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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #238821

Title: Advancing Biofuels: Balancing for Sustainability

item Johnson, Jane
item Karlen, Douglas

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2009
Publication Date: 8/20/2009
Citation: Johnson, J.M., Karlen, D.L. 2009. Advancing Biofuels: Balancing for Sustainability [abstract]. American Chemical Society. 77:122.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: As with most technologies, use of biofuels has both benefits and risks, which vary by feedstock. Expected benefits include increased energy independence, reduced consumption of fossil fuels, reduced emission of greenhouse gases and invigorated rural economies. Anticipated risks include potential competition for use of feedstocks and undesirable shifts in land use. Technology is rapidly advancing to utilize a diverse array of nonfood annual and perennial feedstocks to produce ethanol via a cellulosic platform and/or utilizing pyrolysis to generate syngas and other products/co-products. These feedstocks traditionally have been returned to the soil. When harvesting feedstocks for biofuels, removal must be balanced with maintaining soil quality. Strategies for achieving sustainable harvest of cellulosic feedstocks include limiting harvest rates or frequencies, utilizing cover crops and adding perennials into the crop rotation. To be sustainable, it is imperative that the soil resource be preserved so that it continues to produce food, feed, fiber and fuel. [REAP Publication]