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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Soil, Water & Air Resources Research

Title: The importance of pre-conversion technologies for coupling sustainable bioenergy land use to biomass trade

item Muth, Jr., David
item Hess, J. Richard
item Karlen, Douglas - Doug

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2011
Publication Date: 9/30/2011
Citation: Muth, Jr., D.J., Hess, J., Karlen, D.L. 2011. The importance of pre-conversion technologies for coupling sustainable bioenergy land use to biomass trade. International Energy Agency Workshop. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Large scale bioenergy development will shift current land use dynamics in the agricultural sector. The establishment of biofuel and biopower feedstock markets has great potential for encouraging more sustainable land use practices. Work has been done showing that strategically integrating food, feed, fiber, and fuel crops onto the landscape can create more sustainable and more productive agricultural systems. The challenge with implementing this integrated land use approach is that existing lignocellulosic biomass supply and trading systems cannot feasibly handle diverse crops produced in a highly distributed way across the landscape. Creating a robust biomass trading market that can couple diverse and distributed crops to energy producers requires establishing biomass commodity feedstocks which are stable, dense, and predictable in their material specifications. Advanced supply systems that include pre-conversion steps which convert raw biomass into a tradable commodity feedstock near the point of production are necessary to enable the sustainable bioenergy land use vision. The work presented here is exploring how pre-conversion technologies can be implemented in advanced feedstock supply system concepts to enable sustainable integrated land use. The feedstock supply systems investigated utilized distributed processing depots to perform the pre-conversion steps which can include thermal, chemical, and/or biological treatments. Biomass leaves these depots as a commodity feedstock that is stable, dense, and meets defined grades of material specification. The first step in assessing how these advanced supply system concepts perform, is realistically coupling the supply system to the biomass production. This discussion will present comparative case studies for conventional and advanced pre-conversion based supply systems directly coupled to a projected biomass resource draw. The case studies will focus on how these systems perform in enabling sustainable integrated land use for bioenergy production.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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