facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Marginal lands eyed as biofuel source

Jan. 16, 2013 at 5:56 PM   |   Comments

EAST LANSING, Mich., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Marginal lands considered unsuitable for food crops could be attractive locations for growing biofuel crops to meet a U.S.-mandated target, researchers say.

Such land could produce enough non-grain biofuel to meet about 25 percent of the 2022 target for cellulosic biofuel mandated by the 2007 U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act, they said.

Writing in the journal Nature, Ilya Gelfand of Michigan State University and colleagues said policies meant to encourage biofuel production in the United States and Europe have seen land previously used for food production converted for grain-based ethanol production from crops like corn.

This shift could result in increased carbon dioxide emissions and reductions in the amount of fertile cropland available to meet increasing food demands, the said.

A better solution, they suggest, would be to use marginal lands in the U.S. Midwest unsuitable for food grain crops to grow herbaceous native plants such as switchgrass, which would provide a non-food biomass source while mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Mars rover spots rock shaped like thigh bone
2
Parched land in the drought-riddled West is actually rising
3
Birds lost their sweet tooth, hummingbirds got it back
4
NEC touts its fingerprint technology
5
Tech industry All Stars developing 'Star Trek'-style communication badges
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback