This page links and lists peer-reviewed scientific papers dealing with bioenergy technology, agriculture, environmental impact and other areas. Papers that examine other issues from a social science, political or economic perspective are in Reports. Papers whose primary purpose is to advocate a specific policy or approach are in the position papers section.
- A Look Back at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Aquatic Species Program: Biodiesel from Algae By John Sheehan, Terri Dunahay, John Benemann, Paul Roessler; USDOE, July 1998.
- Effects of Butyrate Uptake and Long-term Stability of a Fibrous Bed Bioreactor on Continuous ABE Fermentation by Clostridium acetobutylicum by Wei-Cho Huang, David E. Ramey, Shang-Tian Yang, Environmental Energy inc.
- Production of Butyric Acid and Butanol from Biomass by David Ramey and Shang-Tian Yang; for USDOE, 2004.
- Biofuels and Biodiversity: Principles for Creating Better Policies for Biofuel Production, Martha J. Groom, Elizabeth M. Gray, and Patricia A. Townsend, June 2008, Conservation Biology Vol 22, pp 602-609 (subscription required).
- "Biofuel feedstocks should be grown with environmentally safe and biodiversity-friendly agricultural practices."
- In order to minimize land-use requirements, "The best alternatives appear to be fuels of the future, especially fuels derived from microalgae."
- "Biofuels that can sequester carbon or that have a negative or zero carbon balance when viewed over the entire production life cycle should be given high priority."
- "Corn-based ethanol is the worst among the alternatives that are available at present."
- Oil Palm Research in Context: Identifying the Need for Biodiversity Assessment., by Turner EC, Snaddon JL, Fayle TM and Foster WA, PLOS ONE February 2008
- Cyanobacteria generate electricity under sunlight by John Pisciota, Youngjin Zou and Ilia Baskakov, University of Maryland, Baltimore.
- Biogas Production from Energy Crops and Crop Residues by Annimari Lehtomäki; dissertation, University of Jyväskylä, May 2006.
- The metabolic signature related to high plant growth rate in Arabidopsis thaliana by Rhonda C. Meyer, Matthias Steinfath, Jan Lisec, Martina Becher, Hanna Witucka-Wall, Ottó Törjék, Oliver Fiehn, Änne Eckardt, Lothar Willmitzer, Joachim Selbig, and Thomas Altmann; PNAS, 3 January 2007.
- Biomass-coal Co-combustion: Opportunity for Affordable Renewable Energy (PDF) by Larry Baxter and Jaap Koppejan; IEA Biomass Combustion and Co-firing, published in EuroHeat & Power, January 2004.
- A life-cycle Assesment of Biomass Cofiring in a Coal-fired Power Plant (PDF) by M.K. Mann, P.L. Splath; US National Renewable Energy Labratories, June 2001.
- Repowering Options: Retrofit of Coal-Fired Power Boilers using Fluidized Bed Biomass Gasification (PDF), by Michael Murphy; Energy Products of Idaho, May 2001.
- Biomass Test Burn Report Polk Power Station Unit 1 (PDF); Tampa Electric Company, April 2002.
- Induction of the celC operon of Clostridium thermocellum by laminaribiose by Michael Newcomb, Chun-Yu Chen, and J. H. David Wu; PNAS, 5 January 2007. This paper identifies how genes responsible for biomass breakdown are turned on in a microorganism that produces ethanol from biomass sources.
- Breaking the Biological Barriers to Cellulosic Ethanol: A Joint Research Agenda - A Research Roadmap Resulting from the Biomass to Biofuels Workshop, December 7–9, 2005, Rockville, Maryland; USDOE.
- Carbon-Negative Biofuels from Low-Input High-Diversity Grassland Biomass (subscription required) by David Tilman, Jason Hill, and Clarence Lehman; Science Vol. 314. no. 5805, pp. 1598-1600, 8 December 2006.
- Ethanol from Cellulose: A General Review (PDF) by P.C. Badger; reprinted from: Trends in new crops and new uses, J. Janick and A. Whipkey (eds.). ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA, 2002.
- The Environmental Benefits of Cellulosic Energy Crops at a Landscape Scale, 3 May 1996, by Robin L. Graham, et al, "presents a broad overview of the potential environmental impacts of biomass energy from energy crops, particularly the cellulosic energy crops" and finds that "[a]ssessing the environmental impacts of biomass energy from energy crops is complex" as it must address both "the context of alternative energy options" and "alternative land uses." Thus, "[u]sing biomass-derived energy can either reduce or increase greenhouse gas emissions; growing biomass energy crops can enhance soil fertility or degrade it."
- An Inventory Of Data, For Reconstructing 'Natural Steady State' Carbon Storage In Terrestrial Ecosystems by Jonathan Adams, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This webpage provides an inventory of data on carbon sinks in various ecosystems.
- Carbon payback times for crop-based biofuel expansion in the tropics: the effects of changing yield and technology by Holly K Gibbs, Matt Johnston, Jonathan A Foley, Tracey Holloway, Chad Monfreda, Navin Ramankutty and David Zaks. Environmental Research Letters, 3, 034001. July 2008
- Life Cycle Assessment of Energy Products: Environmental Assessment of Biofuels - Executive Summary by Rainer Zah, Heinz Böni, Marcel Gauch, Roland Hischier, Martin Lehmann & Patrick Wäger (translated by Thomas Ruddy); EMPA, Switzerland, 22 May 2007. The report examines the result of life-cycle analysis of both the greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts for a range of biofuels, including ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, and biogas, made from a range feedstocks. The report suggests that there may be trade-offs between greenhouse gas benefits and environmental impacts, mainly due to the effects of intensified agriculture.
- Life-Cycle Assessment Of Net Greenhouse-Gas Flux For Bioenergy Cropping Systems by Paul R. Adler, Stephen J. Del Grosso, and William J. Parton, Ecological Applications, 17(3), 2007, pp. 675–691.
- Comparison of Transport Fuels: Final Report (EV45A/2/F3C) to the Australian Greenhouse Office on the Stage 2 study of Life-cycle Emissions Analysis of Alternative Fuels for Heavy Vehicles by By Tom Beer, Tim Grant, Geoff Morgan, Jack Lapszewicz, Peter Anyon, Jim Edwards, Peter Nelson, Harry Watson & David Williams; CSIRO in association with The University of Melbourne, the Centre for Design at RMIT, Parsons Australia Pty Ltd and Southern Cross Institute of Health Research, January 2006.
- Life Cycle Assessment of Vehicle Fuels and Technologies by Dr Ben Lane; Ecolane Transport Consultancy on behalf of London Borough of Camden, March 2006.
- Life Cycle Inventory of Biodiesel and Petroleum Diesel for Use in an Urban Bus by U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Energy Final Report, May 1998.
- Environmental, economic, and energetic costs and benefits of biodiesel and ethanol biofuels by Jason Hill, Erik Nelson, David Tilman, Stephen Polasky, and Douglas Tiffany; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 12 July 2006.
- Excerpts from the abstract: "To be a viable alternative, a biofuel should provide a net energy gain, have environmental benefits, be economically competitive, and be producible in large quantities without reducing food supplies....Ethanol yields 25% more energy than the energy invested in its production, whereas biodiesel yields 93% more....Relative to the fossil fuels they displace, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 12% by the production and combustion of ethanol and 41% by biodiesel....Transportation biofuels such as synfuel hydrocarbons or cellulosic ethanol, if produced from low-input biomass grown on agriculturally marginal land or from waste biomass, could provide much greater supplies and environmental benefits than food-based biofuels."
- Ethanol Production Using Corn, Switchgrass, and Wood; Biodiesel Production Using Soybean and Sunflower (subscription required) by David Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek; Natural Resources Research Journal, Volume 14, Number 1 / March 2005.
- Life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emission impacts of different corn ethanol plant types by Michael Wang, May Wu and Hong Huo, Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory, USA. The latest of the studies concerning Life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emission impacts; suggests that the ethanol plant types can have distinctly different energy and greenhouse gas emission effects on a full fuel-cycle basis.
- Learn more about the Searchinger-Wang debate.
- Review of Corn Based Ethanol Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions (pdf) by Tiffany Groode, (Advisor: Professor John Heywood); MIT Laboratory for Energy and the Environment, LFEE Working Paper 07-1, June 2006. Suggests that the net-energy balance of corn ethanol is so close that a number of factors can determine whether it is positive or negative.
- Ethanol Fuels: Energy Balance, Economics, and Environmental Impacts Are Negative (subscription required) by David Pimentel; Natural Resources Research Journal, Volume 12, Number 2 / June 2003.
- Net Energy Balance for Bioethanol Production and Use US Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Department (EERE).
- Estimating the Net Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol (PDF) by Hosein Shapouri, James A. Duffield, and Michael S. Graboski. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Office of Energy. Agricultural Economic Report No. 721, July 1995.
- Life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emission impacts of different corn ethanol plant types by Michael Wang, May Wu and Hong Huo, Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL 60565, USA. The latest of the studies concerning Life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emission impacts; suggests that the ethanol plant types can have distinctly different energy and greenhouse gas emission effects on a full fuel-cycle basis.
- Cellulosic and Grain Bioenergy Crops Reduce Net Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Transportation Fuels by Paul Adler, Stephen De Grosso, and William Parton; USDA Symposium on Greenhouse Gases & Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture and Forestry, 5 February 2007 (abstract). To be published in the April 2007 issue of Ecological Applications.
- Effects of Fuel Ethanol Use on Fuel-Cycle Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions (pdf) by by M. Wang, C. Saricks, and D. Santini, Center for Transportation Research, Energy Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory, January 1999.
- Adoption Subsidies and Environmental Impacts of Alternative Energy Crops by Bruce A. Babcock, Philip W. Gassman, Manoj Jha, Catherine L. Kling; Center for Agricultural and Renewable Development, Iowa State University, March 2007. Provides "estimates of the costs associated with inducing substantial conversion of land from production of traditional crops to switchgrass" and examines "potential environmental consequences of conversion".
- Costs of Producing Switchgrass for Biomass in Southern Iowa (pdf) by Michael D. Duffy and Virginie Y. Nanhou; Reprinted from: Trends in new crops and new uses. 2002. J. Janick and A. Whipkey (eds.). ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
- Ethanol from Whey: Continuous Fermentation with a Catabolite Repression-Resistant Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mutant by Scott L. Terrell, Alain Bernard, and Richard B. Bailey; Appl Environ Microbiology. 1984 September; 48(3): 577–580.
- Overall view on the tradition of tapping palm trees and prospects for animal production by Dalibard; Christophe International Relations Service, Ministry of Agriculture, France, 1999. This paper examines the traditions and potential of tapping palm trees, including Nypa palm, for sugar production, primarily with a view towards using palm sugar as a feed for use in producing ethanol.
- Sustainable fuel for the transportation sector by Rakesh Agrawal, Navneet R. Singh, Fabio H. Ribeiro, and W. Nicholas Delgass; School of Chemical Engineering and Energy Center at Discovery Park, Purdue University, PNAS published online Mar 14, 2007.
- Halophytes for Sustainable Biosalinie Farming Systems in the Middle East by Abdullah Jaradat; Alsharhan, A.A. Et Al. Editors. A.A. Balkema/Swets & Zeitlinger, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Desertification For The Third Millennium. 2003. P. 187-203.
- Energy crops and bioenergy for rescuing deserting coastal area by desalination: feasibility study by David Chiaramonti, Herbert-Peter Grimmb, Nasir El Bassamc and Manuel Cendagortad; Bioresource Technology Volume 72, Issue 2 , April 2000, Pages 131-146.
- Climate change, biofuels and eco-social impacts in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado (PDF file). by Donald Sawyer. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Volume 363, February 2008, Pages 1747–1752.
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