Biomass for Resilient Foods

A special issue of Biomass (ISSN 2673-8783).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 February 2024) | Viewed by 4461

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Western University, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
Interests: solar photovoltaics; appropriate technology; distributed recycling and additive manufacturing; open hardware; resilient food
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As supply chain disruptions caused by the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate destabilization caused food prices to soar, the entire global community was reminded of the fragility of our food system. The conventional agriculture-based global food production system is dependent on consistent environmental conditions such as sunlight, temperature and precipitation, all of which can be severely affected by both natural and anthropogenic factors. Climate destabilization is already increasing the risks of concurrent severe weather events [1] that reduce our food system performance [2], while also increasing the probability of simultaneous shocks that would create a multiple bread-basket failure [3]. 

To better prepare for potential future global food system shocks, we can develop resilient local food systems. Several studies have suggested that biomass could be converted to human-edible food in emergencies and provide a means to feed the global population when food stores are depleted [4,5]. To explore the potential of different means of converting waste biomass to human-edible resilient food for both emergencies, as well as a means of reducing food insecurity for the poor, this Special Issue explores a range of topics including:

  • Agricultural crop residues as resilient foods.
  • Algae as resilient foods.
  • Alternative foods.
  • Biomass.
  • Biomass processing machines and equipment.
  • Bioreactors.
  • Biorefineries.
  • Economics of resilient foods.
  • Forestry residues as resilient foods.
  • GIS analysis of biomass feedstocks.
  • Leaf protein concentrate as resilient foods.
  • Microbial biomass as resilient foods.
  • Nutrition of biomass used as resilient foods.
  • Resilient foods.
  • Seaweed biomass as resilient foods.
  • Single cell protein (SCP) as resilient foods.
  • Toxicity testing of biomass.
  • Wood processing residues as resilient foods.

Prof. Dr. Joshua M. Pearce
Guest Editor

  1. Masson-Delmotte, V., Zhai, P., Pirani, A., Connors, S.L., Péan, C., Berger, S., Caud, N., Chen, Y., Goldfarb, L., Gomis, M.I., Huang, M., Leitzell, K., Lonnoy, E., Matthews, J.B.R., Maycock, T.K., Waterfield, T., Yelekçi, O., Yu, R., Zhou, B., 2021. Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. IPCC, Cambridge University Press.
  2. Bailey, R., Benton, T.G., Challinor, A., Elliott, J., Gustafson, D., Hiller, B., Jones, A., Kent, C., Lewis, K., Meacham, T., Rivington, M., Tiffin, R., Wuebbles, D.J., 2015. Extreme weather and resilience of the global food system: Final Project Report from the UK-US Taskforce on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Resilience. UK: The Global Food Security Programme, London.
  3. Gaupp, F., Hall, J., Mitchell, D., Dadson, S., 2019. Increasing risks of multiple breadbasket failure under 1.5 and 2 °C global warming. Agric. Syst. 175, 34–45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2019.05.010
  4. Denkenberger, D.C., Pearce, J.M., 2014. Feeding Everyone No Matter What: Managing Food Security After Global Catastrophe. Academic Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  5. Denkenberger, D.C., Pearce, J.M., 2015. Feeding everyone: Solving the food crisis in event of global catastrophes that kill crops or obscure the sun. Futures, Confronting Future Catastrophic Threats To Humanity 72, 57–68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2014.11.008

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biomass is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • agricultural crop residues
  • algae
  • alternative foods
  • biomass
  • biomass processing machines and equipment
  • bioreactors
  • biorefineries
  • forestry residues
  • microbial biomass
  • resilient foods
  • seaweed
  • single-cell protein

