MAS BioEnergy

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Focus Areas

Mas BioEnergy

Environmental Assessment,
Policy and Economics

While biofuel technologies may deliver a clean and stable energy source, assessments must be performed on the contribution of biofuelsto reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as their sustainability and potential viability. The wide-scale shifts in the type of crops grown and the agronomic systems accompanying the development of a major biofuels industry will impact soil and water quality, and other environmental attributes, in addition to GHG impacts. Further, there are many competing uses of the resources (foremost in terms of traditional food and fiber production) that are required in biofuel production, which must be considered on an opportunity cost basis. Hence, a substantial increase in biofuel production is likely to lead to complex, large-scale effects on economic and ecological systems. As part of the MAS BioEnergy program, students with this focal area of research will have opportunities to conduct research as part of multidisciplinary teams engaged in modeling and assessment of biofuel development at a variety of scales, both in national and international contexts.

Integration with other focus areas
By their nature economic and environmental assessment research is dependent on information and expertise from the other focal areas. Hence research activities within this focal area will help to foster the collaboration of students from each of the focal areas.

MAS BioEnergy
National Science Foundation

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