Submitted to: Proceedings of American Chemical Society National Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 28, 2009
Publication Date: August 16, 2009
Citation: Cantrell, K.B., Ro, K.S., Frederick, J.R., Bauer, P.J., Stone, K.C., Hunt, P.G. 2009. Water usage in southeastern bioenergy crop production. In: Fuel Chemistry Preprints of the American Chemical Society National Meeting, August 16-20, 2009, Washington, DC. 54(2):1022-1023. 2009 CDROM Technical Abstract: The southeastern United States with its long growing season and mild winter temperatures has long been able to produce a variety of food, forage, and fiber crops. In addition to these crops, the Southeast is capable of producing a plethora of lignoceullosic-based bioenergy crops for conversion into energy-related end products. Some of the potential species for bioenergy feedstock production include forages such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) as well as rotational legumes such as sunn hemp (Crotolaria juncea L.). These species can produce between 6 and 13 tonnes per hectare with varied water inputs. Here, for these species, we reviewed the biomass production, cumulative water requirements along with potential energy yields. With adequate rainfall, sunn hemp can produce significant amounts of biomass (greater than 10700 kg per hectare) without additional water and fertilizer inputs. The amount of cumulative water to provide a unit of biomass (Mg per hectare) of the investigated crops was far less than that associated with corn grain. The energy yields for sunn hemp, switchgrass, and bermudagrass ranged between 110 to 251 GJ per hectare. In terms of cumulative applied water to provide a unit of energy (MJ per hectare), bermudagrass required two to three times more water than sunn hemp.