Biofuels from Agricultural Wastes and Byproducts

The demand for energy is rising and given that energy demand is projected to keep rising with constrained oil supplies, oil prices seem unlikely to fall significantly in the near future. Because 60% of U. S. petroleum supplies are imported, there is a need to develop alternative fuel supplies for future energy demands. Bioenergy has become a subject of increasing atten­tion around the world. But the use of crop biomass such as grains, roots, and tubers as a raw material for bioenergy production may compete with food and feed supplies. U. S. fuel ethanol and biodiesel production is at an all-time high, but the industry is also facing a significant problem on how to deal with byproducts and wastes such as corn fiber, dried distillers’ grains and solubles (DDGS), glycerin, food, and animal wastes. For instance, production of 10 tb of diesel results in 1 lb of glycerin and for every bushel of corn converted into ethanol (2.7 gallons), 18 lb of DDGS is generated. Waste, despite being one of the leading environmental problems, has the potential to become one of the largest bioenergy resources. Livestock production worldwide has grown rapidly in light of increased demand, and this has environ­mental implications especially in the area of waste management. In New York State alone, the dairy cow population is about 700,000, generating a significant amount of manure. At 40 lb of waste per cow per day, the energy potential is great. By eliminating the animal waste on a farm, a farmer alleviates or eliminates environmental problems, such as odor and water pollution, and may be able to increase the size of his herd. Animal waste digestion offers many economic benefits (biogas and fertilizer production). Therefore, finding new energy sources from livestock waste streams will be a major strategy to treat the waste and sustain the growth of the livestock industry.

Currently, there is no book on the market that is focused on the production of liquid biofuels and biogas from agricultural byproducts and wastes. This book will provide a comprehensive text on the science of production of liquid biofuels (ethanol and butanol) and biogas (methane) from agricultural byproducts as well as animal and food industry wastes. The book is intended for university researchers (professors, students, libraries), industry scientists (large company QA/QC management, bioenergy companies, start-up companies, microbiologists), as well as engineers and microbiologists from government agencies. This book should serve as an up — to-date reference resource for university and industry scientists in the area of biofuel research, waste treatment, and integrated farm management.