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Survey of Biomass Resource Assessments and Assessment ... - NREL

Survey of Biomass Resource Assessments and Assessment ... - NREL

Biomass

Biomass Resource Assessment Capabilities Australia has strong capabilities in assessing biomass resources as illustrated above. The economy has used the full range of resource assessment methods: geospatial technologies, modeling, and survey techniques. In addition, spatial and temporal data are readily available to support future work in the area. Geospatial technologies such as remote sensing and GIS are extensively used by the academic, government, and private institutions in Australia. A direct example of applying these technologies in assessing biomass resources is the Bioenergy Atlas of Australia, described above. In addition to the Atlas, the Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS) has produced other interactive tools and models to help agricultural, fishing, and forestry industries make decisions. These include the National Agricultural Monitoring System (NAMS), which contains a range of climatic and production information for dry land/ broad acre and irrigated industries, for more than 600 regions throughout Australia; the Integrated Vegetation Online tool which illustrates the distribution of major vegetation cover types in Australia (native forests and grasslands and nonnative vegetation); and the Rainfall Reliability Wizard, which uses data since January 1900 to estimate rainfall reliability, rainfall means, and rainfall variability. The full list of products by BRS can be viewed at http://www.daff.gov.au/brs/data-tools. Remote sensing and GIS techniques are also largely used by the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) and CSIRO’s Terrestrial Mapping and Monitoring group in estimating and monitoring vegetation productivity and land use/cover change for carbon accounting. AGO developed the National Carbon Accounting System (NCAS) which estimates the greenhouse gas emissions from land-based sectors. This GIS-based system integrates various datasets (remotely sensed land cover change, land use and management, climate and soil data), tools (greenhouse gas accounting tools), and ecosystem modeling. NCAS determines carbon stock changes at a fine spatial (25m resolution) and temporal scale (10 sequences of land cover change from 1972 to 2000) nationally. A list of products and technical reports developed by AGO is provided at http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/ncas/publications/index.html. Dynamic modeling is largely used in Australia. In 1990, the Queensland State Government and CSIRO established a joint research team, the Agricultural Production Systems Research Unit (APSRU) that combines expertise in the computer simulation of farming systems and facilitates agricultural production research. One simulation model designed by APSRU is the 21

Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM). The model simulates biophysical processes in farming systems, particularly in relation to the economic and ecological outcomes of management practices in the face of climate risk. APSIM is structured around plant, soil, and management modules. It resulted from a need for tools that provide accurate predictions of crop production in relation to climate, genotype, soils, and management factor while addressing the long-term resource management issues. APSIM can simulate more than 20 crops and forests (e.g., alfalfa, eucalyptus, cowpea, pigeon pea, peanuts, cotton, lupin, maize, wheat, barley, sunflower, sugar cane, chickpea, and tomato). Key outputs include crop and pasture yields, yield components, and soil erosion losses for different climate change scenarios. APSIM outputs are site specific but can be linked to GIS for spatial analysis at different geographic scales - economy-wide, state, and regional. Other agricultural simulation models developed by APSRU are listed at http://www.apsru.gov.au/apsru/. Surveys and Data Availability. Sample survey techniques are used by CSIRO to generate the Biomass Database, a project funded by the AGO and the Joint Venture Agroforestry Program (JVAP), which is supported by three R&D corporations — Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), Land & Water Australia (L&WA), and Forest and Wood Products Research and Development Corporation (FWPRDC), together with the Murray-Darling Basin Commission (MDBC). The database provides fuel and energy characteristics for biomass material sourced from agriculture (wheat straw, cotton trash, bagasse, poultry litter, etc), municipal (municipal solid waste in various forms including some involving sewage, refusederived fuel, green waste, wood waste), woody (from different forestry operations including some irrigated by effluent), and industrial sources (timber mills, etc). Representative samples of biomass were collected and analyzed in terms of their ultimate, proximate, ash, combustion (fouling and corrosion), and gasification characteristics, as well as their suitability for ethanol (liquid fuel) production. The database is available through the Bioenergy Atlas, which will allow the resource (t/ha) to be linked with fuel characteristics (MJ/kg), providing energy density information on different regions in Australia. The biomass database can be accessed at http://www.det.csiro.au/science/energyresources/biomass.htm Paper surveys are used by government agencies in Australia to collect information related to agricultural commodities: cereals and other broad-acre crops, vegetables, fruits, vineyards, and livestock. The most relevant agencies are the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE). These agencies provide 22

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