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Biomass Feedstock Research and Development for Multiple Products in the United States

Description: A recent presidential Executive Order to triple current levels of bioenergy and biobased production by 2010 has increased interest in determining whether sufficient biomass resources will be economically available to support the goal. The US has a well-structured program of research and development which is focusing on increasing potential energy crop and crop residue availability under economically and environmentally sustainable conditions. Genetic improvement programs are ongoing in three U. S. locations for hybrid poplar and cottonwood, in one location for willow, and in four locations for switchgrass. Variety testing and cropping systems development is being conducted at wider variety of sites for all three crops. Molecular genetics is providing important information and tools for identifying and controlling desired traits. The program is also expanding to address supply logistics issues for both energy crop and residues. Equilibrium model analysis performed jointly with the US Department of Agriculture suggests that at farmgate prices of about $33 dt and $44 dt, between 7 and 17 million ha of land could convert to energy crop production without negatively affecting food supplies. Large amounts of crop residue also become profitable for farmers to collect at similar prices. This potential for supporting significant bioenergy and biobased products industries in the US will only be realized if the environmental and economic values to local communities are recognized and factored into energy and environmental policy.
Date: January 10, 2001
Creator: Wright, L.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Short-Rotation Crops for Bioenergy: Proceedings of IEA, Bioenergy, Task 17 Meeting in Auburn, Alabama, USA, September 6-9, 1999

Description: These proceedings are the results of the third meeting of Task 17 (Short-Rotation Crops for Bioenergy) within the framework of International Energy Agency (IEA), Bioenergy. (Minutes from the meeting can be seen at page 91.) The meeting was held in Auburn, Alabama, USA, September 6--9, 1999. The meeting was held soon after President Clinton of the United States signed Executive Order No.13134: DEVELOPING AND PROMOTING BIOBASED PRODUCTS AND BIOENERGY on August 12, 1999. Executive orders in the US are official documents, through which the President of the US manages the operation of the Federal Government. This order outlines the administration's goal of tripling the use of biomass products and bioenergy in the US by the year 2010. During the time of this meeting, it was also known from sources in Europe that the European Union (EU) commission was working on draft instructions to its member countries on how to increase the use of renewable energy from six to twelve percent in Europe within 10 years. The objectives of Task 17 support the goals of member countries for bioenergy production and use. These objectives are as follows: to stimulate the full-scale implementation of energy crops in the participating countries; to strengthen the contacts and co-operation between participating countries, scientists, biomass producers, machine developers, entrepreneurs, and end users to select the most urgent research and development areas and suggest projects of co-operation; to inform Ex-Co- members; and to deliver proceedings from the meetings.
Date: January 30, 2001
Creator: Wright, L.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Short Rotation Crops in the United States

Description: The report is based primarily on the results of survey questions sent to approximately 60 woody and 20 herbaceous crop researchers in the United States and on information from the U.S. Department of Energy�s Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program. Responses were received from 13 individuals involved in woody crops research or industrial commercialization (with 5 of the responses coming from industry). Responses were received from 11 individuals involved in herbaceous crop research. Opinions on market incentives, technical and non-technical barriers, and highest priority research and development areas are summarized in the text. Details on research activities of the survey responders are provided as appendices to the paper. Woody crops grown as single-stem systems (primarily Populus and Eucalyptus species) are perceived to have strong pulp fiber and oriented strand board markets, and the survey responders anticipated that energy will comprise 25% or less of the utilization of single-stem short-rotation woody crops between now and 2010. The only exception was a response from California where a substantial biomass energy market does currently exist. Willows (Salix species) are only being developed for energy and only in one part of the United States at present. Responses from herbaceous crop researchers suggested frustration that markets (including biomass energy markets) do not currently exist for the crop, and it was the perception of many that federal incentives will be needed to create such markets. In all crops, responses indicate that a wide variety of research and development activities are needed to enhance the yields and profitability of the crops. Ongoing research activities funded by the U.S. Department of Energy�s Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program are described in an appendix to the paper.
Date: June 4, 1998
Creator: Wright, L. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A national research & development strategy for biomass crop feedstocks

Description: Planning was initiated in 1996 with the objective of reevaluating current biomass feedstock research and development strategies to: (1) assure that by 2005, one or more commercial lignocellulosic to ethanol projects will be able to acquire a dependable supply of biomass crop feedstocks; (2) assure that recently initiated demonstrations of crops to electricity will be successful and; (3) assure that the research base needed to support future biomass industry expansion is being developed. Multiple trends and analyses indicate that biomass energy research and development strategies must take into account the fact that competition for land will define the upper limits of available biomass energy crop supplies and will largely dictate the price of those supplies. Only crop production and utilization strategies which contribute profit to the farmer or landowner and to energy producers will be used commercially for biomass energy production. Strategies for developing biomass {open_quotes}energy{close_quotes} crop supplies must take into consideration all of the methods by which biomass crops will enter biomass energy markets. The lignocellulosic materials derived from crops can be available as primary residues or crop by-products; secondary residues or processing by-products; co-products (at both the crop production and processing stages); or, as dedicated energy crops. Basic research and development (R&D) leading to yield improvement continues to be recommended as a major long-term focus for dedicated energy crops. Many additional near term topics need attention, some of which are also applicable to by-products and co-products. Switchgrass R&D should be expanded and developed with greater collaboration of USDA and state extension groups. Woody crop research should continue with significant cost-share from industries developing the crops for other commercial products. Co-product options need more investigation.
Date: July 1, 1997
Creator: Wright, L.L. & Cushman, J.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Research to develop improved production methods for woody and herbaceous biomass crops

Description: DOE`s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP) has led the nation in developing short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) and herbaceous energy crops (HEC) as feedstocks for renewable energy. Over the past 15 years, the BFDP has examined the performance of 154 woody species and 35 herbaceous species in field trials across the US. One result of this effort to date has been the prescription of silvicultural systems for hybrid poplars and hybrid willows and agricultural systems for switchgrass. Selected clones of woody species are producing dry weight yields in research plots on agricultural land that are 3 to 7 times greater than those obtained from mixed species stands on forest land, and at least 2 times the yields of southern plantation pines. Selected switchgrass varieties are producing dry weight yields 2 to 7 times greater than average forage grass yields on similar sites. Crop development research is continuing efforts to translate this potential, in a sustainable manner, to larger, more geographically diverse acreage. Research on environmental aspects of biomass crop production are aimed at developing sustainable systems that will contribute to the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. Systems integration aims to understand all factors affecting bringing the crop to market. Factors affecting price and potential supplies of biomass crops are being evaluated at regional and national scales. Scale-up studies, feasibility analysis and demonstrations are establishing actual costs and facilitating the commercialization of integrated biomass systems. Information management and dissemination activities are facilitating the communication of results among a community of researchers, policymakers, and potential users and producers of energy crops.
Date: September 1, 1995
Creator: Ferrell, J.E.; Wright, L.L. & Tuskan, G.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biomass fuel from woody crops for electric power generation

Description: This report discusses the biologic, environmental, economic, and operational issues associated with growing wood crops in managed plantations. Information on plantation productivity, environmental issues and impacts, and costs is drawn from DOE`s Biofuels Feedstock Development as well as commercial operations in the US and elsewhere. The particular experiences of three countries--Brazil, the Philippines, and Hawaii (US)--are discussed in considerable detail.
Date: June 22, 1995
Creator: Perlack, R.D.; Wright, L.L.; Huston, M.A. & Schramm, W.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department