Investigation/Simulation of Environmental Impacts and Economic Impacts and Economic Feasibility for Sweet Sorghum as a Sustainable Bioenergy Crop in South Central United States to Help Meet EISA Goals

The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) mandates production of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel in 2022, nearly five times the 2012 target of seven and one-half (7.5) billion gallons. The jump from 7.5 to 36 billion gallons is significant, especially in the expansion of biomass resources beyond current grain and oilseed-based feedstocks needed to meet this goal. In addition, steep reductions in greenhouse gases have also been placed on those feedstocks/ fuels including emissions from indirect land use. These criteria will favor feedstocks more efficient in all aspects of production and conversion and that provide sustainable energy, environmental, and economic returns. Issues such as land base utilization including potential expansion onto marginal lands, markets and prices, crop production, climate, and environmental quality with respect to air, water, and soil resources, will absolutely need to be considered and analyzed with an emphasis on energy, environmental, and economic sustainability. Currently, most research on sweet sorghum has focused on developing new germplasm for high sugar content crops, as well as harvesting, processing, and conversion technologies for high ethanol yield. Concurrent with these research efforts and also due to its efficiency of production with respect to natural resource consumption (fertilizer and water), the principal investigators of this project believe a real need exists to perform a detailed analysis investigating select, pertinent environmental quality impacts and economic feasibilities of sweet sorghum as a potential large-scale bioenergy/biofuel crop. Cropland, range and pastureland, scrubland, and marginal acreage possess significant geographic potential for alternate liquid fuel production. However, the manner in which these lands are utilized and managed for bioenergy production is extremely critical in assessing the energy, environmental, and economic sustainability of bio-based fuels. Quantitative and qualitative assessment of environmental and economic impacts associated with bioenergy resources at the sub-county level is absolutely critical to optimizing long-term sustainable bioenergy production strategies for maximizing energy returns, enhancing environmental quality, and economic feasibility related to largescale bioenergy crop production.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Program Information: Advanced Research, Biobased Research


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Johnson, Shawn

  • Performing Organizations:

    Kansas State University

    Manhattan, KS  United States  66506
  • Principal Investigators:

    Nelson, Richard

  • Start Date: 20091201
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20120531
  • Source Data: RiP Project 31383

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01572201
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Department of Transportation
  • Files: RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 4 2015 1:00AM