UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into biofuel fuelstock production at the UBC Farm : sustainability project report Pandit, Milind; Pfanner, Tyler; Volkmann, Tobias Nov 28, 2013

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata


18861-Pandi_M_et_al_SEEDS_2013.pdf [ 651.05kB ]
JSON: 18861-1.0108760.json
JSON-LD: 18861-1.0108760-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 18861-1.0108760-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 18861-1.0108760-rdf.json
Turtle: 18861-1.0108760-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 18861-1.0108760-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 18861-1.0108760-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

 UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student ReportMilind Pandit, Tobias Volkmann, Tyler PfannerAn Investigation into Biofuel FuelstockProduction at the UBC FarmAPSC 261November 28, 20139911463University of British Columbia Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.  APSC 261Sustainability Project ReportAn Investigation into Biofuel FuelstockProduction at the UBC FarmAuthors:Milind PanditTyler PfannerTobias VolkmannTutorial Instructor:Ms Saloome MotavasNovember 28, 2013AbstractThe UBC Farm is interested growing woody biomass within existinghedgerows and along farm margins, to supply biofuel fuelstock to the Bioen-ergy Research and Demonstration Facility (BRDF) on campus. This reportinvestigates the available land area as well as the most suitable fuelstockcrop for the UBC Farm. Furthermore, this report investigates the viabilityof the project using a triple bottom line analysis, taking into account theeconomic, environmental, and social factors involved.Through the investigation, it was determined that approximately 0.75hectares of land is available for this project, and that hybrid poplar wouldbe the most suitable fuelstock crop. Economically, the proposed projectwas determined to create no significant profit, creating only $710 profit overthe proposed 20 year life cycle. Environmentally, the project was deter-mined to have no significant effect on greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions orclean energy produced, reducing GHG emissions by only 2650 kg/year andproducing only 9000 kWh/year of clean energy (less than 0.01% of UBCsannual energy consumption). However, there are significant ecosystem andland use benefits to the project, such as decreasing soil erosion, floodingprevention, and creating habitat for local animals.The project was determined to be most beneficial from a social aspect,by increasing awareness about biofuels, creating educational and researchopportunities, and promoting UBCs reputation and involvement in sustain-ability. Based on our investigation, we recommend that the UBC Farmgo ahead with this project, not for the financial or environmental benefits,but for the great social benefits, as a demonstration, learning, and outreachproject.Contents1 Introduction 12 Land Availability 23 Crop Selection 44 Economic Assessment 64.1 Establishment, Production and Reclamation Costs . . . . . . . . . . . 64.2 Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74.3 Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Environmental Assessment 85.1 Impact on Land and Existing Ecosystem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85.2 Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95.3 Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Social Assessment 106.1 Knowledge of Fuel Stock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106.2 Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106.3 Educational Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116.3.1 Case study for small-scale and Large Farms . . . . . . . . . . 126.3.2 Educate the UBC community on Alternative sources of En-ergy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126.3.3 Study subject for Poplar research at UBC . . . . . . . . . . . 126.3.4 Stakeholders within UBC community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126.4 Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 Conclusion 147.1 Economic Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147.2 Environmental Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147.3 Social Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 Recommendations 158.1 Land Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158.2 Crop Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158.3 Triple Bottom Line Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15List of Figures1 UBC Farm Map with Available Land Area Highlighted. . . . . . . . 22 Land available during site visit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Method of Determining Environmental Impact (Wisconsin 2013) . . 