Reducing dependence on fossil‐based energy has raised interest in biofuels as a potential energy source, but concerns have been raised about potential implications for water quality. These effects may vary regionally depending on the biomass feedstocks and changes in land management. Here, we focused on the Tennessee River Basin (TRB), USA.
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Price Scenarios at $54 and $119 were simulated for Switchgrass, Miscanthus and Willow production from 2017 to 2040. These analyses were used in Woodbury, Peter B., et al. 2018. "Improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay using payments for ecosystem services for perennial biomass for bioenergy and biofuel production." Biomass and Bioenergy 114:132-142. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2017.01.024.
Net benefits of bioenergy crops, including maize and perennial grasses such as switchgrass, are a function of several factors including the soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestered by these crops. Life cycle assessments (LCA) for bioenergy crops have been conducted using models in which SOC information is usually from the top 30 to 40 cm. Information on the effects of crop management practices on SOC has been limited so LCA models have largely not included any management practice effects.
Abstract: Unfavorable weather can significantly impact the production and provision of agriculture-based biomass feedstocks such as Miscanthus and switchgrass. This work quantified the impact of regional weather on the feedstock production systems using the BioFeed modeling framework. Weather effects were incorporated in BioFeed by including the probability of working day (pwd) parameter in the model, which defined the fraction of days in a specific period such as two weeks that were suitable for field operations.
The increasing demand for bioenergy crops presents our society with the opportunity to design more sustainable landscapes. We have created a Biomass Location for Optimal Sustainability Model (BLOSM) to test the hypothesis that landscape design of cellulosic bioenergy crop plantings may simultaneously improve water quality (i.e. decrease concentrations of sediment, total phosphorus, and total nitrogen) and increase profits for farmer-producers while achieving a feedstock-production goal.
Adding bioenergy to the U.S. energy portfolio requires long‐term profitability for bioenergy producers and
long‐term protection of affected ecosystems. In this study, we present steps along the path toward evaluating both sides of
the sustainability equation (production and environmental) for switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) using the Soil and Water
Assessment Tool (SWAT). We modeled production of switchgrass and river flow using SWAT for current landscapes at a
ABSTRACT. Adding bioenergy to the U.S. energy portfolio requires long‐term profitability for bioenergy producers and long‐term protection of affected ecosystems. In this study, we present steps along the path toward evaluating both sides of the sustainability equation (production and environmental) for switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). We modeled production of switchgrass and river flow using SWAT for current landscapes at a regional scale.
As the US begins to integrate biomass crops and residues into its mix of energy feedstocks, tools are needed to measure the long-term sustainability of these feedstocks. Two aspects of sustainability are long-term potential for profitably producing energy and protection of ecosystems influenced by energy-related activities. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is an important model used in our efforts to quantify both aspects. To quantify potential feedstock production, we used SWAT to estimate switchgrass yields at a national scale.
In response to concerns about oil dependency and the contributions of fossil fuel use to climatic change, the U.S. Department of Energy has begun a research initiative to make 20% of motor fuels biofuel based in 10 years, and make 30% of fuels bio-based by 2030. Fundamental to this objective is developing an understanding of feedstock dynamics of crops suitable for cellulosic ethanol production. This report focuses on switchgrass, reviewing the existing literature from field trials across the United States, and compiling it for the first time into a single database.
Discussions of alternative fuel and propulsion technologies for transportation often overlook the infrastructure required to make these options practical and cost-effective. We estimate ethanol production facility locations and use a linear optimization model to consider the economic costs of distributing various ethanol fuel blends to all metropolitan areas in the United States. Fuel options include corn-based E5 (5% ethanol, 95% gasoline) to E16 from corn and switchgrass, as short-term substitutes for petroleum-based fuel.
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy jointly analyzed the economic potential for, and impacts of, large-scale bioenergy crop production in the United States. An agricultural sector model (POLYSYS) was modified to include three potential bioenergy crops (switchgrass, hybrid poplar, and willow). At farmgate prices of US $2.44/GJ, an estimated 17 million hectares of bioenergy crops, annually yielding 171 million dry Mg of biomass, could potentially be produced at a profit greater than existing agricultural uses for the land.
This paper connects the science of sustainability theory with applied aspects of sustainability deployment.
In 2013 a series of meetings was held across the US with each of the Sun Grant Regional Feedstock Partnership crop teams and the resource assessment team, led by the Oregon State University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to review, standardize, and verify energy crop yield trials from 2007-2012 and assimilate their outcomes into a national model of biomass yield suitability.
This document provides presentation style maps of potential crop yield of dedicated bioenergy crops from the publication "Productivity Potential of Bioenergy Crops from the Sun Grant Regional Feedstock Partnership." 2013. Eaton, Laurence, Chris Daly, Mike Halbleib, Vance Owens, Bryce Stokes. ORNL/TM-2013/574.
An efficient and sustainable biomass feedstock production system is critical for the success of the biomass based energy sector. An integrated systems analysis framework to coordinate various feedstock production related activities is, therefore, highly desirable. This article presents research conducted towards the creation of such a framework.
In response to energy security concerns, alternative energy programs such as biomass energy systems are being
developed to provide energy in the 21st century. For the biomass industry to expand, a variety of feedstocks will need
to be utilized. Large scale production of bioenergy crops could have significant impacts on the United States agricultural
sector in terms of quantities, prices and production location of traditional crops as well as farm income. Though
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a perennial grass native to the United States that has been studied as a sustainable source of biomass fuel. Although many field-scale studies have examined the potential of this grass as a bioenergy crop, these studies have not been integrated. In this study, we present an empirical model for switchgrass yield and use this model to predict yield for the conterminous United States. We added environmental covariates to assembled yield data from field trials based on geographic location. We developed empirical models based on these data.
When the lignocellulosic biofuels industry reaches maturity and many types of biomass sources become economically viable, management of multiple feedstock supplies – that vary in their yields, density (tons per unit area), harvest window, storage and seasonal costs, storage losses, transport distance to the production plant – will become increasingly important for the success of individual enterprises. The manager’s feedstock procurement problem is modeled as a multi-period sequence problem to account for dynamic management over time.
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.