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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop Appendix C Description of Agency Activities on Biofuels and Sustainability NOTABLE EXAMPLES OF FEDERAL RESEARCH ACTIVITIES RELATED TO BIOFUELS AND SUSTAINABILITY TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: Office of the Biomass Program AGENCY: Department of Energy PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Biomass research has been a cornerstone of DOE’s renewable energy research, development and deployment efforts over the past 25 years. In order to encourage the economic livelihood of a thriving biofuel industry, the Office of the Biomass Program (OBP) at the Department of Energy supports research and development aimed at assessing the impacts of biofuels on the environment, including impacts to land, water, and air from energy production and use. Included in this mission is a goal to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions by accelerating the adoption of renewable energy technologies. A clear driver of the OBP’s activities is the mandate set by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) which sets a U.S. production goal of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, of which 21 billion should be advanced biofuels made from biomass products other than corn starch, such as cellulose, algae, and waste materials. Meeting this goal will require: significant and rapid advancements in biomass feedstock and conversion technologies; availability of large volumes of sustainable biomass feedstock; demonstration and deployment of large-scale integrated biofuels production facilities; and biofuels infrastructure development efforts. In addition, the existing agricultural, forestry and commercial sectors
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop will be making the decisions to invest in biomass systems—from shifting land use, to building capital-intensive biorefineries, to establishing the infrastructure and public vehicle fleet for ethanol distribution and end use—in the context of economic viability (including as it relates to environmental sustainability) and the needs of the marketplace. The core R&D of OBP is organized around the integrated biorefinery concept. The biorefinery helps deliver sustainable and environmentally sound contributions to power, fuels, and products demand while supporting rural economies. Key barriers relevant to this area include ensuring resource sustainability at levels large enough to support large-scale production facilities and maximizing the efficiency of conversion facilities to minimize costs. Energy production from biomass on a large scale will require careful evaluation of U.S. agricultural resources and logistics, as these will likely require a change in paradigm that will take time to implement. Current harvesting, storage and transportation systems are currently inadequate for processing and distribution of biomass on the scale needed to support dramatically larger volumes of biofuels production. Evaluating the current feedstock resource on a national level as well as the potential for future feedstock production in light of environmental constraints is part of OBP’s focus. Overall, the program emphasizes sustainable development of the biofuels industry, including economic, environmental, and societal impacts over entire life cycle of biofuels—from the farm to end use in vehicles. The program promotes biofuels that do not compete with food crops, and our analytic models are continuously enhanced to improve our ability to anticipate, understand, and avoid potential adverse impacts on the environment, whether they are direct or indirect. RESULTS, OUTCOMES, OR IMPACTS TO DATE: OBP has been working with Oak Ridge, Argonne, and Idaho National Laboratories in conjunction with university partners to develop a national, GIS-based framework to analyze the economic and environmental impacts of various development options for biomass feedstocks, biorefineries, and infrastructure. The framework is aimed at supporting assessment of relevant resources and infrastructure at local, regional, and national scales; determining the best locations for new feedstock production and processing facilities; evaluating the potential contribution of biofuels to meet legislated renewable fuel production targets; and protecting air quality, water, land, and other resources. In addition, the program’s current sustainability activities include: performing comparative life-cycle assessment (LCA) of water requirements for the production of advanced biofuels, corn ethanol, sugar cane ethanol, and competing petroleum fuels. The four main areas addressed in the LCA are: land use and soil sustainability, water use impacts, air quality impacts, and greenhouse gas (GHG)
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop emissions impacts. Also, the GREET model (Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation) is being utilized for an analysis of water demand for biofuel production, energy and GHG emission benefit of biofuels. Included in this project is an expansion of the existing model to include corn ethanol, sugarcane ethanol, and flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) test results. Currently, LCA of the Advanced Energy Initiative is being performed for the 60 billion gallon 30x30 scenario (a scenario for supplying 30 percent of 2004 motor gasoline demands by 2030). The analysis covers the entire biofuels supply chain from feedstocks to vehicles and will expand the GREET model to incorporate other pathways including sugar cane ethanol production. OBP is working with Conservation International to identify land that should not be developed into biofuel crops; conducting pilot studies to identify the best lands for biofuel crop production; employing standards for biofuel crop production to maintain biodiversity. The Biomass Program works with diverse partners to promote sustainable biofuels development. OBP also participates in the Council