84 Survey Results depicting the existing knowledge about Fuel-Stockand its role in producing Bio-Fuel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Survey results of the benefits expected from this project. . . . . . . . 11List of Tables1 Hybrid Poplar Composition and BRDF Fuel Specifications (Sanni-grahi 2009) (Nexterra 2007) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Economic Assessment Assuming a 20 Year Life Cycle and availableLand Area of 0.75 Hectares . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Summary of the faculties at UBC who could be a stake holder for theproject . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13GLOSSARYGreenhouse gas (GHG)A gas in the atmosphere that absorbs and emits thermal radiation contributing toglobal warming, namely CO2.Oven dry tonne (ODT)A metric tonne (1000kg) of biomass material with all moisture removed.Fuel stockThe raw plant material used to produce biofuelBiofuelFuel produced by thermal or bio-chemical conversion of organic fuel stock.GenomicsGenomics is a discipline in genetics that applies DNA sequencing methods, tomap, assemble, and analyze the function and structure of the set of DNA within asingle cell of an organism)Buffer StripAn area of land maintained in permanent vegetation that helps to control air, soil,and water quality, along with other environmental problems, dealing primarily onland that is used in agriculture.CoppicingCutting a tree trunk till ground level but not uprooting the tree. New growthhappens from the left over tree stumps. endminipage1 IntroductionThe UBC Farm encompasses 24 hectares of integrated farm and forest land on UBCsSouth Campus. Managed by the Center for Sustainable Food Systems, the Farmexplores and exemplifies new paradigms for the design and function of sustainablecommunities and their ecological support systems (Menzies 2013). Currently theUBC Farm is interested in growing woody biomass within existing hedgerows andalong farm margins (areas that are not being used for food production), to sup-ply Fuel stock for the Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility (BRDF).The BRDF, located on campus, produces second generation biofuel from woodybiomass. By producing energy from this woody biomass, the BRDF decreases UBCsconsumption of conventional fossil fuels, such as natural gas and coal, helping reducegreenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.In recent years there has been a strong movement towards second generationBiofuels (Charles 2007). Unlike first generation Biofuels, which use food crops toproduce Biofuels, second generation Biofuels come from cellulosic (woody) biomass.There are many reasons for this movement towards second generation Biofuels, in-cluding higher efficiencies and being more environmentally friendly. However, themajor reason for this shift is that second generation Biofuel crops can be grown onlower quality land, whereas first generation Biofuels require prime agricultural land(Naik, 2010). Because of this, second generation Biofuels can be grown without de-creasing food production. This is of particular importance to the UBC Farm, whichhas limited prime agricultural land.Through this investigation will seek to determine if the UBC Farm should growwoody biomass on farm margins to supply fuelstock to the BRDF. This will be doneusing a triple bottom line analysis, taking into account the economic, social, andenvironmental factors of the proposed project. We will also determine what type ofbiofuel crop would be best suited for production at the UBC Farm.12 Land AvailabilityTo begin the investigation, the available land area at the UBC Farm was determined.The project was limited to marginal land and hedge rows, that are not used foragricultural purposes. The available land area was estimated to be 0.75 hectares ofthe total 20 hectares at the UBC Farm. The land was selected to so that planting andharvesting of the biofuel fuelstock will have a minimal impact on agricultural areasof the UBC Farm. Figure 1 displays the UBC Farm and highlights the land areaavailable for fuelstock growth. The available marginal land was found to be on verywet soil (determined by site visit), and this turned out to be a limiting factor whendetermining the correct fuelstock crop. However, during our site visit, we realisedthat we could use this wetness to our advantage to suit our crop recommendation -Poplar.Figure 1: UBC Farm Map with Available Land Area Highlighted.Most of the shaded red area is not being utilized at the moment. The highlightedhead rows are at the moment growing little trees to act as wind protectors. As seenin the pictures below, both of these lands can be utilized at the moment to growfuel stock.2Figure 2: Land available during site visit33 Crop