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    Background: The model bacterium Clostridium cellulolyticum efficiently hydrolyzes crystalline cellulose and hemicellulose, using cellulosomes to degrade lignocellulosic biomass. Although it imports and ferments both pentose and hexose sugars to produce a mixture of ethanol, acetate, lactate, H2 and CO2, the proportion of ethanol is low, which impedes its use in consolidated bioprocessing for biofuels. Therefore genetic engineering will likely be required to improve the ethanol yield. Random mutagenesis, plasmid transformation, and heterologous expression systems have previously been developed for C. cellulolyticum, but targeted mutagenesis has not been reported for this organism. Results: The first targeted gene inactivation system was developed for C. cellulolyticum, based on a mobile group II intron originating from the Lactococcus lactis L1.LtrB intron. This markerless mutagenesis system was used to disrupt both the paralogous L-lactate dehydrogenase (Ccel_2485; ldh) and L-malate dehydrogenase (Ccel_0137; mdh) genes, distinguishing the overlapping substrate specificities of these enzymes. Both mutations were then combined in a single strain. This double mutant produced 8.5-times more ethanol than wild-type cells growing on crystalline cellulose. Ethanol constituted 93% of the major fermentation products (by molarity), corresponding to a molar ratio of ethanol to organic acids of 15, versus 0.18 in wild-type cells. During growth on acid-pretreated switchgrass, the double mutant also produced four-times as much ethanol as wild-type cells. Detailed metabolomic analyses identified increased flux through the oxidative branch of the mutant s TCA pathway. Conclusions: The efficient intron-based gene inactivation system produced the first gene-targeted mutations in C. cellulolyticum. As a key component of the genetic toolbox for this bacterium, markerless targeted mutagenesis enables functional genomic research in C. cellulolyticum and rapid genetic engineering to

  11. Bio-butanol vs. bio-ethanol: A technical and economic assessment for corn and switchgrass fermented by yeast or Clostridium acetobutylicum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pfromm, Peter H.; Amanor-Boadu, Vincent; Nelson, Richard; Vadlani, Praveen; Madl, Ronald

    2010-01-01

    Fermentation-derived butanol is a possible alternative to ethanol as a fungible biomass-based liquid transportation fuel. We compare the fermentation-based production of n-butanol vs. ethanol from corn or switchgrass through the liquid fuel yield in terms of the lower heating value (LHV). Industrial scale data on fermentation to n-butanol (ABE fermentation) or ethanol (yeast) establishes a baseline at this time, and puts recent advances in fermentation to butanol in perspective. A dynamic simulation demonstrates the technical, economic and policy implications. The energy yield of n-butanol is about half that of ethanol from corn or switchgrass using current ABE technology. This is a serious disadvantage for n-butanol since feedstock costs are a significant portion of the fuel price. Low yield increases n-butanol's life-cycle greenhouse gas emission for the same amount of LHV compared to ethanol. A given fermenter volume can produce only about one quarter of the LHV as n-butanol per unit time compared to ethanol. This increases capital costs. The sometimes touted advantage of n-butanol being more compatible with existing pipelines is, according to our techno-economic simulations insufficient to alter the conclusion because of the capital costs to connect plants via pipeline.

  12. Fermentation characteristics and nutritive value of low moisture silage made from mature bermudagrass (C. dactylon) and switchgrass (P. virgatum) in mixture with alfalfa (M. sativa) or treated with urea and plantain (Musa AAB

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two experiments were conducted at the University of Kentucky Spindletop Farm in Lexington, Kentucky between October and November, 2009 to evaluate the effect of different percentages of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) as mixtures in switchgrass (Panicum virgatus) and bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) silage...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smeets, Edward M.W.; Lewandowski, Iris M.; Faaij, Andre P.C.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to analyse the economical and environmental performance of switchgrass and miscanthus production and supply chains in the European Union (EU25), for the years 2004 and 2030. The environmental performance refers to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the primary fossil energy use and to the impact on fresh water reserves, soil erosion and biodiversity. Analyses are carried out for regions in five countries. The lowest costs of producing (including storing and transporting across 100 km) in the year 2004 are calculated for Poland, Hungary and Lithuania at 43-64 EUR per oven dry tonne (odt) or 2.4-3.6 EUR GJ -1 higher heating value. This cost level is roughly equivalent to the price of natural gas (3.1 EUR GJ -1 ) and lower than the price of crude oil (4.6 EUR GJ -1 ) in 2004, but higher than the price of coal (1.7 EUR GJ -1 ) in 2004. The costs of biomass in Italy and the United Kingdom are somewhat higher (65-105 EUR odt -1 or 3.6-5.8 EUR GJ -1 ). The doubling of the price of crude oil and natural gas that is projected for the period 2004-2030, combined with nearly stable biomass production costs, makes the production of perennial grasses competitive with natural gas and fossil oil. The results also show that the substitution of fossil fuels by biomass from perennial grasses is a robust strategy to reduce fossil energy use and curb GHG emissions, provided that perennial grasses are grown on agricultural land (cropland or pastures). However, in such case deep percolation and runoff of water are reduced, which can lead to overexploitation of fresh water reservoirs. This can be avoided by selecting suitable locations (away from direct accessible fresh water reservoirs) and by limiting the size of the plantations. The impacts on biodiversity are generally favourable compared to conventional crops, but the location of the plantation compared to other vegetation types and the size and harvesting regime of the plantation are important variables

  14. Utility of remote sensing-based surface energy balance models to track water stress in rain-fed switchgrass under dry and wet conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattarai, Nishan; Wagle, Pradeep; Gowda, Prasanna H.; Kakani, Vijaya G.

    2017-11-01

    The ability of remote sensing-based surface energy balance (SEB) models to track water stress in rain-fed switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has not been explored yet. In this paper, the theoretical framework of crop water stress index (CWSI; 0 = extremely wet or no water stress condition and 1 = extremely dry or no transpiration) was utilized to estimate CWSI in rain-fed switchgrass using Landsat-derived evapotranspiration (ET) from five remote sensing based single-source SEB models, namely Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL), Mapping ET with Internalized Calibration (METRIC), Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS), Simplified Surface Energy Balance Index (S-SEBI), and Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEBop). CWSI estimates from the five SEB models and a simple regression model that used normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), near-surface temperature difference, and measured soil moisture (SM) as covariates were compared with those derived from eddy covariance measured ET (CWSIEC) for the 32 Landsat image acquisition dates during the 2011 (dry) and 2013 (wet) growing seasons. Results indicate that most SEB models can predict CWSI reasonably well. For example, the root mean square error (RMSE) ranged from 0.14 (SEBAL) to 0.29 (SSEBop) and the coefficient of determination (R2) ranged from 0.25 (SSEBop) to 0.72 (SEBAL), justifying the added complexity in CWSI modeling as compared to results from the simple regression model (R2 = 0.55, RMSE = 0.16). All SEB models underestimated CWSI in the dry year but the estimates from SEBAL and S-SEBI were within 7% of the mean CWSIEC and explained over 60% of variations in CWSIEC. In the wet year, S-SEBI mostly overestimated CWSI (around 28%), while estimates from METRIC, SEBAL, SEBS, and SSEBop were within 8% of the mean CWSIEC. Overall, SEBAL was the most robust model under all conditions followed by METRIC, whose performance was slightly worse and better than SEBAL in dry and wet years

  15. Downregulation of the UDP-arabinomutase gene in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. results in increased cell wall lignin while reducing arabinose-glycans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Duran Willis

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. is a C4 perennial prairie grass and a lignocellulosic biofuels feedstock. Saccharification and biofuel yields are inhibited by the plant cell wall’s natural recalcitrance against enzymatic degradation. Plant hemicellulose polysaccharides such as arabinoxylans structurally support and crosslink other cell wall polymers. Grasses have predominately Type II cell walls that are abundant in arabinoxylan, which comprise nearly 25% of aboveground biomass. A primary component of arabinoxylan synthesis is uridine diphosphate (UDP linked to arabinofuranose (Araf. A family of UDP-arabinopyranose mutase/reversible glycosylated polypeptides (UAM/RGPs catalyze the interconversion between UDP-arabinopyranose (UDP-Arap and UDP-Araf. In switchgrass we knocked down expression of the endogenous PvUAM1 gene via RNAi to investigate its role in cell wall recalcitrance in the feedstock. PvUAM1 encodes a switchgrass homolog of UDP-arabinose mutase, which converts UDP-Arap to UDP-Araf. Each transgenic line contained between one to at least seven T-DNA insertions, resulting in some cases, a 95% reduction of native PvUAM1 transcript in stem internodes. Transgenic plants had increased pigmentation in vascular tissues at nodes, but were otherwise morphologically similar to non-transgenics. There was decreased cell wall-associated arabinose in leaves and stems by over 50%, but there was an increase in cellulose in these organs. In addition, there was a commensurate change in arabinose side chain extension. Cell wall lignin composition was altered with a concurrent increase in lignin content and transcript abundance of lignin biosynthetic genes in mature tillers. Enzymatic saccharification efficiency was unchanged in the transgenic plants relative to the control, but had increased glucose in cell walls. The increased glucose detected in stems and leaves indicates that attenuation of PvUAM1 expression might have downstream effects on starch

  16. Lignocellulose fermentation and residual solids characterization for senescent switchgrass fermentation by Clostridium thermocellum in the presence and absence of continuous in situ ball-milling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Balch, Michael L.; Holwerda, Evert K.; Davis, Mark F.; Sykes, Robert W.; Happs, Renee M.; Kumar, Rajeev; Wyman, Charles E.; Lynd, Lee R.

    2017-04-12

    Milling during lignocellulosic fermentation, henceforth referred to as cotreatment, is investigated as an alternative to thermochemical pretreatment as a means of enhancing biological solubilization of lignocellulose. We investigate the impact of milling on soluble substrate fermentation by Clostridium thermocellum with comparison to yeast, document solubilization for fermentation of senescent switchgrass with and without ball milling, and characterize residual solids. Soluble substrate fermentation by C. thermocellum proceeded readily in the presence of continuous ball milling but was completely arrested for yeast. Total fractional carbohydrate solubilization achieved after fermentation of senescent switchgrass by C. thermocellum for 5 days was 0.45 without cotreatment or pretreatment, 0.81 with hydrothermal pretreatment (200 degrees C, 15 minutes, severity 4.2), and 0.88 with cotreatment. Acetate and ethanol were the main fermentation products, and were produced at similar ratios with and without cotreatment. Analysis of solid residues was undertaken using molecular beam mass spectrometry (PyMBMS) and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) in order to provide insight into changes in plant cell walls during processing via various modes. The structure of lignin present in residual solids remaining after fermentation with cotreatment appeared to change little, with substantially greater changes observed for hydrothermal pretreatment - particularly with respect to formation of C-C bonds. The observation of high solubilization with little apparent modification of the residue is consistent with cotreatment enhancing solubilization primarily by increasing the access of saccharolytic enzymes to the feedstock, and C. thermocellum being able to attack all the major linkages in cellulosic biomass provided that these linkages are accessible.

  17. Selection and validation of reference genes for gene expression analysis in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum using quantitative real-time RT-PCR.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacinta Gimeno

    Full Text Available Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum has received a lot of attention as a forage and bioenergy crop during the past few years. Gene expression studies are in progress to improve new traits and develop new cultivars. Quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR has emerged as an important technique to study gene expression analysis. For accurate and reliable results, normalization of data with reference genes is essential. In this work, we evaluate the stability of expression of genes to use as reference for qRT-PCR in the grass P. virgatum. Eleven candidate reference genes, including eEF-1α, UBQ6, ACT12, TUB6, eIF-4a, GAPDH, SAMDC, TUA6, CYP5, U2AF, and FTSH4, were validated for qRT-PCR normalization in different plant tissues and under different stress conditions. The expression stability of these genes was verified by the use of two distinct algorithms, geNorm and NormFinder. Differences were observed after comparison of the ranking of the candidate reference genes identified by both programs but eEF-1α, eIF-4a, CYP5 and U2AF are ranked as the most stable genes in the samples sets under study. Both programs discard the use of SAMDC and TUA6 for normalization. Validation of the reference genes proposed by geNorm and NormFinder were performed by normalization of transcript abundance of a group of target genes in different samples. Results show similar expression patterns when the best reference genes selected by both programs were used but differences were detected in the transcript abundance of the target genes. Based on the above research, we recommend the use of different statistical algorithms to identify the best reference genes for expression data normalization. The best genes selected in this study will help to improve the quality of gene expression data in a wide variety of samples in switchgrass.

  18. The enhancement by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of the Cd remediation ability and bioenergy quality-related factors of five switchgrass cultivars in Cd-contaminated soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Sun

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available A greenhouse experiment was carried out to investigate the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF on the growth, P and Cd concentrations and bioenergy quality-related factors of five cultivars of switchgrass, including three lowland cultivars (Alamo (Ala, Kanlow (Kan, Performer (Per and two highland cultivars (Blackwell (Bw, Summer (Sum, with 0, 1 and 10 mg/kg Cd addition levels. The results showed that AMF inoculation notably increased the biomass and P concentrations of all the cultivars. The Cd concentrations in the roots were higher than those in the shoots of all cultivars irrespective of inoculation, but the AMF had different effects on Cd accumulation in highland and lowland cultivars. AMF inoculation decreased the shoot and root concentrations in Ala and Kan, increased the shoot and root concentrations of Cd in Bw and Sum, and increased shoot Cd concentrations and decreased root Cd concentrations in Per. The highest Cd concentrations were detected in the roots of Bw and in the shoots of Sum with AMF symbiosis. Bw contained the highest total extracted Cd which was primarily in the roots. Ala had the second highest extracted Cd in the shoots, reaching 32% with 1 mg/kg of added Cd, whereas Sum had the lowest extracted Cd. AMF symbiosis had varied effects on bioenergy quality-related factors: for example, AMF decreased the ash lignin content in Ala and the C/N in Sum, increased the nitrogen, gross calorie values, and maintained the hemicellulose and cellulose contents in all cultivars with all tested concentrations of Cd. A principal component analysis (PCA showed that AMF inoculation could enhance, weaken or transform (positive-negative, PC1-PC2 the correlations of these factors with the principle components under Cd stress. Therefore, AMF symbiosis enhanced the growth of different cultivars of switchgrass, increased/decreased Cd accumulation, promoted Cd extraction, and regulated the bioenergy quality-related factors in Cd

  19. Comparative Analysis of End Point Enzymatic Digests of Arabino-Xylan Isolated from Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L of Varying Maturities using LC-MSn

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Bowman

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L., SG is a perennial grass presently used for forage and being developed as a bioenergy crop for conversion of cell wall carbohydrates to biofuels. Up to 50% of the cell wall associated carbohydrates are xylan. SG was analyzed for xylan structural features at variable harvest maturities. Xylan from each of three maturities was isolated using classical alkaline extraction to yield fractions (Xyl A and B with varying compositional ratios. The Xyl B fraction was observed to decrease with plant age. Xylan samples were subsequently prepared for structure analysis by digesting with pure endo-xylanase, which preserved side-groups, or a commercial carbohydrase preparation favored for biomass conversion work. Enzymatic digestion products were successfully permethylated and analyzed by reverse-phase liquid chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (RP-HPLC-MSn. This method is advantageous compared to prior work on plant biomass because it avoids isolation of individual arabinoxylan oligomers. The use of RP-HPLC- MSn differentiated 14 structural oligosaccharides (d.p. 3–9 from the monocomponent enzyme digestion and nine oligosaccharide structures (d.p. 3–9 from hydrolysis with a cellulase enzyme cocktail. The distribution of arabinoxylan oligomers varied depending upon the enzyme(s applied but did not vary with harvest maturity.

  20. Engineered biochar from microwave-assisted catalytic pyrolysis of switchgrass for increasing water-holding capacity and fertility of sandy soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohamed, Badr A.; Ellis, Naoko; Kim, Chang Soo; Bi, Xiaotao; Emam, Ahmed El-raie

    2016-01-01

    Engineered biochars produced from microwave-assisted catalytic pyrolysis of switchgrass have been evaluated in terms of their ability on improving water holding capacity (WHC), cation exchange capacity (CEC) and fertility of loamy sand soil. The addition of K 3 PO 4 , clinoptilolite and/or bentonite as catalysts during the pyrolysis process increased biochar surface area and plant nutrient contents. Adding biochar produced with 10 wt.% K 3 PO 4 + 10 wt.% clinoptilolite as catalysts to the soil at 2 wt% load increased soil WHC by 98% and 57% compared to the treatments without biochar (control) and with 10 wt.% clinoptilolite, respectively. Synergistic effects on increased soil WHC were manifested for biochars produced from combinations of two additives compared to single additive, which may be the result of increased biochar microporosity due to increased microwave heating rate. Biochar produced from microwave catalytic pyrolysis was more efficient in increasing the soil WHC due to its high porosity in comparison with the biochar produced from conventional pyrolysis at the same conditions. The increases in soil CEC varied widely compared to the control soil, ranging from 17 to 220% for the treatments with biochars produced with 10 wt% clinoptilolite at 400 °C, and 30 wt% K 3 PO 4 at 300 °C, respectively. Strong positive correlations also exist among soil WHC with CEC and biochar micropore area. Biochar from microwave-assisted catalytic pyrolysis appears to be a novel approach for producing biochar with high sorption affinity and high CEC. These catalysts remaining in the biochar product would provide essential nutrients for the growth of bioenergy and food crops. - Highlights: • High quality biochar was made by catalytic pyrolysis in a microwave reactor. • High heating rate and good biochar quality were achieved using K 3 PO 4 and clinoptilolite mixture. • Biochars showed significant increase in soil WHC and CEC. • Microwave catalytic pyrolysis can produce

  1. Engineered biochar from microwave-assisted catalytic pyrolysis of switchgrass for increasing water-holding capacity and fertility of sandy soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mohamed, Badr A. [Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Agricultural Engineering Department, Cairo University, Giza (Egypt); Ellis, Naoko [Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Kim, Chang Soo [Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Clean Energy Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, 14 gil 5 Hwarang-no Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-791 (Korea, Republic of); Bi, Xiaotao, E-mail: tony.bi@ubc.ca [Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Emam, Ahmed El-raie [Agricultural Engineering Department, Cairo University, Giza (Egypt)

    2016-10-01

    Engineered biochars produced from microwave-assisted catalytic pyrolysis of switchgrass have been evaluated in terms of their ability on improving water holding capacity (WHC), cation exchange capacity (CEC) and fertility of loamy sand soil. The addition of K{sub 3}PO{sub 4}, clinoptilolite and/or bentonite as catalysts during the pyrolysis process increased biochar surface area and plant nutrient contents. Adding biochar produced with 10 wt.% K{sub 3}PO{sub 4} + 10 wt.% clinoptilolite as catalysts to the soil at 2 wt% load increased soil WHC by 98% and 57% compared to the treatments without biochar (control) and with 10 wt.% clinoptilolite, respectively. Synergistic effects on increased soil WHC were manifested for biochars produced from combinations of two additives compared to single additive, which may be the result of increased biochar microporosity due to increased microwave heating rate. Biochar produced from microwave catalytic pyrolysis was more efficient in increasing the soil WHC due to its high porosity in comparison with the biochar produced from conventional pyrolysis at the same conditions. The increases in soil CEC varied widely compared to the control soil, ranging from 17 to 220% for the treatments with biochars produced with 10 wt% clinoptilolite at 400 °C, and 30 wt% K{sub 3}PO{sub 4} at 300 °C, respectively. Strong positive correlations also exist among soil WHC with CEC and biochar micropore area. Biochar from microwave-assisted catalytic pyrolysis appears to be a novel approach for producing biochar with high sorption affinity and high CEC. These catalysts remaining in the biochar product would provide essential nutrients for the growth of bioenergy and food crops. - Highlights: • High quality biochar was made by catalytic pyrolysis in a microwave reactor. • High heating rate and good biochar quality were achieved using K{sub 3}PO{sub 4} and clinoptilolite mixture. • Biochars showed significant increase in soil WHC and CEC.

  2. (Pennisetum purpureum Schum) and switchgrass

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    determined in an effort to evaluate them as raw materials for pulp and paper production. Elephant grass .... pulped using a 14% active alkali (AA) and 20% sulphidity using a .... even packaging paper(Law et al., 2001; Ververis et al.,. 2004).

  3. Switchgrass leaf area index and light extinction coefficients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biomass production simulation modeling for plant species is often dependent upon accurate simulation or measurement of canopy light interception and radiation use efficiency. With the recent interest in converting large tracts of land to biofuel species cropping, modeling vegetative yield with grea...

  4. Soil water infiltration affected by topsoil thickness in row crop and switchgrass production systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conversion of annual grain crop systems to biofuel production systems can restore soil hydrologic function; however, information on these effects is limited. Hence, the objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of topsoil thickness on water infiltration in claypan soils for grain and swi...

  5. All washed out? Foliar nutrient resorption and leaching in senescing switchgrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ideal bioenergy feedstocks are low in nutrients that act as anti-quality factors during conversion processes. Research has shown that delaying harvest of temperate perennial grasses until late winter reduces nutrient content, primarily due to end-season resorption, but also indicates a role for foli...

  6. Evaluation of biogas production by dry anaerobic digestion of switchgrass-animal manure mixtures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anaerobic digestion is a biological method used to convert organic wastes into a stable product for land application without adverse environmental effects. The biogas produced can be used as an alternative renewable energy source. Dry anaerobic digestion (> 15% TS; total solid) has an advantage ov...

  7. Dry matter yield and Carbon partitioning in the aboveground part of switchgrass ( panicum virgatum l.) germplasm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Butkutė, B.; Lemežien ė, N.; Cesevičienė, J.; Liaudanskienė, I., E-mail: brone@lzi.lt [Institute of Agriculture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Akademija, Kėdainiai distr. (Lithuania)

    2013-07-01

    Carbon (C) accumulated in biomass can be converted into usable forms of energy like methane, bioethanol or solid fuel. Understanding the partitioning of aboveground biomass and C plays an important role in optimizing its pre-treatment technologies. Our objectives were to determine dry matter yield (DMY) and C partitioning in switch grass germplasm. Plants were sampled at heading (HS) and seed filling (SFS) stages. The biomass of the SFS-sampled plants was separated into leaves (blades+sheaths), stems, and panicles. C content was determined by dry combustion. C yield per plant (CY) at HS ranged from 25.9 to 171 g (37.3 g on average for plants in the first harvest year, and 147 for those in the second harvest year), at SFS CY varied within a range of 79.8 ‒ 295g and averaged 119 and 252g depending on the year of growth. DMY was a weighted factor for such results. At SFS, DMY of stems accounted on average for 46.3%, leaves for 40.5%, and panicles for 13.2% of the aboveground biomass of whole plant with respective C concentrations of 462, 439 and 459 g kg -1 DM. (author)

  8. ENZYMATIC HYDROLYSIS OF SWITCHGRASS AND COASTAL BERMUDA GRASS PRETREATED USING DIFFERENT CHEMICAL METHODS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiele Xu

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available To investigate the effects of biomass feedstock and pretreatment method on the enzyme requirement during hydrolysis, swichgrass and coastal Bermuda grass pretreated using H2SO4, NaOH, and Ca(OH2 at the optimal conditions were subjected to enzymatic hydrolysis using two enzyme combinations: NS 50013 + NS 50010 and Cellic CTec + Cellic HTec. The enzyme loadings were optimized, and correlations between feedstock property, pretreatment strategy, and enzyme usage were evaluated. The results show that pretreatment methods resulting in greater lignin contents in the pretreated biomass were generally associated with higher enzyme requirements. More sugars could be recovered from alkaline-pretreated biomass during enzymatic hydrolysis due to the better carbohydrate preservation achieved at mild pretreatment temperatures. The cellulase enzyme, Cellic CTec, was more efficient in catalyzing the hydrolysis of coastal Bermuda grass, a feedstock more digestible than the pretreated swichgrass, following pretreatment with NaOH or Ca(OH2.

  9. Turnover of soil carbon pools following addition of switchgrass-derived biochar to four soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    The amendment of soils with biochar may improve plant growth and sequester carbon, especially in marginal soils not suitable for the majority of commodity production. While biochar can persist in soils, it is not clear whether its persistence is affected by soil type. Moreover, we know little of how...

  10. Comparison of ethanol production from corn cobs and switchgrass following a pyrolysis-based biorefinery approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Luque, Luis; Oudenhoven, Stijn; Westerhof, Roel Johannes Maria; van Rossum, G.; Berruti, Franco; Kersten, Sascha R.A.; Rehmann, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Background One of the main obstacles in lignocellulosic ethanol production is the necessity of pretreatment and fractionation of the biomass feedstocks to produce sufficiently pure fermentable carbohydrates. In addition, the by-products (hemicellulose and lignin fraction) are of low value, when

  11. Genotype and plant trait effects on soil CO2 efflux responses to altered precipitation in switchgrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods Global climate change models predict increasing drought during the growing season, which will alter many ecosystem processes including soil CO2 efflux (JCO2), with potential consequences for carbon retention in soils. Soil moisture, soil temperature and plant traits such...

  12. Development of Kinetics and Mathematical Models for High Pressure Gasification of Lignite-Switchgrass Blends

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Agrawal, Pradeep K. [Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States). School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

    2016-12-20

    The overall objective of the current project was to investigate the high pressure gasification characteristics of a feed containing both coal and biomass. The two feed types differ in their ash contents and ash composition, particularly the alkali content. Gasification of a combined feed of coal and biomass has the potential for considerable synergies that might lead to a dramatic improvement in process economics and flexibility. The proposed study aimed to develop a detailed understanding of the chemistry, kinetics, and transport effects during high pressure gasification of coal-biomass blend feed. Specifically, we studied to develop: (a) an understanding of the catalytic effect of alkali and other inorganic species present in the biomass and coal, (b) an understanding of processing conditions under which synergistic effects of the blending of coal and biomass might be observed. This included the role of particle size, residence time, and proximity of the two feed types, (c) kinetics of high pressure gasification of individual feeds as well as the blends, and (d) development of mathematical models that incorporate kinetics and transport models to enable prediction of gasification rate at a given set of operating conditions, and (e) protocols to extend the results to other feed resources. The goal was to provide a fundamental understanding of the gasification process and guide in optimizing the configurations and design of the next generation of gasifiers. The approach undertaken was centered on two basic premises: (1) the gasification for small particles without internal mass transfer limitations can be treated as the sum of two processes in series (pyrolysis and char gasification) , and (2) the reactivity of the char generated during pyrolysis not only depends on the pressure and temperature but is also affected by the heating rates. Thus low heating rates (10-50 °C/min) typical of PTGA fail to produce char that would typically be formed at high heating rates (~104 °C/sec), encountered in entrained flow gasifiers. The char morphology, also a function of the heating rate, would influence the transport rates during the char gasification phase. Thus, heating rate plays a critical role through which both, pyrolysis and char gasification, are interconnected. We utilized two complementary gasification experiments: PEFR (pressurized entrained flow gasifier) and PTGA (pressurized thermo-gravimetric analyzer). The PEFR allowed us to study gasification at pressures, temperatures, and heating rates relevant for coal-biomass gasifiers. The PTGA work was useful in understanding the basic chemistry of the evolution of various gaseous species during pyrolysis. These results helped improved our understanding of the chemistry and chemical changes during pyrolysis. The role alkali metals and other inorganics in char gasification using steam and/or CO2 was investigated. Finally, the mathematical models for char gasification without the transport effects were developed at commercial operating conditions.

  13. Engineering industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains for xylose fermentation and comparison for switchgrass conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saccharomyces physiology and fermentation related properties vary broadly among industrial strains. In this study, six industrial strains of varied genetic background were engineered to ferment xylose. Aerobic growth rates on xylose were 0.040 h**-1 to 0.167 h**-1. Fermentation of xylose, glucose/xy...

  14. Cradle-to-Gate Life Cycle Assessment of Switchgrass Fuel Pellets Manufactured in the Southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. D. Bergman; D. L. Reed; A. M. Taylor; D. P. Harper; D. G. Hodges

    2015-01-01

    Developing renewable energy sources with low environmental impacts is becoming increasingly important as concerns about consuming fossil fuel sources grow. Cultivating, harvesting, drying, and densifying raw biomass feedstocks into pellets for easy handling and transport is one step forward in this endeavor. However, the corresponding environmental performances must be...

  15. Energy and emission benefits of alternative transportation liquid fuels derived from switchgrass: a fuel life cycle assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, May; Wu, Ye; Wang, Michael

    2006-01-01

    We conducted a mobility chains, or well-to-wheels (WTW), analysis to assess the energy and emission benefits of cellulosic biomass for the U.S. transportation sector in the years 2015-2030. We estimated the life-cycle energy consumption and emissions associated with biofuel production and use in light-duty vehicle (LDV) technologies by using the Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model. Analysis of biofuel production was based on ASPEN Plus model simulation of an advanced fermentation process to produce fuel ethanol/protein, a thermochemical process to produce Fischer-Tropsch diesel (FTD) and dimethyl ether (DME), and a combined heat and power plant to co-produce steam and electricity. Our study revealed that cellulosic biofuels as E85 (mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline by volume), FTD, and DME offer substantial savings in petroleum (66-93%) and fossil energy (65-88%) consumption on a per-mile basis. Decreased fossil fuel use translates to 82-87% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions across all unblended cellulosic biofuels. In urban areas, our study shows net reductions for almost all criteria pollutants, with the exception of carbon monoxide (unchanged), for each of the biofuel production option examined. Conventional and hybrid electric vehicles, when fueled with E85, could reduce total sulfur oxide (SO(x)) emissions to 39-43% of those generated by vehicles fueled with gasoline. By using bio-FTD and bio-DME in place of diesel, SO(x) emissions are reduced to 46-58% of those generated by diesel-fueled vehicles. Six different fuel production options were compared. This study strongly suggests that integrated heat and power co-generation by means of gas turbine combined cycle is a crucial factor in the energy savings and emission reductions.

  16. DOWNREGULATION OF CINNAMYL-ALCOHOL DEHYDROGENASE IN SWITCHGRASS BY RNA SILENCING RESULTS IN ENHANCED GLUCOSE RELEASE AFTER CELLULASE TREATMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD), catalyzes the last step in monolignol biosynthesis and genetic evidence indicates CAD deficiency in grasses both decreases overall lignin, alters lignin structure and increases enzymatic recovery of sugars. To ascertain the effect of CAD downregulation in switch...

  17. Biomass power for rural development. Quarterly report, July 3--December 4, 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cooper, J.T.

    1998-03-01

    This paper describes progress in several projects related to biomass power. These include switchgrass conversion development; switchgrass gasification development; production activities including soil studies, carbon studies, switchgrass production economics, watershed impacts, and prairie lands bio-products; information and education; and geographical information system. Attachments describe switchgrass co-firing test; switchgrass production in Iowa; cooperative agreements with ISU; Rathbun Lake watershed project; newspaper articles and information publications; Secretary of Agriculture Glickman`s visit; integration of technical aspects of switchgrass production in Iowa; and evaluation of an integrated biomass gasification/fuel cell power plant.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bullard, M.; Metcalfe, P.

    2001-07-01

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

  19. Developing Association Mapping in Polyploid Perennial Biofuel Grasses: Final Technical Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buckler, Edward S; Casler, Michael D; Cherney, Jerome H

    2012-01-20

    This project had six objectives, four of which have been completed: 1) Association panels of diverse populations and linkage populations for switchgrass and reed canarygrass (~1,000 clones each) were assembled and planted in two sites (Ithaca, NY and Arlington, WI); 2) Key biofeedstock characteristics were evaluated in these panels for three field seasons; 3) High density SNP markers were developed in switchgrass; and 4) Switchgrass association panels and linkage populations were genotyped. The remaining two original objectives will be met in the next year, as the analyses are completed and papers published: 5) Switchgrass population structure and germplasm diversity will be evaluated; and 6) Association mapping will be established and marker based breeding values estimated in switchgrass. We also completed a study of the chromosome-number variation found in switchgrass.

  20. Mapping marginal croplands suitable for cellulosic feedstock crops in the Great Plains, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2016-01-01

    Growing cellulosic feedstock crops (e.g., switchgrass) for biofuel is more environmentally sustainable than corn-based ethanol. Specifically, this practice can reduce soil erosion and water quality impairment from pesticides and fertilizer, improve ecosystem services and sustainability (e.g., serve as carbon sinks), and minimize impacts on global food supplies. The main goal of this study was to identify high-risk marginal croplands that are potentially suitable for growing cellulosic feedstock crops (e.g., switchgrass) in the US Great Plains (GP). Satellite-derived growing season Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, a switchgrass biomass productivity map obtained from a previous study, US Geological Survey (USGS) irrigation and crop masks, and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop indemnity maps for the GP were used in this study. Our hypothesis was that croplands with relatively low crop yield but high productivity potential for switchgrass may be suitable for converting to switchgrass. Areas with relatively low crop indemnity (crop indemnity marginal croplands in the GP are potentially suitable for switchgrass development. The total estimated switchgrass biomass productivity gain from these suitable areas is about 5.9 million metric tons. Switchgrass can be cultivated in either lowland or upland regions in the GP depending on the local soil and environmental conditions. This study improves our understanding of ecosystem services and the sustainability of cropland systems in the GP. Results from this study provide useful information to land managers for making informed decisions regarding switchgrass development in the GP.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  2. Critical cellulase and hemicellulase activities for hydrolysis of ionic liquid pretreated biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Critical cellulase and hemicellulase activities are identified for hydrolysis of ionic liquid (IL) pretreated poplar and switchgrass; hemicellulase rich substrates with amorphous cellulose. Enzymes from Aspergillus nidulans were expressed and purified: an endoglucanase (EG) a cellobiohydrolase (CBH)...

  3. Fermentation characteristics and nutritive value of low moisture ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fermentation characteristics and nutritive value of low moisture silage made from mature bermudagrass ( C. dactylon ) and switchgrass ( P. virgatum ) in mixture with alfalfa ( M. sativa ) or treated with urea and plantain ( Musa AAB )

  4. Alternative Fuels for use in DoD/Army Tactical Ground Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-03

    Jet Fuel-Like Product Lignocellulose corn stover forest waste switchgrass sugarcane Fermentation Genetically Engineered Microbes Jet Fuel-Like...Product Bio-CrudePyrolysis Dehydration Hydroprocessing Synthetic Biology Pyrolysis Alcohol Oligomerization Conventional Refinery ProcessesSugar

  5. JP-8 and Other Military Fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-01

    Fermentation Jet Fuel-Like Product sugarcane Alcohol Oligomerization Conventional Refinery ProcessesSugar switchgrass Dehydration Pyrolysis Fermentation...PolymerizationOlefins Lignocellulose corn stover forest waste Jet Fuel-Like ProductBio-CrudePyrolysis Hydroprocessing Unclassified Back Up Slides

  6. Army Alternative Ground Fuels Qualification

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-31

    Jet Fuel-Like Product Lignocellulose corn stover forest waste switchgrass sugarcane Fermentation Genetically Engineered Microbes Jet...Fuel-Like Product Bio-Crude Pyrolysis Dehydration Hydroprocessing Synthetic Biology Pyrolysis Alcohol Oligomerization Conventional

  7. Marykate O'Brien | NREL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pretreatment of Corn Stover," ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering (2016) "Acidolysis of α-O-4 Chemistry and Engineering (2015) "Alkaline pretreatment of switchgrass," ACS Sustainable Chemistry stream characterization," ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering (2014) "Lignin

  8. Nutrient uptake of ornamental plants exposed to arsenic in hydroponic solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arsenic-based agro-chemicals have contaminated considerable acreage on turf-farms, orchards, and around horticultural production structures. A study was undertaken to evaluate iris (Iris virginica), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), Tithonia rotundiflora, Coreopsis lanceolata, Sunflower (Helianthus an...

