CenUSA Bioenergy is a coordinated research and education effort investigating the creation of a regional system in the Central US for producing advanced transportation fuels from perennial grasses on land that is either unsuitable or marginal for row crop production. In addition to producing advanced biofuels, the proposed system will improve the sustainability of existing cropping systems by reducing agricultural runoff of nutrients in soil and increasing carbon sequestration.
CenUSA Bioenergy researchers from Iowa State University, Purdue University, University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, University of Illinois and the USDA Agricultural Research Service cover topics of interest to producers and growers in the following resources. Learn more about the CenUSA Bioenergy Project.
CenUSA Bioenergy Learning Modules - Table of Contents
Module 1. Feedstock Development
- Casler, M.D. & Vogel, K.P. (2014). Selection for biomass yield in upland, lowland, and hybrid switchgrass. Crop Sci. 54:626-636.
- Price, D.L. & Casler, M.D. (2014). Predictive relationships between plant morphological traits and biomass yield of switchgrass. Crop Sci. 54:637-645.
- Price, D.L. & M.D. Casler. (2014). Inheritance of secondary morphological traits for among-and-within-family selection in upland tetraploid switchgrass. Crop Sci. 54:646-653.
- Price, D.L. Casler, M.D. (2014). Divergent selection for secondary traits in upland tetraploid switchgrass and effects on sward biomass yield. BioEnergy Res. 7:329-337.
- Resende, R.M.S., de Resende, M.D.V. & Casler, M.D. (2013). Selection methods in forage breeding: a quantitative appraisal. Crop Sci. 53:1925-1936.
- Resende, R.M.S., Casler, M.D., & de Resende, M.D.V. (2014). Genomic selection in forage breeding: Accuracy and methods. Crop Sci. 54:143-156.
- Koch, K., R. Fithian, Heng-Moss, T., Bradshaw, J., Sarath, G. & Spilker, C. (2014). Evaluation of tetraploid switchgrass populations (Panicum virgatum L.) for host suitability and differential resistance to four cereal aphids. J. Econ. Entomol. (in press).
- Koch, K., Heng-Moss, T., Bradshaw, J. & Sarath, G. (2014). Categories of resistance to greenbug and yellow sugarcane aphid (Homoptera: Aphididae) in three tetraploid switchgrass populations. BioEnergy Research (in press).
- Vogel, K.P., Mitchell, R.B., Casler, M.D. & G. Sarath. (2014). Registration of 'Liberty' switchgrass. J. Plant Regist. (in press).
- Casler, M.D. (2014). Heterosis and reciprocal-cross effects in tetraploid switchgrass. Crop Sci. 54: (in press).
Module 2. Sustainable Feedstock Production
- Allen, R.M., & Laird, D.A. 2013. Quantitative prediction of biochar soil amendments by near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 77:1784-1794.
- Basso, A.S., Miguez, F.E., Laird, D.A., Horton, R. & Westgate, M. (2013). Assessing potential of biochar for increasing water-holding capacity of sandy soils. GCB Bioenergy. 5: 132–143. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12026.
- Coulman, B., Dalai A., Heaton E.A., Lefsrud M., Levin D., Lemaux, P.G., Neale D., Shoemaker S. P., Singh J., Smith D.L. & Whalen J.K. (2013). Lignocellulosic biofuel feedstocks. BioFPR, 7, 582-601; invited submission.
- Dierking, R.M., Volenec, J.J. & Murphy, P.T. (2013). Forage yield and quality of Miscanthus giganteus subjected to simulated haying/grazing conditions. Abstract 245-5. Inter. Meeting of the Amer. Soc. Agron.-Crop Sci. Soc. of Amer.-Soil Sci. Soc. of Amer. Nov. 2-6, Tampa, FL.
- Fidel, R.B., Laird, D.A., & Thompson, M.L. (2013). Evaluation of Modified Boehm Titration Methods for Use with Biochars. Journal of Environmental Quality. 42:1771-1778.
- Laird D.A., & Chang, C.W. (2013). Long-term impacts of residue harvesting on soil quality. Soil & Tillage Research. 134:33-40.
