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Marginal lands are prime fuel source for alternative energy
Date:1/16/2013

ong-speculated and often discounted," he said. "This study shows that these lands could make a major contribution to transportation energy needs while providing substantial climate and if managed properly conservation benefits."

This also is the first study to show that grasses and other non-woody plants that grow naturally on unmanaged lands are sufficiently productive to make ethanol production worthwhile. Conservative numbers were used in the study, and production efficiency could be increased by carefully selecting the mix of plant species, Robertson added.

"With conservation in mind, these marginal lands can be made productive for bioenergy production and, in so doing, contribute to avoid the conflict between food and fuel production," said Cesar Izaurralde, PNNL soil scientist and University of Maryland adjunct professor.

Additional benefits for using marginal lands include:

  • New revenue for farmers and other land owners
  • No indirect land-use effects, where land in another part of the globe is cleared to replace land lost here to food production
  • No carbon debt from land conversion if existing vegetation is used or if new perennial crops are planted directly into existing vegetation


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Contact: Layne Cameron
Layne.cameron@cabs.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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