We would like to invite you to the initial "Water Institute Water Institute Munch Bunch" seminar which is focusing on the results of a 2007 Water Institute Program Initiation Fund project headed by Dr. Matt Cohen entitled "The Water Resource Implications of Large-Scale Bioethanol Production." We hope discussions after the seminar will provide an opportunity to explore future areas of mutual interest to the group. We would also appreciate your sharing this with others in your network that may be interested in attending. See Attached flyer and below.
Thursday January 22, 2009
Frazier-Rogers Hall 122
12:30 to 1:30 --> seminar and 20 minute discussion
The Water Resource Implications of Large-Scale Bioethanol Production
Matthew J. Cohen, Ph.D.
Jason M. Evans, Ph. D.
School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida
Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates U.S. production of 136 billion liters of biofuel by 2022. This target implies an appropriation of regional primary production for dedicated feedstocks at scales that may dramatically affect water supply, exacerbate existing water quality challenges, and force undesirable environmental resource trade-offs. Using a comparative life cycle approach, we assess energy balances and water resource implications for four dedicated ethanol feedstocks - corn, sugarcane, sweet sorghum, and southern pine - in two southeastern states, Florida and Georgia, which are a presumed epicenter for future biofuel production. Net energy benefit ratios for ethanol and co-products range were positive for all feedstocks, but varied from a low of 1.26 for corn, to a high of 2.97 for southern pine. Ultimately, however, all four feedstocks require substantial land, annual nitrogen fertilization and annual total water resources when scaled up to meet EISA renewable fuel standards (RFS) production goals. Utilization of existing waste biomass sources may ameliorate these effects, but does not obviate the need for dedicated primary feedstock production.