Increase in energy demand has led towards considering lignocellulosic feedstocks as potential for ethanol production. Aim of this study was to estimate the potential of grass straws from conservation reserve program (CRP) lands as feedstocks for ethanol production. The CRP was initiated to ensure reduction in soil erosion with a concomitant improvement in water quality and aquatic habitats. Species and abundance of various grasses in CRP sites can vary substantially. Ethanol yield from biomass is directly correlated to sugar content among other factors. It therefore becomes important to study the variability in the biomass composition from different CRP sites to reliably estimate biofuel production potential. Grass samples were collected from five fields contracted to CRP in Umatilla County in Northeastern Oregon. Composition of these samples was experimentally determined and was statistically verified to be similar for most of the sites. Sugar content was highest (60.70) and statistically different for only one site (CRA 8.2). Our results suggest that biomass harvested from different sites did not significantly vary in terms of their chemical composition and therefore could be used in a single integrated process to produce bioethanol. Total potential ethanol yield from various CRP lands in Oregon, assuming a 10 yr harvesting frequency, was estimated to be 40 10 6 l of ethanol (28.5-53.7 10 6 l/yr) with current management practices subject to other constraints.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment