Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Bio Fuel News .

Marginal land can help meet US biofuel target: study
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Jan 16, 2013

Land unfit for growing food could make a big contribution to the United States' biofuel needs with wild-growing, non-grain crops, a study said Wednesday.

So-called marginal land in 10 states in the American Midwest could produce as much as 5.5 billion gallons of ethanol per year, a team of researchers wrote in the journal Nature.

This would represent a quarter of the country's stated 2022 target for cellulosic biofuels -- derived from wood, grasses or the inedible parts of plants.

"Marginal lands... can serve as prime real estate for meeting the nation's alternative energy production goals," said a statement from Michigan State University, which contributed to the study.

As countries seek to move away from expensive and CO2-polluting fossil-fuels, concern is growing that the production of biofuel from crops like maize or soybeans may jeopardise food production without saving much on Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

The new study used computer modelling to show that certain wild, herbaceous plants, including the goldenrod, red clover, Indian hemp, wild carrot and several types of grasses, can be planted for biofuel with a similar greenhouse-gas effect to traditional crops and much lower than that of fossil fuel.

"This also is the first study to show that grasses and other non-woody plants that grow naturally on unmanaged lands are sufficiently productive to make ethanol production worthwhile," said the statement.

Importantly, this method has no impact on food production.

The study "suggests that marginal lands could be a viable alternative to fertile cropland for biofuel production -- which would be extremely useful given the limited land resources," Klaus Butterbach-Bahl and Ralf Kiese from the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research in Germany wrote in a comment published by Nature.

But the German duo pointed out the study was not clear on whether marginal land could be exploited without harming biodiversity and the environment.

"Moreover, land that is fallow today might be needed in the future for agricultural production, to offset the demands of the world's growing population," they wrote.


Related Links
Bio Fuel Technology and Application News

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Lower nitrogen losses with perennial biofuel crops
Urbana IL (SPX) Jan 16, 2013
Perennial biofuel crops such as miscanthus, whose high yields have led them to be considered an eventual alternative to corn in producing ethanol, are now shown to have another beneficial characteristic-the ability to reduce the escape of nitrogen in the environment. In a 4-year University of Illinois study that compared miscanthus, switchgrass, and mixed prairie species to typical corn-co ... read more

Device Tosses Out Unusable PV Wafers

NRL Designs Multi-Junction Solar Cell to Break Efficiency Barrier

Sempra US Gas and Power Energizes First Phase Of Arizona Solar Project

Duke Energy Renewables completes Black Mountain Solar Project in Arizona

Marginal land can help meet US biofuel target: study

US Ag Sec Visits Renmatix For Plant-To-Sugar Facility Commissioning

Synthesis Energy Achieves First Methanol Production at Yima JV

Lower nitrogen losses with perennial biofuel crops

Japan plans world's largest wind farm

China revs up wind power amid challenges

Algonquin Power Buys 109 MW Shady Oaks Wind Power Facility

British group pans wind farm compensation

Chavez aides assure citizens of continuity

Fusion helped by collision science

Four Chinese abducted in Sudan's Darfur freed: UNAMID

North Sea oil pipeline system shut after platform leak: operator

Renewable energy on increase but 2030 target in doubt

First world atlas on renewable energy launched

Major cuts to surging CO2 emissions are needed now, not down the road

Three new state-of-the-art power plants improve efficiency, reduce emissions

Does everyone think someone else should drive a green car?

Lexus to launch hybrid sedan in Japan, Europe

Jeep to build cars in China with GAC

Nissan cuts price of electric Leaf

China crash sees cats escape cooking pot

How does your garden glow?

EU hints at insecticide ban over threat to bees

Using lysine estimates to detect heat damage in DDGS

ECAPS signs contract with Skybox for complete propulsion system

Boeing Grows Composite Manufacturing Capability in Utah

Molecular machine could hold key to more efficient manufacturing

Study reveals ordinary glass's extraordinary properties

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement