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This paper presents a generic approach for selecting sustainability criteria and indicators (C&I) by using a participatory methodology. Selecting appropriate C&I to assess the sustainability of projects or developments is crucial and significantly influences the assessment results. The methodology, which consists of two processes: a pre-selection of suitable C&I by the researchers and a final selection by regional bioenergy experts in a multi-stakeholder forum, was applied in a Scottish region (Tayside & Fife).

Author(s):
Thomas Kurka , David Blackwood

The major challenges for humanity include energy security, food security, climate change, and a growing world population. They are all linked together by an instinctive, and yet increasingly complex and evolving concept, that of sustainability. Industrial biotechnology is seen as part of the overall solution, principally to combat climate change and strengthen energy security. At its beating heart is a huge policy challenge – the sustainability of biomass.

Author(s):
Krishna C. Pavanan , Roeland A. Bosch , Rob Cornelissen , Jim C. Philp

This study analyses and compares all standards and certification schemes for biofuels production that were approved to comply with the EU RED requirements. The study compared all of the EU-recognized schemes for certifying the sustainability of biofuels which had been established as of June, 2013. Measuring these 13 standards and certification schemes against WWF’s sustainability criteria revealed each standard’s overall added sustainability value and identified areas for improvement.

Indicators of the environmental sustainability of biofuel production, distribution, and use should be selected, measured, and interpreted with respect to the context in which they are used. The context of a sustainability assessment includes the purpose, the particular biofuel production and distribution system, policy conditions, stakeholder values, location, temporal influences, spatial scale, baselines, and reference scenarios.

Author(s):
Rebecca A. Efroymson , Virginia H. Dale , Keith L. Kline , Allen C. McBride , Jeffrey M. Bielicki , Raymond L. Smith , Esther S. Parish , Peter E. Schweizer , Denice M. Shaw
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

Eucalyptus is a fast-growing tree native to Australia and could be used to supply biomass for bioenergy and other purposes along the coastal regions of the southeastern United States (USA). At a farmgate price of $66 dry Mg−1, a potential supply of 27 to 41.3 million dry Mg year−1 of Eucalyptus could be produced on about 1.75 million ha in the southeastern USA. A proposed suite of indicators provides a practical and consistent way to measure the sustainability of a particular situation where Eucalyptus might be grown as a feedstock for conversion to bioenergy.

Author(s):
Virginia H. Dale , Matthew H. Langholtz , Beau M. Wesh , Laurence M. Eaton
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

Foreword: Governments and the private sector are increasingly aware of the need to pursue sustainability for biomass. Over the past decades many criteria have been drawn up, mandatory or criteria in voluntary standard systems or in public-private agreements. As pressure on the earth’s ecosystems is mounting, putting all these criteria into practice is becoming increasingly urgent. Implementing certified sustainable production is one of the good governance measures needed to attain sustainability in value chains.

As a promising alternative energy source, biofuel imparts a remarkable role for the sustainability and security in energy sector. Strategies, including policy recommendations have been set to put forward the development and implementation of biofuel by different countries. Recent exploitation of Asian biofuels policy is one step towards destination. These types of activity behind the biofuels would be the catalyst for the productiveness of policy set by individual territory like Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.

Interest in renewable energy sources derived from plant biomass is increasing, raising concerns about fuel vs. food competition. One strategy to produce additional cellulosic biomass without reducing food-harvest potential is to grow winter cover crops after harvest of the primary summer crop. This study estimated biomass accumulation of a fall-planted winter rye (Secale cereal L.) double crop across the United States on corn (Zea mays L.)–soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] croplands.

Author(s):
Gary W. Feyereisen , Gustavo G. T. Camargo , Ryan E. Baxter , John M. Baker , Tom L. Richard

Continuous measurement of soil NO emissions is needed to constrain NO budget and emission factors. Here, we describe the performance of a low-power Teledyne NO analyzer and automated chamber system, powered by wind and solar, that can continuously measure soil NO emissions. Laboratory testing of the analyzer revealed significant temperature sensitivity, causing zero drift of -10.6 nmol mol °C. However, temperature-induced span drift was negligible, so the associated error in flux measurement for a typical chamber sampling period was on the order of 0.016 nmol m s.

