Thursday, July 01, 2010

Opening the Entire Planet's Surface to Biomass Land and Sea

Science and technology are turning conventional concepts of "cropland" upside down and inside out. Starting with Ceres:
In California, Ceres announced that it has developed a plant trait that could bring new life to millions of acres of abandoned or marginal cropland damaged by salts. Results in several crops, including switchgrass, have shown levels of salt tolerance not seen before.

Ceres reported that its researchers tested the effects of very high salt concentrations and also seawater from the Pacific Ocean, which contains mixtures of salts in high-concentration, on improved energy grass varieties growing in its California greenhouses. According to Ceres, there are more than one billion acres of abandoned cropland globally that could benefit from this trait and others in Ceres’ pipeline, including 15 million acres of salt-affected soils in the U.S. The company now plans to evaluate energy crops with its proprietary salt-tolerant trait at field scale.

Chief Scientific Officer Richard Flavell said “When we begin stacking together salt tolerance, drought tolerance and traits that allow plants to require less nitrogen fertilizer, we can deliver significant productivity and yield increases with fewer inputs than used in the first Green Revolution, as well as valuable increases on marginal or abandoned cropland that does not currently sustain economic yields.” _BiofuelsDigest

Positioning algal and biomass companies for growth

Marine bacterium becoming a biomass superstar

We know that algae can grow in the open ocean, in the desert on salt and wastewater, and virtually anywhere else the temperature is above freezing. Various strains of algae have adapted to virtually any climate and environment on Earth. There is no shortage of area for growing algae -- the premier fast-growing biomass.

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