Chapter

Handbook of Bioenergy Economics and Policy

Volume 33 of the series Natural Resource Management and Policy pp 27-37

Date:

Perennial Grasses as Second-Generation Sustainable Feedstocks Without Conflict with Food Production

  • Frank G. DohlemanAffiliated withUniversity of IllinoisMonsanto Company Email author 
  • , Emily A. HeatonAffiliated withDepartment of Agronomy, Iowa State University
  • , Stephen P. LongAffiliated withEnergy Biosciences Institute, University of Illinois

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Abstract

Biofuel production from maize grain has been touted by some as a renewable and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, while being criticized by others for removing land from food production, exacerbating greenhouse gas emissions, and requiring more fossil energy than they produce. The use of second-generation feedstocks for cellulosic biofuel production is widely believed to have a smaller greenhouse gas footprint than first-generation feedstocks. In particular, perennial grasses may provide a balance between the high productivity necessary to minimize the amount of land area necessary for feedstock production and the sustainability of the perennial growth habit.