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25 Oct. 2012. The researchers harvested switchgrass from five CRP fields in southern Wisconsin in August, 1996. Examining the advantages and disadvantages of switchgrass as a biofuel, November 30, 2012 11:40 am / Leave a comment. Nevertheless, switchgrass absorbs much more carbon dioxide than it produces, thus slowly cleaning and ridding the air of its pollutants. 26 Oct. 2012. Fossil fuels are formed from coal, petroleum or natural gas. We are constantly reminded of various predicaments in the world caused by humans. Howdy! “How to Grow Switch Grass.” EHow. “Switchgrass: Finally a Viable Biofuel? This glycoprotein was discovered in 1996 by Sara F. Wright. I have a group of various people with me today who will be sharing their various perspectives with using switchgrass as a biofuel. That would be a factor of price hikes in the food sector. With international trends swinging toward sustainable transportation, fuels such as corn-based ethanol and biodiesel from soy, switchgrass and palm oil seem like a good step toward cleaner, gre… Comparison of … This is our future. Thus, fossil fuels are being used excessively. This  which can bring various pollutants into the water, therefore creating various detriments for the species. Base case switchgrass bio-ethanol process. Social Impact. Disadvantages of Biofuels High Cost of Production: Even with all the benefits associated with biofuels, they are quite expensive to produce in the current market. Web. Are they developed enough to use switchgrass as a biofuel? The use of fertilizers to enhance production leads to the emission of Nitrous Oxide into the atmosphere. Biochemical Conversion: In cases of corn grain and sweet sorghum stalks, sugars are directly fermented to ethanol … This would help the government and citizens of Canada. Therefore, these job losses would eventually be recounted for. Bransby, David. This table shows us various growth rates of switchgrass in Tennessee after being established. One day, if the world would decide to completely devote itself to the use of biofuels, we would be faced with a job loss in the fossil fuel sector. If for some reason there are unusable parts, they can be used as livestock feed, among other things. Switchgrass adds organic matter to the soil, this is due to the glomalin in its roots, a glycoprotein that helps store carbon. GALE Cengage Learning, 25 June 2011. They have the ability to retain nutrients in the soil and remain prosperous for many years to come. Switchgrass is a cellulosic ethanol plant. Switchgrass is one of the perennial grasses with scientific name Panicum virgatum. It would also increase our labor force. asks Aden, summarizing another concern about cellulosic ethanol. Which literally means non-renewable. The whole ideology of using switchgrass as source for biofuels is become an actuality! As the seasons become colder, switchgrass rests dormant and it will not grow. In the creation of ethanol with the use of corn, they only part manufacturers use is the edible part. In my opinion, I believe that there are many advantages in using switchgrass as a biofuel versus other choices which may take away from food production. Works Cited. As long as the switchgrass has access to sunlight and a method of obtaining water, the plant should have no problem growing. Switchgrass also promotes biodiversity as there are various species that live within the plant such as fungal endophyte. “Biomass Energy.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. The DISADVANTAGES of Using Switchgrass… Unlike the benefits, there are only two major disadvantages of using switchgrass as a source for biofuels. The first being the escape of Formaldehyde and Acetaldehyde into the atmosphere through exhaust tubes in cars. So it cannot replace fossil fuel, but can reduce the usage of fossil fuel. Switchgrass makes great ethanol, which we will the most popular and practical biofuel there is. They come from biomass, which means anything derived from biological matters. There’s a high cost of production, so if the demand increases, the supply will become a long term operation which will be pretty expensive. This combustion releases various different pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulphur-dioxide, and a number of other pollutant These pollutants contribute to smog, acid rain, climate change, and health, environmental, and economic concerns. This sector is extremely beneficial for the economy as it generates occupations, and is also able to transform the rural economy. Consequently, the consumption of fossil fuels has also escalated immensely. No harmful sulfur or mercury emmisions . The other problem switchgrass ethanol currently faces is the amount of land available for its cultivation. The amount of glomalin in soil determines fertility. The first sector, farming and agriculture would profit from growing the switchgrass. Miscanthus has been much talked about in the past year as a strong contender as a feedstock for advanced ethanol. Several countries have initiated policies to support biofuel development, production and use in the transportation sector. Fay, Patrick. We would definitely need to implement money into various research aspects that would focus on switchgrass. Web. Thanks Gunther, next up we have Ernest Mack who will talking to us about from the standpoint of a fuel manufacturer. Biomass energy is derived from five energy sources: garbage, wood, waste, landfill gases, and alcohol fuels. This type of biofuel may be referred to as the cellulose type or the second generation of this biofuel. Cellulosic biofuels from corn stover and miscanthus were 24% and 29% more expensive than corn ethanol, respectively, and switchgrass biofuel is more than twice as expensive as corn ethanol. Suzuki, David. Therefore, this process is not harmful to the environment. This is resulting in many problems, as fossil fuels are a non-renewable source and are predicted to run out sooner, rather than later. Eucalyptus trees and tropical … There are also many environmental benefits that come with the use of switchgrass as a source for biofuels. Switchgrass behaves like Miscanthus early in the growing season, drying out the soil. More. This entails adding water and special enzymes to the cellulose. It is an ideal biomass energy source