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Aggregating Energy Since 2006

Bioenergy crops on Industrial Brownfields

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In the hopes of being able to address two problems at once, researchers have been investigating growing bioenergy crops in brown-fields; areas that are not usable for other purposes without considerable cleanup.  “Right now, brownfields don’t grow anything,” Thelen said. “This may seem like a drop in the bucket, but we’re looking at the possibilities of taking land that isn’t productive and using it to both learn and produce.” They are also investigating whether or not the plants will contribute to remediation of the pollution by taking up contaminants from the soil. While the plants are not going to be eaten I think it is still going to be important to investigate whether or not the contaminants taken up from the soil impact the use of the biomass. The processes used for conversion of biomass to ethanol involve a number of yeasts and enzymes that could be adversely affected by many different compounds. If the biomass is to be burned the concern would be the level of contaminants in the emissions. We certainly don’t want to just be trading soil and groundwater contamination for air contamination.