Use of Mixed Perennial Feedstocks for Ethanol Production


Scott Pryor, Mario Biondini, Paul Nyren, Qingwu Xue, Ewumbua Monono

Research Statement/Motivation

Much work has been completed on using various biomass crops as a feedstock for cellulosic ethanol production.  Use of mixed feedstocks has many potential advantages.  With the ability to utilize a wider variety of substrates, a processing plant would have more feedstock available within an economically feasible transportation radius.  By growing mixed feedstocks, average yields should remain high over a range of weather conditions and the yearly variation will be lower.  This will ensure a processing plant sufficient feedstock on a yearly basis.  Mixed species fields will also require lower inputs of fertilizers and have fewer pest and disease problems than would perennial or annual monocultures.

Research Methods

We are gathering biomass feedstocks from around ND that have been planted individually and in mixtures.  The highest yielding varieties along with the high-yielding weed species are being tested for carbohydrate composition and potential ethanol yield.  Additional analysis will include They will also be pretreated and fermented to ethanol individually and in combinations to test for processing consistency.

Major Results and Conclusions

This work is commencing in Fall 2009.

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