skip to main content


Title: Drought effects on composition and yield for corn stover, mixed grasses, and Miscanthus as bioenergy feedstocks

Drought conditions in 2012 were some of the most severe in recent history. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of drought on quality, quantity, and theoretical ethanol yield (TEY) of three bioenergy feedstocks, corn stover, mixed grasses from Conservation Reserve Program lands, and Miscanthus × giganteus. To assess drought effects on these feedstocks, samples from 2010 (minimal to no drought) and 2012 (severe drought) were compared from multiple locations in the US. In all feedstocks, drought significantly increased extractives and reduced structural sugars and lignin; subsequently, TEYs were reduced 10–15%. Biomass yields were significantly reduced for M. × giganteus and mixed grasses. When reduction in quality and quantity were combined, TEYs decreased 26–59%. Drought negatively affected biomass quality and quantity that resulted in significant TEY reductions. As a result, such fluctuations in biomass quality and yield may have significant consequences for developing lignocellulosic biorefineries.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) National Lab. for Agriculture and the Environment (NLAE), Ames, IA (United States)
  4. Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
  5. Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO (United States)
  6. Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States)
  7. Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE (United States)
  8. Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1759-7269
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 3; Related Information: Biofuels; Journal ID: ISSN 1759-7269
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANAYLYTICAL CHEMISTRY; drought; bioconversion; compositional analysis; compatiple osmotic solutes; theoretical ethanol yield
OSTI Identifier: