Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Corn Cobs Eyed for Bioenergy Production

01.02.2013
Corn crop residues are often left on harvested fields to protect soil quality, but they could become an important raw material in cellulosic ethanol production.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research indicates that soil quality would not decline if post-harvest corn cob residues were removed from fields.

This work, led by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) soil scientist Brian Wienhold, supports the USDA priority of developing new sources of bioenergy. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

Wienhold, with the ARS Agroecosystem Management Research Unit in Lincoln, Neb., led studies that compared runoff rates and sediment loss from no-till corn fields where postharvest crop residues were either removed or retained. The scientists also removed cobs from half of the test plots that were protected by the residues.

After the test plots were established, the scientists generated two simulated rainfall events. The first occurred when the fields were dry, and the next occurred 24 hours later when the soils were almost completely saturated.

During the first event, on plots where residue was removed, runoff began around 200 seconds after the "rain" began. Runoff from plots protected by residues didn't start until around 240 seconds after it started to "rain."

Runoff from the residue-free plots contained 30 percent more sediment than runoff from all the residue-protected plots. But the presence or absence of cobs on the residue-protected plots did not significantly affect sediment loss rates.

Wienhold's team concluded that even though cob residues did slightly delay the onset of runoff, sediment loss rates were not significantly affected by the presence or absence of the cobs. The results indicated that the cobs could be removed from other residue and used for bioenergy feedstock without significantly interfering with the role of crop residues in protecting soils.

In a related study, Wienhold examined how the removal of cob residues affected soil nutrient levels. Over the course of a year, his sampling indicated that cobs were a source of soil potassium, but that they weren't a significant source of any other plant nutrients.

Results from this work have been published in Agronomy Journal
https://www.agronomy.org/publications/aj
Read more about the research in the January 2013 issue of Agricultural Research magazine: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jan13/corncobs0113.htm

Ann Perry | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ars.usda.gov

Further reports about: Agricultural Research Production line USDA crop residues

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>