- Heaton E.A., Schulte L.A, Berti M., Langeveld H., Zegada-Lizarazu W., Parrish D. & Monti, A. (2013). Integrating food and fuel: How to manage a 2G-crop portfolio. BioFPR. 7, 702-714; invited submission.
- Long, M.K., Volenec, J.J. & Brouder, S.M. (2013). Theoretical ethanol yield for potential bioenergy sorghum genotypes of differing compositions. Abstract 373-9. Inter. Meeting of the Amer. Soc. Agron.-Crop Sci. Soc. of Amer.-Soil Sci. Soc. of Amer. Nov. 2-6, Tampa, FL.
- Mitchell, R.B. (2013) Establishing and managing perennial grasses for bioenergy. Proc. 25th Annual Integrated Crop Management Conference, Iowa State University, pp. 49-51. 2013.
- Mitchell, R.B., & Schmer, M.R. Switchgrass for biomass energy. Proc. Nebraska Crop Production Clinic Proceedings, University of Nebraska, pp. 13-16. 2014.
- Mitchell, R.B., Vogel, K.P. & Schmer, M.R. (2013). Growing switchgrass for biofuels, Fact Sheet No. 3, CenUSA Bioenergy, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA.
- Owens V.N., Viands D.R., Mayton H.S., Fike J.H., Farris R., Heaton E.A., Bransby D.I. & Hong C.O. (2013). Nitrogen use in switchgrass grown for bioenergy across the USA. Biomass and Bioenergy. 58, 286-293.
- Waramit, N., Moore K.J. & Heaton E.A. (2013). Nitrogen and harvest date affect developmental morphology and biomass yield of warm-season grasses. Global Change Biology Bioenergy. Article first published online: 29 AUG 2013, DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12086
- Bonin C., Heaton E.A. & Barb J. (2014). Miscanthus sacchariflorus: biofuel parent or new weed? Global Change Biology Bioenergy. Article first published online: 31 JAN 2014 DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12098.
- Vogel, K.P., Mitchell, R.B., Casler, M. D. & Sarath, G. (2014). Registration of ‘Liberty’ switchgrass. Journal of Plant Registrations (accepted 25 Feb., 2014).
Module 3. Feedstock Logistics: Harvest & Storage
- Shinners, K.J. & Friede, J.C. (2013). Improving the drying rate of switchgrass. ASABE Technical Paper No. 1591968. ASABE, St. Joseph, MI.
- Shinners, K.J. & Friede, J.C. (2013). Energy requirements for at-harvest or on-farm size-reduction of biomass. ASABE Technical Paper No. 1591983. ASABE, St. Joseph, MI.
- Shinners, K.J. & Friede, J.C., & Kraus, J. & Anstey, D. (2013). Improving bale handling logistics by strategic bale placement. ASABE Technical Paper No. 1591987. ASABE, St. Joseph, MI.
Module 4. System Performance: Economics, Environment, Modeling, Analysis and Tools
- Schmer MR, Vogel KP, Varvel GE, Follett RF, Mitchell RB, et al. (2014) Energy Potential and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Bioenergy Cropping Systems on Marginally Productive Cropland. PLoS ONE 9(3): e89501. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089501
- Schilling, K., Gassman, P., Kling, C. T. Campbell, M. Jha, C. Wolter, & J. Arnold. (2103). The Potential for Agricultural Land Use Change to Reduce Flood Risk in a Large Watershed. Hydrological Processes (2013), wileyonlinelibrary.com, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.9865.
- Rabotyagov, S., Kling, C.L., Gassman, P., Rabalais, N. & Turner, R. (2014). The Economics of Dead Zones: Causes, Impacts, Policy Challenges, and a Model of the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, published online Jan. 5, 2014 doi:10.1093/reep/ret024
- Keeler B., Krohn, B., Nickerson, T. & Hill, J. (2014). U.S. Federal agency models offer different visions for achieving Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) biofuel volumes. Environ. Sci. Technol. (2013) 47: 10095–10101. (Cover Feature)
- Panagopoulos, Y., Gassman, P., Arritt, R., Herzmann, D., Campbell, T., Jha, M., Kling, C.L., Srinivasan, R., White, M. & Arnold, J. (2014). Surface Water Quality and Cropping Systems Sustainability under a Changing Climate in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation (2014): forthcoming.
