Bioenergy production capacity in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina
Bioenergy is a renewable source of primary energy and its sustainable use is an advantage to the current global energy crisis. The use of vegetable resources for energy purposes requires specific studies of the impacts that might occur to the economy and the environment. The province of Santa Fe (Argentina) has an agroproductive structure capable of providing biomass for its processing and production of energy. The objective of this work was to value the capacity of this province for bioenergy production from grains transformation into biofuels and the biomass energy from crop straw, and speculates on the impact on soils from removed crop residues. Crop residues of the ten most important grain and oilseed crops (15.2x10(6) Mg year-1) and bioethanol and biodiesel from soybeans and corn, would provide 295,383 TJ. The residues would provide potentially 72.1% (32.4x10(6) DB, 282.9 PJ or 45.6x10(12) kcal) and biofuels 27.9%. The removal of residues for this purpose would have risky consequences for the sustainability of agricultural productivity, particularly on soil conservation and stability of production systems. There is a further exploration of alternative sources such as bioenergy crop plantations or shrub or tree species, rather than the use of crop residues.