Sign up for email alerts of new Fluid Journal issues!
Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 2008-2009
8 Fluid Journal WI NTER 2008 Development of initiatives to replace a portion of the energy resources with bio-based materials has increased excitement in terms of the potential for creation of new uses for agricultural crops. It is estimated that nearly one billion dry tons of cellulosic biomass would be available from agricultural lands. This biomass would be obtained from corn residues and energy crops. The current estimate for removable biomass from corn is approximately 75 million tons and accounts for nearly 60 percent of the potential biomass production required. The current trend in corn biomass production from corn has shown a steady increase since 1949 because of the continual increase in corn grain yield with only a slight change Removal of corn residue would lead to decreases in vitally needed soil organic matter and increases in soil erosion. Environmental Implications Of Biomass Removal in the harvest index (yield relative to total biomass production, Figure 1). The environmental implications of biomass removal need to be considered before using crop residue for energy because of the long-term consequences on the soil resource and environmental quality. The linear increase in biomass production also removes large amounts of nutrients per acre. It is estimated that in 2006 there were 136 lbs/A of nitrogen (N) removed in the grain and 115 lbs/A of N removed in the corn stover. The removal of nutrients in biomass for different nutrients shows there are larger potential amounts removed from the soil and left in the corn stover and wheat straw (Table 1). Removal of these nutrients from the field will have a potential impact on the soil resource because to replenish these nutrient levels will require applications of nutrients and, since many of these are relatively immobile, incorporation of the nutrients into the soil will be necessary. Soil disturbance for nutrient incorporation will require DR. J.L. HATFIELD
Fluid Journal 2005-2007