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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(5), 768-788;

Perennial Forages as Second Generation Bioenergy Crops

USDA-ARS, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit, Building 3702, Curtin Road, University Park, PA 16802-3702, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 April 2008 / Revised: 9 May 2008 / Accepted: 12 May 2008 / Published: 20 May 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Full-Text   |   PDF [301 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


The lignocellulose in forage crops represents a second generation of biomass feedstock for conversion into energy-related end products. Some of the most extensively studied species for cellulosic feedstock production include forages such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). An advantage of using forages as bioenergy crops is that farmers are familiar with their management and already have the capacity to grow, harvest, store, and transport them. Forage crops offer additional flexibility in management because they can be used for biomass or forage and the land can be returned to other uses or put into crop rotation. Estimates indicate about 22.3 million ha of cropland, idle cropland, and cropland pasture will be needed for biomass production in 2030. Converting these lands to large scale cellulosic energy farming could push the traditional forage-livestock industry to ever more marginal lands. Furthermore, encouraging bioenergy production from marginal lands could directly compete with forage-livestock production. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioenergy crops; carbon sequestration; cellulosic ethanol; greenhouse gases; switchgrass bioenergy crops; carbon sequestration; cellulosic ethanol; greenhouse gases; switchgrass
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Sanderson, M.A.; Adler, P.R. Perennial Forages as Second Generation Bioenergy Crops. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9, 768-788.

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