  9. Assessment of pelletized biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samson, R.; Duxbury, P.; Drisdelle, M.; Lapointe, C.

    2000-04-01

    There has been an increased interest in the development of economical and convenient renewable energy fuels, resulting from concerns about climate change and rising oil prices. An opportunity to use agricultural land as a means of producing renewable fuels in large quantities, relying on wood and agricultural residues only has come up with recent advances in biomass feedstock development and conversion technologies. Increasing carbon storage in the landscape and displacing fossil fuels in combustion applications can be accomplished by using switchgrass and short rotation willow which abate greenhouse gas emissions. The potential of switchgrass and short rotation willow, as well as other biomass residues as new feedstocks for the pellet industry is studied in this document. Higher throughput rates are facilitated by using switchgrass, which shows potential as a pelleting feedstock. In addition, crop drying requires less energy than wood. By taking into consideration energy for switchgrass production, transportation to the conversion facility, preprocessing, pelleting, and marketing, the overall energy balance of switchgrass is 14.5:1. Research on alfalfa pelleting can be applied to switchgrass, as both exhibit a similar behaviour. The length of chop, the application of high temperature steam and the use of a die with a suitable length/diameter ratio are all factors that contribute to the successful pelleting of switchgrass. Switchgrass has a similar combustion efficiency (82 to 84 per cent) to wood (84 to 86 per cent), as determined by combustion trials conducted by the Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology (CANMET) in the Dell-Point close coupled gasifier. The energy content is 96 per cent of the energy of wood pellets on a per tonne basis. Clinker formation was observed, which necessitated some adjustments of the cleaner grate settings. While stimulating rural development and export market opportunities, the high yielding closed loop biofuels show

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-09-01

    The $\\underline{C}$arbon $\\underline{C}$alculator for $\\underline{L}$and $\\underline{U}$se Change from $\\underline{B}$iofuels Production (CCLUB) calculates carbon emissions from land use change (LUC) for four different ethanol production pathways including corn grain ethanol and cellulosic ethanol from corn stover, Miscanthus, and switchgrass. This document discusses the version of CCLUB released September 30, 2014 which includes corn and three cellulosic feedstocks: corn stover, Miscanthus, and switchgrass.

  11. Biomass power for rural development. Quarterly report, September 23, 1996--December 31, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cooper, J.T.

    1997-02-01

    Goals for the biomass power for rural development include: expanded feedstock research and demonstration activities to provide soil-specific production costs and yield data, as well as better methods for harvest and transport; four thousand acres of feedstock available for fueling a commercial venture; comparison of the feasibility of gasification and cocombustion; designs for on-site switchgrass handling and feeding system; a detailed assessment of utilizing switchgrass for gasification and cocombustion to generate electricity using turbines and fuel cells.

  12. Microbial nitrogen cycling response to forest-based bioenergy production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minick, Kevan J; Strahm, Brian D; Fox, Thomas R; Sucre, Eric B; Leggett, Zakiya H

    2015-12-01

    Concern over rising atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases due to fossil fuel combustion has intensified research into carbon-neutral energy production. Approximately 15.8 million ha of pine plantations exist across the southeastern United States, representing a vast land area advantageous for bioenergy production without significant landuse change or diversion of agricultural resources from food production. Furthermore, intercropping of pine with bioenergy grasses could provide annually harvestable, lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks along with production of traditional wood products. Viability of such a system hinges in part on soil nitrogen (N) availability and effects of N competition between pines and grasses on ecosystem productivity. We investigated effects of intercropping loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) with switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) on microbial N cycling processes in the Lower Coastal Plain of North Carolina, USA. Soil samples were collected from bedded rows of pine and interbed space of two treatments, composed of either volunteer native woody and herbaceous vegetation (pine-native) or pure switchgrass (pine-switchgrass) in interbeds. An in vitro 15N pool-dilution technique was employed to quantify gross N transformations at two soil depths (0-5 and 5-15 cm) on four dates in 2012-2013. At the 0-5 cm depth in beds of the pine-switchgrass treatment, gross N mineralization was two to three times higher in November and February compared to the pine-native treatment, resulting in increased NH4(+) availability. Gross and net nitrification were also significantly higher in February in the same pine beds. In interbeds of the pine-switchgrass treatment, gross N mineralization was lower from April to November, but higher in February, potentially reflecting positive effects of switchgrass root-derived C inputs during dormancy on microbial activity. These findings indicate soil N cycling and availability has increased in pine beds of the pine-switchgrass

  13. Stochastic optimization of a multi-feedstock lignocellulosic-based bioethanol supply chain under multiple uncertainties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osmani, Atif; Zhang, Jun

    2013-01-01

    An integrated multi-feedstock (i.e. switchgrass and crop residue) lignocellulosic-based bioethanol supply chain is studied under jointly occurring uncertainties in switchgrass yield, crop residue purchase price, bioethanol demand and sales price. A two-stage stochastic mathematical model is proposed to maximize expected profit by optimizing the strategic and tactical decisions. A case study based on ND (North Dakota) state in the U.S. demonstrates that in a stochastic environment it is cost effective to meet 100% of ND's annual gasoline demand from bioethanol by using switchgrass as a primary and crop residue as a secondary biomass feedstock. Although results show that the financial performance is degraded as variability of the uncertain parameters increases, the proposed stochastic model increasingly outperforms the deterministic model under uncertainties. The locations of biorefineries (i.e. first-stage integer variables) are insensitive to the uncertainties. Sensitivity analysis shows that “mean” value of stochastic parameters has a significant impact on the expected profit and optimal values of first-stage continuous variables. Increase in level of mean ethanol demand and mean sale price results in higher bioethanol production. When mean switchgrass yield is at low level and mean crop residue price is at high level, all the available marginal land is used for switchgrass cultivation. - Highlights: • Two-stage stochastic MILP model for maximizing profit of a multi-feedstock lignocellulosic-based bioethanol supply chain. • Multiple uncertainties in switchgrass yield, crop residue purchase price, bioethanol demand, and bioethanol sale price. • Proposed stochastic model outperforms the traditional deterministic model under uncertainties. • Stochastic parameters significantly affect marginal land allocation for switchgrass cultivation and bioethanol production. • Location of biorefineries is found to be insensitive to the stochastic environment

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-10-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sumin Kim

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Comparative data on effects of leading pretreatments and enzyme loadings and formulations on sugar

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wyman, Charles [Univ. of California, Riverside, CA (United States); Balan, Venkatech [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Dale, Bruce E. [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Elander, Richard [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Falls, Matthew [Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States); Hames, Bonnie [Ceres Corporation, Thousand Oaks, CA (United States); Holtzapple, Mark [Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States); Ladisch, Michael R. [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Lee, Y. Y. [Auburn Univ., AL (United States); Mosier, Nathan [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Pallapolu, Venkata R. [Auburn Univ., AL (United States); Shi, Jian [Univ. of California, Riverside, CA (United States); Warner, Ryan E. [Genencor, Palo Alto, CA (United States)

    2011-06-16

    Dilute sulfuric acid (DA), sulfur dioxide (SO2), liquid hot water (LHW), soaking in aqueous ammonia (SAA), ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX), and lime pretreatments were applied to Alamo, Dacotah, and Shawnee switchgrass. Application of the same analytical methods and material balance approaches facil-itated meaningful comparisons of glucose and xylose yields from combined pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. Use of a common supply of cellulase, beta-glucosidase, and xylanase also eased comparisons. All pretreatments enhanced sugar recovery from pretreatment and subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis substantially compared to untreated switchgrass. Adding beta-glucosidase was effective early in enzy-matic hydrolysis while cellobiose levels were high but had limited effect on longer term yields at the enzyme loadings applied. Adding xylanase improved yields most for higher pH pretreatments where more xylan was left in the solids. Harvest time had more impact on performance than switchgrass variety, and microscopy showed changes in different features could impact performance by different pretreatments.

  18. Reducing biomass recalcitrance via mild sodium carbonate pretreatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirmohamadsadeghi, Safoora; Chen, Zhu; Wan, Caixia

    2016-06-01

    This study examined the effects of mild sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) pretreatment on enzymatic hydrolysis of different feedstocks (i.e., corn stover, Miscanthus, and switchgrass). The results showed that sodium carbonate pretreatment markedly enhanced the sugar yields of the tested biomass feedstocks. The pretreated corn stover, Miscanthus, and switchgrass gave the glucose yields of 95.1%, 62.3%, and 81.3%, respectively, after enzymatic hydrolysis. The above glucose yields of pretreated feedstocks were 2-4 times that of untreated ones. The pretreatment also enhanced the xylose yields, 4 times for corn stover and 20 times for both Miscanthus and switchgrass. Sodium carbonate pretreatment removed 40-59% lignin from the tested feedstocks while preserving most of cellulose (sodium carbonate pretreatment was effective for reducing biomass recalcitrance and subsequently improving the digestibility of lignocellulosic biomass. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Alternative Crops and Biofuel Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  20. Modifying a Cow-Calf Biophysical Simulation Model for Analyses of Alternative Enterprises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutes, Jennifer L.

    Cow-calf producers in the United States, tasked with providing beef calves for the beef industry, have had a multitude of difficulties to overcome in recent years. Producers in northwest Arkansas were negatively impacted by high hay prices coupled with low beef cattle market prices due to severe drought experienced in portions of 2010, 2011, and 2012. During this time they also faced high grain prices, due to a record low harvest, combined with portions of the corn harvest diverted from human and animal feed to ethanol production. Tight lending policies of this time, reminiscent of the housing market crash in 2008, along with the negative public attention associated with high levels of greenhouse gas emissions associated with beef production, lead to a tough situation for cattle producers faced with increasing input costs, decreased revenue, and lack of access to loans. With these issues in mind, this research aimed to determine if incorporating switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) production on a cow-calf farm could serve to increase net returns, decrease income volatility, lower net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions without decreasing beef output, and provide a viable source of feedstock for a potential bio-refinery. The study determined that switchgrass is a potential solution to these problems and thus aimed to discover differences in switchgrass supply under different government policies in four northwestern counties in Arkansas to an as-yet, non-existent bio-refinery. It was determined that growing switchgrass on pastureland, once devoted to cow-calf production, is a viable enterprise diversification tool that under the right conditions could be used to improve producer financial and environmental outcomes. However, bioenergy production is slow to gain traction in the US due to adverse market conditions from low fossil fuel prices. Thus, in the US, there are only a few bio-refineries currently online and accepting lignocellulosic biomass, however none of them are

  1. Transport biofuel yields from food and lignocellulosic C{sub 4} crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reijnders, L. [IBED University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    2010-01-15

    In the near future, the lignocellulosic C{sub 4} crops Miscanthus and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) are unlikely to outcompete sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) in net energetic yearly yield of transport biofuel ha{sup -1}. This holds both for the thermochemical conversion into liquid hydrocarbons and the enzymatic conversion into ethanol. Currently, Miscanthus and switchgrass would also not seem able to outcompete corn (Zea mays) in net energetic yearly yield of liquid transport biofuel ha{sup -1}, but further development of these lignocellulosic crops may gradually lead to a different outcome. (author)

  2. Biomass power for rural development. Quarterly report, July 1--September 30, 1998

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cooper, J.T.

    1998-10-01

    In this quarter a large amount of time was spent doing project planning and budget preparation for the fiscal years 1998 and 1999. Many issues of long-term strategic planning and budgeting depend on the availability of Federal support, including financial, technical and political. It has become increasingly obvious that several significant barriers must be overcome in order to reach the final project goal of commercial replication of the technology. This report describes switchgrass conversion development, production activities, environmental analysis planning, and information and education. Appendices discuss the biomass project, sediment delivery, successful establishment of switchgrass, and legislative support for the biomass project.

  3. Energy potential and greenhouse gas emissions from bioenergy cropping systems on marginally productive cropland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marty R Schmer

    Full Text Available Low-carbon biofuel sources are being developed and evaluated in the United States and Europe to partially offset petroleum transport fuels. Current and potential biofuel production systems were evaluated from a long-term continuous no-tillage corn (Zea mays L. and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. field trial under differing harvest strategies and nitrogen (N fertilizer intensities to determine overall environmental sustainability. Corn and switchgrass grown for bioenergy resulted in near-term net greenhouse gas (GHG reductions of -29 to -396 grams of CO2 equivalent emissions per megajoule of ethanol per year as a result of direct soil carbon sequestration and from the adoption of integrated biofuel conversion pathways. Management practices in switchgrass and corn resulted in large variation in petroleum offset potential. Switchgrass, using best management practices produced 3919±117 liters of ethanol per hectare and had 74±2.2 gigajoules of petroleum offsets per hectare which was similar to intensified corn systems (grain and 50% residue harvest under optimal N rates. Co-locating and integrating cellulosic biorefineries with existing dry mill corn grain ethanol facilities improved net energy yields (GJ ha-1 of corn grain ethanol by >70%. A multi-feedstock, landscape approach coupled with an integrated biorefinery would be a viable option to meet growing renewable transportation fuel demands while improving the energy efficiency of first generation biofuels.

  4. Implications of observed and simulated soil carbon sequestration for management options in corn-based rotations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Managing cropping systems to sequester soil organic carbon (SOC) improves soil health and a system’s resiliency to impacts of changing climate. Our objectives were to 1) monitor SOC from a bio-energy cropping study in central Pennsylvania that included a corn-soybean-alfalfa rotation, switchgrass, a...

  5. Soil-derived microbial consortia enriched with different plant biomass reveal distinct players acting in lignocellulose degradation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Lima Brossi, Maria Julia; Jiménez Avella, Diego; Cortes Tolalpa, Larisa; van Elsas, Jan

    Here, we investigated how different plant biomass, and-for one substrate-pH, drive the composition of degrader microbial consortia. We bred such consortia from forest soil, incubated along nine aerobic sequential - batch enrichments with wheat straw (WS1, pH 7.2; WS2, pH 9.0), switchgrass (SG, pH

  6. Genome assembly of the fungus Cochliobolus miyabeanus, and transcriptome analysis during early stages of infection on American wild rice (Zizania palustris L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochliobolus miyabeanus causes a severe, yield-reducing leaf spot disease on rice (Oryza sativa) and two North American specialty crops, American wildrice (Zizania palustris) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). Despite the importance of the pathogen in wildrice, little is known about mechanisms of p...

  7. Modeling phosphorus capture by plants growing in a multi-species riparian buffer

    Science.gov (United States)

    The NST 3.0 mechanistic nutrient uptake model was used to explore phosphorus (P) uptake to a depth of 120 cm over a 126-d growing season in simulated buffer communities composed of mixtures of cottonwood (Populus deltoids Bartr.), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), and smooth brome (Bromis inermis L...

  8. Demo biomassagewassen binnen project Energieboerderij

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mheen, van der H.J.C.J.

    2011-01-01

    Door de Stuurgroep Energieboerderij werd op 16 maart 2011 de in een velddemo te beproeven gewassen vastgesteld. Gekozen werd voor de navolgende acht gewassen: Landschapsmais, Mariadistel, Tagetes minuta, Tagetes patula, Milkweed, Switchgrass, Reed Canary Grass (RCG) en Witte Krodde. Met uitzondering

  9. Impacts of managing perennial grasses in the northern Midwest United States for bioenergy on soil organic C and nitrous oxide emission

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the USA perennial grasses [e.g., switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerdardii Vitman)] are proposed as cellulosic feedstock. Perennial grasses are often touted as being low input and as having a C-neutral foot print, but managing them as bioenergy feedstock means addin...

  10. Measurement of steroidal saponins in Panicum and Brachiaria grasses in the USA and Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Several grasses in the Panicum genus have been reported to cause hepatogenous photosensitization in animals throughout the world. In the United States, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been reported to cause hepatogenous photosensitization in lambs and horses. In Brazil, cultivars of Panicum ...

  11. Renewable biomass energy: Understanding regional scale environmental impacts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graham, R.L.; Downing, M.

    1993-12-31

    If biomass energy is to become a significant component of the US energy sector, millions of acres of farmland must be converted to energy crops. The environmental implications of this change in land use must be quantitatively evaluated. The land use changes will be largely driven by economic considerations. Farmers will grow energy crops when it is profitable to do so. Thus, models which purport to predict environmental changes induced by energy crop production must take into account those economic features which will influence land use change. In this paper, we present an approach for projecting the probable environmental impacts of growing energy crops at the regional scale. The approach takes into account both economic and environmental factors. We demonstrate the approach by analyzing, at a county-level the probable impact of switchgrass production on erosion, evapotranspiration, nitrate in runoff, and phosphorous fertilizer use in multi-county subregions within the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region. Our results show that the adoption of switchgrass production will have different impacts in each subregion as a result of differences in the initial land use and soil conditions in the subregions. Erosion, evapotranspiration, and nitrate in runoff are projected to decrease in both subregions as switchgrass displaces the current crops. Phosphorous fertilizer applications are likely to increase in one subregion and decrease in the other due to initial differences in the types of conventional crops grown in each subregion. Overall these changes portend an improvement in water quality in the subregions with the increasing adoption of switchgrass.

  12. Twenty-Seventh Fungal Genetics Conference, Asilomar, CA, March 12-17, 2013

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walton, Jonathan

    2013-03-17

    This meeting brings together ~900 international scientists to discuss the latest research on fungal genetics. Sessions of particular relevance to DOE include lignocellulose degradation, cellulose conversion to fermentable sugars, fermentation of sugars to fuel molecules. Other sessions cover fungal diseases of biomass crops (miscanthus, corn, switchgrass, etc.).

  13. Gasoline, diesel, and ethanol biofuels from grasses and plants

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gupta, Ram B; Demirbas, Ayhan

    2010-01-01

    ...-generation biofuels obtained from nonfood biomass, such as forest residue, agricultural residue, switchgrass, corn stover, waste wood, and municipal solid wastes. Various technologies are discussed, including cellulosic ethanol, biomass gasification, synthesis of diesel and gasoline, biocrude by hydrothermal liquefaction, bio-oil by fast pyrolysis, and the...

  14. High-solids enrichment of thermophilic microbial communities and their enzymes on bioenergy feedstocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reddy, A. P.; Allgaier, M.; Singer, S.W.; Hazen, T.C.; Simmons, B.A.; Hugenholtz, P.; VanderGheynst, J.S.

    2011-04-01

    Thermophilic microbial communities that are active in a high-solids environment offer great potential for the discovery of industrially relevant enzymes that efficiently deconstruct bioenergy feedstocks. In this study, finished green waste compost was used as an inoculum source to enrich microbial communities and associated enzymes that hydrolyze cellulose and hemicellulose during thermophilic high-solids fermentation of the bioenergy feedstocks switchgrass and corn stover. Methods involving the disruption of enzyme and plant cell wall polysaccharide interactions were developed to recover xylanase and endoglucanase activity from deconstructed solids. Xylanase and endoglucanase activity increased by more than a factor of 5, upon four successive enrichments on switchgrass. Overall, the changes for switchgrass were more pronounced than for corn stover; solids reduction between the first and second enrichments increased by a factor of four for switchgrass while solids reduction remained relatively constant for corn stover. Amplicon pyrosequencing analysis of small-subunit ribosomal RNA genes recovered from enriched samples indicated rapid changes in the microbial communities between the first and second enrichment with the simplified communities achieved by the third enrichment. The results demonstrate a successful approach for enrichment of unique microbial communities and enzymes active in a thermophilic high-solids environment.

  15. Biomass Feedstocks | Bioenergy | NREL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feedstocks Biomass Feedstocks Our mission is to enable the coordinated development of biomass generic biomass thermochemical conversion process (over a screened-back map of the United States) showing U.S. Biomass Resources, represented by photos of timber, corn stover, switchgrass, and poplar. All

  16. Effects on Environmental and Socioeconomic Sustainability of Producing Ethanol from Perennial Grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, V. H.; Parish, E. S.

    2016-12-01

    Using perennial grasses to produce ethanol can enhance progress toward sustainability. A suite of 35 environmental and socioeconomic sustainability indicators was considered in a holistic sustainability assessment of a five-year switchgrass-to-ethanol production experiment centered on a demonstration-scale biorefinery in Vonore, Tennessee. By combining field measurements, literature review and expert opinion, the team was able to rate 28 of the 35 recommended sustainability indicators. The team combined these ratings within a multi-attribute decision support system tool and used this information to compare the sustainability of producing 2118 hectares of no-till switchgrass relative to two alternative business-as-usual scenarios of unmanaged pasture and tilled corn production. The results suggest that East Tennessee switchgrass production improves environmental quality overall and can be beneficial to the counties surrounding the biorefinery in terms of dollars earned and jobs created. The timing of switchgrass production also provides an opportunity to use inactive equipment and laborers. By incorporating a landscape design approach, the opportunities, constraints and most reasonable paths forward for growing bioenergy feedstock in specific context can be assessed in a way that adapts and improves local practices. Lessons learned from this case study are being incorporated into sustainability assessments of corn stover in Iowa and a variety of bioenergy feedstocks in diverse settings. The overall goal is to develop sound management practices that can address the multiple and sometimes competing demands of stakeholders.

  17. Energy Potential and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Bioenergy Cropping Systems on Marginally Productive Cropland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmer, Marty R.; Vogel, Kenneth P.; Varvel, Gary E.; Follett, Ronald F.; Mitchell, Robert B.; Jin, Virginia L.

    2014-01-01

    Low-carbon biofuel sources are being developed and evaluated in the United States and Europe to partially offset petroleum transport fuels. Current and potential biofuel production systems were evaluated from a long-term continuous no-tillage corn (Zea mays L.) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) field trial under differing harvest strategies and nitrogen (N) fertilizer intensities to determine overall environmental sustainability. Corn and switchgrass grown for bioenergy resulted in near-term net greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of −29 to −396 grams of CO2 equivalent emissions per megajoule of ethanol per year as a result of direct soil carbon sequestration and from the adoption of integrated biofuel conversion pathways. Management practices in switchgrass and corn resulted in large variation in petroleum offset potential. Switchgrass, using best management practices produced 3919±117 liters of ethanol per hectare and had 74±2.2 gigajoules of petroleum offsets per hectare which was similar to intensified corn systems (grain and 50% residue harvest under optimal N rates). Co-locating and integrating cellulosic biorefineries with existing dry mill corn grain ethanol facilities improved net energy yields (GJ ha−1) of corn grain ethanol by >70%. A multi-feedstock, landscape approach coupled with an integrated biorefinery would be a viable option to meet growing renewable transportation fuel demands while improving the energy efficiency of first generation biofuels. PMID:24594783

  18. Gene Flow in Genetically Engineered Perennial Grasses: Lessons for Modification of Dedicated Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic modification of dedicated bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass, will play a major role in crop improvement for a wide range of beneficial traits specific to biofuels. One obstacle that arises regarding transgenic improvement of perennials used for biofuels is the propensity of these plants t...

  19. Herbaceous biomass supply chains : assessing the greenhouse gas balance, economics and ILUC effects of Ukrainian biomass for domestic and Dutch energy markets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poppens, R.P.; Lesschen, J.P.; Galytska, M.; Jamblinne, de P.; Kraisvitnii, P.; Elbersen, H.W.

    2013-01-01

    This report describes the supply chain performance for three types of biomass feedstock (reed, straw and switchgrass) and for three sustainability aspects, i.e. the greenhouse gas balance, economics and Indirect Land Use change effects (ILUC). Calculations are based on a fictional supply chain

  20. The trade-off between bioenergy and emissions with land constraints

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kauffman, Nathan S.; Hayes, Dermot J.

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural biofuels require the use of scarce land, and this land has opportunity cost. We explore the objective function of a social planner who includes a land constraint in the optimization decision to minimize environmental cost. The inclusion of this land constraint in our optimization model motivates the measurement of emissions on a per-hectare basis. Switchgrass and corn are modeled as competing alternatives to show how the inclusion of a land constraint can influence life cycle rankings and alter policy conclusions. With land use unconstrained, ethanol produced from switchgrass is always an optimal feedstock relative to ethanol produced from corn. With land use constrained, however, our results show that it is unlikely that switchgrass would be optimal in the midwestern United States, but may be optimal in southern states if carbon is priced relatively high. Whether biofuel policy advocates for one feedstock over another should consider these contrasting results. - Highlights: ► Biofuel pathway rankings differ depending on the functional unit of measure. ► Conventional life cycle analysis overlooks the opportunity cost of land. ► Including a land constraint, a model is developed to determine pathway optimality. ► The optimization model suggests emissions be measured per hectare. ► Switchgrass and corn are modeled as competing alternatives for biofuel production

  1. Catalytic upgrading nitrogen-riched wood syngas to liquid hydrocarbon mixture over Fe-Pd/ZSM-5 catalyst

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiangu Yan; Fei Yu; Zhiyong Cai; Jilei Zhang

    2012-01-01

    Biomass like wood chips, switchgrass and other plant residues are first converted to syngas through gasification process using air, oxygen or steam. A downdraft gasifier is performed for syngas production in Mississippi State. The syngas from the gasifier contains up to 49% (vol) N2. High-level nitrogen-containing (nitrogen can be up to 60%)...

  2. Regional Guidebook for Applying the Hydrogeomorphic Approach to Assessing the Functions of Headwater Slope Wetlands on the Mississippi and Alabama Coastal Plans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-08-01

    sourwood Bignonia capreolata crossvine Panicum virgatum switchgrass Callicarpa americana American beautyberry Persea borbonia redbay Calystegia sepium...sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana), loblolly-bay (Gordonia lasianthus), redbay ( Persea borbonia), and swamp bay ( Persea palustris) make up a significant...com- munity model. The Society of American Foresters (Eyre 1980) recognizes a “Sweetbay- Swamp Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica var. biflora)-Redbay” forest

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Gengyun; Liu, Xin; Quan, Zhiwu

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Calibrating your grain drill or seeder can save both seed and money

    Science.gov (United States)

    The agronomic impact of over-seeding or under-seeding a field is complex. Most farmers have worked out a seeding rate with their agronomist. Exceeding that rate may not be productive, especially at $265+ per bag of alfalfa ($500 for switchgrass). Over-seeding costs add up, even across a small number...

  5. Environmental Assessment for Tinker Aerospace Complex Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-05-01

    Boutelova curtipendula silver bluestem Andropogon saccharoides slippery elm Ulmus rubra sugarberry Celtis laevigata switchgrass...areas; Crutcho Creek, Elm Creek, and Hog Creek. The Crutcho Creek drainage area consists of two additional water bodies, Kulhman Creek and Solider...Crutcho Creek flows to the north and discharges into the North Canadian River; the North Canadian River then discharges into the Arkansas River. Elm

  6. The water quality and quantity effects of biofuel operations in pine plantations of the southeastern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Nettles; M. Youssef; J. Cacho; J. Grace; Z. Leggett; E. Sucre

    2011-01-01

    Working alongside operational trials, a comprehensive research programme was developed to evaluate sustainability, life-cycle analysis, soil productivity, wildlife, and water resource impacts. The hydrology field studies consist of three sets of forested watersheds, each with mid-rotation pine reference, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) interplanted, typical...

  7. Grow them and we will come for the feast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial grasses such as switchgrass are likely to become dedicated biomass crops. However, there is limited knowledge on the types of insect pests that could pose a problem if these grasses are cultivated on a large-scale. Recent reports suggest that different classes of insect have the ability ...

  8. Renewable biomass energy: Understanding regional scale environmental impacts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graham, R.L.; Downing, M.

    1993-01-01

    If biomass energy is to become a significant component of the US energy sector, millions of acres of farmland must be converted to energy crops. The environmental implications of this change in land use must be quantitatively evaluated. The land use changes will be largely driven by economic considerations. Farmers will grow energy crops when it is profitable to do so. Thus, models which purport to predict environmental changes induced by energy crop production must take into account those economic features which will influence land use change. In this paper, we present an approach for projecting the probable environmental impacts of growing energy crops at the regional scale. The approach takes into account both economic and environmental factors. We demonstrate the approach by analyzing, at a county-level, the probable impact of switchgrass production on erosion, evapotranspiration, nitrate in runoff, and phosphorous fertilizer use in two multi-county subregions within the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region. Our results show that the adoption of switchgrass production will have different impacts in each subregion as a result of differences in the initial land use and soil conditions in the subregions. Erosion, evapotranspiration, and nitrate in runoff are projected to decrease in both subregions as switchgrass displaces the current crops. Phosphorous fertilizer applications are likely to increase in one subregion and decrease in the other due to initial differences in the types of conventional crops grown in each subregion. Overall these changes portend an improvement in water quality in the subregions with the increasing adoption of switchgrass

  9. Directed evolution of adaptive traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    As a species, switchgrass is adapted to an amazingly broad range of environments, spanning hardiness zones ranging from HZ3 to HZ9 (Canada to Mexico), from the mid-grass prairie to the Atlantic Seaboard, from sandy soils to heavy clay soils, from acid to alkaline soils, and from wetland to dryland h...

  10. Nitrous oxide emission and soil carbon sequestration from herbaceous perennial biofuel feedstocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and renewable, domestic fuels are needed in the United States. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerdardii Vitman) are potential bioenergy feedstocks that may meet this need. However, managing perennial grasses for feedstock requires nitro...

  11. Implications of observed and simulated soil carbon sequestration for management options in corn-based rotations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Managing cropping systems to sequester soil organic carbon (SOC) improves soil health and a system’s resiliency to impacts of changing climate. Our objectives were to 1) monitor SOC from a bio-energy cropping study in central Pennsylvania that included a corn-soybean-alfalfa rotation, switchgrass, ...

  12. Mycorrhizal Enhancement of Biomass Productivity of Big Bluestem ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The usual biomass partitioning by BB at pH=4.5 deserves further investigation. Different patterns of biomass partitioning notwithstanding, results of this study strongly suggest that BB could complement SG, the model biofuel feedstock, especially under acidic substrate conditions. Key words: Big bluestem; switchgrass; ...

  13. Soil organic matter fractions in loblolly pine forests of Coastal North Carolina managed for bioenergy production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevan J. Minick; Brian D. Strahm; Thomas R. Fox; Eric B. Surce; Zakiya H. Leggett

    2015-01-01

    Dependence on foreign oil continues to increase, and concern over rising atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases has intensified research into sustainable biofuel production. Intercropping switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) between planted rows of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) offers an opportunity to utilize inter-row space that typically contains herbaceous and...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    Numerous socio-economic and environmental pressures have driven the need to increase domestic renewable energy production in the Midwest. The primary attempt at addressing this need has been to use maize; however, the leaching of residual nitrate from maize fertilizer into runoff drives the formation of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic or "Dead" zone which can have significant environmental impacts on the marine ecosystems. As a result of the threat to benthic organisms and fisheries in this region, The Mississippi Basin/Gulf of Mexico Task Force has set in place goals to reduce the size of the hypoxic zone from the current size of ~ 20,000 km2 to nitrate (DIN) export would have to decrease by 30 to 55% to meet this goal. An alternative option to meet the renewable energy needs while reducing the environmental impacts associated with DIN export is to produce high-yielding, low fertilizer input perennial grasses such as switchgrass and miscanthus. Miscanthus and switchgrass have been shown to greatly reduce nitrate leaching at the plot scale, even during the establishment phase. This reduction in leaching is attributed to the perennial nature and the efficient recycling of nutrients via nutrient translocation. While these feedstocks are able to achieve higher productivity than maize grain with fewer inputs, they require more water, presenting the potential for environmental impacts on regional hydrologic cycle, including reductions in streamflow. The goal of this research is to determine the change in streamflow in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) and the export of nitrogen from fertilizer to the Gulf of Mexico. To address this goal, we adapted a vegetation model capable of simulating the biogeochemistry of current crops as well as miscanthus and switchgrass, the Integrated Biosphere Simulator - agricultural version (Agro-IBIS) and coupled it with a hydrology model capable of simulating streamflow and nitrogen export, the Terrestrial Hydrology Model with

  15. Physical Energy Accounting in California: A Case Study of Cellulosic Ethanol Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coughlin, Katie; Fridley, David

    2008-07-17

    California's target for greenhouse gas reduction in part relies on the development of viable low-carbon fuel alternatives to gasoline. It is often assumed that cellulosic ethanol--ethanol made from the structural parts of a plant and not from the food parts--will be one of these alternatives. This study examines the physical viability of a switchgrass-based cellulosic ethanol industry in California from the point of view of the physical requirements of land, water, energy and other material use. Starting from a scenario in which existing irrigated pastureland and fiber-crop land is converted to switchgrass production, the analysis determines the total acreage and water supply available and the resulting total biofuel feedstock output under different assumed yields. The number and location of cellulosic ethanol biorefineries that can be supported is also determined, assuming that the distance from field to biorefinery would be minimized. The biorefinery energy input requirement, available energy from the fraction of biomass not converted to ethanol, and energy output is calculated at various levels of ethanol yields, making different assumptions about process efficiencies. The analysis shows that there is insufficient biomass (after cellulose separation and fermentation into ethanol) to provide all the process energy needed to run the biorefinery; hence, the purchase of external energy such as natural gas is required to produce ethanol from switchgrass. The higher the yield of ethanol, the more external energy is needed, so that the net gains due to improved process efficiency may not be positive. On 2.7 million acres of land planted in switchgrass in this scenario, the switchgrass outputproduces enough ethanol to substitute for only 1.2 to 4.0percent of California's gasoline consumption in 2007.

  16. Farm-level feasibility of bioenergy depends on variations across multiple sectors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myhre, Mitchell; Barford, Carol

    2013-03-01

    The potential supply of bioenergy from farm-grown biomass is uncertain due to several poorly understood or volatile factors, including land availability, yield variability, and energy prices. Although biomass production for liquid fuel has received more attention, here we present a case study of biomass production for renewable heat and power in the state of Wisconsin (US), where heating constitutes at least 30% of total energy demand. Using three bioenergy systems (50 kW, 8.8 MW and 50 MW) and Wisconsin farm-level data, we determined the net farm income effect of producing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) as a feedstock, either for on-farm use (50 kW system) or for sale to an off-farm energy system operator (8.8 and 50 MW systems). In southern counties, where switchgrass yields approach 10 Mg ha-1 yr-1, the main determinants of economic feasibility were the available land area per farm, the ability to utilize bioheat, and opportunity cost assumptions. Switchgrass yield temporal variability was less important. For the state median farm size and switchgrass yield, at least 25% (50 kW system) or 50% (8.8 MW system) bioheat utilization was required to economically offset propane or natural gas heat, respectively, and purchased electricity. Offsetting electricity only (50 MW system) did not generate enough revenue to meet switchgrass production expenses. Although the opportunity cost of small-scale (50 kW) on-farm bioenergy generation was higher, it also held greater opportunity for increasing farm net income, especially by replacing propane-based heat.

  17. Preservation of microbial communities enriched on lignocellulose under thermophilic and high-solid conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chaowei; Reddy, Amitha P; Simmons, Christopher W; Simmons, Blake A; Singer, Steven W; VanderGheynst, Jean S

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities enriched from diverse environments have shown considerable promise for the targeted discovery of microorganisms and enzymes for bioconversion of lignocellulose to liquid fuels. While preservation of microbial communities is important for commercialization and research, few studies have examined storage conditions ideal for preservation. The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of preservation method on composition of microbial communities enriched on switchgrass before and after storage. The enrichments were completed in a high-solid and aerobic environment at 55 °C. Community composition was examined for each enrichment to determine when a stable community was achieved. Preservation methods included cryopreservation with the cryoprotective agents DMSO and glycerol, and cryopreservation without cryoprotective agents. Revived communities were examined for their ability to decompose switchgrass under high-solid and thermophilic conditions. High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing of DNA extracted from enrichment samples showed that the majority of the shift in composition of the switchgrass-degrading community occurred during the initial three 2-week enrichments. Shifts in community structure upon storage occurred in all cryopreserved samples. Storage in liquid nitrogen in the absence of cryoprotectant resulted in variable preservation of dominant microorganisms in enriched samples. Cryopreservation with either DMSO or glycerol provided consistent and equivalent preservation of dominant organisms. A stable switchgrass-degrading microbial community was achieved after three 2-week enrichments. Dominant microorganisms were preserved equally well with DMSO and glycerol. DMSO-preserved communities required more incubation time upon revival to achieve pre-storage activity levels during high-solid thermophilic cultivation on switchgrass. Despite shifts in the community with storage, the samples were active upon revival under thermophilic and

  18. A NEW PROCESS DEVELOPED FOR SEPARATION OF LIGNIN FROM AMMONIUM HYDROXIDE PRETREATMENT SOLUTIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sherman, S.; Gorensek, M.; Milliken, C.

    2010-12-14

    A method is described for separating lignin from liquid solutions resulting from the pretreatment of lignocellulosic materials such as switchgrass with ammonium hydroxide. The method involves a sequence of steps including acidification, evaporation, and precipitation or centrifugation that are performed under defined conditions, and results in a relatively pure, solid lignin product. The method is tested on ammonium hydroxide solutions containing lignin extracted from switchgrass. Experimental results show that the method is capable of recovering between 66-95% of dissolved lignin as a precipitated solid. Cost estimates of pilot-scale and industrial-scale expressions of the process indicate that breakeven lignin prices of $2.36/kg and $0.78/kg, respectively, may be obtainable with this recovery method.

  19. Evaluating grasses as a long-term energy resource

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christian, D.G.; Riche, A.B.

    2001-07-01

    The work reported here is part of an ongoing project that aims to evaluate the yields of three perennial rhizomatous grasses and determine their suitability as bio-energy crops. The work began in 1993, and the grasses have been monitored continuously since that time. This report covers the period 1999/2000, and includes: the performance of plots of the energy grasses Miscanthus grass, switchgrass and reed canary grass seven years after they were planted; assessment of the yield of 15 genotypes of Miscanthus planted in 1997; monitoring all the species throughout the growing period for the presence of pests, weeds and diseases; measurement of the amount of nitrate leached from below Miscanthus grass; investigating the occurrence of lodging in switchgrass. (Author)

  20. Fluid mechanics relevant to flow through pretreatment of cellulosic biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archambault-Léger, Véronique; Lynd, Lee R

    2014-04-01

    The present study investigates fluid mechanical properties of cellulosic feedstocks relevant to flow through (FT) pretreatment for biological conversion of cellulosic biomass. The results inform identifying conditions for which FT pretreatment can be implemented in a practical context. Measurements of pressure drop across packed beds, viscous compaction and water absorption are reported for milled and not milled sugarcane bagasse, switchgrass and poplar, and important factors impacting viscous flow are deduced. Using biomass knife-milled to pass through a 2mm sieve, the observed pressure drop was highest for bagasse, intermediate for switchgrass and lowest for poplar. The highest pressure drop was associated with the presence of more fine particles, greater viscous compaction and the degree of water absorption. Using bagasse without particle size reduction, the instability of the reactor during pretreatment above 140kg/m(3) sets an upper bound on the allowable concentration for continuous stable flow. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Biomass for rural vitality report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McDonald, S.; DiPaolo, J.; Bryan, J.

    2009-06-01

    This report was completed by the Eastern Lake Ontario Regional Innovation Network (ELORIN) in order to identify opportunities for producing pellets from agricultural biomass in Lennox and Addington County. An agricultural profile of the county was presented. Potential feedstocks for biomass production included industrial hemp; switchgrass; short rotation crop willow; hybrid poplars; and miscanthus. Available soil survey data was combined with soil class data in order to generate maps of the total area of land available for energy crop production. The pelletizing process was described. A cost projection for 3 to 7 ton per hour pellet production facility was also presented. Potential markets for using the pellets include greenhouses, residential home heating suppliers and large industrial users. The study showed that heating just 1 per cent of Ontario's greenhouse space with switchgrass will create a demand for 15,000 tonnes of pellets. The average home requires 3 to 4 tonnes of pellets per year for heating. 3 tabs., 54 figs.

  2. Ranking of lignocellulosic biomass pellets through multicriteria modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sultana, A.; Kumar, A. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

    2009-07-01

    A study was conducted in which pellets from different lignocellulosic biomass sources were ranked using a multicriteria assessment model. Five different pellet alternatives were compared based on 10 criteria. The pair-wise comparison was done in order to develop preference indices for various alternatives. The methodology used in this study was the Preference Ranking Organization Method for Enrichment and Evaluation (PROMETHEE). The biomass included wood pellets, straw pellets, switchgrass pellets, alfalfa pellets and poultry pellets. The study considered both quantitative and qualitative criteria such as energy consumption to produce the pellets, production cost, bulk density, NOx emissions, SOx emissions, deposit formation, net calorific value, moisture content, maturity of technology, and quality of material. A sensitivity analysis was performed by changing weights of criteria and threshold values of the criteria. Different scenarios were developed for ranking cost and environmental impacts. According to preliminary results, the wood pellet is the best energy source, followed by switchgrass pellets, straw pellets, alfalfa pellets and poultry pellets.

  3. From Soil to Structure, a Novel Dimeric β-Glucosidase Belonging to Glycoside Hydrolase Family 3 Isolated from Compost Using Metagenomic Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAndrew, Ryan P.; Park, Joshua I.; Heins, Richard A.; Reindl, Wolfgang; Friedland, Gregory D.; D'haeseleer, Patrik; Northen, Trent; Sale, Kenneth L.; Simmons, Blake A.; Adams, Paul D.

    2013-01-01

    A recent metagenomic analysis sequenced a switchgrass-adapted compost community to identify enzymes from microorganisms that were specifically adapted to switchgrass under thermophilic conditions. These enzymes are being examined as part of the pretreatment process for the production of “second-generation” biofuels. Among the enzymes discovered was JMB19063, a novel three-domain β-glucosidase that belongs to the GH3 (glycoside hydrolase 3) family. Here, we report the structure of JMB19063 in complex with glucose and the catalytic variant D261N crystallized in the presence of cellopentaose. JMB19063 is first structure of a dimeric member of the GH3 family, and we demonstrate that dimerization is required for catalytic activity. Arg-587 and Phe-598 from the C-terminal domain of the opposing monomer are shown to interact with bound ligands in the D261N structure. Enzyme assays confirmed that these residues are absolutely essential for full catalytic activity. PMID:23580647

  4. Sugar Release and Growth of Biofuel Crops are Improved by Downregulation of Pectin Biosynthesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donohoe, Bryon S [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Sykes, Robert W [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Gjersing, Erica L [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Ziebell, Angela [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Turner, Geoffrey [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Decker, Steve [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Davis, Mark F [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Biswal, Ajaya K. [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Atmodjo, Melani A. [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Li, Mi [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Biological Sciences; Baxter, Holly L. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Tennessee; Yoo, Chang Geun [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Biological Sciences; Pu, Yunqiao [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Biological Sciences; Lee, Yi-Ching [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Noble Research Institute; Mazarei, Mitra [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Tennessee; Black, Ian M. [University of Georgia; Zhang, Ji-Yi [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Noble Research Institute; Ramanna, Hema [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Noble Research Institute; Bray, Adam L. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Georgia; King, Zachary R. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Georgia; LaFayette, Peter R. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Georgia; Pattathil, Sivakumar [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Mohanty, Sushree S. [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Ryno, David [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Yee, Kelsey [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Thompson, Olivia A. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Rodriguez Jr., Miguel [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Dumitrache, Alexandru [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Natzke, Jace [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Winkeler, Kim [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; ArborGen, Inc.; Collins, Cassandra [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; ArborGen, Inc.; Yang, Xiaohan [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Tan, Li [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Hahn, Michael G. [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Davison, Brian H. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Udvardi, Michael K. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Noble Research Institute; Mielenz, Jonathan R. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Nelson, Richard S. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Noble Research Institute; Parrott, Wayne A. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Georgia; Ragauskas, Arthur J. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Biological Sciences; University of Tennessee; Stewart Jr., C. Neal [Oak Ridge National Laboratory; University of Tennessee; Mohnen, Debra [University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    2018-02-12

    Cell walls in crops and trees have been engineered for production of biofuels and commodity chemicals, but engineered varieties often fail multi-year field trials and are not commercialized. We engineered reduced expression of a pectin biosynthesis gene (Galacturonosyltransferase 4, GAUT4) in switchgrass and poplar, and find that this improves biomass yields and sugar release from biomass processing. Both traits were maintained in a 3-year field trial of GAUT4-knockdown switchgrass, with up to sevenfold increased saccharification and ethanol production and sixfold increased biomass yield compared with control plants. We show that GAUT4 is an a-1,4-galacturonosyltransferase that synthesizes homogalacturonan (HG). Downregulation of GAUT4 reduces HG and rhamnogalacturonan II (RGII), reduces wall calcium and boron, and increases extractability of cell wall sugars. Decreased recalcitrance in biomass processing and increased growth are likely due to reduced HG and RGII cross-linking in the cell wall.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lychnaras, Vassilis; Schneider, Uwe A.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lychnaras, Vassilis [Centre for Planning and Economic Research, 11, Amerikis str., 106 72 Athens (Greece); Schneider, Uwe A. [Research Unit Sustainability and Global Change, University of Hamburg, KlimaCampus Hamburg, Bundesstrasse 55, D-20146 Hamburg (Germany)

    2011-01-15

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

  7. Spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy of biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tetard, L; Passian, A; Farahi, R H; Kalluri, U C; Davison, B H; Thundat, T

    2010-05-01

    Scanning probe microscopy has emerged as a powerful approach to a broader understanding of the molecular architecture of cell walls, which may shed light on the challenge of efficient cellulosic ethanol production. We have obtained preliminary images of both Populus and switchgrass samples using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The results show distinctive features that are shared by switchgrass and Populus. These features may be attributable to the lignocellulosic cell wall composition, as the collected images exhibit the characteristic macromolecular globule structures attributable to the lignocellulosic systems. Using both AFM and a single case of mode synthesizing atomic force microscopy (MSAFM) to characterize Populus, we obtained images that clearly show the cell wall structure. The results are of importance in providing a better understanding of the characteristic features of both mature cells as well as developing plant cells. In addition, we present spectroscopic investigation of the same samples.

  8. Sustainable Range Management of RDX and TNT by Phytoremediation with Engineered Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    crop has recently led to the development and publication of efficient transformation techniques. Switchgrass is climatically adapted to grow...the medium, for the first round of selection. Petri dishes were incubated in the culture room under white fluorescent lamps (1900 lux) with 16 hr...with shaking overnight. The GFP signal was observed under UV light. 78 Primers for promoter amplification PL Z1 Ppsbaf2

  9. Producing Liquid Fuels from Coal: Prospects and Policy Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    fraction of the weight of a plant. Most of the material in plants is cellulose , hemicellulose, or lignin . None of these substances is amenable to the...conventional fuel involved in producing the biomass. This is especially the case for non-food-crop biomass, such as corn stover, switchgrass, prairie...conversion of cellulosic materials, starches, or sugars to alcohols. Coal-to-Liquids Technologies 39 Unfortunately, annual variations in weather

  10. Conversion of cellulose rich municipal solid waste blends using ionic liquids: Feedstock convertibility and process scale-up

    OpenAIRE

    Liang, L; Li, C; Xu, F; He, Q; Yan, J; Luong, T; Simmons, BA; Pray, TR; Singh, S; Thompson, VS; Sun, N

    2017-01-01

    © 2017 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Sixteen cellulose rich municipal solid waste (MSW) blends were developed and screened using an acid-assisted ionic liquid (IL) deconstruction process. Corn stover and switchgrass were chosen to represent herbaceous feedstocks; non-recyclable paper (NRP) and grass clippings (GC) collected from households were chosen as MSW candidates given their abundance in municipal waste streams. The most promising MSW blend: corn stover/non-recyclable paper (CS/NRP) a...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Y.; Liu, S.

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Phytoextraction of contaminated urban soils by Panicum virgatum L. enhanced with application of a plant growth regulator (BAP) and citric acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aderholt, Matthew; Vogelien, Dale L; Koether, Marina; Greipsson, Sigurdur

    2017-05-01

    Lead (Pb) contamination in soil represents a threat to human health. Phytoextraction has gained attention as a potential alternative to traditional remediation methods because of lower cost and minimal soil disruption. The North American native switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) was targeted due to its ability to produce high biomass and grow across a variety of ecozones. In this study switchgrass was chemically enhanced with applications of the soil-fungicide benomyl, chelates (EDTA and citric acid), and PGR to optimize phytoextraction of Pb and zinc (Zn) from contaminated urban soils in Atlanta, GA. Exogenous application of two plant hormones was compared in multiple concentrations to determine effects on switchgrass growth: indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), and Gibberellic Acid (GA 3 ), and one PGR benzylaminopurine (BAP), The PGR BAP (1.0 μM) was found to generate a 48% increase in biomass compared to Control plants. Chemical application of citric acid, EDTA, benomyl, and BAP were tested separately and in combination in a pot experiment in an environmentally controlled greenhouse to determine the efficacy of phtyoextraction by switchgrass. Soil acidification by citric acid application resulted in highest level of aluminum (Al) and iron (Fe) in plants foliage resulting in severe phytotoxic effects. Total Pb phytoextraction was significantly highest in plants treated with combined chemical application of B + C and B + C + H. Suppression of AMF activities by benomyl application significantly increased concentrations of Al and Fe in roots. Application of benomyl reduced AMF colonization but was also shown to dramatically increase levels of septa fungi infection as compared to Control plants. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Carbon balances during land conversion in early bioenergy systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenone, T.; Chen, J.; Gelfand, I.; Robertson, G. P.; Hamilton, S. K.

    2012-12-01

    In this study, we established a field experiment and deployed seven eddy-covariance towers to quantify the roles of land use change and the subsequent carbon (C) balances of three different bioenergy systems (corn, switchgrass, and mixed prairie species) that were developed from two historical land use types: monocultural grasslands dominated by smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss) and lands in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Three CRP fields and three cropland fields were converted to soybean in 2009 (conversion year) before establishing the cellulosic biofuel cropping systems in 2010 (establishment year). A CRP perennial grassland site was kept undisturbed as a reference. Conversion of CRP to soybean induced net C emissions during the conversion year (134 -262 g C m-2 yr-1), while in the same year the net C balance at the CRP grassland reference was -35 g C m-2 yr-1 (i.e., net C sequestration). The establishment of switchgrass and mixed prairie induced a cumulative C balance of -113 g C m-2 (switchgrass from CRP), 250 g C m-2 (switchgrass from cropland), 706 g C m-2 (mixed prairie from CRP), and 59 g C m-2 (mixed prairie from cropland) over the three-year study period. The cumulative three-year C balance of corn converted from CRP and from cropland was -151 g C m-2 and -183 g C m-2, respectively. Eddy flux measurements during cellulosic biofuel crop establishment reveal annual changes in C balance that cannot be detected using conventional mass balance approaches. When end-use of harvested biomass was considered, the C balances for all studied systems, except the reference site, exhibited large C emissions ranging from 150 to 990 g C m-2 over the three-year conversion phase.

  14. Analysis on Storage Off-Gas Emissions from Woody, Herbaceous, and Torrefied Biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaya Shankar Tumuluru

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Wood chips, torrefied wood chips, ground switchgrass, and wood pellets were tested for off‑gas emissions during storage. Storage canisters with gas‑collection ports were used to conduct experiments at room temperature of 20 °C and in a laboratory oven set at 40 °C. Commercially-produced wood pellets yielded the highest carbon monoxide (CO emissions at both 20 and 40 °C (1600 and 13,000 ppmv, whereas torrefied wood chips emitted the lowest of about <200 and <2000 ppmv. Carbon dioxide (CO2 emissions from wood pellets were 3000 ppmv and 42,000 ppmv, whereas torrefied wood chips registered at about 2000 and 25,000 ppmv, at 20 and 40 °C at the end of 11 days of storage. CO emission factors (milligrams per kilogram of biomass calculated were lowest for ground switchgrass and torrefied wood chips (2.68 and 4.86 mg/kg whereas wood pellets had the highest CO of about 10.60 mg/kg, respectively, at 40 °C after 11 days of storage. In the case of CO2, wood pellets recorded the lowest value of 55.46 mg/kg, whereas switchgrass recorded the highest value of 318.72 mg/kg. This study concludes that CO emission factor is highest for wood pellets, CO2 is highest for switchgrass and CH4 is negligible for all feedstocks except for wood pellets, which is about 0.374 mg/kg at the end of 11-day storage at 40 °C.

  15. Opportunities for Energy Crop Production Based on Subfield Scale Distribution of Profitability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian J. Bonner

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Incorporation of dedicated herbaceous energy crops into row crop landscapes is a promising means to supply an expanding biofuel industry while benefiting soil and water quality and increasing biodiversity. Despite these positive traits, energy crops remain largely unaccepted due to concerns over their practicality and cost of implementation. This paper presents a case study for Hardin County, Iowa, to demonstrate how subfield decision making can be used to target candidate areas for conversion to energy crop production. Estimates of variability in row crop production at a subfield level are used to model the economic performance of corn (Zea mays L. grain and the environmental impacts of corn stover collection using the Landscape Environmental Analysis Framework (LEAF. The strategy used in the case study integrates switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. into subfield landscape positions where corn grain is modeled to return a net economic loss. Results show that switchgrass integration has the potential to increase sustainable biomass production from 48% to 99% (depending on the rigor of conservation practices applied to corn stover collection, while also improving field level profitability of corn. Candidate land area is highly sensitive to grain price (0.18 to 0.26 $·kg−1 and dependent on the acceptable subfield net loss for corn production (ranging from 0 to −1000 $·ha−1 and the ability of switchgrass production to meet or exceed this return. This work presents the case that switchgrass may be economically incorporated into row crop landscapes when management decisions are applied at a subfield scale within field areas modeled to have a negative net profit with current management practices.

  16. The feasibility of producing adequate feedstock for year–round cellulosic ethanol production in an intensive agricultural fuelshed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uden, Daniel R.; Mitchell, Rob B.; Allen, Craig R.; Guan, Qingfeng; McCoy, Tim D.

    2013-01-01

    To date, cellulosic ethanol production has not been commercialized in the United States. However, government mandates aimed at increasing second-generation biofuel production could spur exploratory development in the cellulosic ethanol industry. We conducted an in-depth analysis of the fuelshed surrounding a starch-based ethanol plant near York, Nebraska that has the potential for cellulosic ethanol production. To assess the feasibility of supplying adequate biomass for year-round cellulosic ethanol production from residual maize (Zea mays) stover and bioenergy switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) within a 40-km road network service area of the existing ethanol plant, we identified ∼14,000 ha of marginally productive cropland within the service area suitable for conversion from annual rowcrops to switchgrass and ∼132,000 ha of maize-enrolled cropland from which maize stover could be collected. Annual maize stover and switchgrass biomass supplies within the 40-km service area could range between 429,000 and 752,000 metric tons (mT). Approximately 140–250 million liters (l) of cellulosic ethanol could be produced, rivaling the current 208 million l annual starch-based ethanol production capacity of the plant. We conclude that sufficient quantities of biomass could be produced from maize stover and switchgrass near the plant to support year-round cellulosic ethanol production at current feedstock yields, sustainable removal rates and bioconversion efficiencies. Modifying existing starch-based ethanol plants in intensive agricultural fuelsheds could increase ethanol output, return marginally productive cropland to perennial vegetation, and remove maize stover from productive cropland to meet feedstock demand.

  17. Ranking of biomass pellets by integration of economic, environmental and technical factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sultana, Arifa; Kumar, Amit

    2012-01-01

    Interest in biomass as a renewable energy source has increased recently in response to a need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The objective of this study is to develop a multi-criteria assessment model and rank different biomass feedstock-based pellets, in terms of their suitability for use in large heat and power generation plants and show the importance of environmental, economical and technical factors in making decision about different pellets. Five pellet alternatives, each produced from a different sustainable biomass feedstock i.e., wood, straw, switchgrass, alfalfa and poultry litter, are ranked according to eleven criteria, using the Preference Ranking Organization Method for Enrichment and Evaluation (PROMETHEE). Both quantitative and qualitative criteria are considered, including environmental, technical and economic factors. Three scenarios, namely base case, environmental and economic, are developed by changing the weight assigned to different criteria. In the base case scenario, equal weights are assigned to each criterion. In the economic and environmental scenarios, more weight is given to the economic and environmental factors, respectively. Based on the PROMETHEE rankings, wood pellets are the best source of energy for all scenarios followed by switchgrass, straw, poultry litter and alfalfa pellets except economic scenario, where straw pellets held higher position than switchgrass pellets. Sensitivity analysis on weights, threshold values, preference function and production cost indicate that the ranking was stable. The ranking in all scenarios remained same when qualitative criteria were omitted from the model; this indicates the stronger influence of quantitative criteria. -- Highlights: ► This study ranks the pellets produced from different biomass feedstocks. ► The ranking of the pellets is based on technical, economical and environmental factors. ► This study uses PROMETHEE method for ranking pellets based on a range of

  18. 2007 Biomass Program Overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    none,

    2009-10-27

    The Biomass Program is actively working with public and private partners to meet production and technology needs. With the corn ethanol market growing steadily, researchers are unlocking the potential of non-food biomass sources, such as switchgrass and forest and agricultural residues. In this way, the Program is helping to ensure that cost-effective technologies will be ready to support production goals for advanced biofuels.

  19. Central Radar System, Over-the-Horizon Backscatter

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-03-09

    Magnolia virginiana Switchgrass Panicum virgatum FAC+ Tall mannagrass Glyceria grandis OBL Water fern Salvinia spp. and Marsilea vestita OBL Water...boxelder, (Acer negundo), oaks (Quercus spp.), willows (Salix spp.), chokecherry (Prunus virginiana ), plum (Prunus spp.), and russian olive (Elaeagnus...maintenance of the power lines may be required to trim or prune trees which may interfere with the lines. With the exception of the pole sites, the only

  20. Energy Sustainability and the Army: The Current Transformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    heating and 20 cooling for buildings; wood-fired central heating plant; pyrolysis plant for conversion of wood to liquid fuels; synthetic mobility fuels...Http://Www.Sciencedaily.Com/Releases/2008/ 08/080818184434.Htm. Accessed 22 August 2008. Anonymous, “Bio-Fuel from Corn , Switch-Grass And Misconthus...Press_Releases_Seven.Html. Accessed 15 August 2008. Anonymous, “Protecting Soils and Producing Bio-Fuel With Corn Stover, Science News, 7 November 2008. Available

  1. Prairie revegetation of a strip mine in Illinois: fifteen years after establishment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corbett, E.A.; Anderson, R.C.; Rodgers, C.S. [Illinois State University, Normal, IL (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences

    1996-12-01

    The long-term success of prairie planting on a former strip mine in northeastern Illinois was investigated. The site was reclaimed and planted with prairie species in the 1970s. Total biomass increased over time, largely as a result of an increase in biomass of non-prairie species. Biomass of prairie species remained unchanged because of an increase in Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) offsetting decreases in Sorghastrum nutans (Indian grass).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-12-01

    The Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB) calculates carbon emissions from land use change (LUC) for four different ethanol production pathways including corn grain ethanol and cellulosic ethanol from corn stover, Miscanthus, and switchgrass, and a soy biodiesel pathway. This document discusses the version of CCLUB released September 30, 2017 which includes five ethanol LUC scenarios and four soy biodiesel LUC scenarios.

  3. Changing the energy climate: clean and green heat from grass biofuel pellets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jannasch, R.; Samson, R.; DeMaio, A.; Adams, T.; Ho Lem, C.

    2001-01-01

    Uncertain energy supplies and international agreements to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have created unique opportunities for biofuel development. Pelleted fuels from warm season grasses such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) can be grown for $3-4/GigaJoule (GJ) with only minor emissions of CO 2 . Using close-coupled gasifer combustion technology, switchgrass fuel pellets emit 86%, 91%, 71% and 89% less CO 2 than electricity, heating oil, natural gas and propane, respectively. Every 100 ha of switchgrass converted into pellet form and used to displace fossil fuel for space-heating prevents the emission of 1000 tonnes of CO 2 . Heating an average Ontario house with a 90GJ heat demand costs $1213 with switchgrass pellets compared to $2234, $1664, $882 and $3251 with electricity, heating oil, natural gas and propane, respectively. An estimated 23.4 million acres of agricultural land in Canada could potentially be converted to perennial grass biofuel production. The depressed farm sector would benefit economically from energy farming. Low-grade heat energy derived from grass pellets could displace some of the 30,000 GigaWatt Hours of electricity currently used for home heating in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. Surplus electricity could be exported or used to replace nuclear or coal burning plants. Contrary to prevailing beliefs that reducing GHG emissions will raise societal energy costs, pelletized grass biofuels could provide consumers with less expensive and more GHG-friendly heating options than most fossil energy sources. If the political support and direction exist to implement the Kyoto Protocol as intended, grass pellets could well become a heating fuel of choice in North America. (author)

  4. Precision Gas Sampling (PGS) Validation2011-2014 Final Campaign Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tom, M. S. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Fischer, M. L. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Biraud, S. C. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Billesbach, D. [Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE (United States)

    2016-01-01

    In this field campaign, we used eddy covariance towers to quantify carbon, water, and energy fluxes from a pasture and a wheat field that were converted to switchgrass. The U.S. Department of Energy is investing in switchgrass as a cellulosic bioenergy crop, but there is little data available that could be used to develop or test land surface model representations of the crop. This campaign was a collaboration between Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Unfortunately, in 2011, Oklahoma had one of the most severe droughts on record, and the crop in one of the switchgrass fields experienced almost complete die-off. The crop was replanted, but subsequent drought conditions prevented its establishment. Then, in April 2012, a large tornado demolished the instruments at our site in Woodward, Oklahoma. These two events meant that we have some interesting data on land response to extreme weather; however, we were not able to collect continuous data for annual sums as originally intended. We did observe that, because of the drought, the net ecosystem exchange of CO2 was much lower in 2011 than in 2010. Concomitantly, sensible heat fluxes increased and latent heat fluxes decreased. These conditions would have large consequences for land surface forcing of convection. Data from all years were submitted to the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility Data Archive, and the sites were registered in AmeriFlux.

  5. Growing C4 perennial grass for bioenergy using a new Agro-BGC ecosystem model

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Vittorio, A. V.; Anderson, R. S.; Miller, N. L.; Running, S. W.

    2009-12-01

    Accurate, spatially gridded estimates of bioenergy crop yields require 1) biophysically accurate crop growth models and 2) careful parameterization of unavailable inputs to these models. To meet the first requirement we have added the capacity to simulate C4 perennial grass as a bioenergy crop to the Biome-BGC ecosystem model. This new model, hereafter referred to as Agro-BGC, includes enzyme driven C4 photosynthesis, individual live and dead leaf, stem, and root carbon/nitrogen pools, separate senescence and litter fall processes, fruit growth, optional annual seeding, flood irrigation, a growing degree day phenology with a killing frost option, and a disturbance handler that effectively simulates fertilization, harvest, fire, and incremental irrigation. There are four Agro-BGC vegetation parameters that are unavailable for Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), and to meet the second requirement we have optimized the model across multiple calibration sites to obtain representative values for these parameters. We have verified simulated switchgrass yields against observations at three non-calibration sites in IL. Agro-BGC simulates switchgrass growth and yield at harvest very well at a single site. Our results suggest that a multi-site optimization scheme would be adequate for producing regional-scale estimates of bioenergy crop yields on high spatial resolution grids.

  6. Bioenergy Crop Breeding and Production Research in the Southeast, Final Report for 1996 to 2001

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bouton, J.H.

    2003-05-30

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a native grass species to much of the US. It has shown great potential for use in production of fuel ethanol from cellulosic biomass (Lynd et al., 1991). Work in Alabama demonstrated very high dry matter yields can be achieved with switchgrass (Maposse et al. 1995) in the southeastern US. Therefore, this region is thought to be an excellent choice for development of a switchgrass cropping system where farmers can produce the grass for either biomass or forage. Another report has shown success with selection and breeding to develop high yielding germplasm from adapted cultivars and ecotypes of switchgrass (Moser and Vogel 1995). In the mid 1990s, however, there was little plant breeding effort for switchgrass with a potential for developing a cultivar for the southeast region. The main goal of the project was to develop adaptive, high-yielding switchgrass cultivars for use in cropping systems for bioenergy production in the southeastern US. A secondary objective was to assess the potential of alternate herbaceous species such as bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.), bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge.), and napiergrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach.) that may compete with switchgrass for herbaceous bioenergy production in the southeast. During the conduct of the project, another goal of developing molecular markers useful for genetic mapping was added. The ''lowland'' cultivars, Alamo and Kanlow, were found to be the highest yielding switchgrass cultivars. Although most summers during the project period were hot and dry, their annual dry matter yield continue to outperform the best ''upland'' cultivars such as Cave-in-Rock, Shawnee, NE Late, and Trailblazer. The use of a breeding procedure based on the ''honeycomb design'' and multi-location progeny testing, coupled with the solid heritability and genetic gain estimates for dry matter yield in lowland type switchgrass

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  8. LIGNOCELLULOSIC BIOMASS AFTER EXPLOSIVE AUTOHYDROLYSIS AS SUBSTRATE TO BUTANOL OBTAINING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tigunova

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the work was investigation of the effect of the explosive autohydrolysis on lignocellulosic biomass (saving, switchgrass biomass for consequent use as a substrate to produce biofuels such as butanol. Butanol-producing strains, switchgrass Panicum virgatum L. biomass and its components after autohydrolysis were used in study. The thermobaric pressure pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass was carried out using specially designed equipment. The effect of explosive autohydrolysis on lignocellulosic biomass for further use in producing biofuels using microbial conversion was studied. Components of lignocellulosic biomass were fractionated after undergoing thermobaric treatment. The possibility of using different raw material components after using explosive autohydrolysis processing to produce biobutanol was found. Products of switchgrass biomass autohydrolysis were shown to need further purification before fermentation from furfural formed by thermobaric pretreatment and inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. The ability of strains of the genus Clostridium to use cellulose as a substrate for fermentation was proved. It was found that using explosive autohydrolysis pretreatment to savings allowed boosting the butanol accumulation by 2 times.

  9. Optimizing on-farm pretreatment of perennial grasses for fuel ethanol production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Digman, Matthew F; Shinners, Kevin J; Casler, Michael D; Dien, Bruce S; Hatfield, Ronald D; Jung, Hans-Joachim G; Muck, Richard E; Weimer, Paul J

    2010-07-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) were pretreated under ambient temperature and pressure with sulfuric acid and calcium hydroxide in separate experiments. Chemical loadings from 0 to 100g (kg DM)(-1) and durations of anaerobic storage from 0 to 180days were investigated by way of a central composite design at two moisture contents (40% or 60% w.b.). Pretreated and untreated samples were fermented to ethanol by Saccharomyces cerevisiae D5A in the presence of a commercially available cellulase (Celluclast 1.5L) and beta-glucosidase (Novozyme 188). Xylose levels were also measured following fermentation because xylose is not metabolized by S. cerevisiae. After sulfuric acid pretreatment and anaerobic storage, conversion of cell wall glucose to ethanol for reed canarygrass ranged from 22% to 83% whereas switchgrass conversions ranged from 16% to 46%. Pretreatment duration had a positive effect on conversion but was mitigated with increased chemical loadings. Conversions after calcium hydroxide pretreatment and anaerobic storage ranged from 21% to 55% and 18% to 54% for reed canarygrass and switchgrass, respectively. The efficacy of lime pretreatment was found to be highly dependent on moisture content. Moreover, pretreatment duration was only found to be significant for reed canarygrass. Although significant levels of acetate and lactate were observed in the biomass after storage, S. cerevisiae was not found to be inhibited at a 10% solids loading. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Biomass pyrolysis and combustion integral and differential reaction heats with temperatures using thermogravimetric analysis/differential scanning calorimetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Jiacheng; Igathinathane, C; Yu, Manlu; Pothula, Anand Kumar

    2015-06-01

    Integral reaction heats of switchgrass, big bluestem, and corn stalks were determined using thermogravimetric analysis/differential scanning calorimetry (TGA/DSC). Iso-conversion differential reaction heats using TGA/DSC pyrolysis and combustion of biomass were not available, despite reports available on heats required and released. A concept of iso-conversion differential reaction heats was used to determine the differential reaction heats of each thermal characteristics segment of these materials. Results showed that the integral reaction heats were endothermic from 30 to 700°C for pyrolysis of switchgrass and big bluestem, but they were exothermic for corn stalks prior to 587°C. However, the integral reaction heats for combustion of the materials followed an endothermic to exothermic transition. The differential reaction heats of switchgrass pyrolysis were predominantly endothermic in the fraction of mass loss (0.0536-0.975), and were exothermic for corn stalks (0.0885-0.850) and big bluestem (0.736-0.919). Study results provided better insight into biomass thermal mechanism. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Midinfrared FT-IR as a Tool for Monitoring Herbaceous Biomass Composition and Its Conversion to Furfural

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Maria Raspolli Galletti

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A semiquantitative analysis by means of midinfrared FT-IR spectroscopy was tuned for the simultaneous determination of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin in industrial crops such as giant reed (Arundo donax L. and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.. Ternary mixtures of pure cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin were prepared and a direct correlation area/concentration was achieved for cellulose and lignin, whereas indirect correlations were found for hemicellulose quantification. Good correspondences between the values derived from our model and those reported in the literature or obtained according to the official Van Soest method were ascertained. Average contents of 40–45% of cellulose, 20–25% of hemicellulose, and 20–25% of lignin were obtained for different samples of giant reed species. In the case of switchgrass, a content of 36% of cellulose, 28% of hemicellulose, and 26% of lignin was achieved. This analysis was also carried out on giant reed and switchgrass residues after a mild hydrolysis step carried out with dilute hydrochloric acid for the production of furfural with good yield. Reasonable compositional data were obtained, thus allowing an indirect monitoring which helps the optimization of the hydrothermal pretreatment for furfural production from hemicellulose fractions.

  12. Biomass power for rural development. Quarterly report, April 3--July 1, 1998

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cooper, J.T.

    1998-10-01

    In this quarter a large amount of time was spent doing project planning and budget preparation for the fiscal years 1998 and 1999. Many issues of long-term strategic planning and budgeting depend on the availability of Federal support, including financial, technical and political. It has become increasingly obvious that several significant barriers must be overcome in order to reach the final goal of commercial replication of the technology. Technical barriers include the designing of a cost effective harvest, storage, transport, process and conversion system. While farmers in this region have many decades of experience in harvest, storage and transport of grass, switchgrass presents new challenges due to the harvest requirements and the switchgrass yield potential. The author has identified two locations in the United States that have similar material handling situations, one site in Minnesota the other in Oregon. He has visited the Minnesota site in order to learn from their experience and they may visit the Oregon site in the future. The processing technology remains in a stage of development. As he grows closer to the time for a test co-fire he is beginning to include additional test objectives which individually seem minor, but when taken together provide drivers which impact overall machinery requirement decisions. The next quarter will provide additional levels of detail. This report describes progress in switchgrass conversion development, production activities, environmental analysis planning, and information and education activities.