- Rabotyagov, S., Valcu, A. & Kling, C.L. (2014). Reversing the Property Rights: Practice-Based Approaches for Controlling Agricultural Nonpoint-Source Water Pollution When Emissions Aggregate Nonlinearly. American Journal of Agricultural Economics (2014): forthcoming.
Module 5. Feedstock Conversion and Biofuels Co-Products
- Zhang, Y., Hu, G., & Brown, R. C. (2013). Life cycle assessment of the production of hydrogen and transportation fuels from corn stover via fast pyrolysis. Environ. Res. Lett. 8, 025001 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/025001.
- Brown, T. R., Thilakaratne, R., Brown, R. C., & Hu, G. (2013). Techno-economic analysis of biomass to transportation fuels and electricity via fast pyrolysis and hydroprocessing. Fuel 106, 463–469, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2012.11.029.
- Brown, T. & Brown, R. C. (2013). A review of cellulosic biofuel commercial-scale projects in the United States. Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefineries 7, 235-245. DOI: 10.1002/bbb.1387.
- Brown, T. & Brown, R. C. (2013). Techno-economics of advanced biofuels pathways. Royal Society of Chemistry Advances 3 (17), 5758 – 5764, DOI: 10.1039/C2RA23369J.
- Allen, R.M. & Laird, D.A. (2013). Quantitative prediction of biochar soil amendments by near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 77:1784-1794.
- Fidel, R.B., Laird, D.A. & Thompson, M.L. (2013). Evaluation of Modified Boehm Titration Methods for Use with Biochars. Journal of Environmental Quality. 42:1771-1778.
- Thilakaratne, R., Brown, T., Li, Y., Hu, G., & Brown R.C. (2014). Mild catalytic pyrolysis of biomass for production of transportation fuels: a techno-economic analysis. Green Chemistry, DOI: 10.1039/C3GC41314D.
Module 6. Markets and Distribution
Resources to be published later in the CenUSA Project, as research progresses.
- Kauffman, N., Dumortier, J., Hayes, D.J. Brown, R.C. & Laird, D.A. “Producing energy while sequestering carbon? The relationship between biochar and agricultural productivity. Forthcoming in Biomass and Bioenergy.
- Kauffman, N. & Hayes, D. (2013)The Trade-off between Bioenergy and Emissions with Land Constraints. Energy Policy 54, 300-310, 2013.
- Jacobs, K. Perennial Grasses for Bioenergy in the Central United States: Updates on Economics and Research Progress. 2013 ICM Conference Proceedings, Iowa State University.
Module 7. Health and Safety
Resources to be published later in the CenUSA Project, as research progresses.
- Schaufler, D. H., Yoder, A.M., Murphy, D. J., Schwab, C.V. & Dehart. A.F. Safety and Health Hazards in On-Farm Biomass Production & Processing. (2014). ASABE Journal Agricultural Safety and Health (submitted – in review).
"Formal" Educational Programs and Curriculum
In order to prepare the next generation of workers for the emerging bioeconomy, CenUSA is providing interdisciplinary training and engagement opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students; and developing a bioenergy curriculum core for the Central region of the United States.
Biochar Demonstration - Extension Master Gardener reports
CenUSA Social Media: Ask an Expert, Newsletter, Facebook, Twitter
Ask an Expert - our specialists will answer your questions on growing perennial grasses for biofuel, pyrolysis, biochar and more.
BLADES Newsletter - your source for the latest information on grass-based bioenergy research, policy and industry breakthroughs, innovative educational programs and upcoming events.
Twitter @ cenusabioenergy
CenUSA Bioenergy Resources by MediaType
(same resources as above, but organized by type)
Fact Sheets, Guides and Articles
Classroom Curriculum - see above
Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
CenUSA Bioenergy Overview