Quantifying lignin and carbohydrate composition of corn (Zea mays L.) is important to support the emerging cellulosic biofuels industry. Therefore, field studies with 0 or 100 % stover removal were established in Alabama and South Carolina as part of the Sun Grant Regional Partnership Corn Stover Project. In Alabama, cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) was also included as an additional experimental factor, serving as a winter cover crop.
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Many questions have surfaced regarding short-and long-term impacts of corn (Zea mays L.) residue removal for use in the biofuels industry. To address these concerns, a field study was established in eastern South Dakota in 2000 using no-till soil management within a 2-yr corn/soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] rotation.
The use of corn for ethanol production in the United States quintupled between 2001 and 2009, generating concerns that this could lead to the conversion of forests and grasslands around the blobe, known as indirect land-use change (iLUC). Estimates of iLUC and related "food versus fuel" concerns rest on the assumption that the corn used for ethanol production in the United States would come primarily from displacing corn exports and land previously used for other crops.
The harvest of corn stover or herbaceous crops as feedstocks for bioenergy purposes has been shown to have significant benefits from energy and climate change perspectives. There is a potential, however, to adversely impact water and soil quality, especially in Midwestern states where the biomass feedstock production would predominantly occur.
National interests in greater energy independence, concurrent with favorable market forces, have driven increased production of corn-based ethanol in the United States and research into the next generation of biofuels. The trend is changing the national agricultural landscape and has raised concerns about potential impacts on the nation?s water resources. This report examines some of the key issues and identifies opportunities for shaping policies that help to protect water resources.
Power generation emits significant amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs), mainly carbon dioxide (CO2). Sequestering CO2 from the power plant flue gas can significantly reduce the GHGs from the power plant itself, but this is not the total picture. CO2 capture and sequestration consumes additional energy, thus lowering the plant's fuel-to-electricity efficiency. To compensate for this, more fossil fuel must be procured and consumed to make up for lost capacity.
A methodology was developed to estimate quantities of crop residues that can be removed while maintaining rain or wind erosion at less than or equal to the tolerable soil-loss level. Six corn and wheat rotations in the 10 largest corn-producing states were analyzed. Residue removal rates for each rotation were evaluated for conventional, mulch/reduced, and no-till field operations.
This model was developed at Idaho National Laboratory and focuses on crop production. This model is an agricultural cultivation and production model, but can be used to estimate biomass crop yields.
Biomass is a significant contributor to the US economy--agriculture, forest and paper products, food and related products account for 5% of our GDP. While the forest products industry self generates some of their energy, other sectors are importers. Bioenergy can contribute to economic development and to the environment. Examples of bioenergy routes suggest that atmospheric carbon can be cycled through biofuels in carefully designed systems for sustainability. Significant potential exists for these options.
The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 established specific targets for the production of biofuel in the United States. Until advanced technologies become commercially viable, meeting these targets will increase demand for traditional agricultural commodities used to produce ethanol, resulting in land-use, production, and price changes throughout the farm sector. This report summarizes the estimated effects of meeting the EISA targets for 2015 on regional agricultural production and the environment. Meeting EISA targets for ethanol production is estimated to expand U.S.