The Impact of Global Trade in Biofuels on Water Scarcity and Food Security in the World - Completed
In this project, the research team assessed land available for biofuel crop production in the world and analyzed policies dealing with biofuel vs. food. The group used a global food-energy market modeling approach to examine how food production, demand, trade and water availability will be impacted by biofuel production. The existing model and a global water management model were extended to incorporate biofuel crops. The group developed a holistic food-energy-resources modeling framework to analyze the environmental and social benefits and costs of bioenergy development in the global market.
Marginal cropland with cellulosic biofuel crops and grassland with low-input/high-diversity (LIHD) prairies may fulfill the world’s biofuel demand without compromising conventional cropland and pasture land but might not mitigate environmental impacts. Moreover, tremendous engineering infrastructural development will be needed in land-rich regions such as Africa and South America, where regional water supplies will be an issue. We conclude that combining proper land development and some yield-boosting inputs might mitigate negative environmental impacts that could result, such as GHG emission.
Published in 2011
Land Availability for Biofuel Production, Ximing Cai, Xiao Zhang, Dingbao Wang, Environmental Science and Technology, 45(1), pps. 334-339, January 2011.
Published in 2010
Modeling Miscanthus in the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to Simulate Its Water Quality Effects as a Bioenergy Crop, Tze Ling Ng, J. Wayland Eheart, Ximing Cai, Fernando Miguez, Environmental Science and Technology, 44(18), pps. 7138-7144, August 3, 2010.