When it comes to selecting the right plant source for future cellulosic biofuel production, the solution won't be one-size-fits-all, and it certainly doesn't have to involve food and feed crops
In a "Perspective" article in the Journal Science, researchers from the Energy Biosciences Institute suggest that a diversity of plant species, adaptable to the climate and soil conditions of specific regions of the world, can be used to develop agroecosystems for fuel production that are compatible with contemporary environmental goals.
EBI Director Chris Somerville of the University of California, Berkeley, and Deputy Director Steve Long of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were co-authors with EBI bioenergy analysts Caroline Taylor, Heather Youngs and Sarah Davis. The institute is a research collaboration between UC Berkeley, the University of Illinois, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the funding sponsor BP.
The article, "Feedstocks for Lignocellulosic Biofuels," discusses the sustainability of current and future crops that may be used to produce advanced biofuels with emerging technologies that use non-edible parts of plants.
Such crops include perennial grasses like Miscanthus grown in the rain-fed areas of the U.S. Midwest, East and South; sugarcane in Brazil and other tropical regions, including the southeastern U.S.; Agave in semiarid regions such as Mexico and the U.S. Southwest; and woody biomass from various sources.
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