Ethanol made from lignocellulosic feedstocks, such as crop residues, is receiving considerable attention. The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy recently completed such a study that indicated, in the most optimistic scenario, that 1.3 billion dry tons of biomass could be available every year without jeopardizing sustainability and food production. Nearly one billion dry tons of that biomass was agriculture derived and 430 dry tons was from crop residues. Conflicting reports exist on the resource and environmental tradeoffs of converting crop residue into renewable energy. This presentation will provide an overview of cellulosic ethanol, review the impact of ethanol production on environmental issues, and review trends in energy use in crop and energy production. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the environmental and resource tradeoffs associated with cellulosic ethanol.
John Hickman - John S. Hickman is Principal Scientist at the Moline Technology Innovation Center, a position he has held since August 2001. He is responsible for integrating the evolving technology of renewable energy, crop production, forestry, and turf sciences into Deere's equipment and non-equipment businesses. Hickman joined John Deere in 1994 as Manager of Cropping Systems for the John Deere Des Moines Works. In 1997, he moved to Patchen, a Deere-owned subsidiary in Los Gatos, California to serve as Manager of Marketing, Sales and Product Support. In 1998, he moved to the Moline Technical Center where he has served as corporate-level Life Scientist prior to his current assignment. Prior to joining Deere, in 1983 he joined the Agronomy faculty at Kansas State University, serving for 10 years. He is a member of the USDA-DOE Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee and the American Society of Agronomy. He additionally serves on the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation and recently was chair of their Research and Education committee. Hickman received Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from Purdue University, and Master of Science and Doctorate degrees in Soil Science from Oregon State University.