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Purdue University - Purdue University will receive up to $1,592,385 for its project that will conduct a sustainability assessment of multiple species of energy crops including miscanthus, switchgrass, and hybrid poplar, and examine the impacts of removing of crop residues within two watersheds representative of conditions in the Upper Midwest.  The project will gauge sustainability in relation to soil erosion, biomass yield, and aquatic biodiversity impacts and develop methods to optimize watershed landscapes to improve water quality and associated ecosystem services.  The total cost-shared project value is $1,991,177. >>more


Project Highlights

The production of biofeedstocks for biofuels is likely to impact the hydrology and water quality of watersheds. Communities potentially impacted are increasingly concerned, and at present, little is known regarding the magnitude of impacts of biofeedstock production on hydrology and water quality. This USDA-CSREES funded project to Purdue University will quantify impacts of biofeedstock production on hydrology and water quality.

This national facilitation project will answer the following questions (among others):

  • What are the unintended environmental consequences of increased corn production to meet biofuel demands?
  • What are the environmental impacts of various second generation biofeedstock production systems to meet cellulosic ethanol demands?
  • Would the management of cropping systems involving corn silage meet cellulosic ethanol demands with minimal environmental impact?
  • What are the broad-scale water quality implications of energy crops, such as switchgrass, grown for bioenergy production on highly erodible soils?

This project will develop multi-regional agricultural land management practices that can be implemented to mitigate potential negative environmental impacts associated with biofeedstock production while meeting the biofuel production demand. Specifically, this project will develop a decision support tool to facilitate local hydrologic/water quality analysis of biofeedstock production; use the tool to evaluate the environmental impacts of various biofeedstock production strategies. The project will evaluate regional differences in alternative biofeedstock production and associated hydrologic/water quality impacts. A training program, including the Web tool and workshops, will be disseminated to local, state and federal agencies, watershed groups, researchers and others to aid their decisions related to biofuel crops and water quality.

The project collaborators include researchers from Purdue University, University of Arkansas and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The study watersheds are located in Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee and Arkansas.


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EPA cuts 2012 cellulosic biofuel target, June 2011)

USDA Approves First BCAP Project Area in (5, May 2011)

Obama sets ambitious goal to reduce oil imports (30 March 2011)

A Billion Tons of Biomass a Viable Goal, But at High Price, New Research Shows (2 March 2011)

Vilsack to Sign Biofuels (28 February 2011)

Overfertilizing corn undermines (22 February 2011)

USDA Deregulates Corn Trait for (11 February 2011)

Biomass Bales Being Delivered to Project (1 Febuary 2011)

Survey Says…Growers Ready to Grow Energy (23 November 2010)

Iowa Gov Chet Culver Celebrates 1st Biomass (18 August 2010)

POET, farmers kick off commercial biomass harvest for Project LIBERTY cellulosic (17 August 2010)

USDA Predicts Record Corn (14 August 2010)

POET to Begin Biomass Harvesting in (9 August 2010)

USDA Report Disputes Land Use Theory (1 July 2010)

Biofuels company Poet buys Indiana ethanol plant (30 Jun 2010)

USDA'S Renewable Fuels Standard "roadmap" expects 7.9 billion gallons on non-corn biofuel by 2022 Jun 2010)

USDA Releasing Report on Biofuels (22 Jun 2010)

USDA Nears Finish of Biomass Crop Assistance Rules (14 Jun 2010)

USDA Chief Confident of Ethanol Blend Increase (6 Jun 2010)

Corn Growers Want End to Indirect Land Use Change (17 May 2010)

Food Vs. Fuel: Growing Grain for Food Is More Energy Efficient ScienceDaily (19 Apr 2010)

UK Report on Food Crisis Vindicates Ethanol (1st April, 2010)

More Corn Acres for Food and Fuel (31 Mar 2010)

Corn Grower President Stresses Ethanol Issues 06 Mar 2010)

Seeking a More 'Poplar' Biofuel (February 25, 2010)

Beyond the corn field: Balancing fuel, food and biodiversity ScienceDaily (Feb. 16, 2010)

Cellulosic Breakthrough Announced at Ethanol Conference 16, 2010)

Biofuels Policy Fails to Achieve Goals ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2010)

Biofuels from Saltwater Crops Technology Review by MIT. (Feb., 5, 2010)

ISSUE BRIEF: Summary of the RFS2 Final RuleRenewable Fuels Association (February 4, 2010)

EPA Finalizes Regulations for the National Renewable Fuel Standard Program for 2010 and Beyond EPA-420-F-10-007 (February 2010)

Corn Oil Extraction Technology Leads Energy and Carbon Shift for Ethanol Industry The Wall Street Journal (February 8, 2010)

Cellulosic ethanol demo plant opens in Tennessee Biomass Magazine ( January 29, 2010)

Study: Biomass crops attract beneficial insect Biomass Magazine ( January 27, 2010)

Biofuel Crop Diversity Adds Value ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2010)

Algal biofuels worse than corn on GHGs, water and energy consumption: wastewater usage a must, says new report BiofuelsDigest (January 22, 2010)

More Corn For Biofuels Would Hurt Water, Study Shows ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 2009)

Biofuel from Corn Stover (September 22, 2009)

Miscanthus can meet U.S. biofuels goal using less land than corn or switchgrass Science News at Illinois (July 30, 2008)





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