SelectionThere are many factors to consider when choosing a biofuel crop for the UBC Farm.The most important of these being the total crop yield, the suitability for the Van-couver climate, and the actual crop composition. Hybrid poplar and miscanthushave been found to be the best woody biofuel crop for the moderate Vancouverclimate (Van Oosten 2008).Miscanthus is a perennial grass crop that is often considered for biofuel fuelstock,and the UBC Farm currently has a demonstration crop of miscanthus growing in anexisting hedgerow. However there are many concerns with growing miscanthus asfuelstock for the BRDF. Miscanthus crops have been shown to produce large yieldsof up to 20 oven dried tonnes per hectare per year (ODT/ha/yr) (Christian 2008).However, this is a misleading number. The fuelstock for BRDF must be wood fuelthat is free of leafy greens or needles (Nexterra 2007). Applying this to miscanthuscrops can reduce yields by up to 50% (Heaton 2010). The BRDF also requires thatthe fuelstock residues be 0.25-3 inches in all directions, with residues sized less than0.25 inches being limited to 25% or less (Nexterra 2007). Because Miscanthus is agrass crop, there are concerns about the final chipped product being greater than25% under the 0.25 inch limit. None of these problems are present when usinghybrid poplar as biofuel crop.Hybrid poplar is a very suitable short rotation coppice (SRC) crop for biofuelproduction. Once harvested, poplars sprout readily from the stump; this resproutingis known as coppicing. From each stump will sprout multiple stems and the coppicestand will be more productive than the old stand. Utilizing coppicing offers aninexpensive way to re-establish a stand without replanting. Coppice stands areusually more productive than the original stand in the first 5 years after harvest,due to the plant having an already established root system. Hybrid poplars shouldalso be harvested in the dormant months from November to April, to minimize soilcompaction and maximize resprouting. Another benefit to harvesting in the wintermonths is that this is outside of the agricultural growing season, and therefore therewill be sufficient free labour to perform the harvest.A major advantage to using hybrid poplar is that it has the correct composition asfuelstock for the BRDF as shown in Figure 1, and therefore will not require furtherprocessing before being sold to the BRDF.On good sites, hybrid poplars grow faster than any other northern temperate tree.Because the soil on the UBC Farm margins are very wet and susceptible to flooding,the great flood resistance of hybrid poplar is a significant advantage (Liu 2006). Inwet climates similar to Vancouver, yields of 7-20 ODT/ha/yr have been observedwithout the use of irrigation or fertilizers (Van Oosten 2008). Short rotation cycles4Table 1: Hybrid Poplar Composition and BRDF Fuel Specifications (Sannigrahi 2009) (Nexterra 2007)Component Hybrid Poplar BRDF SpecificationsMoisture Content 50% 10%-55%Higher Heating Value(HHV) 8500btu/lb >8500btu/lbCarbon 48.45% 48%-52%Hydrogen 5.85% 5%-6%Oxygen 43.69% 36%-44%Nitrogen 0.47% <0.3%Sulphur 0.01% <0.025 %of 1-5 years are optimal for hybrid poplar crops, with peak yields with 3 year rotationcycles. For this assessment, we use a conservative estimate of 10 ODT/ha/yr, witha harvesting cycle once every 3 years.It is for these reasons that hybrid poplar is the best biofuel crop for the UBCFarm to grow as fuelstock for the BRDF.54 Economic AssessmentA basic economic assessment was completed for this project to determine the eco-nomic viability of growing hybrid poplar fuel stock to sell to the BRDF. The eco-nomic assessment was completed assuming the UBC farm has access to the followingequipment: Truck, trailer, wood chipper, cutting equipment (chainsaws). The eco-nomic assessment is also done assuming a 20 year lifespan for the project. Beyondthis lifespan, a new economic assessment must be completed in order to take intoaccount fertilizer requirements and new poplar cuttings cost. 20 years is the periodin which coppicing hybrid poplar can be productive without fertilizers (Tubby andArmstrong, 2002). 