Archive | Biofuels and Other

The development of novel bioenergy crop systems that meet the criteria of being agronomically, economically, and environmentally sustainable is being researched on WICST as well as DOE funded plots.

Effect of previous crop on switchgrass production in southern Wisconsin

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) was identified as a potential bioenery production decades ago and more recently has been plugged by former President G.W. Bush in his 2006 State of the Union Address. As a result, in 2007 the US DoE funded a $125 million project at the UW CALS known as the Great Lakes Bioenergy [...] More »

Effect of N-fertilizer and harvest timing on biomass yields and quality in Panicum virgatum l. and restored prairie in the upper Midwest

Native warm-season grasses of the tallgrass prairie are anticipated to be a significant source of cellulosic biofuel feedstocks for renewable energy, as well as deliver additional ecossytem services, such as mitigate nitrogen (N) losses to the environment. Whether additional services are realized, however will depend largely on how these perrenial bioenergy crops are managed. [...] More »

Nutrient and Alkalinity Removal by Corn Grain, Stover and Cob Harvest in Upper Midwest USA

The objective of this study was to examine differences between corn grain; leaves, stalks and husks; and cobs in terms of NPK nutrient content and fluxes, alkalinity and calcium carbonate equivalent values, S content, and energy density, with an eye toward harvest as biofuel for cellulosic ethanol production, direct combustion or gasification. Authors: M. Avila-Segura, P. [...] More »

Effects of Plant Diversity and Management on Nitrogen Retention in Perennial Biomass Production Systems

There is increasing pressure on agroecosystems to provide fuel in addition to food. In order to sustainably meet these demands, we must improve the nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of crops because of the high costs of producing N-fertilizers and the loss of nitrogen to water and atmospheric sinks can be a major problem. [...] More »

Production Summary from WICST and the Biofuels Trial

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 set a target of 36 billion gallons of biofuel to be produced annually within the USA by 2022. Of the total 36 billion gallons, 16 billion is to come from cellulosic ethanol and 5 billion gallons from biomass-based diesel and other “advanced biofuels” (from feedstocks other than [...] More »

Initiating Greenhouse Gas Measurements on Selected WICST Treatments

Carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) are greenhouse gases (GHG) that are accumulating in the atmosphere (Robertson et al., 2000; Levitus et al., 2001; Santer et al., 2003; Barnett et al., 2005). Human activities and land use practices have altered local, regional, and global C cycles (Vitousek et al., 1997). [...] More »

Dual-Cropping to Improve the Economic Feasibility of Switchgrass Establishment

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been identified as a potential biomass crop for biofuel production. Switchgrass, a native, warm-season perennial, needs approximately two years in Wisconsin in order to be sufficiently established to permit harvesting (Vogel et al. 2002), however may not reach full yield potential until the third year. As the demand grows [...] More »

Browsing for conservation: Springtime forage value of midstory shrubs of degraded oak savannas in southern Wisconsin

Abstract: Oak (Quercus spp.) savanna is a rare and dwindling ecosystem primarily due to the clearing of vast areas for agriculture and encroachment of woody midstory shrubs in the remnant areas. There is interest in introducing controlled grazing to re-open these ecologically sensitive semi-wooded areas. We report the forage quality and diet selection [...] More »

Responses of Shrub Midstory and Herbaceous Layers to Managed Grazing and Fire in a North American Savanna (Oak Woodland) and Prairie Landscape

Worldwide, savanna remnants are losing acreage due to species replacement with shade-tolerant midstory forest species as a response to decades of fire suppression. Because canopy closes grasses and other easily ignitable fuels decline, therefore, fire, when reintroduced after years of absence, is not always effective at restoring the open structure original to these communities. Our [...] More »

Effects of Bioenergy Agroecosystems on Soil Microbial Communities

There is growing societal interest in management of agricultural systems for bioenergy feedstock production, but further environmental evaluation of these systems is warranted. Measurement of soil microbial communities and activity may be useful in environmental evaluations of alternative bioenergy cropping systems, as they are important components of soil health. We characterized microbial community [...] More »