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《Resources Science》 2010-03
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Resource Potential of Sweet Potato Ethanol and Its Spatial Distribution in China

ZHANG Caixia1,2,XIE gaodi1,LI Shimei1,2,GE Liqiang1,2 ( 1.Institute of Geographical Sciences & Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China; 2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing l00049, China)  
As one of important non-grain ethanol crops, sweet potato with high yield and widely distributed in China, has been receiving more and more attentions from the scientific community and decision makers. However, studies concerning the productive potential of ethanol from sweet potato as well as its spatial distribution are not adequate. In the present work, the authors performed a study on spatial distribution of sweet potato based on spatial analysis techniques and quantified the resource potential of sweet potato ethanol. Data on climate, soil, topography, land use and that from relevant literature about sweet potato were utilized. It was found that it is possible for most of provinces in China to grow sweet potato. However, suitability for sweet potato productions greatly varies among regions. It was also found that sweet potato is primarily distributed over the southeastern part of China around the latitude of 40° N. Unused areas possible for sweet potato growing were estimated to be roughly 5.937×106 hm2. The sweet potato ethanol of 16.624×106 t/a would thus be obtained given the current level of production technology without considering energy efficiency and water resources limitation. Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Heilongjiang and Jilin Provinces show the biggest ethanol potential larger than 1.00×106 t/a from sweet potato. Shandong, Hebei, Liaoning and Shaanxi Provinces have relatively bigger potential of around (0.100~0.400)×106 t/a. The other part of China shows relatively lower potential smaller than 0.100×106 t/a. If the energy input-output and water constraint were considered, suitable unused areas for developing sweet potato ethanol would decrease to 0.297×106 hm2. Thus, in terms of the current level of production technology, sweet potato ethanol of around (0.833 ~0.1666 )× 106t/a can be obtained from suitable unused areas mainly distributed in Shandong and Hebei Provinces, followed by Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian and other provinces and regions. It was suggested that if there were increases in production, management and storage technology levels in the near future under the condition of grain security, the productive potential of sweet potato ethanol would reach as large as 3.916 × 106 t/a, which can basically meet more than 50% of current demand for E10 gasoline for ethanol in China (assumed that the energy efficiency of per unit E10 is equal to that of per unit pure gasoline). In summary, sweet potato has great potential for ethanol production, and technologies and industries about sweet potato ethanol should thus be supported actively by the government. In addition, distribution of the sweet potato ethanol industry should adequately account for local conditions.
【Fund】: 国家重点基础研究发展计划(973计划):“中国主要陆地生态系统服务功能与生态安全”(编号:2009CB421106);; 国家科技支撑计划项目“可持续发展功能分区技术开发”(编号:2006BAC18B01)
【CateGory Index】: S216.2
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