WorldWideScience

Sample records for biofuel feedstock assessment

  1. Biofuel Feedstock Assessment for Selected Countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kline, K.L.; Oladosu, G.A.; Wolfe, A.K.; Perlack, R.D.; Dale, V.H.

    2008-02-18

    Findings from biofuel feedstock production assessments and projections of future supply are presented and discussed. The report aims to improve capabilities to assess the degree to which imported biofuel could contribute to meeting future U.S. targets to reduce dependence on imported oil. The study scope was focused to meet time and resource requirements. A screening process identified Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, and the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) region for initial analysis, given their likely role in future feedstock supply relevant to U.S. markets. Supply curves for selected feedstocks in these countries are projected for 2012, 2017 and 2027. The supply functions, along with calculations to reflect estimated supplies available for export and/or biofuel production, were provided to DOE for use in a broader energy market allocation study. Potential cellulosic supplies from crop and forestry residues and perennials were also estimated for 2017 and 2027. The analysis identified capacity to potentially double or triple feedstock production by 2017 in some cases. A majority of supply growth is derived from increasing the area cultivated (especially sugarcane in Brazil). This is supplemented by improving yields and farming practices. Most future supplies of corn and wheat are projected to be allocated to food and feed. Larger shares of future supplies of sugarcane, soybean and palm oil production will be available for export or biofuel. National policies are catalyzing investments in biofuel industries to meet targets for fuel blending that generally fall in the 5-10% range. Social and environmental concerns associated with rapid expansion of feedstock production are considered. If the 2017 projected feedstock supply calculated as ‘available’ for export or biofuel were converted to fuel, it would represent the equivalent of about 38 billion gallons of gasoline. Sugarcane and bagasse dominate the available supply, representing 64

  2. Biofuel Feedstock Assessment For Selected Countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kline, Keith L [ORNL; Oladosu, Gbadebo A [ORNL; Wolfe, Amy K [ORNL; Perlack, Robert D [ORNL; Dale, Virginia H [ORNL

    2008-02-01

    Findings from biofuel feedstock production assessments and projections of future supply are presented and discussed. The report aims to improve capabilities to assess the degree to which imported biofuel could contribute to meeting future U.S. targets to reduce dependence on imported oil. The study scope was focused to meet time and resource requirements. A screening process identified Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, and the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) region for initial analysis, given their likely role in future feedstock supply relevant to U.S. markets. Supply curves for selected feedstocks in these countries are projected for 2012, 2017 and 2027. The supply functions, along with calculations to reflect estimated supplies available for export and/or biofuel production, were provided to DOE for use in a broader energy market allocation study. Potential cellulosic supplies from crop and forestry residues and perennials were also estimated for 2017 and 2027. The analysis identified capacity to potentially double or triple feedstock production by 2017 in some cases. A majority of supply growth is derived from increasing the area cultivated (especially sugarcane in Brazil). This is supplemented by improving yields and farming practices. Most future supplies of corn and wheat are projected to be allocated to food and feed. Larger shares of future supplies of sugarcane, soybean and palm oil production will be available for export or biofuel. National policies are catalyzing investments in biofuel industries to meet targets for fuel blending that generally fall in the 5-10% range. Social and environmental concerns associated with rapid expansion of feedstock production are considered. If the 2017 projected feedstock supply calculated as 'available' for export or biofuel were converted to fuel, it would represent the equivalent of about 38 billion gallons of gasoline. Sugarcane and bagasse dominate the available supply

  3. Biobutanol as a Potential Sustainable Biofuel - Assessment of Lignocellulosic and Waste-based Feedstocks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Niemisto

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces the production process of an alternative transportation biofuel, biobutanol. European legislation concerning biofuels and their sustainability criteria are also briefly described. The need to develop methods to ensure more sustainable and efficient biofuel production processes is recommended. In addition, the assessment method to evaluate the sustainability of biofuels is considered and sustainability assessment of selected feedstocks for biobutanol production is performed. The benefits and potential of using lignocellulosic and waste materials as feedstocks in the biobutanol production process are also discussed. Sustainability assessment in this paper includes cultivation, harvest/collection and upstream processing (pretreatment of feedstocks, comparing four main biomass sources: food crops, non-food crops, food industry by-product and wood-based biomass. It can be concluded that the highest sustainable potential in Finland is when biobutanol production is integrated into pulp & paper mills.

  4. Projecting future grassland productivity to assess the sustainability of potential biofuel feedstock areas in the Greater Platte River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.; Boyte, Stephen; Phyual, Khem

    2014-01-01

    This study projects future (e.g., 2050 and 2099) grassland productivities in the Greater Platte River Basin (GPRB) using ecosystem performance (EP, a surrogate for measuring ecosystem productivity) models and future climate projections. The EP models developed from a previous study were based on the satellite vegetation index, site geophysical and biophysical features, and weather and climate drivers. The future climate data used in this study were derived from the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model 3.0 ‘SRES A1B’ (a ‘middle’ emissions path). The main objective of this study is to assess the future sustainability of the potential biofuel feedstock areas identified in a previous study. Results show that the potential biofuel feedstock areas (the more mesic eastern part of the GPRB) will remain productive (i.e., aboveground grassland biomass productivity >2750 kg ha−1 year−1) with a slight increasing trend in the future. The spatially averaged EPs for these areas are 3519, 3432, 3557, 3605, 3752, and 3583 kg ha−1 year−1 for current site potential (2000–2008 average), 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050, and 2099, respectively. Therefore, the identified potential biofuel feedstock areas will likely continue to be sustainable for future biofuel development. On the other hand, grasslands identified as having no biofuel potential in the drier western part of the GPRB would be expected to stay unproductive in the future (spatially averaged EPs are 1822, 1691, 1896, 2306, 1994, and 2169 kg ha−1 year−1 for site potential, 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050, and 2099). These areas should continue to be unsuitable for biofuel feedstock development in the future. These future grassland productivity estimation maps can help land managers to understand and adapt to the expected changes in future EP in the GPRB and to assess the future sustainability and feasibility of potential biofuel feedstock areas.

  5. Assessing county-level water footprints of different cellulosic-biofuel feedstock pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Yi-Wen; Wu, May

    2012-08-21

    While agricultural residue is considered as a near-term feedstock option for cellulosic biofuels, its sustainability must be evaluated by taking water into account. This study aims to analyze the county-level water footprint for four biofuel pathways in the United States, including bioethanol generated from corn grain, stover, wheat straw, and biodiesel from soybean. The county-level blue water footprint of ethanol from corn grain, stover, and wheat straw shows extremely wide variances with a national average of 31, 132, and 139 L of water per liter biofuel (L(w)/L(bf)), and standard deviation of 133, 323, and 297 L(w)/L(bf), respectively. Soybean biodiesel production results in a blue water footprint of 313 L(w)/L(bf) on the national average with standard deviation of 894 L(w)/L(bf). All biofuels show a greater green water footprint than the blue one. This work elucidates how diverse spatial resolutions affect biofuel water footprints, which can provide detailed insights into biofuels' implications on local water sustainability.

  6. COMPUTATIONAL RESOURCES FOR BIOFUEL FEEDSTOCK SPECIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buell, Carol Robin [Michigan State University; Childs, Kevin L [Michigan State University

    2013-05-07

    While current production of ethanol as a biofuel relies on starch and sugar inputs, it is anticipated that sustainable production of ethanol for biofuel use will utilize lignocellulosic feedstocks. Candidate plant species to be used for lignocellulosic ethanol production include a large number of species within the Grass, Pine and Birch plant families. For these biofuel feedstock species, there are variable amounts of genome sequence resources available, ranging from complete genome sequences (e.g. sorghum, poplar) to transcriptome data sets (e.g. switchgrass, pine). These data sets are not only dispersed in location but also disparate in content. It will be essential to leverage and improve these genomic data sets for the improvement of biofuel feedstock production. The objectives of this project were to provide computational tools and resources for data-mining genome sequence/annotation and large-scale functional genomic datasets available for biofuel feedstock species. We have created a Bioenergy Feedstock Genomics Resource that provides a web-based portal or clearing house for genomic data for plant species relevant to biofuel feedstock production. Sequence data from a total of 54 plant species are included in the Bioenergy Feedstock Genomics Resource including model plant species that permit leveraging of knowledge across taxa to biofuel feedstock species.We have generated additional computational analyses of these data, including uniform annotation, to facilitate genomic approaches to improved biofuel feedstock production. These data have been centralized in the publicly available Bioenergy Feedstock Genomics Resource (http://bfgr.plantbiology.msu.edu/).

  7. Algae as a Feedstock for Biofuels: An Assessment of the State of Technology and Opportunities. Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sikes, K.; McGill, R. [Sentech, Inc. (United States); Van Walwijk, M. [Independent Consultant (France)

    2011-05-15

    The pursuit of a stable, economically-sound, and environmentally-friendly source of transportation fuel has led to extensive research and development (R&D) efforts focused on the conversion of various feedstocks into biofuels. Some feedstocks, such as sugar cane, corn and woody biomass, are targeted because their structures can be broken down into sugars and fermented into alcohols. Other feedstocks, such as vegetable oils, are appealing because they contain considerable amounts of lipids, which can be extracted and converted into biodiesel or other fuels. While significant R&D and commercial strides have been made with each of these feedstocks, technical and market barriers (e.g., cost, scalability, infrastructure requirements, and 'food vs. fuel' debates) currently limit the penetration of the resultant biofuels into the mainstream. Because of algae's ability to potentially address several of these barriers, its use as a feedstock for biofuels has led to much excitement and initiative within the energy industry. Algae are highly diverse, singleor multi-cellular organisms comprised of mostly lipids, protein, and carbohydrates, which may be used to produce a wide variety of biofuels. Algae offer many competitive advantages over other feedstocks, including: 1) Higher potential lipid content than terrestrial plants, sometimes exceeding 50% of the cell's dry biomass (U.S. DOE, May '10; Tornabene et al., 1983) 2) Rapid growth rates that are 20-30 times higher than terrestrial crops (McDill, 2009) and, in some cases, capable of doubling in size with 10 hours 3) Diverse number of species that can collectively thrive in a wide range of environments throughout the world, presenting an overall high overall tolerance for climate, sunlight, nutrient levels, etc. 4) Daily harvesting potential instead of seasonal harvest periods associated with terrestrial crops 5) Potential to redirect CO2 from industry operations to algal cultivation facilities to be

  8. The Next Generation Feedstock of Biofuel: Jatropha or Chlorella as Assessed by Their Life-Cycle Inventories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pu Peng

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Promising energy crops such as Jatropha curcas Linnaeus (JCL, which are planted on marginal lands, or microalgae such as Chlorella, which are cultivated in ponds located on mudflats or deserts, have been regarded with high hopes to solve the shortage of food crops and increase the amount of biodiesel (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester, FAME production. However, the annual yields of biomass and transport fuels (t/ha of both are still unclear and often exaggerated in the literature. Large portions of JCL biomass, including tree trunks and leaves, can also be used to generate electricity along with FAME, which is produced from seed lipids. Meanwhile, lipid extracted algae (LEA are composed of proteins, polysaccharides, and lipids other than glycerides which are unable to be esterified to form FAME and much more abundant in the microalgae than oil cake in the oil crops. Therefore, it has been strongly suggested that not only transesterification or esterification but also Fischer-Tropsch (FT process and bio-electricity generation should be considered as routes to produce biofuels. Otherwise, the yield of biofuel would be extremely low using either JCL or Chlorella as feedstock. The Life-Cycle Inventories (LCI of the biofuel processes with whole biomass of JCL and Chlorella were compared based on their net energy ratio (NER and CO2 emission saving (CES. It was shown that the technological improvement of irrigation, cultivation, and processing for either economic-crops or microalgae were all necessary to meet the requirements of commercial biofuel production.

  9. Estimating Biofuel Feedstock Water Footprints Using System Dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Inman, Daniel; Warner, Ethan; Stright, Dana; Macknick, Jordan; Peck, Corey

    2016-07-01

    Increased biofuel production has prompted concerns about the environmental tradeoffs of biofuels compared to petroleum-based fuels. Biofuel production in general, and feedstock production in particular, is under increased scrutiny. Water footprinting (measuring direct and indirect water use) has been proposed as one measure to evaluate water use in the context of concerns about depleting rural water supplies through activities such as irrigation for large-scale agriculture. Water footprinting literature has often been limited in one or more key aspects: complete assessment across multiple water stocks (e.g., vadose zone, surface, and ground water stocks), geographical resolution of data, consistent representation of many feedstocks, and flexibility to perform scenario analysis. We developed a model called BioSpatial H2O using a system dynamics modeling and database framework. BioSpatial H2O could be used to consistently evaluate the complete water footprints of multiple biomass feedstocks at high geospatial resolutions. BioSpatial H2O has the flexibility to perform simultaneous scenario analysis of current and potential future crops under alternative yield and climate conditions. In this proof-of-concept paper, we modeled corn grain (Zea mays L.) and soybeans (Glycine max) under current conditions as illustrative results. BioSpatial H2O links to a unique database that houses annual spatially explicit climate, soil, and plant physiological data. Parameters from the database are used as inputs to our system dynamics model for estimating annual crop water requirements using daily time steps. Based on our review of the literature, estimated green water footprints are comparable to other modeled results, suggesting that BioSpatial H2O is computationally sound for future scenario analysis. Our modeling framework builds on previous water use analyses to provide a platform for scenario-based assessment. BioSpatial H2O's system dynamics is a flexible and user

  10. Foresight Brief: Seaweed & Algae as Biofuels Feedstocks

    OpenAIRE

    Institute, Marine

    2008-01-01

    Seaweed is a known potential carbon-dioxide (CO2) neutral source of second generation biofuels. When seaweed grows it absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere and this CO2 is released back to the atmosphere during combustion. What makes seaweed, and in particular micro algae, so promising as a fuel source is their growth rates and high lipid (oil) content. Algae are among the fastest-growing plants in the world. Energy is stored inside the cell as lipids and carbohydrates, and can be converted into fu...

  11. Biofuel production from microalgae as feedstock: current status and potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Song-Fang; Jin, Wen-Biao; Tu, Ren-Jie; Wu, Wei-Min

    2015-06-01

    Algal biofuel has become an attractive alternative of petroleum-based fuels in the past decade. Microalgae have been proposed as a feedstock to produce biodiesel, since they are capable of mitigating CO2 emission and accumulating lipids with high productivity. This article is an overview of the updated status of biofuels, especially biodiesel production from microalgae including fundamental research, culture selection and engineering process development; it summarizes research on mathematical and life cycle modeling on algae growth and biomass production; and it updates global efforts of research and development and commercialization attempts. The major challenges are also discussed.

  12. Increasing Feedstock Production for Biofuels: Economic Drivers, Environmental Implications, and the Role of Research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    none,

    2009-10-27

    The Biomass Research and Development Board (Board) commissioned an economic analysis of feedstocks to produce biofuels. The Board seeks to inform investments in research and development needed to expand biofuel production. This analysis focuses on feedstocks; other interagency teams have projects underway for other parts of the biofuel sector (e.g., logistics). The analysis encompasses feedstocks for both conventional and advanced biofuels from agriculture and forestry sources.

  13. Lignocellulosic feedstock resource assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rooney, T.

    1998-09-01

    This report provides overall state and national information on the quantity, availability, and costs of current and potential feedstocks for ethanol production in the United States. It characterizes end uses and physical characteristics of feedstocks, and presents relevant information that affects the economic and technical feasibility of ethanol production from these feedstocks. The data can help researchers focus ethanol conversion research efforts on feedstocks that are compatible with the resource base.

  14. Geoffroea decorticans for Biofuels: A Promising Feedstock

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Santibáñez

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In this work, chañar (Geoffroea decorticans fruit is evaluated as a potential feedstock for biodiesel and biomass pellets production with reference to some relevant properties. The fatty acid profile of this oil (83% unsaturated acids is found to be comparable to similar seed oils which have been attempted for biodiesel production. As a result, the methyl esters (biodiesel obtained from this oil exhibits high quality properties. Chañar biodiesel quality meets all other biodiesel international standards (ASTM D6751 and EN 14214. Moreover, the husk that surrounds the kernel showed a high potential for usage as densified solid fuels. The results demonstrate that chañar husks pellets have a higher calorific value when compared with other biomass pellets, typically, approximately 21 MJ kg−1 with 1.8% of ashes (which is equivalent to that obtained from the combustion of pellets produced from forest wastes. This study indicates that chañar can be used as a multipurpose energy crop in semiarid regions for biodiesel and densified solid fuels (pellets production.

  15. An assessment of Thailand's biofuel development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kumar, S.; Salam, P. Abdul; Shrestha, Pujan

    2013-01-01

    . The policies, measures and incentives for the development of biofuel include targets, blending mandates and favorable tax schemes to encourage production and consumption of biofuels. Biofuel development improves energy security, rural income and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but issues related......The paper provides an assessment of first generation biofuel (ethanol and biodiesel) development in Thailand in terms of feedstock used, production trends, planned targets and policies and discusses the biofuel sustainability issues-environmental, socio-economic and food security aspects...... to land and water use and food security are important considerations to be addressed for its large scale application. Second generation biofuels derived from agricultural residues perform favorably on environmental and social sustainability issues in comparison to first generation biofuel sources...

  16. Biofuels Feedstock Development Program annual progress report for 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L.L.; Cushman, J.H.; Ehrenshaft, A.R.; McLaughlin, S.B.; McNabb, W.A.; Ranney, J.W.; Tuskan, G.A.; Turhollow, A.F.

    1992-12-01

    This report provides an overview of the ongoing research funded in 1991 by the Department of Energy's Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP). The BFDP is managed by the Environmental Sciences Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and encompasses the work formerly funded by the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program and the Herbaceous Energy Crops Program. The combined program includes crop development research on both woody and herbaceous energy crop species, cross-cutting energy and environmental analysis and integration, and information management activities. Brief summaries of 26 different program activities are included in the report.

  17. Biofuels Feedstock Development Program annual progress report for 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L.L.; Cushman, J.H.; Ehrenshaft, A.R.; McLaughlin, S.B.; McNabb, W.A.; Ranney, J.W.; Tuskan, G.A.; Turhollow, A.F.

    1992-12-01

    This report provides an overview of the ongoing research funded in 1991 by the Department of Energy`s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP). The BFDP is managed by the Environmental Sciences Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and encompasses the work formerly funded by the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program and the Herbaceous Energy Crops Program. The combined program includes crop development research on both woody and herbaceous energy crop species, cross-cutting energy and environmental analysis and integration, and information management activities. Brief summaries of 26 different program activities are included in the report.

  18. Screening microalgae isolated from urban storm- and wastewater systems as feedstock for biofuel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Massimi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Exploiting microalgae as feedstock for biofuel production is a growing field of research and application, but there remain challenges related to industrial viability and economic sustainability. A solution to the water requirements of industrial-scale production is the use of wastewater as a growth medium. Considering the variable quality and contaminant loads of wastewater, algal feedstock would need to have broad tolerance and resilience to fluctuating wastewater conditions during growth. As a first step in targeting strains for growth in wastewater, our study isolated microalgae from wastewater habitats, including urban stormwater-ponds and a municipal wastewater-treatment system, to assess growth, fatty acids and metal tolerance under standardized conditions. Stormwater ponds in particular have widely fluctuating conditions and metal loads, so microalgae from this type of environment may have desirable traits for growth in wastewater. Forty-three algal strains were isolated in total, including several strains from natural habitats. All strains, with the exception of one cyanobacterial strain, are members of the Chlorophyta, including several taxa commonly targeted for biofuel production. Isolates were identified using taxonomic and 18S rRNA sequence methods, and the fastest growing strains with ideal fatty acid profiles for biodiesel production included Scenedesmus and Desmodesmus species (Growth rate (d−1 > 1. All isolates in a small, but diverse taxonomic group of test-strains were tolerant of copper at wastewater-relevant concentrations. Overall, more than half of the isolated strains, particularly those from stormwater ponds, show promise as candidates for biofuel feedstock.

  19. Screening microalgae isolated from urban storm- and wastewater systems as feedstock for biofuel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massimi, Rebecca; Kirkwood, Andrea E

    2016-01-01

    Exploiting microalgae as feedstock for biofuel production is a growing field of research and application, but there remain challenges related to industrial viability and economic sustainability. A solution to the water requirements of industrial-scale production is the use of wastewater as a growth medium. Considering the variable quality and contaminant loads of wastewater, algal feedstock would need to have broad tolerance and resilience to fluctuating wastewater conditions during growth. As a first step in targeting strains for growth in wastewater, our study isolated microalgae from wastewater habitats, including urban stormwater-ponds and a municipal wastewater-treatment system, to assess growth, fatty acids and metal tolerance under standardized conditions. Stormwater ponds in particular have widely fluctuating conditions and metal loads, so microalgae from this type of environment may have desirable traits for growth in wastewater. Forty-three algal strains were isolated in total, including several strains from natural habitats. All strains, with the exception of one cyanobacterial strain, are members of the Chlorophyta, including several taxa commonly targeted for biofuel production. Isolates were identified using taxonomic and 18S rRNA sequence methods, and the fastest growing strains with ideal fatty acid profiles for biodiesel production included Scenedesmus and Desmodesmus species (Growth rate (d(-1)) > 1). All isolates in a small, but diverse taxonomic group of test-strains were tolerant of copper at wastewater-relevant concentrations. Overall, more than half of the isolated strains, particularly those from stormwater ponds, show promise as candidates for biofuel feedstock.

  20. Manipulating microRNAs for improved biomass and biofuels from plant feedstocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trumbo, Jennifer Lynn; Zhang, Baohong; Stewart, Charles Neal

    2015-04-01

    Petroleum-based fuels are nonrenewable and unsustainable. Renewable sources of energy, such as lignocellulosic biofuels and plant metabolite-based drop-in fuels, can offset fossil fuel use and reverse environmental degradation through carbon sequestration. Despite these benefits, the lignocellulosic biofuels industry still faces many challenges, including the availability of economically viable crop plants. Cell wall recalcitrance is a major economic barrier for lignocellulosic biofuels production from biomass crops. Sustainability and biomass yield are two additional, yet interrelated, foci for biomass crop improvement. Many scientists are searching for solutions to these problems within biomass crop genomes. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in almost all biological and metabolic process in plants including plant development, cell wall biosynthesis and plant stress responses. Because of the broad functions of their targets (e.g. auxin response factors), the alteration of plant miRNA expression often results in pleiotropic effects. A specific miRNA usually regulates a biologically relevant bioenergy trait. For example, relatively low miR156 overexpression leads to a transgenic feedstock with enhanced biomass and decreased recalcitrance. miRNAs have been overexpressed in dedicated bioenergy feedstocks such as poplar and switchgrass yielding promising results for lignin reduction, increased plant biomass, the timing of flowering and response to harsh environments. In this review, we present the status of miRNA-related research in several major biofuel crops and relevant model plants. We critically assess published research and suggest next steps for miRNA manipulation in feedstocks for increased biomass and sustainability for biofuels and bioproducts.

  1. Energy crops for biofuel feedstocks: facts and recent patents on genetic manipulation to improve biofuel crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Suresh

    2013-12-01

    Burning fossil-fuels to meet the global energy requirements by human being has intensified the concerns of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. Therefore, serious efforts are required to develop nonfossil-based renewable energy sources. Plants are more efficient in utilizing solar energy to convert it into biomass which can be used as feedstocks for biofuel production. Hence with the increasing demands of energy and the needs of cost-effective, sustainable production of fuels, it has become necessary to switch over to plant biomass as a renewable source of energy. Biofuels derived from more sustainable biological materials such as lignocellulosic plant residues, considered as second generation biofuels, are more dependable. However, there are technical challenges such as pretreatment and hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass to convert it into fermentable sugars. Plant genetic engineering has already proven its potential in modifying cell wall composition of plants for enhancing the efficiency of biofuel production. Interest and potential in the area are very much evident from the growing number of patents in the recent years on the subject. In this review, recent trends in genetic engineering of energy crops for biofuel production have been introduced, and strategies for the future developments have been discussed.

  2. Biofuels feedstock development program. Annual progress report for 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L.L.; Cushman, J.H.; Ehrenshaft, A.R.; McLaughlin, S.B.; McNabb, W.A.; Martin, S.A.; Ranney, J.W.; Tuskan, G.A.; Turhollow, A.F.

    1993-11-01

    The Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP) leads the nation in the research, development, and demonstration of environmentally acceptable and commercially viable dedicated feedstock supply systems (DFSS). The purpose of this report is to highlight the status and accomplishments of the research that is currently being funded by the BFDP. Highlights summarized here and additional accomplishments are described in more detail in the sections associated with each major program task. A few key accomplishments include (1) development of a methodology for doing a cost-supply analysis for energy crops and the application of that methodology to looking at possible land use changes around a specific energy facility in East Tennessee; (2) preliminary documentation of the relationship between woody crop plantation locations and bird diversity at sites in the Midwest, Canada, and the pacific Northwest supplied indications that woody crop plantations could be beneficial to biodiversity; (3) the initiation of integrated switchgrass variety trials, breeding research, and biotechnology research for the south/southeast region; (4) development of a data base management system for documenting the results of herbaceous energy crop field trials; (5) publication of three issues of Energy Crops Forum and development of a readership of over 2,300 individuals or organizations as determined by positive responses on questionnaires.

  3. Evaluation of attached periphytical algal communities for biofuel feedstock generation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandefur, H.N.; Matlock, M.D.; Costello, T.A. [Arkansas Univ., Division of Agriculture, Fayetteville, AR (United States). Dept. of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability

    2010-07-01

    This paper reported on a study that investigated the feasibility of using algal biomass as a feedstock for biofuel production. Algae has a high lipid content, and with its high rate of production, it can produce more oil on less land than traditional bioenergy crops. In addition, algal communities can remove nutrients from wastewater. Enclosed photobioreactors and open pond systems are among the many different algal growth systems that can be highly productive. However, they can also be difficult to maintain. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the ability of a pilot scale algal turf scrubber (ATS) to facilitate the growth of attached periphytic algal communities for the production of biomass feedstock and the removal of nutrients from a local stream in Springdale, Arizona. The ATS operated for a 9 month sampling period, during which time the system productivity averaged 26 g per m{sup 2} per day. The removal of total phosphorus and total nitrogen averaged 48 and 13 per cent, respectively.

  4. Impacts of near-future cultivation of biofuel feedstocks on atmospheric composition and local air quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashworth, K.; Folberth, G.; Hewitt, C. N.; Wild, O.

    2012-01-01

    Large-scale production of feedstock crops for biofuels will lead to land use changes. We quantify the effects of realistic land use change scenarios for biofuel feedstock production on isoprene emissions and hence atmospheric composition and chemistry using the HadGEM2 model. Two feedstocks are considered: oil palm for biodiesel in the tropics and short rotation coppice (SRC) in the mid-latitudes. In total, 69 Mha of oil palm and 9 Mha of SRC are planted, each sufficient to replace just over 1% of projected global fossil fuel demand in 2020. Both planting scenarios result in increases in total global annual isoprene emissions of about 1%. In each case, changes in surface concentrations of ozone and biogenic secondary organic aerosol (bSOA) are substantial at the regional scale, with implications for air quality standards. However, the changes in tropospheric burden of ozone and the OH radical, and hence effects on global climate, are negligible. Over SE Asia, one region of oil palm planting, increases in annual mean surface ozone and bSOA concentrations reach over 3 ppbv (+11%) and 0.4 μg m-3 (+10%) respectively for parts of Borneo, with monthly mean increases of up to 6.5 ppbv (+25%) and 0.5 μg m-3 (+12%). Under the SRC scenario, Europe experiences monthly mean changes of over 0.6 ppbv (+1%) and 0.1 μg m-3 (+5%) in June and July, with peak increases of over 2 ppbv (+3%) and 0.5 μg m-3 (+8 %). That appreciable regional atmospheric impacts result from low level planting scenarios demonstrates the need to include changes in emissions of reactive trace gases such as isoprene in life cycle assessments performed on potential biofuel feedstocks.

  5. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technical...

  6. Gene flow matters in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a potential widespread biofuel feedstock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwit, Charles; Stewart, C Neal

    2012-01-01

    There currently exists a large push for the use, improvement, and expansion via landscape modification of dedicated biofuel crops (feedstocks) in the United States and in many parts of the world. Ecological concerns have been voiced because many biofuel feedstocks exhibit characteristics associated with invasiveness, and due to potential negative consequences of agronomic genes in native wild populations. Seed purity concerns for biofuel feedstock cultivars whose seeds would be harvested in agronomic fields also exist from the agribusiness sector. The common thread underlying these concerns, which have regulatory implications, is gene flow; thus detailed knowledge of gene flow in biofuel crop plants is important in the formulation of environmental risk management plans. Here, we synthesize the current state of knowledge of gene flow in an exemplary biofuel crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), which is native to eastern North America and is currently experiencing conventional and technological advances in biomass yields and ethanol production. Surprisingly little is known regarding aspects of switchgrass pollen flow and seed dispersal, and whether native populations of conspecific or congeneric relatives will readily cross with current agronomic switchgrass cultivars. We pose that filling these important gaps will be required to confront the sustainability challenges of widespread planting of biofuel feedstocks.

  7. Agave: a biofuel feedstock for arid and semi-arid environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gross, Stephen; Martin, Jeffrey; Simpson, June; Wang, Zhong; Visel, Axel

    2011-05-31

    Efficient production of plant-based, lignocellulosic biofuels relies upon continued improvement of existing biofuel feedstock species, as well as the introduction of newfeedstocks capable of growing on marginal lands to avoid conflicts with existing food production and minimize use of water and nitrogen resources. To this end, specieswithin the plant genus Agave have recently been proposed as new biofuel feedstocks. Many Agave species are adapted to hot and arid environments generally unsuitable forfood production, yet have biomass productivity rates comparable to other second-generation biofuel feedstocks such as switchgrass and Miscanthus. Agavesachieve remarkable heat tolerance and water use efficiency in part through a Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) mode of photosynthesis, but the genes andregulatory pathways enabling CAM and thermotolerance in agaves remain poorly understood. We seek to accelerate the development of agave as a new biofuelfeedstock through genomic approaches using massively-parallel sequencing technologies. First, we plan to sequence the transcriptome of A. tequilana to provide adatabase of protein-coding genes to the agave research community. Second, we will compare transcriptome-wide gene expression of agaves under different environmentalconditions in order to understand genetic pathways controlling CAM, water use efficiency, and thermotolerance. Finally, we aim to compare the transcriptome of A.tequilana with that of other Agave species to gain further insight into molecular mechanisms underlying traits desirable for biofuel feedstocks. These genomicapproaches will provide sequence and gene expression information critical to the breeding and domestication of Agave species suitable for biofuel production.

  8. Use of tamarisk as a potential feedstock for biofuel production.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sun, Amy Cha-Tien; Norman, Kirsten

    2011-01-01

    This study assesses the energy and water use of saltcedar (or tamarisk) as biomass for biofuel production in a hypothetical sub-region in New Mexico. The baseline scenario consists of a rural stretch of the Middle Rio Grande River with 25% coverage of mature saltcedar that is removed and converted to biofuels. A manufacturing system life cycle consisting of harvesting, transportation, pyrolysis, and purification is constructed for calculating energy and water balances. On a dry short ton woody biomass basis, the total energy input is approximately 8.21 mmBTU/st. There is potential for 18.82 mmBTU/st of energy output from the baseline system. Of the extractable energy, approximately 61.1% consists of bio-oil, 20.3% bio-char, and 18.6% biogas. Water consumptive use by removal of tamarisk will not impact the existing rate of evapotranspiration. However, approximately 195 gal of water is needed per short ton of woody biomass for the conversion of biomass to biocrude, three-quarters of which is cooling water that can be recovered and recycled. The impact of salt presence is briefly assessed. Not accounted for in the baseline are high concentrations of Calcium, Sodium, and Sulfur ions in saltcedar woody biomass that can potentially shift the relative quantities of bio-char and bio-oil. This can be alleviated by a pre-wash step prior to the conversion step. More study is needed to account for the impact of salt presence on the overall energy and water balance.

  9. Algae as a Feedstock for Biofuels. An Assessment of the Current Status and Potential for Algal Biofuels Production. Joint Summary report of IEA-AMF Annex XXXIV-2 and IEA Bioenergy Task 39

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' Conner, D. [S and T2 Consultants, Inc. (Canada)

    2011-09-15

    In 2010, the IEA Advanced Motor Fuels Implementing Agreement and the IEA Bioenergy Task 39 both commissioned reports on the status and potential opportunities for Algal Biofuels. While there were substantial similarities in the findings of the two reports, each report provides unique perspectives on different aspects of the technology and the opportunities. This summary draws on both of those reports. The Task 39 report (Bioenergy Algal Biofuels.pdf) was authored by Al Darzins and Philip Pienkos (NREL, US) and Les Edye (BioIndustry Partners, Australia). The IEA AMF report was prepared by Karen Sikes and Ralph McGill (Sentech, Inc. US) and Martijn Van Walwijk (Independent Researcher).

  10. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srikanth Reddy Medipally

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technically and economically viable and cost competitive, require no additional lands, require minimal water use, and mitigate atmospheric CO2. However, commercial production of microalgae biodiesel is still not feasible due to the low biomass concentration and costly downstream processes. The viability of microalgae biodiesel production can be achieved by designing advanced photobioreactors, developing low cost technologies for biomass harvesting, drying, and oil extraction. Commercial production can also be accomplished by improving the genetic engineering strategies to control environmental stress conditions and by engineering metabolic pathways for high lipid production. In addition, new emerging technologies such as algal-bacterial interactions for enhancement of microalgae growth and lipid production are also explored. This review focuses mainly on the problems encountered in the commercial production of microalgae biofuels and the possible techniques to overcome these difficulties.

  11. Microalgae as sustainable renewable energy feedstock for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medipally, Srikanth Reddy; Yusoff, Fatimah Md; Banerjee, Sanjoy; Shariff, M

    2015-01-01

    The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technically and economically viable and cost competitive, require no additional lands, require minimal water use, and mitigate atmospheric CO2. However, commercial production of microalgae biodiesel is still not feasible due to the low biomass concentration and costly downstream processes. The viability of microalgae biodiesel production can be achieved by designing advanced photobioreactors, developing low cost technologies for biomass harvesting, drying, and oil extraction. Commercial production can also be accomplished by improving the genetic engineering strategies to control environmental stress conditions and by engineering metabolic pathways for high lipid production. In addition, new emerging technologies such as algal-bacterial interactions for enhancement of microalgae growth and lipid production are also explored. This review focuses mainly on the problems encountered in the commercial production of microalgae biofuels and the possible techniques to overcome these difficulties.

  12. Apparatus and method for converting biomass to feedstock for biofuel and biochemical manufacturing processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kania, John; Qiao, Ming; Woods, Elizabeth M.; Cortright, Randy D.; Myren, Paul

    2015-12-15

    The present invention includes improved systems and methods for producing biomass-derived feedstocks for biofuel and biochemical manufacturing processes. The systems and methods use components that are capable of transferring relatively high concentrations of solid biomass utilizing pressure variations between vessels, and allows for the recovery and recycling of heterogeneous catalyst materials.

  13. The National Biofuels Strategy - Importance of sustainable feedstock production systems in regional-based supply chains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Region-based production systems are needed to produce the feedstocks that will be turned into the biofuels required to meet Federal mandated targets. Executive and Legislative actions have put into motion significant government responses designed to advance the development and production of domestic...

  14. The Effects of Biofuel Feedstock Production on Farmers’ Livelihoods in Ghana: The Case of Jatropha curcas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel Acheampong

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The widespread acquisition of land for large-scale/commercial production of biofuel crops in Ghana has raised concerns from civil society organizations, local communities and other parties, regarding the impact of these investments on local livelihoods. This paper assessed the effect of large-scale acquisition of land for production of Jatropha curcas on farmers’ livelihoods in Ghana. The study was conducted in 11 communities spanning the major agro-ecological zones and political divisions across Ghana. Methods of data collection included questionnaire survey, interviews and focus group discussions. Results show that several households have lost their land to Jatropha plantations leading, in some cases, to violent conflicts between biofuel investors, traditional authorities and the local communities. Most people reported that, contrary to the belief that Jatropha does well on marginal lands, the lands acquired by the Jatropha Companies were productive lands. Loss of rights over land has affected households’ food production and security, as many households have resorted to reducing the area they have under cultivation, leading to shortening fallow periods and declining crop yields. In addition, although the cultivation of Jatropha led to the creation of jobs in the communities where they were started, such jobs were merely transient. The paper contends that, even though the impact of Jatropha feedstock production on local livelihoods in Ghana is largely negative, the burgeoning industry could be developed in ways that could support local livelihoods.

  15. Impact of Technology and Feedstock Choice on the Environmental Footprint of Biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, P. B.; Dodder, R. S.

    2012-12-01

    The implementation of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard program (RFS2) has led to a dramatic shift in the use of biofuel in the U.S. transportation system over the last decade. To satisfy this demand, the production of U.S. corn-based ethanol has grown rapidly, with an average increase of over 25% annually from 2002 to 2010. RFS2 requires a similarly steep increase in the production of advanced biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol. Unlike corn-based ethanol, which is derived from the biochemical fermentation of sugars in wet and dry mills, it is likely that a more diverse suite of technologies will need to be developed to be able to meet the advanced biofuel RFS2 targets, including biochemical as well as thermochemical (e.g., gasification and pyrolysis) approaches. Rather than relying on energy crops, a potential advantage of thermochemical approaches is the ability to use a wider variety of feedstocks, including municipal solid waste and wood waste. In this work, we conduct a system-level analysis to understand how technology and feedstock choice can impact the environmental footprint of biofuels in the U.S. We use a least-cost optimization model of the U.S. energy system to account for interactions between various components of the energy system: industrial, transportation, electric, and residential/commercial sectors. The model was used to understand the scale of feedstock demand required from dedicated energy crops, as well as other biomass feedstocks, in order to meet the RFS2 mandate. On a regional basis, we compare the overall water-consumption and land requirements for biofuels production given a suite of liquid-fuel production technologies. By considering a range of scenarios, we examine how the use of various feedstocks (e.g., agricultural residues, wood wastes, mill residues and municipal wastes) can be used to off-set environmental impacts as compared to relying solely on energy crops.

  16. Evaluation of carbon fluxes and trends (2000-2008) in the Greater Platte River Basin: a sustainability study on the potential biofuel feedstock development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.; Zhang, Li; Gilmanov, Tagir G.

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluates the carbon fluxes and trends and examines the environmental sustainability (e.g., carbon budget, source or sink) of the potential biofuel feedstock sites identified in the Greater Platte River Basin (GPRB). A 9-year (2000–2008) time series of net ecosystem production (NEP), a measure of net carbon absorption or emission by ecosystems, was used to assess the historical trends and budgets of carbon flux for grasslands in the GPRB. The spatially averaged annual NEP (ANEP) for grassland areas that are possibly suitable for biofuel expansion (productive grasslands) was 71–169 g C m−2 year−1 during 2000–2008, indicating a carbon sink (more carbon is absorbed than released) in these areas. The spatially averaged ANEP for areas not suitable for biofuel feedstock development (less productive or degraded grasslands) was −47 to 69 g C m−2 year−1 during 2000–2008, showing a weak carbon source or a weak carbon sink (carbon emitted is nearly equal to carbon absorbed). The 9-year pre-harvest cumulative ANEP was 1166 g C m−2 for the suitable areas (a strong carbon sink) and 200 g C m−2 for the non-suitable areas (a weak carbon sink). Results demonstrate and confirm that our method of dynamic modeling of ecosystem performance can successfully identify areas desirable and sustainable for future biofuel feedstock development. This study provides useful information for land managers and decision makers to make optimal land use decisions regarding biofuel feedstock development and sustainability.

  17. Optimal Distribution of Biofuel Feedstocks within Marginal Land in the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaiswal, D.

    2015-12-01

    The United States can have 43 to 123 Mha of marginal land to grow second generation biofuel feedstocks. A physiological and biophysical model (BioCro) was run using 30 yr climate data (NARR) and SSURGO soil data for the conterminous United Stated to simulate growth of miscanthus, switchgrass, sugarcane, and short rotation coppice. Overlay analyses of the regional maps of predicted yields and marginal land suggest maximum availability of 0.33, 1.15, 1.13, and 1.89 PG year-1 of biomass from sugarcane, willow, switchgrass, and miscanthus, respectively. Optimal distribution of these four biofuel feedstocks within the marginal land in the USA can provide up to 2 PG year-1 of biomass for the production of second generation of biofuel without competing for crop land used for food production. This approach can potentially meet a significant fraction of liquid fuel demand in the USA and reduce greenhouse gas emission while ensuring that current crop land under food production is not used for growing biofuel feedstocks.

  18. The impact of extreme drought on the biofuel feedstock production

    Science.gov (United States)

    hussain, M.; Zeri, M.; Bernacchi, C.