for Sustainable Biomass Production www.csbp.org aimed at developing principles for bioenergy feedstocks, and as well as in the Federal Biomass Research & Development Board Interagency Sustainability working group charged with developing criteria and indicators for sustainable biofuel production. A significant amount of work is being undertaken at Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and at National Renewable Energy Laboratory to address various aspects of biofuels LCA. In addition to our ongoing support and expansion of the GREET model at Argonne, we are co-funding work on the Global Trade and Agriculture Project (GTAP) model at Purdue University. Our work at Purdue is an attempt to develop a better understanding and begin to analytically assess the indirect land use change impacts of biofuels. We continue to work with our counterparts to develop appropriate GHG accounting methodology and related policy for biofuels to enhance the climate and economic benefits of biofuels. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): OBP’s R&D has led the effort to develop technology necessary to sustainably produce, harvest, and convert a variety of biomass feedstocks, as well as to deploy the resulting biofuels. Core R&D on feedstock production and logistics and biomass conversion technologies is conducted to develop the scientific and technical foundation that will enable the new bioindustry. OBP is looking to advance science in these areas through important collaborations with the DOE Office of Science Bioenergy Centers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, land grant universities, and private industry. OBP has developed Regional Feedstock Partnerships to begin to realize the sustainability of the resource potential outlined in
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop the Billion Ton Study. This approach facilitates the collaboration of industry, the agricultural community, state and local governments and USDA and is expected to accelerate the resource readiness, as the cellulosic fuels industry emerges. PROJECT PERIOD: Ongoing FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): $12.3 million in FY2008/2009; $10 million planned for FY2010
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop NOTABLE EXAMPLES OF FEDERAL RESEARCH ACTIVITIES RELATED TO BIOFUELS AND SUSTAINABILITY TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: Analysis Driven Design of Agronomic Strategies Supporting Sustainable Agricultural Residue Collection for Bioenergy AGENCY: Department of Energy PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The goal of this work is to build an enterprise level analysis toolset that helps design agronomic management strategies facilitating sustainable agricultural residue harvest. Source: U.S. Department of Energy. Multiple factors impact agricultural residue harvest for bioenergy production. A minimum level of residue removal is required to satisfy baseline economic and logistic constraints, and increasing yield enhances viability of agricultural residues as a bioenergy feedstock. Agronomic and environmental limiting factors in many production systems reduce sustainable access to residues. The design and implementation of innovative agronomic management strategies can address sustainability issues increasing access to agricultural residues supporting biofuel production goals. Limiting Factor Analysis Approach Determining sustainability of residue removal within an agronomic system requires analysis taking into account the full suite of factors which limit residue
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop removal. Each land unit has unique physical and management characteristics that determine the factor(s) impacting residue removal sustainability. The graphic above identifies the limiting factors. Advanced Software Framework This project is using innovative tools for software and data integration to assemble the limiting factor models in a “drag and drop” environment. Models can be pulled in and out of the system through simple interfaces facilitating analysis with the appropriate set of tools. Through this framework, individual land units can be investigated to design agronomic management strategies that provide sustainable and consistent access to residue resources. RESULTS, OUTCOMES, OR IMPACTS TO DATE: The figure below represents a case study demonstrating the value and importance of the analysis approach being implemented in this project. This particular run of the integrated model set is looking at a 25 acre experiment that is part of the DOE Regional Biomass Feedstock Partnership network of field trials. The site is on highly productive central Iowa soils. As demonstrated in the figure, through currently widely used analysis approaches looking at erosion alone as the limiting factor full removal of the stover residue falls within the sustainability limits for both conventional and no tillage scenarios. When the soil organic carbon limit- Source: U.S. Department of Energy.
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop ing factor is considered, no residue is sustainably accessible under conventional tillage, and partial removal is acceptable for no tillage management. Through the implementation of innovative management strategies within the analysis full residue removal is not only acceptable, but provides a soil carbon gain. This approach is working toward including each of the previously identified six limiting factors, and plans going forward include developing the ability to quantify key ecosystem services provided through the innovative strategies to potentially provide growers with added value for sustainable agronomic management. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): Sun Grant Initiative, Iowa State University, Idaho National Laboratory, Penn State University, Kansas State University, and USDA ARS. PROJECT PERIOD: 1/15/07 through 9/30/10 FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): Current funding at 400K per year.
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop NOTABLE EXAMPLES OF FEDERAL RESEARCH ACTIVITIES RELATED TO BIOFUELS AND SUSTAINABILITY TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: Regional Biomass Feedstock Partnership Sustainability Indicator Data Collection Field Trials AGENCY: Department of Energy PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: This project is utilizing the DOE Regional Biomass Feedstock Partnership network of field trials to begin collecting sustainability data regionally for multiple feedstock production systems. The Regional Feedstock Partnership is a multi-agency consortium comprised of land-grant universities through the Sun Grant Initiative, DOE Office of the Biomass Program, DOE National Laboratories, and USDA partners through the Agricultural Research Service and Forest Service. Among the charges of the partnership is a nationwide network of field trials assessing and developing biomass feedstock resources. This project is leveraging five of these field trials to collect data relative to critical sustainability indicators. Eddy Covariance Tower St. Paul, MN SOURCE: U.S. Department of Energy
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop Sustainability Data Three primary sustainability indicators have been selected as critical for the specific biomass production systems being investigated are: Soil Carbon Sequestration potential Impact on productive capacity Hydrology and Water Quality Field scale implementation Nutrient transport Water holding capacity Direct Green House Gas Emissions N2O flux CO2 flux The Field Trials Projects at 5 locations: Ames, IA; St. Paul, MN (corn) Brookings, SD (switchgrass) Champaign, IL (miscanthus) College Station, TX (energy sorghum) Source: U.S. Department of Energy. The suite of feedstocks being investigated through this study will provide important data helping understand ecosystem impacts of production decisions
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop reacting to emerging biofuel markets. Specifically of interest for the overall Regional Partnership effort, is how dedicated energy crops can integrate with currently cropping systems to provide food, feed, fiber, and fuel across an efficient and sustainable agronomic landscape. This work is focusing on developing quality sustainability based data that can inform the design of this landscape. As part of the Regional Partnership efforts, the data and publications generated through this work will disseminated through an education and outreach component of the partnership. Furthermore, the data will become part of partnership wide analyses assessing resource potential, and will be contributed to the DOE Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework (KDF). The KDF is a comprehensive geospatial data and analysis toolkit being assembled to provide stakeholders with a means to interact with reviewed, up to date, and complete information about the emerging biofuels industry. The data contributed from this work will be a critical component in providing that toolkit. RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE: The project began in January, 2009, so first year data will not be assembled until Fall, 2009. Innovative experimental designs and protocols have emerged through the planning and buildup to this project. Techniques for collecting hydrology and GHG data have been designed with associated experimental protocols for the specific implementations and will be published over the coming months and years. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): Sun Grant Initiative (providing a large consortium of land grant universities), USDA ARS, Idaho National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory PROJECT PERIOD: 1/15/09 through 9/30/13 FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): Current funding at 400K per year.
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop NOTABLE EXAMPLES OF FEDERAL RESEARCH ACTIVITIES RELATED TO BIOFUELS AND SUSTAINABILITY TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: U.S. EPA’s Future Midwestern Landscapes Study AGENCY: Environment Protection Agency Agency Contact Information: Randy Bruins Betsy Smith (email@example.com, 513-569-7581) (firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-541-0620) Project period: 2009-2013 The Future Midwestern Landscapes (FML) Study will examine projected changes in landscapes and ecosystem services1 in the Midwest. Given its immediate influence, biofuel production will be studied as a primary driver of landscape change. The study goals are to: (1)Understand how current and projected land uses affect the ecosystem services provided by Midwestern landscapes; (2) Provide spatially explicit information that will enable EPA to articulate sustainable approaches to environmental management and; (3) Develop web-based tools depicting alternative futures so users can evaluate trade-offs affecting ecosystem services. For a 12-state region of the Midwest (EPA Regions 5 and 7 plus the Dakotas; Figure 1), researchers will work with decision makers and use economic and spatial modeling tools to construct alternative landscapes that reflect different assumptions about national policy, technology, and land management over the next 10-20 years. As a first step in this project, a Base Year landscape has been created that represents a “pre-biofuels” scenario. To provide the level of detail necessary for relating land cover to provision of services, the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) for 2001/2002 for the region was augmented with the National Agricultural Statistical Survey (NASS) Cropland Data Layers (CDL) available for the states in the regions, soils data, and data from the LandFire database (http://www.landfire.gov). The new base year landscape reflects crops planted as well as typical rotations and forest species. The Biofuel Targets future scenario is implied by current policies emphasizing large increases in biofuels production, as specified under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). EISA calls for a ramp-up of biofuels from 2008 to 2022, beginning with increases in corn starch ethanol and later including cellulose-based ethanol, derived from a variety of sources such as corn stover, wood chips and switchgrass. Under this scenario corn production will increase, 1 Ecosystem services can be defined as the benefits that humans derive from ecosystems.
