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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #307785

Title: Bioenergy crops grown for hyperaccumulation of phosphorus in the delmarva peninsula and their biofuels potential

Author
item Boateng, Akwasi
item Serapiglia, Michelle
item Mullen, Charles
item Dien, Bruce
item Fawzy, Hashem - UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE (UMES)
item Dadson, Robert - UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE (UMES)

Submitted to: Environmental Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/28/2014
Publication Date: 12/16/2014
Citation: Boateng, A.A., Serapiglia, M., Mullen, C.A., Dien, B.S., Fawzy, H.M., Dadson, R.B. 2014. Bioenergy crops grown for hyperaccumulation of phosphorus in the delmarva peninsula and their biofuels potential. Environmental Management. 150:39-47.

Interpretive Summary: The bioenergy crops, sorghum, switchgrass and miscanthus were evaluated for their potential to uptake nutrients on phosphorus saturated soils in the Delmarva Peninsula and their subsequent conversion to biofuels, such as ethanol from fermentation and bio-oil from fast pyrolysis. The sorghum, switchgrass and miscanthus were grown in soils with histories of two different levels of poultry manure applications that have elevated levels of available phosphorus and other nutrients in the soil. Little variation was seen in phosphorus uptake in the two different soils indicating that the levels of available phosphorus in the soil were saturated to the point where additional amounts of phosphorous did not result in increased uptake. Sorghum accumulated greater levels of nutrients including phosphorus and potassium compared to switchgrass and miscanthus. The levels of these minerals in the biomass did not have an effect on carbohydrate content in the biomass. However, the potential yield and composition of bio-oil production from fast pyrolysis were affected by the differences in mineral concentrations. This information is useful to farmers in the Delmarva Peninsula to aid in the reduction of nutrient run-off into the Chesapeake Bay through the use of bioenergy crops.

Technical Abstract: Herbaceous bioenergy crops, including sorghum, switchgrass, and miscanthus, were evaluated for their potential as phytoremedators for the uptake of phosphorus in the Delmarva Peninsula and their subsequent conversion to biofuel intermediates (bio-oil) by fast pyrolysis using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy. Four cultivars of sorghum, five cultivars of switchgrass and Miscanthus × giganteus were grown in soils with two different levels of poultry manure (PM) applications. Little variation was seen in phosphorus uptake in the two different soils indicating that the levels of available phosphorus in the soil already saturated the uptake ability of the plants. However, all plants regardless of trial took up more phosphorus than that measured for the non- PM treated control. Sorghum accumulated greater levels of nutrients including phosphorus and potassium compared to switchgrass and miscanthus. The levels of these metals in the biomass did not have an effect on carbohydrate contents. However, the potential yield and composition of bio-oil from fast pyrolysis were affected by both agronomics and differences in mineral concentrations.