because of its moderate to high productivity, stand longevity, high moisture and nutrient use efficiency and adaptability to most agricultural regions in North America. This would help Canada be more of a world leader as Canada would be more active in maintaining green energy. An example is David Suzuki in his article ‘Fill Er’ Up with Switchgrass’. There’s a high cost of production, so if the demand increases, the supply will become a long term operation which will be pretty expensive. It grows extremely quickly, sometimes up to 2.2 metres tall. In addition, switchgrass as a biofuel is a huge contributor to biodiversity as it protects various habitats. Whether it is climate change or  the melting of the polar ice…. Switchgrass would not ruin certain sectors in agriculture as it barely needs any care and it is extremely adaptable to different living conditions. Advantages And Disadvantages Of Biomass 844 Words | 4 Pages. Create a free website or blog at These promotes to biodiversity as well, as pollutants in the water are a huge factor in various species being endangered and extinct. Redfearn, Daren. When we focus on a biofuel, such as switchgrass, we would be focusing on a huge change. Most commonly these biofuels are in the form of alcohols, esters, ethers and also other forms of hydrocarbon compounds. Another concern is the potentially job loss in the fossil fuel sector. Web. Once planted, it will grow between 5 to 10 feet in height every year. Monti, Andrea. I’m not saying that switchgrass is completely flawless, however, I do believe that switchgrass’ advantages outweigh it’s disadvantages. The potential of miscanthus and switchgrass has been studied extensively by researchers Greg McIsaac, Mark B. Switchgrass does not have any problem with diseases or pests which mans that it does not require fertilizers and it does not pollute water. This would most likely gain lots of support from the eighty-three signatories of the Kyoto Protocol looking to put a stop to the rise of greenhouse gases in the environment. Using switchgrass pellets for heating purposes is an also extremely beneficial options. Due to switchgrass’ profound roots, this is approximately 6-10 feet! In fact, according to the US Department of Energy, it may be able to yield 100 times more oil per acre than soybeans or other terrestrial oil-producing crops. “Fuel.” Word Book Online Reference Centre. Another very important point is that switchgrass is a very productive plant. Throughout this course of time, I will be blogging about the advantages and disadvantages of using switchgrass as a biofuel. Switchgrass is an attractive biofuel feedstock because it can grow on bordering lands of small cultivated value. We would also need to focus on the various tax laws which are different from province to province. Second Generation Extraction Technology. CBC/Radio Canada, 09 June 2008. Cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass: USA: 76: 93–98 [26] Cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass, poplar, forest residue: USA: 70–80: 10–102 [27] Cellulosic ethanol: USA: 93: 86 [28] Cellulosic ethanol from wheat straw: UK: 78–102: 88–98 [45] Cellulosic ethanol from poplar and Fischer–Tropsch diesel from residual wood: Europe: N.A. There are few definitive comparisons on whether a seedbed prepared using clean tillage or some form of minimum tillage is the better method for establishing switchgrass. It also protects biodiversity as climate change can contribute to various detriments in animals habitats and the various cycles that are essential in our environment: notably the water and nitrogen cycle. I’m Linda Marcus and I will be talking to you about advantages and disadvantages of using switchgrass as a biofuel. 28 Oct. 2012. As found by some studies, algae has the capability to produce over 30 times more energy per unit area than other 1st and 2nd generation biofuel crops. Johnson, Douglas A. Thanks so much for the introduction. As of now, the interest and capital investment being put into biofuel production is fairly low but it can match demand. History. As you can see, the amount of disadvantages is much lower than the amount of benefits, which is a very good thing! “Given the levels of soil carbon sequestration we found, coupled with the high net energy balance and low emissions of greenhouse gases, switchgrass is a … So the profit of using switchgrass would be great, thus helping our economy. We have seemed to have forgotten the toll the earth must pay as a sacrifice. Web. Adewumi, Michael A. Using "urban green," or yard waste to make ethanol requires no new land. Web. I think that we should focus on switchgrass for research purposes before deeming it as Canada’s new green fuel. This factor makes sure that switchgrass can be grown in a very sustainable way. Although there is still much more research and many more studies to be conducted; we are inching closer and closer toward the use of switchgrass in our everyday lives. The answer is biofuels. We can conclude that the yield is more beneficial as the years progress. Word Book, n.d. Biofuels still require development and research in order to overcome the disadvantages. It barely needs any care and is very adaptable to different living conditions. Unlike the high emissions of CO2 when working with corn, the switchgrass CO2 emission rate is fairly low. We can see that the cost of heating a home is extremely low. If we take into consideration the number of PROs and the number of CONs, the difference is amazing. The Canadian Encyclopedia, n.d. “Grass.” Word Book Online Reference Centre. This type of equipment is available very widely across farms. The economic and environmental benefits of crops are often region-specific as well. Web. “For every unit of nonrenewable energy required to grow switchgrass, we got 6.4 units of energy back,” says Schmer. It is easily harvested, does not take away from food production, contributes to fuel security and soil fertility. Biofuels are combustible fuel materials produced or derived from biomass. When fossil fuels are burned, they release energy. An annual cutting in fall or winter suffices for biomass production since its value is based on total tonnage, not nutritional quality. Now, you might ask, why on earth are fossil fuels so bad? Carbon neutral .

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