20 years is also the time period in which coppiced hybrid poplarscan survive before needing to be replaced (Tubby and Armstrong, 2002).4.1 Establishment, Production and Reclamation CostsHybrid poplar has an optimal planting density of around 10,000 trees per hectare(Labrecque 2005). Because of this large density, the initial cost of the trees is thelargest financial expenditure of this project. Hybrid poplar cuttings can be boughtfor an average price of $0.25 per cutting, bringing the total cost for the initialfuelstock crops to $1875 (Khanna 2011). This initial investment can be reduced byusing cuttings from existing hybrid poplars on campus. The cost of establishing ahybrid poplar crop was found to be $360/hectare, putting the cost for this project at$270 (Khanna 2011). This establishment cost includes plowing, harrowing, plowing,and weed control.The annual harvesting costs of this project take into account the fuel and machin-ery repair costs for the falling and chipping of the poplar biomass. These costs werefound to be $125/year, for a total life cycle cost of $2500. Although the majorityof the labour at the UBC Farm is by volunteers, there will be costs associated withaccounting/management as well as supervisory field work. The time requirementsof these staff are estimated to be 3 hours/year of management work, at $25/hour,and 6 hours per year of supervisory field work, at $18/hour (Menzies 2013). Theselabour costs add up to $183/year, for a total lifecycle cost of $3660.The transportation costs are very low for the UBC Farm, due to its close proximityto the BRDF. An average financial cost for transporting freight in B.C. was found tobe $0.20/tonne/km, which includes vehicle and vehicle operating costs (TransportCanada 2008). With a total round trip distance of 6km (Google Maps) and a yearlybiomass yield of 15 tonnes (7.5 ODT, with a moisture content of 50%), the total costfor transporting biomass fuelstock to the BRDF was found to be $18/year. Overthe total lifecycle of the project the transportation costs are $360.6At the end of the projects 20 year life cycle, there are costs associated withland reclamation, namely stump removal. The machinery operating costs for stumpremoval was found to be $500/hectare (Khanna 2011). This leads to a land recla-mation cost of $375 for this project. However, if after the 20 year life cycle the landis to be turned into agricultural land, there will be considerable fertilizer costs toreplenish the nutrients in the soils. In this assessment it is assumed that the areawill remain marginal land and therefore not require the additional fertilizer costs.4.2 IncomeThe BRDF pays a delivered price of $65/ODT of Fuel-stock. With an expected yieldof 7.5 ODT/year of hybrid poplar Fuel-stock, the expected income from this projectis $487.5/year. Over the lifecycle of this project the expected income is $9750.4.3 AssessmentThe results from the economic analysis are displayed in Figure 2. As shown in Figure2, the project is financially net positive over the entire 20 year lifecycle. However,the project does not lead to meaningful profits ($710 over 20 years), due to its smallscale. The project also requires a sizable initial investment of $2145, but this canbe significantly reduced by obtaining poplar cuttings from existing hybrid poplarsat UBC, rather than purchasing them. Due to the small scale and meager potentialprofits, the project is not feasible if considering only the economic benefits, however,once initiated, the project does produce enough money to sustain itself. Also there isthe possibility of obtaining government grants, which would help offset the financialburden making the project more economically viable.Table 2: Economic Assessment Assuming a 20 Year Life Cycle and available Land Area of 0.75 HectaresAnnual($/year ) Life cycle ($)ExpensesPoplar − 1875Establishment - 270Harvesting 125 2500Labour 183 3660Transportation 18 360Land Reclamation - 375Total Expenses - 9040RevenueFuel stock Sale to BRDF 487.5 9750Lifecyle Profits - 71075 Environmental AssessmentA basic environmental assessment was completed to determine the environmentalbenefits and/or drawbacks of the proposed project. As shown in Figure 4, there aremany factors to consider when determining the environmental effect of biofuels. Thetwo main factors we explored in our investigation that were considered during theenvironmental assessment of this project. The factors considered were the impact onexisting ecosystem and GHG emission reductions. These factors will be discussed inthe environmental assessment and they will ultimately determine the environmentalbenefits and/or drawbacks of the project.Figure 3: Method of Determining Environmental Impact (Wisconsin 2013)5.1 Impact on Land and Existing Ecosystemhe impact that this project will have on the land will be very relatively small becauseonly 0.75 hectares of the entire 20 hectare farm will be used. Because the land is notused for agriculture, there are no negative effects from the nutrient deterioration ofthe soil. Hybrid poplar crops have also been shown to decrease flooding and reducesoil erosion, which is beneficial for the UBC Farm (Labrecque 2005). By plantingthe fuelstock crops along the farm margins, a buffer strip is created, separatingthe agricultural land from the surrounding forest. A buffer strip is beneficial indecreasing wind erosion, improving water filtration, and stabilizing