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Title: 2016 Billion-Ton Report: Environmental Sustainability Effects of Select Scenarios from Volume 1 (Volume 2)

Abstract

On behalf of all the authors and contributors, it is a great privilege to present the 2016 Billion-Ton Report (BT16), volume 2: Environmental Sustainability Effects of Select Scenarios from volume 1. This report represents the culmination of several years of collaborative effort among national laboratories, government agencies, academic institutions, and industry. BT16 was developed to support the U.S. Department of Energy’s efforts towards national goals of energy security and associated quality of life.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
US Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B) (Bioenergy Technologies Office Corporate)
OSTI Identifier:
1341493
Report Number(s):
DOE/EE-1527
7606
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 2016 Billion-Ton Report Volume 2 Environmental Sustainability Effects of Select Scenarios from Volume 1

Citation Formats

Efroymson, R. A., Langholtz, M. H., Johnson, K. E., and Stokes, B. J. 2016 Billion-Ton Report: Environmental Sustainability Effects of Select Scenarios from Volume 1 (Volume 2). United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1341493.
Efroymson, R. A., Langholtz, M. H., Johnson, K. E., & Stokes, B. J. 2016 Billion-Ton Report: Environmental Sustainability Effects of Select Scenarios from Volume 1 (Volume 2). United States. doi:10.2172/1341493.
Efroymson, R. A., Langholtz, M. H., Johnson, K. E., and Stokes, B. J. Fri . "2016 Billion-Ton Report: Environmental Sustainability Effects of Select Scenarios from Volume 1 (Volume 2)". United States. doi:10.2172/1341493. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1341493.
@article{osti_1341493,
title = {2016 Billion-Ton Report: Environmental Sustainability Effects of Select Scenarios from Volume 1 (Volume 2)},
author = {Efroymson, R. A. and Langholtz, M. H. and Johnson, K. E. and Stokes, B. J.},
abstractNote = {On behalf of all the authors and contributors, it is a great privilege to present the 2016 Billion-Ton Report (BT16), volume 2: Environmental Sustainability Effects of Select Scenarios from volume 1. This report represents the culmination of several years of collaborative effort among national laboratories, government agencies, academic institutions, and industry. BT16 was developed to support the U.S. Department of Energy’s efforts towards national goals of energy security and associated quality of life.},
doi = {10.2172/1341493},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jan 13 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Fri Jan 13 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • With the goal of understanding environmental effects of a growing bioeconomy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), national laboratories, and U.S. Forest Service research laboratories, together with academic and industry collaborators, undertook a study to estimate environmental effects of potential biomass production scenarios in the United States, with an emphasis on agricultural and forest biomass. Potential effects investigated include changes in soil organic carbon (SOC), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water quality and quantity, air emissions, and biodiversity. Effects of altered land-management regimes were analyzed based on select county-level biomass-production scenarios for 2017 and 2040 taken from the 2016 Billion-Ton Report:more » Advancing Domestic Resources for a Thriving Bioeconomy (BT16), volume 1, which assumes that the land bases for agricultural and forestry would not change over time. The scenarios reflect constraints on biomass supply (e.g., excluded areas; implementation of management practices; and consideration of food, feed, forage, and fiber demands and exports) that intend to address sustainability concerns. Nonetheless, both beneficial and adverse environmental effects might be expected. To characterize these potential effects, this research sought to estimate where and under what modeled scenarios or conditions positive and negative environmental effects could occur nationwide. The report also includes a discussion of land-use change (LUC) (i.e., land management change) assumptions associated with the scenario transitions (but not including analysis of indirect LUC [ILUC]), analyses of climate sensitivity of feedstock productivity under a set of potential scenarios, and a qualitative environmental effects analysis of algae production under carbon dioxide (CO2) co-location scenarios. Because BT16 biomass supplies are simulated independent of a defined end use, most analyses do not include benefits from displacing fossil fuels or other products, with the exception of including a few illustrative cases on potential reductions in GHG emissions and fossil energy consumption associated with using biomass supplies for fuel, power, heat, and chemicals.« less
  • With the goal of understanding environmental effects of a growing bioeconomy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), national laboratories, and U.S. Forest Service research laboratories, together with academic and industry collaborators, undertook a study to estimate environmental effects of potential biomass production scenarios in the United States, with an emphasis on agricultural and forest biomass. Potential effects investigated include changes in soil organic carbon (SOC), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water quality and quantity, air emissions, and biodiversity. Effects of altered land-management regimes were analyzed based on select county-level biomass-production scenarios for 2017 and 2040 taken from the 2016 Billion-Ton Report:more » Advancing Domestic Resources for a Thriving Bioeconomy (BT16), volume 1, which assumes that the land bases for agricultural and forestry would not change over time. The scenarios reflect constraints on biomass supply (e.g., excluded areas; implementation of management practices; and consideration of food, feed, forage, and fiber demands and exports) that intend to address sustainability concerns. Nonetheless, both beneficial and adverse environmental effects might be expected. To characterize these potential effects, this research sought to estimate where and under what modeled scenarios or conditions positive and negative environmental effects could occur nationwide. The report also includes a discussion of land-use change (LUC) (i.e., land management change) assumptions associated with the scenario transitions (but not including analysis of indirect LUC [ILUC]), analyses of climate sensitivity of feedstock productivity under a set of potential scenarios, and a qualitative environmental effects analysis of algae production under carbon dioxide (CO 2) co-location scenarios. Because BT16 biomass supplies are simulated independent of a defined end use, most analyses do not include benefits from displacing fossil fuels or other products, with the exception of including a few illustrative cases on potential reductions in GHG emissions and fossil energy consumption associated with using biomass supplies for fuel, power, heat, and chemicals. Most analyses in volume 2 show potential for a substantial increase in biomass production with minimal or negligible environmental effects under the biomass supply constraints assumed in BT16. Although corn ethanol has been shown to achieve GHG emissions improvements over fossil fuels, cellulosic biomass shows further improvements in certain environmental indicators covered in this report. The harvest of agricultural and forestry residues generally shows the smallest contributions to changes in certain environmental indicators investigated. The scenarios show national-level net SOC gains. When expanding the system boundary in illustrative cases that consider biomass end use, reductions in GHG emissions are estimated for scenarios in which biomass—rather than oil, coal, and natural gas—is used to produce fuel, power, heat, and chemicals. Analyses of water quality reveal that there could be tradeoffs between biomass productivity and some water quality indicators, but better outcomes for both biomass productivity and water quality can be achieved with selected conservation practices. Biodiversity analyses show possible habitat benefits to some species, with other species showing potential adverse effects that may require additional safeguards. Increasing productivity of algae can reduce GHG emissions and water consumption associated with producing algal biomass, though the effects of water consumption are likely of greater concern in some regions than in others. Moreover, the effects of climate change on potential biomass production show gains and losses in yield among feedstocks across the continental United States. Key research gaps and priorities include actions that can enhance benefits and reduce potential for negative effects of increased biomass production. The results from this report will help DOE, the bioenergy industry, and other institutions continue important discussions on environmental effects and will help chart a path toward a more environmentally sustainable bioeconomy.« less
  • This product builds on previous efforts, namely the 2005 Billion-Ton Study (BTS) and the 2011 U.S. Billion-Ton Update (BT2).With each report, greater perspective is gained on the potential of biomass resources to contribute to a national energy strategy. Similarly, each successive report introduces new questions regarding commercialization challenges. BTS quantified the broad biophysical potential of biomass nationally, and BT2 elucidated the potential economic availability of these resources. These reports clearly established the potential availability of up to one billion tons of biomass resources nationally. However, many questions remain, including but not limited to crop yields, climate change impacts, logistical operations,more » and systems integration across production, harvest, and conversion. The present report aims to address many of these questions through empirically modeled energy crop yields, scenario analysis of resources delivered to biorefineries, and the addition of new feedstocks. Volume 2 of the 2016 Billion-Ton Report is expected to be released by the end of 2016. It seeks to evaluate environmental sustainability indicators of select scenarios from volume 1 and potential climate change impacts on future supplies.« less