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Midwest vision for sustainable fuel production

Kenneth J. Moore, Stuart Birrell, Robert C. Brown, Michael D. Casler, Jill E. Euken, H. Mark Hanna, Dermot J. Hayes, Jason D. Hill, Keri L. Jacobs, Cathy L. Kling, David Laird, Robert B. Mitchell, Patrick T. Murphy, D. Raj Raman, Charles V. Schwab, Kevin J. Shinners, Kenneth P. Vogel, Jeffrey J. Volenec
Biofuels 2014 v.5 no.6 pp. 687-702
biofuels, commercialization, crops, education, feedstocks, fuel production, grasses, marketing, models, outreach, perennials, United States
This article charts the progress of CenUSA Bioenergy, a USDA-NIFA-AFRI coordinated agricultural project focused on the North Central region of the US. CenUSA’s vision is to develop a regional system for producing fuels and other products from perennial grass crops grown on marginally productive land or land that is otherwise unsuitable for annual cropping. This article focuses on contributions CenUSA has made to nine primary systems needed to make this vision a reality: feedstock improvement; feedstock production on marginal land; feedstock logistics; modeling system performance; feedstock conversion into biofuels and other products; marketing; health and safety; education, and outreach. The final section, Future Perspectives, sets forth a roadmap of additional research, technology development and education required to realize commercialization.