  13. Field-to-Fuel Performance Testing of Lignocellulosic Feedstocks: An Integrated Study of the Fast Pyrolysis/Hydrotreating Pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Howe, Daniel T.; Westover, Tyler; Carpenter, Daniel; Santosa, Daniel M.; Emerson, Rachel; Deutch, Steve; Starace, Anne; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Lukins, Craig D.

    2015-05-21

    Feedstock composition can affect final fuel yields and quality for the fast pyrolysis and hydrotreatment upgrading pathway. However, previous studies have focused on individual unit operations rather than the integrated system. In this study, a suite of six pure lignocellulosic feedstocks (clean pine, whole pine, tulip poplar, hybrid poplar, switchgrass, and corn stover) and two blends (equal weight percentages whole pine/tulip poplar/switchgrass and whole pine/clean pine/hybrid poplar) were prepared and characterized at Idaho National Laboratory. These blends then underwent fast pyrolysis at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and hydrotreatment at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Although some feedstocks showed a high fast pyrolysis bio-oil yield such as tulip poplar at 57%, high yields in the hydrotreater were not always observed. Results showed overall fuel yields of 15% (switchgrass), 18% (corn stover), 23% (tulip poplar, Blend 1, Blend 2), 24% (whole pine, hybrid poplar) and 27% (clean pine). Simulated distillation of the upgraded oils indicated that the gasoline fraction varied from 39% (clean pine) to 51% (corn stover), while the diesel fraction ranged from 40% (corn stover) to 46% (tulip poplar). Little variation was seen in the jet fuel fraction at 11 to 12%. Hydrogen consumption during hydrotreating, a major factor in the economic feasibility of the integrated process, ranged from 0.051 g/g dry feed (tulip poplar) to 0.070 g/g dry feed (clean pine).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  15. Nest survival modelling using a multi-species approach in forests managed for timber and biofuel feedstock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loman, Zachary G.; Monroe, Adrian; Riffell, Samuel K.; Miller, Darren A.; Vilella, Francisco; Wheat, Bradley R.; Rush, Scott A.; Martin, James A.

    2018-01-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) intercropping is a novel forest management practice for biomass production intended to generate cellulosic feedstocks within intensively managed loblolly pine‐dominated landscapes. These pine plantations are important for early‐successional bird species, as short rotation times continually maintain early‐successional habitat. We tested the efficacy of using community models compared to individual surrogate species models in understanding influences on nest survival. We analysed nest data to test for differences in habitat use for 14 bird species in plots managed for switchgrass intercropping and controls within loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations in Mississippi, USA.We adapted hierarchical models using hyper‐parameters to incorporate information from both common and rare species to understand community‐level nest survival. This approach incorporates rare species that are often discarded due to low sample sizes, but can inform community‐level demographic parameter estimates. We illustrate use of this approach in generating both species‐level and community‐wide estimates of daily survival rates for songbird nests. We were able to include rare species with low sample size (minimum n = 5) to inform a hyper‐prior, allowing us to estimate effects of covariates on daily survival at the community level, then compare this with a single‐species approach using surrogate species. Using single‐species models, we were unable to generate estimates below a sample size of 21 nests per species.Community model species‐level survival and parameter estimates were similar to those generated by five single‐species models, with improved precision in community model parameters.Covariates of nest placement indicated that switchgrass at the nest site (<4 m) reduced daily nest survival, although intercropping at the forest stand level increased daily nest survival.Synthesis and applications. Community models represent a viable

  16. Environmental impact of converting Conservation Reserve Program land to perennial bioenergy crops in Illinois.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanc-Betes, E.; Hudiburg, T. W.; Khanna, M.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2017-12-01

    Reducing dependence on fossil fuels by the 20% by 2022 mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act would require 35 billion Ga of ethanol and the loss of 9 to 12 Mha of food producing land to biofuel production, challenging our ability to develop a sustainable bioenergy source while meeting the food demands of a growing population. There are currently 8.5 Mha of land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a US government funded program to incentivize the retirement of environmentally sensitive cropland out of conventional crop production. About 63% of CRP land area could potentially be converted to energy crops, contributing to biofuel targets without displacing food. With high yields and low fertilization and irrigation requirements, perennial cellulosic crops (e.g. switchgrass and Miscanthus) not only would reduce land requirements by up to 15% compared to prairies or corn-based biofuel, but also serve other conservation goals such as C sequestration in soils, and water and air quality improvement. Here, we use the DayCent biogeochemical model to assess the potential of CRP land conversion to switchgrass or Miscanthus to provide a sustainable source of biofuel, reduce GHG emissions and increase soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in the area of Illinois, which at present contributes to 10% of the biofuel production in the US. Model simulations indicate that the replacement of traditional corn-soy rotation with CRP reduces GHG emissions by 3.3 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 y-1 and increases SOC storage at a rate of 0.5 Mg C ha-1 y-1. Conversion of CRP land to cellulosic perennials would further reduce GHG emissions by 1.1 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 y-1 for switchgrass and 6.2 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 y-1 for Miscanthus, and increase C sequestration in soils (1.7 Tg C for switchgrass and 7.7 Tg C for Miscanthus in 30 years). Cellulosic energy crops would increase average annual yields by approximately 5.6 Mg ha-1 for switchgrass and 13.6 Mg ha-1 for Miscanthus, potentially

  17. Evaluation of the Relative Merits of Herbaceous and Woody Crops for Use in Tunable Thermochemical Processing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Park, Joon-Hyun [Ceres, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA (United States); Martinalbo, Ilya [Choren USA, LLC, Houston, TX (United States)

    2011-12-01

    This report summarizes the work and findings of the grant work conducted from January 2009 until September 2011 under the collaboration between Ceres, Inc. and Choren USA, LLC. This DOE-funded project involves a head-to-head comparison of two types of dedicated energy crops in the context of a commercial gasification conversion process. The main goal of the project was to gain a better understanding of the differences in feedstock composition between herbaceous and woody species, and how these differences may impact a commercial gasification process. In this work, switchgrass was employed as a model herbaceous energy crop, and willow as a model short-rotation woody crop. Both crops are species native to the U.S. with significant potential to contribute to U.S. goals for renewable liquid fuel production, as outlined in the DOE Billion Ton Update (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass/billion_ton_update.html, 2011). In some areas of the U.S., switching between woody and herbaceous feedstocks or blending of the two may be necessary to keep a large-scale gasifier operating near capacity year round. Based on laboratory tests and process simulations it has been successfully shown that suitable high yielding switchgrass and willow varieties exist that meet the feedstock specifications for large scale entrained flow biomass gasification. This data provides the foundation for better understanding how to use both materials in thermochemical processes. It has been shown that both switchgrass and willow varieties have comparable ranges of higher heating value, BTU content and indistinguishable hydrogen/carbon ratios. Benefits of switchgrass, and other herbaceous feedstocks, include its low moisture content, which reduce energy inputs and costs for drying feedstock. Compared to the typical feedstock currently being used in the Carbo-V® process, switchgrass has a higher ash content, combined with a lower ash melting temperature. Whether or not this may cause inefficiencies in the

  18. 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

  19. Effects of alternative deep bedding options on dairy cow preference, lying behavior, cleanliness, and teat end contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, T; Vasseur, E; DeVries, T J; Bergeron, R

    2018-01-01

    Cows spend more time lying down when stalls are soft and dry, and bedding plays a key role in the comfort of the lying surface. The first objective of this study (experiment 1) was to compare cow preference for 2 types of alternative deep-bedding materials, switchgrass and switchgrass-lime, using wheat straw on a rubber mat as a control. Nine Holstein lactating cows were submitted in trios to a 3-choice preference test over 14 d (2 d of adaptation, 3 d of restriction to each stall, and 3 d of free access to all 3 stalls). Cows were housed individually in pens containing 3 stalls with different lying surfaces: (1) rubber mat with chopped wheat straw (WS); (2) deep-bedded switchgrass (SG); and (3) deep-bedded switchgrass, water, and lime mixture (SGL). The second objective (experiment 2) was to test, in freestall housing, the effects of these 3 types of bedding on lying behavior, cow cleanliness, and teat end bacterial contamination. Bedding treatments were compared in a 3 × 3 Latin square design using 24 cows split into groups of 8, with bedding materials being switched every 4 wk. Lying behavior was measured with data loggers in both studies. During experiment 1, cows chose to spend more time lying and had more frequent lying bouts on SG (9.4 h/d; 8.2 bouts/d) than on SGL (1.0 h/d; 0.9 bouts/d). They also spent more time standing and stood more frequently in stalls with SG (2.0 h/d; 10.1 bouts/d) than in those with SGL (0.6 h/d; 2.6 bouts/d), and stood longer in stalls with SG than with WS (0.6 h/d). In experiment 2, the total lying time, frequency of lying bouts, and mean lying bout duration were, on average, 9.7 ± 1.03 h/d, 8.2 ± 0.93 bouts/d, and 1.2 ± 0.06 h/bout, respectively, and did not differ between treatments. No treatment effects were found for cow cleanliness scores. Bedding dry matter was highest for SG (74.1%), lowest for SGL (63.5%), and intermediate for WS (68.6%) [standard error of the mean (SEM) = 1.57%]. This may explain the higher teat end

  20. The impact of dry matter loss during herbaceous biomass storage on net greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emery, Isaac R.; Mosier, Nathan S.

    2012-01-01

    Life cycle inventory models of greenhouse gas emissions from biofuel production have become tightly integrated into government mandates and other policies to encourage biofuel production. Current models do not include life cycle impacts of biomass storage or reflect current literature on emissions from soil and biomass decomposition. In this study, the GREET model framework was used to determine net greenhouse gas emissions during ethanol production from corn and switchgrass via three biomass storage systems: wet ensiling of whole corn, and indoor and outdoor dry bale storage of corn stover and switchgrass. Dry matter losses during storage were estimated from the literature and used to modify GREET inventory analysis. Results showed that biomass stability is a key parameter affecting fuel production per farmed hectare and life cycle greenhouse gas emissions. Corn silage may generate 5358 L/ha of ethanol at 26.5 g CO 2 eq/MJ, relative to 5654 L/ha at 52.3 g CO 2 eq/MJ from combined corn stover and conventional grain corn ethanol production, or 3919 L/ha at 21.3 g CO 2 eq/MJ from switchgrass. Dry matter losses can increase net emissions by 3–25% (ensiling), 5–53% (bales outdoors), or 1–12% (bales indoors), decreasing the net GHG reduction of ethanol over gasoline by up to 10.9%. Greater understanding of biomass storage losses and greenhouse gas fluxes during storage is necessary to accurately assess biomass storage options to ensure that the design of biomass supply logistics systems meet GHG reduction mandates for biofuel production. -- Highlights: ► Analyzed the impact of biomass loss during storage. ► Probable dry matter losses strongly depend on storage method and infrastructure. ► Assessed impact of storage losses on LCA for cellulosic ethanol production. ► Storage losses increase GHG emissions by 1–53% depending upon storage conditions.

  1. Influence of spatially dependent, modeled soil carbon emission factors on life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of corn and cellulosic ethanol

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qin, Zhangcai [Energy Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue Argonne IL 60439 USA; Dunn, Jennifer B. [Energy Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue Argonne IL 60439 USA; Kwon, Hoyoung [Environment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute, 2033 K St. NW Washington DC 20006 USA; Mueller, Steffen [Energy Resources Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1309 South Halsted Street Chicago IL 60607 USA; Wander, Michelle M. [Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1102 South Goodwin Avenue Urbana IL 61801 USA

    2016-03-03

    Converting land to biofuel feedstock production incurs changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) that can influence biofuel life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Estimates of these land use change (LUC) and life-cycle GHG emissions affect biofuels’ attractiveness and eligibility under a number of renewable fuel policies in the U.S. and abroad. Modeling was used to refine the spatial resolution and depth-extent of domestic estimates of SOC change for land (cropland, cropland pasture, grasslands, and forests) conversion scenarios to biofuel crops (corn, corn stover, switchgrass, Miscanthus, poplar, and willow). In most regions, conversions from cropland and cropland pasture to biofuel crops led to neutral or small levels of SOC sequestration, while conversion of grassland and forest generally caused net SOC loss. Results of SOC change were incorporated into the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model to assess their influence on life-cycle GHG emissions for the biofuels considered. Total LUC GHG emissions (g CO2eq MJ-1) were 2.1–9.3 for corn, -0.7 for corn stover, -3.4–12.9 for switchgrass, and -20.1–-6.2 for Miscanthus; these varied with SOC modeling assumptions applied. Extending soil depth from 30 to 100cm affected spatially-explicit SOC change and overall LUC GHG emissions; however the influence on LUC GHG emissions estimates were less significant in corn and corn stover than cellulosic feedstocks. Total life-cycle GHG emissions (g CO2eq MJ-1, 100cm) were estimated to be 59–66 for corn ethanol, 14 for stover ethanol, 18-26 for switchgrass ethanol, and -0.6–-7 for Miscanthus ethanol.

  2. Potential phosphorus eutrophication mitigation strategy: Biochar carbon composition, thermal stability and pH influence phosphorus sorption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngatia, L W; Hsieh, Y P; Nemours, D; Fu, R; Taylor, R W

    2017-08-01

    Phosphorus (P) eutrophication is a major pollution problem globally, with unprecedented amount of P emanating from agricultural sources. But little is known about the optimization of soil-biochar P sorption capacity. The study objective was to determine how biochar feedstocks and pyrolysis conditions influences carbon (C) thermal stability, C composition and pH and in turn influence the phosphorus sorption optimization. Biochar was produced from switchgrass, kudzu and Chinese tallow at 200, 300, 400, 500, 550, 650,750 °C. Carbon thermal stability was determined by multi-element scanning thermal analysis (MESTA), C composition was determined using solid state 13 C NMR. Phosphorus sorption was determined using a mixture of 10% biochar and 90% sandy soil after incubation. Results indicate increased P sorption (P biochar pyrolysis temperature. However, optimum P sorption was feedstock specific with switchgrass indicating P desorption between 200 and 550 °C. Phosphorus sorption was in the order of kudzu > switchgrass > Chinese tallow. Total C, C thermal stability, aromatic C and alkalinity increased with elevated pyrolysis temperature. Biochar alkalinity favored P sorption. There was a positive relationship between high thermal stable C and P sorption for Kudzu (r = 0.62; P = 0.0346) and Chinese tallow (r = 0.73; P = 0.0138). In conclusion, biochar has potential for P eutrophication mitigation, however, optimum biochar pyrolysis temperature for P sorption is feedstock specific and in some cases might be out of 300-500 °C temperature range commonly used for agronomic application. High thermal stable C dominated by aromatic C and alkaline pH seem to favor P sorption. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Thermoascus aurantiacus is a promising source of enzymes for biomass deconstruction under thermophilic conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McClendon Shara D

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Thermophilic fungi have attracted increased interest for their ability to secrete enzymes that deconstruct biomass at high temperatures. However, development of thermophilic fungi as enzyme producers for biomass deconstruction has not been thoroughly investigated. Comparing the enzymatic activities of thermophilic fungal strains that grow on targeted biomass feedstocks has the potential to identify promising candidates for strain development. Thielavia terrestris and Thermoascus aurantiacus were chosen for characterization based on literature precedents. Results Thermoascus aurantiacus and Thielavia terrestris were cultivated on various biomass substrates and culture supernatants assayed for glycoside hydrolase activities. Supernatants from both cultures possessed comparable glycoside hydrolase activities when incubated with artificial biomass substrates. In contrast, saccharifications of ionic liquid pretreated switchgrass (Panicum virgatum revealed that T. aurantiacus enzymes released more glucose than T. terrestris enzymes over a range of protein mass loadings and temperatures. Temperature-dependent saccharifications demonstrated that the T. aurantiacus proteins retained higher levels of activity compared to a commercial enzyme mixture sold by Novozymes, Cellic CTec2, at elevated temperatures. Enzymes secreted by T. aurantiacus released glucose at similar protein loadings to CTec2 on dilute acid, ammonia fiber expansion, or ionic liquid pretreated switchgrass. Proteomic analysis of the T. aurantiacus culture supernatant revealed dominant glycoside hydrolases from families 5, 7, 10, and 61, proteins that are key enzymes in commercial cocktails. Conclusions T. aurantiacus produces a complement of secreted proteins capable of higher levels of saccharification of pretreated switchgrass than T. terrestris enzymes. The T. aurantiacus enzymatic cocktail performs at the same level as commercially available enzymatic cocktail for

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Development of a farm-firm modelling system for evaluation of herbaceous energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    English, B.C.; Alexander, R.R.; Loewen, K.H.; Coady, S.A.; Cole, G.V.; Goodman, W.R.

    1992-01-01

    A complete analysis is performed to simulate biomass production incorporated into a realistic whole farm situation, including or replacing a typical crop mix. Representative farms are constructed to accommodate such simulation. Four management systems are simulated for each firm, with each simulation depicting a different crop mix and/or use of different farming technologies and production methods. The first simulation was a base farm plan in which the operator would maintain the historical crop mix for the area, participate in all price support programs, and not participate in either a conservative reserve or a biomass production program. In the second simulation, the operator would again maintain the historical crop mix, would not participate in a conservation reserve or biomass production program, and would be ineligible to participate in any price support system. The third simulation introduced the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and included participation in all price support programs. The fourth simulation introduced a biomass crop production enterprise (switchgrass) as an alternative to enrolling highly erodible cropland in the CRP and allowed participation in price support programs. Simulations were made for three farms, two in West Tennessee and on in South Georgia. Results indicate that erosion is likely to be reduced more by the diversion of cropland to permanent vegetative cover on farms similar to the more highly erodible West Tennessee farms than on the less erodible Tift County, Georgia farm. Equivalent reductions in erosion rates result from entering highly erodible cropland in the CRP and from production of switchgrass as a biomass energy crop. Both switchgrass and CRP farm plans result in decreased net returns from the base plan, although the biomass farm plans are, in general, more profitable than the CRP plans

  6. Thermoascus aurantiacus is a promising source of enzymes for biomass deconstruction under thermophilic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClendon, Shara D; Batth, Tanveer; Petzold, Christopher J; Adams, Paul D; Simmons, Blake A; Singer, Steven W

    2012-07-28

    Thermophilic fungi have attracted increased interest for their ability to secrete enzymes that deconstruct biomass at high temperatures. However, development of thermophilic fungi as enzyme producers for biomass deconstruction has not been thoroughly investigated. Comparing the enzymatic activities of thermophilic fungal strains that grow on targeted biomass feedstocks has the potential to identify promising candidates for strain development. Thielavia terrestris and Thermoascus aurantiacus were chosen for characterization based on literature precedents. Thermoascus aurantiacus and Thielavia terrestris were cultivated on various biomass substrates and culture supernatants assayed for glycoside hydrolase activities. Supernatants from both cultures possessed comparable glycoside hydrolase activities when incubated with artificial biomass substrates. In contrast, saccharifications of ionic liquid pretreated switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) revealed that T. aurantiacus enzymes released more glucose than T. terrestris enzymes over a range of protein mass loadings and temperatures. Temperature-dependent saccharifications demonstrated that the T. aurantiacus proteins retained higher levels of activity compared to a commercial enzyme mixture sold by Novozymes, Cellic CTec2, at elevated temperatures. Enzymes secreted by T. aurantiacus released glucose at similar protein loadings to CTec2 on dilute acid, ammonia fiber expansion, or ionic liquid pretreated switchgrass. Proteomic analysis of the T. aurantiacus culture supernatant revealed dominant glycoside hydrolases from families 5, 7, 10, and 61, proteins that are key enzymes in commercial cocktails. T. aurantiacus produces a complement of secreted proteins capable of higher levels of saccharification of pretreated switchgrass than T. terrestris enzymes. The T. aurantiacus enzymatic cocktail performs at the same level as commercially available enzymatic cocktail for biomass deconstruction, without strain development or

  7. Accumulation of 137Cs and 90Sr from contaminated soil by three grass species inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Entry, J.A.; Watrud, L.S.; Reeves, M.

    1999-01-01

    The use of plants to accumulate low level radioactive waste from soil, followed by incineration of plant material to concentrate radionuclides may prove to be a viable and economical method of remediating contaminated areas. We tested the influence of arbuscular mycorrhizae on 137 Cs and 90 Sr uptake by bahia grass (Paspalum notatum), johnson grass (Sorghum halpense) and switchgrass (Panicum virginatum) for the effectiveness on three different contaminated soil types. Exposure to 137 Cs or 90 Sr over the course of the experiment did not affect above ground biomass of the three grasses. The above ground biomass of bahia, johnson and switchgrass plants accumulated from 26.3 to 71.7% of the total amount of the 137 Cs and from 23.8 to 88.7% of the total amount of the 90 Sr added to the soil after three harvests. In each of the three grass species tested, plants inoculated with Glomus mosseae or Glomus intraradices had greater aboveground plant biomass, higher concentrations of 137 Cs or 90 Sr in plant tissue, % accumulation of 137 Cs or 90 Sr from soil and plant bioconcentration ratios at each harvest than those that did not receive mycorrhizal inoculation. Johnson grass had greater aboveground plant biomass, greater accumulation of 137 Cs or 90 Sr from soil and plant higher bioconcentration ratios with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi than bahia grass and switchgrass. The greatest accumulation of 137 Cs and 90 Sr was observed in johnson grass inoculated with G. mosseae. Grasses can grow in wide geographical ranges that include a broad variety of edaphic conditions. The highly efficient removal of these radionuclides by these grass species after inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizae supports the concept that remediation of radionuclide contaminated soils using mycorrhizal plants may present a viable strategy to remediate and reclaim sites contaminated with radionuclides

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Life cycle assessment of biochar systems: estimating the energetic, economic, and climate change potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Kelli G; Gloy, Brent A; Joseph, Stephen; Scott, Norman R; Lehmann, Johannes

    2010-01-15

    Biomass pyrolysis with biochar returned to soil is a possible strategy for climate change mitigation and reducing fossil fuel consumption. Pyrolysis with biochar applied to soils results in four coproducts: long-term carbon (C) sequestration from stable C in the biochar, renewable energy generation, biochar as a soil amendment, and biomass waste management. Life cycle assessment was used to estimate the energy and climate change impacts and the economics of biochar systems. The feedstocks analyzed represent agricultural residues (corn stover), yard waste, and switchgrass energy crops. The net energy of the system is greatest with switchgrass (4899 MJ t(-1) dry feedstock). The net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for both stover and yard waste are negative, at -864 and -885 kg CO(2) equivalent (CO(2)e) emissions reductions per tonne dry feedstock, respectively. Of these total reductions, 62-66% are realized from C sequestration in the biochar. The switchgrass biochar-pyrolysis system can be a net GHG emitter (+36 kg CO(2)e t(-1) dry feedstock), depending on the accounting method for indirect land-use change impacts. The economic viability of the pyrolysis-biochar system is largely dependent on the costs of feedstock production, pyrolysis, and the value of C offsets. Biomass sources that have a need for waste management such as yard waste have the highest potential for economic profitability (+$69 t(-1) dry feedstock when CO(2)e emission reductions are valued at $80 t(-1) CO(2)e). The transportation distance for feedstock creates a significant hurdle to the economic profitability of biochar-pyrolysis systems. Biochar may at present only deliver climate change mitigation benefits and be financially viable as a distributed system using waste biomass.

  11. Field-to-Fuel Performance Testing of Lignocellulosic Feedstocks for Fast Pyrolysis and Upgrading: Techno-economic Analysis and Greenhouse Gas Life Cycle Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyer, Pimphan A.; Snowden-Swan, Lesley J.; Rappé, Kenneth G.; Jones, Susanne B.; Westover, Tyler L.; Cafferty, Kara G.

    2016-11-17

    This work shows preliminary results from techno-economic analysis and life cycle greenhouse gas analysis of the conversion of seven (7) biomass feedstocks to produce liquid transportation fuels via fast pyrolysis and upgrading via hydrodeoxygenation. The biomass consists of five (5) pure feeds (pine, tulip poplar, hybrid poplar, switchgrass, corn stover) and two blends. Blend 1 consists of equal weights of pine, tulip poplar and switchgrass, and blend 2 is 67% pine and 33% hybrid poplar. Upgraded oil product yield is one of the most significant parameters affecting the process economics, and is a function of both fast pyrolysis oil yield and hydrotreating oil yield. Pure pine produced the highest overall yield, while switchgrass produced the lowest. Interestingly, herbaceous materials blended with woody biomass performed nearly as well as pure woody feedstock, suggesting a non-trivial relationship between feedstock attributes and production yield. Production costs are also highly dependent upon hydrotreating catalyst-related costs. The catalysts contribute an average of ~15% to the total fuel cost, which can be reduced through research and development focused on achieving performance at increased space velocity (e.g., reduced catalyst loading) and prolonging catalyst lifetime. Green-house-gas reduction does not necessarily align with favorable economics. From the greenhouse gas analysis, processing tulip poplar achieves the largest GHG emission reduction relative to petroleum (~70%) because of its lower hydrogen consumption in the upgrading stage that results in a lower natural gas requirement for hydrogen production. Conversely, processing blend 1 results in the smallest GHG emission reduction from petroleum (~58%) because of high natural gas demand for hydrogen production.

  12. Analysis of the impact of energy crops on water quality. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hatfield, J.L.; Gale, W.J.

    1993-01-01

    This report consists of two separate papers. The first, ''The potential use of agricultural simulation models in predicting the fate of nitrogen and pesticides applied to switchgrass and poplars,'' describes three models (CREAMS, GLEAMS, and EPIC) for the evaluation of the relationships which determine water quality in the agroecosystem. Case studies are presented which demonstrate the utility of these models in evaluating the potential impact of alternative crop management practices. The second paper, ''Energy crops as part of a sustainable landscape,'' discusses concepts of landscape management and the linkage among agricultural practices and environmental quality

  13. Characterization of three plant biomass-degrading microbial consortia by metagenomics- and metasecretomics-based approaches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jiménez, Diego Javier; Brossi, Maria Julia de Lima; Schückel, Julia

    2016-01-01

    ). The highest degradation rates of lignin (~59 %) were observed with SG-M, whereas CS-M showed a high consumption of cellulose and hemicellulose. Analyses of the carbohydrate-active enzymes in the three microbial consortia showed the dominance of glycosyl hydrolases (e.g. of families GH3, GH43, GH13, GH10, GH29......), switchgrass (SG-M) and corn stover (CS-M) under aerobic and mesophilic conditions. Molecular fingerprintings, bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene amplicon sequencing and metagenomic analyses showed that the three microbial consortia were taxonomically distinct. Based on the taxonomic affiliation...

  14. Water Resources Implications of Cellulosic Biofuel Production at a Regional Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher, S. F.; Schoenholtz, S. H.; Nettles, J. E.

    2011-12-01

    Recent increases in oil prices, a strong national interest in greater energy independence, and a concern for the role of fossil fuels in global climate change, have led to a dramatic expansion in use of alternative renewable energy sources in the U.S. The U.S. government has mandated production of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, of which 16 billion gallons are required to be cellulosic biofuels. Production of cellulosic biomass offers a promising alternative to corn-based systems because large-scale production of corn-based ethanol often requires irrigation and is associated with increased erosion, excess sediment export, and enhanced leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus. Although cultivation of switchgrass using standard agricultural practices is one option being considered for production of cellulosic biomass, intercropping cellulosic biofuel crops within managed forests could provide feedstock without primary land use change or the water quality impacts associated with annual crops. Catchlight Energy LLC is examining the feasibility and sustainability of intercropping switchgrass in loblolly pine plantations in the southeastern U.S. Ongoing research is determining efficient operational techniques and information needed to evaluate effects of these practices on water resources in small watershed-scale (~25 ha) studies. Three sets of four to five sub-watersheds are fully instrumented and currently collecting calibration data in North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi. These watershed studies will provide detailed information to understand processes and guide management decisions. However, environmental implications of cellulosic systems need to be examined at a regional scale. We used the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a physically-based hydrologic model, to examine water quantity effects of various land use change scenarios ranging from switchgrass intercropping a small percentage of managed pine forest land to conversion of all managed

  15. Prospects for Hybrid Breeding in Bioenergy Grasses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aguirre, Andrea Arias; Studer, Bruno; Frei, Ursula

    2012-01-01

    , we address crucial topics to implement hybrid breeding, such as the availability and development of heterotic groups, as well as biological mechanisms for hybridization control such as self-incompatibility (SI) and male sterility (MS). Finally, we present potential hybrid breeding schemes based on SI...... of different hybrid breeding schemes to optimally exploit heterosis for biomass yield in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), two perennial model grass species for bioenergy production. Starting with a careful evaluation of current population and synthetic breeding methods...

  16. The effect of aqueous ammonia soaking pretreatment on methane generation uing different lignocellulosic feedstocks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Antonopoulou, Georgia; Jonuzaj, Suela; Gavala, Hariklia N.

    2014-01-01

    Lignocellulosic biomass including agricultural and forestry residues, perennial crops, softwoods and hardwoods, can be used as feedstock for methane production. Although being abundant and almost zero cost feedstocks, the main obstacles of their use are the low efficiencies and yields attained, d...... methane potential of switchgrass. Transactions of the ASABE. 53, 1921-1927 (2010) [3] Jurado, E., Gavala., H.N., Skiadas, I.V., :Enhancement of methane yield from wheat straw, miscanthus and willow using aqueous ammonia soaking. Environmental Tecnology. 34(13-14), 2069-2075 (2013)...

  17. The American farm: Harnessing the sun to fuel the world

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-03-01

    This NREL publication forecasts the future in energy crops. Tomorrow's farm will produce crops like corn, soybeans, rapeseed, sunflowers for food and fuel. Farmers will harvest switchgrass and then sell it for feed or to make ethanol. Aspects of planting trees that are beneficial to the environment such as filtering run-off water are discussed. Economic issues of energy crop growth are presented. The harvesting of trees for pulp, paper, and energy and corn for electricity, fuels, and chemicals are both emphasized. Tree harvesting research from breeding programs to high-tech harvesting techniques is presented

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  19. The effects of energy grass plantations on biodiversity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Semere, T; Slater, F

    2005-07-01

    The ecological impact on local wildlife of biomass plantations of three different species of grasses has been monitored in the years 2002 to 2004 inclusive at farms in Herefordshire UK. Two of the grasses were not native to Britain. Wildlife monitored included ground flora, beetles, insects, birds, small mammals, butterflies, bees and hoverflies. The results provide a baseline of biodiversity data from biomass farms in England, although due to poor crop growth, the data from the switch-grass plantation was incomplete. The surveys were carried out by Cardiff University supported financially by the DTI.

  20. Bioenergy Technologies Office FY 2017 Budget At-A-Glance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-03-01

    The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is accelerating the commercialization of first-of-a-kind technologies that use our nation’s abundant renewable biomass resources for the production of advanced biofuels and biobased products. Non-food sources of biomass, such as algae, agricultural residues and forestry trimmings, and energy crops like switchgrass, are being used in BETO-supported, cutting-edge technologies to produce drop-in biofuels, including renewable gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels. BETO is also investigating how to improve the economics of biofuel production by converting biomass into higher-value chemicals and products that historically have always been derived from petroleum.

  1. Laboratory Scale Coal And Biomass To Drop-In Fuels (CBDF) Production And Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lux, Kenneth [Altex Technologies Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA (United States); Imam, Tahmina [Altex Technologies Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA (United States); Chevanan, Nehru [Altex Technologies Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA (United States); Namazian, Mehdi [Altex Technologies Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA (United States); Wang, Xiaoxing [Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States); Song, Chunshan [Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)

    2016-06-29

    This Final Technical Report describes the work and accomplishments of the project entitled, “Laboratory Scale Coal and Biomass to Drop-In Fuels (CBDF) Production and Assessment.” The main objective of the project was to fabricate and test a lab-scale liquid-fuel production system using coal containing different percentages of biomass such as corn stover and switchgrass at a rate of 2 liters per day. The system utilizes the patented Altex fuel-production technology, which incorporates advanced catalysts developed by Pennsylvania State University. The system was designed, fabricated, tested, and assessed for economic and environmental feasibility relative to competing technologies.

  2. COREMIC: a web-tool to search for a niche associated CORE MICrobiome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard R. Rodrigues

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Microbial diversity on earth is extraordinary, and soils alone harbor thousands of species per gram of soil. Understanding how this diversity is sorted and selected into habitat niches is a major focus of ecology and biotechnology, but remains only vaguely understood. A systems-biology approach was used to mine information from databases to show how it can be used to answer questions related to the core microbiome of habitat-microbe relationships. By making use of the burgeoning growth of information from databases, our tool “COREMIC” meets a great need in the search for understanding niche partitioning and habitat-function relationships. The work is unique, furthermore, because it provides a user-friendly statistically robust web-tool (http://coremic2.appspot.com or http://core-mic.com, developed using Google App Engine, to help in the process of database mining to identify the “core microbiome” associated with a given habitat. A case study is presented using data from 31 switchgrass rhizosphere community habitats across a diverse set of soil and sampling environments. The methodology utilizes an outgroup of 28 non-switchgrass (other grasses and forbs to identify a core switchgrass microbiome. Even across a diverse set of soils (five environments, and conservative statistical criteria (presence in more than 90% samples and FDR q-val <0.05% for Fisher’s exact test a core set of bacteria associated with switchgrass was observed. These included, among others, closely related taxa from Lysobacter spp., Mesorhizobium spp, and Chitinophagaceae. These bacteria have been shown to have functions related to the production of bacterial and fungal antibiotics and plant growth promotion. COREMIC can be used as a hypothesis generating or confirmatory tool that shows great potential for identifying taxa that may be important to the functioning of a habitat (e.g. host plant. The case study, in conclusion, shows that COREMIC can identify key habitat

  3. The effects of energy grass plantations on biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Semere, T.; Slater, F.

    2005-01-01

    The ecological impact on local wildlife of biomass plantations of three different species of grasses has been monitored in the years 2002 to 2004 inclusive at farms in Herefordshire UK. Two of the grasses were not native to Britain. Wildlife monitored included ground flora, beetles, insects, birds, small mammals, butterflies, bees and hoverflies. The results provide a baseline of biodiversity data from biomass farms in England, although due to poor crop growth, the data from the switch-grass plantation was incomplete. The surveys were carried out by Cardiff University supported financially by the DTI

  4. Détermination de la cellulose, des hémicelluloses, de la lignine et des cendres dans diverses cultures lignocellulosiques dédiées à la production de bioéthanol de deuxième génération

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Godin, B.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, and ash contents in various lignocellulosic crops for second generation bioethanol production. Various green energy crops are available for the production of renewable energy vectors such as second generation bioethanol. The efficiency of the energy recovery potential of these lignocellulosic crops depends on the crop husbandry, their content of main components (cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, ash and on the second generation bioethanol production process. The lignocellulosic crops investigated in this study are miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus J.M.Greef & Deuter ex Hodk. & Renvoize, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L., fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb., fiber sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L. Moench, fiber corn (Zea mays L., "cocksfoot-alfalfa" mixture (Dactylis glomerata L. – Medicago sativa L., comfrey (Symphytum officinale L., jerusalem artichoke (aerial part (Helianthus tuberosus L. and hemp (Cannabis sativa L.. The samples came from different energy crop trials and their content in cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin was quantified using the Van Soest method. The ash content has also been quantified. The lignocellulosic crops with the best theoretical potential to produce second generation bioethanol based on their biochemical composition (with a yield of 100% for the hydrolysis and the fermentation of cellulose and hemicelluloses are in decreasing order miscanthus, switchgrass, fescue, fiber sorghum, fiber corn and hemp. On one hand, these crops are composed of high amounts of cellulose and hemicelluloses and, on the other hand, the lignin and ash concentration are low. A principal component analysis showed that commeniloïd monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous lignocellulosic crops formed two differentiated categories.