Author(s):
Joel Fassbinder , Natalie M Schultz , John M. Baker , Timothy Griffis

Difficulties in accessing high-quality data on trace gas fluxes and performance of bioenergy/bioproduct feedstocks limit the ability of researchers and others to address environmental impacts of agriculture and the potential to produce feedstocks. To address those needs, the GRACEnet (Greenhouse gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement network) and REAP (Renewable Energy Assessment Project) research programs were initiated by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

Author(s):
S. J. Del Grosso , J. W. White , G. Wilson , B. Vandenberg , D. L. Karlen , R. F. Follett , J. M. F. Johnson , A. J. Franzluebbers , D. W. Archer , H. T. Gollany , M. A. Liebig , J. Ascough , M. Reyes-Fox , L. Pellack , J. Starr , N. Barbour , R. W. Polumsky , M. Gutwein , D. James

Cellulosic biofuel production may generate new markets and revenue for farmers. However, residue removal may cause environmental problems such as soil erosion and soil organic matter (SOM) loss. The objective of this study was to determine the amounts of residue necessary for SOM maintenance under different tillage and residue removal scenarios for corn–soybean [Zea mays L.–Glycine max (L.) Merr.] and continuous corn rotations for a site in west-central Minnesota.

Author(s):
Brent J. Dalzell , Jane M. F. Johnson , Joel Tallaksen , Deborah L. Allan , Nancy W. Barbour

Second generation ethanol bioconversion technologies are under demonstration-scale development for the production of lignocellulosic fuels to meet the US federal Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS2). Bioconversion technology utilizes the fermentable sugars generated from the cellulosic fraction of the feedstock, and most commonly assumes that the lignin fraction may be used as a source of thermal and electrical energy.

Author(s):
Ghasideh Pourhashem , Paul R Adler , Andrew J McAloon , Sabrina Spatari

This study provides a spatially comprehensive assessment of sustainable agricultural residue removal potential across the United States for bioenergy production. Earlier assessments determining the quantity of agricultural residue that could be sustainably removed for bioenergy production at the regional and national scale faced a number of computational limitations. These limitations included the number of environmental factors, the number of land management scenarios, and the spatial fidelity and spatial extent of the assessment.

Author(s):
D. Muth, Jr. , K.M. Bryden , R.G. Nelson

Agricultural residues have been identified as a significant potential resource for bioenergy production, but serious questions remain about the sustainability of harvesting residues. Agricultural residues play an important role in limiting soil erosion from wind and water and in maintaining soil organic carbon. Because of this, multiple factors must be considered when assessing sustainable residue harvest limits.

Author(s):
D. Muth, Jr. , K.M. Bryden

Corn (Zea mays L.) stover is a potential bioenergy feedstock, but little is known about the impacts of reducing stover return on yield and soil quality in the Northern US Corn Belt. Our study objectives were to measure the impact of three stover return rates (Full (~7.8 Mg ha−1 yr−1), Moderate (~3.8 Mg ha−1 yr−1) or Low (~1.5 Mg ha yr−1) Return) on corn and soybean (Glycine max. L [Merr.]) yields and on soil dynamic properties on a chisel-tilled (Chisel) field, and well- (NT1995) or newly- (NT2005) established no-till managed fields.

Author(s):
Jane M. F. Johnson , Veronica Acosta-Martinez , Cynthia A. Cambardella , Nancy W. Barbour

The Biomass Scenario Model (BSM) is a system dynamics model that represents the entire biomass-to-biofuels supply chain, from feedstock to fuel use. The BSM is a complex model that has been used for extensive analyses; the model and its results can be better understood if input data used for initialization and calibration are well-characterized. It has been carefully validated and calibrated against the available data, with data gaps filled in using expert opinion and internally consistent assumed values.

Author(s):
Lin, Y. ; , Newes, E. , Bush, B. , Peterson, S. , Stright, D.
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

The compatibility of elastomeric materials used in fuel storage and dispensing applications was determined for test fuels
representing neat gasoline and gasoline blends containing 10 and 17 vol.% ethanol, and 16 and 24 vol.% isobutanol. The
actual test fuel chemistries were based on the aggressive formulations described in SAE J1681 for oxygenated gasoline.
Elastomer specimens of fluorocarbon, fluorosilicone, acrylonitrile rubber (NBR), polyurethane, neoprene, styrene

Author(s):
Michael Kass
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

The compatibility of plastic materials used in fuel storage and dispensing applications was determined for test fuels representing gasoline blended with 25 vol.% ethanol and gasoline blended with 16 and 24 vol.% isobutanol. Plastic materials included those used in flexible plastic piping and fiberglass resins. Other commonly used plastic materials were also evaluated. The plastic specimens were exposed to Fuel C, CE25a, CiBu16a, and CiBu24a for 16 weeks at 60oC.

Author(s):
Michael Kass
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.