Drought effects on composition and yield for corn stover, mixed grasses, and Miscanthus as bioenergy feedstocks

Rachel Emerson, Amber Hoover, Allison Ray, Jeffrey Lacey, Marnie Cortez, Courtney Payne, Douglas Karlen, Stuart Birrell, David Laird, Robert Kallenbach, Josh Egenolf, Matthew Sousek, Thomas Voigt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Drought conditions in 2012 were some of the most severe in recent history. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of drought on quality, quantity, and theoretical ethanol yield (TEY) of three bioenergy feedstocks, corn stover, mixed grasses from Conservation Reserve Program lands, and Miscanthus × giganteus. To assess drought effects on these feedstocks, samples from 2010 (minimal to no drought) and 2012 (severe drought) were compared from multiple locations in the US. In all feedstocks, drought significantly increased extractives and reduced structural sugars and lignin; subsequently, TEYs were reduced 10-15%. Biomass yields were significantly reduced for M. × giganteus and mixed grasses. When reduction in quality and quantity were combined, TEYs decreased 26-59%. Drought negatively affected biomass quality and quantity that resulted in significant TEY reductions. Such fluctuations in biomass quality and yield may have significant consequences for developing lignocellulosic biorefineries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-291
Number of pages17
JournalBiofuels
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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