the land. Thehybrid poplar crop will also provide habitat for the local ecosystem in terms ofincreasing bird life and creating a habitat for the natural living beings in that area.85.2 Greenhouse Gas Emission ReductionThe calculated total CO2 emission that this project will offset is 3000 kg/year whichis equivalent to 0.6 cars per year. The CO2 emission produced from the plantingand harvesting hybrid poplar was found to be 350 kg/year (Alder 2007). There arealso GHG emissions produced from the transportation of fuelstock to the BRDF,however because the distance is very small, the GHG emissions from transportationare negligible (i.e. less than 1 kg/year) (Transport Canada 2008). Taking theseinto account, the net CO2 reduction of the project is predicted to be 2650 kg/year,which is equivalent to 0.5 cars/year. The total amount of clean energy producedfrom the fuelstock grown at the UBC Farm is 9,000kWh/year (Nextera 2007). Thesenumbers are very small when compared to those of the overall BRDF, which pro-duces 15,000,000kWh/year and reduces GHG emissions by 5,000,000kg/year (Nex-tera 2013). To further put this in perspective, the entire BRDF produces less than5% of UBCs net power. From this we can see that the emission reductions and thepower produced from this project are very minimal.5.3 AssessmentFrom the above investigations, the emission reductions, and the power producedare very small, due to the small scale of this project. However, this project have apositive environmental effect on the land and existing ecosystem. It will create ahabitat for the birds and insect life in that area, as well as protects the crops fromwind erosion. Furthermore, the transition into forest land is better since it createsa buffer region between farm land and forest land. To summarize, the project isviable in the environmental aspect.96 Social AssessmentThe Social Assessment needs to be considerate of the UBC community and theirvoice in this subject. Thus, we created a focus group consisting of 25 students fromvarious faculties across the community. This survey will be constantly referencedand its data used to make recommendations towards this project.6.1 Knowledge of Fuel StockIt was necessary to gage the knowledge that the UBC community has on the topic ofFuel stock and its use to create Bio-fuel. Here are the survey results when communitymembers were asked this question.Figure 4: Survey Results depicting the existing knowledge about Fuel-Stock and its role in producing Bio-Fuel.As seen in the graph, 72% of the focus group was not aware that Fuel-stockcould be used to produce Bio-Fuel which is a source of Green Energy. This resultshows that at the moment, our community members are not completely aware ofthe potential of Biofuel and/or that Biofuel is currently used on campus to produceelectricity. This creates an opportunity to treat this project as an educational sourcefor the UBC community.6.2 BenefitsAfter the first question, the focus group was briefed about the role of Fuel Stockin the production of Bio-Fuel, the land available to be used and crop that we are10proposing. Then, the group was asked the question of how it would benefit theUBC community socially with the introduction of this project at the UBC farm.The results are shown in a Pie chart below.Figure 5: Survey results of the benefits expected from this project.The survey results for this question does show the improvement in knowledge ofthe focus group on the topic of Fuel Stock and Biofuel. 78% of the focus grouppredicted similar benefits as our group did for this project. From our estimate oflabour and energy production from this project, the last two options are not true.Since it is a small scale project, we are not expecting a great need of labour nor willthe energy produced be sufficient to make the campus self sustainable. However, thefirst two options make a great point in terms of the social benefits we could expectfrom this project. They are discussed further in the rest of the social assessment.6.3 Educational OpportunitiesThis project is a great source for educating not just our community about the growthof Fuel-stock for Biofuel production but is a gateway to creating a database for smallscale and large farms around the world to access and learn from our experiences.Furthermore, it is great merger of the faculties around UBC who can be a stakeholderin this project and research various different parts of the project for further use.116.3.1 Case study for small-scale and Large FarmsThis project is small scale but this project could be used a case study for furtherlarge scale projects. At the moment fuel stock growth in farms is covered in acloud of questions such as its effect on the growth of food crops, need of greatfinancial investments and poor