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop FIGURE 1 Black Earth Creek watershed location. Source: U.S. Geological Survey. increase of pumping for irrigation due to biofuel production, with and without expected climate change; and (3) high-capacity ground-water-withdrawal typical of a biofuel production plant. Landscape categories would be delineated using a combination of remote sensing, aerial photograph, and land-records analysis (Figure 2). Effects of CRP conversion would be assessed using the infiltration rates of Steuer and Hunt (2001) for an adjacent basin. Irrigation and biofuel plant water-withdrawal volumes simulated would encompass a range of reasonable literature values for the Midwest. A representative subset of all scenarios would be included in a USGS Scientific-Investigations Report being finalized in FY2010. RESULTS, OUTCOMES, OR IMPACTS TO DATE: We are still in the process of calibrating the GSFLOW model to properly simulate connections between groundwater and streams in relation to land use changes. The initial scenario to be tested is siting of a biofuels production plant near Black Earth Creek. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): U.S. Geological Survey—Wisconsin Water Science Center (WI WSC) U.S. Geological Survey—Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Data Center
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop FIGURE 2 Black Earth Creek land cover and stream network. PROJECT PERIOD: 2008-2010 FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): Landscape categories delineation, $15,000 (WI WSC and EROS) Biofuel scenario model input/run/post-process, $35,000 (WI WSC) References Cited Markstrom, S.L., R.G. Niswonger, R.S. Regan, D.E. Prudic and P.M. Barlow, 2007, GSFLOW— Coupled Ground-water and surface water flow model based on the integration of the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) and the Modular Ground-Water Flow model (MODFLOW-2005). U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 6-D1. Steuer, J.J., and R.J. Hunt, 2001, Use of a Watershed-Modeling Approach to Assess Hydrologic Effects of Urbanization, North Fork Pheasant Branch Basin near Middleton, Wisconsin: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 01-4113, 49 p.
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop NOTABLE EXAMPLES OF FEDERAL RESEARCH ACTIVITIES RELATED TO BIOFUELS AND SUSTAINABILITY TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: Estimation of Nutrient and Sediment Loading in the Mississippi River and Great Lakes Basins with Regional SPARROW Models AGENCY: U.S. Geological Survey PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: There has been increasing expectations to develop and implement effective nutrient reduction strategies in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) to reduce the size of the hypoxia zone in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Great Lakes Basin to limit the productivity in each of the Great Lakes. With support from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program, SPARROW (a hybrid statistical ⁄mechanistic watershed model) models are being developed to explain spatial patterns in monitored stream-water quality (nutrient yields) in relation to human activities and natural processes that influence the transport of nutrients as defined by detailed geospatial information. Results from SPARROW water-quality models are being used to describe where on the landscape nutrients originate, what are the sources of those nutrients, how watersheds rank throughout large basins in terms of their nutrient
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop loads delivered to downstream receiving waters (such as the Gulf of Mexico), and demonstrate techniques to place confidence in these rankings. These results will be one of several tools to help guide the allocation of federal funds among States to develop strategies to reduce nutrient loads to the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes. SPARROW models can be used to estimate how changes in various management decisions should affect water quality and the downstream transport of nutrients, such as with increases in the acreage of corn crops associated with increased ethanol production, decreases in the amount of fertilizers applied to crops, or changes in releases from specific treatment plants. Regional SPARROW models are being developed in different areas of the country to enable accurate predictions to be made at scales finer than those made with National SPARROW models and are being used to address more regional/ local issues. RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE: SPARROW models have been developed for the Great Lakes/Upper Mississippi River Basins and Entire Mississippi River Basin. Results of the Mississippi River SPARROW model were used to describe where nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) originate from throughout the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin geographically and by land use. Alexander, R.B., Smith, R.A., Schwarz, G.S., Boyer, E.W., Nolan, J.V., and Brakebill, J.W., 2008, Differences in phosphorus and nitrogen delivery to the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River Basin: Environmental Science and Technology, 42(3):822-830. Results of the Mississippi River SPARROW model were used to describe where nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) originate from HUC8 watersheds throughout the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin. The HUC8 watersheds were ranked based on their relative contributions to the Gulf and method of placing certainty in those rankings was developed. Robertson, Dale M., Schwarz, Gregory E., Saad, David A., and Alexander, Richard B., 2009, Incorporating Uncertainty into the Ranking of SPARROW Model Nutrient Yields from the Mississippi/ Atchafalaya River Basin Watersheds: Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 45(2):534-549. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Water Science Center, Middleton, WI and National Center, Reston, VA. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region V and Office of Water. PROJECT PERIOD: 2006-2010 FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): Funding across years is
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop variable and has been supplied by USGS, NAWQA and the U.S. EPA Office of Water. Four-year funding period includes the approximate sources: USGS (NAWQA)—$510,000 EPA—$300,000 Additional funding will be required for report preparation for the Mississippi River Basin. Any additional dimensions to this work, such as enhancements to simulate and compare biofuels scenarios, would need additional funding.
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop NOTABLE EXAMPLES OF FEDERAL RESEARCH ACTIVITIES RELATED TO BIOFUELS AND SUSTAINABILITY TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: Estimated Forest Biomass Supply for the United States–Revision to the Billion Ton Supply Estimates AGENCY: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, USDOE Oak Ridge National Laboratory PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The 2005 report “Biomass as a feedstock for a bioenergy and bioproducts industry: The Technical feasibility for a billion ton annual supply” suggested that it may be technically possible to supply up to 1.3 billion tons of wood and agricultural biomass for bioenergy and bioproducts in the United States. This included 368 million tons from wood sources including forest sources, mill residues and urban wastes. Short rotation woody crops were estimated separately as an agricultural source. It is the objective of a new project to revise these estimates and indicate the economic feasibility of providing forest biomass for bioenergy from each county in the United States Supply curves for forest biomass are being estimated for each county. Forest biomass resources include amounts from current logging residue, amounts from thinnings to mitigate fire hazard and reduce overstocking, amounts from other removals such as land clearing for development, mill residue, urban wood waste from construction and demolition, and conventionally source wood such as pulpwood. The supply curves indicate the amount of wood available at roadside, mill, or urban source at progressively higher costs per oven dry ton. The estimation effort involves expertise from several disciplines—ecology, silviculture, forest operations and economics. A key concern in estimating amounts from logging residue and thinnings is to assure that the removal amounts are sustainable. Specifically how much logging residue must be left on harvest sites to provide nutrients and habitat? For thinnings, what is the number of years before thinning can recur for each forest type to allow for sustainable regrowth of forests? Estimates of county level supply curves can be scaled up in at least two ways. Supply curves may be generated for delivery of amounts to any given point by adding transport costs to supply curves from surrounding counties. Supply curves may be added together to estimate state, regional or national level roadside cost supply curves. Preliminary estimates of forest biomass supply have been used in the report by the Biomass Research and Development Board. These wood biomass supply estimates (along with county level agricultural biomass supply estimates) are being applied/used in the National Biorefinery Siting Project (described separately) to determine the sustainable level of biofuels production in the U.S., and specific
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop biofuels plant locations for optimal production of biofuels given (1) the location of feedstocks, (2) infrastructure to transport feedstock and biofuels and (3) the feedstock demands/costs of conversion technologies. The National Biorefinery Siting Project is funded by USDOE and is being organized by the Western Governors Association. Collaborators include USDA Forest Service, UC Davis, Kansas State University, USDOE Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and others. RESULTS, OUTCOMES, OR IMPACTS TO DATE: Forest biomass supply estimates provided for the Biomass Research and Development Initiative report on increasing feedstock production for biofuels suggest forest sources could provide 40 million oven dry tons (odt) per year and produce 4 billion gallons of liquid fuels by 2022. This 40 million odt estimate did not require use of traditionally sourced wood such as pulpwood. However it is likely that pulpwood sources would be used, in part, as demand increased to 40 million odt. It is important to note that the BRDi feedstock estimation project did not consider possible increasing wood biomass demand for electric power production which could increase wood biomass use well beyond 40 million odt per year. In this case it is likely, given our preliminary estimates of wood biomass supply, that notable amounts of conventionally sources wood—pulpwood—would be supplied for biofuels and electric power production. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): Members of the team revising the forest biomass supply estimates for the Billion Ton Supply Report. Ken Skog, Patti Lebow—USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI Marilyn Bufford—USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC Bryce Stokes—USDOE, Washington, DC (formerly USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC) Jamie Barbour, Dennis Dykstra—USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR Bob Perlack—USDOE Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN PROJECT PERIOD: 2007-2009 FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): Forest Service research contributions are funded from annual appropriations.