  5. Mapping grasslands suitable for cellulosic biofuels in the Greater Platte River Basin, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, Bruce K.; Gu, Yingxin

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels are an important component in the development of alternative energy supplies, which is needed to achieve national energy independence and security in the United States. The most common biofuel product today in the United States is corn-based ethanol; however, its development is limited because of concerns about global food shortages, livestock and food price increases, and water demand increases for irrigation and ethanol production. Corn-based ethanol also potentially contributes to soil erosion, and pesticides and fertilizers affect water quality. Studies indicate that future potential production of cellulosic ethanol is likely to be much greater than grain- or starch-based ethanol. As a result, economics and policy incentives could, in the near future, encourage expansion of cellulosic biofuels production from grasses, forest woody biomass, and agricultural and municipal wastes. If production expands, cultivation of cellulosic feedstock crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and miscanthus (Miscanthus species), is expected to increase dramatically. The main objective of this study is to identify grasslands in the Great Plains that are potentially suitable for cellulosic feedstock (such as switchgrass) production. Producing ethanol from noncropland holdings (such as grassland) will minimize the effects of biofuel developments on global food supplies. Our pilot study area is the Greater Platte River Basin, which includes a broad range of plant productivity from semiarid grasslands in the west to the fertile corn belt in the east. The Greater Platte River Basin was the subject of related U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) integrated research projects.

  6. Production of alcohols and other oxygenates from fossil fuels and renewables : final report for IEA Alternative Motor Fuels Agreement Program of research and development on alternative motor fuels, Annex 4/Phase 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vancea, L. (comp.) [Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    1995-07-01

    The objective of the International Energy Agency's (IEA's) Alternative Motor Fuels Agreement Program was to exchange information on the production of alcohols and other oxygenates between 6 participating countries including Canada, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States. Various production methods were reviewed in an effort to identify potential areas of cooperative research programs. The original scope was to examine the production of alcohols and other oxygenates from fossil fuels only, but some participants examined their production from renewables. This report provided a brief description of the Annex and the list of participants. It presented the Operating Agent's Report and contained a summary of the contributions submitted by participating countries by topic. In Canada, Iogen of Ottawa, Ontario has conducted a study on the energy, carbon and economic budgets estimated for wheat grain, corn grain, wheat straw, and switchgrass. Iogen has developed a process for fermenting wheat straw and switchgrass into ethanol. Most research has focused on enzymatic hydrolysis processes because of the low yields inherent in dilute acid hydrolysis processes. Enzymes hydrolyze the cellulose to glucose without producing any degradation products, thereby yielding high quantity products with no toxicity. Future bioethanol production will probably be cellulosic-based rather than grain-based. refs., tabs., figs.

  7. Modeling Phosphorus Capture by Plants Growing in a Multispecies Riparian Buffer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Kelly

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The NST 3.0 mechanistic nutrient uptake model was used to explore P uptake to a depth of 120 cm over a 126 d growing season in simulated buffer communities composed of mixtures of cottonwood (Populus deltoids Bartr., switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L., and smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss. Model estimates of P uptake from pure stands of smooth brome and cottonwood were 18.9 and 24.5 kg ha−1, respectively. Uptake estimates for mixed stands of trees and grasses were intermediate to pure stands. A single factor sensitivity analysis of parameters used to calculate P uptake for each cover type indicated that Imax, k, ro, and Lo were consistently the most responsive to changes ranging from −50% to +100%. Model exploration of P uptake as a function of soil depth interval indicated that uptake was highest in the 0–30 cm intervals, with values ranging from 85% of total for cottonwood to 56% for switchgrass.

  8. High-resolution techno-ecological modelling of a bioenergy landscape to identify climate mitigation opportunities in cellulosic ethanol production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, John L.; Evans, Samuel G.; Marx, Ernie; Easter, Mark; Adler, Paul R.; Dinh, Thai; Willson, Bryan; Paustian, Keith

    2018-03-01

    Although dedicated energy crops will probably be an important feedstock for future cellulosic bioenergy production, it is unknown how they can best be integrated into existing agricultural systems. Here we use the DayCent ecosystem model to simulate various scenarios for growing switchgrass in the heterogeneous landscape that surrounds a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in southwestern Kansas, and quantify the associated fuel production costs and lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We show that the GHG footprint of ethanol production can be reduced by up to 22 g of CO2 equivalent per megajoule (CO2e MJ-1) through careful optimization of the soils cultivated and corresponding fertilizer application rates (the US Renewable Fuel Standard requires a 56 gCO2e MJ-1 lifecycle emissions reduction for `cellulosic' biofuels compared with conventional gasoline). This improved climate performance is realizable at modest additional costs, less than the current value of low-carbon fuel incentives. We also demonstrate that existing subsidized switchgrass plantings within this landscape probably achieve suboptimal GHG mitigation, as would landscape designs that strictly minimize the biomass collection radius or target certain marginal lands.

  9. Biomass for rural vitality report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McDonald, S.; DiPaolo, J.; Bryan, J.

    2009-06-15

    This report was completed by the Eastern Lake Ontario Regional Innovation Network (ELORIN) in order to identify opportunities for producing pellets from agricultural biomass in Lennox and Addington County. An agricultural profile of the county was presented. Potential feedstocks for biomass production included industrial hemp; switchgrass; short rotation crop willow; hybrid poplars; and miscanthus. Available soil survey data was combined with soil class data in order to generate maps of the total area of land available for energy crop production. The pelletizing process was described. A cost projection for 3 to 7 ton per hour pellet production facility was also presented. Potential markets for using the pellets include greenhouses, residential home heating suppliers and large industrial users. The study showed that heating just 1 per cent of Ontario's greenhouse space with switchgrass will create a demand for 15,000 tonnes of pellets. The average home requires 3 to 4 tonnes of pellets per year for heating. 3 tabs., 54 figs.

  10. Identification and thermochemical analysis of high-lignin feedstocks for biofuel and biochemical production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mendu Venugopal

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lignin is a highly abundant biopolymer synthesized by plants as a complex component of plant secondary cell walls. Efforts to utilize lignin-based bioproducts are needed. Results Herein we identify and characterize the composition and pyrolytic deconstruction characteristics of high-lignin feedstocks. Feedstocks displaying the highest levels of lignin were identified as drupe endocarp biomass arising as agricultural waste from horticultural crops. By performing pyrolysis coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we characterized lignin-derived deconstruction products from endocarp biomass and compared these with switchgrass. By comparing individual pyrolytic products, we document higher amounts of acetic acid, 1-hydroxy-2-propanone, acetone and furfural in switchgrass compared to endocarp tissue, which is consistent with high holocellulose relative to lignin. By contrast, greater yields of lignin-based pyrolytic products such as phenol, 2-methoxyphenol, 2-methylphenol, 2-methoxy-4-methylphenol and 4-ethyl-2-methoxyphenol arising from drupe endocarp tissue are documented. Conclusions Differences in product yield, thermal decomposition rates and molecular species distribution among the feedstocks illustrate the potential of high-lignin endocarp feedstocks to generate valuable chemicals by thermochemical deconstruction.

  11. Improving Bioenergy Crops through Dynamic Metabolic Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mojdeh Faraji

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Enormous advances in genetics and metabolic engineering have made it possible, in principle, to create new plants and crops with improved yield through targeted molecular alterations. However, while the potential is beyond doubt, the actual implementation of envisioned new strains is often difficult, due to the diverse and complex nature of plants. Indeed, the intrinsic complexity of plants makes intuitive predictions difficult and often unreliable. The hope for overcoming this challenge is that methods of data mining and computational systems biology may become powerful enough that they could serve as beneficial tools for guiding future experimentation. In the first part of this article, we review the complexities of plants, as well as some of the mathematical and computational methods that have been used in the recent past to deepen our understanding of crops and their potential yield improvements. In the second part, we present a specific case study that indicates how robust models may be employed for crop improvements. This case study focuses on the biosynthesis of lignin in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum. Switchgrass is considered one of the most promising candidates for the second generation of bioenergy production, which does not use edible plant parts. Lignin is important in this context, because it impedes the use of cellulose in such inedible plant materials. The dynamic model offers a platform for investigating the pathway behavior in transgenic lines. In particular, it allows predictions of lignin content and composition in numerous genetic perturbation scenarios.

  12. Direct conversion of plant biomass to ethanol by engineered Caldicellulosiruptor bescii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Daehwan; Cha, Minseok; Guss, Adam M; Westpheling, Janet

    2014-06-17

    Ethanol is the most widely used renewable transportation biofuel in the United States, with the production of 13.3 billion gallons in 2012 [John UM (2013) Contribution of the Ethanol Industry to the Economy of the United States]. Despite considerable effort to produce fuels from lignocellulosic biomass, chemical pretreatment and the addition of saccharolytic enzymes before microbial bioconversion remain economic barriers to industrial deployment [Lynd LR, et al. (2008) Nat Biotechnol 26(2):169-172]. We began with the thermophilic, anaerobic, cellulolytic bacterium Caldicellulosiruptor bescii, which efficiently uses unpretreated biomass, and engineered it to produce ethanol. Here we report the direct conversion of switchgrass, a nonfood, renewable feedstock, to ethanol without conventional pretreatment of the biomass. This process was accomplished by deletion of lactate dehydrogenase and heterologous expression of a Clostridium thermocellum bifunctional acetaldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase. Whereas wild-type C. bescii lacks the ability to make ethanol, 70% of the fermentation products in the engineered strain were ethanol [12.8 mM ethanol directly from 2% (wt/vol) switchgrass, a real-world substrate] with decreased production of acetate by 38% compared with wild-type. Direct conversion of biomass to ethanol represents a new paradigm for consolidated bioprocessing, offering the potential for carbon neutral, cost-effective, sustainable fuel production.

  13. Methods for suspension culture, protoplast extraction, and transformation of high-biomass yielding perennial grass Arundo donax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigna, Gaia; Dhillon, Taniya; Dlugosz, Elizabeth M; Yuan, Joshua S; Gorman, Connor; Morandini, Piero; Lenaghan, Scott C; Stewart, C Neal

    2016-12-01

    Arundo donax L. is a promising biofuel feedstock in the Mediterranean region. Despite considerable interest in its genetic improvement, Arundo tissue culture and transformation remains arduous. The authors developed methodologies for cell- and tissue culture and genetic engineering in Arundo. A media screen was conducted, and a suspension culture was established using callus induced from stem axillary bud explants. DBAP medium, containing 9 µM 2,4-D and 4.4 µM BAP, was found to be the most effective medium among those tested for inducing cell suspension cultures, which resulted in a five-fold increase in tissue mass over 14 days. In contrast, CIM medium containing 13 µM 2,4-D, resulted in just a 1.4-fold increase in mass over the same period. Optimized suspension cultures were superior to previously-described solidified medium-based callus culture methods for tissue mass increase. Suspension cultures proved to be very effective for subsequent protoplast isolation. Protoplast electroporation resulted in a 3.3 ± 1.5% transformation efficiency. A dual fluorescent reporter gene vector enabled the direct comparison of the CAMV 35S promoter with the switchgrass ubi2 promoter in single cells of Arundo. The switchgrass ubi2 promoter resulted in noticeably higher reporter gene expression compared with that conferred by the 35S promoter in Arundo. Copyright © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. The NREL Biochemical and Thermochemical Ethanol Conversion Processes: Financial and Environmental Analysis Comparison

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse Sky Daystar

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The financial and environmental performance of the National Renewable Energy Lab’s (NREL thermochemical and biochemical biofuel conversion processes are examined herein with pine, eucalyptus, unmanaged hardwood, switchgrass, and sweet sorghum. The environmental impacts of the process scenarios were determined by quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG emissions and TRACI impacts. Integrated financial and environmental performance metrics were introduced and used to examine the biofuel production scenarios. The thermochemical and biochemical conversion processes produced the highest financial performance and lowest environmental impacts when paired with pine and sweet sorghum, respectively. The high ash content of switchgrass and high lignin content of loblolly pine lowered conversion yields, resulting in the highest environmental impacts and lowest financial performance for the thermochemical and biochemical conversion processes, respectively. Biofuel produced using the thermochemical conversion process resulted in lower TRACI single score impacts and somewhat lower GHG emissions per megajoule (MJ of fuel than using the biochemical conversion pathway. The cost of carbon mitigation resulting from biofuel production and corresponding government subsidies was determined to be higher than the expected market carbon price. In some scenarios, the cost of carbon mitigation was several times higher than the market carbon price, indicating that there may be other more cost-effective methods of reducing carbon emissions.

  15. Co-gasification of biosolids with biomass: Thermogravimetric analysis and pilot scale study in a bubbling fluidized bed reactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Ming Ming; Masnadi, Mohammad S; Grace, John R; Bi, Xiaotao T; Lim, C Jim; Li, Yonghua

    2015-01-01

    This work studied the feasibility of co-gasification of biosolids with biomass as a means of disposal with energy recovery. The kinetics study at 800°C showed that biomass, such as switchgrass, could catalyze the reactions because switchgrass ash contained a high proportion of potassium, an excellent catalyst for gasification. However, biosolids could also inhibit gasification due to interaction between biomass alkali/alkaline earth metals and biosolids clay minerals. In the pilot scale experiments, increasing the proportion of biosolids in the feedstock affected gasification performance negatively. Syngas yield and char conversion decreased from 1.38 to 0.47m(3)/kg and 82-36% respectively as the biosolids proportion in the fuel increased from 0% to 100%. Over the same range, the tar content increased from 10.3 to 200g/m(3), while the ammonia concentration increased from 1660 to 19,200ppmv. No more than 25% biosolids in the fuel feed is recommended to maintain a reasonable gasification. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deng Ding

    2015-11-01

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

  17. Genomic Characterization of Interspecific Hybrids and an Admixture Population Derived from Panicum amarum × P. virgatum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Heffelfinger

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Switchgrass ( L. and its relatives are regarded as top bioenergy crop candidates; however, one critical barrier is the introduction of useful genetic diversity and the development of new cultivars and hybrids. Combining genomes from related cultivars and species provides an opportunity to introduce new traits. In switchgrass, a breeding advantage would be achieved by combining the genomes of intervarietal ecotypes or interspecific hybrids. The recovery of wide crosses, however, is often tedious and may involve complicated embryo rescue and numerous backcrosses. Here, we demonstrate a straightforward approach to wide crosses involving the use of a selectable transgene for recovery of interspecific [ cv. Alamo × Ell var or Atlantic Coastal Panicgrass (ACP] F hybrids followed by backcrossing to generate a nontransgenic admixture population. A nontransgenic herbicide-sensitive (HbS admixture population of 83 FBC progeny was analyzed by genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS to characterize local ancestry, parental contribution, and patterns of recombination. These results demonstrate a widely applicable breeding strategy that makes use of transgenic selectable resistance to identify and recover true hybrids.

  18. 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.

  19. Ethanol and High-Value Terpene Co-Production from Lignocellulosic Biomass of Cymbopogon flexuosus and Cymbopogon martinii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blake L Joyce

    Full Text Available Cymbopogon flexuosus, lemongrass, and C. martinii, palmarosa, are perennial grasses grown to produce essential oils for the fragrance industry. The objectives of this study were (1 to evaluate biomass and oil yields as a function of nitrogen and sulfur fertilization, and (2 to characterize their utility for lignocellulosic ethanol compared to Panicum virgatum (switchgrass. Mean biomass yields were 12.83 Mg lemongrass ha-1 and 15.11 Mg palmarosa ha-1 during the second harvest year resulting in theoretical biofuel yields of 2541 and 2569 L ethanol ha-1 respectively compared to reported 1749-3691 L ethanol ha-1 for switchgrass. Pretreated lemongrass yielded 198 mL ethanol (g biomass-1 and pretreated palmarosa yielded 170 mL ethanol (g biomass-1. Additionally, lemongrass yielded 85.7 kg essential oil ha-1 and palmarosa yielded 67.0 kg ha-1 with an estimated value of USD $857 and $1005 ha-1. These data suggest that dual-use crops such as lemongrass and palmarosa may increase the economic viability of lignocellulosic biofuels.

  20. Ethanol and High-Value Terpene Co-Production from Lignocellulosic Biomass of Cymbopogon flexuosus and Cymbopogon martinii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Blake L; Zheljazkov, Valtcho D; Sykes, Robert; Cantrell, Charles L; Hamilton, Choo; Mann, David G J; Rodriguez, Miguel; Mielenz, Jonathan R; Astatkie, Tess; Stewart, C Neal

    2015-01-01

    Cymbopogon flexuosus, lemongrass, and C. martinii, palmarosa, are perennial grasses grown to produce essential oils for the fragrance industry. The objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate biomass and oil yields as a function of nitrogen and sulfur fertilization, and (2) to characterize their utility for lignocellulosic ethanol compared to Panicum virgatum (switchgrass). Mean biomass yields were 12.83 Mg lemongrass ha-1 and 15.11 Mg palmarosa ha-1 during the second harvest year resulting in theoretical biofuel yields of 2541 and 2569 L ethanol ha-1 respectively compared to reported 1749-3691 L ethanol ha-1 for switchgrass. Pretreated lemongrass yielded 198 mL ethanol (g biomass)-1 and pretreated palmarosa yielded 170 mL ethanol (g biomass)-1. Additionally, lemongrass yielded 85.7 kg essential oil ha-1 and palmarosa yielded 67.0 kg ha-1 with an estimated value of USD $857 and $1005 ha-1. These data suggest that dual-use crops such as lemongrass and palmarosa may increase the economic viability of lignocellulosic biofuels.

  1. Challenges and models in supporting logistics system design for dedicated-biomass-based bioenergy industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiaoyan; Li, Xueping; Yao, Qingzhu; Chen, Yuerong

    2011-01-01

    This paper analyzed the uniqueness and challenges in designing the logistics system for dedicated biomass-to-bioenergy industry, which differs from the other industries, due to the unique features of dedicated biomass (e.g., switchgrass) including its low bulk density, restrictions on harvesting season and frequency, content variation with time and circumambient conditions, weather effects, scattered distribution over a wide geographical area, and so on. To design it, this paper proposed a mixed integer linear programming model. It covered from planting and harvesting switchgrass to delivering to a biorefinery and included the residue handling, concentrating on integrating strategic decisions on the supply chain design and tactical decisions on the annual operation schedules. The present numerical examples verified the model and demonstrated its use in practice. This paper showed that the operations of the logistics system were significantly different for harvesting and non-harvesting seasons, and that under the well-designed biomass logistics system, the mass production with a steady and sufficient supply of biomass can increase the unit profit of bioenergy. The analytical model and practical methodology proposed in this paper will help realize the commercial production in biomass-to-bioenergy industry. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Bioremediation and phytoremediation of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) under various conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Patrick; Schulthess, Cristian P; Kuzovkina, Yulia A; Guillard, Karl

    2017-08-03

    Remediation of contaminated soils is often studied using fine-textured soils rather than low-fertility sandy soils, and few studies focus on recontamination events. This study compared aerobic and anaerobic treatments for remediation of freshly introduced used motor oil on a sandy soil previously phytoremediated and bioacclimated (microorganisms already adapted in the soil environment) with some residual total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) contamination. Vegetated and unvegetated conditions to remediate anthropogenic fill containing residual TPH that was spiked with nonaqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) were evaluated in a 90-day greenhouse pot study. Vegetated treatments used switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). The concentration of aerobic bacteria were orders of magnitude higher in vegetated treatments compared to unvegetated. Nevertheless, final TPH concentrations were low in all saturated soil treatments, and high in the presence of switchgrass. Concentrations were also low in unvegetated pots with fertilizer. Acclimated indigenous microbial communities were shown to be more effective in breaking down hydrocarbons than introducing microbes from the addition of plant treatments in sandy soils. Remediation of fresh introduced NAPLs on pre-phytoremediated and bioacclimated soil was most efficient in saturated, anaerobic environments, probably due to the already pre-established microbial associations, easily bioavailable contaminants, and optimized soil conditions for microbial establishment and survival.

  4. Evaluating the Potential of Marginal Land for Cellulosic Feedstock Production and Carbon Sequestration in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emery, Isaac; Mueller, Steffen; Qin, Zhangcai; Dunn, Jennifer B

    2017-01-03

    Land availability for growing feedstocks at scale is a crucial concern for the bioenergy industry. Feedstock production on land not well-suited to growing conventional crops, or marginal land, is often promoted as ideal, although there is a poor understanding of the qualities, quantity, and distribution of marginal lands in the United States. We examine the spatial distribution of land complying with several key marginal land definitions at the United States county, agro-ecological zone, and national scales, and compare the ability of both marginal land and land cover data sets to identify regions for feedstock production. We conclude that very few land parcels comply with multiple definitions of marginal land. Furthermore, to examine possible carbon-flow implications of feedstock production on land that could be considered marginal per multiple definitions, we model soil carbon changes upon transitions from marginal cropland, grassland, and cropland-pastureland to switchgrass production for three marginal land-rich counties. Our findings suggest that total soil organic carbon changes per county are small, and generally positive, and can influence life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of switchgrass ethanol.

  5. Production of alcohols and other oxygenates from fossil fuels and renewables : final report for IEA Alternative Motor Fuels Agreement Program of research and development on alternative motor fuels, Annex 4/Phase 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vancea, L [Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    1995-07-01

    The objective of the International Energy Agency's (IEA's) Alternative Motor Fuels Agreement Program was to exchange information on the production of alcohols and other oxygenates between 6 participating countries including Canada, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States. Various production methods were reviewed in an effort to identify potential areas of cooperative research programs. The original scope was to examine the production of alcohols and other oxygenates from fossil fuels only, but some participants examined their production from renewables. This report provided a brief description of the Annex and the list of participants. It presented the Operating Agent's Report and contained a summary of the contributions submitted by participating countries by topic. In Canada, Iogen of Ottawa, Ontario has conducted a study on the energy, carbon and economic budgets estimated for wheat grain, corn grain, wheat straw, and switchgrass. Iogen has developed a process for fermenting wheat straw and switchgrass into ethanol. Most research has focused on enzymatic hydrolysis processes because of the low yields inherent in dilute acid hydrolysis processes. Enzymes hydrolyze the cellulose to glucose without producing any degradation products, thereby yielding high quantity products with no toxicity. Future bioethanol production will probably be cellulosic-based rather than grain-based. refs., tabs., figs.

  6. Utilization of grasses for potential biofuel production and phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balsamo, Ronald A; Kelly, William J; Satrio, Justinus A; Ruiz-Felix, M Nydia; Fetterman, Marisa; Wynn, Rodd; Hagel, Kristen

    2015-01-01

    This research focuses on investigating the use of common biofuel grasses to assess their potential as agents of long-term remediation of contaminated soils using lead as a model heavy metal ion. We present evidence demonstrating that switch grass and Timothy grass may be potentially useful for long-term phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils and describe novel techniques to track and remove contaminants from inception to useful product. Enzymatic digestion and thermochemical approaches are being used to convert this lignocellulosic feedstock into useful product (sugars, ethanol, biocrude oil+biochar). Preliminary studies on enzymatic hydrolysis and fast pyrolysis of the Switchgrass materials that were grown in heavy metal contaminated soil and non-contaminated soils show that the presence of lead in the Switchgrass material feedstock does not adversely affect the outcomes of the conversion processes. These results indicate that the modest levels of contaminant uptake allow these grass species to serve as phytoremediation agents as well as feedstocks for biofuel production in areas degraded by industrial pollution.

  7. The impact of land-use and global change on water-related agro-ecosystem services in the midwest US

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanLoocke, Andrew D.

    Humans have and are likely to continue to dramatically alter both the global landscape through the conversion of natural ecosystems into agriculture, and the atmosphere through the combustion of biomass and fossil fuels to meet the need for food and energy. Associated with these land use and global changes are major alterations in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, water, and nitrogen, which have important implications on the growth and function of ecosystems and the services they provide for humanity. This dissertation investigates the impacts on water-related agro-ecosystem services associated with increasing concentrations of the tropospheric pollutant ozone ([O 3]) and land use change for cellulosic feedstocks in the Midwestern United States. This study focused on quantifying changes in water-related agro-ecosystem services including direct changes to water quantity, water use efficiency (WUE) that links the carbon cycle to water, and water quality that links the nitrogen cycle to water. In the context of these land-use and global changes and the associated changes in water-related agro-ecosystem services, the goals of this research are to: 1) determine the concentration at which soybean latent heat flux (lambdaET) is sensitive to O3, test whether decreases in lambda ET are linked with the concentration of O3, and find whether an increase in O3 has an impact on WUE 2) determine the regional distribution of water use and WUE for Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus) and Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) two of the leading candidate cellulosic feedstocks, relative to Zea mays L. (maize), the current dominant ethanol feedstock 3) determine the change in streamflow in the Mississippi-Atchafalya River Basin (MARB) and the export of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) to the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic region associated with large-scale production of miscanthus and switchgrass. Micrometeorological measurements were made at the Soybean Free Air Concentration Enrichment

  8. Land use history, ecosystem type and species composition drive water use efficiency in annual maize and perennial grasslands in a humid temperate climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelfand, I.; Abraha, M.; Chen, J.; Shao, C.; Su, Y. J.; Hamilton, S. K.; Robertson, G. P.

    2015-12-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE), carbon gained per unit water lost, is a fundamental plant and ecosystem function that regulates plant productivity, global hydrology and carbon cycles. We examined ecosystem (E) and intrinsic (i) WUEs derived from eddy covariance (EC) measurements and plant carbon isotope discrimination, respectively, to study how WUE is affected by land-use history, ecosystem type, and plants community composition. We measured EWUE and iWUE of three perennial grasslands planted to mixed-prairie, switchgrass and brome grass as compared to a fields planted to corn. Each of studied ecosystems was replicated on two fields with contrasting land-use histories: one field was managed under the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP, planted to bromgrass) and another was in conventional agriculture (AGR) corn/soybean rotation for few decades before start of the experiment. In 2009, all but one CRP field were converted to no-till soybean. In 2010, the converted CRP and AGR fields were planted to mixed-prairie (C3 and C4 grasses), switchgrass (C4 grass), and no-till corn (C4 grass). During 2009-2013, we measured carbon and water exchange over each field using an EC technique and sampled plant tissue for 13C isotopes analysis. Land-use history, ecosystem type, and species composition had large effects on EWUEs. Intrinsic WUE of individual C3 grass species, however, was similar across the study period, despite drought in 2012. Corn and brome grass had the highest and lowest overall mean EWUE, 4.1 and 2.2 g C kg-1 H2O, respectively. Restored prairie on former AGR land had a mean EWUE of 3.0 g C kg-1 H2O, significantly greater than on former CRP land with a EWUE of 2.5 g C kg-1 H2O. Land use history had no effect on interannual variability of EWUE of corn. Prairie and switchgrass established on former CRP land exhibited no change of EWUE, as well. Same ecosystems established on former AGR land, oppositely, increased their WUEs over the study period from ~ 2.5 g C kg-1

  9. The impact of extreme drought on the biofuel feedstock production

    Science.gov (United States)

    hussain, M.; Zeri, M.; Bernacchi, C.

    2013-12-01

    Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) have been identified as the primary targets for second-generation cellulosic biofuel crops. Prairie managed for biomass is also considered as one of the alternative to conventional biofuel and promised to provide ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration. These perennial grasses possess a number of traits that make them desirable biofuel crops and can be cultivated on marginal lands or interspersed with maize and soybean in the Corn Belt region. The U.S. Corn Belt region is the world's most productive and expansive maize-growing region, approximately 20% of the world's harvested corn hectares are found in 12 Corn Belt states. The introduction of a second generation cellulosic biofuels for biomass production in a landscape dominated by a grain crop (maize) has potential implications on the carbon and water cycles of the region. This issue is further intensified by the uncertainty in the response of the vegetation to the climate change induced drought periods, as was seen during the extreme droughts of 2011 and 2012 in the Midwest. The 2011 and 2012 growing seasons were considered driest since the 1932 dust bowl period; temperatures exceeded 3.0 °C above the 50- year mean and precipitation deficit reached 50 %. The major objective of this study was to evaluate the drought responses (2011 and 2012) of corn and perennial species at large scale, and to determine the seasonability of carbon and water fluxes in the response of controlling factors. We measured net CO2 ecosystem exchange (NEE) and water fluxes of maize-maize-soybean, and perennial species such as miscanthus, switchgrass and mixture of prairie grasses, using eddy covariance in the University of Illinois energy farm at Urbana, IL. The data presented here were for 5 years (2008- 2012). In the first two years, higher NEE in maize led to large CO2 sequestration. NEE however, decreased in dry years, particularly in 2012. On the other

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishnan, G.; Negri, C. M.

    2010-12-01

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

  11. Development of a system for characterizing biomass quality of lignocellulosic feedstocks for biochemical conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Patrick Thomas

    The purpose of this research was twofold: (i) to develop a system for screening lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks for biochemical conversion to biofuels and (ii) to evaluate brown midrib corn stover as feedstock for ethanol production. In the first study (Chapter 2), we investigated the potential of corn stover from bm1-4 hybrids for increased ethanol production and reduced pretreatment intensity compared to corn stover from the isogenic normal hybrid. Corn stover from hybrid W64A X A619 and respective isogenic bm hybrids was pretreated by aqueous ammonia steeping using ammonium hydroxide concentrations from 0 to 30%, by weight, and the resulting residues underwent simultaneous saccharification and cofermentation (SSCF) to ethanol. Dry matter (DM) digested by SSCF increased with increasing ammonium hydroxide concentration across all genotypes (P>0.0001) from 277 g kg-1 DM in the control to 439 g kg-1 DM in the 30% ammonium hydroxide pretreatment. The bm corn stover materials averaged 373 g kg-1 DM of DM digested by SSCF compared with 335 g kg-1 DM for the normal corn stover (Pdetergent fiber (NDF) as a cell-wall isolation procedure, and (iii) elimination of the fermentation organism in the SSCF procedures used to determine biochemically available carbohydrates. The original and the HTP assay methods were compared using corn cobs, hybrid poplar, kenaf, and switchgrass. Biochemically available carbohydrates increased with the HTP methods in the corn cobs, hybrid poplar, and switchgrass, but remained the same in the kenaf. Total available carbohydrates increased and unavailable carbohydrates decreased with the HTP methods in the corn cobs and switchgrass and remained the same in the hybrid poplar and kenaf. There were no differences in total carbohydrates (CT) between the two methods. The final study evaluated the variability of biomass quality parameters in a set of corn stover samples, and developed calibration equations for determining parameter values using near

  12. Identifying and Mitigating Potential Nutrient and Sediment Hot Spots under a Future Scenario in the Missouri River Basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, May [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Zhang, Zhonglong [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)

    2015-09-01

    Using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) for large-scale watershed modeling could be useful for evaluating the quality of the water in regions that are dominated by nonpoint sources in order to identify potential “hot spots” for which mitigating strategies could be further developed. An analysis of water quality under future scenarios in which changes in land use would be made to accommodate increased biofuel production was developed for the Missouri River Basin (MoRB) based on a SWAT model application. The analysis covered major agricultural crops and biofuel feedstock in the MoRB, including pasture land, hay, corn, soybeans, wheat, and switchgrass. The analysis examined, at multiple temporal and spatial scales, how nitrate, organic nitrogen, and total nitrogen; phosphorus, organic phosphorus, inorganic phosphorus, and total phosphorus; suspended sediments; and water flow (water yield) would respond to the shifts in land use that would occur under proposed future scenarios. The analysis was conducted at three geospatial scales: (1) large tributary basin scale (two: Upper MoRB and Lower MoRB); (2) regional watershed scale (seven: Upper Missouri River, Middle Missouri River, Middle Lower Missouri River, Lower Missouri River, Yellowstone River, Platte River, and Kansas River); and (3) eight-digit hydrologic unit (HUC-8) subbasin scale (307 subbasins). Results showed that subbasin-level variations were substantial. Nitrogen loadings decreased across the entire Upper MoRB, and they increased in several subbasins in the Lower MoRB. Most nitrate reductions occurred in lateral flow. Also at the subbasin level, phosphorus in organic, sediment, and soluble forms was reduced by 35%, 45%, and 65%, respectively. Suspended sediments increased in 68% of the subbasins. The water yield decreased in 62% of the subbasins. In the Kansas River watershed, the water quality improved significantly with regard to every nitrogen and phosphorus compound. The improvement was

  13. Process simulation of ethanol production from biomass gasification and syngas fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardo-Planas, Oscar; Atiyeh, Hasan K; Phillips, John R; Aichele, Clint P; Mohammad, Sayeed

    2017-12-01

    The hybrid gasification-syngas fermentation platform can produce more bioethanol utilizing all biomass components compared to the biochemical conversion technology. Syngas fermentation operates at mild temperatures and pressures and avoids using expensive pretreatment processes and enzymes. This study presents a new process simulation model developed with Aspen Plus® of a biorefinery based on a hybrid conversion technology for the production of anhydrous ethanol using 1200tons per day (wb) of switchgrass. The simulation model consists of three modules: gasification, fermentation, and product recovery. The results revealed a potential production of about 36.5million gallons of anhydrous ethanol per year. Sensitivity analyses were also performed to investigate the effects of gasification and fermentation parameters that are keys for the development of an efficient process in terms of energy conservation and ethanol production. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Engineering high-level production of fatty alcohols by Saccharomyces cerevisiae from lignocellulosic feedstocks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    d'Espaux, Leo; Ghosh, Amit; Runguphan, Weerawat

    2017-01-01

    to similar to 20% of the maximum theoretical yield from glucose, the highest titers and yields reported to date in S. cerevisiae. We further demonstrate high-level production from lignocellulosic feedstocks derived from ionic-liquid treated switchgrass and sorghum, reaching 0.7 g/L in shake flasks......Fatty alcohols in the C12-C18 range are used in personal care products, lubricants, and potentially biofuels. These compounds can be produced from the fatty acid pathway by a fatty acid reductase (FAR), yet yields from the preferred industrial host Saccharomyces cerevisiae remain under 2......% of the theoretical maximum from glucose. Here we improved titer and yield of fatty alcohols using an approach involving quantitative analysis of protein levels and metabolic flux, engineering enzyme level and localization, pull-push-block engineering of carbon flux, and cofactor balancing. We compared four...

  15. 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)

  16. Enrichment, isolation and characterization of fungi tolerant to 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singer, S.W.; Reddy, A. P.; Gladden, J. M.; Guo, H.; Hazen, T.C.; Simmons, B. A.; VanderGheynst, J. S.

    2010-12-15

    This work aims to characterize microbial tolerance to 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2mim][OAc]), ionic liquid that has emerged as a novel biomass pretreatment for lignocellulosic biomass. Enrichment experiments performed using inocula treated with [C2mim][OAc] under solid and liquid cultivation yielded fungal populationsdominated by Aspergilli. Ionic liquid-tolerant Aspergillus isolates from these enrichments were capable of growing in a radial plate growth assay in the presence of 10% [C2mim][OAc]. When a [C2mim][OAc]-tolerant Aspergillus fumigatus strain was grown in the presence of switchgrass, endoglucanases and xylanases were secreted that retained residual enzymatic activity in the presence of 20% [C2mim][OAc]. The results of the study suggest tolerance to ionic liquids is a general property of Aspergilli. Tolerance to an industrially important ionic liquid was discovered in a fungal genera that is widely used in biotechnology, including biomass deconstruction.

  17. URBAN WOOD/COAL CO-FIRING IN THE NIOSH BOILERPLANT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    James T. Cobb, Jr.; Gene E. Geiger; William W. Elder III; Thomas Stickle; Jun Wang; Hongming Li; William P. Barry

    2002-06-13

    During the third quarter, the experimental portion of the project was carried out. Three one-day tests using wood/coal blends of 33% wood by volume (both construction wood and demolition wood) were conducted at the NIOSH Boiler Plant (NBP). Blends using hammer-milled wood were operationally successful and can form the basis of Phase II. Emissions of SO{sub 2} and NOx decreased and that of CO increased when compared with combusting coal alone. Mercury emissions were measured and the mathematical modeling of mercury speciation reactions continued, yielding many interesting results. Material and energy balances for the test periods at the NBP, as well as at the Bellefield Boiler Plant, were prepared. Steps were taken to remove severe constraints from the Pennsylvania Switchgrass Energy and Conservation Project and to organize the supplying of landfill gas to the Bruceton federal complex. Two presentations were made to meetings of the Electric Power Research Institute and the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

  18. Impact of Mixed Feedstocks and Feedstock Densification on Ionic Liquid Pretreatment Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jian Shi; Vicki S. Thompson; Neal A. Yancey; Vitalie Stavila; Blake A. Simmons; Seema Singh

    2013-01-01

    Background: Lignocellulosic biorefineries must be able to efficiently process the regional feedstocks that are available at cost-competitive prices year round. These feedstocks typically have low energy densities and vary significantly in composition. One potential solution to these issues is blending and/or densifying the feedstocks in order to create a uniform feedstock. Results/discussion: We have mixed four feedstocks - switchgrass, lodgepole pine, corn stover, and eucalyptus - in flour and pellet form and processed them using the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate. Sugar yields from both the mixed flour and pelletized feedstocks reach 90% within 24 hours of saccharification. Conclusions: Mixed feedstocks, in either flour or pellet form, are efficiently processed using this pretreatment process, and demonstrate that this approach has significant potential.

  19. Biomass power for rural development. Quarterly report, April 2, 1997--July 2, 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cooper, J.T.

    1997-10-01

    The information in this report summarizes the major areas of project activities accomplished during the last quarter. Activities concerning conversion technologies have continued to be focused on gaining information and comparing similar systems world wide with project needs. One major effort was a trip to Denmark and Finland; the first section of the report details some of the trip highlights. The second section is a writeup of a previous trip. Additional conversion work undertaken at Iowa State University on the development of material handling, gas sampling, and gas analysis equipment is detailed. An update on the installation of field trial plots is also included. Very brief summaries are provided of quarterly activities, briquette production from switchgrass, and the development of geographical information systems are also included. 8 figs., 1 tab.

  20. Sustainability of bioenergy chains. The result is in the details

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Dam, J.M.C.

    2009-05-13

    This thesis investigated how the feasibility and sustainability of large-scale bioenergy production, supply and use for local use or trade can be determined ex ante on a regional level, taking into account the complexities and variabilities of the underlying factors like food demand and land use. Recently, governments, NGOs, companies and international organizations (e.g. Dutch government, Solidaridad, Shell or FAO) have taken initiatives to guarantee the sustainable production and use of biomass. Uncertainties on the feasibility, implementation and costs of international biomass certification systems and the compliance with international laws and agreements have to be resolved. A developed software tool shows that it is possible to allow users from various regions to use one methodology and tool to calculate the GHG balances and cost-effectiveness of biomass energy systems. Core methodological issues are accommodated in the tool. One of the case studies demonstrates e.g. that the allocation procedure should be carefully defined as is shown by the variation in results, which is 35 to 50 kg CO2 eq./GJ delivered in GHG emissions. The technical potentials and cost-supply curves of bioenergy are assessed for Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) on a regional level. The more favourable scenarios to 2030 show a highest potential of 11.7 EJ. In most CEEC, bulk of the biomass potential can be produced at costs below 2 euro/GJ. The cost performance of energy carriers supplied from the CEEC is assessed for a set of bioenergy chains. Ethanol can be produced at 12 to 21 euro/GJ if the biomass conversion is performed at selected destinations in Western Europe or at 15 to 18 euro/GJ if biomass to ethanol conversion takes place where the biomass is produced. A case in Argentina shows the potential and economic feasibility of large-scale bioenergy production from soybeans and switchgrass, cultivated in La Pampa province. For the various scenarios to 2030, biodiesel from

  1. In Vitro Pepsin Digestibility of Cooked Proso Millet ( Pancium miliaceum L.) and Related Species from Around the World.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulati, Paridhi; Jia, Shangang; Li, Aixia; Holding, David Richard; Santra, Dipak; Rose, Devin Jerrold

    2018-06-20

    Thirty-three accessions of proso millet (Panicum miliaceum) with different countries of origin were screened for their pepsin digestibility after cooking to identify samples with high digestibility. The pepsin digestibility of all samples ranged from 26 to 57% (average 32%). There were no apparent differences in protein profiles (SDS-PAGE) of samples with the lowest, intermediate, and highest digestibilities. However, LC-MS/MS analysis revealed a negative correlation between pepsin digestibility and peptides that matched to high molecular weight proteins (24 kDa) from Panicum hallii with regions of contiguous hydrophobic amino acids. Low digestibility upon cooking was also observed for other species from the Panicum genus, such as little millet, switchgrass and panicgrass, which suggests a unique inherent property of the genus. The obtained results from this study may form a basis for in-depth analysis of proso proteins that may help in developing new cultivars with higher digestibility upon cooking.

  2. The Genetics of Biofuel Traits in Panicum Grasses: Developing a Model System with Diploid Panicum Hallii

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Juenger, Thomas [Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Dept. of Integrative Biology; Wolfrum, Ed [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2016-07-31

    Our DOE funded project focused on characterizing natural variation in C4 perennial grasses including switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and Hall’s panicgrass (Panicum hallii). The main theme of our project was to better understand traits linked with plant performance and that impact the utility of plant biomass as a biofuel feedstock. In addition, our project developed tools and resources for studying genetic variation in Panicum hallii. Our project successfully screened both Panicum virgatum and Panicum hallii diverse natural collections for a host of phenotypes, developed genetic mapping populations for both species, completed genetic mapping for biofuel related traits, and helped in the development of genomic resources of Panicum hallii. Together, these studies have improved our understanding of the role of genetic and environmental factors in impacting plant performance. This information, along with new tools, will help foster the improvement of perennial grasses for feedstock applications.

  3. GREET Pretreatment Module

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adom, Felix K. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Energy Systems Division; Dunn, Jennifer B. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Energy Systems Division; Han, Jeongwoo [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Energy Systems Division

    2014-09-01

    A wide range of biofuels and biochemicals can be produced from cellulosic biomass via different pretreatment technologies that yield sugars. Process simulations of dilute acid and ammonia fiber expansion pretreatment processes and subsequent hydrolysis were developed in Aspen Plus for four lignocellulosic feedstocks (corn stover, miscanthus, switchgrass, and poplar). This processing yields sugars that can be subsequently converted to biofuels or biochemical. Material and energy consumption data from Aspen Plus were then compiled in a new Greenhouses Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREETTM) pretreatment module. The module estimates the cradle-to-gate fossil energy consumption (FEC) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with producing fermentable sugars. This report documents the data and methodology used to develop this module and the cradle-to-gate FEC and GHG emissions that result from producing fermentable sugars.

  4. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U00762-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available s nodule library 5 and... 42 0.012 2 ( BI417355 ) LjNEST38c2r Lotus japonicus nodule library...KT7B.103O19F.060124T7 KT7 Nicotiana tabacum cDNA ... 36 0.012 2 ( CK417989 ) AUF_IpInt_57_n24 Intestine cDNA library Ictalur...3' end. 42 0.012 2 ( FG637668 ) TT-33_B14 Samsun trichome library Nicotiana tabac... 36 0.012 2 ( CX557480 ) yda37e04.y2 Sea ur...( CX552206 ) ydb21c02.y2 Sea urchin EST Lib1 Strongylocentrotu... 42 9e-04 2 ( DN149991 ) 5218_B03_C06 Switchgrass callus cDNA librar...10F Mouse 10kb plasmid UUGC1M library Mus ... 42 0.003 2 ( BQ858872 ) QGC11H15.yg.ab1 QG_ABCDI lettuce salinas Lactu

  5. A techno-economic analysis of polyhydroxyalkanoate and hydrogen production from syngas fermentation of gasified biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, DongWon; Chipman, David C; Bents, Scott C; Brown, Robert C

    2010-02-01

    A techno-economic analysis was conducted to investigate the feasibility of a gasification-based hybrid biorefinery producing both hydrogen gas and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), biodegradable polymer materials that can be an attractive substitute for conventional petrochemical plastics. The biorefinery considered used switchgrass as a feedstock and converted that raw material through thermochemical methods into syngas, a gaseous mixture composed mainly of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The syngas was then fermented using Rhodospirillum rubrum, a purple non-sulfur bacterium, to produce PHA and to enrich hydrogen in the syngas. Total daily production of the biorefinery was assumed to be 12 Mg of PHA and 50 Mg of hydrogen gas. Grassroots capital for the biorefinery was estimated to be $55 million, with annual operating costs at $6.7 million. With a market value of $2.00/kg assumed for the hydrogen, the cost of producing PHA was determined to be $1.65/kg.

  6. Reference genome sequence of the model plant Setaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennetzen, Jeffrey L; Schmutz, Jeremy; Wang, Hao; Percifield, Ryan; Hawkins, Jennifer; Pontaroli, Ana C; Estep, Matt; Feng, Liang; Vaughn, Justin N; Grimwood, Jane; Jenkins, Jerry; Barry, Kerrie; Lindquist, Erika; Hellsten, Uffe; Deshpande, Shweta; Wang, Xuewen; Wu, Xiaomei; Mitros, Therese; Triplett, Jimmy; Yang, Xiaohan; Ye, Chu-Yu; Mauro-Herrera, Margarita; Wang, Lin; Li, Pinghua; Sharma, Manoj; Sharma, Rita; Ronald, Pamela C; Panaud, Olivier; Kellogg, Elizabeth A; Brutnell, Thomas P; Doust, Andrew N; Tuskan, Gerald A; Rokhsar, Daniel; Devos, Katrien M

    2012-05-13

    We generated a high-quality reference genome sequence for foxtail millet (Setaria italica). The ∼400-Mb assembly covers ∼80% of the genome and >95% of the gene space. The assembly was anchored to a 992-locus genetic map and was annotated by comparison with >1.3 million expressed sequence tag reads. We produced more than 580 million RNA-Seq reads to facilitate expression analyses. We also sequenced Setaria viridis, the ancestral wild relative of S. italica, and identified regions of differential single-nucleotide polymorphism density, distribution of transposable elements, small RNA content, chromosomal rearrangement and segregation distortion. The genus Setaria includes natural and cultivated species that demonstrate a wide capacity for adaptation. The genetic basis of this adaptation was investigated by comparing five sequenced grass genomes. We also used the diploid Setaria genome to evaluate the ongoing genome assembly of a related polyploid, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).

  7. Reference genome sequence of the model plant Setaria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennetzen, Jeffrey L [ORNL; Schmutz, Jeremy [Hudson Alpha Institute of Biotechnology; Wang, Hao [University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Percifield, Ryan [University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Hawkins, Jennifer [University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Pontaroli, Ana C. [University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Estep, Matt [University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Feng, Liang [University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Vaughn, Justin N [ORNL; Grimwood, Jane [Hudson Alpha Institute of Biotechnology; Jenkins, Jerry [Hudson Alpha Institute of Biotechnology; Barry, Kerrie [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Lindquist, Erika [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Hellsten, Uffe [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Deshpande, Shweta [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Wang, Xuewen [University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Wu, Xiaomei [University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Mitros, Therese [University of California, Berkeley; Triplett, Jimmy [University of Missouri, St. Louis; Yang, Xiaohan [ORNL; Ye, Chuyu [ORNL; Mauro-Herrera, Margarita [Oklahoma State University; Wang, Lin [Cornell University; Li, Pinghua [Cornell University; Sharma, Manoj [University of California, Davis; Sharma, Rita [University of California, Davis; Ronald, Pamela [University of California, Davis; Panaud, Olivier [Universite de Perpignan, Perpignan, France; Kellogg, Elizabeth A. [University of Missouri, St. Louis; Brutnell, Thomas P. [Cornell University; Doust, Andrew N. [Oklahoma State University; Tuskan, Gerald A [ORNL; Rokhsar, Daniel [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Devos, Katrien M [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    We generated a high-quality reference genome sequence for foxtail millet (Setaria italica). The ~400-Mb assembly covers ~80% of the genome and >95% of the gene space. The assembly was anchored to a 992-locus genetic map and was annotated by comparison with >1.3 million expressed sequence tag reads. We produced more than 580 million RNA-Seq reads to facilitate expression analyses. We also sequenced Setaria viridis, the ancestral wild relative of S. italica, and identified regions of differential single-nucleotide polymorphism density, distribution of transposable elements, small RNA content, chromosomal rearrangement and segregation distortion. The genus Setaria includes natural and cultivated species that demonstrate a wide capacity for adaptation. The genetic basis of this adaptation was investigated by comparing five sequenced grass genomes. We also used the diploid Setaria genome to evaluate the ongoing genome assembly of a related polyploid, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Gengyun; Liu, Xin; Quan, Zhiwu; Cheng, Shifeng; Xu, Xun; Pan, Shengkai; Xie, Min; Zeng, Peng; Yue, Zhen; Wang, Wenliang; Tao, Ye; Bian, Chao; Han, Changlei; Xia, Qiuju; Peng, Xiaohua; Cao, Rui; Yang, Xinhua; Zhan, Dongliang; Hu, Jingchu; Zhang, Yinxin; Li, Henan; Li, Hua; Li, Ning; Wang, Junyi; Wang, Chanchan; Wang, Renyi; Guo, Tao; Cai, Yanjie; Liu, Chengzhang; Xiang, Haitao; Shi, Qiuxiang; Huang, Ping; Chen, Qingchun; Li, Yingrui; Wang, Jun; Zhao, Zhihai; Wang, Jian

    2012-05-13

    Foxtail millet (Setaria italica), a member of the Poaceae grass family, is an important food and fodder crop in arid regions and has potential for use as a C(4) biofuel. It is a model system for other biofuel grasses, including switchgrass and pearl millet. We produced a draft genome (∼423 Mb) anchored onto nine chromosomes and annotated 38,801 genes. Key chromosome reshuffling events were detected through collinearity identification between foxtail millet, rice and sorghum including two reshuffling events fusing rice chromosomes 7 and 9, 3 and 10 to foxtail millet chromosomes 2 and 9, respectively, that occurred after the divergence of foxtail millet and rice, and a single reshuffling event fusing rice chromosome 5 and 12 to foxtail millet chromosome 3 that occurred after the divergence of millet and sorghum. Rearrangements in the C(4) photosynthesis pathway were also identified.

  9. Reference genome sequence of the model plant Setaria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennetzen, Jeffrey L [ORNL; Yang, Xiaohan [ORNL; Ye, Chuyu [ORNL; Tuskan, Gerald A [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    We generated a high-quality reference genome sequence for foxtail millet (Setaria italica). The {approx}400-Mb assembly covers {approx}80% of the genome and >95% of the gene space. The assembly was anchored to a 992-locus genetic map and was annotated by comparison with >1.3 million expressed sequence tag reads. We produced more than 580 million RNA-Seq reads to facilitate expression analyses. We also sequenced Setaria viridis, the ancestral wild relative of S. italica, and identified regions of differential single-nucleotide polymorphism density, distribution of transposable elements, small RNA content, chromosomal rearrangement and segregation distortion. The genus Setaria includes natural and cultivated species that demonstrate a wide capacity for adaptation. The genetic basis of this adaptation was investigated by comparing five sequenced grass genomes. We also used the diploid Setaria genome to evaluate the ongoing genome assembly of a related polyploid, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).

  10. Costs of Producing Biomass from Riparian Buffer Strips

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turhollow, A.

    2000-09-01

    Nutrient runoff from poultry litter applied to agricultural fields in the Delmarva Peninsula contributes to high nutrient loadings in Chesapeake Bay. One potential means of ameliorating this problem is the use of riparian buffer strips. Riparian buffer strips intercept overland flows of water, sediments, nutrients, and pollutants; and ground water flows of nutrients and pollutants. Costs are estimated for three biomass systems grown on buffer strips: willow planted at a density of 15,300 trees/ha (6200 trees/acre); poplar planted at a density of 1345 trees/ha (545 trees/acre); and switchgrass. These costs are estimated for five different scenarios: (1) total economic costs, where everything is costed [cash costs, noncash costs (e.g., depreciation), land rent, labor]; (2) costs with Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments (which pays 50% of establishment costs and an annual land rent); (3) costs with enhanced CRP payments (which pays 95% of establishment costs and an annual payment of approximately 170% of land rent for trees and 150% of land rent for grasses); (4) costs when buffer strips are required, but harvest of biomass is not required [costs borne by biomass are for yield enhancing activities (e.g., fertilization), harvest, and transport]; and (5) costs when buffer strips are required. and harvest of biomass is required to remove nutrients (costs borne by biomass are for yield enhancing activities and transport). CRP regulations would have to change to allow harvest. Delivered costs of willow, poplar, and switchgrass [including transportation costs of $0.38/GJ ($0.40/million Btu) for switchgrass and $0.57/GJ ($0.60/million Btu) for willow and poplar] at 11.2 dry Mg/ha-year (5 dry tons/acre-year) for the five cost scenarios listed above are [$/GJ ($million BIN)]: (1) 3.30-5.45 (3.45-5.75); (2) 2.30-3.80 (2.45-4.00); (3) 1.70-2.45 (1.80-2.60); (4) l-85-3.80 (1.95-4.05); and (5) 0.80-1.50 (0.85-1.60). At yields of 15.7 to 17.9 GJ/ha-year (7 to 8 dry tons

  11. Neutron Imaging Reveals Internal Plant Hydraulic Dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Warren, Jeffrey [ORNL; Bilheux, Hassina Z [ORNL; Kang, Misun [ORNL; Voisin, Sophie [ORNL; Cheng, Chu-Lin [ORNL; Horita, Jusuke [ORNL; Perfect, Edmund [ORNL

    2013-01-01

    Many terrestrial ecosystem processes are constrained by water availability and transport within the soil. Knowledge of plant water fluxes is thus critical for assessing mechanistic processes linked to biogeochemical cycles, yet resolution of root structure and xylem water transport dynamics has been a particularly daunting task for the ecologist. Through neutron imaging, we demonstrate the ability to non-invasively monitor individual root functionality and water fluxes within Zea mays L. (maize) and Panicum virgatum L. (switchgrass) seedlings growing in a sandy medium. Root structure and growth were readily imaged by neutron radiography and neutron computed tomography. Seedlings were irrigated with water or deuterium oxide and imaged through time as a growth lamp was cycled on to alter leaf demand for water. Sub-millimeter scale resolution reveals timing and magnitudes of root water uptake, redistribution within the roots, and root-shoot hydraulic linkages, relationships not well characterized by other techniques.

  12. Effect of large aspect ratio of biomass particles on carbon burnout in a utility boiler

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D. Gera; M.P. Mathur; M.C. Freeman; Allen Robinson [Fluent, Inc./NETL, Morgantown, WV (United States)

    2002-12-01

    This paper reports on the development and validation of comprehensive combustion sub models that include the effect of large aspect ratio of biomass (switchgrass) particles on carbon burnout and temperature distribution inside the particles. Temperature and carbon burnout data are compared from two different models that are formulated by assuming (i) the particles are cylindrical and conduct heat internally, and (ii) the particles are spherical without internal heat conduction, i.e., no temperature gradient exists inside the particle. It was inferred that the latter model significantly underpredicted the temperature of the particle and, consequently, the burnout. Additionally, some results from cofiring biomass (10% heat input) with pulverized coal (90% heat input) are compared with the pulverized coal (100% heat input) simulations and coal experiments in a tangentially fired 150 MW{sub e} utility boiler. 26 refs., 7 figs., 4 tabs.

  13. Plant growth inhibition by soluble salts in sewage sludge-amended mine spoils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodgers, C.S.; Anderson, R.C. [Illinois State University, Normal, IL (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences

    1995-07-01

    The growth response of prairie switchgrass {ital Panicum virgatum}L was compared in strip mine spoil amended with various levels of anaerobically digested waste-activated sewage sludge (0, 56, 111, 222, or 333 dry Mg ha{sup -1}) and commercial fertilizer, pure sludge, and glasshouse soil. Plants were grown in a growth chamber and substrates were maintained at field capacity during the study. Soluble salt concentrations of the substrates increased linearly as a function of sludge amendment and were within the range known to inhibit the growth of many plant species at the high levels of sludge application. There was, however, a linear response of biomass production to increasing levels of sludge amendment. Maintaining substrates at field capacity apparently prevented the high concentration of soluble salts from inhibiting plant growth. The increased biomass yield associated with sludge application was likely due to the increased availability of inorganic nutrients associated with sludge amendment. 22 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  14. Mississippi State University Sustainable Energy Research Center

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steele, W. Glenn [Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS (United States)

    2014-09-26

    The Sustainable Energy Research Center (SERC) project at Mississippi State University included all phases of biofuel production from feedstock development, to conversion to liquid transportation fuels, to engine testing of the fuels. The feedstocks work focused on non-food based crops and yielded an increased understanding of many significant Southeastern feedstocks. an emphasis was placed on energy grasses that could supplement the primary feedstock, wood. Two energy grasses, giant miscanthus and switchgrass, were developed that had increased yields per acre. Each of these grasses was patented and licensed to companies for commercialization. The fuels work focused on three different technologies that each led to a gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel product. The three technologies were microbial oil, pyrolysis oil, and syngas-to liquid-hydrocarbons

  15. FETC/EPRI Biomass Cofiring Cooperative Agreement. Quarterly technical report, April 1-June 30, 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hughes, E.; Tillman, D.

    1997-12-01

    The FETC/EPRI Biomass Cofiring Program has accelerated the pace of cofiring development by increasing the testing activities plus the support activities for interpreting test results. Past tests conducted and analyzed include the Allen Fossil Plant and Seward Generating Station programs. On-going tests include the Colbert Fossil Plant precommercial test program, the Greenidge Station commercialization program, and the Blount St. Station switchgrass program. Tests in the formative stages included the NIPSCO cofiring test at Michigan City Generating Station. Analytical activities included modeling and related support functions required to analyze the cofiring test results, and to place those results into context. Among these activities is the fuel availability study in the Pittsburgh, PA area. This study, conducted for Duquesne Light, supports their initial investigation into reburn technology using wood waste as a fuel. This Quarterly Report, covering the third quarter of the FETC/EPRI Biomass Cofiring Program, highlights the progress made on the 16 projects funded under this cooperative agreement.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scurlock, J.M.O.

    1999-02-01

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

  17. Accelerated development in Johnsongrass seedlings (Sorghum halepense suppresses the growth of native grasses through size-asymmetric competition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Schwinning

    Full Text Available Invasive plant species often dominate native species in competition, augmenting other potential advantages such as release from natural enemies. Resource pre-emption may be a particularly important mechanism for establishing dominance over competitors of the same functional type. We hypothesized that competitive success of an exotic grass against native grasses is mediated by establishing an early size advantage. We tested this prediction among four perennial C4 warm-season grasses: the exotic weed Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense, big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii, little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparius and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum. We predicted that a the competitive effect of Johnsongrass on target species would be proportional to their initial biomass difference, b competitive effect and response would be negatively correlated and c soil fertility would have little effect on competitive relationships. In a greenhouse, plants of the four species were grown from seed either alone or with one Johnsongrass neighbor at two fertilizer levels and periodically harvested. The first two hypotheses were supported: The seedling biomass of single plants at first harvest (50 days after seeding ranked the same way as the competitive effect of Johnsongrass on target species: Johnsongrass < big bluestem < little bluestem/switchgrass, while Johnsongrass responded more strongly to competition from Johnsongrass than from native species. At final harvest, native plants growing with Johnsongrass attained between 2-5% of their single-plant non-root biomass, while Johnsongrass growing with native species attained 89% of single-plant non-root biomass. Fertilization enhanced Johnsongrass' competitive effects on native species, but added little to the already severe competitive suppression. Accelerated early growth of Johnsongrass seedlings relative to native seedlings appeared to enable subsequent resource pre-emption. Size-asymmetric competition and resource

  18. Projecting the land cover change and its environmental impacts in the Cedar River Basin in the Midwestern United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu Yiping; Liu Shuguang; Sohl, Terry L; Young, Claudia J

    2013-01-01

    The physical surface of the Earth is in constant change due to climate forcing and human activities. In the Midwestern United States, urban area, farmland, and dedicated energy crop (e.g., switchgrass) cultivation are predicted to expand in the coming decades, which will lead to changes in hydrological processes. This study is designed to (1) project the land use and land cover (LULC) by mid-century using the FORecasting SCEnarios of future land-use (FORE-SCE) model under the A1B greenhouse gas emission scenario (future condition) and (2) assess its potential impacts on the water cycle and water quality against the 2001 baseline condition in the Cedar River Basin using the physically based soil and water assessment tool (SWAT). We compared the baseline LULC (National Land Cover data 2001) and 2050 projection, indicating substantial expansions of urban area and pastureland (including the cultivation of bioenergy crops) and a decrease in rangeland. We then used the above two LULC maps as the input data to drive the SWAT model, keeping other input data (e.g., climate) unchanged to isolate the LULC change impacts. The modeling results indicate that quick-response surface runoff would increase significantly (about 10.5%) due to the projected urban expansion (i.e., increase in impervious areas), and the baseflow would decrease substantially (about 7.3%) because of the reduced infiltration. Although the net effect may cause an increase in water yield, the increased variability may impede its use for public supply. Additionally, the cultivation of bioenergy crops such as switchgrass in the newly added pasture lands may further reduce the soil water content and lead to an increase in nitrogen loading (about 2.5% increase) due to intensified fertilizer application. These study results will be informative to decision makers for sustainable water resource management when facing LULC change and an increasing demand for biofuel production in this area. (letter)

  19. The potential of C4 grasses for cellulosic biofuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim eWeijde

    2013-05-01

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

  20. Evaluating environmental consequences of producing herbaceous crops for bioenergy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McLaughlin, S.B.

    1995-01-01

    The environmental costs and benefits of producing bioenergy crops can be measured both in kterms of the relative effects on soil, water, and wildlife habitat quality of replacing alternate cropping systems with the designated bioenergy system, and in terms of the quality and amount of energy that is produced per unit of energy expended. While many forms of herbaceous and woody energy crops will likely contribute to future biofuels systems, The Dept. of Energy's Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP), has chosen to focus its primary herbaceous crops research emphasis on a perennial grass species, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), as a bioenergy candidate. This choice was based on its high yields, high nutrient use efficiency, and wide geographic distribution, and also on its poistive environmental attributes. The latter include its positive effects on soil quality and stabiity, its cover value for wildlife, and the lower inputs of enerty, water, and agrochemicals required per unit of energy produced. A comparison of the energy budgets for corn, which is the primary current source of bioethanol, and switchgrass reveals that the efficiency of energy production for a perennial grass system can exceed that for an energy intensive annual row crop by as much as 15 times. In additions reductions in CO 2 emission, tied to the energetic efficiency of producing transportation fuels, are very efficient with grasses. Calculated carbon sequestration rates may exceed those of annual crops by as much as 20--30 times, due in part to carbon storage in the soil. These differences have major implications for both the rate and efficiency with which fossil energy sources can be replaced with cleaner burning biofuels

  1. BIOBUTANOL ACCUMULATION USING ALTERNATIVE SUBSTRATES BY CULTIVATION OF Clostridium acetobutylicum STRAINS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    О. О. Тigunova

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the research was to investigate the accumulation of biobutanol by strains Clostridium acetobutylicum using alternative substrates (Jerusalem artichoke juice, technical glycerol, crude glycerol, shredded biomass of soy, rape, wheat and switchgrass. In order to increase the accumulation of butanol in the process of cultivation, the cells of C. acetobutylicum were statically immobilized on carriers (belting strips, ferrite rings and Raschig rings by the method of adsorption immobilization. The cells were precipitated by centrifugation, the supernatant was distilled and then fermentation products were determined. Gas chromatography was used to determine the presence of solvents in the culture fluid. The biggest accumulation of butanol (2 g/dm3 was at concentration of crude glycerol 16 g/dm3 in the medium, and complete inhibition of culture development — at glycerol concentration 25 g/dm3. The accumulation of butanol by the strain C. acetobutylicum ІМВ В-7407 using fill and draw method depended on the amount of sequestered and infused medium. Immobilization of the culture using the Raschig rings allowed increasing the bioconversion to butanol twice. So it is shown the possibility to use non-traditional substrates for the production of biobutanol. The most accumulation of butanol was achieved using glycerol (11 g/dm3 as water-soluble substrate, and using switchgrass as lignocelluloses substrate (2,6 g/dm3. Immobilization of C. acetobutylicum culture cells on carriers increased the accumulation of butanol. The use of Raschig rings, as carriers for immobilization, allowed increasing the accumulation of butanol twice.

  2. Projecting the land cover change and its environmental impacts in the Cedar River Basin in the Midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yiping; Liu, Shuguang; Sohl, Terry L.; Young, Claudia

    2013-01-01

    The physical surface of the Earth is in constant change due to climate forcing and human activities. In the Midwestern United States, urban area, farmland, and dedicated energy crop (e.g., switchgrass) cultivation are predicted to expand in the coming decades, which will lead to changes in hydrological processes. This study is designed to (1) project the land use and land cover (LULC) by mid-century using the FORecasting SCEnarios of future land-use (FORE-SCE) model under the A1B greenhouse gas emission scenario (future condition) and (2) assess its potential impacts on the water cycle and water quality against the 2001 baseline condition in the Cedar River Basin using the physically based soil and water assessment tool (SWAT). We compared the baseline LULC (National Land Cover data 2001) and 2050 projection, indicating substantial expansions of urban area and pastureland (including the cultivation of bioenergy crops) and a decrease in rangeland. We then used the above two LULC maps as the input data to drive the SWAT model, keeping other input data (e.g., climate) unchanged to isolate the LULC change impacts. The modeling results indicate that quick-response surface runoff would increase significantly (about 10.5%) due to the projected urban expansion (i.e., increase in impervious areas), and the baseflow would decrease substantially (about 7.3%) because of the reduced infiltration. Although the net effect may cause an increase in water yield, the increased variability may impede its use for public supply. Additionally, the cultivation of bioenergy crops such as switchgrass in the newly added pasture lands may further reduce the soil water content and lead to an increase in nitrogen loading (about 2.5% increase) due to intensified fertilizer application. These study results will be informative to decision makers for sustainable water resource management when facing LULC change and an increasing demand for biofuel production in this area.

  3. Evaluation of Bioenergy Crop Growth and the Impacts Of Bioenergy Crops on Streamflow, Tile Drain Flow and Nutrient Losses Using SWAT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, T.; Raj, C.; Chaubey, I.; Gitau, M. W.; Arnold, J. G.; Srinivasan, R.; Kiniry, J. R.; Engel, B.

    2016-12-01

    Bioenery crops are expected to produce large quantities of biofuel at a national scale to meet US biofuel goals. It is important to study bioenergy crop growth and the impacts on water quantity and quality to identify environment-friendly and productive biofeedstocks. In this study, SWAT2012 with a new tile drainage routine (DRAINMOD routine) and improved perennial grass and tree growth simulation was used to model long-term annual biomass yields, streamflow, tile flow, sediment load, total nitrogen, nitrate load in flow, nitrate in tile flow, soluble nitrogen, organic nitrogen, total phosphorus, mineral phosphorus and organic phosphorus under various bioenergy scenarios in an extensively agricultural watershed in the Midwestern US. The results showed that simulated annual crop yields matched with observed county level values for corn and soybeans, and were reasonable for Miscanthus, switchgrass and hybrid poplar. Removal of 38% of corn stover (66,439 Mg/yr) with Miscanthus production on highly erodible areas and marginal land (19,039 Mg/yr) provided the highest biofeedstock production. Streamflow, tile flow, erosion and nutrient losses were reduced under bioenergy crop scenarios of Miscanthus, switchgrass, and hybrid poplar on highly erodible areas, marginal land. Corn stover removal did not result in significant water quality changes. The increase in sediment load and nutrient losses under corn stover removal could be offset with production of other bioenergy crops. The study showed that corn stover removal with bioenergy crops both on highly erodible areas and marginal land could provide more biofuel production relative to the baseline, and was beneficial to hydrology and water quality at the watershed scale, providing guidance for further research on evaluation of bioenergy crop scenarios in a typical extensively tile-drained watershed in the Midwestern U.S.

  4. New Estimates of Land Use Intensity of Potential Bioethanol Production in the U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kheshgi, H. S.; Song, Y.; Torkamani, S.; Jain, A. K.

    2016-12-01

    We estimate potential bioethanol land use intensity (the inverse of potential bioethanol yield per hectare) across the United States by modeling crop yields and conversion to bioethanol (via a fermentation pathway), based on crop field studies and conversion technology analyses. We apply the process-based land surface model, the Integrated Science Assessment model (ISAM), to estimate the potential yield of four crops - corn, Miscanthus, and two variants of switchgrass (Cave-in-Rock and Alamo) - across the U.S.A. landscape for the 14-year period from 1999 through 2012, for the case with fertilizer application but without irrigation. We estimate bioethanol yield based on recent experience for corn bioethanol production from corn kernel, and current cellulosic bioethanol process design specifications under the assumption of the maximum practical harvest fraction for the energy grasses (Miscanthus and switchgrasses) and a moderate (30%) harvest fraction of corn stover. We find that each of four crops included has regions where that crop is estimated to have the lowest land use intensity (highest potential bioethanol yield per hectare). We find that minimizing potential land use intensity by including both corn and the energy grasses only improves incrementally to that of corn (using both harvested kernel and stover for bioethanol). Bioethanol land use intensity is one fundamental factor influencing the desirability of biofuels, but is not the only one; others factors include economics, competition with food production and land use, water and climate, nitrogen runoff, life-cycle emissions, and the pace of crop and technology improvement into the future.

  5. Land management strategies for improving water quality in biomass production under changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Miae; Wu, May

    2017-03-01

    The Corn Belt states are the largest corn-production areas in the United States because of their fertile land and ideal climate. This attribute is particularly important as the region also plays a key role in the production of bioenergy feedstock. This study focuses on potential change in streamflow, sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus due to climate change and land management practices in the South Fork Iowa River (SFIR) watershed, Iowa. The watershed is covered primarily with annual crops (corn and soybeans). With cropland conversion to switchgrass, stover harvest, and implementation of best management practices (BMPs) (such as establishing riparian buffers and applying cover crops), significant reductions in nutrients were observed in the SFIR watershed under historical climate and future climate scenarios. Under a historical climate scenario, suspended sediment (SS), total nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) at the outlet point of the SFIR watershed could decrease by up to 56.7%, 32.0%, and 16.5%, respectively, compared with current land use when a portion of the cropland is converted to switchgrass and a cover crop is in place. Climate change could cause increases of 9.7% in SS, 4.1% in N, and 7.2% in P compared to current land use. Under future climate scenarios, nutrients including SS, N, and P were reduced through land management and practices and BMPs by up to 54.0% (SS), 30.4% (N), and 7.1% (P). Water footprint analysis further revealed changes in green water that are highly dependent on land management scenarios. The study highlights the versatile approaches in landscape management that are available to address climate change adaptation and acknowledged the complex nature of different perspectives in water sustainability. Further study involving implementing landscape design and management by using long-term monitoring data from field to watershed is necessary to verify the findings and move toward watershed-specific regional programs for climate adaptation.

