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As concerns regarding increasing energy prices, global warming and renewable resources continue to grow, so has scientific discovery into agricultural biomass conversion. Plant Biomass Conversion addresses both the development of plant biomass and conversion technology, in addition to issues surrounding biomass conversion, such as the affect on water resources and soil sustainability. This book also offers a brief overview of the current status of the industry and examples of production plants being used in current biomass conversion efforts.
Section I: Introduction:. 1. Biofuels and Bio-based products-a new era of products from renewable sources. (Beth and Pete). This is the introduction to the whole book focus. It should be focused on what is possible from biomaterials-chemicals and fuels. Diversity of crop and animal feedstocks are also important although this book will focus on plant feedstocks. Volumes of feedstocks necessary to meet the needs. Section II: Feedstocks-near and far term. 2. Agricultural and forest residues-This will focus on the first wave of feedstocks for the renewable industry-rice straw, corn stover, wheat straw, cotton trash, etc., even forest slash and sawdust. 3. Woody crops-Steve Strauss-this will focus on hybrid poplar as a feedstock for biomass. 4. MSW-Bill Ort to suggest a potential author-for cities, this is an additional feedstock to crop feedstocks. This prevents build up of municipal solid waste. Need to show the volumes available. 5. Miscanthus-Mendel (Neal?)-Advantages and disadvantages; will the USDA allow this non-native plant on a large scale?. 6. Switchgrass-Ceres (Steve?)-Advantages and disadvantages; what are the issues to high production from this plant?. 7. Other energy crops-Arundo, etc (Peggy Ozias-Akins)-what are the advantages and disadvantages of this crop?. Section III: Soil and water sustainability. 8. Soil and water sustainability for biofuel production-Steve Green and Jennifer Bouldin-If we harvest the biomass that is usually left on the ground in no-till agriculture, what are the consequences to the soil.? How much water will this take?. Section IV: Technology. 9. Enzymes-Production systems (Beth and John Howard). a. Transgenic Plants-seed and biomass. b. Fungal fermentation. c. Enzyme quality and specific activity. d. Enzyme cocktails-biochemistry. 10. Pretreatment options-this is current technology that will be deployed for the early production plants. (Michael Ladisch, Andy Aden, Bruce Dale). a. Steam. b. Acid. c. Ammonia. d. Advanced pretreatment options. 11. Fermentation Organisms-for 5 and 6 carbon sugars. Section V: Pilot and Production plants. 12. Summary and analysis of those funded by DOE-useful to know who has been funded and what type of technology is being deployed in these plants. Other, non-DOE funded facilities. 13. Non-US facilities and technologies. 14. Economics-Economics chapter: (Marie Walsh?)-What will drive this industry? Sustainability. Section VI: Summary. 15. Future directions-new technologies. 16. Book summary
Elizabeth Hood, Ph.D, is the Associate Vice Chancellor for research and technology transfer at Arkansas State University. Peter Nelson is a principal in BioDimensions, providing services for startup companies developing green technology. Randy Powell, Ph.D, is the president of Powell Consulting, LLC, a construction consulting firm promoting biofuel and bioproducts.
Overall it gives very good insights on biomass feedstocks for all uses of biomass as well as fermentation technologies mainly for biofuels. (Encyclopedia of Industrial Biotechnology, 30 August 2011)