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Switchgrass and Perennial Grasses, Biomass, and Energy... 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) • EISA requires EPA to revise the Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS) program

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  • Switchgrass and Perennial

    Grasses, Biomass, and Biofuels-

    2012 Ken Vogel

    USDA-ARS,Lincoln, NE

  • http://feedstockreview.ornl.gov/pdf/billion_ton_vision.pdf

    Main Conclusion

    U.S. can displace over

    30% of current

    petroleum consumption

    by 2030 using crop

    residues and other

    sources including

    biomass from perennial

    herbaceous crops for

    the production of

    cellulosic ethanol.

    Emphasis on cellolosic

    energy because of food

    vs fuel problem.

  • 2007 Energy Independence and

    Security Act (EISA) • EISA requires EPA to revise the

    Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS)

    program to increase renewable fuel

    blended into transportation fuel from 9

    billion gallons in 1998 to 36 billion gallons

    per year by 2022.

    • Revised standards (RFS2) was finalized in

    2010.

  • Renewable Fuel Standard

    revised 2010 (RFS2) • The RFS goal is 36 billion gallons per year

    for renewable fuels by 2022.

    • RFS2 limits the amount of corn ethanol

    that counts toward the requirement to 15

    million gallons per year.

    • The remaining 21 billion gallons must

    come from other non-food or cellulosic

    sources

    • Other sources are corn stover, perennial

    grasses, woody biomass, and algae.

  • U.S. Billion-Ton Update 2011

    • Increased emphasis

    on dedicated energy

    crops including

    herbaceous

    perennials such as

    switchgrass, other

    grasses and woody

    species.

    • Sustainable use of

    crop residues.

  • Some Questions

    • Why not just use corn stover?

    • Why switchgrass?

    • Why other perennial grasses?

    • How are we going to get fuels out of this

    stuff?

    • Where are we at on management,

    cultivars, and other improvements?

  • Long term Carbon sequestration Study-

    Corn & Switchgrass, Mead, NE

    • Quantify carbon sequestration on cropland converted to switchgrass.

    • Compare to no-till corn.

    • Experiment in eastern NE established in 1998.

    • In 2000, plots split and stover removed (50%) on split half of corn plots.

  • Corn Grain Yield – Effect of removing ½ of stover

    0

    5

    10

    15

    20

    25

    2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Mean

    G ra

    in B

    io m

    a s s (

    M g

    /h a )

    Corn Grain Corn Grain after removal

    ½ s

    to v e

    r re

    m o

    v e

    d

    - 7.2% grain

  • Wally Wilhelm Gary Varvel

  • Factors Limiting Crop Biomass

    Removal S

    to v e

    r to

    r e ta

    in (

    to n

    a c

    -1 )

    0

    2

    4

    6

    8

    Soil organic carbon

    Water erosion

    Wind erosion

    Continuous corn Corn-soybean

    Moldboard

    plow

    No or

    conservation

    tillage

    3.38

    1.39

    0.77

    2.34

    0.29

    0.06

    5.58

    3.56

    1.22

    3.52

    0.43

    0.15

    Moldboard

    plow

    No or

    conservation

    tillage

    Wilhelm et al., 2007. Agron. J. 99:1665-1667. ARS-REAP

  • Switchgrass Biomass Feedstock

    Research • 1980’s, : Oak Ridge National Laboratory, DOE, in

    cooperative work with Universities & USDA-ARS. Species evaluations. Selected switchgrass & hybrid popular & willow.

    • 1990’s, 2000-2002. Funded research at Univ. & ARS.

    • 2002. DOE switchgrass work discontinued. All feedstock and conversion research switched to corn stover and crop residues.

    • 2002 to present. New thrust by USDA-ARS. Perennial energy crop research. A few land-grant universities continue programs.

    • 2006 – present. DOE renews major funding effort with focus on basic biology & conversion. New USDA funding. Private Companies funding inhouse research.

  • Why Switchgrass?

    • Native to N. America east of Rocky Mtns.

    • Adapted germplasm available.

    • High yield potential

    • Can harvest and grow like hay using farm equipment.

    • Multiple uses on/off farm

    • Low energy input

    • Increased carbon storage.

    • Soil and water conservation benefits.

    • Excellent wildlife habitat.

    • Buffer strips, wetlands

    • Seed easy to plant

  • Switchgrass

    Panicum virgatum L.

    Upland switchgrass plant Natural distribution of switchgrass

    In North America

  • USDA-ARS Grain, Forage, &

    Bioenergy Research Unit, Lincoln, NE

    Switchgrass research

    1930’s to present

    • Native prairie species, domestication, breeding & management work to revegetate grasslands after drought of the 30’s

    • Use by livestock was emphasized

    • 1990 - began work to develop switchgrass into a biofuel crop.

    • 2000 - Information used for farm scale production trials

  • Biomass Power

    Back to the Future

    • 1920 - 27,000,000 horses & mules, USA

    • 1954 - < 5,000,000

    • Resulted in major land use change.

    • 80 million acres of pasture & hayland (biomass) released for other uses.

  • Horse power to tractor power – land use changes,

    government programs, & bioenergy

    • Marginal land previously in pasture converted to grain crops. Severe erosion.

    • Crop surpluses depressed prices requiring farm subsidizes

    • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): over 35 million acres in CRP.

    • Annual cost is $1.7 billion.

    • CRP land east of 100o W. Long. could be used for perennial biomass energy crops (switchgrass).

    • All conservation benefits would be retained.

    • Equivalent amount of marginal cropland in USA.

    Fields in northeast Nebraska

    Switchgrass field in same region

  • Research Accomplishments

    • Harvest management and timing

    • Nitrogen fertilization rates

    • Cultivar evaluations, classification, and

    geographic adaptation

    • Genetic improvements and new cultivar

    development

    • Genetic diversity and gene pools

    • Production economics

  • Harvest Management Vogel et al. (2002)

    0

    2

    4

    6

    8

    10

    12

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

    First cut

    Second cut

    Harvest interval (late June to late August)

    B io

    m as

    s Y

    ie ld

    ( M

    g /h

    a)

  • Nitrogen Fertilization Vogel et al. (2002)

    6

    7

    8

    9

    10

    11

    0 60 120 180 240 300

    Nitrogen Applied (kg/ha)

    B io

    m as

    s Y

    ie ld

    ( M

    g /h

    a)

    Mead, NE

    Ames, IA

    Above this point, N application rate

    exceeded N removal rate, increasing NO3-N

    in the soil.

  • Northern Plains Switchgrass Field Scale

    Production & Economic Trials 2000-2005

    31”-33”

    Annual

    Precipitation

    15”-17”

    Annual

    Precipitation 2000-2005

    On-Farm

    Production

    Trials:15-20 acre (6-

    9 ha) fields Cooperating farmers paid

    to manage fields as biomass

    energy crops.

  • DOE/USDA Biomass Feedstock

    Stage Gate Review Meeting

    March 14-16, 2005

    • Improved Plant & Production

    Practices for Grasslands &

    Biomass Crops in the Mid-

    Continental USA

    Kenneth P. Vogel

    USDA-ARS, Lincoln, NE

  • Plant Genomics for Biofuels"

    BP-DOE Office of Science Review June/05

    Ari Patrinos (DOE) & Steve Koonin (BP)

    • Participants

    – Justin Adams, BP

    – John Pierce, DuPont

    – C. Saunders, Pioneer

    – Don Doering, Winrock

    – Jim Barber, Metabolix

    – Biotechnology Ind. Org.

    Reps.

    – Other invited industry reps.

    – USDA & DOE Senior

    Executives

    • Speakers

    – Chris Somerville

    – Richard Flavell

    – Elliott Meyerowitz

    – Craig Venter

    – Jerry Tuscan

    – Steve Straus

    – Ed Buckler

    – Ken Vogel

    – 4 others

  • Science editorial:

    1/27/ 2006

    Steve Koonin, BP

    Chief Scientist

    endorses biofuels

    from cellulosic

    sources such as

    switchgrass.

    Science 2006 cover story.

    Tillman et al.

    Science 2006 314:1598-

    1600. Low input-high

    diversity grasslands for

    biofuels.

  • Switchgrass for Bioenergy – On farm

    economic study in NE,