Feedstocks for biofuels and bioenergy

Stephen P Long, Angela Karp, MS Buckeridge, SC Davis, D Jaiswal, PH Moore, SP Moose, DJ Murphy, S Onwona-Agyeman, Avigad Vonshak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Bioenergy and biofuels are recognized globally as crucial elements of the future energy matrix, without which the reduction in greenhouse gases needed to reduce the acceleration of global warming and climate change will not be achievable. Yet, in 2012 the oil equivalent production of biofuels was less than 2% of the amount of oil produced from geological reserves. The bulk of these biofuels came from two countries; USA and
Brazil and from two crops; maize and sugarcane, respectively. Perennial lignocellulosic feedstocks provide an important opportunity to meet further growth in demand in more sustainable ways, compared to maize and other food crops. Similarly, less than 10% of the world energy use for heat and power is bioenergy, most of which is wood-based, although other crop wastes and residues, particularly sugarcane bagasse, are also used. Future supplies will be increasingly from managed (and planted) woodlands and fast-growing energy trees to relieve pressure on existing natural forests. There are many energy crops that are currently grown in low amounts that will be an important part of the future feedstock mix. However, exploitation of these emerging feedstock
crops will require investment in breeding and agronomy to further enhance yields and adapt varieties to a wider range of environments, including future climates. Many concerns surrounding biofuels, in particular, relate to feedstock production. However, with improved knowledge of the different crops and where these crops should be grown and with improved varieties and management practices, these concerns can be addressed. By utilizing and developing the full range of feedstocks available, the challenge of increasing feedstock supply in sustainable ways can be met but only with secure, consistent and sensible policies that will achieve both environmental and economic sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBioenergy & Sustainability
Subtitle of host publicationbridging the gap
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameBioenergy Sustainability: bridging the gaps


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