1st Edition

Wastelands New Paradigms in Sustainable Biomass Cropping Systems in Marginal Lands

    500 Pages
    by CRC Press

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    After years of debating food vs. fuel, researchers and policymakers now realize that the planet has around 3 billion hectares of surplus lands we can use for non-food purposes. This book provides a comprehensive discussion on how more resilient biomass systems can replace fossil energy and illuminates sustainable solutions for utilizing marginal lands where food and energy are both big barriers for human progress and socioeconomic development. In addition, the book discusses the benefits for biodiversity, erosion control, rural employment, wildfires, and even soil improvement in semiarid tropical and temperate areas with low profitability for traditional food alternatives.

    A new paradigm for a biobased economy. Can we re-vegetate and reforest degraded low carbon soils to obtain biomass for renewable energy or biomaterials with a net overall benefit for the society? The sustainability of bioenergy under debate today: Emissions and food vs fuels debates. FAO assessments on marginal lands availability with potential use for biomass dedicated plantations. Links between deforestation, desertification, erosion, biodiversity and perennial biomass cropping systems. Expected contribution of dedicated plantations to a global biobased economy. Bioenergy cropping systems producing low carbon footprint/ILUC biomass. A new approach for existing sustainable cropping systems with potential for a biobased economy. Energy cane and Pennisetum sp. Cropping systems. Energy grasses in temperate regions (including arundo, switchgrass, miscanthus, Tall wheatgrass and many others). Energy grasses in tropical regions including Brachiaria, Setaria, Chloris gayana, Rhode grass, Guinea grass and other C4 species. Semi herbaceous crops: Sida, Nicotiana and others. SRF tropics: Eucalyptus, Acacia and several others for tropics (examples in SE Asia, Australia, Latin America and Caribbean). SRC in temperate areas (bringing USA, Canada, Germany, etc.). Biomass systems from extremely marginal lands. Case studies review: Prosopis trees (Mesquite) in Australia and Northern Argentina, Atriplex in Northern Chile, Acacia/guinea grass in Australia, Siberian Elm in semiarid cold northern latitudes. CAM plants for bioenergy (Opuntia and Agave in marginal lands and commercial examples). Annual biomass cropping systems: when and how are they sustainable? Sorghum, triticale, rye, others systems. Multi purpose cropping systems – The four F (Food, feed, fuel, fibre). Geospatial Modeling Applications for low cost and footprint of solid biomass. Biomass characterization from cultivated species. Recent trends and evidence of biomass cropping systems sustainability. How much sustainable land to use and Food security and land use. Social implications/aspects regarding Bioenergy crops. Perennial bioenergy cropping systems and flora & fauna. Bioenergy crops improving soils to increase net carbon sequestration. Life Cycle thinking and lignocellulosic bioenergy crops – The systems boundaries. Economics of farming energy crops in marginal lands. Implementation viability of biomass projects with dedicated plantations in marginal areas and large scale.


    Emiliano Maletta