  6. Strategies for enhancing the effectiveness of metagenomic-based enzyme discovery in lignocellulytic microbial communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DeAngelis, K.M.; Gladden, J.G.; Allgaier, M.; D' haeseleer, P.; Fortney, J.L.; Reddy, A.; Hugenholtz, P.; Singer, S.W.; Vander Gheynst, J.; Silver, W.L.; Simmons, B.; Hazen, T.C.

    2010-03-01

    Producing cellulosic biofuels from plant material has recently emerged as a key U.S. Department of Energy goal. For this technology to be commercially viable on a large scale, it is critical to make production cost efficient by streamlining both the deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass and fuel production. Many natural ecosystems efficiently degrade lignocellulosic biomass and harbor enzymes that, when identified, could be used to increase the efficiency of commercial biomass deconstruction. However, ecosystems most likely to yield relevant enzymes, such as tropical rain forest soil in Puerto Rico, are often too complex for enzyme discovery using current metagenomic sequencing technologies. One potential strategy to overcome this problem is to selectively cultivate the microbial communities from these complex ecosystems on biomass under defined conditions, generating less complex biomass-degrading microbial populations. To test this premise, we cultivated microbes from Puerto Rican soil or green waste compost under precisely defined conditions in the presence dried ground switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) or lignin, respectively, as the sole carbon source. Phylogenetic profiling of the two feedstock-adapted communities using SSU rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing or phylogenetic microarray analysis revealed that the adapted communities were significantly simplified compared to the natural communities from which they were derived. Several members of the lignin-adapted and switchgrass-adapted consortia are related to organisms previously characterized as biomass degraders, while others were from less well-characterized phyla. The decrease in complexity of these communities make them good candidates for metagenomic sequencing and will likely enable the reconstruction of a greater number of full length genes, leading to the discovery of novel lignocellulose-degrading enzymes adapted to feedstocks and conditions of interest.

  7. Greenhouse gas mitigation for U.S. plastics production: energy first, feedstocks later

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posen, I. Daniel; Jaramillo, Paulina; Landis, Amy E.; Griffin, W. Michael

    2017-03-01

    Plastics production is responsible for 1% and 3% of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and primary energy use, respectively. Replacing conventional plastics with bio-based plastics (made from renewable feedstocks) is frequently proposed as a way to mitigate these impacts. Comparatively little research has considered the potential for green energy to reduce emissions in this industry. This paper compares two strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. plastics production: using renewable energy or switching to renewable feedstocks. Renewable energy pathways assume all process energy comes from wind power and renewable natural gas derived from landfill gas. Renewable feedstock pathways assume that all commodity thermoplastics will be replaced with polylactic acid (PLA) and bioethylene-based plastics, made using either corn or switchgrass, and powered using either conventional or renewable energy. Corn-based biopolymers produced with conventional energy are the dominant near-term biopolymer option, and can reduce industry-wide GHG emissions by 25%, or 16 million tonnes CO2e/year (mean value). In contrast, switching to renewable energy cuts GHG emissions by 50%-75% (a mean industry-wide reduction of 38 million tonnes CO2e/year). Both strategies increase industry costs—by up to 85/tonne plastic (mean result) for renewable energy, and up to 3000 tonne-1 plastic for renewable feedstocks. Overall, switching to renewable energy achieves greater emission reductions, with less uncertainty and lower costs than switching to corn-based biopolymers. In the long run, producing bio-based plastics from advanced feedstocks (e.g. switchgrass) and/or with renewable energy can further reduce emissions, to approximately 0 CO2e/year (mean value).

  8. Will energy crop yields meet expectations?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Searle, Stephanie Y.; Malins, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Evaluating environmental consequences of producing herbaceous crops for bioenergy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McLaughlin, S.B.

    1995-12-31

    The environmental costs and benefits of producing bioenergy crops can be measured both in kterms of the relative effects on soil, water, and wildlife habitat quality of replacing alternate cropping systems with the designated bioenergy system, and in terms of the quality and amount of energy that is produced per unit of energy expended. While many forms of herbaceous and woody energy crops will likely contribute to future biofuels systems, The Dept. of Energy`s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP), has chosen to focus its primary herbaceous crops research emphasis on a perennial grass species, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), as a bioenergy candidate. This choice was based on its high yields, high nutrient use efficiency, and wide geographic distribution, and also on its poistive environmental attributes. The latter include its positive effects on soil quality and stabiity, its cover value for wildlife, and the lower inputs of enerty, water, and agrochemicals required per unit of energy produced. A comparison of the energy budgets for corn, which is the primary current source of bioethanol, and switchgrass reveals that the efficiency of energy production for a perennial grass system can exceed that for an energy intensive annual row crop by as much as 15 times. In additions reductions in CO{sub 2} emission, tied to the energetic efficiency of producing transportation fuels, are very efficient with grasses. Calculated carbon sequestration rates may exceed those of annual crops by as much as 20--30 times, due in part to carbon storage in the soil. These differences have major implications for both the rate and efficiency with which fossil energy sources can be replaced with cleaner burning biofuels.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-06-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruse, M.; Kucharik, C. J.

    2012-12-01

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

  13. Biochemical conversions of lignocellulosic biomass for sustainable fuel-ethanol production in the upper Midwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodeur-Campbell, Michael J.

    Biofuels are an increasingly important component of worldwide energy supply. This research aims to understand the pathways and impacts of biofuels production, and to improve these processes to make them more efficient. In Chapter 2, a life cycle assessment (LCA) is presented for cellulosic ethanol production from five potential feedstocks of regional importance to the upper Midwest — hybrid poplar, hybrid willow, switchgrass, diverse prairie grasses, and logging residues — according to the requirements of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Direct land use change emissions are included for the conversion of abandoned agricultural land to feedstock production, and computer models of the conversion process are used in order to determine the effect of varying biomass composition on overall life cycle impacts. All scenarios analyzed here result in greater than 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions relative to petroleum gasoline. Land use change effects were found to contribute significantly to the overall emissions for the first 20 years after plantation establishment. Chapter 3 is an investigation of the effects of biomass mixtures on overall sugar recovery from the combined processes of dilute acid pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. Biomass mixtures studied were aspen, a hardwood species well suited to biochemical processing; balsam, a high-lignin softwood species, and switchgrass, an herbaceous energy crop with high ash content. A matrix of three different dilute acid pretreatment severities and three different enzyme loading levels was used to characterize interactions between pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. Maximum glucose yield for any species was 70% of theoretical for switchgrass, and maximum xylose yield was 99.7% of theoretical for aspen. Supplemental β-glucosidase increased glucose yield from enzymatic hydrolysis by an average of 15%, and total sugar recoveries for mixtures could be predicted to within 4% by linear interpolation of the pure

  14. Rapid optimization of enzyme mixtures for deconstruction of diverse pretreatment/biomass feedstock combinations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walton Jonathan D

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Enzymes for plant cell wall deconstruction are a major cost in the production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass. The goal of this research was to develop optimized synthetic mixtures of enzymes for multiple pretreatment/substrate combinations using our high-throughput biomass digestion platform, GENPLAT, which combines robotic liquid handling, statistical experimental design and automated Glc and Xyl assays. Proportions of six core fungal enzymes (CBH1, CBH2, EG1, β-glucosidase, a GH10 endo-β1,4-xylanase, and β-xylosidase were optimized at a fixed enzyme loading of 15 mg/g glucan for release of Glc and Xyl from all combinations of five biomass feedstocks (corn stover, switchgrass, Miscanthus, dried distillers' grains plus solubles [DDGS] and poplar subjected to three alkaline pretreatments (AFEX, dilute base [0.25% NaOH] and alkaline peroxide [AP]. A 16-component mixture comprising the core set plus 10 accessory enzymes was optimized for three pretreatment/substrate combinations. Results were compared to the performance of two commercial enzymes (Accellerase 1000 and Spezyme CP at the same protein loadings. Results When analyzed with GENPLAT, corn stover gave the highest yields of Glc with commercial enzymes and with the core set with all pretreatments, whereas corn stover, switchgrass and Miscanthus gave comparable Xyl yields. With commercial enzymes and with the core set, yields of Glc and Xyl were highest for grass stovers pretreated by AP compared to AFEX or dilute base. Corn stover, switchgrass and DDGS pretreated with AFEX and digested with the core set required a higher proportion of endo-β1,4-xylanase (EX3 and a lower proportion of endo-β1,4-glucanase (EG1 compared to the same materials pretreated with dilute base or AP. An optimized enzyme mixture containing 16 components (by addition of α-glucuronidase, a GH11 endoxylanase [EX2], Cel5A, Cel61A, Cip1, Cip2, β-mannanase, amyloglucosidase,

  15. Renewable Enhanced Feedstocks for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (REFABB)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peoples, Oliver [Metabolix Inc., Cambridge, MA (United States); Snell, Kristi [Metabolix Inc., Cambridge, MA (United States)

    2016-06-09

    The basic concept of the REFABB project was that by genetically engineering the biomass crop switchgrass to produce a natural polymer PHB, which is readily broken down by heating (thermolysis) into the chemical building block crotonic acid, sufficient additional economic value would be added for the grower and processor to make it an attractive business at small scale. Processes for using thermolysis to upgrade biomass to densified pellets (char) or bio-oil are well known and require low capital investment similar to a corn ethanol facility. Several smaller thermolysis plants would then supply the densified biomass, which is easier to handle and transport to a centralized biorefinery where it would be used as the feedstock. Crotonic acid is not by itself a large volume commodity chemical, however, the project demonstrated that it can be used as a feedstock to produce a number of large volume chemicals including butanol which itself is a biofuel target. In effect the project would try to address three key technology barriers, feedstock logistics, feedstock supply and cost effective biomass conversion. This project adds to our understanding of the potential for future biomass biorefineries in two main areas. The first addressed in Task A was the importance and potential of developing an advanced value added biomass feedstock crop. In this Task several novel genetic engineering technologies were demonstrated for the first time. One important outcome was the identification of three novel genes which when re-introduced into the switchgrass plants had a remarkable impact on increasing the biomass yield based on dramatically increasing photosynthesis. These genes also turned out to be critical to increasing the levels of PHB in switchgrass by enabling the plants to fix carbon fast enough to support both plant growth and higher levels of the polymer. Challenges in the critical objective of Task B, demonstrating conversion of the PHB in biomass to crotonic acid at over 90

  16. Genus-Wide Assessment of Lignocellulose Utilization in the Extremely Thermophilic Genus Caldicellulosiruptor by Genomic, Pangenomic, and Metagenomic Analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Laura L; Blumer-Schuette, Sara E; Izquierdo, Javier A; Zurawski, Jeffrey V; Loder, Andrew J; Conway, Jonathan M; Elkins, James G; Podar, Mircea; Clum, Alicia; Jones, Piet C; Piatek, Marek J; Weighill, Deborah A; Jacobson, Daniel A; Adams, Michael W W; Kelly, Robert M

    2018-05-01

    Metagenomic data from Obsidian Pool (Yellowstone National Park, USA) and 13 genome sequences were used to reassess genus-wide biodiversity for the extremely thermophilic Caldicellulosiruptor The updated core genome contains 1,401 ortholog groups (average genome size for 13 species = 2,516 genes). The pangenome, which remains open with a revised total of 3,493 ortholog groups, encodes a variety of multidomain glycoside hydrolases (GHs). These include three cellulases with GH48 domains that are colocated in the glucan degradation locus (GDL) and are specific determinants for microcrystalline cellulose utilization. Three recently sequenced species, Caldicellulosiruptor sp. strain Rt8.B8 (renamed here Caldicellulosiruptor morganii ), Thermoanaerobacter cellulolyticus strain NA10 (renamed here Caldicellulosiruptor naganoensis ), and Caldicellulosiruptor sp. strain Wai35.B1 (renamed here Caldicellulosiruptor danielii ), degraded Avicel and lignocellulose (switchgrass). C. morganii was more efficient than Caldicellulosiruptor bescii in this regard and differed from the other 12 species examined, both based on genome content and organization and in the specific domain features of conserved GHs. Metagenomic analysis of lignocellulose-enriched samples from Obsidian Pool revealed limited new information on genus biodiversity. Enrichments yielded genomic signatures closely related to that of Caldicellulosiruptor obsidiansis , but there was also evidence for other thermophilic fermentative anaerobes ( Caldanaerobacter , Fervidobacterium , Caloramator , and Clostridium ). One enrichment, containing 89.8% Caldicellulosiruptor and 9.7% Caloramator , had a capacity for switchgrass solubilization comparable to that of C. bescii These results refine the known biodiversity of Caldicellulosiruptor and indicate that microcrystalline cellulose degradation at temperatures above 70°C, based on current information, is limited to certain members of this genus that produce GH48 domain

  17. Examination of lignocellulosic fibers for chemical, thermal, and separations properties: Addressing thermo-chemical stability issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Carter David

    Natural fiber-plastic composites incorporate thermoplastic resins with fibrous plant-based materials, sometimes referred to as biomass. Pine wood mill waste has been the traditional source of natural fibrous feedstock. In anticipation of a waste wood shortage other fibrous biomass materials are being investigated as potential supplements or replacements. Perennial grasses, agricultural wastes, and woody biomass are among the potential source materials. As these feedstocks share the basic chemical building blocks; cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, they are collectively called lignocellulosics. Initial investigation of a number of lignocellulosic materials, applied to fiber-plastic composite processing and material testing, resulted in varied results, particularly response to processing conditions. Less thermally stable lignocellulosic filler materials were physically changed in observable ways: darkened color and odor. The effect of biomass materials' chemical composition on thermal stability was investigated an experiment involving determination of the chemical composition of seven lignocellulosics: corn hull, corn stover, fescue, pine, soy hull, soy stover, and switchgrass. These materials were also evaluated for thermal stability by thermogravimetric analysis. The results of these determinations indicated that both chemical composition and pretreatment of lignocellulosic materials can have an effect on their thermal stability. A second study was performed to investigate what effect different pretreatment systems have on hybrid poplar, pine, and switchgrass. These materials were treated with hot water, ethanol, and a 2:1 benzene/ethanol mixture for extraction times of: 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 hours. This factorial experiment demonstrated that both extraction time and medium have an effect on the weight percent of extractives removed from all three material types. The extracted materials generated in the above study were then subjected to an evaluation of thermal

  18. An integrated modeling framework of socio-economic, biophysical, and hydrological processes in Midwest landscapes: Remote sensing data, agro-hydrological model, and agent-based model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Deng

    of perennial grasses or corn stover as a more risky enterprise than their current crop production systems, likely because of market and production risks and lock in effects. As a result farmers do not follow a simple farm-profit maximization rule. In the third study, the consequent water quantity and quality change of the potential land use transitions given alternative biofuel crop market scenarios is explored in a case study in the Clear Creek watershed. A computer program is developed to implement the loose-coupling strategy to couple an agent-based land use model with SWAT. The simulation results show that watershed-scale water quantity (water yield and runoff) and quality variables (sediment and nutrient loads) decrease in values as switchgrass price increases. However, negligence of farmers risk aversions towards biofuel crop adoption would cause overestimation of the impacts of switchgrass price on water quantity and quality.

  19. Compounds Released from Biomass Deconstruction: Understanding Their Effect on Cellulose Enzyme Hydrolysis and Their Biological Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djioleu, Angele Mezindjou

    The effect of compounds produced during biomass pretreatment on cellulolytic enzyme was investigated. Liquid prehydrolyzates were prepared by pretreating switchgrass using 24 combinations of temperature, time, and sulfuric acid concentration based on a full factorial design. Temperature was varied from 140°C to 180°C; time ranged from 10 to 40 min; and the sulfuric acid concentrations were 0.5% or 1% (v/v). Identified products in the prehydrolyzates included xylose, glucose, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), furfural, acetic acid, formic acid, and phenolic compounds at concentration ranging from 0 to 21.4 g/L. Pretreatment conditions significantly affected the concentrations of compounds detected in prehydrolyzates. When assayed in the presence of switchgrass prehydrolyzates against model substrates, activities of cellulase, betaglucosidase, and exoglucanase, were significantly reduced by at least 16%, 31.8%, and 57.8%, respectively, as compared to the control. A strong positive correlation between inhibition of betaglucosidase and concentration of glucose, acetic acid, and furans in prehydrolyzate was established. Exoglucanase inhibition correlated with the presence of phenolic compounds and acetic acid. The prehydrolyzate, prepared at 160°C, 30 min, and 1% acid, was fractionated by centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC) into six fractions; the inhibition effect of these fractions on betaglucosidase and exoglucanase was determined. The initial hydrolysis rate of cellobiose by betaglucosidase was significantly reduced by the CPC sugar-rich fraction; however, exoglucanase was deactivated by the CPC phenolic-rich fraction. Finally, biological activities of water-extracted compounds from sweetgum bark and their effect on cellulase was investigated. It was determined that 12% of solid content of the bark extract could be accounted by phenolic compounds with gallic acid identified as the most concentrated phytochemical. Sweetgum bark extract inhibited Staphylococcus

  20. Autohydrolysis Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass for Bioethanol Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Qiang

    Autohydrolysis, a simple and environmental friendly process, has long been studied but often abandoned as a financially viable pretreatment for bioethanol production due to the low yields of fermentable sugars at economic enzyme dosages. The introduction of mechanical refining can generate substantial improvements for autohydrolysis process, making it an attractive pretreatment technology for bioethanol commercialization. In this study, several lignocellulosic biomass including wheat straw, switchgrass, corn stover, waste wheat straw have been subjected to autohydrolysis pretreatment followed by mechanical refining to evaluate the total sugar recovery at affordable enzyme dosages. Encouraging results have been found that using autohydrolysis plus refining strategy, the total sugar recovery of most feedstock can be as high as 76% at 4 FPU/g enzymes dosages. The mechanical refining contributed to the improvement of enzymatic sugar yield by as much as 30%. Three non-woody biomass (sugarcane bagasse, wheat straw, and switchgrass) and three woody biomass (maple, sweet gum, and nitens) have been subjected to autohydrolysis pretreatment to acquire a fundamental understanding of biomass characteristics that affect the autohydrolysis and the following enzymatic hydrolysis. It is of interest to note that the nonwoody biomass went through substantial delignification during autohydrolysis compared to woody biomass due to a significant amount of p-coumaric acid and ferulic acid. It has been found that hardwood which has a higher S/V ratio in the lignin structure tends to have a higher total sugar recovery from autohydrolysis pretreatment. The economics of bioethanol production from autohydrolysis of different feedstocks have been investigated. Regardless of different feedstocks, in the conventional design, producing bioethanol and co-producing steam and power, the minimum ethanol revenues (MER) required to generate a 12% internal rate of return (IRR) are high enough to

  1. Potential Air Quality Impacts of Global Bioenergy Crop Cultivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, W. C.; Rosenstiel, T. N.; Barsanti, K. C.

    2012-12-01

    The use of bioenergy crops as a replacement for traditional coal-powered electricity generation will require large-scale land-use change, and the resulting changes in emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) may have negative impacts on local to regional air quality. BVOCs contribute to the formation of both ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), with magnitudes of specific compound emissions governed largely by plant speciation and land coverage. For this reason, large-scale land-use change has the potential to markedly alter regional O3 and PM2.5 levels, especially if there are large differences between the emission profiles of the replacement bioenergy crops (many of which are high BVOC emitters) and the previous crops or land cover. In this work, replacement areas suitable for the cultivation of the bioenergy crops switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and giant reed (Arundo donax) were selected based on existing global inventories of under-utilized cropland and local climatological conditions. These two crops are among the most popular current candidates for bioenergy production, and provide contrasting examples of energy densities and emissions profiles. While giant reed has been selected in an ongoing large-scale coal-to-biocharcoal conversion in the Northwestern United States due to its high crop yields and energy density, it is also among the highest biogenic emitters of isoprene. On the other hand, switchgrass produces less biomass per acre, but also emits essentially no isoprene and low total BVOCs. The effects of large-scale conversion to these crops on O3 and PM2.5 were simulated using version 1.1 of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) coupled with version 2.1 of the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN). By comparing crop replacement scenarios involving A. donax and P. virgatum, the sensitivities of O3 and PM2.5 levels to worldwide increases in bioenergy production were examined, providing an initial

  2. The diversity and specificity of the extracellular proteome in the cellulolytic bacterium Caldicellulosiruptor bescii is driven by the nature of the cellulosic growth substrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poudel, Suresh; Giannone, Richard J; Basen, Mirko; Nookaew, Intawat; Poole, Farris L; Kelly, Robert M; Adams, Michael W W; Hettich, Robert L

    2018-01-01

    Caldicellulosiruptor bescii is a thermophilic cellulolytic bacterium that efficiently deconstructs lignocellulosic biomass into sugars, which subsequently can be fermented into alcohols, such as ethanol, and other products. Deconstruction of complex substrates by C. bescii involves a myriad of highly abundant, substrate-specific extracellular solute binding proteins (ESBPs) and carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) containing carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs). Mass spectrometry-based proteomics was employed to investigate how these substrate recognition proteins and enzymes vary as a function of lignocellulosic substrates. Proteomic analysis revealed several key extracellular proteins that respond specifically to either C5 or C6 mono- and polysaccharides. These include proteins of unknown functions (PUFs), ESBPs, and CAZymes. ESBPs that were previously shown to interact more efficiently with hemicellulose and pectin were detected in high abundance during growth on complex C5 substrates, such as switchgrass and xylan. Some proteins, such as Athe_0614 and Athe_2368, whose functions are not well defined were predicted to be involved in xylan utilization and ABC transport and were significantly more abundant in complex and C5 substrates, respectively. The proteins encoded by the entire glucan degradation locus (GDL; Athe_1857, 1859, 1860, 1865, 1867, and 1866) were highly abundant under all growth conditions, particularly when C. bescii was grown on cellobiose, switchgrass, or xylan. In contrast, the glycoside hydrolases Athe_0609 (Pullulanase) and 0610, which both possess CBM20 and a starch binding domain, appear preferential to C5/complex substrate deconstruction. Some PUFs, such as Athe_2463 and 2464, were detected as highly abundant when grown on C5 substrates (xylan and xylose), also suggesting C5-substrate specificity. This study reveals the protein membership of the C. bescii secretome and demonstrates its plasticity based on the complexity (mono

  3. Spatial optimization of cropping pattern for sustainable food and biofuel production with minimal downstream pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Femeena, P V; Sudheer, K P; Cibin, R; Chaubey, I

    2018-04-15

    Biofuel has emerged as a substantial source of energy in many countries. In order to avoid the 'food versus fuel competition', arising from grain-based ethanol production, the United States has passed regulations that require second generation or cellulosic biofeedstocks to be used for majority of the biofuel production by 2022. Agricultural residue, such as corn stover, is currently the largest source of cellulosic feedstock. However, increased harvesting of crops residue may lead to increased application of fertilizers in order to recover the soil nutrients lost from the residue removal. Alternatively, introduction of less-fertilizer intensive perennial grasses such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus Greef et Deu.) can be a viable source for biofuel production. Even though these grasses are shown to reduce nutrient loads to a great extent, high production cost have constrained their wide adoptability to be used as a viable feedstock. Nonetheless, there is an opportunity to optimize feedstock production to meet bioenergy demand while improving water quality. This study presents a multi-objective simulation optimization framework using Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and Multi Algorithm Genetically Adaptive Method (AMALGAM) to develop optimal cropping pattern with minimum nutrient delivery and minimum biomass production cost. Computational time required for optimization was significantly reduced by loose coupling SWAT with an external in-stream solute transport model. Optimization was constrained by food security and biofuel production targets that ensured not more than 10% reduction in grain yield and at least 100 million gallons of ethanol production. A case study was carried out in St. Joseph River Watershed that covers 280,000 ha area in the Midwest U.S. Results of the study indicated that introduction of corn stover removal and perennial grass production reduce nitrate and total phosphorus loads without

  4. Watershed scale impacts of bioenergy, landscape changes, and ecosystem response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaubey, Indrajeet; Cibin, Raj; Chiang, Li-Chi

    2013-04-01

    In recent years, high US gasoline prices and national security concerns have prompted a renewed interest in alternative fuel sources to meet increasing energy demands, particularly by the transportation sector. Food and animal feed crops, such as corn and soybean, sugarcane, residue from these crops, and cellulosic perennial crops grown specifically to produce bioenergy (e.g. switchgrass, Miscanthus, mixed grasses), and fast growing trees (e.g. hybrid poplar) are expected to provide the majority of the biofeedstock for energy production. One of the grand challenges in supplying large quantities of grain-based and lignocellulosic materials for the production of biofuels is ensuring that they are produced in environmentally sustainable and economically viable manner. Feedstock selection will vary geographically based on regional adaptability, productivity, and reliability. Changes in land use and management practices related to biofeedstock production may have potential impacts on water quantity and quality, sediments, and pesticides and nutrient losses, and these impacts may be exacerbated by climate variability and change. We have made many improvements in the currently available biophysical models (e.g. Soil and Water Assessment Tool or SWAT model) to evaluate sustainability of energy crop production. We have utilized the improved model to evaluate impacts of both annual (e.g. corn) and perennial bioenergy crops (e.g. Miscanthus and switchgrass at) on hydrology and water quality under the following plausible bioenergy crop production scenarios: (1) at highly erodible areas; (2) at agriculturally marginal areas; (3) at pasture areas; (4) crop residue (corn stover) removal; and (5) combinations of above scenarios. Overall results indicated improvement in water quality with introduction of perennial energy crops. Stream flow at the watershed outlet was reduced under energy crop production scenarios and ranged between 0.3% and 5% across scenarios. Erosion and sediment

  5. Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Cycle Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    Second generation bioenergy crops, such as miscanthus (Miscantus × giganteus) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), are regarded as clean energy sources, and are an attractive option to mitigate the human-induced climate change. However, the global climate change and the expansion of perennial grass bioenergy crops have the power to alter the biogeochemical cycles in soil, especially, soil carbon storages, over long time scales. In order to develop a predictive understanding, this study develops a coupled hydrological-soil nutrient model to simulate soil carbon responses under different climate scenarios such as: (i) current weather condition, (ii) decreased precipitation by -15%, and (iii) increased temperature up to +3C for four different crops, namely miscanthus, switchgrass, maize, and natural prairie. We use Precision Agricultural Landscape Modeling System (PALMS), version 5.4.0, to capture biophysical and hydrological components coupled with a multilayer carbon and ¬nitrogen cycle model. We apply the model at daily time scale to the Energy Biosciences Institute study site, located in the University of Illinois Research Farms, in Urbana, Illinois. The atmospheric forcing used to run the model was generated stochastically from parameters obtained using available data recorded in Bondville Ameriflux Site. The model simulations are validated with observations of drainage and nitrate and ammonium concentrations recorded in drain tiles during 2011. The results of this study show (1) total soil carbon storage of miscanthus accumulates most noticeably due to the significant amount of aboveground plant carbon, and a relatively high carbon to nitrogen ratio and lignin content, which reduce the litter decomposition rate. Also, (2) the decreased precipitation contributes to the enhancement of total soil carbon storage and soil nitrogen concentration because of the reduced microbial biomass pool. However, (3) an opposite effect on the cycle is introduced by the increased

  6. Spatially Resolved Carbon Isotope and Elemental Analyses of the Root-Rhizosphere-Soil System to Understand Below-ground Nutrient Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denis, E. H.; Ilhardt, P.; Tucker, A. E.; Huggett, N. L.; Rosnow, J. J.; Krogstad, E. J.; Moran, J.

    2017-12-01

    The intimate relationships between plant roots, rhizosphere, and soil are fostered by the release of organic compounds from the plant (through various forms of rhizodeposition) into soil and the simultaneous harvesting and delivery of inorganic nutrients from the soil to the plant. This project's main goal is to better understand the spatial controls on bi-directional nutrient exchange through the rhizosphere and how they impact overall plant health and productivity. Here, we present methods being developed to 1) spatially track the release and migration of plant-derived organics into the rhizosphere and soil and 2) map the local inorganic geochemical microenvironments within and surrounding the rhizosphere. Our studies focused on switchgrass microcosms containing soil from field plots at the Kellogg Biological Station (Hickory Corners, Michigan), which have been cropped with switchgrass for nearly a decade. We used a 13CO2 tracer to label our samples for both one and two diel cycles and tracked subsequent movement of labeled organic carbon using spatially specific δ13C analysis (with 50 µm resolution). The laser ablation-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (LA-IRMS) approach allowed us to map the extent of 13C-label migration into roots, rhizosphere, and surrounding soil. Preliminary results show the expected decrease of organic exudates with distance from a root and that finer roots (<0.1 mm) incorporated more 13C-label than thicker roots, which likely correlates to specific root growth rates. We are adapting both laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) to spatially map inorganic nutrient content in the exact same samples used for LA-IRMS analysis. Both of these methods provide rapid surface mapping of a wide range of elements (with high dynamic range) at 150 μm spatial resolution. Preliminary results show that, based on elemental content, we can distinguish between roots, rhizosphere

  7. Simulating and evaluating best management practices for integrated landscape management scenarios in biofuel feedstock production: Evaluating Best Management Practices for Biofuel Feedstock Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ha, Miae [Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL 60439 USA; Wu, May [Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL 60439 USA

    2015-09-08

    Sound crop and land management strategies can maintain land productivity and improve the environmental sustainability of agricultural crop and feedstock production. This study evaluates the improvement of water sustainability through an integrated landscaping management strategy, where landscaping design, land management operations, crop systems, and agricultural best management practices (BMPs) play equal roles. The strategy was applied to the watershed of the South Fork Iowa River in Iowa, with a focus on implementing riparian buffers and converting low productivity land to provide cellulosic biomass while benefiting soil and water quality. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was employed to simulate the impact of integrated landscape design on nutrients, suspended sediments, and flow on the watershed and subbasin scales. First, the study evaluated the representation of buffer strip as a vegetative barrier and as a riparian buffer using trapping efficiency and area ratio methods in SWAT. For the riparian buffer, the area ratio method tends to be more conservative, especially in nitrate loadings, while the trapping efficiency method generates more optimistic results. The differences between the two methods increase with buffer width. The two methods may not be comparable for the field-scale vegetative barrier simulation because of limitations in model spatial resolution. Landscape scenarios were developed to quantify water quality under (1) current land use, (2) partial land conversion to switchgrass, and (3) riparian buffer implementation. Results show that when low productivity land (15.2% of total watershed land area) is converted to grow switchgrass, suspended sediment, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and nitrate loadings are reduced by 69.3%, 55.5%, 46.1%, and 13.4%, respectively, in the watershed surface streams. The reduction was less extensive when riparian buffer strips (30 m or 50 m) were applied to the stream network at 1.4% of total land area

  8. Impacts of nitrogen fertilization and plant species diversity on soil C accumulation in a lignocellulosic bioenergy cropping system nine years following land conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Graaff, M. A.; Jastrow, J. D.

    2017-12-01

    Ethanol production from second generation biofuel feedstocks, including the perennial grasses switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) has expanded rapidly, with the aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, land conversion for bioenergy production releases carbon (C) stored in soil to the atmosphere as CO2, and creates a C debt in ecosystems. If biofuels are to aid in curbing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, it is important that this initial C debt be repaid rapidly. A variety of management approaches aimed at increasing NPP and soil C input may be used to accelerate the repayment of soil C. We conducted a long-term field experiment located at the Fermilab National Environmental Research Park in IL, that compares a variety of approaches for perennial feedstock production following conversion of an old-field dominated by C3 grasses to a grassland dominated by C4 perennial grasses. Treatments included a variety of big bluestem and switchgrass cultivars grown in monoculture, diversity manipulated at both the species- and cultivar level, and nitrogen (N) applied at two levels (0 and 67 kg/ha). Previous results from this experiment indicated that four years following initiation of this experiment, only choice of plant species significantly affected the rate of bulk soil C-debt repayment. Here we quantified how nine years of fertilization, plant species, and inter- and intra-specific diversity treatments affect soil C accumulation. To increase our detection of changes in soil C and our mechanistic understanding of the processes that drive C accumulation in this experiment, we used the natural abundance C isotope ratio technique to estimate the contribution and fate of root-derived C to soil organic matter pools. Additionally, we evaluated how the different management approaches affected the ecological sustainability of bioenergy production, by quantifying impacts of the treatments on soil micro-and meso fauna abundance and diversity

  9. The role of char and tar in determining the gas-phase partitioning of nitrogen during biomass gasification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broer, Karl M.; Brown, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Switchgrass was gasified at an equivalence ratio of zero and 650–850 °C. • Short residence times were employed to minimize secondary reactions. • Char- and tar-bound nitrogen, NH_3, HCN, and N_2 were all significant products. • Increasing temperature leads to increased release of gaseous nitrogen compounds. • Kinetic models of gasification should include nitrogen release from char and tar. - Abstract: Gasification is an attractive option for converting biomass into fuels and chemicals. Most biomass contains significant amounts of fuel-bound nitrogen (FBN), which partially converts into ammonia (NH_3) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN) during gasification. These nitrogen compounds are problematic as they can lead to NO_X emissions or catalyst poisoning in downstream applications of syngas. FBN can convert to other products as well, including diatomic nitrogen (N_2), char-bound nitrogen (char-N), and tar-bound nitrogen (tar-N). Efforts to predict concentrations of NH_3 and HCN have been hindered by a lack of accurate, comprehensive measurements of nitrogen partitioning among gasification products. The present study gasified switchgrass under allothermal, short residence time conditions and measured NH_3, HCN, char-N, and tar-N as a function of temperature in the range of 650–850 °C with diatomic nitrogen determined by difference. It was found that a major portion of FBN was retained in the char and tar products. As temperature was increased, char and tar were consumed, releasing nitrogen as gaseous NH_3 and HCN. This increase in undesirable nitrogen compounds is contrary to the predictions of most gasification models, which overlook the presence of significant nitrogen in char and tar even if they include tar cracking and char gasification reactions. The results of this study demonstrate that gas-phase reactions alone are not sufficient to predict the fate of nitrogen during gasification. In order for modeling efforts to obtain more accurate

  10. Caldicellulosiruptor obsidiansis sp. nov., an anaerobic, extremely thermophilic, cellulolytic bacterium isolated from Obsidian Pool, Yellowstone National Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton-Brehm, Scott D; Mosher, Jennifer J; Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana; Podar, Mircea; Carroll, Sue; Allman, Steve; Phelps, Tommy J; Keller, Martin; Elkins, James G

    2010-02-01

    A novel, obligately anaerobic, extremely thermophilic, cellulolytic bacterium, designated OB47(T), was isolated from Obsidian Pool, Yellowstone National Park, WY. The isolate was a nonmotile, non-spore-forming, Gram-positive rod approximately 2 microm long by 0.2 microm wide and grew at temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees C, with the optimum at 78 degrees C. The pH range for growth was 6.0 to 8.0, with values of near 7.0 being optimal. Growth on cellobiose produced the fastest specific growth rate at 0.75 h(-1). The organism also displayed fermentative growth on glucose, maltose, arabinose, fructose, starch, lactose, mannose, sucrose, galactose, xylose, arabinogalactan, Avicel, xylan, filter paper, processed cardboard, pectin, dilute acid-pretreated switchgrass, and Populus. OB47(T) was unable to grow on mannitol, fucose, lignin, Gelrite, acetate, glycerol, ribose, sorbitol, carboxymethylcellulose, and casein. Yeast extract stimulated growth, and thiosulfate, sulfate, nitrate, and sulfur were not reduced. Fermentation end products were mainly acetate, H2, and CO2, although lactate and ethanol were produced in 5-liter batch fermentations. The G+C content of the DNA was 35 mol%, and sequence analysis of the small subunit rRNA gene placed OB47(T) within the genus Caldicellulosiruptor. Based on its phylogenetic and phenotypic properties, the isolate is proposed to be designated Caldicellulosiruptor obsidiansis sp. nov. and OB47 is the type strain (ATCC BAA-2073).

