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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCE OF BIOMASS FEEDSTOCK PRODUCTION IN THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS

Location: Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this specific cooperative agreement is for the University utilizing a number of its departments to cooperate with ARS to provide economic and ecologically based science that will sustain farm operations producing biomass as feedstock for bio-based energy production. Included will be research to add value to the resulting co-products. The specific objective will be (1) to determine appropriate bio-energy crops for maximizing bio-fuel production capacity and (2) to develop economically feasible management systems that reduce input requirements for transitioning into and out of bio-energy crops.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Novel research addressing feedstock production systems will be conducted. Specifically trials will be initiated to measure adaptation and endurance of a multiple of potential feedstocks in comparison to Switchgrass. Included will be research evaluation conversion of the feedstock as bio-based energy sources. Initial plot areas will be at five University Centers and one ARS location.


3.Progress Report

Progress Report (Oct 2009-May 2010) Specific Cooperative Agreement: Environmental and Economic Consequences of Biomass Feedstock Production in the Northern Great Plains

1. Research Projects a). Evaluation of selected perennial grasses and legumes for biofuel production in central North Dakota.

This project was initiated in 2008-2009 and expanded on an existing study entitled "Evaluation of Selected Perennial Grasses for Biofuel Production in Central and Western ND", by adding 2 new sites (Mandan and Ducks Unlimited’s Coteau Ranch near Wing, ND).

Data from yields and compositional analysis (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin) was presented by at the 2009 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual International Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA (November 2009). Data was presented at the 2010 Annual International Meeting of ASABE in Pittsburgh, PA (June 2010). Samples of some of the plots noted above had been used for more specific carbohydrate compositional analysis and used with biomass yield data to project potential ethanol yields.

b). Evaluate Miscanthus Yield Potential in the Northern Great Plains.

Miscanthus rhizomes received in the June 2009 were planted in greenhouse on June 17, 2009 and transplanted to field plots on July 23, 2009. Although the temperature in the summer of 2009 was lower than normal, miscanthus plants still produced many tillers and developed a number of rhizomes in the fall. Therefore, some plants were harvested from field in October for propagation in greenhouse. More than 60 plants were planted in a greenhouse using the harvested rhizomes to be used for field propagation in 2010. This project is being continued by ARS empoyees.

c). Biomass densification and storage

Work has been planned to examine size-reduction characteristics and particle size distribution of selected biomass feedstocks.

ADODR monitoring is done via phone calls, emails, and on-site visits/personal contact.


Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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