Lignocellulosic crops have shown in recent decades a more efficient pathway to produce energy and also lower environmental impacts. Life cycle assessments show that fertilizers efficiency is critical as well as expected yields and extractions levels when producing energy crops. We discuss implications and criteria to apply.
A semiarid country like Spain, often have very low grain yields and per hectare income from winter cereals. Since a 16MW straw based power plant in Bivriesca, Burgos, started 200.000 tons/yr and 12M € have been part of the local economy.
Most recent developments and scientific evidences regarding biofuels’ impacts and sustainability but also methods to evaluate land use changes and bioenergy sustainability have been showing truly complex discussions.
The sustainable use of energy crops for biogas is a possible solution to reduce the contribution to climate change of human activities. Power based on biomass, in particular biogas, is increasing, with a concomitant increase in the need for energy crop production.
There is an increasing interest worldwide on developing sustainable bioenergy alternatives for low competitive lands where food production profitability is scarce or where soils and climates are not suited for traditional activities or have no market access and low competitiveness.
An amazing finding in second generation bioethanol from perennial grasses has shown a promising result. Scientists at the USDA might have found a way to keep switchgrass forever young and better for cellulosic ethanol.
Several experiences have been providing evidences on the feasibility of marginal lands bioenergy. We selected promising alternatives for biofuels, heat and electricity in semiarid environments, abandoned lands and low competitive regions.
The harvest period for lignocellulosic crop is a crucial aspect to be taken into account when we analyze the possibility to use this crop in relation with energy conversion system.
Biomass feedstocks including crop residues and energy crops hold great potential for energy source. They are currently being considered for use in direct combustion systems and for value added byproducts such as biofuels or biocrude.