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Food and Crop Waste: A Valuable Biomass Feedstock

With virtually all of the biofuels currently produced in the United States sourced from either soybeans or corn, there is significant interest in developing a diverse array of biomass feedstocks that will not compete for food resources. Dedicated energy crops such as switchgrass and hybrid poplar have caught the public’s imagination, but they are not the only answer. A significant quantity of grains, fruits and vegetables produced on the nation’s farms never end up on the consumer’s plate, but are instead left in the field or lost in food processing facilities. These starch- and oil-rich resources can be used to produce biofuels using the same technology as the existing biofuels industry. EESI summarized data on food processing and crop waste to illustrate that unused agricultural production represents a potentially large resource. This is not meant as a comprehensive assessment; further research is needed to understand and quantify the full potential of unutilized agricultural production, particularly in light of the fact that composting firms, feed manufacturers, and other facilities currently use some of this material.

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Date Of Record Release 2009-04-20 18:37:00
Description With virtually all of the biofuels currently produced in the United States sourced from either soybeans or corn, there is significant interest in developing a diverse array of biomass feedstocks that will not compete for food resources. Dedicated energy crops such as switchgrass and hybrid poplar have caught the public’s imagination, but they are not the only answer. A significant quantity of grains, fruits and vegetables produced on the nation’s farms never end up on the consumer’s plate, but are instead left in the field or lost in food processing facilities. These starch- and oil-rich resources can be used to produce biofuels using the same technology as the existing biofuels industry. EESI summarized data on food processing and crop waste to illustrate that unused agricultural production represents a potentially large resource. This is not meant as a comprehensive assessment; further research is needed to understand and quantify the full potential of unutilized agricultural production, particularly in light of the fact that composting firms, feed manufacturers, and other facilities currently use some of this material.
Classification
Resource Type
Format
Subject
Source Environmental and Energy Study Institute
Keyword Biofuels, Soybeans, Corn, Biomass, Switchgrass, Hybrid, Crops
Selector Jund
Date Of Record Creation 2009-04-20 18:26:13
Education Level
Date Last Modified 2010-05-13 16:43:34
Language English
Date Record Checked: 2009-04-20 00:00:00 (W3C-DTF)

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