DOE researchers attempt to simulate perennial bioenergy crops in Midwest

May 19, 2021 |

In the Midwest, researchers project that biofuel production will continue to expand around the world. To understand the effects of this trend, scientists must accurately represent biofuel crops in land surface models. Using observations from biofuel plants in the Midwestern United States, researchers simulated two biofuel perennial plants, Miscanthus and switchgrass. The simulations indicate these high-yield perennial crops have several advantages over traditional annual bioenergy crops. They assimilate more carbon dioxide, and they require fewer nutrients and less water. This suggests these perennials are promising bioenergy crops.

This study constitutes the first attempt to simulate perennial bioenergy crops in the Community Terrestrial System Model (CTSM). The CTSM is an important multisector model. With this enhancement, CTSM becomes one of the first land models that can evaluate the complex dynamics of biofuel expansion. The model incorporates energy, water, land, and climate dynamics, and it works at local, regional, and global scales.

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Category: Research

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