  11. Community analysis of plant biomass-degrading microorganisms from Obsidian Pool, Yellowstone National Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana A; Hamilton-Brehm, Scott D; Podar, Mircea; Mosher, Jennifer J; Palumbo, Anthony V; Phelps, Tommy J; Keller, Martin; Elkins, James G

    2015-02-01

    The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into biofuels can potentially be improved by employing robust microorganisms and enzymes that efficiently deconstruct plant polysaccharides at elevated temperatures. Many of the geothermal features of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) are surrounded by vegetation providing a source of allochthonic material to support heterotrophic microbial communities adapted to utilize plant biomass as a primary carbon and energy source. In this study, a well-known hot spring environment, Obsidian Pool (OBP), was examined for potential biomass-active microorganisms using cultivation-independent and enrichment techniques. Analysis of 33,684 archaeal and 43,784 bacterial quality-filtered 16S rRNA gene pyrosequences revealed that archaeal diversity in the main pool was higher than bacterial; however, in the vegetated area, overall bacterial diversity was significantly higher. Of notable interest was a flooded depression adjacent to OBP supporting a stand of Juncus tweedyi, a heat-tolerant rush commonly found growing near geothermal features in YNP. The microbial community from heated sediments surrounding the plants was enriched in members of the Firmicutes including potentially (hemi)cellulolytic bacteria from the genera Clostridium, Anaerobacter, Caloramator, Caldicellulosiruptor, and Thermoanaerobacter. Enrichment cultures containing model and real biomass substrates were established at a wide range of temperatures (55-85 °C). Microbial activity was observed up to 80 °C on all substrates including Avicel, xylan, switchgrass, and Populus sp. Independent of substrate, Caloramator was enriched at lower (65 °C) temperatures.

  12. Caldicellulosiruptor obsidiansis sp. nov., an Anaerobic, Extremely Thermophilic, Cellulolytic Bacterium Isolated from Obsidian Pool, Yellowstone National Park▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton-Brehm, Scott D.; Mosher, Jennifer J.; Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana; Podar, Mircea; Carroll, Sue; Allman, Steve; Phelps, Tommy J.; Keller, Martin; Elkins, James G.

    2010-01-01

    A novel, obligately anaerobic, extremely thermophilic, cellulolytic bacterium, designated OB47T, was isolated from Obsidian Pool, Yellowstone National Park, WY. The isolate was a nonmotile, non-spore-forming, Gram-positive rod approximately 2 μm long by 0.2 μm wide and grew at temperatures between 55 and 85°C, with the optimum at 78°C. The pH range for growth was 6.0 to 8.0, with values of near 7.0 being optimal. Growth on cellobiose produced the fastest specific growth rate at 0.75 h−1. The organism also displayed fermentative growth on glucose, maltose, arabinose, fructose, starch, lactose, mannose, sucrose, galactose, xylose, arabinogalactan, Avicel, xylan, filter paper, processed cardboard, pectin, dilute acid-pretreated switchgrass, and Populus. OB47T was unable to grow on mannitol, fucose, lignin, Gelrite, acetate, glycerol, ribose, sorbitol, carboxymethylcellulose, and casein. Yeast extract stimulated growth, and thiosulfate, sulfate, nitrate, and sulfur were not reduced. Fermentation end products were mainly acetate, H2, and CO2, although lactate and ethanol were produced in 5-liter batch fermentations. The G+C content of the DNA was 35 mol%, and sequence analysis of the small subunit rRNA gene placed OB47T within the genus Caldicellulosiruptor. Based on its phylogenetic and phenotypic properties, the isolate is proposed to be designated Caldicellulosiruptor obsidiansis sp. nov. and OB47 is the type strain (ATCC BAA-2073). PMID:20023107

  13. Climate change and health costs of air emissions from biofuels and gasoline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jason; Polasky, Stephen; Nelson, Erik; Tilman, David; Huo, Hong; Ludwig, Lindsay; Neumann, James; Zheng, Haochi; Bonta, Diego

    2009-01-01

    Environmental impacts of energy use can impose large costs on society. We quantify and monetize the life-cycle climate-change and health effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions from gasoline, corn ethanol, and cellulosic ethanol. For each billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of fuel produced and combusted in the US, the combined climate-change and health costs are $469 million for gasoline, $472–952 million for corn ethanol depending on biorefinery heat source (natural gas, corn stover, or coal) and technology, but only $123–208 million for cellulosic ethanol depending on feedstock (prairie biomass, Miscanthus, corn stover, or switchgrass). Moreover, a geographically explicit life-cycle analysis that tracks PM2.5 emissions and exposure relative to U.S. population shows regional shifts in health costs dependent on fuel production systems. Because cellulosic ethanol can offer health benefits from PM2.5 reduction that are of comparable importance to its climate-change benefits from GHG reduction, a shift from gasoline to cellulosic ethanol has greater advantages than previously recognized. These advantages are critically dependent on the source of land used to produce biomass for biofuels, on the magnitude of any indirect land use that may result, and on other as yet unmeasured environmental impacts of biofuels. PMID:19188587

  14. Accelerated development in Johnsongrass seedlings (Sorghum halepense) suppresses the growth of native grasses through size-asymmetric competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwinning, Susanne; Meckel, Heather; Reichmann, Lara G; Polley, H Wayne; Fay, Philip A

    2017-01-01

    Invasive plant species often dominate native species in competition, augmenting other potential advantages such as release from natural enemies. Resource pre-emption may be a particularly important mechanism for establishing dominance over competitors of the same functional type. We hypothesized that competitive success of an exotic grass against native grasses is mediated by establishing an early size advantage. We tested this prediction among four perennial C4 warm-season grasses: the exotic weed Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparius) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). We predicted that a) the competitive effect of Johnsongrass on target species would be proportional to their initial biomass difference, b) competitive effect and response would be negatively correlated and c) soil fertility would have little effect on competitive relationships. In a greenhouse, plants of the four species were grown from seed either alone or with one Johnsongrass neighbor at two fertilizer levels and periodically harvested. The first two hypotheses were supported: The seedling biomass of single plants at first harvest (50 days after seeding) ranked the same way as the competitive effect of Johnsongrass on target species: Johnsongrass critical mechanism by which exotic invasive species displace functionally similar native species and alter the functional dynamics of native communities.

  15. Utilization of residual biochar produced from the pyrolysis of energy crops for soil enrichment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pilon, G.; Lavoie, J.M. [Sherbrooke Univ., Sherbrooke, PQ (Canada). Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

    2010-07-01

    Although national and international interest in the use of energy crops for the production of biofuels is increasing, it is understood that measures must be taken to ensure that the production and transportation of these energy crops does not require more energy than they provide and that the soil should not be left uncovered so as not to reduce its organic content and nutrients. In response, concerns regarding soil fertilization have increased. A technique for biomass preconversion known as pyrolysis-torrefaction involves the production of char and bio-oil from biomass. This processing method is gaining interest because the char may be useful for many applications such as a fuel, soil conditioner or carbon sequestration. An appropriate distribution of biochar applications could be potentially beneficial for the sustainability of biomass use in the imminent biomarket. In this study, biochar produced from switchgrass was prepared and characterized to verify its potential as a soil enhancer and its potential as a solid fuel. The biochar was prepared under varying reacting conditions using custom-made bench scale, batch-type fixed bed pyrolysis-torrefaction reactor. Volatiles were released by varying the residence times.

  16. Farm-scale costs and returns for second generation bioenergy cropping systems in the US Corn Belt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manatt, Robert K; Schulte, Lisa A; Hall, Richard B; Hallam, Arne; Heaton, Emily A; Gunther, Theo; Moore, Ken J

    2013-01-01

    While grain crops are meeting much of the initial need for biofuels in the US, cellulosic or second generation (2G) materials are mandated to provide a growing portion of biofuel feedstocks. We sought to inform development of a 2G crop portfolio by assessing the profitability of novel cropping systems that potentially mitigate the negative effects of grain-based biofuel crops on food supply and environmental quality. We analyzed farm-gate costs and returns of five systems from an ongoing experiment in central Iowa, USA. The continuous corn cropping system was most profitable under current market conditions, followed by a corn–soybean rotation that incorporated triticale as a 2G cover crop every third year, and a corn–switchgrass system. A novel triticale–hybrid aspen intercropping system had the highest yields over the long term, but could only surpass the profitability of the continuous corn system when biomass prices exceeded foreseeable market values. A triticale/sorghum double cropping system was deemed unviable. We perceive three ways 2G crops could become more cost competitive with grain crops: by (1) boosting yields through substantially greater investment in research and development, (2) increasing demand through substantially greater and sustained investment in new markets, and (3) developing new schemes to compensate farmers for environmental benefits associated with 2G crops. (letter)

  17. An exploration of common reed (Phragmites australis bioenergy potential in North America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Vaičekonytė

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In North America, reed (Phragmites australis is typically considered to be a weed although it provides important ecosystem services. Small, sparse, patchy or mixed reedbeds are more suitable as habitat for many species than extensive dense reedbeds, whose habitat functions can be enhanced by the selective removal of biomass. We propose that above-ground reed biomass could be harvested for bioenergy, at the same time improving habitat for biodiversity by thinning or fragmenting the more extensive reedbeds. Biofuel pellets manufactured from reeds harvested at Montréal (Canada had moisture content 6.4 %, energy content 16.9 kJ g-1 (dry mass, ash content 3.44 %, and chloride content 1962 ppm. Thus, reed as a material for fuel pellet manufacture is similar to switchgrass (Panicum virgatum, which is commonly cultivated for that purpose and requires higher inputs than harvested wild reed. We discuss these findings in the context of environmental considerations and conclude that the bioenergy potential of reed could most expediently be realised in North America by combining material harvested from the widespread spontaneously occurring reedbeds with organic waste from other sources to create mixed biofuels. However, reeds with high levels of chlorine, sulphur or metals should not be burned to avoid air pollution or equipment damage unless these problems are mitigated by means of appropriate season of harvest, equipment, combustion regime, or use of a mixed feedstock.

  18. Energy Savings from Optimised In-Field Route Planning for Agricultural Machinery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Efthymios Rodias

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Various types of sensors technologies, such as machine vision and global positioning system (GPS have been implemented in navigation of agricultural vehicles. Automated navigation systems have proved the potential for the execution of optimised route plans for field area coverage. This paper presents an assessment of the reduction of the energy requirements derived from the implementation of optimised field area coverage planning. The assessment regards the analysis of the energy requirements and the comparison between the non-optimised and optimised plans for field area coverage in the whole sequence of operations required in two different cropping systems: Miscanthus and Switchgrass production. An algorithmic approach for the simulation of the executed field operations by following both non-optimised and optimised field-work patterns was developed. As a result, the corresponding time requirements were estimated as the basis of the subsequent energy cost analysis. Based on the results, the optimised routes reduce the fuel energy consumption up to 8%, the embodied energy consumption up to 7%, and the total energy consumption from 3% up to 8%.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-05-31

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

  20. Biomass production from the U.S. forest and agriculture sectors in support of a renewable electricity standard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    White, Eric M.; Latta, Greg; Alig, Ralph J.; Skog, Kenneth E.; Adams, Darius M.

    2013-01-01

    Production of renewable energy from biomass has been promoted as means to improve greenhouse gas balance in energy production, improve energy security, and provide jobs and income. However, uncertainties remain as to how the agriculture and forest sectors might jointly respond to increased demand for bioelectricity feedstocks and the potential environmental consequences of increased biomass production. We use an economic model to examine how the agriculture and forest sectors might combine to respond to increased demands for bioelectricity under simulated future national-level renewable electricity standards. Both sectors are projected to contribute biomass, although energy crops, like switchgrass, produced on agriculture land are projected to be the primary feedstocks. At the highest targets for bioelectricity production, we project increased conversion of forest to agriculture land in support of agriculture biomass production. Although land conversion takes place in response to renewable electricity mandates, we project only minor increases in forest and agriculture emissions. Similarly, crop prices were projected to generally be stable in the face of increased bioelectricity demand and displacement of traditional agriculture crops. - Highlights: ► We model the response of forest and agriculture to increased bioelectricity demand. ► The agriculture sector, through energy crop production, is the key biomass provider. ► Increased land exchange is projected for the highest bioelectricity demands. ► Land exchange from forest to agriculture yield the greatest changes in GHG flux. ► Agriculture and forestry must be accounted for when considering bioenergy policy

  1. Biofuels feedstock development program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-11-01

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

  2. Exometabolomic Analysis of Cross-Feeding Metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubbe, Andrea; Bowen, Benjamin P; Northen, Trent

    2017-10-04

    Microbial consortia have the potential to perform complex, industrially important tasks. The design of microbial consortia requires knowledge of the substrate preferences and metabolic outputs of each member, to allow understanding of potential interactions such as competition and beneficial metabolic exchange. Here, we used exometabolite profiling to follow the resource processing by a microbial co-culture of two biotechnologically relevant microbes, the bacterial cellulose degrader Cellulomonas fimi, and the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica. We characterized the substrate preferences of the two strains on compounds typically found in lignocellulose hydrolysates. This allowed prediction that specific sugars resulting from hemicellulose polysaccharide degradation by C. fimi may serve as a cross-feeding metabolites to Y. lipolytica in co-culture. We also showed that products of ionic liquid-treated switchgrass lignocellulose degradation by C. fimi were channeled to Y. lipolytica in a co-culture. Additionally, we observed metabolites, such as shikimic acid accumulating in the co-culture supernatants, suggesting the potential for producing interesting co-products. Insights gained from characterizing the exometabolite profiles of individual and co-cultures of the two strains can help to refine this interaction, and guide strategies for making this an industrially viable co-culture to produce valuable products from lignocellulose material.

  3. Consumptive water use in the production of ethanonl and petroleum gasoline.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, M.; Mintz, M.; Wang, M.; Arora, S.; Energy Systems

    2009-01-30

    The production of energy feedstocks and fuels requires substantial water input. Not only do biofuel feedstocks like corn, switchgrass, and agricultural residues need water for growth and conversion to ethanol, but petroleum feedstocks like crude oil and oil sands also require large volumes of water for drilling, extraction, and conversion into petroleum products. Moreover, in many cases, crude oil production is increasingly water dependent. Competing uses strain available water resources and raise the specter of resource depletion and environmental degradation. Water management has become a key feature of existing projects and a potential issue in new ones. This report examines the growing issue of water use in energy production by characterizing current consumptive water use in liquid fuel production. As used throughout this report, 'consumptive water use' is the sum total of water input less water output that is recycled and reused for the process. The estimate applies to surface and groundwater sources for irrigation but does not include precipitation. Water requirements are evaluated for five fuel pathways: bioethanol from corn, ethanol from cellulosic feedstocks, gasoline from Canadian oil sands, Saudi Arabian crude, and U.S. conventional crude from onshore wells. Regional variations and historic trends are noted, as are opportunities to reduce water use.

  4. Grass and forb species for revegetation of mixed soil-lignite overburden in East Central Texas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skousen, J.G.; Call, C.A. (West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV (USA). Division of Plant and Soil Sciences)

    Ten grasses and seven forbs were seeded into mixed soil-lignite overburden in the Post Oak Savannah region of Texas and monitored for establishment and growth over a 3-year period without fertilization. Buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris), green sprangletop (Leptochloa dubia), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and kleingrass (P. coloratum) developed monotypic stands with sufficent density, aerial cover, and aboveground biomass to stabilize the mixed soil-lignite overburden surface by the end of the first growing season. Plant mortality eliminated buffelgrass and green sprangletop stands by the end of the third growing season. Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) developed a satisfactory stand by the end of the third growing season, while Oldworld bluestem (Bothriochloa X Dicanthium), yellow bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum), and sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) established at a slower rate. Cover and biomass measurements from an adjacent, unfertilized stand of Coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) were compared with those of seeded grasses throughout the study. Partidge pea (Cassia fasciculata) established rapidly and had the greatest cover and biomass of all seeded forbs by the end of the first growing season. Sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata), Illinois bundleflower (Desmanthus illinoensis), and western indigo (Indigofera miniata) developed adequate stands for surface stabilization by the end of the third growing season, while faseanil indigo (Indigofera suffruticosa), virgata lespedeza (Lespedeza virgata), and awnless bushsunflower (Simsia calva) showed slower establishment. 27 refs., 3 tabs.

  5. The cross-border opportunity on how to enhance Canada-US energy trade : Panel 3 : toward seamless trade in power and emission reductions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    LeCroy, J.; Rudgers, N.; McCuaig, P.

    2006-01-01

    This third panel discussion on seamless trade in power and emissions reductions addressed the impact of energy issues on agriculture. In particular, it focused on biomass as an energy source to address the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. Although ethanol, biodiesel and other biomass are not going to completely replace petroleum in the near future, renewables such as biomass, wind, solar and geothermal energy sources will be part of the energy mix. It was noted that biomass can be produced in abundance in North America. In addition to being renewable and carbon neutral, biomass can be used in existing transportation/stationary fuels infrastructure. It was suggested that growing energy crops such as corn, soybeans, switchgrass and short-rotation woody crops represent the best potential to bring under-utilized agricultural lands back into productive use. The power industry's interest in biomass was also discussed. The Department of Energy has estimated that using syngas from biomass for fuel cells can be cost competitive with natural gas at current prices. The discussion also addressed the role of biomass in the 13-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) which was launched to limit and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the Mid-Atlantic and New England states. 7 figs

  6. Stream Health Sensitivity to Landscape Changes due to Bioenergy Crops Expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nejadhashemi, A.; Einheuser, M. D.; Woznicki, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Global demand for bioenergy has increased due to uncertainty in oil markets, environmental concerns, and expected increases in energy consumption worldwide. To develop a sustainable biofuel production strategy, the adverse environmental impacts of bioenergy crops expansion should be understood. To study the impact of bioenergy crops expansion on stream health, the adaptive neural-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) was used to predict macroinvertebrate and fish stream health measures. The Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI), Family Index of Biological Integrity (Family IBI), and Number of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera taxa (EPT taxa) were used as macroinvertebrate measures, while the Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) was used for fish. A high-resolution biophysical model built using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to obtain water quantity and quality variables for input into the ANFIS stream health predictive models. Twenty unique crop rotations were developed to examine impacts of bioenergy crops expansion on stream health in the Saginaw Bay basin. Traditional intensive row crops generated more pollution than current landuse conditions, while second-generation biofuel crops associated with less intensive agricultural activities resulted in water quality improvement. All three macroinvertebrate measures were negatively impacted during intensive row crop productions but improvement was predicted when producing perennial crops. However, the expansion of native grass, switchgrass, and miscanthus production resulted in reduced IBI relative to first generation row crops. This study demonstrates that ecosystem complexity requires examination of multiple stream health measures to avoid potential adverse impacts of landuse change on stream health.

  7. Practical ambiguities during calculation of energy ratios and their impacts on life cycle assessment calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Yongli; Colosi, Lisa M.

    2013-01-01

    The energy ratio metrics are increasingly important means of assessing the efficiency of energy production for emerging biofuels platforms, making comparisons among multiple alternatives, and formulating policies to foster commercialization of sustainable energy systems. However, these metrics are susceptible to inadvertent or meaningful mathematical manipulation, whereby the same dataset can be used to compute dramatically different values of energy return on investment (EROI). In this study, previously published life cycle assessment (LCA) data for algal biofuels, corn ethanol, and switchgrass ethanol are used to demonstrate how seven seemingly reasonable EROI formulations give rise to a wide range of output values. It is then demonstrated that production of bioelectricity, and to a lesser extent, other co-products, significantly increases EROI ambiguity. Overall, the EROI results are used to illustrate how EROI ambiguity makes it difficult to properly assess the energetic favorability of a particular energy system or to make accurate comparisons among multiple systems. It is then recommended that all future biofuels studies restrict themselves to usage of “EROI 1 ”, which documents all input and outputs as explicit terms, to mitigate EROI ambiguity and improve policy decision-making. - Highlights: ► Energy ratios are appealing but potentially ambiguous sustainability metrics. ► Various ratio formulations can give different metrics for the same dataset. ► Production of electricity or other co-products exacerbates ratio ambiguity

  8. Biofuels and sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Barry D

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Mineral concentrations of forage legumes and grasses grown in acidic soil amended with flue gas desulfurization products

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, R.B.; Baligar, V.C. [USDA ARS, Beltsville, MD (USA). Beltsville Agricultural Research Center West

    2003-07-01

    Considerable quantities of flue gas desulfurization products (FGDs) are generated when coal is burned for production of electricity, and these products have the potential to be reused rather than discarded. Use of FGDs as soil amendments could be important in overall management of these products, especially on acidic soils. Glasshouse studies were conducted to determine shoot concentrations of calcium (Ca), sulfur (S), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (P), boron (B), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), aluminum (Al), sodium (Na), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), and lead (Pb) in alfalfa (Medicago sativa), white clover (Trifolium repens), orchardgrass (Dacrylis glomerata), tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) grown in acidic (pH 4) soil (Typic Hapludult) amended with various levels of three FGDs and the control compounds CaCO{sub 3}, CaSO{sub 3}, and CaSO{sub 4}. Shoot concentrations of Ca, S, Mg, and B generally increased as levels of soil applied FGD increased. Concentrations of Mn, Fe, Zn, Cu were lower in shoots, especially when soil pH was high ({gt}7). Shoot concentrations of the trace elements Mo, Ni, Cd, Cr, and Pb were not above those reported as normal for foliage. Overall concentrations of most minerals remained near normal for shoots when plants were grown in FGD amended acidic soil.

  10. Understanding changes in cellulose crystalline structure of lignocellulosic biomass during ionic liquid pretreatment by XRD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jiafu; Wang, Yixun; Zhang, Liye; Zhang, Ruihong; Liu, Guangqing; Cheng, Gang

    2014-01-01

    X-ray diffraction (XRD) was used to understand the interactions of cellulose in lignocellulosic biomass with ionic liquids (ILs). The experiment was designed in such a way that the process of swelling and solubilization of crystalline cellulose in plant cell walls was followed by XRD. Three different feedstocks, switchgrass, corn stover and rice husk, were pretreated using 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C4mim][OAc]) at temperatures of 50-130°C for 6h. At a 5 wt.% biomass loading, increasing pretreatment temperature led to a drop in biomass crystallinity index (CrI), which was due to swelling of crystalline cellulose. After most of the crystalline cellulose was swollen with IL molecules, a low-order structure was found in the pretreated samples. Upon further increasing temperature, cellulose II structure started to form in the pretreated biomass samples as a result of solubilization of cellulose in [C4mim][OAc] and subsequent regeneration. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Carrot, Corn, Lettuce and Soybean Nutrient Contents are ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar, the carbon-rich material remaining after pyrolysis of cellulosic and manure feedstocks, has the potential as a soil amendment to sequester carbon and to improve soil water-holding and nutrient properties- thereby enhancing plant growth. However, biochar produced from some feedstocks also could adversely affect crop quality by changing soil pH and reducing nutrients (e.g., Ca, K, Mg, N, Na, and P) in plant tissues. To evaluate effects of biochar on the nutrient quality of four crops, we conducted a greenhouse study using pots with: carrot (Daucus carota cv. Tendersweet), corn (Zea mays, cv. Golden Bantam), lettuce (Lactuca sativa, cv. Black-Seeded Simpson) and soybean (Glycine max cv. Viking 2265). Plants were grown in one of two South Carolina sandy Coastal Plain soils (Norfolk and Coxville Soil Series), along with biochar (1% by weight) produced from pine chips (PC), poultry litter (PL), swine solids (SS), switchgrass (SG), and two blends of pine chips plus poultry litter (PC/PL, 50/50% and 80/20%). Each of the feedstocks and feedstock blends was pyrolyzed at 350, 500, and 700 ̊ C to produce the biochar used to amend the Norfolk and Coxville soils. Effects of biochar on leaf nutrients (% dry weight) statistically varied with species, soil, feedstock and temperature and nutrient. For carrot and lettuce, the PL, PL/PC, and SS biochars generally decreased leaf N, Ca, Mg, and P; while PL and PL/PC increased K and Na. Biochars had little effect on lea

  12. An in-depth analysis of the physico-mechanical properties imparted by agricultural fibers and food processing residues in polypropylene biocomposites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murdy, Rachel Campbell; Mak, Michelle; Misra, Manjusri; Mohanty, Amar K.

    2015-01-01

    The use of agricultural and food processing residues as potential reinforcements in plastics has been extensively studied. However, there is a large variation in the mechanical performance of agricultural fiber-based biocomposites due to different processing materials and parameters. An in-depth comparison of the resulting effect of the agricultural filler on the matrix is often not possible given the discrepancy in processing conditions. This study seeks to determine the intrinsic properties of agricultural fibers and food processing residues for their use in polypropylene biocomposites based on a standardization of experimental design. The effect of 25wt% loading of miscanthus, fall-and spring-harvest switchgrass, wheat straw, oat hull, soy hull, soy stalk, hemp and flax on the physico-mechanical properties of polypropylene biocomposites was investigated. The addition of fiber led to an improvement in flexural strength, flexural modulus, and tensile modulus, and a general decrease in tensile strength at yield, elongation at break and Izod impact strength. Scanning electron microscopy highlighted the interfacial adhesion, orientation and distribution of the fibers within the matrix, confirming that fiber length and dispersion within the matrix are positively correlated with mechanical properties. The crystallization of the polypropylene phase and a compositional analysis of the agricultural fibers and processing residues were also compared to offer insight into the effect of the filler’s intrinsic properties on the resulting material performance

  13. An in-depth analysis of the physico-mechanical properties imparted by agricultural fibers and food processing residues in polypropylene biocomposites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murdy, Rachel Campbell; Mak, Michelle [Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre, Department of Plant Agriculture, Crop Science Building, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 (Canada); Misra, Manjusri; Mohanty, Amar K. [Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre, Department of Plant Agriculture, Crop Science Building, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 (Canada); School of Engineering, Thornbrough Building, University of Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 (Canada)

    2015-05-22

    The use of agricultural and food processing residues as potential reinforcements in plastics has been extensively studied. However, there is a large variation in the mechanical performance of agricultural fiber-based biocomposites due to different processing materials and parameters. An in-depth comparison of the resulting effect of the agricultural filler on the matrix is often not possible given the discrepancy in processing conditions. This study seeks to determine the intrinsic properties of agricultural fibers and food processing residues for their use in polypropylene biocomposites based on a standardization of experimental design. The effect of 25wt% loading of miscanthus, fall-and spring-harvest switchgrass, wheat straw, oat hull, soy hull, soy stalk, hemp and flax on the physico-mechanical properties of polypropylene biocomposites was investigated. The addition of fiber led to an improvement in flexural strength, flexural modulus, and tensile modulus, and a general decrease in tensile strength at yield, elongation at break and Izod impact strength. Scanning electron microscopy highlighted the interfacial adhesion, orientation and distribution of the fibers within the matrix, confirming that fiber length and dispersion within the matrix are positively correlated with mechanical properties. The crystallization of the polypropylene phase and a compositional analysis of the agricultural fibers and processing residues were also compared to offer insight into the effect of the filler’s intrinsic properties on the resulting material performance.

  14. A Quick-Test for Biochar Effects on Seed Germination ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar is being globally evaluated as a soil amendment to improve soil characteristics (e.g. soil water holding, nutrient exchange, microbiology, pesticides and chemical availability) to increase crop yields. Unfortunately, there are no quick tests to determine what biochar types are most effective at improving soil characteristics amenable for higher crop yields. Seed germination is a critical parameter for plant establishment and may be a quick indicator of biochar quality. We adapted Oregon State University Seed Laboratory procedures to develop a “quick-test” for screening the effects of biochar on seed germination. We used 11.0 cm rectangular x 3.5 cm deep containers fitted with blotter paper. The paper was premoistened with reverse-osmosis water, followed by placement of seeds (25 in a uniform 5 x 5 vacuum-assisted pattern, and biochar mixtures). A Norfolk and Coxville soil series from South Carolina were used. A total of 18 biochars were evaluated that were produced from 6 feedstocks (pine chips, poultry litter, swine solids, switchgrass, and two blends of pine chips and poultry litter); with biochar from each feedstock made by pyrolysis at 350, 500 and 700 ̊ C. Crops were cabbage, cucumber, onion, ryegrass and tomato. Preliminary results from the test indicated differences in seed germination due to soil type and possibly soil x biochar feedstock interactions. Other measurements including shoot dry weight per plate and pH of the soil+ biochar mixtur

  15. De novo generation of helper virus-satellite chimera RNAs results in disease attenuation and satellite sequence acquisition in a host-dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyle, J D; Scholthof, Karen-Beth G

    2018-01-15

    Panicum mosaic virus (PMV) is a helper RNA virus for satellite RNAs (satRNAs) and a satellite virus (SPMV). Here, we describe modifications that occur at the 3'-end of a satRNA of PMV, satS. Co-infections of PMV+satS result in attenuation of the disease symptoms induced by PMV alone in Brachypodium distachyon and proso millet. The 375 nt satS acquires ~100-200 nts from the 3'-end of PMV during infection and is associated with decreased abundance of the PMV RNA and capsid protein in millet. PMV-satS chimera RNAs were isolated from native infections of St. Augustinegrass and switchgrass. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the chimeric RNAs clustered according to the host species from which they were isolated. Additionally, the chimera satRNAs acquired non-viral "linker" sequences in a host-specific manner. These results highlight the dynamic regulation of viral pathogenicity by satellites, and the selective host-dependent, sequence-based pressures for driving satRNA generation and genome compositions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Scenarios of bioenergy development impacts on regional groundwater withdrawals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uden, Daniel R.; Allen, Craig R.; Mitchell, Rob B.; Guan, Qingfeng; McCoy, Tim D.

    2013-01-01

    Irrigation increases agricultural productivity, but it also stresses water resources (Huffaker and Hamilton 2007). Drought and the potential for drier conditions resulting from climate change could strain water supplies in landscapes where human populations rely on finite groundwater resources for drinking, agriculture, energy, and industry (IPCC 2007). For instance, in the North American Great Plains, rowcrops are utilized for livestock feed, food, and bioenergy production (Cassman and Liska 2007), and a large portion is irrigated with groundwater from the High Plains aquifer system (McGuire 2011). Under projected future climatic conditions, greater crop water use requirements and diminished groundwater recharge rates could make rowcrop irrigation less feasible in some areas (Rosenberg et al. 1999; Sophocleous 2005). The Rainwater Basin region of south central Nebraska, United States, is an intensively farmed and irrigated Great Plains landscape dominated by corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Glycine max L.) production (Bishop and Vrtiska 2008). Ten starch-based ethanol plants currently service the region, producing ethanol from corn grain (figure 1). In this study, we explore the potential of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a drought-tolerant alternative bioenergy feedstock, to impact regional annual groundwater withdrawals for irrigation under warmer and drier future conditions. Although our research context is specific to the Rainwater Basin and surrounding North American Great Plains, we believe the broader research question is internationally pertinent and hope that this study simulates similar research in other areas.

  17. Are Agrofuels a conservation threat or opportunity for grassland birds in the United States?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Bruce A.; Rice, Robert A.; Ribic, Christine; Babcock, Bruce A.; Landis, Douglas A.; Herkert, James R.; Fletcher, Robert J.; Fontaine, Joseph J; Doran, Patrick J.; Schemske, Douglas W.

    2012-01-01

    In the United States, government-mandated growth in the production of crops dedicated to biofuel (agrofuels) is predicted to increase the demands on existing agricultural lands, potentially threatening the persistence of populations of grassland birds they support. We review recently published literature and datasets to (1) examine the ability of alternative agrofuel crops and their management regimes to provide habitat for grassland birds, (2) determine how crop placement in agricultural landscapes and agrofuel-related land-use change will affect grassland birds, and (3) identify critical research and policy-development needs associated with agrofuel production. We find that native perennial plants proposed as feedstock for agrofuel (switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, and mixed grass—forb prairie) have considerable potential to provide new habitat to a wide range of grassland birds, including rare and threatened species. However, industrialization of agrofuel production that maximizes biomass, homogenizes vegetation structure, and results in the cultivation of small fields within largely forested landscapes is likely to reduce species richness and/or abundance of grassland-dependent birds. Realizing the potential benefits of agrofuel production for grassland birds' conservation will require the development of new policies that encourage agricultural practices specifically targeting the needs of grassland specialists. The broad array of grower-incentive programs in existence may deliver new agrofuel policies effectively but will require coordination at a spatial scale broader than currently practiced, preferably within an adaptive-management framework.

  18. A thermophilic ionic liquid-tolerant cellulase cocktail for the production of cellulosic biofuels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua I Park

    Full Text Available Generation of biofuels from sugars in lignocellulosic biomass is a promising alternative to liquid fossil fuels, but efficient and inexpensive bioprocessing configurations must be developed to make this technology commercially viable. One of the major barriers to commercialization is the recalcitrance of plant cell wall polysaccharides to enzymatic hydrolysis. Biomass pretreatment with ionic liquids (ILs enables efficient saccharification of biomass, but residual ILs inhibit both saccharification and microbial fuel production, requiring extensive washing after IL pretreatment. Pretreatment itself can also produce biomass-derived inhibitory compounds that reduce microbial fuel production. Therefore, there are multiple points in the process from biomass to biofuel production that must be interrogated and optimized to maximize fuel production. Here, we report the development of an IL-tolerant cellulase cocktail by combining thermophilic bacterial glycoside hydrolases produced by a mixed consortia with recombinant glycoside hydrolases. This enzymatic cocktail saccharifies IL-pretreated biomass at higher temperatures and in the presence of much higher IL concentrations than commercial fungal cocktails. Sugars obtained from saccharification of IL-pretreated switchgrass using this cocktail can be converted into biodiesel (fatty acid ethyl-esters or FAEEs by a metabolically engineered strain of E. coli. During these studies, we found that this biodiesel-producing E. coli strain was sensitive to ILs and inhibitors released by saccharification. This cocktail will enable the development of novel biomass to biofuel bioprocessing configurations that may overcome some of the barriers to production of inexpensive cellulosic biofuels.

  19. Glycoside Hydrolases from a targeted Compost Metagenome, activity-screening and functional characterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dougherty Michael J

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Metagenomics approaches provide access to environmental genetic diversity for biotechnology applications, enabling the discovery of new enzymes and pathways for numerous catalytic processes. Discovery of new glycoside hydrolases with improved biocatalytic properties for the efficient conversion of lignocellulosic material to biofuels is a critical challenge in the development of economically viable routes from biomass to fuels and chemicals. Results Twenty-two putative ORFs (open reading frames were identified from a switchgrass-adapted compost community based on sequence homology to related gene families. These ORFs were expressed in E. coli and assayed for predicted activities. Seven of the ORFs were demonstrated to encode active enzymes, encompassing five classes of hemicellulases. Four enzymes were over expressed in vivo, purified to homogeneity and subjected to detailed biochemical characterization. Their pH optima ranged between 5.5 - 7.5 and they exhibit moderate thermostability up to ~60-70°C. Conclusions Seven active enzymes were identified from this set of ORFs comprising five different hemicellulose activities. These enzymes have been shown to have useful properties, such as moderate thermal stability and broad pH optima, and may serve as the starting points for future protein engineering towards the goal of developing efficient enzyme cocktails for biomass degradation under diverse process conditions.

  20. An in-depth analysis of the physico-mechanical properties imparted by agricultural fibers and food processing residues in polypropylene biocomposites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdy, Rachel Campbell; Mak, Michelle; Misra, Manjusri; Mohanty, Amar K.

    2015-05-01

    The use of agricultural and food processing resi