returns. By our estimates, this project does notrequire tremendous amount of investment if done on a large scale, has great potentialfor profit. In addition to that, this project all utilizes marginalized land at the UBCfarm - Farm land that is not utilised by food crops or that is left uncultivated dueto crop rotation, which means the project is contributing to the ecosystems and isalso not disrupting the growth of food crops. This is a great incentive for small scalefarms like ourselves to invest in fuel stock growth. By supporting this project, weare helping in creating a database of all these observations that can put an end tothis confusion and contribute to educating people about the true potential of fuelstock.6.3.2 Educate the UBC community on Alternative sources of EnergyAs our planets natural resources are slowly being exhausted, our community shouldbe familiar with the alternate sources for energy available for humankind to use.Since the future generations ability to meet their energy needs depends on ouractions, it is very important that our community is aware that UBC is currentlysupporting and manufacturing alternate green sources of energy. This project canbe used to spread the word to the community about the importance of researchingand supporting green sources of energy.6.3.3 Study subject for Poplar research at UBCUBC has recently been involved with the Treenomix project which is Canadas firstlarge scale Forestry Genome project. They have been researching greatly into map-ping genes of Poplar and have had great breakthroughs. This project would help thisteam gain easy access to Poplar cultivation and help them further research Poplarto better its yield and make it the leading Fuel stock producing crop.6.3.4 Stakeholders within UBC communitySince this project is so multidisciplinary, it invites stakeholders from a number offaculties at UBC to be a part of it. The table below lists a range of faculties andshows parts of the project that they could contribute to:12Table 3: Summary of the faculties at UBC who could be a stake holder for the projectFaculty Stake in the projectForestry Research on Poplar and producing the high yielding varietysuitable for fuel stock growthElectrical Engineering Research more efficient ways of producing Biofuels with theBRDFEarth and Ocean Sciences Show the positive effects of this project on the farm ecosys-tems for small scale farmers.Business Help increase the profit margin for the farmers as well asthe BRDF.6.4 AssessmentAfter analysing the Educational Opportunities that this project would create forUBC students and the community while guiding future small scale farm ownersas well as large farm owners, it seems like a great project to pursue for the socialbenefits. We should note that since it is a very small scale project, no new labourwill be created by this project nor will it make UBC self sustainable in terms ofenergy usage. However, the benefits outway the costs in this case and make thisproject very suitable for the UBC community and its sustainability promotions.137 ConclusionThe observations and research conducted on this topic have directed the argumentsto the following conclusions.7.1 Economic ConclusionsThe project does not seem viable from an economic point of view. It would requirea mediocre startup cost but it would not be able to sustain itself since it generateslow profits. Over the 20 year lifecycle, the project would generate about $710. Ifthis project were to be implemented, government grants would have to be procuredeither through the university or through the state institutions. However, since it isa small scale project, economic viability is not the priority.7.2 Environmental ConclusionsSince this is a small scale project, we do not expect a massive change in the GHGemissions or a dent in the use of conventional energy sources. However, it doescontribute greatly to the farm ecosystems in terms of providing wind sheltering,increasing natural habitat and creating a buffer region between farmland and forestarea. Furthermore, it provides a linear scale for bigger scale projects that couldmake a difference in the GHG emissions and promotion of green sources of energy.This project is Environmentally Viable.7.3 Social ConclusionsThis project creates a great social statement for UBC. It is a great educationalopportunity for the students, research subject for faculties on campus, case studymaterial for small scale and large scale projects around the world and a promotion forthe use of alternate energy. This project would put UBC on the forum of universitycampuses pursuing sustainability and could be a study project for future generations.This small scale project could be the inspiration for farms around the world- bothsmall and large to pursue