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop NOTABLE EXAMPLES OF FEDERAL RESEARCH ACTIVITIES RELATED TO BIOFUELS AND SUSTAINABILITY TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: Discovery Farms AGENCY: U.S. Geological Survey PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Agriculture has historically been cited as one of the primary causes of water-resource degradation, especially in Wisconsin. Nonetheless, agriculture plays a critical role in the way that we live, the food we eat, and the economics that drive our society. The water-quality implications of a shift toward bio-based energy— whether derived from traditional crops like corn and soybeans, non-traditional crops like switchgrass and woody residues, or manure—can be understood to some degree by extrapolating from our current understandings of the mechanisms by which agricultural practices affect water quality. Wisconsin producers are facing difficult challenges to remain economically viable: new farm bills are threatening to take away subsidies, increasing fuel and fertilizer costs are limiting profitability, and legislation has been proposed that may significantly change the ways that producers have historically operated. In addition, producers are receiving increased pressure to be “environmentally friendly”: well contaminations, manure spills and numerous recent fish kills have all been linked to agriculture. Bioenergy (in the forms of crop-based biofuels for transportation and biomass-based heat and power) are viewed regionally as an economic opportunity for the Midwest and, nationally, as an environmentally sustainable path to energy independence. At present, there is little empirical evidence to verify these assumptions or guide best practices. The USGS is cooperating with the Discovery Farms program to collect data to help understand agriculture’s impact on the environment and work with producers to evaluate ways to minimize their impact in economically viable ways. The approach is field-based. Monitoring stations installed throughout Wisconsin on selected Discovery Farms represent diverse land characteristics, production schemes, and management styles. Monitoring stations are installed at sites in small, headwater streams, edges of fields, and in subsurface tiles to continuously measure runoff volume during storm-runoff periods, including snowmelt. Samples are combined to represent average concentrations over the duration of a storm; they are analyzed for total phosphorus, dissolved reactive phosphorus, suspended sediment, total dissolved solids, ammonium – N, nitrate + nitrite – N, Kjeldahl – N, and chloride. RESULTS, OUTCOMES, OR IMPACTS TO DATE: Two largely overlooked issues that affect agriculture’s impact on water
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop quality are weather conditions and the timing of nutrient applications (not just the total amount dictated by a nutrient management plan). The timing, amount, and intensity of rain are HUGE factors in determining runoff of sediment, phosphorus, and nitrogen. Wintertime runoff is particularly important, generating 50 percent or more of total annual runoff. Therefore, the timing of manure applications for fertilizer matters much more than previously understood, no matter what kind of crop is being grown. Manure application to frozen and/or snow-covered ground in February and March is important to water-quality outcomes. During non-frozen ground conditions, especially April through June, water quality is also negatively impacted if runoff occurs before manure is incorporated into the soil. Ranges of sediment, nutrients lost from “typical” Wisconsin fields are 650 pounds of sediment/acre and 2 pounds per acre. Forms of P mostly dissolved P (largely bioavailable) in winter; mostly particulate P in summer. FIGURE 1 Winter runoff of applied manure poses the greatest water-quality risks. Publications: Stuntebeck, Todd D.; Komiskey, Matthew J.; Owens, David W.; Hall, David W., 2008, Methods of Data Collection, Sample Processing, and Data Analysis for Edge-of-Field, Streamgaging, Subsurface-Tile, and Meteorological Stations at Discovery Farms and Pioneer Farm in Wisconsin, 2001-7: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1015, 60 pp. Komiskey, Matthew J., Stuntebeck, Todd D., Busch, Dennis, Frame, Dennis and Madison, Fred. Nutrients and Sediment in Surface Water Runoff from Frozen Ground Following Manure Applications. Submission pending, 2009. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Water Science Center, Middleton, WI Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
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Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Lessons for Sustainability from the Upper Midwest - Summary of a Workshop University of Wisconsin Extension Sand County Foundation PROJECT PERIOD: 2001-2010 FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): Annual Funding for the USGS portion has ranged between $250K to $350 K for the past five years with the University of Wisconsin Extension Discovery Farms program providing 50 percent, USGS 30 percent, Wisconsin DNR 10 percent, and Sand County Foundation 10 percent No decision has been made to expand to biofuels-related agricultural practices but costs to do so would be in the $150K to $250K range. Overall Discovery Farms annual budget approaches 1 million for all partners.
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