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 2620 KiB  
Article
Wood Gasification: A Promising Strategy to Extend Fuel Reserves after Global Catastrophic Electricity Loss
by David Nelson, Alexey Turchin and David Denkenberger
Biomass 2024, 4(2), 610-624; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomass4020033 - 7 Jun 2024
Viewed by 593
Abstract
It is crucial to increase the resilience of the global food production and distribution systems against the growing concerns relating to factors that could cause global catastrophic infrastructure losses, such as nuclear war or a worldwide pandemic. Currently, such an event would result [...] Read more.
It is crucial to increase the resilience of the global food production and distribution systems against the growing concerns relating to factors that could cause global catastrophic infrastructure losses, such as nuclear war or a worldwide pandemic. Currently, such an event would result in the global loss of industry, including the ability to drill and refine crude oil. In such an event, the existing above-ground reserves of diesel and gasoline are likely to still be intact but would only be able to power the production and transportation of food between 158 days and 481 days with 80% confidence, where the mean is 195 days at current rates. This paper investigates a novel group of interventions in relation to the scenario of providing food under these conditions. It was found that by using a plausible combination of wood gasification, increasing vehicle utilisation rate, and reducing food consumption, the stockpile duration could increase to between 382 days and 1501 days with 80% confidence, where the mean is 757 days. This is an improvement in mean duration by a factor of 3.9. It was discovered that diesel is the limiting fuel in all scenarios due to wood gas only being a partial replacement for diesel fuel and also because of the prevalence of diesel engines in both the agricultural and trucking industries. A sensitivity analysis was completed identifying that reducing food consumption to minimum levels was the most effective method to prolong diesel reserves. The other factors that benefited from extending fuel reserves in terms of their effectiveness are reducing the lag time before gasification devices are installed, increasing the rate at which gasification devices are installed, and increasing the agricultural equipment utilisation rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass for Resilient Foods)
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14 pages, 1183 KiB  
Article
Hydrogen Production from Gelatin, Cotton, Wheat Straw, and Sour Cabbage and Their Mixtures—Short Communication
by Gaweł Sołowski, Marwa S. Shalaby and Fethi Ahmet Ozdemir
Biomass 2023, 3(3), 252-265; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomass3030015 - 17 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1188
Abstract
The influence of microaeration, pH, and substrate during dark fermentation of sour cabbage, gelatin, and wheat straw was investigated, and the results of dark fermentation of these three substrates and their mixtures are presented in this research. The fermentation of cabbage, gelatin, and [...] Read more.
The influence of microaeration, pH, and substrate during dark fermentation of sour cabbage, gelatin, and wheat straw was investigated, and the results of dark fermentation of these three substrates and their mixtures are presented in this research. The fermentation of cabbage, gelatin, and wheat straw was investigated under varying pH and aeration conditions. We investigated concentrations of volatile suspended solids (VSS) of 20 g VSS/L of a substrate at a stable pH of 6.0 and a not aligned pH value. Sour cabbage resulted in the highest volume of hydrogen for 450 mL/g VSS with a pH of 6.0. The mixing of substrates caused lower hydrogen production than sour cabbage or wheat straw alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass for Resilient Foods)
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25 pages, 18198 KiB  
Article
Quantifying Alternative Food Potential of Agricultural Residue in Rural Communities of Sub-Saharan Africa
by Blessing Ugwoke, Ross Tieman, Aron Mill, David Denkenberger and Joshua M. Pearce
Biomass 2023, 3(2), 138-162; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomass3020010 - 10 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2049
Abstract
African countries have been severely affected by food insecurity such that 54% of the population (73 million people) are acutely food insecure, in crisis or worse. Recent work has found technical potential for feeding humanity during global catastrophes using leaves as stop-gap alternative [...] Read more.
African countries have been severely affected by food insecurity such that 54% of the population (73 million people) are acutely food insecure, in crisis or worse. Recent work has found technical potential for feeding humanity during global catastrophes using leaves as stop-gap alternative foods. To determine the potential for adopting agricultural residue (especially crop leaves) as food in food-insecure areas, this study provides a new methodology to quantify the calories available from agricultural residue as alternative foods at the community scale. A case study is performed on thirteen communities in Nigeria to compare national level values to those available in rural communities. Two residue utilization cases were considered, including a pessimistic and an optimistic case for human-edible calories gained. Here, we show that between 3.0 and 13.8 million Gcal are available in Nigeria per year from harvesting agricultural residue as alternative food. This is enough to feed between 3.9 and 18.1 million people per year, covering from 10 to 48% of Nigeria’s current estimated total food deficit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass for Resilient Foods)
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