Biomass Energy from Crop and Forest Residues

Science  05 Jun 1981:
Vol. 212, Issue 4499, pp. 1110-1115
DOI: 10.1126/science.212.4499.1110


Residues remaining after the harvest of crop and forestry products are being proposed as a substantial energy source for the nation. An estimated 22 percent of the residues might be utilized, providing a renewable source of high-grade energy with the potential of supplying 1 percent of the current U.S. gasoline consumption as ethanol or 4 percent of the total electrical energy used. These net energy benefits are limited by high energy costs to collect, transport, and process the residues. Environmental threats include soil erosion, water runoff, and nutrient loss.