The viability of biofuel production on urban marginal land: An analysis of metal contaminants and energy balance for pittsburgh's sunflower gardens

Xi Zhao, Jason D. Monnell, Briana Niblick, Christopher D. Rovensky, Amy E. Landis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    After three years' monitoring of the concentration of Al, Fe, Zn, Ni, Pb, As, Cd, Cr and Se in soil, Fe, Pb and As in Pittsburgh's vacant lots were found sometimes to exceed the residential maximum soil contaminant concentrations set by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Heavy metal uptake by sunflowers was insignificant at the soil metal concentrations observed in Pittsburgh, indicating that sunflowers produced on marginal urban land could be a safe biofuel feedstock. However, there was a risk that sunflowers grown on more contaminated spoils could be unsafe. Calculations of the energy balance of the total biofuel production system suggested that lots in Pittsburgh of over 0.2. ha would be able to produce an energy gain, particularly if community volunteers were involved in the process. Using marginal urban land for biofuel production can be a worthwhile strategy to replace costly traditional vacant lot management methods.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)22-33
    Number of pages12
    JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
    Volume124
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 2014

    Fingerprint

    biofuel
    energy balance
    garden
    viability
    pollutant
    metal
    soil
    production system
    environmental protection
    heavy metal
    monitoring
    energy
    analysis
    marginal land
    land

    Keywords

    • Balance
    • Biofuel
    • Energy
    • Soil contamination
    • Sunflower
    • Urban agriculture
    • Urban vacant lot management

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology
    • Nature and Landscape Conservation
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

    Cite this

    The viability of biofuel production on urban marginal land : An analysis of metal contaminants and energy balance for pittsburgh's sunflower gardens. / Zhao, Xi; Monnell, Jason D.; Niblick, Briana; Rovensky, Christopher D.; Landis, Amy E.

    In: Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol. 124, 04.2014, p. 22-33.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Zhao, Xi ; Monnell, Jason D. ; Niblick, Briana ; Rovensky, Christopher D. ; Landis, Amy E. / The viability of biofuel production on urban marginal land : An analysis of metal contaminants and energy balance for pittsburgh's sunflower gardens. In: Landscape and Urban Planning. 2014 ; Vol. 124. pp. 22-33.
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