Title: Scale of biomass production from new woody crops for salinity control in dryland agriculture in Australia

Authors: John Bartle, Graeme Olsen, Don Cooper, Trevor Hobbs

Addresses: Department of Conservation and Land Management and CRC for Plant-based Management of Dryland Salinity, Locked Bag 104 Bentley Delivery Centre, Western Australia 6983, Australia. ' P.O. Box 357, Waroona, Western Australia 6215, Australia. ' Department of Conservation and Land Management, Locked Bag 104 Bentley Delivery Centre, Western Australia 6983, Australia. ' Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation and CRC for Plant-based Management of Dryland Salinity, 5 Fitzgerald Road, Pasadena, South Australia 5042, Australia

Abstract: There is scope internationally to utilise surplus and degraded agricultural land for biomass crops that might also be environmentally beneficial. For example, dryland salinity in southern Australian could be ameliorated using profitable woody biomass crops. A model was developed to predict biomass production from such woody crops. At a biomass price of A$35/t (green) and a water use efficiency of 1.8 dry g/kg of water, profitable woody crops could produce 39 million t/year of dry biomass from 1.5% of farmland in the 300-400mm rainfall zone, and 8% of farmland in the 401–600 mm rainfall zone of the southern Australian wheatbelt.

Keywords: dryland salinity; liquid fuels; biofuels; woody biomass; bioenergy; domestication; mallee; water use efficiency; dryland agriculture; short rotation woody crops; Australia; production models; renewable energy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGEI.2007.013652

International Journal of Global Energy Issues, 2007 Vol.27 No.2, pp.115 - 137

Published online: 10 May 2007 *

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