fuel stock growth and clarify queries about disruption offood crops and high investment. On the whole, this project is definitely sociallyviable.148 Recommendations8.1 Land RecommendationsAfter visiting the farm and talking to the farm employees, the recommendationshave been made towards using the head rows and the damp land available on thesouth boundary of the farm. These recommendations were made without disruptingfield rotation cycles and food crops. These land parts are at the moment eitheruncultivated or cultivated with expendable small trees that could further help withproducing some fuel stock when brought down. Thus this is the most efficientrecommendation in terms of land availability for the project.8.2 Crop RecommendationsThe land availability and the research of different fuel stock crops point towardsthe use of Hybrid Poplar as a fit crop for the land. Our recommendations are usingcoppicing of emphHybrid Poplar as a cultivation method so as to get a long life cycleof 20 years without the use of fertilizers. They thrive in wet and damp conditionsand provide the best results over a long period of time in terms of both profits andamount of fuel stock generated. Thus this seems as a perfect fit for the climate,land and eco-system.8.3 Triple Bottom Line RecommendationsAfter reviewing the conclusions from Economic, Environmental and Social Assess-ments, we strongly urge UBC to pursue this project for its strong impact on thesustainability image on UBC and for its great benefits in creation of educationalopportunities and impacting the eco-system of the UBC farm. We further recom-mend that if this project is approved, that the Farm apply for grants through theUniversity or the provincial government institutions. Since we are an educationalinstitution, it would only be apt to opt for a highly enriching educational projectthat benefits both its students and the community.15References[1] Alder, P., Grosso, S., Parton, W. (2007). Life-Cycle Assessment of NetGreenhouse-Gas Flux for Bioenergy Cropping Systems. Ecological Applications,17(3), 675-691.[2] Charles, B., Ryan, R., Ryan, N., Oloruntoba, R. (2007). Public Policy andBiofuels: The Way Forward?. Energy Policy, 35(11), 5737-5746.[3] Christian, D., Riche, A., Yates, N. (2008). Growth, Yield and Mineral Contentof Miscanthus giganteus Grown as a Biofuel for 14 Successive Harvests.IndustrialCrops and Products. 28(3), 320-327.[4] Heaton, E. (2010). Giant Miscanthus for Biomass Production. Prepared for theIowa State University Department of Agronomy.[5] James, L., Swinton, S., Thelen, K. (2010). Profitability Analysis of CellulosicEnergy Crops Compared with Corn.Agronomy Journal, 102(2), 675-687.[6] Khanna, M., Huang, H. (2011). The Breakeven Costs of Produc-ing Alternative Feedstocks for Cellulosic Biofuels. Retrieved from:http://miscanthus.ebi.berkeley.edu/biofuel/documents/Feedstock%20Production%20Cost.pdf[7] Labrecque, M. (2005). Field Performance and Biomass Production of 12 Willowand Poplar Clones in Short-Rotation Coppice in Southern Quebec. Biomass andBioenergy, 29(1), 1-9[8] Liu, Z., Dickmann, D. (2006). Effects of Water and Nitrogen Interaction onNet Photosynthesis, Stomatal Conductance, and Water-Use Efficiency in TwoHybrid Poplar Clones. Physiologia Plantarium, 97(3), 507-512[9] Menzies, K. (2013). APSC 261/262 Sustainability Project September 2013:Project options.[10] Naik, S., Goud, V., Rout, P., Dalai, A. (2010). Production of First and Sec-ond Generation Biofuels: A Comprehensive Review. Renewable and SustainableEnergy Reviews, 14(2), 578-597.[11] Nexterra. (2007). Nexterra Typical Wood Fuel Specifications. Provided by theBRDF.[12] Nexterra. (2013). Nexterra UBC Bioenergy Research andDemonstration Facility Project Profile. Retrieved from:http://www.nexterra.ca/files/pdf/Project-Profile UBC-20130321 FINAL EMAIL.pdf16[13] Sannigrahi, P., Ragauskas, A.J. (2009). Poplar as a feedstock for biofuels: Areview of compositional characteristics. emphBiofuels, Bioproducts and Biore-fining, 4(2), 209-226.[14] Tubby, I., Armstrong, A. (2002). Establishment and Management of Short Ro-tation Coppice. Prepared for the UK Forestry Commission. Retrieved from:http://www.forestry.gov.uk/PDF/fcpn7.pdf/$FILE/fcpn7.pdf[15] Transport Canada. (2008). Estimates of the FullCost of Transportation in Canada. Retrieved from:https://www.tc.gc.ca/media/documents/policy/report-final.pdf[16] Van Oosten, C. (2008). Purpose-Grown Woody Biomass Crops. Retrieved from:http://www.poplar.ca/upload/documents/woodybiomrep.pdf[17] Wisconsin Grasslands Bioenergy Network. (2013) Ecologi-cal and Environmental Impacts of Bioenergy. Retrieved from:http://www.wgbn.wisc.edu/conservation/ecological-and-environmental-impacts-bioenergy17


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items