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Title: Simulating and evaluating best management practices for integrated landscape management scenarios in biofuel feedstock production

Sound crop and land management strategies can maintain land productivity and improve the environmental sustainability of agricultural crop and feedstock production. With this study, it evaluates a strategy of incorporating landscape design and management concepts into bioenergy feedstock production. It examines the effect of land conversion and agricultural best management practices (BMPs) on water quality (nutrients and suspended sediments) and hydrology. The strategy was applied to the watershed of the South Fork Iowa River in Iowa, where the focus was on converting low-productivity land to provide cellulosic biomass and implementing riparian buffers. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was employed to simulate the impact at watershed and sub-basin scales. The study compared the representation of buffers by using trapping efficiency and area ratio methods in SWAT. Landscape design and management scenarios were developed to quantify water quality under (i) current land use, (ii) partial land conversion to switchgrass, and (iii) riparian buffer implementation. Results show that implementation of vegetative barriers and riparian buffer can trap the loss of total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and sediment significantly. The effect increases with the increase of buffer area coverage. Implementing riparian buffer at 30 m width is able to produce 4 million litersmore » of biofuels. When low-productivity land (15.2% of total watershed land area) is converted to grow switchgrass, suspended sediment, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and nitrate loadings are reduced by 69.3%, 55.5%, 46.1%, and 13.4%, respectively. The results highlight the significant role of lower-productivity land and buffers in cellulosic biomass and provide insights into the design of an integrated landscape with a conservation buffer for future bioenergy feedstock production.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1932-104X
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 09 BIOMASS FUELS; riparian buffer; vegetative barrier; landscape design and management; bioenergy production; switchgrass; sediment; nutrient; nitrogen; phosphorus; South Fork Iowa River; landscaping design and management
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1221764; OSTI ID: 1234077; OSTI ID: 1391724