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Willow Biomass Crop Feedstock Development . T.A. Volk, SUNY ESF, Syracuse, NY Sun Grant/DOE Regional Feedstock Partnership Report and Planning Meeting  February 23 - 24, 2010, San Antonio, Texas. Willow Biomass Crop Team at SUNY ESF. Larry Abrahamson Rebecca Allmond Ken Burns

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willow biomass crop feedstock development

Willow Biomass Crop Feedstock Development

T.A. Volk, SUNY ESF, Syracuse, NY

Sun Grant/DOE Regional Feedstock Partnership Report and Planning Meeting 

February 23 - 24, 2010, San Antonio, Texas

willow biomass crop team at suny esf
Willow Biomass Crop Teamat SUNY ESF
  • Larry Abrahamson
  • Rebecca Allmond
  • Ken Burns
  • Thomas Buchholz
  • Jesse Caputo
  • Phil Castellano
  • Shriya Kulkarni
  • Godfrey Ofezu
  • Renato Pacaldo
  • Amos Quaye
  • Dan Quinn
  • Laura Schifman
  • Ed White
willow biomass crop collaborators
Willow Biomass Crop Collaborators
  • Cornell University, Geneva, NY (PI – Dr. Lawrence Smart)
  • Michigan State University (PI – Dr. Ray Miller)
  • Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT (PI – Steve Weber)
  • University of Connecticut (PI – Dr. Yulia Kuzovkina)
  • Double A Willow nursery, Fredonia, NY
  • Piedmont Bioproducts , Gretna, VA
  • SUNY Delhi, Delhi, NY
  • SUNY Potsdam, Potsdam, NY
  • University of Minnesota, Waseca, MN
  • USDA NRCS Plant Material Center, Big Flats, NY
overview
Overview
  • Why willow and the willow production system
  • Network of older yield trials used for regional yield assessments
  • Network of 16 yield trials for Sun Grant Feedstock Partnership Program
  • Other ongoing research related to nutrient and carbon dynamics, economics, breeding and genetics in willow biomass crops
  • Plans for 2010
why willow
Why Willow?
  • High biomass production potential
  • Easily established with unrooted cuttings
  • Resprouts vigorously after each harvest
  • Wide range of genetic variability
  • Limited insect and pest problems
  • Over 20,000 ha of commercial plantings in Europe
  • Hundreds of hectares of commercial plantings in NY, MI already with more planned in 2010 in other states

Three-year old willow in Tully, NY

willow biomass production cycle

Site Preparation

Planting

Coppice

First year growth

Early spring after coppicing

Willow Biomass Production Cycle

Three-year old after coppice

One-year old after coppice

willow biomass crop yield trials
Willow Biomass Crop Yield Trials
  • Network of 12 trials planted between 1993 and 2005 were used to estimate yields for national assessments
    • Sites ranged from VT to MD to WI
  • Yields of the best clones in the first rotation
    • unimproved varieties was 11.5 + 2.5 odt ha-1 yr-1
    • improved clones in two trials (2005) was 11.0 – 13.5 odt ha-1 yr-1
    • second rotation yields are typically 15 - 30% higher than first rotation yields
network of willow trials
Network of Willow Trials
  • Current Sun Grant Feedstock program includes 16 yield trials from VT to VA to MI
    • 2 trials planted in 1993 and 1997 with older plant material from U of T and OMNR
early willow and poplar yield trials
Early Willow and Poplar Yield Trials
  • 1993 and 1997 trials in Tully, NY are included to provide data on long term production trends of willow biomass crops
    • 19 willow clones in 1993 trial at 15,000 plants ha-1
      • Just harvested the fifth rotation last week
    • 32 willow and 8 hybrid poplar clones in 1997 trial planted at about 18,500 plants ha-1
      • Will harvest fourth rotation this winter
long term data
Long Term Data
  • Long term data is essential for production and economic modeling and LCA
  • Opportunity to collect data from at least two long term trials

Survival over the first six years of a yield trial planted in Tully, NY in 1993

first and second rotation results from 1997 trial
First and Second Rotation Results from 1997 Trial
  • For most willow clones production increases from the first to second rotation
  • High yielding clones have different characteristics such as number of stems per stool, stem diameter , foliar N, specific leaf area, LAI
network of willow trials13
Network of Willow Trials
  • Current Sun Grant Feedstock program includes 16 yield trials from VT to VA to MI
    • 2 trials planted in 1993 and 1997 with older plant material from U of T and OMNR
    • Yield trials that contain new materials from SUNY-ESF breeding and selection program
      • 8 were established between 2005 – 2008 before the feedstock partnership was initiated
slide14

Crosses attempted to capture hybrid vigor

Compilation of results from US, Canadian, and European breeding programs

Smart and Cameron, 2008

willow yield trials planted 2005 2008
Willow Yield Trials Planted 2005 - 2008

10.5

  • Two trials (Belleville and Tully, NY) planted in 2005 and harvested at the end of their first rotation in the winter of 2008/09
  • Two trials planted in 2006 (Constableville, NY and Waseca, MN) were harvested this winter for the first time
  • One trial planted in 2007 in VT will be harvested after the 2010 growing season
  • Three trials planted in 2008 in NY and MI will be harvested after the 2011 growing season
slide17

2005 Yield Trials – Tully & Belleville

Belleville

Tully

  • Dry biomass at first three-year harvest

Cameron et al., unpublished

slide18

Mean Yield of Top Five Clones in Yield Trials

  • New varieties contribute to 21% greater yield

10.5

7.0

Cameron et al., unpublished

Earlier data from Kiernan et al. 2003

network of willow trials19
Network of Willow Trials
  • Current Sun Grant Feedstock program includes 16 yield trials from VT to VA to MI
    • 2 trials planted in 1993 and 1997 with older plant material from U of T and OMNR
    • Yield trials that contain new materials from SUNY-ESF breeding and selection program that
      • 8 were established between 2005 – 2008 before the feedstock partnership was initiated
      • 6 more were established in the spring of 2009
network of yield trials
Network of Yield Trials
  • Additional yield trials in four provinces in Canada planted between 2006 and 2009
    • AB, ON, QC, SK
2009 yield trials
2009 Yield Trials
  • Successful establishment of 6 trials with 16 - 20 clones in 2009
    • CT, MI, NY, VA
  • Survival and production data will be collected from all trials before spring 2010 and plants will be coppiced
    • Data collection and summary completed for two sites in MI

Willow yield trial in Storrs, CT in August 2009 (Yulia Kuzovkina)

willow trials in michigan being managed by ray miller
Willow Trials in Michigan(Being managed by Ray Miller)
  • One trial established in 2008 (Escanaba)
  • Two trials with 20 clones each established in 2009
    • Survival at Skandia ranged from 94 – 100%
      • Site of first commercial planting of willow in MI
    • Waiska River survival ranges from 85 – 100%
      • Soil respiration measurements being conducted

Willow fields at Skandia three months after planting (Ray Miller 2009)

carbon data from existing trials
Carbon Data from Existing Trials
  • Assessing below ground biomass from a chronosequence of studies in central NY (funding from USDA)
  • Started measuring soil respiration in a number locations in NY (USDA)
  • Developing updated life cycle analysis for willow biomass crops with a team from CORRIM (DoE)
nutrient use data from ongoing studies funded by nyc dept of environmental protection and usda
Nutrient Use Data from Ongoing Studies(Funded by NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection and USDA)
  • Trials at two sites in NY and one in VT
    • (Collaboration with Double A Willow nursery, SUNY Delhi and Middlebury College respectively)
  • Two willow clones and nine treatments
    • 0, 50, 100, 150 and 200 kg N ha-1 as urea
    • 150 and 200 kg available N ha-1 of both boisolids and anaerobicially digested dairy manure
  • Planted in 2007 and treatments applied in the spring of 2008 on coppice regrowth
economic performance data and interpretation
Economic Performance Data and Interpretation
  • Have developed a cash flow model (EcoWillow) that is available to down load from the web
    • Supported by NY State Department of Agriculture and Markets, NYS Energy Research and Development Authority and USDA
  • Data from current network of trials will provide essential yield data for this model in different regions of the county
willow cash flow model
Willow Cash Flow Model

(Available to download from http://www.esf.edu/willow/download.asp/)

economics of willow base case30
Economics of Willow – Base Case

Accumulated cash flow in $ per acre

NPV: $209/acre IRR: 6.4%

effect of increased yield
Effect of Increased Yield
  • With a base case yield of 5 odt ac-1 yr-1 (11.3 odt ha-1 yr-1) internal rate of return is ~ 6%.
  • A 50% increase in yield more than doubles the IRR
  • Improve yield through
    • breeding and selection
    • Improved crop management including weed control, matching clones to sites, nutrient management, spacing, rotation length etc

Effect yield on IRR of willow biomass crops (Buchholz and Volk, in review)

trial barriers mitigation strategies
Trial Barriers & Mitigation Strategies
  • All 2009 trials were established successfully
  • Some weed control problems, but were brought under control so that effect on survival has not been detectable
  • Delays in harvesting and end of year data collection at two sites – VA and CT – due to snow loads
    • Will complete harvest before bud break in the spring
next steps in 2010
Next Steps in 2010
  • Harvest two long term willow yield trials for the 4 and 5th rotations and analyze data
  • Maintain the existing 14 trials that range in age from 1 to five years old
    • Harvest trial in Middlebury, VT in 2010
    • Collect survival, height growth and stem diameters from all other trials
    • Develop allometric equations for two year old material to estimate annual biomass increment
middlebury vt
Middlebury, VT
  • Willow biomass harvested from yield and fertilizer trials in Middlebury College next year will be used in the new biomass gasification heating and cooling plant on campus

Biomass gasification heating and cooling plant at Middlebury College

next steps opportunities
Next Steps - Opportunities
  • Collection of establishment and maintenance cost and efficiency data from large scale plantings in various states
  • Incorporate new trials being established in IL, IN, MI, MO, SC into the Sun Grant Feedstock partnership program
  • Develop site selection and yield models for different regions
  • Breeding and selecting new varieties of willow
slide36

Sequencing of the Salix purpurea L. genome

  • Shotgun sequencing of female clone 94006 is in the queue at DOE Joint Genome Institute
  • Goal is >6X coverage using 454 and Illumina of genomic DNA and cDNA libraries
  • Assembly will be aligned with Populus trichocarpa
  • Project led by Jerry Tuskan (ORNL), Larry Smart (Cornell), and Chris Town (JCVI)
  • Should be annotated and released within 18 months