    2013-12-01

    Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) have been identified as the primary targets for second-generation cellulosic biofuel crops. Prairie managed for biomass is also considered as one of the alternative to conventional biofuel and promised to provide ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration. These perennial grasses possess a number of traits that make them desirable biofuel crops and can be cultivated on marginal lands or interspersed with maize and soybean in the Corn Belt region. The U.S. Corn Belt region is the world's most productive and expansive maize-growing region, approximately 20% of the world's harvested corn hectares are found in 12 Corn Belt states. The introduction of a second generation cellulosic biofuels for biomass production in a landscape dominated by a grain crop (maize) has potential implications on the carbon and water cycles of the region. This issue is further intensified by the uncertainty in the response of the vegetation to the climate change induced drought periods, as was seen during the extreme droughts of 2011 and 2012 in the Midwest. The 2011 and 2012 growing seasons were considered driest since the 1932 dust bowl period; temperatures exceeded 3.0 °C above the 50- year mean and precipitation deficit reached 50 %. The major objective of this study was to evaluate the drought responses (2011 and 2012) of corn and perennial species at large scale, and to determine the seasonability of carbon and water fluxes in the response of controlling factors. We measured net CO2 ecosystem exchange (NEE) and water fluxes of maize-maize-soybean, and perennial species such as miscanthus, switchgrass and mixture of prairie grasses, using eddy covariance in the University of Illinois energy farm at Urbana, IL. The data presented here were for 5 years (2008- 2012). In the first two years, higher NEE in maize led to large CO2 sequestration. NEE however, decreased in dry years, particularly in 2012. On the other

  19. Global Warming Potential and Eutrophication Potential of Biofuel Feedstock Crops Produced in Florida, Measured Under Different Scenarios

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izursa, Jose-Luis; Hanlon, Edward; Amponsah, Nana; Capece, John

    2013-02-15

    The agriculture sector is in a growing need to develop greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation techniques to reduce the enhanced greenhouse effect. The challenge to the sector is not only to reduce net emissions but also increase production to meet growing demands for food, fiber, and biofuel. This study focuses on the changes in the GHG balance of three biofuel feedstock (biofuel sugarcane, energy-cane and sweet sorghum) considering changes caused by the adoption of conservationist practices such as reduced tillage, use of controlled-release fertilizers or when cultivation areas are converted from burned harvest to green harvest. Based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2006) balance and the Tools for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI) characterization factors published by the EPA, the annual emission balance includes use energy (diesel and electricity), equipment, and ancillary materials, according to the mean annual consumption of supplies per hectare. The total amounts of GWP were 2740, 1791, and 1910 kg CO2e ha-1 y-1 for biofuel sugarcane, energy-cane and sweet sorghum, respectively, when produced with conventional tillage and sugarcane was burned prior to harvesting. Applying reduced tillage practices, the GHG emissions reduced to 13% for biofuel sugarcane, 23% for energy-cane and 8% for sweet sorghum. A similar decrease occurs when a controlled-release fertilizer practice is adopted, which helps reduce the total emission balance in 5%, 12% and 19% for biofuel sugarcane, energy-cane and sweet sorghum, respectively and a 31% average reduction in eutrophication potential. Moreover, the GHG emissions for biofuel sugarcane, with the adoption of green harvest, would result in a smaller GHG balance of 1924 kg CO2e ha-1 y-1, providing an effect strategy for GHG mitigation while still providing a profitable yield in Florida.

  20. Evaluation of filamentous green algae as feedstocks for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wei; Zhao, Yonggang; Cui, Binjie; Wang, Hui; Liu, Tianzhong

    2016-11-01

    Compared with unicellular microalgae, filamentous algae have high resistance to grazer-predation and low-cost recovery in large-scale production. Green algae, as the most diverse group of algae, included numerous filamentous genera and species. In this study, records of filamentous genera and species in green algae were firstly censused and classified. Then, seven filamentous strains subordinated in different genera were cultivated in bubbled-column to investigate their growth rate and energy molecular (lipid and starch) capacity. Four strains including Stigeoclonium sp., Oedogonium nodulosum, Hormidium sp. and Zygnema extenue were screened out due to their robust growth. And they all could accumulate triacylglycerols and starch in their biomass, but with different capacity. After nitrogen starvation, Hormidium sp. and Oedogonium nodulosum respectively exhibited high capacity of lipid (45.38% in dry weight) and starch (46.19% in dry weight) accumulation, which could be of high potential as feedstocks for biodiesel and bioethanol production.

  1. C4 Plants as Biofuel Feedstocks: Optimising Biomass Production and Feedstock Quality from a Lignocellulosic Perspective

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Caitlin S.Byrt; Christopher P.L.Grof; Robert T.Furbank

    2011-01-01

    The main feedstocks for bioethanol are sugarcane (Saccharum offic-inarum) and maize (Zea mays), both of which are C4 grasses, highly efficient at converting solar energy into chemical energy, and both are food crops. As the systems for lignocellulosic bioethanol production become more efficient and cost effective, plant biomass from any source may be used as a feedstock for bioethanol production. Thus, a move away from using food plants to make fuel is possible, and sources of biomass such as wood from forestry and plant waste from cropping may be used. However, the bioethanol industry will need a continuous and reliable supply of biomass that can be produced at a low cost and with minimal use of water, fertilizer and arable land. As many C4 plants have high light, water and nitrogen use efficiency, as compared with C3 species, they are ideal as feedstock crops. We consider the productivity and resource use of a number of candidate plant species, and discuss biomass 'quality', that is, the composition of the plant cell wall.

  2. Plant triacylglycerols as feedstocks for the production of biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durrett, Timothy P; Benning, Christoph; Ohlrogge, John

    2008-05-01

    Triacylglycerols produced by plants are one of the most energy-rich and abundant forms of reduced carbon available from nature. Given their chemical similarities, plant oils represent a logical substitute for conventional diesel, a non-renewable energy source. However, as plant oils are too viscous for use in modern diesel engines, they are converted to fatty acid esters. The resulting fuel is commonly referred to as biodiesel, and offers many advantages over conventional diesel. Chief among these is that biodiesel is derived from renewable sources. In addition, the production and subsequent consumption of biodiesel results in less greenhouse gas emission compared to conventional diesel. However, the widespread adoption of biodiesel faces a number of challenges. The biggest of these is a limited supply of biodiesel feedstocks. Thus, plant oil production needs to be greatly increased for biodiesel to replace a major proportion of the current and future fuel needs of the world. An increased understanding of how plants synthesize fatty acids and triacylglycerols will ultimately allow the development of novel energy crops. For example, knowledge of the regulation of oil synthesis has suggested ways to produce triacylglycerols in abundant non-seed tissues. Additionally, biodiesel has poor cold-temperature performance and low oxidative stability. Improving the fuel characteristics of biodiesel can be achieved by altering the fatty acid composition. In this regard, the generation of transgenic soybean lines with high oleic acid content represents one way in which plant biotechnology has already contributed to the improvement of biodiesel.

  3. Watermelon juice: a promising feedstock supplement, diluent, and nitrogen supplement for ethanol biofuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruton Benny D

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Two economic factors make watermelon worthy of consideration as a feedstock for ethanol biofuel production. First, about 20% of each annual watermelon crop is left in the field because of surface blemishes or because they are misshapen; currently these are lost to growers as a source of revenue. Second, the neutraceutical value of lycopene and L-citrulline obtained from watermelon is at a threshold whereby watermelon could serve as starting material to extract and manufacture these products. Processing of watermelons to produce lycopene and L-citrulline, yields a waste stream of watermelon juice at the rate of over 500 L/t of watermelons. Since watermelon juice contains 7 to 10% (w/v directly fermentable sugars and 15 to 35 μmol/ml of free amino acids, its potential as feedstock, diluent, and nitrogen supplement was investigated in fermentations to produce bioethanol. Results Complete watermelon juice and that which did not contain the chromoplasts (lycopene, but did contain free amino acids, were readily fermentable as the sole feedstock or as diluent, feedstock supplement, and nitrogen supplement to granulated sugar or molasses. A minimum level of ~400 mg N/L (~15 μmol/ml amino nitrogen in watermelon juice was required to achieve maximal fermentation rates when it was employed as the sole nitrogen source for the fermentation. Fermentation at pH 5 produced the highest rate of fermentation for the yeast system that was employed. Utilizing watermelon juice as diluent, supplemental feedstock, and nitrogen source for fermentation of processed sugar or molasses allowed complete fermentation of up to 25% (w/v sugar concentration at pH 3 (0.41 to 0.46 g ethanol per g sugar or up to 35% (w/v sugar concentration at pH 5 with a conversion to 0.36 to 0.41 g ethanol per g sugar. Conclusion Although watermelon juice would have to be concentrated 2.5- to 3-fold to serve as the sole feedstock for ethanol biofuel production, the results

  4. Interactions of woody biofuel feedstock production systems with water resources: Considerations for sustainability.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trettin, Carl,C.; Amatya, Devendra; Coleman, Mark.

    2008-07-01

    Abstract. Water resources are important for the production of woody biofuel feedstocks. It is necessary to ensure that production systems do not adversely affect the quantity or quality of surface and ground water. The effects of woody biomass plantations on water resources are largely dependent on the prior land use and the management regime. Experience from both irrigated and non-irrigated systems has demonstrated that woody biofuel production systems do not impair water quality. Water quality actually improves from conversion of idle or degraded agricultural lands to woody biomass plantations. Site water balance may be altered by cultivation of woody biomass plantations relative to agricultural use, due to increases in evapostranspiration (ET) and storage. Incorporation of woody biomass production plantations within the landscape provides an opportunity to improve the quality of runoff water and soil conservation. Given the centrality of water resources to the sustainability of ecosystem services and other values derived, the experience with woody biofuels feedstock production systems is positive. Keywords. Short rotation woody crop, forest hydrology, water quality, hardwood plantation.

  5. dEMBF: A Comprehensive Database of Enzymes of Microalgal Biofuel Feedstock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Namrata; Panda, Prasanna Kumar; Parida, Bikram Kumar; Mishra, Barada Kanta

    2016-01-01

    Microalgae have attracted wide attention as one of the most versatile renewable feedstocks for production of biofuel. To develop genetically engineered high lipid yielding algal strains, a thorough understanding of the lipid biosynthetic pathway and the underpinning enzymes is essential. In this work, we have systematically mined the genomes of fifteen diverse algal species belonging to Chlorophyta, Heterokontophyta, Rhodophyta, and Haptophyta, to identify and annotate the putative enzymes of lipid metabolic pathway. Consequently, we have also developed a database, dEMBF (Database of Enzymes of Microalgal Biofuel Feedstock), which catalogues the complete list of identified enzymes along with their computed annotation details including length, hydrophobicity, amino acid composition, subcellular location, gene ontology, KEGG pathway, orthologous group, Pfam domain, intron-exon organization, transmembrane topology, and secondary/tertiary structural data. Furthermore, to facilitate functional and evolutionary study of these enzymes, a collection of built-in applications for BLAST search, motif identification, sequence and phylogenetic analysis have been seamlessly integrated into the database. dEMBF is the first database that brings together all enzymes responsible for lipid synthesis from available algal genomes, and provides an integrative platform for enzyme inquiry and analysis. This database will be extremely useful for algal biofuel research. It can be accessed at http://bbprof.immt.res.in/embf.

  6. Natural gas and biofuel as feedstock for hydrogen production on Ni catalysts

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pasquale Corbo; Fortunato Migliardini

    2009-01-01

    In this article,the aptitude of natural gas as feedstock in steam reforming process for hydrogen production is compared with that of different liquid fuels (pure compounds and commercial fuels),with the aim to investigate the potentialities of biofuels to overcome the CO2 emission problems deriving from fossil fuel processing.The performances of a nickel based catalyst (commercially used in steam reforming of natural gas) were evaluated in terms of feed conversion and yield to the different products as function of temperature,space velocity and water/fuel ratio.Furthermore,a preliminary evaluation of catalyst durability was effected by monitoring yield to H2 versus time on stream and measuring coke formation at the end of experimental tests.High yields to hydrogen were obtained with ail fuels investigated,whereas the deactivation phenomena,which are correlated to carbon deposition on the catalyst,were observed with all tested fuels,except for methane and biofuel.

  7. An Assessment of Thailand’s Biofuel Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pujan Shrestha

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The paper provides an assessment of first generation biofuel (ethanol and biodiesel development in Thailand in terms of feedstock used, production trends, planned targets and policies and discusses the biofuel sustainability issues—environmental, socio-economic and food security aspects. The policies, measures and incentives for the development of biofuel include targets, blending mandates and favorable tax schemes to encourage production and consumption of biofuels. Biofuel development improves energy security, rural income and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG emissions, but issues related to land and water use and food security are important considerations to be addressed for its large scale application. Second generation biofuels derived from agricultural residues perform favorably on environmental and social sustainability issues in comparison to first generation biofuel sources. The authors estimate that sustainably-derived agricultural crop residues alone could amount to 10.4 × 106 bone dry tonnes per year. This has the technical potential of producing 1.14–3.12 billion liters per year of ethanol to possibly displace between 25%–69% of Thailand’s 2011 gasoline consumption as transportation fuel. Alternatively, the same amount of residue could provide 0.8–2.1 billion liters per year of diesel (biomass to Fischer-Tropsch diesel to potentially offset 6%–15% of national diesel consumption in the transportation sector.

  8. Regional Environmental Impacts of Biofuel Feedstock Production--Scaling Biogeochemical Cycles in Space and Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanloocke, A.; Bernacchi, C.

    2008-12-01

    Recently there has been increasing socio-economic and scientific interest in the use of alternative sources of energy to offset the negative effects of current fossil fuel dependence and consequent greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, one of the most popular alternatives is to use ethanol produced from domestically grown crops for use as fuel in the transportation sector. In 2007, over 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol were produced in the U.S. from corn, a traditional food crop. Recent research indicates that it may be logistically impractical, ecologically counterproductive (i.e. a net carbon source), and economically devastating to produce ethanol from crops previously grown to produce food. The EBI (Energy Biosciences Institute, at University of California Berkley and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) is now conducting research to assess the ability of traditional crops as well as dedicated biofuel feedstocks (e.g. Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), Miscanthus x Giganteus (Miscanthus), and Saccharum spp (sugar cane)) to provide a productive and sustainable alternative to fossil fuel. This is an important step to take before implementing the large-scale growth necessary to meet U.S. energy needs .A process-based terrestrial ecosystem model, Agro-IBIS (Agricultural Integrated Biosphere Simulator) was adapted to simulate the growth of Miscanthus. The model was calibrated using data collected from sites at the University of Illinois south farms. Simulations indicated significant implications on the regional carbon and water budgets. Next this locally validated method will be extrapolated to simulate the regional scale growth of Miscanthus in the Midwestern U.S. and sugarcane in Brazil and a similar analysis will be conducted for switchgrass. The results should provide insight on optimal land-use decisions and legislation that regard meeting energy demands and mitigating climate change in the near future.

  9. Comparing life cycle assessments of different biofuel options.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, Alissa; Yuan, Juhong

    2013-06-01

    Life cycle assessment (LCA) has shown that first generation biofuels provide a little to no benefit for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions compared to petroleum fuels, particularly when indirect effects are considered. Second generation fuels are intended to achieve greater GHG reductions and avoid other sustainability issues. LCAs of second generation biofuels exhibit great variability and uncertainty, leading to inconclusive results for the performance of particular pathways (combinations of feedstocks and fuels). Variability arises in part because of the prospective nature of LCAs for future fuels; however, a review of recent articles on biofuel LCA methodology indicates two additional sources of variability: real sources such as spatiotemporal heterogeneity, and methodological sources such as choices for co-product allocation methods and system boundary definition.

  10. The Social and Environmental Impacts of Biofuel Feedstock Cultivation: Evidence from Multi-Site Research in the Forest Frontier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura German

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Preoccupation with global energy supplies and climate change in the global North, and a desire to improve the balance of trade and capture value in the emerging carbon market by developing countries, together place biofuels firmly on the map of global land use change. Much of this recent land use change is occurring in developing countries where large agro-ecologically suitable tracts of land may be accessed at lower economic and opportunity cost. This is leading to the gradual penetration of commercial crops that provide suitable biofuel feedstocks (e.g., sugarcane, soybean, oil palm, jatropha into rural communities and forested landscapes throughout many areas of the global South. Expansion of biofuel feedstock cultivation in developing countries is widely embraced by producer country governments as a means to achieve energy security and stimulate rural economic development through employment and smallholder market integration. It is also expected that foreign and domestic investments in biofuel feedstock cultivation will lead to positive economic spillovers from knowledge transfer and investor contributions to social and physical infrastructure. While biofuel feedstocks are expanding through large industrial-scale plantations and smallholder production alike, the expansion of industrial-scale production systems has been countered by a critical response by civil society actors concerned about the implications for rural livelihoods, customary land rights, and the environmental effects of biofuel feedstock cultivation. To date, however, limited data exist to demonstrate the conditions under which widely anticipated economic and climate change mitigation benefits accrue in practice, and the implications of these developments for forests, local livelihoods, and the climate change mitigation potential of biofuels. In such a situation, debates are easily polarized into those for and against biofuels. This special issue seeks to nuance this debate by

  11. Unconventional biomasses as feedstocks for production of biofuels and succinic acid in a biorefinery concept

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gunnarsson, Ingólfur Bragi

    Biorefinery has the potential of displacing fossil fuels and oil-refinery based products. Within the biorefinery a palette of marketable commodities can be produced from biomass, including food, feed, biochemicals and biofuels. Which bioproducts are produced is largely dependent on the chemical....... The chemical composition of biomasses was determined in order to demonstrate their biorefinery potential. Bioethanol and biogas along with succinic acid production were the explored bioconversion routes, while potential production of other compounds was also investigated. Differences and changes in biomass...... biogas upgrading technologies deliver. Results obtained in this study constitute the first report for utilization of macroalgae, hemp and Jerusalem artichoke tuber biomass for fermentative succinic acid production. It was demonstrated that all biomasses are attractive biomass feedstocks for succinic acid...

  12. Cultivation of Microalgae Chlorella sp. and Scenedesmus sp. as a Potentional Biofuel Feedstock

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prof. dr. Violeta Makareviciene

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The growth of two robust algae strains Chlorella sp. and Scenedesmus sp. growing in Lithuanian lakes was investigated with the aim to obtain optimum conditions for biomass cultivation for biofuel production in the Lithuanian environment. Samples were taken from different nitrogen sources and of different concentrations, with addition of various concentrations of CO2 and in the presence of salt. The best biomass productivity was achieved using urea as a nitrogen source or modified growing medium BG11 with decreased concentration of NaNO3. The positive impact on the growth of biomass was achieved by aeration with CO2 (especially with concentration of 24%. Additional research into the removal of pollutants, such inorganic salts of nitrogen and phosphorus and organic materials from wastewater using microalgae has revealed good possibilities of using both algae strains in wastewater treatment plants. A content of oil in Chlorella sp. and Scenedesmus sp. has suggested their potential use as biodiesel feedstock.

  13. Algae as a Feedstock for Transportation Fuels. The Future of Biofuels?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McGill, Ralph [Sentech, Inc., Fuels, Engines, and Emissions Consulting, Knoxville, TN (United States)

    2008-05-15

    Events in world energy markets over the past several years have prompted many new technical developments as well as political support for alternative transportation fuels, especially those that are renewable. We have seen dramatic rises in the demand for and production of fuel ethanol from sugar cane and corn and biodiesel from vegetable oils. The quantities of these fuels being used continue to rise dramatically, and their use is helping to create a political climate for doing even more. But, the quantities are still far too small to stem the tide of rising crude prices worldwide. In fact, the use of some traditional crops (corn, sugar, soy, etc.) in making fuels instead of food is apparently beginning to impact the cost of food worldwide. Thus, there is considerable interest in developing alternative biofuel feedstocks for use in making fuels -- feedstocks that are not used in the food industries. Of course, we know that there is a lot of work in developing cellulosic-based ethanol that would be made from woody biomass. Process development is the critical path for this option, and the breakthrough in reducing the cost of the process has been elusive thus far. Making biodiesel from vegetable oils is a well-developed and inexpensive process, but to date there have been few reasonable alternatives for making biodiesel, although advanced processes such as gasification of biomass remain an option.

  14. Evaluation of Physicochemical Properties of South African Cashew Apple Juice as a Biofuel Feedstock

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evanie Devi Deenanath

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Cashew apple juice (CAJ is one of the feedstocks used for biofuel production and ethanol yield depends on the physical and chemical properties of the extracted juice. As far as can be ascertained, information on physical and chemical properties of South African cashew apple juice is limited in open literature. Therefore, this study provides information on the physical and chemical properties of the South African cashew apple juice. Physicochemical characteristics of the juice, such as specific gravity, pH, sugars, condensed tannins, Vitamin C, minerals, and total protein, were measured from a mixed variety of cashew apples. Analytical results showed the CAJ possesses specific gravity and pH of 1.050 and 4.52, respectively. The highest sugars were glucose (40.56 gL−1 and fructose (57.06 gL−1. Other chemical compositions of the juice were condensed tannin (55.34 mgL−1, Vitamin C (112 mg/100 mL, and total protein (1.78 gL−1. The minerals content was as follows: zinc (1.39 ppm, copper (2.18 ppm, magnesium (4.32 ppm, iron (1.32 ppm, sodium (5.44 ppm, and manganese (1.24 ppm. With these findings, South African CAJ is a suitable biomass feedstock for ethanol production.

  15. Preozonation of primary-treated municipal wastewater for reuse in biofuel feedstock generation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mondala, Andro H.; Hernandez, Rafael; French, W. Todd; Estévez, L. Antonio; Meckes, Mark; Trillo, Marlene; Hall, Jacqueline

    2010-11-09

    The results of a laboratory scale investigation on ozone pretreatment of primary-treated municipal wastewater for potential reuse in fermentation processes for the production of biofuels and bio-based feedstock chemicals were presented. Semi-batch preozonation with 3.0% (w/w) ozone at 1 L min -1 resulted into a considerable inactivation of the indigenous heterotrophic bacteria in the wastewater with less than 0.0002% comprising the ozone-resistant fraction of the microbial population. The disinfection process was modeled using first-order inactivation kinetics with a rate constant of 4.39 10 -3 s -1. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) levels were reduced by 30% in 1-h experiments. COD depletion was also modeled using a pseudo-first-order kinetics at a rate constant of 9.50 10 -5 s -1. Biological oxygen demand (BOD 5) values were reduced by 60% up to 20 min of ozonation followed by a plateau and some slight increases attributed to partial oxidation of recalcitrant materials. Ozone also had no substantial effect on the concentration of ammonium and phosphate ions, which are essential for microbial growth and metabolism. Preliminary tests indicated that oleaginous microorganisms could be cultivated in the ozonated wastewater, resulting in relatively higher cell densities than in raw wastewater and comparable results with autoclave-sterilized wastewater. This process could potentially produce significant quantities of oil for biofuel production from municipal wastewater streams.

  16. The potential of freshwater macroalgae as a biofuels feedstock and the influence of nutrient availability on freshwater macroalgal biomass production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Jin-Ho

    Extensive efforts have been made to evaluate the potential of microalgae as a biofuel feedstock during the past 4-5 decades. However, filamentous freshwater macroalgae have numerous characteristics that favor their potential use as an alternative algal feedstock for biofuels production. Freshwater macroalgae exhibit high rates of areal productivity, and their tendency to form dense floating mats on the water surface imply significant reductions in harvesting and dewater costs compared to microalgae. In Chapter 1, I reviewed the published literature on the elemental composition and energy content of five genera of freshwater macroalgae. This review suggested that freshwater macroalgae compare favorably with traditional bio-based energy sources, including terrestrial residues, wood, and coal. In addition, I performed a semi-continuous culture experiment using the common Chlorophyte genus Oedogonium to investigate whether nutrient availability can influence its higher heating value (HHV), productivity, and proximate analysis. The experimental study suggested that the most nutrient-limited growth conditions resulted in a significant increase in the HHV of the Oedogonium biomass (14.4 MJ/kg to 16.1 MJ/kg). Although there was no significant difference in productivity between the treatments, the average dry weight productivity of Oedogonium (3.37 g/m2/day) was found to be much higher than is achievable with common terrestrial plant crops. Although filamentous freshwater macroalgae, therefore, have significant potential as a renewable source of bioenergy, the ultimate success of freshwater macroalgae as a biofuel feedstock will depend upon the ability to produce biomass at the commercial-scale in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. Aquatic ecology can play an important role to achieve the scale-up of algal crop production by informing the supply rates of nutrients to the cultivation systems, and by helping to create adaptive production systems that are resilient to

  17. Integrating multimodal transport into cellulosic biofuel supply chain design under feedstock seasonality with a case study based on California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Fei; Huang, Yongxi; Eksioglu, Sandra

    2014-01-01

    A multistage, mixed integer programing model was developed that fully integrates multimodal transport into the cellulosic biofuel supply chain design under feedstock seasonality. Three transport modes are considered: truck, single railcar, and unit train. The goal is to minimize the total cost for infrastructure, feedstock harvesting, biofuel production, and transportation. Strategic decisions including the locations and capacities of transshipment hubs, biorefineries, and terminals and tactical decisions on system operations are optimized in an integrated manner. When the model was implemented to a case study of cellulosic ethanol production in California, it was found that trucks are convenient for short-haul deliveries while rails are more effective for long-haul transportation. Taking the advantage of these benefits, the multimodal transport provides more cost effective solutions than the single-mode transport (truck).

  18. Assessment of Peruvian biofuel resources and alternatives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harper, J.P.; Smith, W.; Mariani, E.

    1979-08-01

    Comprehensive assessment of the biofuel potential of Peru is based on: determination of current biofuel utilization practices, evauation of Peruvian biomass productivity, identification of Peruvian agricultural and forestry resources, assessment of resource development and management concerns, identification of market considerations, description of biofuel technological options, and identification of regional biofuel technology applications. Discussion of current biofuel utilization centers on a qualitative description of the main conversion approaches currently being practiced in Peru. Biomass productivity evaluations consider the terrain and soil, and climatic conditions found in Peru. The potential energy from Peruvian agricultural and forestry resources is described quantitatively. Potental regional production of agricultural residues and forest resources that could supply energy are identified. Assessment of resource development and management concerns focuses on harvesting, reforestation, training, and environmental consequences of utilization of forest resources. Market factors assessed include: importation, internal market development, external market development, energy policy and pricing, and transportation. Nine biofuel technology options for Peru are identified: (1) small-to-medium-scale gasification, (2) a wood waste inventory, (3) stationary and mobile charcoal production systems, (4) wood distillation, (5) forest resource development and management, (6) electrical cogeneration, (7) anaerobic digestion technology, (8) development of ethanol production capabilities, and (9) agricultural strategies for fuel production. Applications of these biofuel options are identified for each of the three major regions - nine applications for the Costa Region, eight for the Sierra Region, and ten for the Selva Region.

  19. Enhancement of Chlorella vulgaris Biomass Cultivated in POME Medium as Biofuel Feedstock under Mixotrophic Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.M. Azimatun Nur

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Microalgae cultivated in mixotrophic conditions have received significant attention as a suitable source of biofuel feedstock, based on their high biomass and lipid productivity. POME is one of the wastewaters generated from palm oil mills, containing important nutrients that could be suitable for mixotrophic microalgae growth. The aim of this research was to identify the growth of Chlorella vulgaris cultured in POME medium under mixotrophic conditions in relation to a variety of organic carbon sources added to the POME mixture. The research was conducted with 3 different carbon sources (D-glucose, crude glycerol and NaHCO3 in 40% POME, monitored over 6 days, under an illumination of 3000 lux, and with pH = 7. The biomass was harvested using an autoflocculation method and dry biomass was extracted using an ultrasound method in order to obtain the lipid content. The results show that C. vulgaris using D-glucose as carbon source gained a lipid productivity of 195 mg/l/d.

  20. Land use and second-generation biofuel feedstocks: The unconsidered impacts of Jatropha biodiesel in Rajasthan, India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Findlater, K.M. [Institute for Resources Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, 429-2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T1Z4 (Canada); Kandlikar, M., E-mail: milind.k@ubc.ca [Liu Institute for Global Studies, University of British Columbia, 6476 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC, V6T1Z2 (Canada)

    2011-06-15

    Governments around the world see biofuels as a common solution to the multiple policy challenges posed by energy insecurity, climate change and falling farmer incomes. The Indian government has enthusiastically adopted a second-generation feedstock - the oilseed-bearing shrub, Jatropha curcas - for an ambitious national biodiesel program. Studies estimating the production capacity and potential land use implications of this program have typically assumed that the 'waste land' slated for Jatropha production has no economic value and that no activities of note will be displaced by plantation development. Here we examine the specific local impacts of rapid Jatropha plantation development on rural livelihoods and land use in Rajasthan, India. We find that in Jhadol Tehsil, Jatropha is planted on both government and private land, and has typically displaced grazing and forage collection. For those at the socioeconomic margins, these unconsidered impacts counteract the very benefits that the biofuel programs aim to create. The Rajasthan case demonstrates that local land-use impacts need to be integrated into decision-making for national targets and global biofuel promotion efforts. - Highlights: > Hardy biofuel crops like Jatropha replace edible feedstocks that use arable land. > In Rajasthan, Jatropha displaces grazing and forage on both public and private land. > As Jatropha plantations mature, the loss of grass becomes more pronounced. > Unconsidered impacts negate the benefits that the biodiesel program aims to create. > Local land-use impacts need to be integrated into decision-making.

  1. Engineering of plants with improved properties as biofuels feedstocks by vessel-specific complementation of xylan biosynthesis mutants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Pia; Lau, Jane; Ebert, Berit

    2012-01-01

    Background: Cost-efficient generation of second-generation biofuels requires plant biomass that can easily be degraded into sugars and further fermented into fuels. However, lignocellulosic biomass is inherently recalcitrant toward deconstruction technologies due to the abundant lignin and cross......-linked hemicelluloses. Furthermore, lignocellulosic biomass has a high content of pentoses, which are more difficult to ferment into fuels than hexoses. Engineered plants with decreased amounts of xylan in their secondary walls have the potential to render plant biomass a more desirable feedstock for biofuel production...... in the xylem vessels is sufficient to complement the irx phenotype of xylan deficient mutants, while maintaining low overall amounts of xylan and lignin in the cell wall. This engineering approach has the potential to yield bioenergy crop plants that are more easily deconstructed and fermented into biofuels....

  2. Assessing biofuel crop invasiveness: a case study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Evan Buddenhagen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There is widespread interest in biofuel crops as a solution to the world's energy needs, particularly in light of concerns over greenhouse-gas emissions. Despite reservations about their adverse environmental impacts, no attempt has been made to quantify actual, relative or potential invasiveness of terrestrial biofuel crops at an appropriate regional or international scale, and their planting continues to be largely unregulated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a widely accepted weed risk assessment system, we analyzed a comprehensive list of regionally suitable biofuel crops to show that seventy percent have a high risk of becoming invasive versus one-quarter of non-biofuel plant species and are two to four times more likely to establish wild populations locally or be invasive in Hawaii or in other locations with a similar climate. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Because of climatic and ecological similarities, predictions of biofuel crop invasiveness in Hawaii are applicable to other vulnerable island and subtropical ecosystems worldwide. We demonstrate the utility of an accessible and scientifically proven risk assessment protocol that allows users to predict if introduced species will become invasive in their region of interest. Other evidence supports the contention that propagule pressure created by extensive plantings will exacerbate invasions, a scenario expected with large-scale biofuel crop cultivation. Proactive measures, such as risk assessments, should be employed to predict invasion risks, which could then be mitigated via implementation of appropriate planting policies and adoption of the "polluter-pays" principle.

  3. Improved Method for Isolation of Microbial RNA from Biofuel Feedstock for Metatranscriptomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piao, Hailan; Markillie, Lye Meng; Culley, David E.; Mackie, Roderick I.; Hess, Matthias

    2013-03-28

    Metatranscriptomics—gene express profiling via DNA sequencing—is a powerful tool to identify genes that are ac- tively expressed and might contribute to the phenotype of individual organisms or the phenome (the sum of several phenotypes) of a microbial community. Furthermore, metatranscriptome studies can result in extensive catalogues of genes that encode for enzymes of industrial relevance. In both cases, a major challenge for generating a high quality metatranscriptome is the extreme lability of RNA and its susceptibility to ubiquitous RNAses. The microbial commu- nity (the microbiome) of the cow rumen efficiently degrades lignocelullosic biomass, generates significant amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide, and is of general importance for the physio- logical wellbeing of the host animal. Metatranscriptomes of the rumen microbiome from animals kept under different conditions and from various types of rumen-incubated biomass can be expected to provide new insights into these highly interesting phenotypes and subsequently provide the framework for an enhanced understanding of this socio- economically important ecosystem. The ability to isolate large amounts of intact RNA will significantly facilitate accu- rate transcript annotation and expression profiling. Here we report a method that combines mechanical disruption with chemical homogenization of the sample material and consistently yields 1 mg of intact RNA from 1 g of rumen-in- cubated biofuel feedstock. The yield of total RNA obtained with our method exceeds the RNA yield achieved with pre- viously reported isolation techniques, which renders RNA isolated with the method presented here as an ideal starting material for metatranscriptomic analyses and other molecular biology applications that require significant amounts of starting material.

  4. Nitrous oxide emission and soil carbon sequestration from herbaceous perennial biofuel feedstocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and renewable, domestic fuels are needed in the United States. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerdardii Vitman) are potential bioenergy feedstocks that may meet this need. However, managing perennial grasses for feedstock requires nitro...

  5. Landscape considerations of perennial biofuel feedstock production in conservation buffers of the Georgia Coastal Plain, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    With global increases in the production of cellulosic biomass for fuel, or “biofuel,” concerns over potential negative effects of using land for biofuel production have promoted attention to concepts of agricultural landscape design that sustainably balance tradeoffs between food, fuel, fiber, and c...

  6. Impacts of second-generation biofuel feedstock production in the central U.S. on the hydrologic cycle and global warming mitigation potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, K. J.; Twine, T. E.; VanLoocke, A.; Bagley, J. E.; Hill, J.

    2016-10-01

    Biofuel feedstocks provide a renewable energy source that can reduce fossil fuel emissions; however, if produced on a large scale they can also impact local to regional water and carbon budgets. Simulation results for 2005-2014 from a regional weather model adapted to simulate the growth of two perennial grass biofuel feedstocks suggest that replacing at least half the current annual cropland with these grasses would increase water use efficiency and drive greater rainfall downwind of perturbed grid cells, but increased evapotranspiration (ET) might switch the Mississippi River basin from having a net warm-season surplus of water (precipitation minus ET) to a net deficit. While this scenario reduces land required for biofuel feedstock production relative to current use for maize grain ethanol production, it only offsets approximately one decade of projected anthropogenic warming and increased water vapor results in greater atmospheric heat content.

  7. Process energy comparison for the production and harvesting of algal biomass as a biofuel feedstock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weschler, Matthew K; Barr, William J; Harper, Willie F; Landis, Amy E

    2014-02-01

    Harvesting and drying are often described as the most energy intensive stages of microalgal biofuel production. This study analyzes two cultivation and eleven harvest technologies for the production of microalgae biomass with and without the use of drying. These technologies were combined to form 122 different production scenarios. The results of this study present a calculation methodology and optimization of total energy demand for the production of algal biomass for biofuel production. The energetic interaction between unit processes and total process energy demand are compared for each scenario. Energy requirements are shown to be highly dependent on final mass concentration, with thermal drying being the largest energy consumer. Scenarios that omit thermal drying in favor of lipid extraction from wet biomass show the most promise for energy efficient biofuel production. Scenarios which used open ponds for cultivation, followed by settling and membrane filtration were the most energy efficient.

  8. Development of synthetic chromosomes and improved microbial strains to utilize cellulosic feedstocks and express valuable coproducts for sustainable production of biofuels from corn

    Science.gov (United States)

    A sustainable biorefinery must convert a broad range of renewable feedstocks into a variety of product streams, including fuels, power, and value-added bioproducts. To accomplish this, microbial-based technologies that enable new commercially viable coproducts from corn-to-ethanol biofuel fermentati...

  9. Determination of the Economic Viability & Technical Feasibility of Commercial Jatropha Curcas Production for Generation of Jatropha oil as Bio-Fuel Feedstock from Wasteland: Final Technical Report on Life Cycle Impact Assessment of Jatropha Cultivation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghosh, Arup [General Motors LLC, Detroit, MI (United States); Chikara, Jitendra [General Motors LLC, Detroit, MI (United States); Wheeler, Candace [General Motors LLC, Detroit, MI (United States)

    2012-12-01

    assessment studies were to be performed as a part of the project.

  10. Fatty acid from the renewable sources: a promising feedstock for the production of biofuels and biobased chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hui; Cheng, Tao; Xian, Mo; Cao, Yujin; Fang, Fang; Zou, Huibin

    2014-01-01

    With the depletion of the nonrenewable petrochemical resources and the increasing concerns of environmental pollution globally, biofuels and biobased chemicals produced from the renewable resources appear to be of great strategic significance. The present review described the progress in the biosynthesis of fatty acid and its derivatives from renewable biomass and emphasized the importance of fatty acid serving as the platform chemical and feedstock for a variety of chemicals. Due to the low efficient conversions of lignocellulosic biomass or carbon dioxide to fatty acid, we also put forward that rational strategies for the production of fatty acid and its derivatives should further derive from the consideration of whole bioprocess (pretreatment, saccharification, fermentation, separation), multiscale analysis and interdisciplinary combinations (omics, kinetics, metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, fermentation and so on).

  11. Nutrient and water requirements for elephantgrass production as a bio-fuel feedstock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elephantgrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumacher) is a tall tropical bunch grass that produces high enough yields to being considered an excellent bio-energy feedstock for the lower South. However, previous studies have shown that production is not sustainable without fertilizer application and adequ...

  12. From biofuel to bioproduct: is bioethanol a suitable fermentation feedstock for synthesis of bulk chemicals?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weusthuis, R.A.; Aarts, J.M.M.J.G.; Sanders, J.P.M.

    2011-01-01

    The first pilot-scale factories for the production of bioethanol from lignocellulose have been installed, indicating that we are on the brink of overcoming most hurdles for an economically feasible process. When bioethanol is competitive as biofuel with fuels originating from petrochemical resources

  13. Biorefinery developments for advanced biofuels from a widening array of biomass feedstocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    When the United States passed the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) of 2007 into law it mandated that, by the year 2022, 36 billion gallons of biofuels be produced annually in the U.S. to displace petroleum. This targeted quota, which required that at least half of domestic transportation fuel be “adva...

  14. Estimating Sugarcane Water Requirements for Biofuel Feedstock Production in Maui, Hawaii Using Satellite Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Water availability is one of the limiting factors for sustainable production of biofuel crops. A common method for determining crop water requirement is to multiply daily potential evapotranspiration (ETo) calculated from meteorological parameters by a crop coefficient (Kc) to obtain actual crop eva...

  15. Using "EC-Assess" to Assess a Small Biofuels Project in Honduras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngassa, Franklin Chamda

    2010-01-01

    Biofuels may contribute to both rural economic development and climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Gota Verde Project in Yoro, Honduras, attempts to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of small-scale biofuel production for local use by implementing a distinctive approach to feedstock production that encourages small farm…

  16. Land-based Investments for Rural Development? A Grounded Analysis of the Local Impacts of Biofuel Feedstock Plantations in Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura A. German

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The rapidly growing biofuel sector in Africa has, in recent years, been received with divided interest. As part of a contemporary wave of agricultural modernization efforts, it could make invaluable contributions to rural poverty. Conversely, it could also engender socioeconomically and environmentally detrimental land use changes as valuable land resources are converted to plantation agriculture. This research analyzes the impacts and impact pathways of biofuel feedstock development in Ghana. It finds that companies are accessing large contiguous areas of customary land through opaque negotiations with traditional authorities, often outside the purview of government and customary land users. Despite lack of participation, most customary land users were highly supportive of plantation development, with high expectations of 'development' and 'modernization.' With little opposition and resistance, large areas of agricultural and forested land are at threat of being converted to plantation monoculture. A case study analysis shows that this can significantly exacerbate rural poverty as communities lose access to vital livelihood resources. Vulnerable groups, such as women and migrants, are found to be most profoundly affected because of their relative inability in recovering lost livelihood resources. Findings suggest that greater circumspection by government is warranted on these types of large-scale land deals.

  17. Environmental assessment of biofuel pathways in Ile de France based on ecosystem modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielle, Benoît; Gagnaire, Nathalie; Massad, Raia Silvia; Dufossé, Karine; Bessou, Cécile

    2014-01-01

    The objective of the work reported here was to reduce the uncertainty on the greenhouse gas balances of biofuels using agro-ecosystem modeling at a high resolution over the Ile-de-France region in Northern France. The emissions simulated during the feedstock production stage were input to a life-cycle assessment of candidate biofuel pathways: bioethanol from wheat, sugar-beet and miscanthus, and biodiesel from oilseed rape. Compared to the widely-used methodology based on fixed emission factors, ecosystem modeling lead to 55-70% lower estimates for N2O emissions, emphasizing the importance of regional factors. The life-cycle GHG emissions of first-generation biofuels were 50-70% lower than fossil-based equivalents, and 85% lower for cellulosic ethanol. When including indirect land-use change effects, GHG savings became marginal for biodiesel and wheat ethanol, but were positive due to direct effects for cellulosic ethanol.

  18. Feedstock to Tailpipe Initiative: Kansas Biofuels Production, Testing and Certification Laboratory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stagg-Williams, Susan M. [Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering; Depcik, Chris [Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering; Sturm, Belinda [Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

    2013-12-31

    The primary task of this grant was to establish an ASTM testing facility for biodiesel and ethanol and to use this facility to develop methods to predict fuel characteristics based on feedstock composition and feedstock cultivation. In addition to characterizing fuel properties, this grant allowed for the purchase and installation of a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) emissions analyzer that will provide an analysis of the emissions leaving the engine in order to meet EPA regulations. This FTIR system is combined with an Alternating Current (AC) dynamometer that allows the engine to follow Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Federal Test Procedure (FTP) cycles. A secondary task was to investigate cultivating algae utilizing wastewater and top-down ecological control and subsequent harvesting using coagulation and dissolved air flotation. Lipid extraction utilizing environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solvents, with and without cell-disruption pretreatment was also explored. Significant work on the hydrothermal liquefaction of wastewater cultivated algae was conducted.

  19. Anthropogenic CO2 as a Feedstock for Cyanobacteria-Based Biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chance, Ronald

    2015-04-01

    Biofuels have great potential as low-carbon alternatives to fossil-based transportation fuels, and can serve as drop-in fuels for existing transportation infrastructures. This talk will focus on utilization of anthropogenic CO2 in an advanced biofuel system and the integration of that system with fossil-fuel power plants. The biofuel system is the Algenol Direct to Ethanol® technology, which provides an efficient, cyanobacteria-based system for producing ethanol, as well as a bio-crude co-product. The talk will begin with an overview of the Algenol technology: the genetic enhancement approach for enabling ethanol production in the organisms; ethanol and biomass production in outdoor cultures contained in large photobioreactor arrays; downstream processing systems; and phenomenological productivity modeling in terms of quantum yields, photo-saturation effects, respiration, and carbon partitioning. Overall, the results are consistent with a very efficient photosynthetic system in which more than 75% of the photosynthetically fixed carbon is diverted into the ethanol production pathway. The Algenol process consumes CO2 in a solar energy conversion process that yields a biofuel with much lower greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline. Different options for CO2 capture and utilization are considered and their impact on the overall system operation evaluated. Comparisons of life-cycle carbon footprints are made for the Algenol technology versus other transportation fuel options, including electric vehicles. Finally, we expand the boundary of the life cycle analysis to include the power plant, specifically considering natural gas and three coal-based options, and compare carbon footprints for the integrated systems to CCS (carbon capture and sequestration) as well as to the status quo of CO2 release to the atmosphere.

  20. Life cycle assessment integrated with thermodynamic analysis of bio-fuel options for solid oxide fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Jiefeng; Babbitt, Callie W; Trabold, Thomas A

    2013-01-01

    A methodology that integrates life cycle assessment (LCA) with thermodynamic analysis is developed and applied to evaluate the environmental impacts of producing biofuels from waste biomass, including biodiesel from waste cooking oil, ethanol from corn stover, and compressed natural gas from municipal solid wastes. Solid oxide fuel cell-based auxiliary power units using bio-fuel as the hydrogen precursor enable generation of auxiliary electricity for idling heavy-duty trucks. Thermodynamic analysis is applied to evaluate the fuel conversion efficiency and determine the amount of fuel feedstock needed to generate a unit of electrical power. These inputs feed into an LCA that compares energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of different fuel pathways. Results show that compressed natural gas from municipal solid wastes is an optimal bio-fuel option for SOFC-APU applications in New York State. However, this methodology can be regionalized within the U.S. or internationally to account for different fuel feedstock options.

  1. Assessing the environmental sustainability of biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazamia, Elena; Smith, Alison G

    2014-10-01

    Biofuels vary in their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when displacing fossil fuels. Savings depend primarily on the crop used for biofuel production, and on the effect that expanding its cultivation has on land use. Evidence-based policies should be used to ensure that maximal sustainability benefits result from the development of biofuels.

  2. Application of Buckmaster Electrolyte Ion Leakage Test to Woody Biofuel Feedstocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Broderick, Thomas F [Forest Concepts, LLC; Dooley, James H [Forest Concepts, LLC

    2014-08-28

    In an earlier ASABE paper, Buckmaster reported that ion conductivity of biomass leachate in aqueous solution was directly correlated with activity access to plant nutrients within the biomass materials for subsequent biological or chemical processing. The Buckmaster test involves placing a sample of the particles in a beaker of constant-temperature deionized water and monitoring the change in electrical conductivity over time. We adapted the Buckmaster method to a range of woody biomass and other cellulosic bioenergy feedstocks. Our experimental results suggest differences of electrolyte leakage between differently processed woody biomass particles may be an indicator of their utility for conversion in bioenergy processes. This simple assay appears to be particularly useful to compare different biomass comminution techniques and particle sizes for biochemical preprocessing.

  3. Systems Level Engineering of Plant Cell Wall Biosynthesis to Improve Biofuel Feedstock Quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hazen, Samuel

    2013-09-27

    Our new regulatory model of cell wall biosynthesis proposes original network architecture with several newly incorporated components. The mapped set of protein-DNA interactions will serve as a foundation for 1) understanding the regulation of a complex and integral plant component and 2) the manipulation of crop species for biofuel and biotechnology purposes. This study revealed interesting and novel aspects of grass growth and development and further enforce the importance of a grass model system. By functionally characterizing a suite of genes, we have begun to improve the sparse model for transcription regulation of biomass accumulation in grasses. In the process, we have advanced methodology and brachy molecular genetic tools that will serve as valuable community resource.

  4. An Integrated Assessment of Location-Dependent Scaling for Microalgae Biofuel Production Facilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coleman, Andre M.; Abodeely, Jared; Skaggs, Richard; Moeglein, William AM; Newby, Deborah T.; Venteris, Erik R.; Wigmosta, Mark S.

    2014-07-01

    Successful development of a large-scale microalgae-based biofuels industry requires comprehensive analysis and understanding of the feedstock supply chain—from facility siting/design through processing/upgrading of the feedstock to a fuel product. The evolution from pilot-scale production facilities to energy-scale operations presents many multi-disciplinary challenges, including a sustainable supply of water and nutrients, operational and infrastructure logistics, and economic competitiveness with petroleum-based fuels. These challenges are addressed in part by applying the Integrated Assessment Framework (IAF)—an integrated multi-scale modeling, analysis, and data management suite—to address key issues in developing and operating an open-pond facility by analyzing how variability and uncertainty in space and time affect algal feedstock production rates, and determining the site-specific “optimum” facility scale to minimize capital and operational expenses. This approach explicitly and systematically assesses the interdependence of biofuel production potential, associated resource requirements, and production system design trade-offs. The IAF was applied to a set of sites previously identified as having the potential to cumulatively produce 5 billion-gallons/year in the southeastern U.S. and results indicate costs can be reduced by selecting the most effective processing technology pathway and scaling downstream processing capabilities to fit site-specific growing conditions, available resources, and algal strains.

  5. Palm-based biofuel refinery (PBR) to substitute petroleum refinery: An energy and emergy assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goh, Chun Sheng; Lee, Keat Teong [School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia)

    2010-12-15

    As the most active palm industry cluster in the world, Malaysia produces enormous amount of biomass from the industry. This work studies the possibility of creating a renewable and sustainable source of energy by fully utilizing an area of land to provide liquid biofuel for the country. Palm-based biofuel refinery (PBR) proposed in this study has the ultimate goal to displace petroleum fuels and fulfill domestic energy demand. It fully utilizes indigenous palm biomass to fulfill 35.5% of energy demand in the country by using land area of only 8% of current palm cultivation. The operation concept of PBR is similar to petroleum refinery in which a single source feedstock (crude petroleum) can be processed to multiple products. In PBR, products from an oil palm plantation will be converted to various biofuel end products. Renewable biofuel such as biodiesel and bioethanol can be produced from crude palm oil and lignocellulosic residues. Energy and emergy assessment were made in this work to evaluate the sustainability and efficiency of PBR. Biofuel produced from PBR has a high energy equivalent of 31.56 MJ/kg as 1 ha of land can produce 182,142 MJ annually. Although there are still obstacles to be overcome, it is important for Malaysia to develop its own energy supply from indigenous resources as an initiative not only for security but also lower carbon emission. (author)

  6. Agave proves to be a low recalcitrant lignocellulosic feedstock for biofuels production on semi-arid lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Agave, which is well known for tequila and other liquor production in Mexico, has recently gained attention because of its attractive potential to launch sustainable bioenergy feedstock solutions for semi-arid and arid lands. It was previously found that agave cell walls contain low lignin and relatively diverse non-cellulosic polysaccharides, suggesting unique recalcitrant features when compared to conventional C4 and C3 plants. Results Here, we report sugar release data from fungal enzymatic hydrolysis of non-pretreated and hydrothermally pretreated biomass that shows agave to be much less recalcitrant to deconstruction than poplar or switchgrass. In fact, non-pretreated agave has a sugar release five to eight times greater than that of poplar wood and switchgrass . Meanwhile, state of the art techniques including glycome profiling, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Simon’s Stain, confocal laser scanning microscopy and so forth, were applied to measure interactions of non-cellulosic wall components, cell wall hydrophilicity, and enzyme accessibility to identify key structural features that make agave cell walls less resistant to biological deconstruction when compared to poplar and switchgrass. Conclusions This study systematically evaluated the recalcitrant features of agave plants towards biofuels applications. The results show that not only does agave present great promise for feeding biorefineries on semi-arid and arid lands, but also show the value of studying agave’s low recalcitrance for developments in improving cellulosic energy crops. PMID:24708685

  7. Biogeochemical Research Priorities for Sustainable Biofuel and Bioenergy Feedstock Production in the Americas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gollany, Hero T.; Titus, Brian D.; Scott, D. Andrew; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Resh, Sigrid C.; Chimner, Rodney A.; Kaczmarek, Donald J.; Leite, Luiz F. C.; Ferreira, Ana C. C.; Rod, Kenton A.; Hilbert, Jorge; Galdos, Marcelo V.; Cisz, Michelle E.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid expansion in biomass production for biofuels and bioenergy in the Americas is increasing demand on the ecosystem resources required to sustain soil and site productivity. We review the current state of knowledge and highlight gaps in research on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem sustainability related to biomass production. Biomass production systems incrementally remove greater quantities of organic matter, which in turn affects soil organic matter and associated carbon and nutrient storage (and hence long-term soil productivity) and off-site impacts. While these consequences have been extensively studied for some crops and sites, the ongoing and impending impacts of biomass removal require management strategies for ensuring that soil properties and functions are sustained for all combinations of crops, soils, sites, climates, and management systems, and that impacts of biomass management (including off-site impacts) are environmentally acceptable. In a changing global environment, knowledge of cumulative impacts will also become increasingly important. Long-term experiments are essential for key crops, soils, and management systems because short-term results do not necessarily reflect long-term impacts, although improved modeling capability may help to predict these impacts. Identification and validation of soil sustainability indicators for both site prescriptions and spatial applications would better inform commercial and policy decisions. In an increasingly inter-related but constrained global context, researchers should engage across inter-disciplinary, inter-agency, and international lines to better ensure the long-term soil productivity across a range of scales, from site to landscape.

  8. Growth kinetics of Chlorococcum humicola - A potential feedstock for biomass with biofuel properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Jibu; Jayachithra, E V

    2015-11-01

    Economically viable production facilities for microalgae depend on the optimization of growth parameters with regard to nutrient requirements. Using microalgae to treat industrial effluents containing heavy metals presents an alternative to the current practice of using physical and chemical methods. Present work focuses on the statistical optimization of growth of Chlorococcum humicola to ascertain the maximum production of biomass. Plackett Burman design was carried out to screen the significant variables influencing biomass production. Further, Response Surface Methodology was employed to optimize the effect of inoculum, light intensity and pH on net biomass yield. Optimum conditions for maximum biomass yield were identified to be inoculum at 15%, light intensity to be 1500lx and pH 8.5. Theoretical and predicted values were in agreement and thus the model was found to be significant. Gas chromatography analyses of the FAME derivatives showed a high percentage of saturated fatty acids thereby confirming the biofuel properties of the oil derived from algal biomass.

  9. Biogeochemical Research Priorities for Sustainable Biofuel and Bioenergy Feedstock Production in the Americas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gollany, Hero T; Titus, Brian D; Scott, D Andrew; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Resh, Sigrid C; Chimner, Rodney A; Kaczmarek, Donald J; Leite, Luiz F C; Ferreira, Ana C C; Rod, Kenton A; Hilbert, Jorge; Galdos, Marcelo V; Cisz, Michelle E

    2015-12-01

    Rapid expansion in biomass production for biofuels and bioenergy in the Americas is increasing demand on the ecosystem resources required to sustain soil and site productivity. We review the current state of knowledge and highlight gaps in research on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem sustainability related to biomass production. Biomass production systems incrementally remove greater quantities of organic matter, which in turn affects soil organic matter and associated carbon and nutrient storage (and hence long-term soil productivity) and off-site impacts. While these consequences have been extensively studied for some crops and sites, the ongoing and impending impacts of biomass removal require management strategies for ensuring that soil properties and functions are sustained for all combinations of crops, soils, sites, climates, and management systems, and that impacts of biomass management (including off-site impacts) are environmentally acceptable. In a changing global environment, knowledge of cumulative impacts will also become increasingly important. Long-term experiments are essential for key crops, soils, and management systems because short-term results do not necessarily reflect long-term impacts, although improved modeling capability may help to predict these impacts. Identification and validation of soil sustainability indicators for both site prescriptions and spatial applications would better inform commercial and policy decisions. In an increasingly inter-related but constrained global context, researchers should engage across inter-disciplinary, inter-agency, and international lines to better ensure the long-term soil productivity across a range of scales, from site to landscape.

  10. Interactive association between biopolymers and biofunctions in carinata seeds as energy feedstock and their coproducts (carinata meal) from biofuel and bio-oil processing before and after biodegradation: current advanced molecular spectroscopic investigations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Peiqiang; Xin, Hangshu; Ban, Yajing; Zhang, Xuewei

    2014-05-07

    Recent advances in biofuel and bio-oil processing technology require huge supplies of energy feedstocks for processing. Very recently, new carinata seeds have been developed as energy feedstocks for biofuel and bio-oil production. The processing results in a large amount of coproducts, which are carinata meal. To date, there is no systematic study on interactive association between biopolymers and biofunctions in carinata seed as energy feedstocks for biofuel and bioethanol processing and their processing coproducts (carinata meal). Molecular spectroscopy with synchrotron and globar sources is a rapid and noninvasive analytical technique and is able to investigate molecular structure conformation in relation to biopolymer functions and bioavailability. However, to date, these techniques are seldom used in biofuel and bioethanol processing in other research laboratories. This paper aims to provide research progress and updates with molecular spectroscopy on the energy feedstock (carinata seed) and coproducts (carinata meal) from biofuel and bioethanol processing and show how to use these molecular techniques to study the interactive association between biopolymers and biofunctions in the energy feedstocks and their coproducts (carinata meal) from biofuel and bio-oil processing before and after biodegradation.

  11. Assessing the environmental sustainability of biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    This is the accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1360138514002039. Biofuels vary in their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when displacing fossil fuels. Savings depend primarily on the crop used for biofuel production, and on the effect that expanding its cultivation has on land use. Evidence-based policies should be used to ensure that maximal sustainability benefits result from the development o...

  12. National Geo-Database for Biofuel Simulations and Regional Analysis of Biorefinery Siting Based on Cellulosic Feedstock Grown on Marginal Lands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Zhang, Xuesong; Sahajpal, Ritvik; Manowitz, David H.

    2012-04-01

    The goal of this project undertaken by GLBRC (Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center) Area 4 (Sustainability) modelers is to develop a national capability to model feedstock supply, ethanol production, and biogeochemical impacts of cellulosic biofuels. The results of this project contribute to sustainability goals of the GLBRC; i.e. to contribute to developing a sustainable bioenergy economy: one that is profitable to farmers and refiners, acceptable to society, and environmentally sound. A sustainable bioenergy economy will also contribute, in a fundamental way, to meeting national objectives on energy security and climate mitigation. The specific objectives of this study are to: (1) develop a spatially explicit national geodatabase for conducting biofuel simulation studies and (4) locate possible sites for the establishment of cellulosic ethanol biorefineries. To address the first objective, we developed SENGBEM (Spatially Explicit National Geodatabase for Biofuel and Environmental Modeling), a 60-m resolution geodatabase of the conterminous USA containing data on: (1) climate, (2) soils, (3) topography, (4) hydrography, (5) land cover/ land use (LCLU), and (6) ancillary data (e.g., road networks, federal and state lands, national and state parks, etc.). A unique feature of SENGBEM is its 2008-2010 crop rotation data, a crucially important component for simulating productivity and biogeochemical cycles as well as land-use changes associated with biofuel cropping. ARRA support for this project and to the PNNL Joint Global Change Research Institute enabled us to create an advanced computing infrastructure to execute millions of simulations, conduct post-processing calculations, store input and output data, and visualize results. These computing resources included two components installed at the Research Data Center of the University of Maryland. The first resource was 'deltac': an 8-core Linux server, dedicated to county-level and state-level simulations

  13. Marker-Trait Association for Biomass Yield of Potential Bio-fuel Feedstock Miscanthus sinensis from Southwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang eNie

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available As a great potential bio-fuel feedstock, the genus Miscanthus has been widely studied around the world, especially Miscanthus × giganteus owing to its high biomass yield in Europe and North America. However, the narrow genetic basis and sterile characteristics of M. × giganteus have become a limitation for utilization and adaptation to extreme climate conditions. In this study, we focused on one of the progenitors of M. × giganteus, Miscanthus sinensis, which was originally distributed in East Asia with abundant genetic resources and comparable biomass yield potential to M. × giganteus in some areas. A collection of 138 individuals was selected for conducting a three-year trial of biomass production and analyzed by using 104 pairs of SRAP, ISAP, and SSR primers for genetic diversity as well as marker-trait association. Significant differences in biomass yield and related traits were observed among individuals. Tiller number, fresh biomass yield per plant and dry biomass yield per plant had a high level of phenotypic variation among individuals and the coefficient of variation were all above 40% in 2011, 2012, and 2013. The majority of the traits had a significant correlation with the biomass yield except for the length and width of flag leaves. Plant height was a highly stable trait correlated with biomass yield. A total of 1059 discernible loci were detected by markers across individuals. The population structure (Q and cluster analyses identified three subpopulations in the collection and family relative kinship (K represented a very complex relationship among M. sinensis populations from Southwest China. Model testing identified that Q+K was the best model for describing the associations between the markers and traits, compared to the simple linear, Q or K model. Using the Q+K model, 12 significant associations (P < 0.001 were identified including four markers with plant height and one with biomass yield. Such associations would serve an

  14. Global impact of multinational biofuel mandates on land use, feedstock prices, international trade and land-use greenhouse gas emissions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Banse, Martin; Junker, Franziska; Prins, Anne Gerdien; Stehfest, Elke; Tabeau, Andrzej; Woltjer, Geert; Meijl, Van Hans

    2014-01-01

    This article analyzes the consequences of enhanced biofuel demand in regions and countries of the world that have announced plans to implement or expand on biofuel policies. The analysis considers not only mandatory blending targets for transportation fuels, but also voluntary ones. The chosen qu

  15. Algal biofuels: key issues, sustainability and life cycle assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving

    2011-01-01

    (GHG) emissions to reduce the climate change effects. Among the various renewable energy sources algal biofuels is a very promising source of biomass as algae sequester huge quantities of carbon from atmosphere and are very efficient in utilizing the nutrients from the industrial effluent and municipal...... capital investment. The harvested algal biomass and its extracts can be efficiently converted to different biofuels such as bioethanol, biodiesel, biogas and biohydrogen by implementation of various process technologies. Comprehensive life cycle assessments (LCA) of algal biofuels illustrating...... wastewater. Algae capture CO2 from atmosphere and industrial flue gases and transform it in to organic biomass that can be used for the production of biofuels. Like other biomass, algal biomass is also a carbon neutral source for the production of bioenergy. Therefore cultivation of algal biomass provides...

  16. Simultaneous nutrient removal, optimised CO2 mitigation and biofuel feedstock production by Chlorogonium sp. grown in secondary treated non-sterile saline sewage effluent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kwan Yin; Ng, Tsz Wai; Li, Guiying; An, Taicheng; Kwan, Ka Ki; Chan, King Ming; Huang, Guocheng; Yip, Ho Yin; Wong, Po Keung

    2015-10-30

    The phycoremediation process has great potential for effectively addressing environmental pollution. To explore the capabilities of simultaneous algal nutrient removal, CO2 mitigation and biofuel feedstock production from spent water resources, a Chlorogonium sp. isolated from a tilapia pond in Hong Kong was grown in non-sterile saline sewage effluent for a bioremediation study. With high removal efficiencies of NH3-N (88.35±14.39%), NO3(-)-N (85.39±14.96%), TN (93.34±6.47%) and PO4(3-)-P (91.80±17.44%), Chlorogonium sp. achieved a CO2 consumption rate of 58.96 mg L(-1) d(-1), which was optimised by the response surface methodology. Under optimised conditions, the lipid content of the algal biomass reached 24.26±2.67%. Overall, the isolated Chlorogonium sp. showed promising potential in the simultaneous purification of saline sewage effluent in terms of tertiary treatment and CO2 sequestration while delivering feedstock for potential biofuel production in a waste-recycling manner.

  17. Assessing soil and groundwater contamination from biofuel spills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Colin S; Shu, Youn-Yuen; Wu, Suh-Huey; Tien, Chien-Jung

    2015-03-01

    Future modifications of fuels should include evaluation of the proposed constituents for their potential to damage environmental resources such as the subsurface environment. Batch and column experiments were designed to simulate biofuel spills in the subsurface environment and to evaluate the sorption and desorption behavior of target fuel constituents (i.e., monoaromatic and polyaromatic hydrocarbons) in soil. The extent and reversibility of the sorption of aromatic biofuel constituents onto soil were determined. When the ethanol content in ethanol-blended gasoline exceeded 25%, enhanced desorption of the aromatic constituents to water was observed. However, when biodiesel was added to diesel fuel, the sorption of target compounds was not affected. In addition, when the organic carbon content of the soil was higher, the desorption of target compounds into water was lower. The empirical relationships between the organic-carbon normalized sorption coefficient (Koc) and water solubility and between Koc and the octanol-water partition coefficient (Kow) were established. Column experiments were carried out for the comparison of column effluent concentration/mass from biofuel-contaminated soil. The dissolution of target components depended on chemical properties such as the hydrophobicity and total mass of biofuel. This study provides a basis for predicting the fate and transport of hydrophobic organic compounds in the event of a biofuel spill. The spill scenarios generated can assist in the assessment of biofuel-contaminated sites.

  18. Algal biofuels: key issues, sustainability and life cycle assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singh, A.; Irving Olsen, S.

    2011-05-15

    In recent years research activities are intensively focused on renewable fuels in order to fulfill the increasing energy demand and to reduce the fossil fuels consumption and external oil dependency either in order to provide local energetic resources and or as a means for reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions to reduce the climate change effects. Among the various renewable energy sources algal biofuels is a very promising source of biomass as algae sequester huge quantities of carbon from atmosphere and are very efficient in utilizing the nutrients from the industrial effluent and municipal wastewater. Algae capture CO{sub 2} from atmosphere and industrial flue gases and transform it in to organic biomass that can be used for the production of biofuels. Like other biomass, algal biomass is also a carbon neutral source for the production of bioenergy. Therefore cultivation of algal biomass provides dual benefits; while being able to utilize nutrients in waste water thus reducing impacts on inland waters it produce biomass for the production of biofuels. However, reaching commercial scale production of algal biofuels is difficult. The main drawbacks include the harvesting of dry biomass and higher capital investment. The harvested algal biomass and its extracts can be efficiently converted to different biofuels such as bioethanol, biodiesel, biogas and biohydrogen by implementation of various process technologies. Comprehensive life cycle assessments (LCA) of algal biofuels illustrating environmental benefits and impacts can be a tool for policy decisions and for technology development. (Author)

  19. The watershed-scale optimized and rearranged landscape design (WORLD) model and local biomass processing depots for sustainable biofuel production: Integrated life cycle assessments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eranki, Pragnya L.; Manowitz, David H.; Bals, Bryan D.; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Kim, Seungdo; Dale, Bruce E.

    2013-07-23

    An array of feedstock is being evaluated as potential raw material for cellulosic biofuel production. Thorough assessments are required in regional landscape settings before these feedstocks can be cultivated and sustainable management practices can be implemented. On the processing side, a potential solution to the logistical challenges of large biorefi neries is provided by a network of distributed processing facilities called local biomass processing depots. A large-scale cellulosic ethanol industry is likely to emerge soon in the United States. We have the opportunity to influence the sustainability of this emerging industry. The watershed-scale optimized and rearranged landscape design (WORLD) model estimates land allocations for different cellulosic feedstocks at biorefinery scale without displacing current animal nutrition requirements. This model also incorporates a network of the aforementioned depots. An integrated life cycle assessment is then conducted over the unified system of optimized feedstock production, processing, and associated transport operations to evaluate net energy yields (NEYs) and environmental impacts.

  20. Assessing Pinyon Juniper Feedstock Properties and Utilization Options

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gresham, Garold Linn [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Kenney, Kevin Louis [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    2015-08-01

    Pinyon-juniper woodlands are a major ecosystem type found in the Southwest and the Intermountain West regions of the United States. These ecosystems are characterized by the presence of several different species of pinyon pine and juniper as the dominant plant cover. Since the 1800s, pinyon-juniper woodlands have rapidly expanded their range at the expense of existing ecosystems. Additionally, existing woodlands have become more dense, potentially increasing fire hazards. Land managers responsible for these areas often desire to reduce pinyonjuniper coverage on their lands for a variety of reasons, including restoration to previous vegetative cover, mitigation of fire risk, and improvement in wildlife habitat. However, the cost of clearing or thinning pinyon-juniper stands can be prohibitive. One reason for this is the lack of utilization options for the resulting biomass that could help recover some of the cost of pinyonjuniper stand management. The goal of this project was to assess the feedstock characteristics of biomass from a pinyon-juniper harvest so that potential applications for the biomass may be evaluated.

  1. Modelling Global Land Use and Social Implications in the Sustainability Assessment of Biofuels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kløverpris, Jesper; Wenzel, Henrik

    2007-01-01

    Cross-fertilising environmental, economic and geographical modelling to improve the environmental assessment of biofuel......Cross-fertilising environmental, economic and geographical modelling to improve the environmental assessment of biofuel...

  2. Lifecycle Assessment of Biofuel Production from Wood Pyrolysis Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manyele, S. V.

    2007-01-01

    Due to a stronger dependency on biomass for energy, there is a need for improved technologies in biomass-to-energy conversion in Tanzania. This paper presents a life cycle assessment (LCA) of pyrolysis technology used for conversion of wood and wood waste to liquid biofuel. In particular, a survey of environmental impacts of the process is…

  3. Impact of NPK treatments on sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L)) yields for biofuel feedstock in Piedmont Region of North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alternative sources for biofuel production such as juice extracted from sweet sorghum are in high demand and proper nutrient management practices need to be established for growing sweet sorghum in order to maximize profits. Sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is a promising alternative ener...

  4. Torrefaction reduction of coke formation on catalysts used in esterification and cracking of biofuels from pyrolysed lignocellulosic feedstocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kastner, James R; Mani, Sudhagar; Hilten, Roger; Das, Keshav C

    2015-11-04

    A bio-oil production process involving torrefaction pretreatment, catalytic esterification, pyrolysis, and secondary catalytic processing significantly reduces yields of reactor char, catalyst coke, and catalyst tar relative to the best-case conditions using non-torrefied feedstock. The reduction in coke as a result of torrefaction was 28.5% relative to the respective control for slow pyrolysis bio-oil upgrading. In fast pyrolysis bio-oil processing, the greatest reduction in coke was 34.9%. Torrefaction at 275.degree. C. reduced levels of acid products including acetic acid and formic acid in the bio-oil, which reduced catalyst coking and increased catalyst effectiveness and aromatic hydrocarbon yields in the upgraded oils. The process of bio-oil generation further comprises a catalytic esterification of acids and aldehydes to generate such as ethyl levulinate from lignified biomass feedstock.

  5. The impact of elevated CO2 concentration on the quality of algal starch as a potential biofuel feedstock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanadul, Orn-U-Ma; VanderGheynst, Jean S; Beckles, Diane M; Powell, Ann L T; Labavitch, John M

    2014-07-01

    Cultured microalgae are viewed as important producers of lipids and polysaccharides, both of which are precursor molecules for the production of biofuels. This study addressed the impact of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) on Chlorella sorokiniana production of starch and on several properties of the starch produced. The production of C. sorokiniana biomass, lipid and starch were enhanced when cultures were supplied with 2% CO2. Starch granules from algae grown in ambient air and 2% CO2 were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The granules from algae grown in 2% CO2 were disk-shaped and contained mainly stromal starch; granules from cultures grown in ambient air were cup-shaped with primarily pyrenoid starch. The granules from cells grown in 2% CO2 had a higher proportion of the accumulated starch as the highly branched, amylopectin glucan than did granules from cells grown in air. The rate of hydrolysis of starch from 2% CO2-grown cells was 1.25 times greater than that from air-grown cells and 2-11 times higher than the rates of hydrolysis of starches from cereal grains. These data indicate that culturing C. sorokiniana in elevated CO2 not only increases biomass yield but also improves the structure and composition of starch granules for use in biofuel generation. These modifications in culture conditions increase the hydrolysis efficiency of the starch hydrolysis, thus providing potentially important gains for biofuel production.

  6. Biofuel technology handbook. 2. ed.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rutz, Dominik; Janssen, Rainer

    2008-01-15

    This comprehensive handbook was created in order to promote the production and use of biofuels and to inform politicians, decision makers, biofuel traders and all other relevant stakeholders about the state-of-the-art of biofuels and relevant technologies. The large variety of feedstock types and different conversion technologies are described. Explanations about the most promising bio fuels provide a basis to discuss about the manifold issues of biofuels. The impartial information in this handbook further contributes to diminish existing barriers for the broad use of biofuels. Emphasis of this handbook is on first generation biofuels: bio ethanol, Biodiesel, pure plant oil, and bio methane. It also includes second generation biofuels such as BTL-fuels and bio ethanol from lingo-cellulose as well as bio hydrogen. The whole life cycle of bio fuels is assessed under technical, economical, ecological, and social aspect. Characteristics and applications of bio fuels for transport purposes are demonstrated and evaluated. This is completed by an assessment about the most recent studies on biofuel energy balances. This handbook describes the current discussion about green house gas (GHG) balances and sustainability aspects. GHG calculation methods are presented and potential impacts of biofuel production characterized: deforestation of rainforests and wetlands, loss of biodiversity, water pollution, human health, child labour, and labour conditions.

  7. Biofuels and sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Barry D

    2010-01-01

    Interest in liquid biofuels production and use has increased worldwide as part of government policies to address the growing scarcity and riskiness of petroleum use, and, at least in theory, to help mitigate adverse global climate change. The existing biofuels markets are dominated by U.S. ethanol production based on cornstarch, Brazilian ethanol production based on sugarcane, and European biodiesel production based on rapeseed oil. Other promising efforts have included programs to shift toward the production and use of biofuels based on residues and waste materials from the agricultural and forestry sectors, and perennial grasses, such as switchgrass and miscanthus--so-called cellulosic ethanol. This article reviews these efforts and the recent literature in the context of ecological economics and sustainability science. Several common dimensions for sustainable biofuels are discussed: scale (resource assessment, land availability, and land use practices); efficiency (economic and energy); equity (geographic distribution of resources and the "food versus fuel" debate); socio-economic issues; and environmental effects and emissions. Recent proposals have been made for the development of sustainable biofuels criteria, culminating in standards released in Sweden in 2008 and a draft report from the international Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels. These criteria hold promise for accelerating a shift away from unsustainable biofuels based on grain, such as corn, and toward possible sustainable feedstock and production practices that may be able to meet a variety of social, economic, and environmental sustainability criteria.

  8. Farm systems assessment of bioenergy feedstock production: Integrating bio-economic models and life cycle analysis approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glithero, N J; Ramsden, S J; Wilson, P

    2012-06-01

    Climate change and energy security concerns have driven the development of policies that encourage bioenergy production. Meeting EU targets for the consumption of transport fuels from bioenergy by 2020 will require a large increase in the production of bioenergy feedstock. Initially an increase in 'first generation' biofuels was observed, however 'food competition' concerns have generated interest in second generation biofuels (SGBs). These SGBs can be produced from co-products (e.g. cereal straw) or energy crops (e.g. miscanthus), with the former largely negating food competition concerns. In order to assess the sustainability of feedstock supply for SGBs, the financial, environmental and energy costs and benefits of the farm system must be quantified. Previous research has captured financial costs and benefits through linear programming (LP) approaches, whilst environmental and energy metrics have been largely been undertaken within life cycle analysis (LCA) frameworks. Assessing aspects of the financial, environmental and energy sustainability of supplying co-product second generation biofuel (CPSGB) feedstocks at the farm level requires a framework that permits the trade-offs between these objectives to be quantified and understood. The development of a modelling framework for Managing Energy and Emissions Trade-Offs in Agriculture (MEETA Model) that combines bio-economic process modelling and LCA is presented together with input data parameters obtained from literature and industry sources. The MEETA model quantifies arable farm inputs and outputs in terms of financial, energy and emissions results. The model explicitly captures fertiliser: crop-yield relationships, plus the incorporation of straw or removal for sale, with associated nutrient impacts of incorporation/removal on the following crop in the rotation. Key results of crop-mix, machinery use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per kg of crop product and energy use per hectare are in line with previous

  9. Cost outlook for the production of biofuels. A cost comparison assessment of the future production of biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ragettli, M.

    2007-02-15

    In this diploma thesis by Martin Ragettli a cost comparison assessment of the future production of biofuels is presented. The author states that biofuels can make a contribution to the reduction of the effects of fossil fuel depletion and regional and global environmental problems, as well as providing security of supply. The status of biofuels in the context of sustainability efforts and the use of renewable forms of energy are discussed as are the potential and costs of biomass-based energy supply. Various types of biomass for the production of biofuels are reviewed, as are production technologies. The global potential of biomass supplies is examined. The methodology applied and the system components examined are discussed and a regional approach is reviewed. Recommendations for further research are made.

  10. Capturing the biofuel wellhead and powerhouse: the chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes of the leguminous feedstock tree Pongamia pinnata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen H Kazakoff

    Full Text Available Pongamia pinnata (syn. Millettia pinnata is a novel, fast-growing arboreal legume that bears prolific quantities of oil-rich seeds suitable for the production of biodiesel and aviation biofuel. Here, we have used Illumina® 'Second Generation DNA Sequencing (2GS' and a new short-read de novo assembler, SaSSY, to assemble and annotate the Pongamia chloroplast (152,968 bp; cpDNA and mitochondrial (425,718 bp; mtDNA genomes. We also show that SaSSY can be used to accurately assemble 2GS data, by re-assembling the Lotus japonicus cpDNA and in the process assemble its mtDNA (380,861 bp. The Pongamia cpDNA contains 77 unique protein-coding genes and is almost 60% gene-dense. It contains a 50 kb inversion common to other legumes, as well as a novel 6.5 kb inversion that is responsible for the non-disruptive, re-orientation of five protein-coding genes. Additionally, two copies of an inverted repeat firmly place the species outside the subclade of the Fabaceae lacking the inverted repeat. The Pongamia and L. japonicus mtDNA contain just 33 and 31 unique protein-coding genes, respectively, and like other angiosperm mtDNA, have expanded intergenic and multiple repeat regions. Through comparative analysis with Vigna radiata we measured the average synonymous and non-synonymous divergence of all three legume mitochondrial (1.59% and 2.40%, respectively and chloroplast (8.37% and 8.99%, respectively protein-coding genes. Finally, we explored the relatedness of Pongamia within the Fabaceae and showed the utility of the organellar genome sequences by mapping transcriptomic data to identify up- and down-regulated stress-responsive gene candidates and confirm in silico predicted RNA editing sites.

  11. Assessing the social impacts of the biofuel lifecycle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Andreas; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

    In order to assess the social impacts of the biofuel lifecycle, Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) may be a promising tool. However, as this review study points out, several problems are still to be solved. SLCA can be defined as a tool for assessing a product’s or service’s total impact on human...... specific data. However, in this context it is important to remember that that the quality of site specific data is very dependent on the auditing approach and therefore not necessarily of high accuracy and that generic data might be designed to take into account the location, sector, size and maybe...... are most relevant to include in the SLCA in order to cover the field sufficiently seems paramount if the SLCA is to gain any weight as a decision support tool. Furthermore, some assessment of the difference between site specific and generic data could give valuable perspectives on whether a reasonable...

  12. Biofuels and biodiversity in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. O’Farrell

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The South African government, as part of its efforts to mitigate the effects of the ongoing energy crisis, has proposed that biofuels should form an important part of the country’s energy supply. The contribution of liquid biofuels to the national fuel supply is expected to be at least 2% by 2013. The Biofuels Industrial Strategy of the Republic of South Africa of 2007 outlines key incentives for reaching this target and promoting the development of a sustainable biofuels industry. This paper discusses issues relating to this strategy as well as key drivers in biofuel processing with reference to potential impacts on South Africa’s rich biological heritage.

    Our understanding of many of the broader aspects of biofuels needs to be enhanced. We identify key areas where challenges exist, such as the link between technology, conversion processes and feedstock selection. The available and proposed processing technologies have important implications for land use and the use of different non-native plant species as desired feedstocks. South Africa has a long history of planting non-native plant species for commercial purposes, notably for commercial forestry. Valuable lessons can be drawn from this experience on mitigation against potential impacts by considering plausible scenarios and the appropriate management framework and policies. We conceptualise key issues embodied in the biofuels strategy, adapting a framework developed for assessing and quantifying impacts of invasive alien species. In so doing, we provide guidelines for minimising the potential impacts of biofuel projects on biodiversity.

  13. Biofuel production potentials in Europe: Sustainable use of cultivated land and pastures. Part I: Land productivity potentials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fischer, G.; Prieler, S.; van Velthuizen, H.; Lensink, S.; Londo, H.M.; de Wit, M.P.

    2009-01-01

    IIASA's agro-ecological zones modelling framework has been extended for biofuel productivity assessments distinguishing five main groups of feedstocks covering a wide range of agronomic conditions and energy production pathways, namely: woody lignocellulosic plants, herbaceous lignocellulosic plants

  14. Sustainability of biofuels and bioproducts: socio-economic impact assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Rutz, D.; van Eijck, J.A.J.; Faaij, A.P.C.

    2011-01-01

    Many countries worldwide are increasingly engaging in the promotion of biomass production for industrial uses such as biofuels and bioproducts (chemicals, bioplastics, etc.). Until today, mainly biofuels were supported by European policies, but support for bioproducts is still lacking behind. Thus, also the public sustainability debate concentrated on biofuels, but so far not on bioproducts. Driven by the strong public debate on sustainability aspects, biofuels are confronted with many enviro...

  15. World Biofuels Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alfstad,T.

    2008-10-01

    This report forms part of a project entitled 'World Biofuels Study'. The objective is to study world biofuel markets and to examine the possible contribution that biofuel imports could make to help meet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The study was sponsored by the Biomass Program of the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), U.S. Department of Energy. It is a collaborative effort among the Office of Policy and International Affairs (PI), Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The project consisted of three main components: (1) Assessment of the resource potential for biofuel feedstocks such as sugarcane, grains, soybean, palm oil and lignocellulosic crops and development of supply curves (ORNL). (2) Assessment of the cost and performance of biofuel production technologies (NREL). (3) Scenario-based analysis of world biofuel markets using the ETP global energy model with data developed in the first parts of the study (BNL). This report covers the modeling and analysis part of the project conducted by BNL in cooperation with PI. The Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) energy system model was used as the analytical tool for this study. ETP is a 15 region global model designed using the MARKAL framework. MARKAL-based models are partial equilibrium models that incorporate a description of the physical energy system and provide a bottom-up approach to study the entire energy system. ETP was updated for this study with biomass resource data and biofuel production technology cost and performance data developed by ORNL and NREL under Tasks 1 and 2 of this project. Many countries around the world are embarking on ambitious biofuel policies through renewable fuel standards and economic incentives. As a result, the global biofuel demand is expected to grow very

  16. What drives sustainble biofuels? A review of indicator assessments of biofuel production systems involving smallholder farmer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Florin, M.J.; Ven, van de G.W.J.; Ittersum, van M.K.

    2014-01-01

    The contribution of biofuel production to sustainable development in rural areas requires policy and practice that understands the opportunities and risks faced by smallholder farmers. Potential opportunities for smallholders include access to markets, access to employment, local infrastructure deve

  17. EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement: Potential Impacts on Rural Livelihoods and Gender (with Focus on Bio-fuels Feedstock Expansion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonith Hinojosa

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available The trade-sustainable impact assessment of the European Union-Mercosur trade agreement found that the economic impact of the trade liberalisation scenario could be positive in the agricultural sectors of Mercosur countries. However, it also found that the social and environmental impacts would be mixed and potentially detrimental. This paper addresses the likely effects on the livelihoods of vulnerable rural populations. It argues that the potential impacts can be analysed within a diversified livelihood strategies framework, which is expanded to include institutional and policy factors. It concludes that the negative expected impact responds to the highly uneven access to capital assets. On the other hand, the effects are not generalised to all Mercosur countries, nor to all regions in each of the member countries. Enhancing or mitigating measures refer to the importance of sequencing and regulation to improve disadvantaged groups‘ abilities to participate in trade-led agricultural intensification or industrialisation processes.

  18. Impact assessment of the European biofuel directive on land use and biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hellmann, F.; Verburg, P.H.

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents an assessment of the potential impact of the EUs biofuel directive on European land use and biodiversity. In a spatially explicit analysis, it is determined which ecologically valuable land use types are likely to be directly replaced by biofuel crops. In addition, it is determin

  19. Sustainability of biofuels and bioproducts: socio-economic impact assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rutz, D.; van Eijck, J.A.J.; Faaij, A.P.C.

    2011-01-01

    Many countries worldwide are increasingly engaging in the promotion of biomass production for industrial uses such as biofuels and bioproducts (chemicals, bioplastics, etc.). Until today, mainly biofuels were supported by European policies, but support for bioproducts is still lacking behind. Thus,

  20. Microalgae: biofuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babita Kumari

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In the present day, microalgae feedstocks are gaining interest in energy scenario due to their fast growth potential coupled with relatively high lipid, carbohydrate and nutrients contents. All of these properties render them an excellent source for biofuels such as biodiesel, bioethanol and biomethane; as well as a number of other valuable pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. The present review is a critical appraisal of the commercialization potential of microalgae biofuels. The available literature on various aspects of microalgae for e.g. its cultivation, life cycle assessment, and conceptualization of an algal biorefinery, has been done. The evaluation of available information suggests the operational and maintenance cost along with maximization of oil-rich microalgae production is the key factor for successful commercialization of microalgae-based fuels.

  1. Methodological issues in life cycle assessment of mixed-culture polyhydroxyalkanoate production utilising waste as feedstock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimersson, Sara; Morgan-Sagastume, Fernando; Peters, Gregory M; Werker, Alan; Svanström, Magdalena

    2014-06-25

    Assessing the environmental performance of emerging technologies using life cycle assessment (LCA) can be challenging due to a lack of data in relation to technologies, application areas or other life cycle considerations, or a lack of LCA methodology that address the specific concerns. Nevertheless, LCA can be a valuable tool in the environmental optimisation in the technology development phase. One emerging technology is the mixed-culture production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). PHA production by pure microbial cultures has been developed and assessed in several LCAs during the previous decade. Recent developments within mixed-culture PHA production call for environmental assessment to guide in technology development. Mixed-culture PHA production can use the organic content in wastewater as a feedstock; the production may then be integrated with wastewater treatment (WWT) processes. This means that mixed-culture PHA is produced as a by-product from services in the WWT. This article explores different methodological challenges for LCA of mixed-culture PHA production using organic material in wastewater as feedstock. LCAs of both pure- and mixed-culture PHA production were reviewed. Challenges, similarities and differences when assessing PHA production by mixed- or pure-cultures were identified and the resulting implications for methodological choices in LCA were evaluated and illustrated, using a case study with mixed- and pure-culture PHA model production systems, based on literature data. Environmental impacts of processes producing multiple products or services need to be allocated between the different products or services. Such situations occur both in feedstock production and when the studied system is providing multiple functions. The selection of allocation method is shown to determine the LCA results. The type of data used, for electricity in the energy system, is shown to be important for the results, which indicates, a strong regional dependency of

  2. A quantitative assessment of crop residue feedstocks for biofuel in North and Northeast China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yang, L.; Wang, X.Y.; Han, L.P.; Spiertz, J.H.J.; Liao, S.H.; Wei, M.G.; Xie, G.H.

    2015-01-01

    Crop residue resources may affect soil quality, global carbon balance, and stability of crop production, but also contribute to future energy security. This study was performed to evaluate the spatial and temporal variation in residue quantities of field crops in five provinces of North China (NC) a

  3. Integration of agricultural and energy system models for biofuel assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    This paper presents a coupled modeling framework to capture the dynamic linkages between agricultural and energy markets that have been enhanced through the expansion of biofuel production, as well as the environmental impacts resulting from this expansion. The framework incorpor...

  4. Environmental assessment of biofuel chains based on ecosystem modelling, including land-use change effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielle, B.; Gagnaire, N.; Massad, R.; Prieur, V.; Python, Y.

    2012-04-01

    The potential greenhouse gas (GHG) savings resulting from the displacement of fossil energy sources by bioenergy mostly hinges on the uncertainty on the magnitude of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from arable soils occuring during feedstock production. These emissions are broadly related to fertilizer nitrogen input rates, but largely controlled by soil and climate factors which makes their estimation highly uncertain. Here, we set out to improve estimates of N2O emissions from bioenergy feedstocks by using ecosystem models and measurements and modeling of atmospheric N2O in the greater Paris (France) area. Ground fluxes were measured in two locations to assess the effect of soil type and management, crop type (including lignocellulosics such as triticale, switchgrass and miscanthus), and climate on N2O emission rates and dynamics. High-resolution maps of N2O emissions were generated over the Ile-de-France region (around Paris) with two ecosystem models using geographical databases on soils, weather data, land-use and crop management. The models were tested against ground flux measurements and the emission maps were fed into the atmospheric chemistry-transport model CHIMERE. The maps were tested by comparing the CHIMERE simulations with time series of N2O concentrations measured at various heights above the ground in two locations in 2007. The emissions of N2O, as integrated over the region, were used in a life-cycle assessment of representative biofuel pathways: bioethanol from wheat and sugar-beet (1st generation), and miscanthus (2nd generation chain); bio-diesel from oilseed rape. Effects related to direct and indirect land-use changes (in particular on soil carbon stocks) were also included in the assessment based on various land-use scenarios and literature references. The potential deployment of miscanthus was simulated by assuming it would be grown on the current sugar-beet growing area in Ile-de-France, or by converting land currently under permanent fallow

  5. Life cycle assessment of biofuels: energy and greenhouse gas balances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gnansounou, E; Dauriat, A; Villegas, J; Panichelli, L

    2009-11-01

    The promotion of biofuels as energy for transportation in the industrialized countries is mainly driven by the perspective of oil depletion, the concerns about energy security and global warming. However due to sustainability constraints, biofuels will replace only 10 to 15% of fossil liquid fuels in the transport sector. Several governments have defined a minimum target of GHG emissions reduction for those biofuels that will be eligible to public incentives, for example a 35% emissions reduction in case of biofuels in Members States of the European Union. This article points out the significant biases in estimating GHG balances of biofuels stemming from modelling choices about system definition and boundaries, functional unit, reference systems and allocation methods. The extent to which these choices influence the results is investigated. After performing a comparison and constructive criticism of various modelling choices, the LCA of wheat-to-bioethanol is used as an illustrative case where bioethanol is blended with gasoline at various percentages (E5, E10 and E85). The performance of these substitution options is evaluated as well. The results show a large difference in the reduction of the GHG emissions with a high sensitivity to the following factors: the method used to allocate the impacts between the co-products, the type of reference systems, the choice of the functional unit and the type of blend. The authors come out with some recommendations for basing the estimation of energy and GHG balances of biofuels on principles such as transparency, consistency and accuracy.

  6. Performance assessment of biofuel production in an algae-based remediation system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wuang, Shy Chyi; Luo, Yanpei Darren; Wang, Simai; Chua, Pei Qiang Danny; Tee, Pok Siang

    2016-03-10

    The production of biofuel from microalgae has been an area of great interest as microalgae have higher productivities than land plants, and certain species have high lipid constituents which are the major feedstock for biodiesel production. One way to enhance the economic feasibility of algal-based biofuel is to couple it with waste remediation. This study investigated the technical feasibility of cultivating Chlorella sp. and Nannochloropsis sp. with fish water for biofuel production. The remediation potential of Chlorella sp. was found to be higher but the lipid yield is lower, when compared to Nannochloropsis sp. Lipid productivities were found to be similar for both types of algae at 1.1-1.3mgL(-1)h(-1). The fatty acid profiles of the obtained lipids were found suitable for biofuel production, and the calorific values were high at 30-32MJ/kg. The results provide insights into lipid production in Chlorella sp. and Nannochloropsis sp., when coupled with waste remediation.

  7. Potential land competition between open-pond microalgae production and terrestrial dedicated feedstock supply systems in the U.S.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Langholtz, Matthew H.; Coleman, Andre M.; Eaton, Laurence M.; Wigmosta, Mark S.; Hellwinckel, Chad M.; Brandt, Craig C.

    2016-08-01

    Biofuels produced from both terrestrial and algal biomass feedstocks can contribute to energy security while providing economic, environmental, and social benefits. To assess the potential for land competition between these two feedstock types in the United States, we evaluate a scenario in which 41.5 x 109 L yr-1 of second-generation biofuels are produced on pastureland, the most likely land base where both feedstock types may be deployed. This total includes 12.0 x 109 L yr-1 of biofuels from open-pond microalgae production and 29.5 x 109 L yr-1 of biofuels from terrestrial dedicated feedstock supply systems. Under these scenarios, open-pond microalgae production is projected to use 1.2 million ha of private pastureland, while terrestrial dedicated feedstock supply systems would use 14.0 million ha of private pastureland. A spatial meta-analysis indicates that potential competition for land under these scenarios would be concentrated in 110 counties, containing 1.0 and 1.7 million hectares of algal and terrestrial dedicated feedstock production, respectively. A land competition index applied to these 110 counties suggests that 38 to 59 counties could experience competition for upwards of 40% of a county’s pastureland. However, this combined 2.7 million ha represents only 2%-5% of total pastureland in the U.S., with the remaining 12.5 million ha of algal or terrestrial dedicated feedstock production on pastureland in non-competing areas.

  8. Algal biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razeghifard, Reza

    2013-11-01

    The world is facing energy crisis and environmental issues due to the depletion of fossil fuels and increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Growing microalgae can contribute to practical solutions for these global problems because they can harvest solar energy and capture CO2 by converting it into biofuel using photosynthesis. Microalgae are robust organisms capable of rapid growth under a variety of conditions including in open ponds or closed photobioreactors. Their reduced biomass compounds can be used as the feedstock for mass production of a variety of biofuels. As another advantage, their ability to accumulate or secrete biofuels can be controlled by changing their growth conditions or metabolic engineering. This review is aimed to highlight different forms of biofuels produced by microalgae and the approaches taken to improve their biofuel productivity. The costs for industrial-scale production of algal biofuels in open ponds or closed photobioreactors are analyzed. Different strategies for photoproduction of hydrogen by the hydrogenase enzyme of green algae are discussed. Algae are also good sources of biodiesel since some species can make large quantities of lipids as their biomass. The lipid contents for some of the best oil-producing strains of algae in optimized growth conditions are reviewed. The potential of microalgae for producing petroleum related chemicals or ready-make fuels such as bioethanol, triterpenic hydrocarbons, isobutyraldehyde, isobutanol, and isoprene from their biomass are also presented.

  9. Life cycle assessment of energy products: environmental impact assessment of biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zah, R.; Boeni, H.; Gauch, M.; Hischier, R.; Lehmann, M.; Waeger, P.

    2007-05-15

    This final report for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) deals with the results of a study that evaluated the environmental impact of the entire production chain of fuels made from biomass and used in Switzerland. Firstly, the study supplies an analysis of the possible environmental impacts of biofuels that can be used as a basis for political decisions. Secondly, an environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of various biofuels is presented. In addition, the impacts of fuel use are compared with other uses for bioenergy such as the generation of electricity and heat. The methods used in the LCA are discussed, including the Swiss method of ecological scarcity (Environmental Impact Points, UBP 06), and the European Eco-indicator 99 method. The results of the study are discussed, including the finding that not all biofuels can reduce environmental impacts as compared to fossil fuels. The role to be played by biofuels produced in an environmentally-friendly way together with other forms of renewable energy in our future energy supply is discussed.

  10. Limitation of Biofuel Production in Europe from the Forest Market

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leduc, Sylvain; Wetterlund, Elisabeth; Dotzauer, Erik; Kindermann, Georg

    2013-04-01

    The European Union has set a 10% target for the share of biofuel in the transportation sector to be met by 2020. To reach this target, second generation biofuel is expected to replace 3 to 5% of the transport fossil fuel consumption. But the competition on the feedstock is an issue and makes the planning for the second generation biofuel plant a challenge. Moreover, no commercial second generation biofuel production plant is under operation, but if reaching commercial status, this type of production plants are expected to become very large. In order to minimize the tranportation costs and to takle the competetion for the feedstock against the existing woody based industries, the geographical location of biofuel production plants becomes an issue. This study investigates the potential of second generation biofuel economically feasible in Europe by 2020 in regards with the competition for the feedsstock with the existing woody biomass based industries (CHP, pulp and paper mills, sawmills...). To assess the biofuel potential in Europe, a techno-economic, geographically explicit model, BeWhere, is used. It determines the optimal locations of bio-energy production plants by minimizing the costs and CO2 emissions of the entire supply chain. The existing woody based industries have to first meet their wood demand, and if the amount of wood that remains is suficiant, new bio-energy production plants if any can be set up. Preliminary results show that CHP plants are preferably chosen over biofuel production plants. Strong biofuel policy support is needed in order to consequently increase the biofuel production in Europe. The carbon tax influences the emission reduction to a higher degree than the biofuel support. And the potential of second generation biofuel would at most reach 3% of the European transport fuel if the wood demand does not increase from 2010.

  11. Macroalgae as a Biomass Feedstock: A Preliminary Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roesijadi, Guritno; Jones, Susanne B.; Snowden-Swan, Lesley J.; Zhu, Yunhua

    2010-09-26

    A thorough of macroalgae analysis as a biofuels feedstock is warranted due to the size of this biomass resource and the need to consider all potential sources of feedstock to meet current biomass production goals. Understanding how to harness this untapped biomass resource will require additional research and development. A detailed assessment of environmental resources, cultivation and harvesting technology, conversion to fuels, connectivity with existing energy supply chains, and the associated economic and life cycle analyses will facilitate evaluation of this potentially important biomass resource.

  12. Biofuels Baseline 2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamelinck, C.; Koper, M.; Berndes, G.; Englund, O.; Diaz-Chavez, R.; Kunen, E.; Walden, D.

    2011-10-15

    The European Union is promoting the use of biofuels and other renewable energy in transport. In April 2009, the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) was adopted that set a 10% target for renewable energy in transport in 2020. The directive sets several requirements to the sustainability of biofuels marketed in the frame of the Directive. The Commission is required to report to the European Parliament on a regular basis on a range of sustainability impacts resulting from the use of biofuels in the EU. This report serves as a baseline of information for regular monitoring on the impacts of the Directive. Chapter 2 discusses the EU biofuels market, the production and consumption of biofuels and international trade. It is derived where the feedstock for EU consumed biofuels originally come from. Chapter 3 discusses the biofuel policy framework in the EU and major third countries of supply. It looks at various policy aspects that are relevant to comply with the EU sustainability requirements. Chapter 4 discusses the environmental and social sustainability aspects associated with EU biofuels and their feedstock. Chapter 5 discusses the macro-economic effects that indirectly result from increased EU biofuels consumption, on commodity prices and land use. Chapter 6 presents country factsheets for main third countries that supplied biofuels to the EU market in 2008.

  13. Key issues in estimating energy and greenhouse gas savings of biofuels: challenges and perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dheeraj Rathore

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The increasing demand for biofuels has encouraged the researchers and policy makers worldwide to find sustainable biofuel production systems in accordance with the regional conditions and needs. The sustainability of a biofuel production system includes energy and greenhouse gas (GHG saving along with environmental and social acceptability. Life cycle assessment (LCA is an internationally recognized tool for determining the sustainability of biofuels. LCA includes goal and scope, life cycle inventory, life cycle impact assessment, and interpretation as major steps. LCA results vary significantly, if there are any variations in performing these steps. For instance, biofuel producing feedstocks have different environmental values that lead to different GHG emission savings and energy balances. Similarly, land-use and land-use changes may overestimate biofuel sustainability. This study aims to examine various biofuel production systems for their GHG savings and energy balances, relative to conventional fossil fuels with an ambition to address the challenges and to offer future directions for LCA based biofuel studies. Environmental and social acceptability of biofuel production is the key factor in developing biofuel support policies. Higher GHG emission saving and energy balance of biofuel can be achieved, if biomass yield is high, and ecologically sustainable biomass or non-food biomass is converted into biofuel and used efficiently.

  14. Life Cycle Assessment of Biofuels in Sweden; Livscykelanalys av svenska biodrivmedel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boerjesson, Paal; Tufvesson, Linda; Lantz, Mikael

    2009-05-15

    The purpose with this study is to carry out updated and developed life cycle assessments of biofuels produced and used in Sweden today. The focuses are on making the assessments as relevant and transparent as possible and identify hot spots having significant impacts on the environmental performance of the specific biofuel production chains. The study includes sensitivity analyses showing the impact on changed future conditions. The results should be seen as actual and average environmental performance based on updated calculation methods, thus individual systems developed by specific companies may have somewhat different performance. Biofuels analysed are ethanol from wheat, sugar beet and sugar cane (imported from Brazil), RME from rape seed, biogas from sugar beet, ley crops, maize and organic residues, such as municipal waste, food industry waste and liquor manure. The study also includes co-production of ethanol and biogas from wheat. Final use in both light and heavy duty vehicles, and related emissions, are assessed. Environmental impact categories considered are climate change, eutrophication, acidification, photochemical oxidants, particles and energy balances. The calculations include emissions from technical systems, e.g. energy input in various operations and processes, and biogenic emissions of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide from direct land use changes (LUC). The potential risk of indirect land use changes (ILUC) is also assessed. By-products are included by three different calculation methods, system expansion, energy allocation and economic allocation. The results are presented per MJ biofuel, but the alternative functional unit per hectare cropland is also used regarding the greenhouse gas performance of crop-based biofuels. Finally, estimations are carried out regarding the current environmental performance of the actual various biofuel systems based on system expansion, recommended by the ISO-standardisation of LCA, and energy allocation

  15. Economics of small-scale on-farm use of canola and soybean for biodiesel and straight vegetable oil biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fore, Seth R.; Porter, Paul; Jordan, Nicholas [Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, 1991 Upper Buford Circle, Borlaug 411, The University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108 (United States); Lazarus, William [Department of Applied Economics, 231 Classroom Office Building, 1994 Buford Avenue, The University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108 (United States)

    2011-01-15

    While the cost competitiveness of vegetable oil-based biofuels (VOBB) has impeded extensive commercialization on a large-scale, the economic viability of small-scale on-farm production of VOBB is unclear. This study assessed the cost competitiveness of small-scale on-farm production of canola- [Brassica napus (L.)] and soybean-based [Glycine max (L.)] biodiesel and straight vegetable oil (SVO) biofuels in the upper Midwest at 2007 price levels. The effects of feedstock type, feedstock valuation (cost of production or market price), biofuel type, and capitalization level on the cost L{sup -1} of biofuel were examined. Valuing feedstock at the cost of production, the cost of canola-based biodiesel ranged from 0.94 to 1.13 L{sup -1} and SVO from 0.64 to 0.83 L{sup -1} depending on capitalization level. Comparatively, the cost of soybean-based biodiesel and SVO ranged from 0.40 to 0.60 L{sup -1} and from 0.14 to 0.33 L{sup -1}, respectively, depending on capitalization level. Valuing feedstock at the cost of production, soybean biofuels were cost competitive whereas canola biofuels were not. Valuing feedstock at its market price, canola biofuels were more cost competitive than soybean-based biofuels, though neither were cost competitive with petroleum diesel. Feedstock type proved important in terms of the meal co-product credit, which decreased the cost of biodiesel by 1.39 L{sup -1} for soybean and 0.44 L{sup -1} for canola. SVO was less costly to produce than biodiesel due to reduced input costs. At a small scale, capital expenditures have a substantial impact on the cost of biofuel, ranging from 0.03 to 0.25 L{sup -1}. (author)

  16. Assessing solid digestate from anaerobic digestion as feedstock for ethanol production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teater, Charles; Yue, Zhengbo; MacLellan, James; Liu, Yan; Liao, Wei

    2011-01-01

    Ethanol production using solid digestate (AD fiber) from a completely stirred tank reactor (CSTR) anaerobic digester was assessed comparing to an energy crop of switchgrass, and an agricultural residue of corn stover. A complete random design was fulfilled to optimize the reaction conditions of dilute alkali pretreatment. The most effective dilute alkali pretreatment conditions for raw CSTR AD fiber were 2% sodium hydroxide, 130 °C, and 3 h. Under these pretreatment conditions, the cellulose concentration of the AD fiber was increased from 34% to 48%. Enzymatic hydrolysis of 10% (dry basis) pretreated AD fiber produced 49.8 g/L glucose, while utilizing 62.6% of the raw cellulose in the AD fiber. The ethanol fermentation on the hydrolysate had an 80.3% ethanol yield. The cellulose utilization efficiencies determined that the CSTR AD fiber was a suitable biorefining feedstock compared to switchgrass and corn stover.

  17. Alternative Feedstocks Program Technical and Economic Assessment: Thermal/Chemical and Bioprocessing Components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bozell, J. J.; Landucci, R.

    1993-07-01

    This resource document on biomass to chemicals opportunities describes the development of a technical and market rationale for incorporating renewable feedstocks into the chemical industry in both a qualitative and quantitative sense. The term "renewable feedstock?s" can be defined to include a huge number of materials such as agricultural crops rich in starch, lignocellulosic materials (biomass), or biomass material recovered from a variety of processing wastes.

  18. Biofuel or excavation? - Life cycle assessment (LCA) of soil remediation options

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suer, Pascal; Andersson-Skoeld, Yvonne [Swedish Geotechnical Institute, 58193 Linkoeping (Sweden)

    2011-02-15

    The environmental consequences of soil remediation through biofuel or through dig-and-dump were compared using life cycle assessment (LCA). Willow (Salix viminalis) was actually grown in-situ on a discontinued oil depot, as a phytoremediation treatment. These data were used for the biofuel remediation, while excavation-and-refill data were estimated from experience. The biofuel remediation had great environmental advantages compared to the ex situ excavation remediation. With the ReCiPe impact assessment method, which included biodiversity, the net environmental effect was even positive, in spite of the fact that the wood harvest was not utilised for biofuel production, but left on the contaminated site. Impact from the Salix viminalis cultivation was mainly through land use for the short rotation coppice, and through journeys of control personnel. The latter may be reduced when familiarity with biofuel as a soil treatment method increases. The excavation-and-refill remediation was dominated by the landfill and the transport of contaminated soil and backfill. (author)

  19. Assessing Extension's Ability to Promote Family Forests as a Woody Biomass Feedstock in the Northeast United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germain, Rene' H.; Ghosh, Chandrani

    2013-01-01

    The study reported here surveyed Extension educators' awareness and knowledge of woody biomass energy and assessed their desire and ability to reach out to family forest owners-a critical feedstock source. The results indicate Extension educators are aware of the potential of woody biomass to serve as a renewable source of energy. Respondents…

  20. The local impacts of oil palm expansion in Malaysia; An assessment based on a case study in Sabah State

    OpenAIRE

    Dayang Norwana, A.A.B.; Kanjappan, R.; Chin, M.; Schoneveld, G.C.; Potter, L.; Andriani, R.

    2011-01-01

    This study is part of a broader research process assessing the local economic, social and environmental impacts from feedstock expansion for the growing biofuel sector (see German et al. 2011). Nonetheless, in the Malaysian context, biofuel production volumes are negligible despite government interest in promoting sector expansion. Since Malaysia is the second largest palm oil producer in the world, palm oil is slated to become the primary feedstock for biofuel production in the country. Sinc...

  1. A Review of Environmental Life Cycle Assessments of Liquid Transportation Biofuels in the Pan American Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shonnard, David R.; Klemetsrud, Bethany; Sacramento-Rivero, Julio; Navarro-Pineda, Freddy; Hilbert, Jorge; Handler, Robert; Suppen, Nydia; Donovan, Richard P.

    2015-12-01

    Life-cycle assessment (LCA) has been applied to many biofuel and bioenergy systems to determine potential environmental impacts, but the conclusions have varied. Different methodologies and processes for conducting LCA of biofuels make the results difficult to compare, in-turn making it difficult to make the best possible and informed decision. Of particular importance are the wide variability in country-specific conditions, modeling assumptions, data quality, chosen impact categories and indicators, scale of production, system boundaries, and co-product allocation. This study has a double purpose: conducting a critical evaluation comparing environmental LCA of biofuels from several conversion pathways and in several countries in the Pan American region using both qualitative and quantitative analyses, and making recommendations for harmonization with respect to biofuel LCA study features, such as study assumptions, inventory data, impact indicators, and reporting practices. The environmental management implications are discussed within the context of different national and international regulatory environments using a case study. The results from this study highlight LCA methodology choices that cause high variability in results and limit comparability among different studies, even among the same biofuel pathway, and recommendations are provided for improvement.

  2. Security of feedstocks supply for future bio-ethanol production in Thailand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silalertruksa, Thapat; Gheewala, Shabbir H. [The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment, King Mongkut' s University of Technology Thonburi, 126 Prachauthit Road, Bangkok 10140 (Thailand)

    2010-11-15

    This study assesses the security of feedstock supply to satisfy the increased demand for bio-ethanol production based on the recent 15 years biofuels development plan and target (year 2008-2022) of the Thai government. Future bio-ethanol systems are modeled and the feedstock supply potentials analyzed based on three scenarios including low-, moderate- and high-yields improvement. The three scenarios are modeled and key dimensions including availability; diversity; and environmental acceptability of feedstocks supply in terms of GHG reduction are evaluated through indicators such as net feedstock balances, Shannon index and net life cycle GHG emissions. The results show that only the case of high yields improvement scenario can result in a reliable and sufficient supply of feedstocks to satisfy the long-term demands for bio-ethanol and other related industries. Cassava is identified as the critical feedstock and a reduction in cassava export is necessary. The study concludes that to enhance long-term security of feedstocks supply for sustainable bio-ethanol production in Thailand, increasing use of sugarcane juice as feedstock, improved yields of existing feedstocks and promoting production of bio-ethanol derived from agricultural residues are three key recommendations that need to be urgently implemented by the policy makers. (author)

  3. A critical review of biochemical conversion, sustainability and life cycle assessment of algal biofuels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving

    2011-01-01

    The increasing global demand of biofuels for energy security and reduction in climate change effects generate the opportunity to explore new biomass sources. Algae is a very promising source of biomass in this context as it sequester a significant quantity of carbon from atmosphere and industrial...... gases and is also very efficient in utilizing the nutrients from industrial effluents and municipal wastewater. Therefore cultivation of algal biomass provide dual benefit, it provides biomass for the production of biofuels and also save our environment from air and water pollution. The life cycle...... assessment (LCA) of algal biofuels suggests them to be environmentally better than the fossil fuels but economically it is not yet so attractive....

  4. 油脂和木质纤维素催化转化制备生物液体燃料%Catalytic Production of Liquid Biofuels from Triglyceride Feedstocks and Lignocellulose

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张家仁; 邓甜音; 刘海超

    2013-01-01

    世界范围能源短缺和环境恶化的双重压力促使可再生生物质资源的能源化利用成为当前研究的一个重要方向.生物质种类多样,但考虑到粮食安全等因素,其中油脂和木质纤维素适合替代化石资源用于制备液体燃料.本文概述了油脂和木质纤维素通过不同催化转化途径制备液体燃料的一些研究进展.油脂可以通过催化热裂解、加氢和酯交换方法制备生物液体燃料,而木质纤维素制备液体燃料的可行途径包括气化-费托合成、液化-精炼和经历平台化合物的选择性合成.在介绍这些催化途径的同时,特别讨论了其中所使用的催化剂和工艺等方面的研究进展,分析了存在的问题和可能的解决措施,以期能为生物质能源化利用的研究提供参考.%Dual pressures currently arising from energy shortage and environmental degradation worldwide make it critically important to utilize renewable biomass resources for energy. But due to the requirement for the safety of food and feed, triglyceride feedstocks ( currently derived mainly from vegetable oils and animal fats) and lignocellulose among the various kinds of naturally-occurring biomass are practical sources for production of liquid biofuels instead of fossil fuels. In this respect, we review the recent progress in the transformation of triglyceride feedstocks and lignocellulose into liquid biofuels by different catalytic routes. These routes include thermal cracking, hydrogenation and transesterification for oils and fats, and gasification-Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, liquefaction-upgrading and selective synthesis via platform chemicals for lignocellulose. The catalysts and processes involved in these catalytic routes are intensively discussed, and their existing problems and possible solutions are addressed, which may provide insights helpful for further studies on the more efficient utilization of biomass for energy.

  5. Supply Chain Sustainability Analysis of Three Biofuel Pathways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacob J. Jacobson; Erin Searcy; Kara Cafferty; Jennifer B. Dunn; Michael Johnson; Zhichao Wang; Michael Wang; Mary Biddy; Abhijit Dutta; Daniel Inman; Eric Tan; Sue Jones; Lesley Snowden-Swan

    2013-11-01

    The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) collaborates with industrial, agricultural, and non-profit partners to develop and deploy biofuels and other biologically-derived products. As part of this effort, BETO and its national laboratory teams conduct in-depth techno-economic assessments (TEA) of technologies to produce biofuels as part state of technology (SOT) analyses. An SOT assesses progress within and across relevant technology areas based on actual experimental results relative to technical targets and cost goals from design cases and includes technical, economic, and environmental criteria as available. Overall assessments of biofuel pathways begin with feedstock production and the logistics of transporting the feedstock from the farm or plantation to the conversion facility or biorefinery. The conversion process itself is modeled in detail as part of the SOT analysis. The teams then develop an estimate of the biofuel minimum selling price (MSP) and assess the cost competitiveness of the biofuel with conventional fuels such as gasoline.

  6. Assessment of xylanase activity in dry storage as a potential method of reducing feedstock cost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, William A; Thompson, David N; Thompson, Vicki S; Radtke, Corey W; Carter, Brady

    2009-05-01

    Enzymatic preprocessing of lignocellulosic biomass in dry storage systems has the potential to improve feedstock characteristics and lower ethanol production costs. To assess the potential for endoxylanase activity at low water contents, endoxylanase activity was tested using a refined wheat arabinoxylan substrate and three commercial endoxylanases over the water activity range 0.21-1.0, corresponding to water contents of 5% to >60% (dry basis). Homogeneously mixed dry samples were prepared at a fixed enzyme to substrate ratio and incubated in chambers at a variety of fixed water activities. Replicates were sacrificed periodically, and endoxylanase activity was quantified as an increase in reducing sugar relative to desiccant-stored controls. Endoxylanase activity was observed at water activities over 0.91 in all enzyme preparations in less than 4 days and at a water activity of 0.59 in less than 1 week in two preparations. Endoxylanase activity after storage was confirmed for selected desiccant-stored controls by incubation at 100% relative humidity. Water content to water activity relationships were determined for three lignocellulosic substrates, and results indicate that two endoxylanase preparations retained limited activity as low as 7% to 13% water content (dry basis), which is well within the range of water contents representative of dry biomass storage. Future work will examine the effects of endoxylanase activity toward substrates such as corn stover, wheat straw, and switchgrass in low water content environments.

  7. Biofuels: not so bad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornley, Patricia; Morris, Trevor

    2008-09-01

    Kevin Joyce is right to draw attention to the energy consumed in producing biofuels (August p21) but wrong to conclude that this makes them "worse for carbon emissions than good old-fashioned gasoline". As he points out, energy is required to cultivate the biomass feedstock and convert it to biofuel, and the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with this must be offset against the savings from replacing mineral oil or diesel. However, even when this is taken into account, the biofuels on sale in the UK today are delivering greenhouse-gas savings.

  8. Assessment of bio-fuel options for solid oxide fuel cell applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Jiefeng

    Rising concerns of inadequate petroleum supply, volatile crude oil price, and adverse environmental impacts from using fossil fuels have spurred the United States to promote bio-fuel domestic production and develop advanced energy systems such as fuel cells. The present dissertation analyzed the bio-fuel applications in a solid oxide fuel cell-based auxiliary power unit from environmental, economic, and technological perspectives. Life cycle assessment integrated with thermodynamics was applied to evaluate the environmental impacts (e.g., greenhouse gas emission, fossil energy consumption) of producing bio-fuels from waste biomass. Landfill gas from municipal solid wastes and biodiesel from waste cooking oil are both suggested as the promising bio-fuel options. A nonlinear optimization model was developed with a multi-objective optimization technique to analyze the economic aspect of biodiesel-ethanol-diesel ternary blends used in transportation sectors and capture the dynamic variables affecting bio-fuel productions and applications (e.g., market disturbances, bio-fuel tax credit, policy changes, fuel specification, and technological innovation). A single-tube catalytic reformer with rhodium/ceria-zirconia catalyst was used for autothermal reformation of various heavy hydrocarbon fuels (e.g., diesel, biodiesel, biodiesel-diesel, and biodiesel-ethanol-diesel) to produce a hydrogen-rich stream reformates suitable for use in solid oxide fuel cell systems. A customized mixing chamber was designed and integrated with the reformer to overcome the technical challenges of heavy hydrocarbon reformation. A thermodynamic analysis, based on total Gibbs free energy minimization, was implemented to optimize the operating environment for the reformations of various fuels. This was complimented by experimental investigations of fuel autothermal reformation. 25% biodiesel blended with 10% ethanol and 65% diesel was determined to be viable fuel for use on a truck travelling with

  9. Biofuels and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John; Fargione, Joseph; Hill, Jason

    2011-06-01

    The recent increase in liquid biofuel production has stemmed from a desire to reduce dependence on foreign oil, mitigate rising energy prices, promote rural economic development, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The growth of this industry has important implications for biodiversity, the effects of which depend largely on which biofuel feedstocks are being grown and the spatial extent and landscape pattern of land requirements for growing these feedstocks. Current biofuel production occurs largely on croplands that have long been in agricultural production. The additional land area required for future biofuels production can be met in part by reclaiming reserve or abandoned croplands and by extending cropping into lands formerly deemed marginal for agriculture. In the United States, many such marginal lands have been enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), providing important habitat for grassland species. The demand for corn ethanOl has changed agricultural commodity economics dramatically, already contributing to loss of CRP lands as contracts expire and lands are returned to agricultural production. Nevertheless, there are ways in which biofuels can be developed to enhance their coexistence with biodiversity. Landscape heterogeneity can be improved by interspersion of land uses, which is easier around facilities with smaller or more varied feedstock demands. The development of biofuel feedstocks that yield high net energy returns with minimal carbon debts or that do not require additional land for production, such as residues and wastes, should be encouraged. Competing land uses, including both biofuel production and biodiversity protection, should be subjected to comprehensive cost-benefit analysis, so that incentives can be directed where they will do the most good.

  10. Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program Status Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kszos, L.A.

    2001-02-09

    The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program (BFDP) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a mission-oriented program of research and analysis whose goal is to develop and demonstrate cropping systems for producing large quantities of low-cost, high-quality biomass feedstocks for use as liquid biofuels, biomass electric power, and/or bioproducts. The program specifically supports the missions and goals of DOE's Office of Fuels Development and DOE's Office of Power Technologies. ORNL has provided technical leadership and field management for the BFDP since DOE began energy crop research in 1978. The major components of the BFDP include energy crop selection and breeding; crop management research; environmental assessment and monitoring; crop production and supply logistics operational research; integrated resource analysis and assessment; and communications and outreach. Research into feedstock supply logistics has recently been added and will become an integral component of the program.

  11. Chemicals from biomass: an assessment of the potential for production of chemical feedstocks from renewable resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donaldson, T.L.; Culberson, O.L.

    1983-06-01

    This assessment of the potential for production of commodity chemicals from renewable biomass resources is based on (1) a Delphi study with 50 recognized authorities to identify key technical issues relevant to production of chemicals from biomass, and (2) a systems model based on linear programming for a commodity chemicals industry using renewable resources and coal as well as gas and petroleum-derived resources. Results from both parts of the assessment indicate that, in the absence of gas and petroleum, coal undoubtedly would be a major source of chemicals first, followed by biomass. The most attractive biomass resources are wood, agricultural residues, and sugar and starch crops. A reasonable approximation to the current product slate for the petrochemical industry could be manufactured using only renewable resources for feedstocks. Approximately 2.5 quads (10/sup 15/ Btu (1.055 x 10/sup 18/ joules)) per year of oil and gas would be released. Further use of biomass fuels in the industry could release up to an additional 1.5 quads. however, such an industry would be unprofitable under current economic conditions with existing or near-commercial technology. As fossil resources become more expensive and biotechnology becomes more efficient, the economics will be more favorable. Use of the chemicals industry model to evaluate process technologies is demonstrated. Processes are identified which have potential for significant added value to the system if process improvements can be made to improve the economics. Guidelines and recommendations for research and development programs to improve the attractiveness of chemicals from biomass are discussed.

  12. Biofuels and biodiversity: principles for creating better policies for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groom, Martha J; Gray, Elizabeth M; Townsend, Patricia A

    2008-06-01

    Biofuels are a new priority in efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels; nevertheless, the rapid increase in production of biofuel feedstock may threaten biodiversity. There are general principles that should be used in developing guidelines for certifying biodiversity-friendly biofuels. First, biofuel feedstocks should be grown with environmentally safe and biodiversity-friendly agricultural practices. The sustainability of any biofuel feedstock depends on good growing practices and sound environmental practices throughout the fuel-production life cycle. Second, the ecological footprint of a biofuel, in terms of the land area needed to grow sufficient quantities of the feedstock, should be minimized. The best alternatives appear to be fuels of the future, especially fuels derived from microalgae. Third, biofuels that can sequester carbon or that have a negative or zero carbon balance when viewed over the entire production life cycle should be given high priority. Corn-based ethanol is the worst among the alternatives that are available at present, although this is the biofuel that is most advanced for commercial production in the United States. We urge aggressive pursuit of alternatives to corn as a biofuel feedstock. Conservation biologists can significantly broaden and deepen efforts to develop sustainable fuels by playing active roles in pursuing research on biodiversity-friendly biofuel production practices and by helping define biodiversity-friendly biofuel certification standards.

  13. Integrated regional modeling assessment of the environmental and economic potential of perennial grass bioenergy feedstocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudiburg, T. W.; Khanna, M.; Dwivedi, P.; Parton, W. J.; Long, S.; Wang, W.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2013-12-01

    Perennial grasses have been proposed as viable bioenergy crops because of their potential to yield harvestable biomass on marginal lands without displacing food and contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction by storing carbon in soil. Switchgrass, miscanthus, and restored native prairie are among the crops being considered in the corn and agricultural regions of the eastern United States. In this study, we used an extensive dataset of site observations for each of these crops to evaluate and improve a combined ecosystem and economic modeling framework about how both yield and GHG fluxes would respond to different land use strategies. Using this model-data integration approach, we found 30-75% improvement in our predictions over previous studies and good model-data agreement of harvested yields and soil carbon stocks (r2 > 0.62 for all crops). We found that growing perennial grasses would result in average onsite GHG reductions of 0.5-2.0 Mg CO2e ha-1 yr-1compared to a corn-soy baseline, not including fossil fuel offsets. If grown on marginal lands, average onsite GHG reductions remain significant at 0.3-1.0 Mg CO2e ha-1 yr-1. After conversion to bioenergy and complete life cycle assessment, offsite GHG savings can increase by up to 150%, providing a dry biomass supply of 11-22 Mg ha-1 yr-1 for energy use. Preliminary model results of the abatement cost range between 62- 250 per ton of CO2e abated. While a carbon tax would provide an incentive, we find that it would need to be larger than the abatement cost to induce production of cellulosic biofuels.

  14. Genetic improvement of biofuel plants: recent progress and patents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, T Sudhakar; Badri, Jyothi; Sastry, R Kalpana; Shrivastava, Anshul; Kishor, P B Kavi; Sujatha, M

    2013-04-01

    Due to depleting reserves of fossil fuels, political uncertainties, increase in demand of energy needs and growing concerns of environmental effects, bioenergy as an alternative source of energy needs had taken centre stage globally. In this report, we review the progress made in lignocellulose, cellulose and fermentation based biofuels in addition to tree borne oil seeds. Algae as a source of feedstock for the biofuel has also been reviewed. Recent efforts in genome sequencing of biofuel crops and molecular breeding approaches have increased our understanding towards crop improvement of major feedstocks. Besides, patenting trends in bioenergy sector were assessed by patent landscape analysis. The results showed an increasing trend in published patents during the last decade which is maximum during 2011. A conceptual framework of "transgenesis in biofuels to industrial application" was developed based on the patent analytics viz., International Patent Classification (IPC) analysis and Theme Maps. A detailed claim analysis based on the conceptual framework assessed the patenting trends that provided an exhaustive dimension of the technology. The study emphasizes the current thrust in bioenergy sector by various public and private institutions to expedite the process of biofuel production.

  15. Assessing Site Availability of Aspen and Northern Hardwoods for Potential Feedstock Development in Michigan: A Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Alian

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The importance of wood and wood byproducts as biomass feedstocks is of increasing interest as a source of ethanol and electricity. Second generation woody feedstock sources in Michigan, e.g., hybrid poplar and hybrid willow (Populus spp., and native forests, particularly aspen and northern hardwoods, are a potential source of woody biomass for these uses. This study provides a geographic information system (GIS framework for assessing the current spatial extent of aspen and northern hardwoods and their proximity to roads. Additionally, the potential for expanding the area of these feedstock sources based on pre-European settlement vegetation cover is assessed. Utilizing GIS technology to compile, edit and analyze available geospatial data (e.g., present day and pre-European settlement land use/cover, soils, road infrastructure, and land ownership for counties located in the eastern half of the Upper Peninsula and northern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan provides a robust framework for various management scenarios to be evaluated in a cost effective manner and foster better decision making.

  16. Life cycle assessment of first-generation biofuels using a nitrogen crop model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallejones, P; Pardo, G; Aizpurua, A; del Prado, A

    2015-02-01

    This paper presents an alternative approach to assess the impacts of biofuel production using a method integrating the simulated values of a new semi-empirical model at the crop production stage within a life cycle assessment (LCA). This new approach enabled us to capture some of the effects that climatic conditions and crop management have on soil nitrous oxide (N₂O) emissions, crop yields and other nitrogen (N) losses. This analysis considered the whole system to produce 1 MJ of biofuel (bioethanol from wheat and biodiesel from rapeseed). Non-renewable energy use, global warming potential (GWP), acidification, eutrophication and land competition are considered as potential environmental impacts. Different co-products were handled by system expansion. The aim of this study was (i) to evaluate the variability due to site-specific conditions of climate and fertiliser management of the LCA of two different products: biodiesel from rapeseed and bioethanol from wheat produced in the Basque Country (Northern Spain), and (ii) to improve the estimations of the LCA impacts due to N losses (N₂O, NO₃, NH₃), normally estimated with unspecific emission factors (EFs), that contribute to the impact categories analysed in the LCA of biofuels at local scale. Using biodiesel and bioethanol derived from rapeseed and wheat instead of conventional diesel and gasoline, respectively, would reduce non-renewable energy dependence (-55%) and GWP (-40%), on average, but would increase eutrophication (42 times more potential). An uncertainty analysis for GWP impact showed that the variability associated with the prediction of the major contributor to global warming potential (soil N₂O) can significantly affect the results from the LCA. Therefore the use of a model to account for local factors will improve the precision of the assessment and reduce the uncertainty associated with the convenience of the use of biofuels.

  17. Perspectives for Sustainable Aviation Biofuels in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís A. B. Cortez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The aviation industry has set ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions in coming decades. The strategy involves the use of sustainable biofuels, aiming to achieve benefits from environmental, social, and economic perspectives. In this context, Brazilian conditions are favorable, with a mature agroindustry that regularly produces automotive biofuel largely adopted by Brazilian road vehicles, while air transportation has been growing at an accelerating pace and a modern aircraft industry is in place. This paper presents the main conclusions and recommendations from a broad assessment of the technological, economic, and sustainability challenges and opportunities associated with the development of drop-in aviation biofuels in Brazil. It was written by a research team that prepared the initial reports and conducted eight workshops with the active participation of more than 30 stakeholders encompassing the private sector, government institutions, NGOs, and academia. The main outcome was a set of guidelines for establishing a new biofuels industry, including recommendations for (a filling the identified research and development knowledge gaps in the production of sustainable feedstock; (b overcoming the barriers in conversion technology, including scaling-up issues; (c promoting greater involvement and interaction between private and government stakeholders; and (d creating a national strategy to promote the development of aviation biofuels.

  18. Developing County-level Water Footprints of Biofuel Produced from Switchgrass and Miscanthus x Giganteus in the United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, May M. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Chiu, Yi-Wen [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)

    2014-09-30

    Perennial grass has been proposed as a potential candidate for producing cellulosic biofuel because of its promising productivity and benefits to water quality, and because it is a non-food feedstock. While extensive research focuses on selecting and developing species and conversion technologies, the impact of grass-based biofuel production on water resources remains less clear. As feedstock growth requires water and the type of water consumed may vary considerably from region to region, water use must be characterized with spatial resolution and on a fuel production basis. This report summarizes a study that assesses the impact of biofuel production on water resource use and water quality at county, state, and regional scales by developing a water footprint of biofuel produced from switchgrass and Miscanthus × giganteus via biochemical conversion.

  19. a Novel Framework for Incorporating Sustainability Into Biomass Feedstock Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishnan, G.; Negri, C.

    2012-12-01

    There is a strong society need to evaluate and understand the sustainability of biofuels, especially due to the significant increases in production mandated by many countries, including the United States. Biomass feedstock production is an important contributor to environmental, social and economic impacts from biofuels. We present a systems approach where the agricultural, urban, energy and environmental sectors are considered as components of a single system and environmental liabilities are used as recoverable resources for biomass feedstock production. A geospatial analysis evaluating marginal land and degraded water resources to improve feedstock productivity with concomitant environmental restoration was conducted for the major corn producing states in the US. The extent and availability of these resources was assessed and geospatial techniques used to identify promising opportunities to implement this approach. Utilizing different sources of marginal land (roadway buffers, contaminated land) could result in a 7-fold increase in land availability for feedstock production and provide ecosystem services such as water quality improvement and carbon sequestration. Spatial overlap between degraded water and marginal land resources was found to be as high as 98% and could maintain sustainable feedstock production on marginal lands through the supply of water and nutrients. Multi-objective optimization was used to quantify the tradeoffs between net revenue, improvements in water quality and carbon sequestration at the farm scale using this design. Results indicated that there is an initial opportunity where land that is marginally productive for row crops and of marginal value for conservation purposes could be used to grow bioenergy crops such that that water quality and carbon sequestration benefits are obtained.

  20. Life cycle assessment of energy products: environmental impact assessment of biofuels; Oekobilanz von Energieprodukten: Oekologische Bewertung von Biotreibstoffen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zah, R.; Boeni, H.; Gauch, M.; Hischier, R.; Lehmann, M.; Waeger, P.

    2007-05-15

    This final report for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) deals with the results of a study that evaluated the environmental impact of the entire production chain of fuels made from biomass and used in Switzerland. Firstly, the study supplies an analysis of the possible environmental impacts of biofuels that can be used as a basis for political decisions. Secondly, an environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of various biofuels is presented. In addition, the impacts of fuel use are compared with other uses for bioenergy such as the generation of electricity and heat. The methods used in the LCA are discussed, including the Swiss method of ecological scarcity (Environmental Impact Points, UBP 06), and the European Eco-indicator 99 method. The results of the study are discussed, including the finding that not all biofuels can reduce environmental impacts as compared to fossil fuels. The role to be played by biofuels produced in an environmentally-friendly way together with other forms of renewable energy in our future energy supply is discussed.

  1. Biofuels and Biotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mielenz, Jonathan R [ORNL

    2009-01-01

    The world obtains 86% of its energy from fossil fuels, 40% from petroleum, a majority of which goes to the transportation sector (www.IEA.gov). Well-recognized alternatives are fuels derived from renewable sources known as biofuels. There are a number of biofuels useful for transportation fuels, which include ethanol, biobutanol, mixed alcohols, biodiesel, and hydrogen. These biofuels are produced from biologically derived feedstock, almost exclusively being plant materials, either food or feed sources or inedible plant material called biomass. This chapter will discuss technologies for production of liquid transportation biofuels from renewable feedstocks, but hydrogen will not be included, as the production technology and infrastructure are not near term. In addition, a specific emphasis will be placed upon the research opportunities and potential for application of system biology tools to dissect and understand the biological processes central to production of these biofuels from biomass and biological materials. There are a number of technologies for production of each of these biofuels that range from fully mature processes such as grain-derived ethanol, emerging technology of ethanol form cellulose derived ethanol and immature processes such thermochemical conversion technologies and production of hydrogen all produced from renewable biological feedstocks. Conversion of biomass by various thermochemical and combustion technologies to produce thermochemical biodiesel or steam and electricity provide growing sources of bioenergy. However, these technologies are outside of the scope of this chapter, as is the use of biological processing for upgrading and conversion of fossil fuels. Therefore, this chapter will focus on the current status of production of biofuels produced from biological-derived feedstocks using biological processes. Regardless of the status of development of the biological process for production of the biofuels, each process can benefit from

  2. Regional Feedstock Partnership Summary Report: Enabling the Billion-Ton Vision

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Owens, Vance N. [South Dakota State Univ., Brookings, SD (United States). North Central Sun Grant Center; Karlen, Douglas L. [Dept. of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Ames, IA (United States). National Lab. for Agriculture and the Environment; Lacey, Jeffrey A. [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Process Science and Technology Division

    2016-07-12

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Sun Grant Initiative established the Regional Feedstock Partnership (referred to as the Partnership) to address information gaps associated with enabling the vision of a sustainable, reliable, billion-ton U.S. bioenergy industry by the year 2030 (i.e., the Billion-Ton Vision). Over the past 7 years (2008–2014), the Partnership has been successful at advancing the biomass feedstock production industry in the United States, with notable accomplishments. The Billion-Ton Study identifies the technical potential to expand domestic biomass production to offset up to 30% of U.S. petroleum consumption, while continuing to meet demands for food, feed, fiber, and export. This study verifies for the biofuels and chemical industries that a real and substantial resource base could justify the significant investment needed to develop robust conversion technologies and commercial-scale facilities. DOE and the Sun Grant Initiative established the Partnership to demonstrate and validate the underlying assumptions underpinning the Billion-Ton Vision to supply a sustainable and reliable source of lignocellulosic feedstock to a large-scale bioenergy industry. This report discusses the accomplishments of the Partnership, with references to accompanying scientific publications. These accomplishments include advances in sustainable feedstock production, feedstock yield, yield stability and stand persistence, energy crop commercialization readiness, information transfer, assessment of the economic impacts of achieving the Billion-Ton Vision, and the impact of feedstock species and environment conditions on feedstock quality characteristics.

  3. Water use implications of biofuel scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teter, J.; Mishra, G. S.; Yeh, S.

    2012-12-01

    Existing studies rely upon attributional lifecycle analysis (LCA) approaches to estimate water intensity of biofuels in liters of irrigated/evapotranspiration water consumed for biofuel production. Such approaches can be misleading. From a policy perspective, a better approach is to compare differential water impacts among scenarios on a landscape scale. We address the shortcomings of existing studies by using consequential LCA, and incorporate direct and indirect land use (changes) of biofuel scenarios, marginal vs. average biofuel water use estimates, future climate, and geographic heterogeneity. We use the outputs of a partial equilibrium economic model, climate and soil data, and a process-based crop-soil-climate-water model to estimate differences in green water (GW - directly from precipitation to soil) and blue water (BW - supplied by irrigation) use among three scenarios: (1) business-as-usual (BAU), (2) Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandates, and (3) a national Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) plus the RFS scenario. We use spatial statistical methods to interpolate key climatic variables using daily climate observations for the contiguous USA. Finally, we use FAO's crop model AquaCrop to estimate the domestic GW and BW impacts of biofuel policies from 2007-2035. We assess the differences among scenarios along the following metrics: (1) crop area expansion at the county level, including prime and marginal lands, (2) crop-specific and overall annual/seasonal water balances including (a) water inflows (irrigation & precipitation), (b) crop-atmosphere interactions: (evaporation & transpiration) and (d) soil-water flows (runoff & soil infiltration), in mm 3 /acre over the relevant time period. The functional unit of analysis is the BW and GW requirements of biofuels (mm3 per Btu biofuel) at the county level. Differential water use impacts among scenarios are a primarily a function of (1) land use conversion, in particular that of formerly uncropped land classes

  4. Biofuels, poverty, and growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arndt, Channing; Benfica, Rui; Tarp, Finn

    2010-01-01

    This paper assesses the implications of large-scale investments in biofuels for growth and income distribution. We find that biofuels investment enhances growth and poverty reduction despite some displacement of food crops by biofuels. Overall, the biofuel investment trajectory analyzed increases...... Mozambique's annual economic growth by 0.6 percentage points and reduces the incidence of poverty by about 6 percentage points over a 12-year phase-in period. Benefits depend on production technology. An outgrower approach to producing biofuels is more pro-poor, due to the greater use of unskilled labor...

  5. Assessment of leaf/stem ratio in wheat straw feedstock and impact on enzymatic conversion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Heng; Fangel, Jonatan Ulrik; Willats, William George Tycho

    2014-01-01

    . By preparing samples of various leaf-to-stem (L/S) ratios, we found shifting conversion behavior as processing parameters were modified. Increasing the enzyme dosage, pretreatment temperature and pretreatment time all significantly improved conversion rates in samples with more than 50% leaf content, whereas...... conversion processes and additionally in feedstock breeding. Furthermore, this highlights the need for rapid techniques for determining L/S ratio in wheat straw harvests. The CoMPP data on specific carbohydrates and leaf pectin highlight carbohydrate epitopes that may be useful as markers in the development...

  6. Assessment of environmental stresses for enhanced microalgal biofuel production-an overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan eCheng

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Microalgal biofuels are currently considered to be the most promising alternative to future renewable energy source. Microalgae have great potential to produce various biofuels, including biodiesel, bioethanol, biomethane, and biohydrogen. Cultivation of biofuel-producing microalgae demands favorable environmental conditions, such as suitable light, temperature, nutrients, salinity, and pH. However, these conditions are not always compatible with the conditions beneficial to biofuel production, because biofuel-related compounds (such as lipids and carbohydrates tend to accumulate under environmental-stress conditions of light, temperature, nutrient, and salt. This paper presents a brief overview of the effects of environmental conditions on production of microalgal biomass and biofuel, with specific emphasis on how to utilize environmental stresses to improve biofuel productivity. The potential avenues of reaping the benefits of enhanced biofuel production by environmental stresses while maintaining high yields of biomass production have been discussed.

  7. Assessment of holocellulose for the production of bioethanol by conserving Pinus radiata cones as renewable feedstock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victor, Amudhavalli; Pulidindi, Indra Neel; Gedanken, Aharon

    2015-10-01

    Renewable and green energy sources are much sought. Bioethanol is an environmentally friendly transportation fuel. Pine cones from Pinus radiata were shown to be a potential feedstock for the production of bioethanol. Alkaline (NaOH) pretreatment was carried out to delignify the lignocellulosic material and generate holocellulose (72 wt. % yield). The pretreated biomass was hydrolysed using HCl as catalyst under microwave irradiation and hydrothermal conditions. Microwave irradiation was found to be better than the hydrothermal process. Microwave irradiation accelerated the hydrolysis of biomass (42 wt. % conversion) with the reaction conditions being 3 M HCl and 5 min of irradiation time. Interestingly, even the xylose, which is the major component of the hydrolyzate was found to be metabolized to ethanol using Baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) under the experimental conditions. 5.7 g of ethanol could be produced from 100 g of raw pine cones.

  8. Assessing biofuels: Aiming for sustainable development or complying with the market?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diaz-Chavez, Rocio A., E-mail: r.diaz-chavez@imperial.ac.uk [Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    The growing interest in biofuels has led to increasing concern about their wider implications, particularly if grown for transport use in large scale. Such concerns include environmental, social and economic issues. To counterbalance the possible negative effects, a series of measures are being put in place to help their sustainability. Nevertheless, considering the different meanings of sustainability in different parts of the world and the need to expand productive rural activities, the differences between trying to assure a commodity and the benefits or impacts at local level raise the questions between the aims of sustainability and the need to comply with a market. The ideal situation would be to reconcile both aspects, which in practise represent a major challenge for governments and industry. This paper provides an overview on the sustainability assessment of biofuels to consider a possible way forward. - Highlights: > Multi-interactions in biomass production for bioenergy are a new paradigm to develop policies. > Certification and verification schemes are limited to assess broader sustainability issues. > Improved agricultural and forestry systems for biomass use will boost policies and investment.

  9. Next generation of liquid biofuel production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Batidzirai, B.

    2012-01-01

    More than 99% of all currently produced biofuels are classified as “first generation” (i.e. fuels produced primarily from cereals, grains, sugar crops and oil seeds) (IEA, 2008b). “Second generation” or “next generation” biofuels, on the other hand, are produced from lignocellulosic feedstocks such

  10. Biofuels and Fisheries: Risks and Opportunities .

    Science.gov (United States)

    A rapidly developing biofuels industry in the U.S. and around the globe poses novel environmental challenges and opportunities, with implications for teh health and sustainability of fisheries. Changes in land uses and agricultural practices for production of biofuel feedstocks ...

  11. DLA Energy Biofuel Feedstock Metrics Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-11

    relevant federal statute for this criteria as it regulates the discharges of pollutants into waters from indirect sources, such as agricultural storm...ment from chemical hazards. The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990 requires oil storage plans detailing spill response procedures. In addition to these...Version 1.0, June 2010, www.responsiblesoy.org/  Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil , Principles and Criteria for Sustaina- ble Palm Oil Production

  12. Assessing the Life-Cycle Performance of Hydrogen Production via Biofuel Reforming in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Susmozas

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Currently, hydrogen is mainly produced through steam reforming of natural gas. However, this conventional process involves environmental and energy security concerns. This has led to the development of alternative technologies for (potentially green hydrogen production. In this work, the environmental and energy performance of biohydrogen produced in Europe via steam reforming of glycerol and bio-oil is evaluated from a life-cycle perspective, and contrasted with that of conventional hydrogen from steam methane reforming. Glycerol as a by-product from the production of rapeseed biodiesel and bio-oil from the fast pyrolysis of poplar biomass are considered. The processing plants are simulated in Aspen Plus® to provide inventory data for the life cycle assessment. The environmental impact potentials evaluated include abiotic depletion, global warming, ozone layer depletion, photochemical oxidant formation, land competition, acidification and eutrophication. Furthermore, the cumulative (total and non-renewable energy demand is calculated, as well as the corresponding renewability scores and life-cycle energy balances and efficiencies of the biohydrogen products. In addition to quantitative evidence of the (expected relevance of the feedstock and impact categories considered, results show that poplar-derived bio-oil could be a suitable feedstock for steam reforming, in contrast to first-generation bioglycerol.

  13. Environmental life cycle assessment of producing willow, alfalfa and straw from spring barley as feedstocks for bioenergy or biorefinery systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parajuli, Ranjan; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Djomo, Sylvestre Njakou

    2017-01-01

    and land occupation. Environmental impacts for straw were economically allocated from the impacts obtained for spring barley. The results obtained per ton dry matter showed a lower carbon footprint for willow and alfalfa compared to straw. It was due to higher soil carbon sequestration and lower N2O...... output to input ratio, willow performed better than other biomasses. On the basis of carbohydrate content of straw, the equivalent dry matter of alfalfa and willow would be requiring higher. The environmental impacts of the selected biomasses in biorefinery therefore would differ based on the conversion......The current study aimed at evaluating potential environmental impacts for the production of willow, alfalfa and straw from spring barley as feedstocks for bioenergy or biorefinery systems. A method of Life Cycle Assessment was used to evaluate based on the following impact categories: Global...

  14. The local impacts of oil palm expansion in Malaysia; An assessment based on a case study in Sabah State

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dayang Norwana, A.A.B.; Kanjappan, R.; Chin, M.; Schoneveld, G.C.; Potter, L.; Andriani, R.

    2011-01-01

    This study is part of a broader research process assessing the local economic, social and environmental impacts from feedstock expansion for the growing biofuel sector (see German et al. 2011). Nonetheless, in the Malaysian context, biofuel production volumes are negligible despite government intere

  15. World Biofuels Production Potential Understanding the Challenges to Meeting the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sastri, B.; Lee, A.

    2008-09-15

    This study by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates the worldwide potential to produce biofuels including biofuels for export. It was undertaken to improve our understanding of the potential for imported biofuels to satisfy the requirements of Title II of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) in the coming decades. Many other countries biofuels production and policies are expanding as rapidly as ours. Therefore, we modeled a detailed and up-to-date representation of the amount of biofuel feedstocks that are being and can be grown, current and future biofuels production capacity, and other factors relevant to the economic competitiveness of worldwide biofuels production, use, and trade. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) identified and prepared feedstock data for countries that were likely to be significant exporters of biofuels to the U.S. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) calculated conversion costs by conducting material flow analyses and technology assessments on biofuels technologies. Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) integrated the country specific feedstock estimates and conversion costs into the global Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) MARKAL (MARKet ALlocation) model. The model uses least-cost optimization to project the future state of the global energy system in five year increments. World biofuels production was assessed over the 2010 to 2030 timeframe using scenarios covering a range U.S. policies (tax credits, tariffs, and regulations), as well as oil prices, feedstock availability, and a global CO{sub 2} price. All scenarios include the full implementation of existing U.S. and selected other countries biofuels policies (Table 4). For the U.S., the most important policy is the EISA Title II Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It progressively increases the required volumes of renewable fuel used in motor vehicles (Appendix B). The RFS requires 36 billion (B) gallons (gal) per year of renewable fuels by 2022

  16. Limits to biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johansson S.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Biofuel production is dependent upon agriculture and forestry systems, and the expectations of future biofuel potential are high. A study of the global food production and biofuel production from edible crops implies that biofuel produced from edible parts of crops lead to a global deficit of food. This is rather well known, which is why there is a strong urge to develop biofuel systems that make use of residues or products from forest to eliminate competition with food production. However, biofuel from agro-residues still depend upon the crop production system, and there are many parameters to deal with in order to investigate the sustainability of biofuel production. There is a theoretical limit to how much biofuel can be achieved globally from agro-residues and this amounts to approximately one third of todays’ use of fossil fuels in the transport sector. In reality this theoretical potential may be eliminated by the energy use in the biomass-conversion technologies and production systems, depending on what type of assessment method is used. By surveying existing studies on biofuel conversion the theoretical limit of biofuels from 2010 years’ agricultural production was found to be either non-existent due to energy consumption in the conversion process, or up to 2–6000TWh (biogas from residues and waste and ethanol from woody biomass in the more optimistic cases.

  17. Assessment of a dry and a wet route for the production of biofuels from microalgae: energy balance analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lixian; Wim Brilman, Derk W F; Withag, Jan A M; Brem, Gerrit; Kersten, Sascha

    2011-04-01

    In this study, the energy balance of two microalgae-to-biofuel concepts, one via a so called "dry route" (oil extraction from dried algae) and one via a "wet route" (oil extraction in the water phase), are assessed. Both routes are intended to convert the chemical energy contained in the microalgae into high-value biofuels with minimal fossil energy consumption. The analysis shows that the drying process in the dry route and the oil extraction process in the wet route consume a significant amount of energy. By coupling waste heat from a nearby power plant to the process, the energy balance can be improved and a potential fossil energy ratio (FER) up to 2.38 and 1.82 can be reached for the dry and wet route, respectively. The results indicate that based on current available technologies, the dry route has higher FER and the wet route has more potential in producing high valuable biofuels.

  18. An Outlook on Microalgal Biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijffels, R.H.; Barbosa, M.J.

    2010-01-01

    Microalgae are considered one of the most promising feedstocks for biofuels. The productivity of these photosynthetic microorganisms in converting carbon dioxide into carbon-rich lipids, only a step or two away from biodiesel, greatly exceeds that of agricultural oleaginous crops, without competing

  19. Advancing Biofuels: Balancing for Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    As with most technologies, use of biofuels has both benefits and risks, which vary by feedstock. Expected benefits include increased energy independence, reduced consumption of fossil fuels, reduced emission of greenhouse gases and invigorated rural economies. Anticipated risks include potential com...

  20. Evolution and Development of Effective Feedstock Specifications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garold Gresham; Rachel Emerson; Amber Hoover; Amber Miller; William Bauer; Kevin Kenney

    2013-09-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy promotes the production of a range of liquid fuels and fuel blend stocks from lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks by funding fundamental and applied research that advances the state of technology in biomass collection, conversion, and sustainability. As part of its involvement in this program, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) investigates the feedstock logistics economics and sustainability of these fuels. The 2012 feedstock logistics milestone demonstrated that for high-yield areas that minimize the transportation distances of a low-density, unstable biomass, we could achieve a delivered cost of $35/ton. Based on current conventional equipment and processes, the 2012 logistics design is able to deliver the volume of biomass needed to fulfill the 2012 Renewable Fuel Standard’s targets for ethanol. However, the Renewable Fuel Standard’s volume targets are continuing to increase and are expected to peak in 2022 at 36 billion gallons. Meeting these volume targets and achieving a national-scale biofuels industry will require expansion of production capacity beyond the 2012 Conventional Feedstock Supply Design Case to access diverse available feedstocks, regardless of their inherent ability to meet preliminary biorefinery quality feedstock specifications. Implementation of quality specifications (specs), as outlined in the 2017 Design Case – “Feedstock Supply System Design and Economics for Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Hydrocarbon Fuels” (in progress), requires insertion of deliberate, active quality controls into the feedstock supply chain, whereas the 2012 Conventional Design only utilizes passive quality controls.

  1. Environmental impact assessment of biofuel production on contaminated land - Swedish case studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersson-Skoeld, Yvonne; Suer, Pascal (Swedish Geotechnical Institute, Linkoeping (Sweden)); Blom, Sonja (FB Engineering AB, Goeteborg (Sweden)); Bardos, Paul (r3 Environmental Technology Ltd, Reading (United Kingdom)); Track, Thomas; Polland, Marcel (DECHEMA e. V., Frankfurt am Main (Germany))

    2009-07-01

    This report studies the (possible) cultivation of short rotation wood (Salix Vinimalis) on two contaminated sites from an environmental perspective, through a life cycle analysis (LCA) and carbon footprint, with an outlook towards an overarching method for a qualitative or semi-quantitative analysis based on a life cycle framework. Two areas were selected as case studies: a small site where short rotation crop (Salix Vinimalis) cultivation is in progress and a large site where biofuel production is hypothetical. For the selection of suitable sites, the following aspects were considered: Site location and size, so that biofuel cultivation might be economically viable without a remediation bonus, Topography and soil conditions, so that machinery could be used for cultivation, Time, so that the site was not in urgent need of remediation due to environmental or human health risks, or acute exploitation requirements, Contamination degree, which should not be plant-toxic, Contamination depth, Assessment of optimum crop and its use. For doubtful areas, it is especially important to analyse what the most viable option for the contaminated site is, and what bio-product could be used. For a more comprehensive analysis, which also incorporates local economic and social aspects, the decision support matrix, inter alia, described in the main report of the project Rejuvenate, is recommended. The calculation of emissions for the LCA and the carbon footprint used a German software tool for LCA of soil remediation. The software includes equipment emission data published in 1995. The module 'landfarming' has been used in this study to calculate emissions from herbicide application, fertilisation, ploughing and deep-ploughing, Salix harvest, harrowing etc. Since production of herbicide and Salix Vinimalis shoots were not included in the software, they were not included in the study. The conclusions for the two sites were very similar, in spite of the large differences

  2. Biofuels Assessment on Technical Opportunities and Research needs for Latin America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rutz, Dominik; Janssen, Rainer; Hofer, Anton

    2008-01-01

    As fossil reserves become scarcer and the price for crude oil drastically increases, new energy sources have to be explored. The transport sector today mainly depends on liquid fuels and an opportunity to substitute fossil fuels is biofuels. Thus, the European Union (EU) has implemented several...... activities between Latin America and the European Union in order to maximize synergies in the biofuels sectors. This paper presents objectives and first results of the BioTop project with special emphasis on biomass potential, improved conversion technologies, sustainability, standardization, trade, and RTD...... policies to support the use of biofuels,relying on both, domestically produced and imported biofuels, as available agricultural land for biofuel production in the EU is limited. The potential for biofuel production in Latin America is much larger and cooperation among the two continents is encouraged...

  3. Sustainable Biofuels Development Center

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reardon, Kenneth F. [Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)

    2015-03-01

    The mission of the Sustainable Bioenergy Development Center (SBDC) is to enhance the capability of America’s bioenergy industry to produce transportation fuels and chemical feedstocks on a large scale, with significant energy yields, at competitive cost, through sustainable production techniques. Research within the SBDC is organized in five areas: (1) Development of Sustainable Crops and Agricultural Strategies, (2) Improvement of Biomass Processing Technologies, (3) Biofuel Characterization and Engine Adaptation, (4) Production of Byproducts for Sustainable Biorefining, and (5) Sustainability Assessment, including evaluation of the ecosystem/climate change implication of center research and evaluation of the policy implications of widespread production and utilization of bioenergy. The overall goal of this project is to develop new sustainable bioenergy-related technologies. To achieve that goal, three specific activities were supported with DOE funds: bioenergy-related research initiation projects, bioenergy research and education via support of undergraduate and graduate students, and Research Support Activities (equipment purchases, travel to attend bioenergy conferences, and seminars). Numerous research findings in diverse fields related to bioenergy were produced from these activities and are summarized in this report.

  4. Alternative Crops and Biofuel Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kenkel, Philip [Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK (United States); Holcomb, Rodney B. [Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK (United States)

    2013-03-01

    In order for the biofuel industry to meet the RFS benchmarks for biofuels, new feedstock sources and production systems will have to be identified and evaluated. The Southern Plains has the potential to produce over a billion gallons of biofuels from regionally produced alternative crops, agricultural residues, and animal fats. While information on biofuel conversion processes is available, it is difficult for entrepreneurs, community planners and other interested individuals to determine the feasibility of biofuel processes or to match production alternatives with feed stock availability and community infrastructure. This project facilitates the development of biofuel production from these regionally available feed stocks. Project activities are concentrated in five major areas. The first component focused on demonstrating the supply of biofuel feedstocks. This involves modeling the yield and cost of production of dedicated energy crops at the county level. In 1991 the DOE selected switchgrass as a renewable source to produce transportation fuel after extensive evaluations of many plant species in multiple location (Caddel et al,. 2010). However, data on the yield and cost of production of switchgrass are limited. This deficiency in demonstrating the supply of biofuel feedstocks was addressed by modeling the potential supply and geographic variability of switchgrass yields based on relationship of available switchgrass yields to the yields of other forage crops. This model made it possible to create a database of projected switchgrass yields for five different soil types at the county level. A major advantage of this methodology is that the supply projections can be easily updated as improved varieties of switchgrass are developed and additional yield data becomes available. The modeling techniques are illustrated using the geographic area of Oklahoma. A summary of the regional supply is then provided.

  5. Conventional and advanced liquid biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đurišić-Mladenović Nataša L.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Energy security and independence, increase and fluctuation of the oil price, fossil fuel resources depletion and global climate change are some of the greatest challanges facing societies today and in incoming decades. Sustainable economic and industrial growth of every country and the world in general requires safe and renewable resources of energy. It has been expected that re-arrangement of economies towards biofuels would mitigate at least partially problems arised from fossil fuel consumption and create more sustainable development. Of the renewable energy sources, bioenergy draws major and particular development endeavors, primarily due to the extensive availability of biomass, already-existence of biomass production technologies and infrastructure, and biomass being the sole feedstock for liquid fuels. The evolution of biofuels is classified into four generations (from 1st to 4th in accordance to the feedstock origin; if the technologies of feedstock processing are taken into account, than there are two classes of biofuels - conventional and advanced. The conventional biofuels, also known as the 1st generation biofuels, are those produced currently in large quantities using well known, commercially-practiced technologies. The major feedstocks for these biofuels are cereals or oleaginous plants, used also in the food or feed production. Thus, viability of the 1st generation biofuels is questionable due to the conflict with food supply and high feedstocks’ cost. This limitation favoured the search for non-edible biomass for the production of the advanced biofuels. In a general and comparative way, this paper discusses about various definitions of biomass, classification of biofuels, and brief overview of the biomass conversion routes to liquid biofuels depending on the main constituents of the biomass. Liquid biofuels covered by this paper are those compatible with existing infrastructure for gasoline and diesel and ready to be used in

  6. Greenhouse-gas payback times for crop-based biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elshout, P. M. F.; van Zelm, R.; Balkovic, J.; Obersteiner, M.; Schmid, E.; Skalsky, R.; van der Velde, M.; Huijbregts, M. A. J.

    2015-06-01

    A global increase in the demand for crop-based biofuels may be met by cropland expansion, and could require the sacrifice of natural vegetation. Such land transformation alters the carbon and nitrogen cycles of the original system, and causes significant greenhouse-gas emissions, which should be considered when assessing the global warming performance of crop-based biofuels. As an indicator of this performance we propose the use of greenhouse-gas payback time (GPBT), that is, the number of years it takes before the greenhouse-gas savings due to displacing fossil fuels with biofuels equal the initial losses of carbon and nitrogen stocks from the original ecosystem. Spatially explicit global GPBTs were derived for biofuel production systems using five different feedstocks (corn, rapeseed, soybean, sugarcane and winter wheat), cultivated under no-input and high-input farm management. Overall, GPBTs were found to range between 1 and 162 years (95% range, median: 19 years) with the longest GPBTs occurring in the tropics. Replacing no-input with high-input farming typically shortened the GPBTs by 45 to 79%. Location of crop cultivation was identified as the primary factor driving variation in GPBTs. This study underscores the importance of using spatially explicit impact assessments to guide biofuel policy.

  7. Green chemistry, biofuels, and biorefinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, James H; Luque, Rafael; Matharu, Avtar S

    2012-01-01

    In the current climate of several interrelated impending global crises, namely, climate change, chemicals, energy, and oil, the impact of green chemistry with respect to chemicals and biofuels generated from within a holistic concept of a biorefinery is discussed. Green chemistry provides unique opportunities for innovation via product substitution, new feedstock generation, catalysis in aqueous media, utilization of microwaves, and scope for alternative or natural solvents. The potential of utilizing waste as a new resource and the development of integrated facilities producing multiple products from biomass is discussed under the guise of biorefineries. Biofuels are discussed in depth, as they not only provide fuel (energy) but are also a source of feedstock chemicals. In the future, the commercial success of biofuels commensurate with consumer demand will depend on the availability of new green (bio)chemical technologies capable of converting waste biomass to fuel in a context of a biorefinery.

  8. Environmental impact assessment of biofuel production on contaminated land - Swedish case studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersson-Skoeld, Yvonne; Suer, Pascal (Swedish Geotechnical Institute, Linkoeping (Sweden)); Blom, Sonja (FB Engineering AB, Goeteborg (Sweden)); Bardos, Paul (r3 Environmental Technology Ltd, Reading (United Kingdom)); Track, Thomas; Polland, Marcel (DECHEMA e. V., Frankfurt am Main (Germany))

    2009-07-01

    This report studies the (possible) cultivation of short rotation wood (Salix Vinimalis) on two contaminated sites from an environmental perspective, through a life cycle analysis (LCA) and carbon footprint, with an outlook towards an overarching method for a qualitative or semi-quantitative analysis based on a life cycle framework. Two areas were selected as case studies: a small site where short rotation crop (Salix Vinimalis) cultivation is in progress and a large site where biofuel production is hypothetical. For the selection of suitable sites, the following aspects were considered: Site location and size, so that biofuel cultivation might be economically viable without a remediation bonus, Topography and soil conditions, so that machinery could be used for cultivation, Time, so that the site was not in urgent need of remediation due to environmental or human health risks, or acute exploitation requirements, Contamination degree, which should not be plant-toxic, Contamination depth, Assessment of optimum crop and its use. For doubtful areas, it is especially important to analyse what the most viable option for the contaminated site is, and what bio-product could be used. For a more comprehensive analysis, which also incorporates local economic and social aspects, the decision support matrix, inter alia, described in the main report of the project Rejuvenate, is recommended. The calculation of emissions for the LCA and the carbon footprint used a German software tool for LCA of soil remediation. The software includes equipment emission data published in 1995. The module 'landfarming' has been used in this study to calculate emissions from herbicide application, fertilisation, ploughing and deep-ploughing, Salix harvest, harrowing etc. Since production of herbicide and Salix Vinimalis shoots were not included in the software, they were not included in the study. The conclusions for the two sites were very similar, in spite of the large differences

  9. Development of a biorefinery optimized biofuel supply curve for the Western United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parker, Nathan [Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California at Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Tittmann, Peter [Department of Geography, University of California at Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Hart, Quinn [Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California at Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Nelson, Richard [Engineering Extension, KSU College of Engineering, 133 Ward Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-2508 (United States); Skog, Ken [Forest Products Laboratory, One Gifford Pinchot Drive, Madison, WI 53726 (United States); Schmidt, Anneliese; Gray, Edward [The Antares Group Inc., 4351 Garden City Drive, Suite 301, Landover, MD 20785 (United States); Jenkins, Bryan [Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California at Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States)

    2010-11-15

    A resource assessment and biorefinery siting optimization model was developed and implemented to assess potential biofuel supply across the Western United States from agricultural, forest, urban, and energy crop biomass. Spatial information including feedstock resources, existing and potential refinery locations and a transportation network model is provided to a mixed integer-linear optimization model that determines the optimal locations, technology types and sizes of biorefineries to satisfy a maximum profit objective function applied across the biofuel supply and demand chain from site of feedstock production to the product fuel terminal. The resource basis includes preliminary considerations of crop and residue sustainability. Sensitivity analyses explore possible effects of policy and technology changes. At a target market price of 19.6 $ GJ{sup -1}, the model predicts a feasible production level of 610-1098 PJ, enough to supply up to 15% of current regional liquid transportation fuel demand. (author)

  10. Reconciling biofuels, sustainability and commodities demand. Pitfalls and policy options

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uslu, A.; Bole, T.; Londo, M. [ECN Policy Studies, Petten (Netherlands); Pelkmans, L. [VITO, Mol (Belgium); Berndes, G. [Chalmers University, Gothenburg (Sweden); Prieler, S.; Fischer, G. [International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IIASA, Laxenburg (Austria); Cueste Cabal, H. [CIEMAT, Madrid (Spain)

    2010-06-15

    Increasing fossil fuel prices, energy security considerations and environmental concerns, particularly concerning climate change, have motivated countries to explore alternative energy sources including biofuels. Global demand for biofuels has been rising rapidly due to biofuel support policies established in many countries. However, proposed strong links between biofuels demand and recent years' high food commodity prices, and notions that increasing biofuels production might bring about serious negative environmental impacts, in particularly associated with the land use change to biofuel crops, have shifted public enthusiasm about biofuels. In this context, the ELOBIO project aims at shedding further light to these aspects of biofuel expansion by collecting and reviewing the available data, and also developing strategies to decrease negative effects of biofuels while enabling their positive contribution to climate change, security of supply and rural development. ELOBIO considers aspects associated with both 1st and 2nd generation biofuels, hence analyses effects on both agricultural commodity markets and lignocellulosic markets. This project, funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme, consists of a review of current experiences with biofuels and other renewable energy policies and their impacts on other markets, iterative stakeholder-supported development of low-disturbing biofuels policies, model supported assessment of these policies' impacts on food, feed and lignocellulosic markets, and finally an assessment of the effects of selected optimal policies on biofuels costs and potentials. Results of the ELOBIO study show that rapid biofuel deployment without careful monitoring of consequences and implementation of mitigating measures risks leading to negative consequences. Implementing ambitious global biofuel targets for 2020, based on current 1st generation technologies, can push international agricultural commodity prices upwards and

  11. Climate, Biofuels and Water: Projections and Sustainability Implications for the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deb, D.; Tuppad, P.; Daggupati, P.; Srinivasan, R.; Varma, D.

    2014-12-01

    Impact of climate change on the water resources of the United States exposes the vulnerability of feedstock-specific mandated fuel targets to extreme weather conditions that could become more frequent and intensify in the future. Consequently, a sustainable biofuel policy should consider a) how climate change would alter both water supply and demand and, b) in turn, how related changes in water availability will impact the production of biofuel crops and c) the environmental implications of large scale biofuel productions. Since, understanding the role of biofuels in the water cycle is key to understanding many of the environmental impacts of biofuels, the focus of this study is on modeling the rarely explored interactions between land use, climate change, water resources and the environment in future biofuel production systems to explore the impacts of the US biofuel policy and climate change on water and agricultural resources. More specifically, this research will address changes in the water demand and availability, soil erosion and water quality driven by both climate change and biomass feedstock production in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. We used the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) hydrologic model to analyze the water quantity and quality consequences of land use and land management related changes in cropping conditions (e.g. more use of marginal lands, greater residue harvest, increased yields), plus management practices due to biofuel crops to meet the RFS target on water quality and quantity. Results show that even if the Upper Mississippi River Basin is a region of low water stress, it contributes to high nutrient load in Gulf of Mexico through seasonal shifts in streamflow, changes in extreme high and low flow events, changes in loadings and transport of sediments and nutrients due to changes in precipitation patterns and intensity, changes in frequency of occurrence of floods and drought, early melting of snow and ice, increasing

  12. The water footprint of biofuel produced from forest wood residue via a mixed alcohol gasification process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Yi-Wen; Wu, May

    2013-09-01

    Forest residue has been proposed as a feasible candidate for cellulosic biofuels. However, the number of studies assessing its water use remains limited. This work aims to analyze the impacts of forest-based biofuel on water resources and quality by using a water footprint approach. A method established here is tailored to the production system, which includes softwood, hardwood, and short-rotation woody crops. The method is then applied to selected areas in the southeastern region of the United States to quantify the county-level water footprint of the biofuel produced via a mixed alcohol gasification process, under several logistic systems, and at various refinery scales. The results indicate that the blue water sourced from surface or groundwater is minimal, at 2.4 liters per liter of biofuel (l/l). The regional-average green water (rainfall) footprint falls between 400 and 443 l/l. The biofuel pathway appears to have a low nitrogen grey water footprint averaging 25 l/l at the regional level, indicating minimal impacts on water quality. Feedstock mix plays a key role in determining the magnitude and the spatial distribution of the water footprint in these regions. Compared with other potential feedstock, forest wood residue shows promise with its low blue and grey water footprint.

  13. Next-generation biofuels: Survey of emerging technologies and sustainability issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinoviev, Sergey; Müller-Langer, Franziska; Das, Piyali; Bertero, Nicolás; Fornasiero, Paolo; Kaltschmitt, Martin; Centi, Gabriele; Miertus, Stanislav

    2010-10-25

    Next-generation biofuels, such as cellulosic bioethanol, biomethane from waste, synthetic biofuels obtained via gasification of biomass, biohydrogen, and others, are currently at the center of the attention of technologists and policy makers in search of the more sustainable biofuel of tomorrow. To set realistic targets for future biofuel options, it is important to assess their sustainability according to technical, economical, and environmental measures. With this aim, the review presents a comprehensive overview of the chemistry basis and of the technology related aspects of next generation biofuel production, as well as it addresses related economic issues and environmental implications. Opportunities and limits are discussed in terms of technical applicability of existing and emerging technology options to bio-waste feedstock, and further development forecasts are made based on the existing social-economic and market situation, feedstock potentials, and other global aspects. As the latter ones are concerned, the emphasis is placed on the opportunities and challenges of developing countries in adoption of this new industry.

  14. Biofuel Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biofuel Database (Web, free access)   This database brings together structural, biological, and thermodynamic data for enzymes that are either in current use or are being considered for use in the production of biofuels.

  15. Theoretical Calculations on the Feasibility of Microalgal Biofuels: Utilization of Marine Resources Could Help Realizing the Potential of Microalgae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hanwool; Lee, Choul-Gyun

    2016-11-01

    Microalgae have long been considered as one of most promising feedstocks with better characteristics for biofuels production over conventional energy crops. There have been a wide range of estimations on the feasibility of microalgal biofuels based on various productivity assumptions and data from different scales. The theoretical maximum algal biofuel productivity, however, can be calculated by the amount of solar irradiance and photosynthetic efficiency (PE), assuming other conditions are within the optimal range. Using the actual surface solar irradiance data around the world and PE of algal culture systems, maximum algal biomass and biofuel productivities were calculated, and feasibility of algal biofuel were assessed with the estimation. The results revealed that biofuel production would not easily meet the economic break-even point and may not be sustainable at a large-scale with the current algal biotechnology. Substantial reductions in the production cost, improvements in lipid productivity, recycling of resources, and utilization of non-conventional resources will be necessary for feasible mass production of algal biofuel. Among the emerging technologies, cultivation of microalgae in the ocean shows great potentials to meet the resource requirements and economic feasibility in algal biofuel production by utilizing various marine resources.

  16. Theoretical Calculations on the Feasibility of Microalgal Biofuels: Utilization of Marine Resources Could Help Realizing the Potential of Microalgae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hanwool

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Microalgae have long been considered as one of most promising feedstocks with better characteristics for biofuels production over conventional energy crops. There have been a wide range of estimations on the feasibility of microalgal biofuels based on various productivity assumptions and data from different scales. The theoretical maximum algal biofuel productivity, however, can be calculated by the amount of solar irradiance and photosynthetic efficiency (PE), assuming other conditions are within the optimal range. Using the actual surface solar irradiance data around the world and PE of algal culture systems, maximum algal biomass and biofuel productivities were calculated, and feasibility of algal biofuel were assessed with the estimation. The results revealed that biofuel production would not easily meet the economic break‐even point and may not be sustainable at a large‐scale with the current algal biotechnology. Substantial reductions in the production cost, improvements in lipid productivity, recycling of resources, and utilization of non‐conventional resources will be necessary for feasible mass production of algal biofuel. Among the emerging technologies, cultivation of microalgae in the ocean shows great potentials to meet the resource requirements and economic feasibility in algal biofuel production by utilizing various marine resources. PMID:27782372

  17. Spatio-Temporal Impacts of Biofuel Production and Climate Variability on Water Quantity and Quality in Upper Mississippi River Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debjani Deb

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Impact of climate change on the water resources of the United States exposes the vulnerability of feedstock-specific mandated fuel targets to extreme weather conditions that could become more frequent and intensify in the future. Consequently, a sustainable biofuel policy should consider: (a how climate change would alter both water supply and demand; and (b in turn, how related changes in water availability will impact the production of biofuel crops; and (c the environmental implications of large scale biofuel productions. Understanding the role of biofuels in the water cycle is the key to understanding many of the environmental impacts of biofuels. Therefore, the focus of this study is to model the rarely explored interactions between land use, climate change, water resources and the environment in future biofuel production systems. Results from this study will help explore the impacts of the US biofuel policy and climate change on water and agricultural resources. We used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT to analyze the water quantity and quality consequences of land use and land management related changes in cropping conditions (e.g., more use of marginal lands, greater residue harvest, increased yields, plus management practices due to biofuel crops to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard target on water quality and quantity.

  18. Development of a multicriteria assessment model for ranking biomass feedstock collection and transportation systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Amit; Sokhansanj, Shahab; Flynn, Peter C

    2006-01-01

    This study details multicriteria assessment methodology that integrates economic, social, environmental, and technical factors in order to rank alternatives for biomass collection and transportation systems. Ranking of biomass collection systems is based on cost of delivered biomass, quality of biomass supplied, emissions during collection, energy input to the chain operations, and maturity of supply system technologies. The assessment methodology is used to evaluate alternatives for collecting 1.8 x 10(6) dry t/yr based on assumptions made on performance of various assemblies of biomass collection systems. A proposed collection option using loafer/ stacker was shown to be the best option followed by ensiling and baling. Ranking of biomass transport systems is based on cost of biomass transport, emissions during transport, traffic congestion, and maturity of different technologies. At a capacity of 4 x 10(6) dry t/yr, rail transport was shown to be the best option, followed by truck transport and pipeline transport, respectively. These rankings depend highly on assumed maturity of technologies and scale of utilization. These may change if technologies such as loafing or ensiling (wet storage) methods are proved to be infeasible for large-scale collection systems.

  19. The Policy Objectives of a Biofuel Industry in Canada: An Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danny G. Le Roy

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Canada has a huge stock of biomass resources, which provides a basis (and a temptation for development of a major bio-fuels industry. Both federal and provincial governments have engaged in a wide array of subsidies, mandates, and other measures to stimulate production and consumption of biofuels. As a result, biofuels has become a growth industry in Canada with production of ethanol almost 10 times higher than it was ten years earlier. However, this has come at considerable cost to taxpayers. Increased biofuel production has resulted in minimal reduction in greenhouse gases, short run (but not long run increases in net farm income (that benefited grain and oilseed producers but hurt livestock producers, large increases in the prices of farm land due to the higher grain and oilseed prices, and minimal impacts on rural economic diversification.

  20. 从生物燃料原料的开发现状看生物燃料发展的利与弊%Discussion on Advantages and Disadvantages of Biofuel Development From the Aspect of Development Status of Biofuel Feedstocks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张玉玺

    2013-01-01

    生物燃料技术已经发展到了第四代。通过对生物乙醇、纤维素乙醇、薇藻生物燃料、负碳生物燃料的发展介绍,分析了生物燃料的发展中存在的与人争粮和成本高等弊端,指明了生物燃料未来发展,技术是突破口;环保、节能是最大优势。%The biofuel technology has advanced to the fourth generation. In this paper, development of bio-ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, Wei algae biofuel and carbon-negative biofuel was introduced,disadvantages of developing biofuels were analyzed, the future development trend of biofuels was pointed out.

  1. Identifying the point of departures for the detailed sustainability assessment of biomass feedstocks for biorefinery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parajuli, Ranjan; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Dalgaard, Tommy

    In the light of sustainable development in the energy sector, biomasses have gained increasing attention, which have exacerbated competition among them. Biorefineries are increasing its hold in developed economies, since it facilitates the delivery of multiple products including food, feed...... for biorefineries and potential impacts to the existing market. This study aims to assist in the sustainability assessment of straw conversion in the biochemical conversion routes to deliver bioethanol and other biobased products. For the comparison, conversion of straw to produce heat and electricity in a Combined...... Eutrophication Potential (EP) 0.16 g NO3-eq and 0.008 m2 UES respectively, and Non-Renewable Energy Use (NRE use) as −0.14 MJ-primary per 1 MJ heat production. In order to reduce the environmental and economic loadings, it might be relevant: (i) to reduce the consequences related to the straw removal from field...

  2. FINAL TECHNICAL REPORT FOR FORESTRY BIOFUEL STATEWIDE COLLABORATION CENTER (MICHIGAN)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    LaCourt, Donna M.; Miller, Raymond O.; Shonnard, David R.

    2012-04-24

    A team composed of scientists from Michigan State University (MSU) and Michigan Technological University (MTU) assembled to better understand, document, and improve systems for using forest-based biomass feedstocks in the production of energy products within Michigan. Work was funded by a grant (DE-EE-0000280) from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and was administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The goal of the project was to improve the forest feedstock supply infrastructure to sustainably provide woody biomass for biofuel production in Michigan over the long-term. Work was divided into four broad areas with associated objectives: • TASK A: Develop a Forest-Based Biomass Assessment for Michigan – Define forest-based feedstock inventory, availability, and the potential of forest-based feedstock to support state and federal renewable energy goals while maintaining current uses. • TASK B: Improve Harvesting, Processing and Transportation Systems – Identify and develop cost, energy, and carbon efficient harvesting, processing and transportation systems. • TASK C: Improve Forest Feedstock Productivity and Sustainability – Identify and develop sustainable feedstock production systems through the establishment and monitoring of a statewide network of field trials in forests and energy plantations. • TASK D: Engage Stakeholders – Increase understanding of forest biomass production systems for biofuels by a broad range of stakeholders. The goal and objectives of this research and development project were fulfilled with key model deliverables including: 1) The Forest Biomass Inventory System (Sub-task A1) of feedstock inventory and availability and, 2) The Supply Chain Model (Sub-task B2). Both models are vital to Michigan’s forest biomass industry and support forecasting delivered cost, as well as carbon and energy balance. All of these elements are important to facilitate investor, operational and policy decisions. All

  3. Optimal localisation of next generation Biofuel production in Sweden

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wetterlund, Elisabeth [Linkoeping Univ., Linkoeping (Sweden); Pettersson, Karin [Chalmers Univ. of Technology, Goeteborg (Sweden); Mossberg, Johanna [SP Technical Research Inst. of Sweden, Boraas (Sweden)] [and others

    2013-09-01

    With a high availability of lignocellulosic biomass and various types of cellulosic by-products, as well as a large number of industries, Sweden is a country of great interest for future large scale production of sustainable, next generation biofuels. This is most likely also a necessity as Sweden has the ambition to be independent of fossil fuels in the transport sector by the year 2030 and completely fossil free by 2050. In order to reach competitive biofuel production costs, plants with large production capacities are likely to be required. Feedstock intake capacities in the range of about 1-2 million tonnes per year, corresponding to a biomass feed of 300-600 MW, can be expected, which may lead to major logistical challenges. To enable expansion of biofuel production in such large plants, as well as provide for associated distribution requirements, it is clear that substantial infrastructure planning will be needed. The geographical location of the production plant facilities is therefore of crucial importance and must be strategic to minimise the transports of raw material as well as of final product. Competition for the available feedstock, from for example forest industries and CHP plants (combined heat and power) further complicates the localisation problem. Since the potential for an increased biomass utilisation is limited, high overall resource efficiency is of great importance. Integration of biofuel production processes in existing industries or in district heating systems may be beneficial from several aspects, such as opportunities for efficient heat integration, feedstock and equipment integration, as well as access to existing experience and know-how. This report describes the development of Be Where Sweden, a geographically explicit optimisation model for localisation of next generation biofuel production plants in Sweden. The main objective of developing such a model is to be able to assess production plant locations that are robust to varying

  4. An Overview of Algae Biofuel Production and Potential Environmental Impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algae are among the most potentially significant sources of sustainable biofuels in the future of renewable energy. A feedstock with virtually unlimited applicability, algae can metabolize various waste streams (e.g., municipal wastewater, carbon dioxide from industrial flue gas)...

  5. Chemistry and microbial functional diversity differences in biofuel crop and grassland soils in multiple geographies

    Science.gov (United States)

    As crop and non-crop lands are increasingly converted to biofuel feedstock production, it is of interest to identify potential impacts of annual and perennial feedstocks on soil ecosystem services. Soil samples were obtained from diverse regionally distributed biofuel cropping si...

  6. The Theory of Biofuel Policy and Food Grain Prices

    OpenAIRE

    Drabik, Dusan

    2011-01-01

    We develop an analytical framework to assess the market effects of alternative biofuel policies (including subsidies to feedstocks). U.S. corn-ethanol policies are used as an example to study the effects on corn prices. We determine the ‘no policy’ ethanol price; analyze the implications for the ‘no policy’ corn price and resulting ‘water’ in the ethanol price premium due to policy; and generalize the unique interaction effects between mandates and tax credits to include ethanol and corn prod...

  7. Biofuels combustion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westbrook, Charles K

    2013-01-01

    This review describes major features of current research in renewable fuels derived from plants and from fatty acids. Recent and ongoing fundamental studies of biofuel molecular structure, oxidation reactions, and biofuel chemical properties are reviewed, in addition to combustion applications of biofuels in the major types of engines in which biofuels are used. Biofuels and their combustion are compared with combustion features of conventional petroleum-based fuels. Two main classes of biofuels are described, those consisting of small, primarily alcohol, fuels (particularly ethanol, n-butanol, and iso-pentanol) that are used primarily to replace or supplement gasoline and those derived from fatty acids and used primarily to replace or supplement conventional diesel fuels. Research efforts on so-called second- and third-generation biofuels are discussed briefly.

  8. Assessment of the influence of energy density and feedstock transport distance on the environmental performance of methane from maize silages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacenetti, Jacopo; Lovarelli, Daniela; Ingrao, Carlo; Tricase, Caterina; Negri, Marco; Fiala, Marco

    2015-10-01

    In Europe, thanks to public subsidy, the production of electricity from anaerobic digestion (AD) of agricultural feedstock has considerably grown and several AD plants were built. When AD plants are concentrated in specific areas (e.g., Northern Italy), increases of feedstock' prices and transport distances can be observed. In this context, as regards low-energy density feedstock, the present research was designed to estimate the influence of the related long-distance transport on the environmental performances of the biogas-to-electricity process. For this purpose the following transport systems were considered: farm trailers and trucks. For small distances (silage shows the lowest impact; however, when distances increase, silages with higher energy density (even though characterised by lower methane production per hectare) become more environmentally sustainable. The transport by trucks achieves better environmental performances especially for distances greater than 25 km.

  9. Environmental life cycle assessment of producing willow, alfalfa and straw from spring barley as feedstocks for bioenergy or biorefinery systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parajuli, Ranjan; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Djomo, Sylvestre Njakou; Corona, Andrea; Birkved, Morten; Dalgaard, Tommy

    2017-05-15

    The current study aimed at evaluating potential environmental impacts for the production of willow, alfalfa and straw from spring barley as feedstocks for bioenergy or biorefinery systems. A method of Life Cycle Assessment was used to evaluate based on the following impact categories: Global Warming Potential (GWP100), Eutrophication Potential (EP), Non-Renewable Energy (NRE) use, Agricultural Land Occupation (ALO), Potential Freshwater Ecotoxicity (PFWTox) and Soil quality. With regard to the methods, soil organic carbon (SOC) change related to the land occupation was calculated based on the net carbon input to the soil. Freshwater ecotoxicity was calculated using the comparative toxicity units of the active ingredients and their average emission distribution fractions to air and freshwater. Soil quality was based on the change in the SOC stock estimated during the land use transformation and land occupation. Environmental impacts for straw were economically allocated from the impacts obtained for spring barley. The results obtained per ton dry matter showed a lower carbon footprint for willow and alfalfa compared to straw. It was due to higher soil carbon sequestration and lower N2O emissions. Likewise, willow and alfalfa had lower EP than straw. Straw had lowest NRE use compared to other biomasses. PFWTox was lower in willow and alfalfa compared to straw. A critical negative effect on soil quality was found with the spring barley production and hence for straw. Based on the energy output to input ratio, willow performed better than other biomasses. On the basis of carbohydrate content of straw, the equivalent dry matter of alfalfa and willow would be requiring higher. The environmental impacts of the selected biomasses in biorefinery therefore would differ based on the conversion efficiency, e.g. of the carbohydrates in the related biorefinery processes.

  10. Global evaluation of biofuel potential from microalgae

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Research into microalgae as a feedstock for biofuels continues to increase because of the inherent potential advantages it holds over traditional terrestrial feedstocks. However, the true near-term large-scale productivity of microalgae remains uncertain. This study integrates a large-scale, outdoor growth model with historical meteorological data from 4,388 global locations to estimate the current near-term lipid and biomass productivity potential from microalgae cultivated in a photobioreac...

  11. Geospatial Assessment of Long-Term Sustainability of Biomass Feedstock Supplies: Erosion, Soil Biomass Accumulation, Greenhouse Gasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosentrater, K. A.; Kaleita, A. L.

    2013-12-01

    In the past decade, the corn grain-based fuel ethanol industry has grown exponentially. Now, stakeholders within the corn grain producing regions of the midwestern United States are seeking to develop advanced biofuels from abundant post-harvest lignocellulosic corn stover resides. How sustainable are these biofuels? Scientific guidelines regarding the sustainable use of corn grain and stover to maintain soil quality have not been clearly defined, due in part to the complexity of agricultural soil systems and the dearth of robust and consistent data. The objective of this study was to examine the long-term sustainability of corn stover harvest for economically relevant agricultural production scenarios focused on the state of Iowa. We used the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model to simulate soil erosion and biomass returned to the soil under two crop rotation scenarios (continuous corn vs. corn-soybean rotation), three corn stover removal rates (0, 50, 100% removed), and three tillage intensities (no till (NT), intermediate till (IT), conventional till (CT)). Calculations were aggregated to the township-scale using multiple sampling points from the USDA Natural Resources Inventory per township within each county, for a total of 17,848 sampling points throughout the state. This accounted for the topographical and soils variation within the state; use of county weather stations incorporated climate variations. Statistical characterization and GIS visualization were used to illustrate and interpret the results. Wide variations in biomass accumulation/erosion/GHG impacts were observed across agronomic scenarios and landform regions throughout Iowa, and biomass management and tillage intensity impacted on-site soil quality and the off-site environment. Soil biomass was primarily affected by stover removal rate, with soybean rotation also reducing soil biomass. Soil erosion was primarily affected by slope and tillage, with stover removal rate playing a lesser

  12. Environmental and sustainability factors associated with next-generation biofuels in the U.S.: what do we really know?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Pamela R D; Inman, Daniel; Aden, Andy; Heath, Garvin A

    2009-07-01

    In this paper, we assess what is known or anticipated about environmental and sustainability factors associated with next-generation biofuels relative to the primary conventional biofuels (i.e., corn grain-based ethanol and soybean-based diesel) in the United States during feedstock production and conversion processes. Factors considered include greenhouse (GHG) emissions, air pollutant emissions, soil health and quality, water use and water quality, wastewater and solid waste streams, and biodiversity and land-use changes. Based on our review of the available literature, we find that the production of next-generation feedstocks in the U.S. (e.g., municipal solid waste, forest residues, dedicated energy crops, microalgae) are expected to fare better than corn-grain or soybean production on most of these factors, although the magnitude of these differences may vary significantly among feedstocks. Ethanol produced using a biochemical or thermochemical conversion platform is expected to result in fewer GHG and air pollutant emissions, but to have similar or potentially greater water demands and solid waste streams than conventional ethanol biorefineries in the U.S. However, these conversion-related differences are likely to be small, particularly relative to those associated with feedstock production. Modeling performed for illustrative purposes and to allow for standardized quantitative comparisons across feedstocks and conversion technologies generally confirms the findings from the literature. Despite current expectations, significant uncertainty remains regarding how well next-generation biofuels will fare on different environmental and sustainability factors when produced on a commercial scale in the U.S. Additional research is needed in several broad areas including quantifying impacts, designing standardized metrics and approaches, and developing decision-support tools to identify and quantify environmental trade-offs and ensure sustainable biofuels production.

  13. Strategic environmental assessment for sustainable expansion of palm oil biofuels in Brazilian north region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carvalho, Carolina

    2010-09-15

    Biofuels development in Brazil is a key factor for the environment and sustainable development of the country. Brazil has great potential of available areas and has favourable climate and geography for biofuel production, such as palm oil, soy, sugar cane, etc. This research aims to evaluate palm oil production and expansion in Para state, in the north of Brazil and also Amazonian territory. Degraded land will be evaluated through remote sensing, because palm oil crops should be placed in these lands, and secondly, expansion scenarios would be created. This PhD research will be a decision support tool for public policies.

  14. IDB Biofuels Sustainability Scorecard

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    This document presents the IDB Biofuels Sustainability Scorecard user's guide. The primary objective of the Scorecard is to provide a tool to think through the complex issues associated with biofuels from the field to the tank, thereby encouraging higher levels of sustainability in such projects. While the Scorecard addresses many sustainability issues, it should not be used as a replacement for certification schemes and/or life-cycle assessment tools, but rather should inform these processes...

  15. Sustainable Process Design of Lignocellulose based Biofuel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mangnimit, Saranya; Malakul, Pomthong; Gani, Rafiqul

    the production and use of alternative and sustainable energy sources as rapidly as possible. Biofuel is a type of alternative energy that can be produced from many sources including sugar substances (such as sugarcane juice and molasses), starchy materials (such as corn and cassava), and lignocellulosic...... available, and are also non-food crops. In this respect, Cassava rhizome has several characteristics that make it a potential feedstock for fuel ethanol production. It has high content of cellulose and hemicelluloses . The objective of this paper is to present a study focused on the sustainable process...... design of bioethanol production from cassava rhizome using various computer aided tools through a systematic and effiicient work-flow, The study includes process simulation, sustainability analysis, economic evaluation and life cycle assessment (LCA) according to a well-defined workflow that guarantees...

  16. Process modeling and supply chain design for advanced biofuel production based on bio-oil gasification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qi

    As a potential substitute for petroleum-based fuel, second generation biofuels are playing an increasingly important role due to their economic, environmental, and social benefits. With the rapid development of biofuel industry, there has been an increasing literature on the techno-economic analysis and supply chain design for biofuel production based on a variety of production pathways. A recently proposed production pathway of advanced biofuel is to convert biomass to bio-oil at widely distributed small-scale fast pyrolysis plants, then gasify the bio-oil to syngas and upgrade the syngas to transportation fuels in centralized biorefinery. This thesis aims to investigate two types of assessments on this bio-oil gasification pathway: techno-economic analysis based on process modeling and literature data; supply chain design with a focus on optimal decisions for number of facilities to build, facility capacities and logistic decisions considering uncertainties. A detailed process modeling with corn stover as feedstock and liquid fuels as the final products is presented. Techno-economic analysis of the bio-oil gasification pathway is also discussed to assess the economic feasibility. Some preliminary results show a capital investment of 438 million dollar and minimum fuel selling price (MSP) of $5.6 per gallon of gasoline equivalent. The sensitivity analysis finds that MSP is most sensitive to internal rate of return (IRR), biomass feedstock cost, and fixed capital cost. A two-stage stochastic programming is formulated to solve the supply chain design problem considering uncertainties in biomass availability, technology advancement, and biofuel price. The first-stage makes the capital investment decisions including the locations and capacities of the decentralized fast pyrolysis plants and the centralized biorefinery while the second-stage determines the biomass and biofuel flows. The numerical results and case study illustrate that considering uncertainties can be

  17. 77 FR 17001 - USDA Public Stakeholder Meeting: Match Making in the Biofuels Value Chain

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-23

    ... USDA Public Stakeholder Meeting: Match Making in the Biofuels Value Chain AGENCY: Office of the Chief...: Phone number: Email: Web site: Please Describe Your Position on the Biofuels Production Value Chain... understanding of the biofuels supply chain links between all those involved in feedstock production and...

  18. 76 FR 5154 - Availability of Draft Report, Biofuels and the Environment: First Triennial Report to Congress

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-28

    ... entire biofuel supply chain, including feedstock production and logistics, and biofuel production, distribution, and use. Throughout the biofuel supply chain, activities take place and materials are used that... Information Management Team, NCEA; telephone: 703-347-8561; facsimile: 703-347- 8691. If you are requesting...

  19. Life cycle assessment of energy products: environmental impact assessment of biofuels; Ecobilan d'agents energetiques. Evaluation ecologique de biocarburants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zah, R.; Boeni, H.; Gauch, M.; Hischier, R.; Lehmann, M.; Waeger, P.

    2007-05-15

    This final report for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) deals with the results of a study that evaluated the environmental impact of the entire production chain of fuels made from biomass and used in Switzerland. Firstly, the study supplies an analysis of the possible environmental impacts of biofuels that can be used as a basis for political decisions. Secondly, an environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of various biofuels is presented. In addition, the impacts of fuel use are compared with other uses for bioenergy such as the generation of electricity and heat. The methods used in the LCA are discussed, including the Swiss method of ecological scarcity (Environmental Impact Points, UBP 06), and the European Eco-indicator 99 method. The results of the study are discussed, including the finding that not all biofuels can reduce environmental impacts as compared to fossil fuels. The role to be played by biofuels produced in an environmentally-friendly way together with other forms of renewable energy in our future energy supply is discussed.

  20. Development of High Yield Feedstocks and Biomass Conversion Technology for Renewable Energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hashimoto, Andrew G. [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Crow, Susan [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); DeBeryshe, Barbara [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Ha, Richard [Hamakua Springs County Farms, Hilo, HI (United States); Jakeway, Lee [Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company, Puunene, HI (United States); Khanal, Samir [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Nakahata, Mae [Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company, Puunene, HI (United States); Ogoshi, Richard [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Shimizu, Erik [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Stern, Ivette [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Turano, Brian [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Turn, Scott [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Yanagida, John [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States)

    2015-04-09

    This project had two main goals. The first goal was to evaluate several high yielding tropical perennial grasses as feedstock for biofuel production, and to characterize the feedstock for compatible biofuel production systems. The second goal was to assess the integration of renewable energy systems for Hawaii. The project focused on high-yield grasses (napiergrass, energycane, sweet sorghum, and sugarcane). Field plots were established to evaluate the effects of elevation (30, 300 and 900 meters above sea level) and irrigation (50%, 75% and 100% of sugarcane plantation practice) on energy crop yields and input. The test plots were extensive monitored including: hydrologic studies to measure crop water use and losses through seepage and evapotranspiration; changes in soil carbon stock; greenhouse gas flux (CO2, CH4, and N2O) from the soil surface; and root morphology, biomass, and turnover. Results showed significant effects of environment on crop yields. In general, crop yields decrease as the elevation increased, being more pronounced for sweet sorghum and energycane than napiergrass. Also energy crop yields were higher with increased irrigation levels, being most pronounced with energycane and less so with sweet sorghum. Daylight length greatly affected sweet sorghum growth and yields. One of the energy crops (napiergrass) was harvested at different ages (2, 4, 6, and 8 months) to assess the changes in feedstock characteristics with age and potential to generate co-products. Although there was greater potential for co-products from younger feedstock, the increased production was not sufficient to offset the additional cost of harvesting multiple times per year. The feedstocks were also characterized to assess their compatibility with biochemical and thermochemical conversion processes. The project objectives are being continued through additional support from the Office of Naval Research, and the Biomass Research and Development

  1. The Third Pacific Basin Biofuels Workshop: Proceedings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Among the many compelling reasons for the development of biofuels on remote Pacific islands, several of the most important include: (1) a lack of indigenous fossil fuels necessitates their import at great economic loss to local island economics, (2) ideal conditions for plant growth exist on many Pacific islands to produce yields of biomass feedstocks, (3) gaseous and liquid fuels such as methane, methanol and ethanol manufactured locally from biomass feedstocks are the most viable alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuels for transportation, and (4) the combustion of biofuels is cleaner than burning petroleum products and contributes no net atmospheric CO2 to aggravate the greenhouse effect and the subsequent threat of sea level rise to low islands. Dr. Vic Phillips, HNEI Program Manager of the Hawaii Integrated Biofuels Research Program welcomed 60 participants to the Third Pacific Basin Biofuels Workshop at the Sheraton Makaha Hotel, Waianae, Oahu, on March 27 and 28, 1989. The objectives of the workshop were to update progress since the Second Pacific Basin Biofuels Workshop in April 1987 and to develop a plan for action for biofuels R and D, technology transfer, and commercialization now (immediate attention), in the near-term (less than two years), in the mid-term (three to five years), and in the long-term (more than six years). An emerging theme of the workshop was how the production, conversion, and utilization of biofuels can help increase environmental and economic security locally and globally. Individual papers are processed separately for the data base.

  2. Coupling of algal biofuel production with wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, Neha Chamoli; Panwar, Amit; Bisht, Tara Singh; Tamta, Sushma

    2014-01-01

    Microalgae have gained enormous consideration from scientific community worldwide emerging as a viable feedstock for a renewable energy source virtually being carbon neutral, high lipid content, and comparatively more advantageous to other sources of biofuels. Although microalgae are seen as a valuable source in majority part of the world for production of biofuels and bioproducts, still they are unable to accomplish sustainable large-scale algal biofuel production. Wastewater has organic and inorganic supplements required for algal growth. The coupling of microalgae with wastewater is an effective way of waste remediation and a cost-effective microalgal biofuel production. In this review article, we will primarily discuss the possibilities and current scenario regarding coupling of microalgal cultivation with biofuel production emphasizing recent progress in this area.

  3. Coupling of Algal Biofuel Production with Wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neha Chamoli Bhatt

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Microalgae have gained enormous consideration from scientific community worldwide emerging as a viable feedstock for a renewable energy source virtually being carbon neutral, high lipid content, and comparatively more advantageous to other sources of biofuels. Although microalgae are seen as a valuable source in majority part of the world for production of biofuels and bioproducts, still they are unable to accomplish sustainable large-scale algal biofuel production. Wastewater has organic and inorganic supplements required for algal growth. The coupling of microalgae with wastewater is an effective way of waste remediation and a cost-effective microalgal biofuel production. In this review article, we will primarily discuss the possibilities and current scenario regarding coupling of microalgal cultivation with biofuel production emphasizing recent progress in this area.

  4. A Landscape Vision for Sustainable Bioenergy Feedstock Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feedstock production for biofuel and other bioproducts is poised to rejuvenate rural economies, but may lead to long-term degradation of soil resources or other adverse and unintended environmental consequences if the practices are not developed in a sustainable manner. This presentation will examin...

  5. Assessing microalgae biorefinery routes for the production of biofuels via hydrothermal liquefaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Barreiro, Diego; Samorì, Chiara; Terranella, Giuseppe; Hornung, Ursel; Kruse, Andrea; Prins, Wolter

    2014-12-01

    The interest in third generation biofuels from microalgae has been rising during the past years. Meanwhile, it seems not economically feasible to grow algae just for biofuels. Co-products with a higher value should be produced by extracting a particular algae fraction to improve the economics of an algae biorefinery. The present study aims at analyzing the influence of two main microalgae components (lipids and proteins) on the composition and quantity of biocrude oil obtained via hydrothermal liquefaction of two strains (Nannochloropsis gaditana and Scenedesmus almeriensis). The algae were liquefied as raw biomass, after extracting lipids and after extracting proteins in microautoclave experiments at different temperatures (300-375°C) for 5 and 15min. The results indicate that extracting the proteins from the microalgae prior to HTL may be interesting to improve the economics of the process while at the same time reducing the nitrogen content of the biocrude oil.

  6. Global land use implications of biofuels: State of the art conference and workshop on modelling global land use implications in the environmental assessment of biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kløverpris, J.; Wenzel, H.; Banse, M.A.H.; Mila I. Canals, L.; Reenberg, A.

    2008-01-01

    Background, Aims and Scope On 4¿5 June 2007, an international conference was held in Copenhagen. It provided an interdisciplinary forum where economists and geographers met with LCA experts to discuss the challenges of modelling the ultimate land use changes caused by an increased demand for biofuel

  7. [Biofuels, food security and transgenic crops].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, Orlando; Chaparro-Giraldo, Alejandro

    2009-01-01

    Soaring global food prices are threatening to push more poor people back below the poverty line; this will probably become aggravated by the serious challenge that increasing population and climate changes are posing for food security. There is growing evidence that human activities involving fossil fuel consumption and land use are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and consequently changing the climate worldwide. The finite nature of fossil fuel reserves is causing concern about energy security and there is a growing interest in the use of renewable energy sources such as biofuels. There is growing concern regarding the fact that biofuels are currently produced from food crops, thereby leading to an undesirable competition for their use as food and feed. Nevertheless, biofuels can be produced from other feedstocks such as lingo-cellulose from perennial grasses, forestry and vegetable waste. Biofuel energy content should not be exceeded by that of the fossil fuel invested in its production to ensure that it is energetically sustainable; however, biofuels must also be economically competitive and environmentally acceptable. Climate change and biofuels are challenging FAO efforts aimed at eradicating hunger worldwide by the next decade. Given that current crops used in biofuel production have not been domesticated for this purpose, transgenic technology can offer an enormous contribution towards improving biofuel crops' environmental and economic performance. The present paper critically presents some relevant relationships between biofuels, food security and transgenic plant technology.

  8. Assessing the quality of a deliberative democracy mini-public event about advanced biofuel production and development in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longstaff, Holly; Secko, David M

    2016-02-01

    The importance of evaluating deliberative public engagement events is well recognized, but such activities are rarely conducted for a variety of theoretical, political and practical reasons. In this article, we provide an assessment of the criteria presented in the 2008 National Research Council report on Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making (NRC report) as explicit indicators of quality for the 2012 'Advanced Biofuels' deliberative democracy event. The National Research Council's criteria were selected to evaluate this event because they are decision oriented, are the products of an exhaustive review of similar past events, are intended specifically for environmental processes and encompass many of the criteria presented in other evaluation frameworks. It is our hope that the results of our study may encourage others to employ and assess the National Research Council's criteria as a generalizable benchmark that may justifiably be used in forthcoming deliberative events exploring different topics with different audiences.

  9. Biofuels worldwide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    His, St

    2004-07-01

    After over 20 years of industrial development, the outlook for biofuels now looks bright. Recent developments indicate that the use of biofuels, previously confined to a handful of countries including Brazil and the United States, is 'going global' and a world market may emerge. However, these prospects could eventually be limited by constraints relative to resources and costs. The future of biofuels probably depends on the development of new technologies to valorize lignocellulosic substances such as wood and straw. (author)

  10. Hawaii integrated biofuels research program, phase 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Patrick K.

    1989-10-01

    Hawaii provides a unique environment for production of biomass resources that can be converted into renewable energy products. The purpose of this work is to evaluate the potential of several biomass resources, including sugarcane, eucalyptus, and leucaena, particularly for utilization in thermochemical conversion processes to produce liquid or gaseous transportation fuels. This research program supports ongoing efforts of the Biofuels and Municipal Solid Waste Technology (BMWT) Program of the Department of Energy (DOE) and has goals that are consistent with BMWT. The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) work completed here consists of research activities that support two of the five renewable fuel cycles being pursued by DOE researchers. The results are directly applicable in the American territories throughout the Pacific Basin and the Caribbean, and also to many parts of the United States and worldwide. The Hawaii Integrated Biofuels Research Program is organized into the following six research tasks, which are presented as appendices in report form: Biomass Resource Assessment and System Modeling (Task 1); Bioenergy Tree Research (Task 2); Breeding, Culture, and Selection of Tropical Grasses for Increased Energy Potential (Task 3); Study of Eucalyptus Plantations for Energy Production in Hawaii (Task 4); Fundamental Solvolysis Research (Task 5); and Effects of Feedstock Composition on Pyrolysis Products (Task 6).

  11. Water quality under increased biofuel production and future climate change and uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demissie, Y. K.; Yan, E.

    2015-12-01

    Over the past decade, biofuel has emerged as an important renewable energy source to supplement gasoline and reduce the associated greenhouse gas emission. Many countries, for instant, have adopted biofuel production goals to blend 10% or more of gasoline with biofuels within 10 to 20 years. However, meeting these goals requires sustainable production of biofuel feedstock which can be challenging under future change in climate and extreme weather conditions, as well as the likely impacts of biofuel feedstock production on water quality and availability. To understand this interrelationship and the combined effects of increased biofuel production and climate change on regional and local water resources, we have performed watershed hydrology and water quality analyses for the Ohio River Basin. The basin is one of the major biofuel feedstock producing region in the United States, which also currently contributes about half of the flow and one third of phosphorus and nitrogen loadings to the Mississippi River that eventually flows to the Gulf of Mexico. The analyses integrate future scenarios and climate change and biofuel development through various mixes of landuse and agricultural management changes and examine their potential impacts on regional and local hydrology, water quality, soil erosion, and agriculture productivity. The results of the study are expected to provide much needed insight about the sustainability of large-scale biofuel feedstock production under the future climate change and uncertainty, and helps to further optimize the feedstock production taking into consideration the water-use efficiency.

  12. Life Cycle Energy and CO2 Emission Optimization for Biofuel Supply Chain Planning under Uncertainties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ren, Jingzheng; An, Da; Liang, Hanwei

    2016-01-01

    in this study. A bi-objective interval mix integer programming model has been developed for biofuel supply chain design under uncertainties, and the bio-objective interval programming method has been developed to solve this model. An illustrative case of a multiple-feedstock-bioethanol system has been studied......The purpose of this paper is to develop a model for the decision-makers/stakeholders to design biofuel supply chain under uncertainties. Life cycle energy and CO2 emission of biofuel supply chain are employed as the objective functions, multiple feedstocks, multiple transportation modes, multiple...... sites for building biofuel plants, multiple technologies for biofuel production, and multiple markets for biofuel distribution are considered, and the amount of feedstocks in agricultural system, transportation capacities, yields of crops, and market demands are considered as uncertainty variables...

  13. Thermochemical conversion of microalgal biomass into biofuels: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wei-Hsin; Lin, Bo-Jhih; Huang, Ming-Yueh; Chang, Jo-Shu

    2015-05-01

    Following first-generation and second-generation biofuels produced from food and non-food crops, respectively, algal biomass has become an important feedstock for the production of third-generation biofuels. Microalgal biomass is characterized by rapid growth and high carbon fixing efficiency when they grow. On account of potential of mass production and greenhouse gas uptake, microalgae are promising feedstocks for biofuels development. Thermochemical conversion is an effective process for biofuel production from biomass. The technology mainly includes torrefaction, liquefaction, pyrolysis, and gasification. Through these conversion technologies, solid, liquid, and gaseous biofuels are produced from microalgae for heat and power generation. The liquid bio-oils can further be upgraded for chemicals, while the synthesis gas can be synthesized into liquid fuels. This paper aims to provide a state-of-the-art review of the thermochemical conversion technologies of microalgal biomass into fuels. Detailed conversion processes and their outcome are also addressed.

  14. Sustainable Biofuel Contributions to Carbon Mitigation and Energy Independence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillip Steele

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The growing interest in US biofuels has been motivated by two primary national policy goals, (1 to reduce carbon emissions and (2 to achieve energy independence. However, the current low cost of fossil fuels is a key barrier to investments in woody biofuel production capacity. The effectiveness of wood derived biofuels must consider not only the feedstock competition with low cost fossil fuels but also the wide range of wood products uses that displace different fossil intensive products. Alternative uses of wood result in substantially different unit processes and carbon impacts over product life cycles. We developed life cycle data for new bioprocessing and feedstock collection models in order to make life cycle comparisons of effectiveness when biofuels displace gasoline and wood products displace fossil intensive building materials. Wood products and biofuels can be joint products from the same forestland. Substantial differences in effectiveness measures are revealed as well as difficulties in valuing tradeoffs between carbon mitigation and energy independence.

  15. Assessing Reliability of Cellulose Hydrolysis Models to Support Biofuel Process Design – Identifiability and Uncertainty Analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sin, Gürkan; Meyer, Anne S.; Gernaey, Krist

    2010-01-01

    The reliability of cellulose hydrolysis models is studied using the NREL model. An identifiability analysis revealed that only 6 out of 26 parameters are identifiable from the available data (typical hydrolysis experiments). Attempting to identify a higher number of parameters (as done in the ori...... to analyze the uncertainty of model predictions. This allows judging the fitness of the model to the purpose under uncertainty. Hence we recommend uncertainty analysis as a proactive solution when faced with model uncertainty, which is the case for biofuel process development research....

  16. Essays concerning the cellulosic biofuel industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosburg, Alicia Sue

    Despite market-based incentives and mandated production, the U.S. cellulosic biofuel industry has been slow to develop. This dissertation explores the economic factors that have limited industry development along with important economic tradeoffs that will be encountered with commercial-scale production. The first essay provides an overview of the policies, potential, and challenges of the biofuel industry, with a focus on cellulosic biofuel. The second essay considers the economics of cellulosic biofuel production. Breakeven models of the local feedstock supply system and biofuel refining process are constructed to develop the Biofuel Breakeven (BioBreak) program, a stochastic, Excel-based program that evaluates the feasibility of local biofuel and biomass markets under various policy and market scenarios. An application of the BioBreak program is presented using expected market conditions for 14 local cellulosic biofuel markets that vary by feedstock and location. The economic costs of biofuel production identified from the BioBreak application are higher than frequently anticipated and raise questions about the potential of cellulosic ethanol as a sustainable and economical substitute for conventional fuels. Program results also are extended using life-cycle analysis to evaluate the cost of reducing GHG emissions by substituting cellulosic ethanol for conventional fuel. The third essay takes a closer look at the economic trade-offs within the biorefinery industry and feedstock production processes. A long-run biomass production through bioenergy conversion cost model is developed that incorporates heterogeneity of biomass suppliers within and between local markets. The model builds on previous literature by treating biomass as a non-commoditized feedstock and relaxes the common assumption of fixed biomass density and price within local markets. An empirical application is provided for switchgrass-based ethanol production within U.S. crop reporting districts

  17. Carbon Footprint of Biofuel Sugarcane Produced in Mineral and Organic Soils in Florida

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izursa, Jose-Luis; Hanlon, Edward; Amponsah, Nana; Capece, John

    2013-02-06

    Ethanol produced from sugarcane is an existing and accessible form of renewable energy. In this study, we applied the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach to estimate the Carbon Footprint (CFP) of biofuel sugarcane produced on mineral (sandy) and organic (muck) soils in Florida. CFP was estimated from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (CO2, CH4, and N2O) during the biofuel sugarcane cultivation. The data for the energy (fossil fuels and electricity), equipment, and chemical fertilizers were taken from enterprise budgets prepared by the University of Florida based on surveys and interviews obtained from local growers during the cropping years 2007/2008 and 2009/2010 for mineral soils and 2008/2009 for organic soils. Emissions from biomass burning and organic land use were calculated based on the IPCC guidelines. The results show that the CFP for biofuel sugarcane production is 0.04 kg CO2e kg−1y−1 when produced in mineral soils and 0.46 kg CO2e kg−1y−1 when produced in organic soils. Most of the GHG emissions from production of biofuel sugarcane in mineral soils come from equipment (33%), fertilizers (28%), and biomass burning (27%); whereas GHG emissions from production in organic soils come predominantly from the soil (93%). This difference should be considered to adopt new practices for a more sustainable farming system if biofuel feedstocks are to be considered.

  18. Accounting for indirect land-use change in the life cycle assessment of biofuel supply chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Susan Tarka; Woods, Jeremy; Akhurst, Mark; Brander, Matthew; O'Hare, Michael; Dawson, Terence P; Edwards, Robert; Liska, Adam J; Malpas, Rick

    2012-06-07

    The expansion of land used for crop production causes variable direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, and other economic, social and environmental effects. We analyse the use of life cycle analysis (LCA) for estimating the carbon intensity of biofuel production from indirect land-use change (ILUC). Two approaches are critiqued: direct, attributional life cycle analysis and consequential life cycle analysis (CLCA). A proposed hybrid 'combined model' of the two approaches for ILUC analysis relies on first defining the system boundary of the resulting full LCA. Choices are then made as to the modelling methodology (economic equilibrium or cause-effect), data inputs, land area analysis, carbon stock accounting and uncertainty analysis to be included. We conclude that CLCA is applicable for estimating the historic emissions from ILUC, although improvements to the hybrid approach proposed, coupled with regular updating, are required, and uncertainly values must be adequately represented; however, the scope and the depth of the expansion of the system boundaries required for CLCA remain controversial. In addition, robust prediction, monitoring and accounting frameworks for the dynamic and highly uncertain nature of future crop yields and the effectiveness of policies to reduce deforestation and encourage afforestation remain elusive. Finally, establishing compatible and comparable accounting frameworks for ILUC between the USA, the European Union, South East Asia, Africa, Brazil and other major biofuel trading blocs is urgently needed if substantial distortions between these markets, which would reduce its application in policy outcomes, are to be avoided.

  19. Synthetic biology for microbial production of lipid-based biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Espaux, Leo; Mendez-Perez, Daniel; Li, Rachel; Keasling, Jay D

    2015-12-01

    The risks of maintaining current CO2 emission trends have led to interest in producing biofuels using engineered microbes. Microbial biofuels reduce emissions because CO2 produced by fuel combustion is offset by CO2 captured by growing biomass, which is later used as feedstock for biofuel fermentation. Hydrocarbons found in petroleum fuels share striking similarity with biological lipids. Here we review synthetic metabolic pathways based on fatty acid and isoprenoid metabolism to produce alkanes and other molecules suitable as biofuels. We further discuss engineering strategies to optimize engineered biosynthetic routes, as well as the potential of synthetic biology for sustainable manufacturing.

  20. An Innovation Systems Assessment of the Australian Biofuel Industry. Policy and Private Sector Implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nielsen, Jason D.

    2006-07-15

    A strong biofuel industry in Australia has the potential to provide numerous benefits to the nation and its peoples. The benefits include; reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and harmful particulate matter, a boost to rural development goals, enhanced fuel security and a lower balance of payments. For biofuels to be seriously considered as alternatives to traditional petroleum based automotive fuels they must be economically viable. The findings from a series of Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) investigations suggest that ethanol and biodiesel production would be economically viable, in the Australian context, with oil prices in the range of 30-40 USD a barrel. Despite the price of oil being in or above this range for over two years a strong home grown biofuel industry has failed to develop in Australia. The purpose of this master's thesis therefore is to identify the critical issues facing biofuel industry development in Australian and to propose possible policy and private sector strategies for dealing with them. The analysis was done in the following three steps; the first was to map the development of the ethanol and biodiesel industries, the second was to analyse the performance of the industries overtime and the third was to identify the mechanisms which have either induced or blocked their growth. The strategies proposed by this thesis were derived from analysing the inducing and blocking mechanisms and the related issues. The innovation systems approach was chosen because of its ability to provide insights into key industry players, their network interactions and the institutional setup within which they work together to develop, diffuse and use their products. The data needed for the analysis stated above included information related to the development, diffusion and use of ethanol and biodiesel; that is, details about the industry actors and their activities, industry networks, product standards, excise arrangements

  1. A review of social sustainability considerations among EU-approved voluntary schemes for biofuels, with implications for rural livelihoods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    German, L.A.; Schoneveld, G.C.

    2012-01-01

    The rapid expansion of biofuel production and consumption has raised concerns over the social and environmental sustainability of biofuel feedstock production, processing and trade. The European Union (EU) has thus balanced its commitment to biofuels as one option for meeting its renewable energy ta

  2. Toward a more comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions assessment of biofuels: the case of forest-based fischer-tropsch diesel production in Finland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soimakallio, Sampo

    2014-01-01

    Increasing the use of biofuels influences atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Although widely recognized, uncertainties related to the particular impacts are typically ignored or only partly considered. In this paper, various sources of uncertainty related to the GHG emission savings of biofuels are considered comprehensively and transparently through scenario analysis and stochastic simulation. Technology and feedstock production chain-specific factors, market-mediated factors and climate policy time frame issues are reflected using as a case study Fischer-Tropsch diesel derived from boreal forest biomass in Finland. This case study shows that the GHG emission savings may be positive or negative in many of the cases studied, and are subject to significant uncertainties, which are mainly determined by market-mediated factors related to fossil diesel substitution. Regardless of the considerable uncertainties, some robust conclusions could be drawn; it was likely of achieving some sort of but unlikely of achieving significant savings in the GHG emissions within the 100 year time frame in many cases. Logging residues (branches) performed better than stumps and living stem wood in terms of the GHG emission savings, which could be increased mainly by blocking carbon leakage. Forest carbon stock changes also significantly contributed to the GHG emission savings.

  3. Bio-energy feedstock yields and their water quality benefits in Mississippi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parajuli, Prem B.

    2011-08-10

    Cellulosic and agricultural bio-energy crops can, under careful management, be harvested as feedstock for bio-fuels production and provide environmental benefits. However, it is required to quantify their relative advantages in feedstock production and water quality. The primary objective of this research was to evaluate potential feedstock yield and water quality benefit scenarios of bioenergy crops: Miscanthus (Miscanthus-giganteus), Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), Soybean {Glycine max (L.) Merr.}, and Corn (Lea mays) in the Upper Pearl River watershed (UPRW), Mississippi using a Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The SWAT model was calibrated (January 1981 to December 1994) and validated (January 1995 to September 2008) using monthly measured stream flow data. The calibrated and validated model determined good to very good performance for stream flow prediction (R2 and E from 0.60 to 0.86). The RMSE values (from 14 m3 s-1 to 37 m3 s-1) were estimated at similar levels of errors during model calibration and validation. The long-term average annual potential feedstock yield as an alternative energy source was determined the greatest when growing Miscanthus grass (373,849 Mg) as followed by Alfalfa (206,077 Mg), Switchgrass (132,077 Mg), Johnsongrass (47,576 Mg), Soybean (37,814 Mg), and Corn (22,069 Mg) in the pastureland and cropland of the watershed. Model results determined that average annual sediment yield from the Miscanthus grass scenario determined the least (1.16 Mg/ha) and corn scenario the greatest (12.04 Mg/ha). The SWAT model simulated results suggested that growing Miscanthus grass in the UPRW would have the greatest potential feedstock yield and water quality benefits.

  4. Using the Lashof Accounting Methodology to Assess Carbon Mitigation Projects Using LCA: Ethanol Biofuel as a Case Study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Courchesne, Alexandre; Becaert, Valerie; Rosenbaum, Ralph K.;

    2010-01-01

    and comparison of different carbon mitigation projects (e.g. biofuel use, sequestering plant, afforestation project, etc.). The Lashof accounting methodology is chosen amid other methods of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission characterization for its relative simplicity and capability of characterizing all types...... of carbon mitigation projects. It calculates the cumulative radiative forcing caused by GHG emission within a predetermined time frame. Basically, the developed framework uses the Mg-year as a functional unit and isolates impacts related to the climate mitigation function with system expansion. The proposed...... framework is demonstrated with a case study of tree ethanol pathways (maize, sugarcane and willow). Study shows that carbon mitigation assessment through LCA is possible and that it could be a useful tool for decision makers as it can compare different projects regardless of their original context. Case...

  5. Black liquor fractionation for biofuels production - a techno-economic assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesfun, Sennai; Lundgren, Joakim; Grip, Carl-Erik; Toffolo, Andrea; Nilsson, Rasika Lasanthi Kudahettige; Rova, Ulrika

    2014-08-01

    The hemicelluloses fraction of black liquor is an underutilized resource in many chemical pulp mills. It is possible to extract and separate the lignin and hemicelluloses from the black liquor and use the hemicelluloses for biochemical conversion into biofuels and chemicals. Precipitation of the lignin from the black liquor would consequently decrease the thermal load on the recovery boiler, which is often referred to as a bottleneck for increased pulp production. The objective of this work is to techno-economically evaluate the production of sodium-free lignin as a solid fuel and butanol to be used as fossil gasoline replacement by fractionating black liquor. The hydrolysis and fermentation processes are modeled in Aspen Plus to analyze energy and material balances as well as to evaluate the plant economics. A mathematical model of an existing pulp and paper mill is used to analyze the effects on the energy performance of the mill subprocesses.

  6. An Innovation Systems Assessment of the Australian Biofuel Industry. Policy and Private Sector Implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nielsen, Jason D.

    2006-07-15

    A strong biofuel industry in Australia has the potential to provide numerous benefits to the nation and its peoples. The benefits include; reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and harmful particulate matter, a boost to rural development goals, enhanced fuel security and a lower balance of payments. For biofuels to be seriously considered as alternatives to traditional petroleum based automotive fuels they must be economically viable. The findings from a series of Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) investigations suggest that ethanol and biodiesel production would be economically viable, in the Australian context, with oil prices in the range of 30-40 USD a barrel. Despite the price of oil being in or above this range for over two years a strong home grown biofuel industry has failed to develop in Australia. The purpose of this master's thesis therefore is to identify the critical issues facing biofuel industry development in Australian and to propose possible policy and private sector strategies for dealing with them. The analysis was done in the following three steps; the first was to map the development of the ethanol and biodiesel industries, the second was to analyse the performance of the industries overtime and the third was to identify the mechanisms which have either induced or blocked their growth. The strategies proposed by this thesis were derived from analysing the inducing and blocking mechanisms and the related issues. The innovation systems approach was chosen because of its ability to provide insights into key industry players, their network interactions and the institutional setup within which they work together to develop, diffuse and use their products. The data needed for the analysis stated above included information related to the development, diffusion and use of ethanol and biodiesel; that is, details about the industry actors and their activities, industry networks, product standards, excise arrangements

  7. Biofuels: 1995 project summaries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-01-01

    Domestic transportation fuels are derived primarily from petroleum and account for about two-thirds of the petroleum consumption in the United States. In 1994, more than 40% of our petroleum was imported. That percentage is likely to increase, as the Middle East has about 75% of the world`s oil reserves, but the United States has only about 5%. Because we rely so heavily on oil (and because we currently have no suitable substitutes for petroleum-based transportation fuels), we are strategically and economically vulnerable to disruptions in the fuel supply. Additionally, we must consider the effects of petroleum use on the environment. The Biofuels Systems Division (BSD) is part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE). The day-to-day research activities, which address these issues, are managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. BSD focuses its research on biofuels-liquid and gaseous fuels made from renewable domestic crops-and aggressively pursues new methods for domestically producing, recovering, and converting the feedstocks to produce the fuels economically. The biomass resources include forage grasses, oil seeds, short-rotation woody crops, agricultural and forestry residues, algae, and certain industrial and municipal waste streams. The resulting fuels include ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, and ethers.

  8. The importance of land use change in the environmental balance of biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Aoun Wassim

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The potential of first generation biofuels to mitigate climate change is still largely debated in the scientific and policy-making arenas. It is currently assessed through life cycle assessment (LCA, a method for accounting for the greenhouse gas (GHG emissions of a given product from “cradle-to-grave”, which is widely used to aid decision making on environmental issues. Although LCA is standardized, its application to biofuels leads to inconclusive results often fraught by a high variability and uncertainty. This is due to differences in quantifying the environmental impacts of feedstock production, and the difficulties encountered when considering land use changes (LUC effects. The occurrence of LUC mechanisms is in part the consequence of policies supporting the use of biofuels in the transport sector, which implicitly increases the competition between various possible uses of land worldwide. Here, we review the methodologies recently put forward to include LUC effects in LCAs, and examples from the US, Europe and France. These cross analysis show that LCA needs to be adapted and combined to other tools such as economic modeling in order to provide a more reliable assessment of the biofuels chains.

  9. The Local Social and Environmental Impacts of Smallholder-Based Biofuel Investments in Zambia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura German

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available High oil prices, recent commitments by industrialized countries to enhance the use of renewable energy, and efforts by developing countries to stimulate foreign investment as a pathway to development have fueled high levels of interest in the biofuel sector throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa. Zambia is no exception. A large, land-locked country with high pump prices and vast tracts of land considered by many to be "degraded" or "underutilized," investor interest in the sector has remained high despite uncertainties associated with unproven feedstocks and market fluctuations. While investment in multiple feedstock and production models may be observed, one of the primary investments has been in jatropha outgrower schemes in which small-scale farmers grow feedstock on contract with domestic and foreign investors. We assess the history and evolution of the largest such scheme in Zambia, as well as the social and environmental impacts in two districts with large numbers of outgrowers. Findings suggest that, although such a production model may hold promise for enhancing rural livelihood benefits from the emerging biofuel sector, to date, small-scale farmers have borne the brunt of the risk and uncertainty that are the trademarks of this emerging industry. We conclude with a discussion of options to minimize forest conversion and protect farmers against high-risk investments, while harnessing the potential of this business model for enhancing rural livelihoods in Zambia and elsewhere.

  10. Utilization of grasses for potential biofuel production and phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balsamo, Ronald A; Kelly, William J; Satrio, Justinus A; Ruiz-Felix, M Nydia; Fetterman, Marisa; Wynn, Rodd; Hagel, Kristen

    2015-01-01

    This research focuses on investigating the use of common biofuel grasses to assess their potential as agents of long-term remediation of contaminated soils using lead as a model heavy metal ion. We present evidence demonstrating that switch grass and Timothy grass may be potentially useful for long-term phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils and describe novel techniques to track and remove contaminants from inception to useful product. Enzymatic digestion and thermochemical approaches are being used to convert this lignocellulosic feedstock into useful product (sugars, ethanol, biocrude oil+biochar). Preliminary studies on enzymatic hydrolysis and fast pyrolysis of the Switchgrass materials that were grown in heavy metal contaminated soil and non-contaminated soils show that the presence of lead in the Switchgrass material feedstock does not adversely affect the outcomes of the conversion processes. These results indicate that the modest levels of contaminant uptake allow these grass species to serve as phytoremediation agents as well as feedstocks for biofuel production in areas degraded by industrial pollution.

  11. Biofuels, land, and water: a systems approach to sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishnan, Gayathri; Negri, M Cristina; Wang, Michael; Wu, May; Snyder, Seth W; Lafreniere, Lorraine

    2009-08-01

    There is a strong societal need to evaluate and understand the sustainability of biofuels, especially because of the significant increases in production mandated by many countries, including the United States. Sustainability will be a strong factor in the regulatory environment and investments in biofuels. Biomass feedstock production is an important contributor to environmental, social, and economic impacts from biofuels. This study presents a systems approach where the agricultural, energy, and environmental sectors are considered as components of a single system, and environmental liabilities are used as recoverable resources for biomass feedstock production. We focus on efficient use of land and water resources. We conducted a spatial analysis evaluating marginal land and degraded water resources to improve feedstock productivity with concomitant environmental restoration for the state of Nebraska. Results indicate that utilizing marginal land resources such as riparian and roadway buffer strips, brownfield sites, and marginal agricultural land could produce enough feedstocks to meet a maximum of 22% of the energy requirements of the state compared to the current supply of 2%. Degraded water resources such as nitrate-contaminated groundwater and wastewater were evaluated as sources of nutrients and water to improve feedstock productivity. Spatial overlap between degraded water and marginal land resources was found to be as high as 96% and could maintain sustainable feedstock production on marginal lands. Other benefits of implementing this strategy include feedstock intensification to decrease biomass transportation costs, restoration of contaminated water resources, and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

  12. A novel procedure to detect low molecular weight compounds released by alkaline ester cleavage from low maturity coals to assess its feedstock for deep microbial life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Glombitza, Clemens; Mangelsdorf, Kai; Horsfield, Brian

    2009-01-01

    In recent years the widespread occurrence of microorganisms was demonstrated in deep marine and terrestrial sediments. With this discovery inevitably the question of the potential carbon and energy sources for this deep subsurface microbial life arises. In the current study a new method...... correlates to the phase of diagenetic alteration of the organic matter characterized by the release of oxygen containing compounds. Concomitantly, it coincides with temperature conditions assumed to be still compatible with microbial life in the deep subsurface. First assessments of the feedstock potential...... and generation rates of LMW organic acids indicate that the NZ coals investigated exhibit the potential to feed deep terrestrial microbial life with appropriate substrates over geological time spans....

  13. Biomass Feedstock and Conversion Supply System Design and Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacobson, Jacob J. [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Roni, Mohammad S. [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Lamers, Patrick [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Cafferty, Kara G. [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Idaho National Laboratory (INL) supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s bioenergy research program. As part of the research program INL investigates the feedstock logistics economics and sustainability of these fuels. A series of reports were published between 2000 and 2013 to demonstrate the feedstock logistics cost. Those reports were tailored to specific feedstock and conversion process. Although those reports are different in terms of conversion, some of the process in the feedstock logistic are same for each conversion process. As a result, each report has similar information. A single report can be designed that could bring all commonality occurred in the feedstock logistics process while discussing the feedstock logistics cost for different conversion process. Therefore, this report is designed in such a way that it can capture different feedstock logistics cost while eliminating the need of writing a conversion specific design report. Previous work established the current costs based on conventional equipment and processes. The 2012 programmatic target was to demonstrate a delivered biomass logistics cost of $55/dry ton for woody biomass delivered to fast pyrolysis conversion facility. The goal was achieved by applying field and process demonstration unit-scale data from harvest, collection, storage, preprocessing, handling, and transportation operations into INL’s biomass logistics model. The goal of the 2017 Design Case is to enable expansion of biofuels production beyond highly productive resource areas by breaking the reliance of cost-competitive biofuel production on a single, low-cost feedstock. The 2017 programmatic target is to supply feedstock to the conversion facility that meets the in-feed conversion process quality specifications at a total logistics cost of $80/dry T. The $80/dry T. target encompasses total delivered feedstock cost, including both grower payment and logistics costs, while meeting all conversion in-feed quality targets

  14. Liquid biofuels from blue biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kádár, Zsófia; Jensen, Annette Eva; Bangsø Nielsen, Henrik

    2011-01-01

    medium, light as energy source and they capture CO2 for the synthesis of new organic material, thus can grow on non-agricultural land, without increasing food prices, or using fresh water. Due to all these advantages in addition to very high biomass yield with high carbohydrate content, macroalgaes can......Marine (blue) biomasses, such as macroalgaes, represent a huge unexploited amount of biomass. With their various chemical compositions, macroalgaes can be a potential substrate for food, feed, biomaterials, pharmaceuticals, health care products and also for bioenergy. Algae use seawater as a growth...... be the well suited candidates as feedstock for biofuel production in the future. The aim of our studies is to examine the possibility producing liquid biofuel (ethanol and butanol) from macroalgaes....

  15. The impact of first-generation biofuels on the depletion of the global phosphorus reserve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, Lars; Leemans, Rik

    2012-06-01

    The large majority of biofuels to date is "first-generation" biofuel made from agricultural commodities. All first-generation biofuel production systems require phosphorus (P) fertilization. P is an essential plant nutrient, yet global reserves are finite. We argue that committing scarce P to biofuel production involves a trade-off between climate change mitigation and future food production. We examine biofuel production from seven types of feedstock, and find that biofuels at present consume around 2% of the global inorganic P fertilizer production. For all examined biofuels, with the possible exception of sugarcane, the contribution to P depletion exceeds the contribution to mitigating climate change. The relative benefits of biofuels can be increased through enhanced recycling of P, but high increases in P efficiency are required to balance climate change mitigation and P depletion impacts. We conclude that, with the current production systems, the production of first-generation biofuels compromises food production in the future.

  16. Sustainable Use of Biotechnology for Bioenergy Feedstocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Hong S.; Abercrombie, Jason M.; Kausch, Albert P.; Stewart, C. Neal

    2010-10-01

    Done correctly, cellulosic bioenergy should be both environmentally and economically beneficial. Carbon sequestration and decreased fossil fuel use are both worthy goals in developing next-generation biofuels. We believe that biotechnology will be needed to significantly improve yield and digestibility of dedicated perennial herbaceous biomass feedstocks, such as switchgrass and Miscanthus, which are native to the US and China, respectively. This Forum discusses the sustainability of herbaceous feedstocks relative to the regulation of biotechnology with regards to likely genetically engineered traits. The Forum focuses on two prominent countries wishing to develop their bioeconomies: the US and China. These two countries also share a political desire and regulatory frameworks to enable the commercialization and wide release of transgenic feedstocks with appropriate and safe new genetics. In recent years, regulators in both countries perform regular inspections of transgenic field releases and seriously consider compliance issues, even though the US framework is considered to be more mature and stringent. Transgene flow continues to be a pertinent environmental and regulatory issue with regards to transgenic plants. This concern is largely driven by consumer issues and ecological uncertainties. Regulators are concerned about large-scale releases of transgenic crops that have sexually compatible crops or wild relatives that can stably harbor transgenes via hybridization and introgression. Therefore, prior to the commercialization or extensive field testing of transgenic bioenergy feedstocks, we recommend that mechanisms that ensure biocontainment of transgenes be instituted, especially for perennial grasses. A cautionary case study will be presented in which a plant’s biology and ecology conspired against regulatory constraints in a non-biomass crop perennial grass (creeping bentgrass, Agrostis stolonifera), in which biocontainment was not attained. Appropriate

  17. Biofuels Barometer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-07-15

    European Union biofuel use for transport reached the 12 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) threshold during 2009, heralding a further drop in the pace of the sectors growth, which rose by only 18.7% between 2008 and 2009 - just 1.9 mtoe of consumption over the previous year. The biofuel incorporation rate in all fuels used by transport in the EU is unlikely to pass 4% in 2009, which is a very long way short of the 5.75% goal for 2010 set in the 2003 European biofuel directive, which would require around 18 mtoe of biofuel use. [French] Durant l'annee 2009, la consommation de biocarburants dedies aux transports de l'Union europeenne a atteint le seuil des 12 millions de tonnes equivalent petrole (Mtep). Ce resultat marque une nouvelle diminution du rythme de croissance de la filiere, +18,7 % seulement entre 2008 et 2009, qui n'ajoute que 1,9 Mtep a la consommation de 2009 par rapport a celle de 2008. Le taux d'incorporation des biocarburants dans le contenu energetique de l'ensemble des carburants utilises dans les transports de l'UE ne devrait pas depasser les 4% en 2009. On est encore tres loin de l'objectif de 5,75 % en 2010 de la directive europeenne sur les biocarburants de 2003, qui necessiterait une consommation de biocarburants de l'ordre de 18 Mtep.

  18. Assessment of the Brazilian potential for the production of enzymes for biofuels from agroindustrial materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Machado de Castro, Silvia [Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Environmental Engineering Program, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Machado de Castro, Aline [PETROBRAS, Biotechnology Division, Research and Development Center, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

    2012-03-15

    Brazil is one of the largest bioethanol and biodiesel producers in the world. Its biodiversity and environmental characteristics create the opportunity to make Brazil a major producer of biotechnological products, such as enzymes for the bioenergy industry. This review gives a brief status of the production of amylases, cellulases, xylanases, and lipases and their application on the synthesis of bioethanol and biodiesel. The historical utilization of several agroindustrial by-products as feedstocks in such processes are presented, as well as the Brazilian market for these enzymes. Finally, an innovative and multidisciplinary approach based on geographic information systems is used in a case study for the estimation of the potential production of the biocatalysts in Brazil. Results indicate that the national production of concentrated preparations based on amylases, cellulases, lipases, and xylanases could reach 3.1 x 10{sup 7}, 3.2 x 10{sup 7}, 3.1 x 10{sup 8}, and 2.9 x 10{sup 9} t, respectively. Therefore, Brazil presents a huge potential for the production of biocatalysts from renewable materials. (orig.)

  19. Bioenergy from Biofuel Residues and Wastes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudri, B S; Baawain, Mahad

    2016-10-01

    This review includes works published in the general scientific literature during 2015 on the production of bioenergy and biofuel from waste residues generated during bioethanol and biodiesel production with a brief overview of current and emerging feedstocks. A section of this review summarizes literature on culturing algae for biofuels including bioreactors and open pond cultivation systems with the utilization of inorganic and organic sources of nutrients. New methods applicable to the mass culture of algae are highlighted. Algal cell harvesting and oil extraction techniques tested and developed for algae discussed alongwith policies and economics are also provided.

  20. Biomass logistics analysis for large scale biofuel production: case study of loblolly pine and switchgrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xiaoming; Withers, Mitch R; Seifkar, Navid; Field, Randall P; Barrett, Steven R H; Herzog, Howard J

    2015-05-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the costs, energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the biomass supply chain for large scale biofuel production. Two types of energy crop were considered, switchgrass and loblolly pine, as representative of herbaceous and woody biomass. A biomass logistics model has been developed to estimate the feedstock supply system from biomass production through transportation. Biomass in the form of woodchip, bale and pellet was investigated with road, railway and waterway transportation options. Our analysis indicated that the farm or forest gate cost is lowest for loblolly pine whole tree woodchip at $39.7/dry tonne and highest for switchgrass round bale at $72.3/dry tonne. Switchgrass farm gate GHG emissions is approximately 146kgCO2e/dry tonne, about 4 times higher than loblolly pine. The optimum biomass transportation mode and delivered form are determined by the tradeoff between fixed and variable costs for feedstock shipment.

  1. Determining the life cycle energy efficiency of six biofuel systems in China: a Data Envelopment Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jingzheng; Tan, Shiyu; Dong, Lichun; Mazzi, Anna; Scipioni, Antonio; Sovacool, Benjamin K

    2014-06-01

    This aim of this study was to use Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to assess the life cycle energy efficiency of six biofuels in China. DEA can differentiate efficient and non-efficient scenarios, and it can identify wasteful energy losses in biofuel production. More specifically, the study has examined the efficiency of six approaches for bioethanol production involving a sample of wheat, corn, cassava, and sweet potatoes as feedstocks and "old," "new," "wet," and "dry" processes. For each of these six bioethanol production pathways, the users can determine energy inputs such as the embodied energy for seed, machinery, fertilizer, diesel, chemicals and primary energy utilized for manufacturing, and outputs such as the energy content of the bioethanol and byproducts. The results indicate that DEA is a novel and feasible method for finding efficient bioethanol production scenarios and suggest that sweet potatoes may be the most energy-efficient form of ethanol production for China.

  2. Will biofuel projects in Southeast Asia become white elephants?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sheng Goh, Chun; Teong Lee, Keat [School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia)

    2010-08-15

    Southeast Asia's attempt to join the global biofuel development has not been very successful, despite the large amount of subsidies and incentives allotted for biofuel projects. The outcome of these projects has failed to meet expectation due to overrated assumptions and shortsighted policies. Utilization of edible feedstock such as palm oil and sugar cane for biofuel has disrupted the fragile industry due to the fluctuations of feedstock prices. The appropriate research on jatropha to prove its economic and environmental feasibility as energy crop has not been performed. Biofuel development in Southeast Asia remains at an early stage of development and requires highly intensive monitoring and strict legal enforcement to ensure future success. (author)

  3. Will biofuel projects in Southeast Asia become white elephants?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goh, Chun Sheng [School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia); Lee, Keat Teong, E-mail: chktlee@eng.usm.m [School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia)

    2010-08-15

    Southeast Asia's attempt to join the global biofuel development has not been very successful, despite the large amount of subsidies and incentives allotted for biofuel projects. The outcome of these projects has failed to meet expectation due to overrated assumptions and shortsighted policies. Utilization of edible feedstock such as palm oil and sugar cane for biofuel has disrupted the fragile industry due to the fluctuations of feedstock prices. The appropriate research on jatropha to prove its economic and environmental feasibility as energy crop has not been performed. Biofuel development in Southeast Asia remains at an early stage of development and requires highly intensive monitoring and strict legal enforcement to ensure future success.

  4. Biofuels Fuels Technology Pathway Options for Advanced Drop-in Biofuels Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kevin L Kenney

    2011-09-01

    Advanced drop-in hydrocarbon biofuels require biofuel alternatives for refinery products other than gasoline. Candidate biofuels must have performance characteristics equivalent to conventional petroleum-based fuels. The technology pathways for biofuel alternatives also must be plausible, sustainable (e.g., positive energy balance, environmentally benign, etc.), and demonstrate a reasonable pathway to economic viability and end-user affordability. Viable biofuels technology pathways must address feedstock production and environmental issues through to the fuel or chemical end products. Potential end products include compatible replacement fuel products (e.g., gasoline, diesel, and JP8 and JP5 jet fuel) and other petroleum products or chemicals typically produced from a barrel of crude. Considering the complexity and technology diversity of a complete biofuels supply chain, no single entity or technology provider is capable of addressing in depth all aspects of any given pathway; however, all the necessary expert entities exist. As such, we propose the assembly of a team capable of conducting an in-depth technology pathway options analysis (including sustainability indicators and complete LCA) to identify and define the domestic biofuel pathways for a Green Fleet. This team is not only capable of conducting in-depth analyses on technology pathways, but collectively they are able to trouble shoot and/or engineer solutions that would give industrial technology providers the highest potential for success. Such a team would provide the greatest possible down-side protection for high-risk advanced drop-in biofuels procurement(s).

  5. Chemistry and microbial functional diversity differences in biofuel crop and grassland soils in multiple geographies

    Science.gov (United States)

    As crop and non-crop lands are increasingly becoming converted to biofuel feedstock production, it is of interest to identify potential impacts of annual and perennial feedstocks on soil ecosystem services. Soil samples obtained from 6 regional sets of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and 3 regiona...

  6. A review on algal biofuel production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Ling; ZHU jing

    2016-01-01

    Culturing of microalgae has be established as an alternative feedstock for biofuel production due to their fast growth rate and ability to accumulate high quantity of lipid and carbohydrate respectively. However, using this bioresource is still limited duo to low productivity and higher cultivation cost. Genetic and metabolic engineering,photobioreactors play significant role in algal biomass production. Hence, this review is focused on these, aiming at providing useful informations.

  7. Meeting the Demand for Biofuels: Impact on Land Use and Carbon Mitigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khanna, Madhu; Jain, Atul; Onal, Hayri; Scheffran, Jurgen; Chen, Xiaoguang; Erickson, Matt; Huang, Haixiao; Kang, Seungmo.

    2011-08-14

    The purpose of this research was to develop an integrated, interdisciplinary framework to investigate the implications of large scale production of biofuels for land use, crop production, farm income and greenhouse gases. In particular, we examine the mix of feedstocks that would be viable for biofuel production and the spatial allocation of land required for producing these feedstocks at various gasoline and carbon emission prices as well as biofuel subsidy levels. The implication of interactions between energy policy that seeks energy independence from foreign oil and climate policy that seeks to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions for the optimal mix of biofuels and land use will also be investigated. This project contributes to the ELSI research goals of sustainable biofuel production while balancing competing demands for land and developing policy approaches needed to support biofuel production in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.

  8. Stochastic techno-economic evaluation of cellulosic biofuel pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xin; Brown, Tristan R; Tyner, Wallace E

    2015-12-01

    This study evaluates the economic feasibility and stochastic dominance rank of eight cellulosic biofuel production pathways (including gasification, pyrolysis, liquefaction, and fermentation) under technological and economic uncertainty. A techno-economic assessment based financial analysis is employed to derive net present values and breakeven prices for each pathway. Uncertainty is investigated and incorporated into fuel prices and techno-economic variables: capital cost, conversion technology yield, hydrogen cost, natural gas price and feedstock cost using @Risk, a Palisade Corporation software. The results indicate that none of the eight pathways would be profitable at expected values under projected energy prices. Fast pyrolysis and hydroprocessing (FPH) has the lowest breakeven fuel price at 3.11$/gallon of gasoline equivalent (0.82$/liter of gasoline equivalent). With the projected energy prices, FPH investors could expect a 59% probability of loss. Stochastic dominance is done based on return on investment. Most risk-averse decision makers would prefer FPH to other pathways.

  9. Using Populus as a lignocellulosic feedstock for bioethanol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porth, Ilga; El-Kassaby, Yousry A

    2015-04-01

    Populus species along with species from the sister genus Salix will provide valuable feedstock resources for advanced second-generation biofuels. Their inherent fast growth characteristics can particularly be exploited for short rotation management, a time and energy saving cultivation alternative for lignocellulosic feedstock supply. Salicaceae possess inherent cell wall characteristics with favorable cellulose to lignin ratios for utilization as bioethanol crop. We review economically important traits relevant for intensively managed biofuel crop plantations, genomic and phenotypic resources available for Populus, breeding strategies for forest trees dedicated to bioenergy provision, and bioprocesses and downstream applications related to opportunities using Salicaceae as a renewable resource. Challenges need to be resolved for every single step of the conversion process chain, i.e., starting from tree domestication for improved performance as a bioenergy crop, bioconversion process, policy development for land use changes associated with advanced biofuels, and harvest and supply logistics associated with industrial-scale biorefinery plants using Populus as feedstock. Significant hurdles towards cost and energy efficiency, environmental friendliness, and yield maximization with regards to biomass pretreatment, saccharification, and fermentation of celluloses and the sustainability of biorefineries as a whole still need to be overcome.

  10. Microbial engineering for the production of advanced biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P; Zhang, Fuzhong; del Cardayre, Stephen B; Keasling, Jay D

    2012-08-16

    Advanced biofuels produced by microorganisms have similar properties to petroleum-based fuels, and can 'drop in' to the existing transportation infrastructure. However, producing these biofuels in yields high enough to be useful requires the engineering of the microorganism's metabolism. Such engineering is not based on just one specific feedstock or host organism. Data-driven and synthetic-biology approaches can be used to optimize both the host and pathways to maximize fuel production. Despite some success, challenges still need to be met to move advanced biofuels towards commercialization, and to compete with more conventional fuels.

  11. Feedstock Supply and Logistics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-06-01

    Providing biomass for conversion into high-quality biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts represents an economic opportunity for communities across the nation. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and its partners are developing the technologies and systems needed to sustainably and economically deliver a diverse range of biomass in formats that enable efficient use in biorefineries.

  12. Biofuels: policies, standards and technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-09-15

    Skyrocketing prices of crude oil in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century accompanied by rising prices for food focused political and public attention on the role of biofuels. On the one hand, biofuels were considered as a potential automotive fuel with a bright future, on the other hand, biofuels were accused of competing with food production for land. The truth must lie somewhere in-between and is strongly dependent on the individual circumstance in different countries and regions. As food and energy are closely interconnected and often compete with each other for other resources, such as water, the World Energy Council - following numerous requests of its Member Committees - decided to undertake an independent assessment of biofuels policies, technologies and standards.

  13. Environment assessment: allocation of petroleum feedstock, Algonquin SNG Inc. , Freetown SNG Plant, Bristol County, MA. [Effects of 100, 78, 49% allocations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1980-01-01

    The proposed administrative action to deny, grant or modify the Algonquin SNG, Inc. (Algonquin) petition for an adjusted allocation of naphtha feedstock may significantly affect the ehuman environment. The volume of feedstock requested is 4,425,571 barrels per year of naphtha to be used in Algonquin's Freetown, MA synthetic natural gas (SNG) plant. Environmental impacts of 100, 78, and 49% allocations were evaluated.

  14. Production of biofuels via hydrothermal conversion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Biller, Patrick; Ross, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Hydrothermal processing has evolved as an alternative processing technology for wet biomass and waste materials in recent years. Using hot-compressed water as a reaction medium at temperatures of 200–500°C, materials with increased energy density can be obtained. The technology is particularly......). Each of these hydrothermal routes results in energy densification by removal of oxygen to produce hydrochar (HTC), biocrude (HTL), or syngas (HTG). The process chemistry and reactions in hydrothermal media are described for each process. Suitable feedstocks and their considerations are reviewed...... as the quality of targeted biofuel is a function of feedstock and operating conditions. The quality of hydrochar influences its uses as a solid fuel while biocrude quality affects its use as a liquid fuel and feedstock for upgrading to drop-in replacement fuels, while HTG produces a syngas rich in either H2...

  15. An overview of second generation biofuel technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sims, Ralph E H; Mabee, Warren; Saddler, Jack N; Taylor, Michael

    2010-03-01

    The recently identified limitations of 1st-generation biofuels produced from food crops (with perhaps the exception of sugarcane ethanol) have caused greater emphasis to be placed on 2nd-generation biofuels produced from ligno-cellulosic feedstocks. Although significant progress continues to be made to overcome the technical and economic challenges, 2nd-generation biofuels production will continue to face major constraints to full commercial deployment. The logistics of providing a competitive, all-year-round, supply of biomass feedstock to a commercial-scale plant is challenging, as is improving the performance of the conversion process to reduce costs. The biochemical route, being less mature, probably has a greater cost reduction potential than the thermo-chemical route, but here a wider range of synthetic fuels can be produced to better suit heavy truck, aviation and marine applications. Continued investment in research and demonstration by both public and private sectors, coupled with appropriate policy support mechanisms, are essential if full commercialisation is to be achieved within the next decade. After that, the biofuel industry will grow only at a steady rate and encompass both 1st- and 2nd-generation technologies that meet agreed environmental, sustainability and economic policy goals.

  16. Impacts of Climate Change on Biofuels Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Melillo, Jerry M. [Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (United States)

    2014-04-30

    The overall goal of this research project was to improve and use our biogeochemistry model, TEM, to simulate the effects of climate change and other environmental changes on the production of biofuel feedstocks. We used the improved version of TEM that is coupled with the economic model, EPPA, a part of MIT’s Earth System Model, to explore how alternative uses of land, including land for biofuels production, can help society meet proposed climate targets. During the course of this project, we have made refinements to TEM that include development of a more mechanistic plant module, with improved ecohydrology and consideration of plant-water relations, and a more detailed treatment of soil nitrogen dynamics, especially processes that add or remove nitrogen from ecosystems. We have documented our changes to TEM and used the model to explore the effects on production in land ecosystems, including changes in biofuels production.

  17. Biomass Feedstock National User Facility

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Bioenergy research at the Biomass Feedstock National User Facility (BFNUF) is focused on creating commodity-scale feed-stocks from native biomass that meet the needs...

  18. The market and environmental effects of alternative biofuel policies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drabik, Dusan

    This dissertation analyzes market and environmental effects of alternative U.S. and Brazilian biofuel policies. Although we focus on corn- and sugarcane-ethanol, the advanced analytical framework can easily be extended to other biofuels and biofuel feedstocks, such as biodiesel and soybean. The dissertation consists of three chapters. The first chapter develops an analytical framework to assess the market effects of a set of biofuel policies (including subsidies to feedstocks). U.S. corn-ethanol policies are used as an example to study the effects of biofuel policies on corn prices. We determine the 'no policy' ethanol price, analyze the implications for the 'no policy' corn price and resulting 'water' in the ethanol price premium due to the policy, and generalize the surprising interaction effects between mandates and tax credits to include ethanol and corn production subsidies. The effect of an ethanol price premium depends on the value of the ethanol co-product, the value of production subsidies, and how the world ethanol price is determined. U.S. corn-ethanol policies are shown to be a major reason for recent rises in corn prices. The ethanol policy-induced increase in corn prices is estimated to be 33 -- 46.5 percent in the period 2008 -- 2011. The second chapter seeks to answer the question of what caused the significant increase in ethanol, sugar, and sugarcane prices in Brazil in the period 2010/11 to 2011/12. We develop a general economic model of the Brazilian fuel-ethanol-sugar complex. Unlike biofuel mandates and tax exemptions elsewhere, Brazil's fuel-ethanol-sugar markets and fuel policies are unique in that each policy, in this setting, theoretically has an ambiguous impact on the market price of ethanol and hence on sugarcane and sugar prices. Our empirical analysis shows that there are two policies that seemingly help the ethanol industry but do otherwise in reality: a low gasoline tax and a high anhydrous tax exemption result in lower ethanol

  19. Processing of Brassica seeds for feedstock in biofuels production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Several Brassica species are currently being evaluated to develop regionalized production systems based on their suitability to the environment and with the prevailing practices of growing commodity food crops like wheat, corn, and soybeans. This integrated approach to farming will provide high qual...

  20. Improving Biofuel Recovery Processes For Efficiency and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) provided for increased production of biofuels with, among other provisions, a specified share to be derived from non-sugar or cellulose feedstocks. The EISA further established standards for renewable fuels achieving 20, 50, a...

  1. Interfacing feedstock logistics with bioenergy conversion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sokhansanj, S. [British Columbia Univ., Vancouver, BC (Canada). Oak Ridge National Lab

    2010-07-01

    The interface between biomass production and biomass conversion platforms was investigated. Functional relationships were assembled in a modeling platform to simulate the flow of biomass feedstock from farm and forest to a densification plant. The model considers key properties of biomass for downstream pre-processing and conversion. These properties include moisture content, cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, ash, particle size, specific density and bulk density. The model simulates logistical operations such as grinding to convert biomass to pellets that are supplied to a biorefinery for conversion to heat, power, or biofuels. Equations were developed to describe the physical aspects of each unit operation. The effect that each of the process variables has on the efficiency of the conversion processes was described.

  2. Sustainable alternatives for land-based biofuels in the European Union. Assessment of options and development of a policy strategy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kampman, B.; Van Grinsven, A.; Croezen, H.

    2012-12-15

    It is feasible for EU member states to meet their commitments regarding transport fuels under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) without resorting to biofuels from food crops. The RED target (10% renewable transport energy in 2020) can be met by a mix of measures aimed at improving energy efficiency, combined with a strong focus on growth of renewable electricity use and biofuels and biomethane from waste and residues. These measures also contribute to the FQD target (6% reduction in carbon intensity of fuels by 2020), but will need to be complemented by other measures such as reduced flaring and venting during oil production. The report shows how EU transport energy policy could reduce its reliance on biofuels from food crops that are likely to cause land use change. This alternative vision for the transport sector in 2020 would cut CO2 emissions by 205 million tonnes.

  3. Increasing Biofuel Deployment and Utilization through Development of Renewable Super Premium: Infrastructure Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moriarty, K.; Kass, M.; Theiss, T.

    2014-11-01

    A high octane fuel and specialized vehicle are under consideration as a market opportunity to meet federal requirements for renewable fuel use and fuel economy. Infrastructure is often cited as a barrier for the introduction of a new fuel. This report assesses infrastructure readiness for E25 (25% ethanol; 75% gasoline) and E25+ (more than 25% ethanol). Both above-ground and below-ground equipment are considered as are the current state of stations, codes and regulations, and materials compatibility.

  4. Assessing/Optimising Bio-fuel Combustion Technologies for Reducing Civil Aircraft Emissions

    OpenAIRE

    Mazlan, Nurul Musfirah

    2012-01-01

    Gas turbines are extensively used in aviation because of their advantageous volume as weight characteristics. The objective of this project proposed was to look at advanced propulsion systems and the close coupling of the airframe with advanced prime mover cycles. The investigation encompassed a comparative assessment of traditional and novel prime mover options including the design, off-design, degraded performance of the engine and the environmental and economic analysis of the system. The ...

  5. Policies for second generation biofuels: current status and future challenges

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Egger, Haakan; Greaker, Mads; Potter, Emily

    2011-07-01

    Current state-of-the-art knowledge concludes that green house gas (GHG) emissions must be controlled and reduced within the next 30-40 years. The transport sector contributes almost a fifth of the current global emissions, and its share is likely to increase in the future. The US and a number of European countries have therefore introduced various support schemes for research and development (RandD) of low emission fuels that can potentially replace the current fossil fuels. One such alternative is biofuels. The advantage of biofuels are that it is easy to introduce into the transport sector. On the other hand, recent research papers question whether the supply of feedstock is sufficient, and to what extent biofuels lead to GHG emission reductions. This report reviews the current status of second generation biofuels. Second generation biofuels are made from cellulose, which according to our survey of the literature, is in more abundant supply than the first generation biofuels feedstocks. Furthermore, it seems to have the potential to reduce GHG emissions from the transport sector without leading to devastating land use changes, which recent critique has held against first generation biofuels. Given that governments have decided to support RandD of low emission fuels, we ask the following questions: Should second generation biofuels receive RandD support to the same extent as other low emission fuels like hydrogen? How should support schemes for second generation biofuels be designed? Second generation biofuels can be divided according to the production process into thermo-chemical and bio-chemical. With respect to the thermo-chemical process the potential for cost reductions seems to be low. On the other hand, ethanol made from cellulose using the biochemical conversion process is far from a ripe technology. Expert reports point to several potential technological breakthroughs which may reduce costs substantially. Hence, cellulosic ethanol, should receive direct

  6. Chemical Preconversion: Application of Low-Severity Pretreatment Chemistries for Commoditization of Lignocellulosic Feedstock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David N. Thompson; Timothy Campbell; Bryan Bals; Troy Runge; Farzaneh Teymouri

    2013-05-01

    Securing biofuels project financing is challenging, in part because of risks in feedstock supply. Commoditization of the feedstock and decoupling its supply from the biorefinery will promote greater economies of scale, reduce feedstock supply risk and reduce the need for overdesign of biorefinery pretreatment technologies. We present benefits and detractions of applying low-severity chemical treatments or ‘chemical preconversion treatments’ to enable this approach through feedstock modification and densification early in the supply chain. General structural modifications to biomass that support cost-effective densification and transportation are presented, followed by available chemistries to achieve these modifications with minimal yield loss and the potential for harvesting value in local economies. A brief review of existing biomass pretreatment technologies for cellulolytic hydrolysis at biorefineries is presented, followed by a discussion toward economically applying the underlying chemistries at reduced severity in light of capital and operational limitations of small-scale feedstock depots.

  7. Microwave-assisted pyrolysis of biomass for liquid biofuels production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yin, Chungen

    2012-01-01

    Production of 2nd-generation biofuels from biomass residues and waste feedstock is gaining great concerns worldwide. Pyrolysis, a thermochemical conversion process involving rapid heating of feedstock under oxygen-absent condition to moderate temperature and rapid quenching of intermediate products......, is an attractive way for bio-oil production. Various efforts have been made to improve pyrolysis process towards higher yield and quality of liquid biofuels and better energy efficiency. Microwave-assisted pyrolysis is one of the promising attempts, mainly due to efficient heating of feedstock by ‘‘microwave...... dielectric heating’’ effects. This paper presents a state-of-the-art review of microwave-assisted pyrolysis of biomass. First, conventional fast pyrolysis and microwave dielectric heating is briefly introduced. Then microwave-assisted pyrolysis process is thoroughly discussed stepwise from biomass...

  8. Sustainability of biofuels and renewable chemicals production from biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kircher, Manfred

    2015-12-01

    In the sectors of biofuel and renewable chemicals the big feedstock demand asks, first, to expand the spectrum of carbon sources beyond primary biomass, second, to establish circular processing chains and, third, to prioritize product sectors exclusively depending on carbon: chemicals and heavy-duty fuels. Large-volume production lines will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission significantly but also low-volume chemicals are indispensable in building 'low-carbon' industries. The foreseeable feedstock change initiates innovation, securing societal wealth in the industrialized world and creating employment in regions producing biomass. When raising the investments in rerouting to sustainable biofuel and chemicals today competitiveness with fossil-based fuel and chemicals is a strong issue. Many countries adopted comprehensive bioeconomy strategies to tackle this challenge. These public actions are mostly biased to biofuel but should give well-balanced attention to renewable chemicals as well.

  9. The potentials and challenges of algae based biofuels: a review of the techno-economic, life cycle, and resource assessment modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Jason C; Davis, Ryan

    2015-05-01

    Microalgae biofuel production has been extensively evaluated through resource, economic and life cycle assessments. Resource assessments consistently identify land as non-limiting and highlight the need to consider siting based on combined geographical constraints of land and other critical resources such as water and carbon dioxide. Economic assessments report a selling cost of fuel that ranges between $1.64 and over $30 gal(-1) consistent with large variability reported in the life cycle literature, -75 to 534 gCO2-eq MJ(-1). Large drivers behind such variability stem from differences in productivity assumptions, pathway technologies, and system boundaries. Productivity represents foundational units in these assessments with current assumed yields in various assessments varying by a factor of 60. A review of the literature in these areas highlights the need for harmonized assessments such that direct comparisons of alternative processing technologies can be made on the metrics of resource requirements, economic feasibility, and environmental impact.

  10. Biofuels and the conundrum of sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, John J

    2009-06-01

    Sustainable energy is the problem of the 21st century. If biofuels want to be part of the solution they must accept a degree of scrutiny unprecedented in the development of a new industry. That is because sustainability deals explicitly with the role of biofuels in ensuring the well-being of our planet, our economy, and our society both today and in the future. Life cycle assessment (LCA) has been the standard framework for assessing sustainability of biofuels. These assessments show that corn ethanol has a marginally lower fossil energy and greenhouse gas footprint compared to petroleum fuel. Sugarcane ethanol and some forms of biodiesel offer substantially lower footprints. New biofuels may offer low footprints. The science of LCA is being stretched to its limits as policy makers consider direct and indirect effects of biofuels on global land and water resources, global ecosystems, air quality, public health, and social justice.

  11. Is biofuel policy harming biodiversity in Europe?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eggers, J.; Tröltzsch, K.; Falcucci, A.; Verburg, P.H.; Ozinga, W.A.

    2009-01-01

    We assessed the potential impacts of land-use changes resulting from a change in the current biofuel policy on biodiversity in Europe. We evaluated the possible impact of both arable and woody biofuel crops on changes in distribution of 313 species pertaining to different taxonomic groups. Using spe

  12. A Review of Life-Cycle Based Tools Used to Assess the Environmental Sustainability of Biofuels in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    There is no simple answer to the question “are materials from bio-based feedstocks environmentally preferable?” Bioenergy, as an alternative energy source, might be effective in reducing fossil fuel use and dependence, slowing or reducing global warming effects, and providing inc...

  13. Valorization of guayule as a feedstock for lignocellulosic biorefineries using ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) pretreatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natural rubber latex extraction from guayule leaves behind greater than 80% (by weight) of agricultural residue as a feedstock suitable for conversion to biofuels via a thermochemical or biochemical route. Untreated guayule shrub and bagasse (after latex extraction) has shown to be very recalcitrant...

  14. Exometabolomics Approaches in Studying the Application of Lignocellulosic Biomass as Fermentation Feedstock

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zha, Y.; Punt, P.J.

    2013-01-01

    Lignocellulosic biomass is the future feedstock for the production of biofuel and bio-based chemicals. The pretreatment-hydrolysis product of biomass, so-called hydrolysate, contains not only fermentable sugars, but also compounds that inhibit its fermentability by microbes. To reduce the toxicity o

  15. Cellulosic biofuels from crop residue and groundwater extraction in the US Plains: the case of Nebraska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sesmero, Juan P

    2014-11-01

    This study develops a model of crop residue (i.e. stover) supply and derived demand for irrigation water accounting for non-linear effects of soil organic matter on soil's water holding capacity. The model is calibrated for typical conditions in central Nebraska, United States, and identifies potential interactions between water and biofuel policies. The price offered for feedstock by a cost-minimizing plant facing that stover supply response is calculated. Results indicate that as biofuel production volumes increase, soil carbon depletion per unit of biofuel produced decreases. Consumption of groundwater per unit of biofuel produced first decreases and then increases (after a threshold of 363 dam(3) of biofuels per year) due to plants' increased reliance on the extensive margin for additional biomass. The analysis reveals a tension between biofuel and water policies. As biofuel production raises the economic benefits of relaxing water conservation policies (measured by the "shadow price" of water) increase.

  16. Present and future of biofuels production for sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    This paper provides policy relevant information on the assessment of the environmental and social costs, benefits, the critical developments and the options for a more sustainable use of biomass and measures to increase resource productivity of biofuels. In the 21st century biofuels are considered as economically efficient, socially equitable, and environmentally safe substitute of gasoline. The USA and Brazil produce major portion of the global biofuels. The expansion of biofuels conflicts a...

  17. Life of Sugar: Developing Lifecycle Methods to Evaluate the Energy and Environmental Impacts of Sugarcane Biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopal, Anand Raja

    Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) is undergoing a period of rapid change as it strives to become more policy-relevant. Attributional LCA, the traditional LCA category, is beginning to be seen as particularly ill-equipped to assess the consequences of a policy. This has given birth to a new category of LCA known as Consequential LCA that is designed for use in LCA-based policies but is still largely unknown, even to LCA experts, and suffers from a lack of well developed methods. As a result, many LCA-based policies, like the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), use poor LCA methods that are both scientifically suspect and unable to model many biofuels, especially ones manufactured from byproduct feedstocks. Biofuels made from byproduct feedstocks, primarily molasses ethanol from Asia and the Caribbean, can contribute significantly to LCFS' carbon intensity targets in the near-term at low costs, a desperate need for the policy ever since US corn ethanol was rated as having a worse global warming impact than gasoline. In this dissertation, I develop the first fully consequential lifecycle assessment of a byproduct-based biofuel using a partial equilibrium foundation. I find that the lifecycle carbon content of Indian molasses ethanol is just 5 gCO2/MJ using this method, making it one of the cleanest first generation biofuels in the LCFS. I also show that Indian molasses ethanol remains one of the cleanest first-generation biofuels even when using the flawed methodology ratified for the LCFS, with a lifecycle carbon content of 24 gCO2/MJ. My fully consequential LCA model also shows that India's Ethanol Blending program, which currently subsidizes blending of molasses ethanol and gasoline for domestic consumption, can meet its objective of supporting domestic agriculture more cost-effectively by helping producers export their molasses ethanol to fuel markets that value carbon. However, this objective will be achieved at a significant cost to the poor who will face a 39

  18. FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS FOR INSTALLING A CIRCULATING FLUIDIZED BED BOILER FOR COFIRING MULTIPLE BIOFUELS AND OTHER WASTES WITH COAL AT PENN STATE UNIVERSITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruce G. Miller; Sharon Falcone Miller; Robert Cooper; John Gaudlip; Matthew Lapinsky; Rhett McLaren; William Serencsits; Neil Raskin; Tom Steitz; Joseph J. Battista

    2003-03-26

    The Pennsylvania State University, utilizing funds furnished by the U.S. Department of Energy's Biomass Power Program, investigated the installation of a state-of-the-art circulating fluidized bed boiler at Penn State's University Park campus for cofiring multiple biofuels and other wastes with coal, and developing a test program to evaluate cofiring biofuels and coal-based feedstocks. The study was performed using a team that included personnel from Penn State's Energy Institute, Office of Physical Plant, and College of Agricultural Sciences; Foster Wheeler Energy Services, Inc.; Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation; Parsons Energy and Chemicals Group, Inc.; and Cofiring Alternatives. The activities included assessing potential feedstocks at the University Park campus and surrounding region with an emphasis on biomass materials, collecting and analyzing potential feedstocks, assessing agglomeration, deposition, and corrosion tendencies, identifying the optimum location for the boiler system through an internal site selection process, performing a three circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler design and a 15-year boiler plant transition plan, determining the costs associated with installing the boiler system, developing a preliminary test program, determining the associated costs for the test program, and exploring potential emissions credits when using the biomass CFB boiler.

  19. Growing a sustainable biofuels industry: economics, environmental considerations, and the role of the Conservation Reserve Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher M.; Lin, Yolanda; Bierwagen, Britta G.; Eaton, Laurence M.; Langholtz, Matthew H.; Morefield, Philip E.; Ridley, Caroline E.; Vimmerstedt, Laura; Peterson, Steve; Bush, Brian W.

    2013-06-01

    Biofuels are expected to be a major contributor to renewable energy in the coming decades under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). These fuels have many attractive properties including the promotion of energy independence, rural development, and the reduction of national carbon emissions. However, several unresolved environmental and economic concerns remain. Environmentally, much of the biomass is expected to come from agricultural expansion and/or intensification, which may greatly affect the net environmental impact, and economically, the lack of a developed infrastructure and bottlenecks along the supply chain may affect the industry’s economic vitality. The approximately 30 million acres (12 million hectares) under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) represent one land base for possible expansion. Here, we examine the potential role of the CRP in biofuels industry development, by (1) assessing the range of environmental effects on six end points of concern, and (2) simulating differences in potential industry growth nationally using a systems dynamics model. The model examines seven land-use scenarios (various percentages of CRP cultivation for biofuel) and five economic scenarios (subsidy schemes) to explore the benefits of using the CRP. The environmental assessment revealed wide variation in potential impacts. Lignocellulosic feedstocks had the greatest potential to improve the environmental condition relative to row crops, but the most plausible impacts were considered to be neutral or slightly negative. Model simulations revealed that industry growth was much more sensitive to economic scenarios than land-use scenarios—similar volumes of biofuels could be produced with no CRP as with 100% utilization. The range of responses to economic policy was substantial, including long-term market stagnation at current levels of first-generation biofuels under minimal policy intervention, or RFS-scale quantities of biofuels if policy or market conditions were

  20. Biofuels and Sustainable Transport: A Conceptual Discussion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey Gilpin

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Strategies for sustainably using biofuels must be thoroughly assessed at several levels. First, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable development’s main dimensions. Second, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable transport’s main dimensions. Third, gains from using biofuels strategies must compare favorably to gains from other sustainable transport strategies, such as altering transport patterns and reducing transport volume. Fourth, the gains must compare favorably to gains from improving conventional fossil-fuel-based advanced vehicles. Fifth, the gains must compare favorably to gains from using other alternative fuels. Sixth, the gains from using one generation of biofuels (e.g., first generation must compare favorably to gains from using others (e.g., second through fourth generations. Performing scientifically sound and fair comparisons demands reliable theoretical perspectives and a well-established methodological basis. Industrial ecology theory and life cycle assessment methodology, respectively, are well-suited for these tasks.

  1. Designer landscapes for sustainable biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Lian Pin; Levang, Patrice; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2009-08-01

    Oil palm is one of the most extensively cultivated biodiesel feedstocks worldwide, and expansion of its cultivation poses a significant threat to ecosystems, biodiversity and potentially the global climate. We evaluate the prospects of land sparing and wildlife-friendly farming, two contrasting approaches for reducing the impacts of oil palm agriculture. We draw on concepts from both approaches to suggest more sustainable production systems and argue that landscapes under threat from oil palm expansion need to be designed in recognition of biodiversity, economic and livelihood needs. Specifically, we advocate agroforestry zones between high conservation value areas and intensive oil palm plantations to create a more heterogeneous landscape benefiting both biodiversity and rural communities. Similar principles could apply to biofuel systems elsewhere.

  2. An assessment of the usefulness of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus subsalsus as a source of biomass for biofuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno R.S. Setta

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays algal biofuels are considered one of the most promising solutions of global energy crisis and climate change for the years to come. By manipulation of the culture conditions, many algal species can be induced to accumulate high concentrations of particular biomolecules and can be directed to the desired output for each fuel. In this context, the present study involved the assessment of the effects of CO2 availability and nitrogen starvation on growth and chemical composition of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus subsalsus, testing a fast-growing native strain. The control experiments were performed with Conway culture medium in 12-day batch cultures, in 6-liter flasks and 12 h photoperiod, with addition of 2 L min-1 filtered air to each flask. Other two experimental conditions were also tested: (i the placement into the cultures of additional dissolved nutrients except nitrogen, one week after the start of growth (N-, and (ii the input of pure CO2 into the flasks from the 5th day of growth (C+. In all cultures, daily cell counts were done throughout the cultivation, as well as measurements of pH and cell biovolumes. Maximum cell yield were found in N-experiments, while cell yields of C+ and control were similar. Dissolved nitrogen was exhausted before the end of the experiments, but dissolved phosphorus was not totally consumed. Protein and chlorophyll-a concentrations decreased from the exponential to the stationary growth phase of all experiments, except for protein in the control. In all experiments, carbohydrate, lipid and total carotenoid increased from the exponential to the stationary growth phase, as an effect of nitrogen limitation. Increments in carbohydrate concentrations were remarkable, achieving more than 42% of the dry weight (dw, but concentrations of lipid were always lower than 13% dw. The addition of pure CO2 did not cause a significant increase in biomass of S. subsalsus nor generated more lipid and carbohydrate than

  3. Biorefinery of instant noodle waste to biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaoguang; Lee, Sang Jun; Yoo, Hah Young; Choi, Han Suk; Park, Chulhwan; Kim, Seung Wook

    2014-05-01

    Instant noodle waste, one of the main residues of the modern food industry, was employed as feedstock to convert to valuable biofuels. After isolation of used oil from the instant noodle waste surface, the starch residue was converted to bioethanol by Saccharomyces cerevisiae K35 with simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF). The maximum ethanol concentration and productivity was 61.1g/l and 1.7 g/lh, respectively. After the optimization of fermentation, ethanol conversion rate of 96.8% was achieved within 36 h. The extracted oil was utilized as feedstock for high quality biodiesel conversion with typical chemical catalysts (KOH and H2SO4). The optimum conversion conditions for these two catalysts were estimated; and the highest biodiesel conversion rates were achieved 98.5% and 97.8%, within 2 and 3h, respectively. The high conversion rates of both bioethanol and biodiesel demonstrate that novel substrate instant noodle waste can be an attractive biorefinery feedstock in the biofuels industry.

  4. Biohydrogen production from lignocellulosic feedstock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Chieh-Lun; Lo, Yung-Chung; Lee, Kuo-Shing; Lee, Duu-Jong; Lin, Chiu-Yue; Chang, Jo-Shu

    2011-09-01

    Due to the recent energy crisis and rising concern over climate change, the development of clean alternative energy sources is of significant interest. Biohydrogen produced from cellulosic feedstock, such as second generation feedstock (lignocellulosic biomass) and third generation feedstock (carbohydrate-rich microalgae), is a promising candidate as a clean, CO2-neutral, non-polluting and high efficiency energy carrier to meet the future needs. This article reviews state-of-the-art technology on lignocellulosic biohydrogen production in terms of feedstock pretreatment, saccharification strategy, and fermentation technology. Future developments of integrated biohydrogen processes leading to efficient waste reduction, low CO2 emission and high overall hydrogen yield is discussed.

  5. A novel method for quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels based on historical land use change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, X.; Rhodes, J.; Clarens, A. F.

    2012-12-01

    Land use change (LUC) emissions have been at the center of an ongoing debate about how the carbon footprint of biofuels compare to petroleum-based fuels over their entire life cycle. The debate about LUC has important implications in the US, the EU, and other countries that are working to deploy biofuel policies, informed by life cycle assessment, that promote carbon emission reductions, among other things. LUC calculations often distinguish between direct land use change (DLUC), those that occur onsite, and indirect land use change (ILUC), those that result from market mechanisms leading to emissions that are either spatially or temporally removed from the agricultural activity. These designations are intended to capture the fundamental connection between agricultural production of biofuel feedstock and its physical effects on the land, but both DLUC and ILUC can be difficult to measure and apply broadly. ILUC estimates are especially challenging to quantify because they rely on global economic models to assess how much land would be brought into production in other countries as a consequence of biofuel feedstock cultivation. As a result, ILUC estimates inherently uncertain, are sensitive to complex assumptions, have limited transparency, and have precipitated sufficient controversy to delay development of coherent biofuel policies. To address these shortcomings of conventional LUC methodologies, we have developed a method for estimating land use change emissions that is based on historical emissions from a parcel of land. The method, which we call historical land use change (HLUC) can be readily quantified for any parcel of land in the world using open source datasets of historical emissions. HLUC is easy to use and is directly tied to the physical processes on land used for biofuel production. The emissions from the HLUC calculations are allocated between historical agricultural activity and proposed biofuel feedstock cultivation. This is compatible with

  6. Assessment of a Novel Algal Strain Chlamydomonas debaryana NIREMACC03 for Mass Cultivation, Biofuels Production and Kinetic Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Sanjeev; Singh, Neetu; Sarma, Anil Kumar

    2015-08-01

    A novel microalgae strain Chlamydomonas debaryana (KJ210856) was isolated from a freshwater lake of Punjab, India, and cultivated considering climatic sustainability and inherent adaptability concern. C. debaryana was grown in a 30-L indoor photobioreactor to study the mass cultivation prospect and biofuel potential. Physicochemical characterization of biomass and the lipid was performed with effect to nitrogen stress. It showed a higher biomass yield (1.58 ± 0.02 g L(-1), dry weight) and twofold increase in lipid yield (552.78 ± 9 mg L(-1)) with 34.2 ± 0.19 % lipid content under nitrogen deficient condition. Strikingly, increase in triglycerides achieved with nitrogen depletion containing over 96 % of total fatty acids (C 14, C 16, and C 18). Proximate and ultimate analysis suggested the presence of relatively higher volatile matter and carbon-hydrogen ratio. Furthermore, lower moisture and ash content signified C. debaryana biomass has promising features towards biofuel applications. The pyrolytic behavior of the whole biomass was also studied using thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) and kinetic parameters were estimated using different methods. Promising growth rate and lipid yield leading to feasible biofuel feed stock production in indoor photobioreactor along with autosediment potential of cells validates C. debaryana NIREMACC03, a potential strain for mass cultivation.

  7. Feedstock Quality Factor Calibration and Data Model Development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richard D. Boardman; Tyler L. Westover; Garold L. Gresham

    2010-05-01

    The goal of the feedstock assembly operation is to deliver uniform, quality-assured feedstock materials that will enhance downstream system performance by avoiding problems in the conversion equipment. In order to achieve this goal, there is a need for rapid screening tools and methodologies for assessing the thermochemical quality characteristics of biomass feedstock through the assembly process. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) has been identified as potential technique that could allow rapid elemental analyses of the inorganic content of biomass feedstocks; and consequently, would complement the carbohydrate data provided by near-infrared spectrometry (NIRS). These constituents, including Si, K, Ca, Na, S, P, Cl, Mg, Fe and Al, create a number of downstream problems in thermochemical processes. In particular, they reduce the energy content of the feedstock, influence reaction pathways, contribute to fouling and corrosion within systems, poison catalysts, and impact waste streams.

  8. The potential impacts of biomass feedstock production on water resource availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, K C; Hunt, P G; Cantrell, K B; Ro, K S

    2010-03-01

    Biofuels are a major topic of global interest and technology development. Whereas bioenergy crop production is highly dependent on water, bioenergy development requires effective allocation and management of water. The objectives of this investigation were to assess the bioenergy production relative to the impacts on water resource related factors: (1) climate and weather impact on water supplies for biomass production; (2) water use for major bioenergy crop production; and (3) potential alternatives to improve water supplies for bioenergy. Shifts to alternative bioenergy crops with greater water demand may produce unintended consequences for both water resources and energy feedstocks. Sugarcane and corn require 458 and 2036 m(3) water/m(3) ethanol produced, respectively. The water requirements for corn grain production to meet the US-DOE Billion-Ton Vision may increase approximately 6-fold from 8.6 to 50.1 km(3). Furthermore, climate change is impacting water resources throughout the world. In the western US, runoff from snowmelt is occurring earlier altering the timing of water availability. Weather extremes, both drought and flooding, have occurred more frequently over the last 30 years than the previous 100 years. All of these weather events impact bioenergy crop production. These events may be partially mitigated by alternative water management systems that offer potential for more effective water use and conservation. A few potential alternatives include controlled drainage and new next-generation livestock waste treatment systems. Controlled drainage can increase water available to plants and simultaneously improve water quality. New livestock waste treatments systems offer the potential to utilize treated wastewater to produce bioenergy crops. New technologies for cellulosic biomass conversion via thermochemical conversion offer the potential for using more diverse feedstocks with dramatically reduced water requirements. The development of bioenergy

  9. Quantifying the regional water footprint of biofuel production by incorporating hydrologic modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, M.; Chiu, Y.; Demissie, Y.

    2012-10-01

    A spatially explicit life cycle water analysis framework is proposed, in which a standardized water footprint methodology is coupled with hydrologic modeling to assess blue water, green water (rainfall), and agricultural grey water discharge in the production of biofuel feedstock at county-level resolution. Grey water is simulated via SWAT, a watershed model. Evapotranspiration (ET) estimates generated with the Penman-Monteith equation and crop parameters were verified by using remote sensing results, a satellite-imagery-derived data set, and other field measurements. Crop irrigation survey data are used to corroborate the estimate of irrigation ET. An application of the concept is presented in a case study for corn-stover-based ethanol grown in Iowa (United States) within the Upper Mississippi River basin. Results show vast spatial variations in the water footprint of stover ethanol from county to county. Producing 1 L of ethanol from corn stover growing in the Iowa counties studied requires from 4.6 to 13.1 L of blue water (with an average of 5.4 L), a majority (86%) of which is consumed in the biorefinery. The county-level green water (rainfall) footprint ranges from 760 to 1000 L L-1. The grey water footprint varies considerably, ranging from 44 to 1579 L, a 35-fold difference, with a county average of 518 L. This framework can be a useful tool for watershed- or county-level biofuel sustainability metric analysis to address the heterogeneity of the water footprint for biofuels.

  10. Quantifying the Impact of Feedstock Quality on the Design of Bioenergy Supply Chain Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krystel K. Castillo-Villar

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Logging residues, which refer to the unused portions of trees cut during logging, are important sources of biomass for the emerging biofuel industry and are critical feedstocks for the first-type biofuel facilities (e.g., corn-ethanol facilities. Logging residues are under-utilized sources of biomass for energetic purposes. To support the scaling-up of the bioenergy industry, it is essential to design cost-effective biofuel supply chains that not only minimize costs, but also consider the biomass quality characteristics. The biomass quality is heavily dependent upon the moisture and the ash contents. Ignoring the biomass quality characteristics and its intrinsic costs may yield substantial economic losses that will only be discovered after operations at a biorefinery have begun. This paper proposes a novel bioenergy supply chain network design model that minimizes operational costs and includes the biomass quality-related costs. The proposed model is unique in the sense that it supports decisions where quality is not unrealistically assumed to be perfect. The effectiveness of the proposed methodology is proven by assessing a case study in the state of Tennessee, USA. The results demonstrate that the ash and moisture contents of logging residues affect the performance of the supply chain (in monetary terms. Higher-than-target moisture and ash contents incur in additional quality-related costs. The quality-related costs in the optimal solution (with final ash content of 1% and final moisture of 50% account for 27% of overall supply chain cost. Based on the numeral experimentation, the total supply chain cost increased 7%, on average, for each additional percent in the final ash content.

  11. The Danish Biofuel Debate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Janus

    2014-01-01

    biofuels. In Denmark two distinct scientific perspectives about biofuels map onto the policy debates through articulation by two competing advocacy coalitions. One is a reductionist biorefinery perspective originating in biochemistry and neighbouring disciplines. This perspective works upwards from...

  12. Saving the Planet’s Climate or Water Resources? The Trade-Off between Carbon and Water Footprints of European Biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus Berger

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Little information regarding the global water footprint of biofuels consumed in Europe is available. Therefore, the ultimate origin of feedstock underlying European biodiesel and bioethanol consumption was investigated and combined with the irrigation requirements of different crops in different countries. A (blue water consumption of 1.9 m3 in 12 countries per GJ of European biodiesel and 3.3 m3 in 23 countries per GJ of bioethanol was determined. Even though this represents an increase by a factor of 60 and 40 compared to fossil diesel and gasoline, these figures are low compared to global average data. The assessment of local consequences has shown that the irrigation of sunflower seed in Spain causes 50% of the impacts resulting from biodiesel—even though it constitutes only 0.9% of the feedstock. In case of bioethanol production, the irrigation of sugar cane in Egypt, which constitutes only 0.7% of the underlying feedstock, causes 20% of the impacts. In a case study on passenger cars, it was shown that biofuels can reduce the global warming potential by circa 50% along the product life cycle. However, the price of this improvement is an approximate 19 times increased water consumption, and resulting local impacts are even more severe.

  13. Biofuel production in Vietnam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thanh, le L.

    2016-01-01

    Biofuel production has continued to develop and is driven by government support around the world. A comprehensive analysis of biofuel production and the policy implementation is crucial for the biofuel sustainability development. The objective of this thesis is to study the energy efficiency, GHG em

  14. Assessing the invasive potential of biofuel species proposed for Florida and the United States using the Australian Weed Risk Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gordon, D.R. [The Nature Conservancy, PO Box 118526, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Department of Biology, PO Box 118526, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Tancig, K.J. [PO Box 116455, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Onderdonk, D.A.; Gantz, C.A. [Department of Biology, PO Box 118526, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)

    2011-01-15

    Twelve taxa under exploration as bioenergy crops in Florida and the U.S. were evaluated for potential invasiveness using the Australian Weed Risk Assessment system (WRA) modified for separate assessment at the state and national scales. When tested across a range of geographies, this system correctly identifies invaders 90%, and non-invaders 70% of the time, on average. Predictions for Florida were the same as for the U.S. Arundo donax, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus grandis, Jatropha curcas, Leucaena leucocephala, Pennisetum purpureum, and Ricinus communis were found to have a high probability of becoming invasive, while Miscanthus x giganteus, Saccharum arundinaceum, Saccharum officinarum, and the sweet variety of Sorghum bicolor have a low probability of becoming invasive. Eucalyptus amplifolia requires further evaluation before a prediction is possible. These results are consistent with reports on other tests of these taxa. Given the economic and ecological impacts of invasive species, including the carbon expended for mechanical and chemical control efforts, cultivation of taxa likely to become invasive should be avoided. (author)

  15. Streamflow impacts of biofuel policy-driven landscape change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanal, Sami; Anex, Robert P; Anderson, Christopher J; Herzmann, Daryl E

    2014-01-01

    Likely changes in precipitation (P) and potential evapotranspiration (PET) resulting from policy-driven expansion of bioenergy crops in the United States are shown to create significant changes in streamflow volumes and increase water stress in the High Plains. Regional climate simulations for current and biofuel cropping system scenarios are evaluated using the same atmospheric forcing data over the period 1979-2004 using the Weather Research Forecast (WRF) model coupled to the NOAH land surface model. PET is projected to increase under the biofuel crop production scenario. The magnitude of the mean annual increase in PET is larger than the inter-annual variability of change in PET, indicating that PET increase is a forced response to the biofuel cropping system land use. Across the conterminous U.S., the change in mean streamflow volume under the biofuel scenario is estimated to range from negative 56% to positive 20% relative to a business-as-usual baseline scenario. In Kansas and Oklahoma, annual streamflow volume is reduced by an average of 20%, and this reduction in streamflow volume is due primarily to increased PET. Predicted increase in mean annual P under the biofuel crop production scenario is lower than its inter-annual variability, indicating that additional simulations would be necessary to determine conclusively whether predicted change in P is a response to biofuel crop production. Although estimated changes in streamflow volume include the influence of P change, sensitivity results show that PET change is the significantly dominant factor causing streamflow change. Higher PET and lower streamflow due to biofuel feedstock production are likely to increase water stress in the High Plains. When pursuing sustainable biofuels policy, decision-makers should consider the impacts of feedstock production on water scarcity.

  16. Streamflow impacts of biofuel policy-driven landscape change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sami Khanal

    Full Text Available Likely changes in precipitation (P and potential evapotranspiration (PET resulting from policy-driven expansion of bioenergy crops in the United States are shown to create significant changes in streamflow volumes and increase water stress in the High Plains. Regional climate simulations for current and biofuel cropping system scenarios are evaluated using the same atmospheric forcing data over the period 1979-2004 using the Weather Research Forecast (WRF model coupled to the NOAH land surface model. PET is projected to increase under the biofuel crop production scenario. The magnitude of the mean annual increase in PET is larger than the inter-annual variability of change in PET, indicating that PET increase is a forced response to the biofuel cropping system land use. Across the conterminous U.S., the change in mean streamflow volume under the biofuel scenario is estimated to range from negative 56% to positive 20% relative to a business-as-usual baseline scenario. In Kansas and Oklahoma, annual streamflow volume is reduced by an average of 20%, and this reduction in streamflow volume is due primarily to increased PET. Predicted increase in mean annual P under the biofuel crop production scenario is lower than its inter-annual variability, indicating that additional simulations would be necessary to determine conclusively whether predicted change in P is a response to biofuel crop production. Although estimated changes in streamflow volume include the influence of P change, sensitivity results show that PET change is the significantly dominant factor causing streamflow change. Higher PET and lower streamflow due to biofuel feedstock production are likely to increase water stress in the High Plains. When pursuing sustainable biofuels policy, decision-makers should consider the impacts of feedstock production on water scarcity.

  17. REFUEL: an EU road map for biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Londo, M.; Deurwarder, E.; Lensink, S. (and others)

    2007-05-15

    A successful mid-term development of biofuels calls for a robust road map. REFUEL assesses inter alia least-cost biofuel chain options, their benefits, outlines the technological, legislative and other developments that should take place, and evaluate different policy strategies for realisation. Some preliminary conclusions of the project are discussed here. There is a significant domestic land potential for energy crops in the EU, which could supply between one quarter and one third of gasoline and diesel demand by 2030 if converted into advanced biofuels. A biomass supply of 8 to 10 EJ of primary energy could be available at costs around or below 3 EURO/GJ. However, the introduction of advanced biofuel options may meet a considerable introductory cost barrier, which will not be overcome when EU policy is oriented to the introduction of biofuels at least cost. Therefore, conventional biodiesel and ethanol may dominate the market for decades to come, unless biofuels incentives are differentiated, e.g. on the basis of the differences in greenhouse gas performance among biofuels.The introduction of advanced biofuels may also be enhanced by creating stepping stones or searching introduction synergies. A stepping stone can be the short-term development of lignocellulosic biomass supply chains for power generation by co-firing; synergies can be found between advanced FT-diesel production and hydrogen production for the fuel cell. (au)

  18. Biofuels. Environment, technology and food security

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Escobar, Jose C.; Lora, Electo S.; Venturini, Osvaldo J. [NEST - Excellence Group in Thermal Power and Distributed Generation, Mechanical Engineering Institute, Universidade Federal de Itajuba (Brazil); Yanez, Edgar E. [CENIPALMA, Oil Palm Research Center - Cenipalma, Calle 21 42-C-47, Bogota (Colombia); Castillo, Edgar F. [CENICANA - Sugarcane Research Center of Colombia, Calle 58 N, 3BN-110, A.A., 9138 - Cali (Colombia); Almazan, Oscar [ICIDCA - Instituto Cubano de Investigaciones de los Derivados de la Cana de Azucar, Via Blanca y Carretera Central 804, San Miguel del Padron, A.P. 4036, La Habana (Cuba)

    2009-08-15

    The imminent decline of the world's oil production, its high market prices and environmental impacts have made the production of biofuels to reach unprecedent volumes over the last 10 years. This is why there have been intense debates among international organizations and political leaders in order to discuss the impacts of the biofuel use intensification. Besides assessing the causes of the rise in the demand and production of biofuels, this paper also shows the state of the art of their world's current production. It is also discussed different vegetable raw materials sources and technological paths to produce biofuels, as well as issues regarding production cost and the relation of their economic feasibility with oil international prices. The environmental impacts of programs that encourage biofuel production, farmland land requirements and the impacts on food production are also discussed, considering the life cycle analysis (LCA) as a tool. It is concluded that the rise in the use of biofuels is inevitable and that international cooperation, regulations and certification mechanisms must be established regarding the use of land, the mitigation of environmental and social impacts caused by biofuel production. It is also mandatory to establish appropriate working conditions and decent remuneration for workers of the biofuels production chain. (author)

  19. Biofuels, land use change and smallholder livelihoods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hought, Joy Marie; Birch-Thomsen, Torben; Petersen, Jacob

    2012-01-01

    of biofuel feedstock adoption by smallholders in the northwestern Cambodian province of Banteay Meanchey, a region undergoing rapid land use change following the formal end of the Khmer Rouge era in 1989 and subsequent rural resettlement. Remote sensing data combined with field interviews pointed to three...... discrete phases of land use change in this period: first, as a result of the establishment of new settlements (mainly subsistence rice production); second, via the expansion of cash crop cultivation into forested areas (mainly grown on upland fields); and third, due to the response of smallholders...... market had severe consequences for livelihoods and food security. The paper concludes with a discussion of the probable impacts of the emerging cassava market on trajectories in land use, land ownership, and land access in rural Cambodia. The case looks at biofuel adoption in the context of other land...

  20. Growing duckweed for biofuel production: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, W; Cheng, J J

    2015-01-01

    Duckweed can be utilised to produce ethanol, butanol and biogas, which are promising alternative energy sources to minimise dependence on limited crude oil and natural gas. The advantages of this aquatic plant include high rate of nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) uptake, high biomass yield and great potential as an alternative feedstock for the production of fuel ethanol, butanol and biogas. The objective of this article is to review the published research on growing duckweed for the production of the biofuels, especially starch enrichment in duckweed plants. There are mainly two processes affecting the accumulation of starch in duckweed biomass: photosynthesis for starch generation and metabolism-related starch consumption. The cost of stimulating photosynthesis is relatively high based on current technologies. Considerable research efforts have been made to inhibit starch degradation. Future research need in this area includes duckweed selection, optimisation of duckweed biomass production, enhancement of starch accumulation in duckweeds and use of duckweeds for production of various biofuels.

  1. Biofuels and the Lessons of Easter Island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio R. Chaves

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available The return to land-based biofuels ignores the lessons of the past that led to the collapse of civilizations such as that of Easter Island. Even the more efficient ethanol feedstocks such as sugar cane and switchgrass can greatly worsen the environmental damage associated with agriculture because they would require enormous amounts of land to meet US demand for transportation fuel. Too often, style wins over substance because most citizens do not know the basics of well-to-wheel analysis. Therefore, the incorporation of energy literacy into the high school curricula should play a significant role in any comprehensive plan for addressing the energy crisis.

  2. Hydrocracking of vacuum gas oil-vegetable oil mixtures for biofuels production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezergianni, Stella; Kalogianni, Aggeliki; Vasalos, Iacovos A

    2009-06-01

    Hydrocracking of vacuum gas oil (VGO)--vegetable oil mixtures is a prominent process for the production of biofuels. In this work both pre-hydrotreated and non-hydrotreated VGO are assessed whether they are suitable fossil components in a VGO-vegetable oil mixture as feed-stocks to a hydrocracking process. This assessment indicates the necessity of a VGO pre-hydrotreated step prior to hydrocracking the VGO-vegetable oil mixture. Moreover, the comparison of two different mixing ratios suggests that higher vegetable oil content favors hydrocracking product yields and qualities. Three commercial catalysts of different activity are utilized in order to identify a range of products that can be produced via a hydrocracking route. Finally, the effect of temperature on hydrocracking VGO-vegetable oil mixtures is studied in terms of conversion and selectivity to diesel, jet/kerosene and naphtha.

  3. The potential of C4 grasses for cellulosic biofuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim eWeijde

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available With the advent of biorefinery technologies enabling plant biomass to be processed into biofuel, many researchers set out to study and improve candidate biomass crops. Many of these candidates are C4 grasses, characterized by a high productivity and resource use efficiency. In this review the potential of five C4 grasses as lignocellulose feedstock for biofuel production is discussed. These include three important field crops - maize, sugarcane and sorghum - and two undomesticated perennial energy grasses - miscanthus and switchgrass. Although all these grasses are high yielding, they produce different products. While miscanthus and switchgrass are exploited exclusively for lignocellulosic biomass, maize, sorghum and sugarcane are dual-purpose crops. It is unlikely that all the prerequisites for the sustainable and economic production of biomass for a global cellulosic biofuel industry will be fulfilled by a single crop. High and stable yields of lignocellulose are required in diverse environments worldwide, to sustain a year-round production of biofuel. A high resource use efficiency is indispensable to allow cultivation with minimal inputs of nutrients and water and the exploitation of marginal soils for biomass production. Finally, the lignocellulose composition of the feedstock should be optimized to allow its efficient conversion into biofuel and other by-products. Breeding for these objectives should encompass diverse crops, to meet the demands of local biorefineries and provide adaptability to different environments. Collectively, these C4 grasses are likely to play a central role in the supply of lignocellulose for the cellulosic ethanol industry. Moreover, as these species are evolutionary closely related, advances in each of these crops will expedite improvements in the other crops. This review aims to provide an overview of their potential, prospects and research needs as lignocellulose feedstocks for the commercial production of

  4. Cyanobacteria and microalgae: a positive prospect for biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmar, Asha; Singh, Niraj Kumar; Pandey, Ashok; Gnansounou, Edgard; Madamwar, Datta

    2011-11-01

    Biofuel-bioenergy production has generated intensive interest due to increased concern regarding limited petroleum-based fuel supplies and their contribution to atmospheric CO2 levels. Biofuel research is not just a matter of finding the right type of biomass and converting it to fuel, but it must also be economically sustainable on large-scale. Several aspects of cyanobacteria and microalgae such as oxygenic photosynthesis, high per-acre productivity, non-food based feedstock, growth on non-productive and non-arable land, utilization of wide variety of water sources (fresh, brackish, seawater and wastewater) and production of valuable co-products along with biofuels have combined to capture the interest of researchers and entrepreneurs. Currently, worldwide biofuels mainly in focus include biohydrogen, bioethanol, biodiesel and biogas. This review focuses on cultivation and harvesting of cyanobacteria and microalgae, possible biofuels and co-products, challenges for cyanobacterial and microalgal biofuels and the approaches of genetic engineering and modifications to increase biofuel production.

  5. Application of metagenomic techniques in mining enzymes from microbial communities for biofuel synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Mei-Ning; Zhang, Xue-Zhu; Huang, He

    2012-01-01

    Feedstock for biofuel synthesis is transitioning to lignocelluosic biomass to address criticism over competition between first generation biofuels and food production. As microbial catalysis is increasingly applied for the conversion of biomass to biofuels, increased import has been placed on the development of novel enzymes. With revolutionary advances in sequencer technology and metagenomic sequencing, mining enzymes from microbial communities for biofuel synthesis is becoming more and more practical. The present article highlights the latest research progress on the special characteristics of metagenomic sequencing, which has been a powerful tool for new enzyme discovery and gene functional analysis in the biomass energy field. Critical enzymes recently developed for the pretreatment and conversion of lignocellulosic materials are evaluated with respect to their activity and stability, with additional explorations into xylanase, laccase, amylase, chitinase, and lipolytic biocatalysts for other biomass feedstocks.

  6. Land Use Change from Biofuels Derived from Forest Residue: A Case of Washington State

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Brent

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Biofuel policy in the United States is transitioning away from corn towards second-generation biofuels in part because of the debate over environmental damages from indirect land use change. We combine a spatially explicit parcel level model for land use change in Washington State with simulations for biofuel policy aimed at utilizing forest residue as feedstock. Using a spatially explicit model provides greater precision in measuring net returns to forestland and development and indicates which areas will be most impacted by biofuel policy. The effect of policy is simulated via scenarios of increasing net returns to forestry and of siting feedstock-processing plants. Our results suggest that forestland will increase from such a policy, leading to a net reduction in atmospheric carbon from indirect land use change. This is in contrast to the experience of corn ethanol where the change in carbon emissions is potentially positive and large in magnitude.

  7. Monetary assessments of carbon dioxide emissions - Comparison between biofuels and fossil fuels; Monetaera vaerderingar av koldioxidutslaepp - jaemfoerelser mellan biobraenslen och fossila braenslen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ekstroem, C.; Kierkegaard, G. [Vattenfall Utveckling AB, Stockholm (Sweden)] Borgstroem, T. [Swedpower AB (Sweden)

    1999-10-01

    The Swedish tax and subsidy system results in that municipal heat and combined heat and power often can be produced from biofuels at the same as or at lower costs than from fossil fuels. A considerable part of the Swedish municipal district heat is nowadays produced from biofuels. It has been questioned, whether this is justifiable from a national economic point of view, considering realistic estimates of the possible future costs, caused by increased carbon dioxide emissions, that will be avoided this way. There are however large differences between the monetary assessments of carbon dioxide emissions presented in various studies. According to neoclassic national economy, various energy production options should be valued based on their total costs from a national economic point of view. Such total costs include the production costs (`private costs`) as well as `external costs`, i.e. costs that will be brought down upon other parties than the plant owners and the energy buyers. This study illustrates how such total costs for power and heat production from biofuels relative to from natural gas, oil and coal, would be affected if various monetary assessments of carbon dioxide emissions would be treated as external costs and internalised, i.a. charged upon the production costs. The calculations are made for assumed new production plants. The order of precedence (with respect to the lowest total costs) between the studied fuels is affected in favour of biofuels only for high monetary assessments of carbon dioxide emissions. For heat as well as combined heat and power production, an order of precedence corresponding to the carbon dioxide emissions for the respective fuels, will be achieved only for the highest carbon dioxide monetary assessments based on a low discount rate. For condensing power production, the calculated production costs for biofuels are so high that natural gas will get the lowest total costs for all the studied carbon dioxide monetary assessments

  8. Biofuels and Their Co-Products as Livestock Feed: Global Economic and Environmental Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popp, József; Harangi-Rákos, Mónika; Gabnai, Zoltán; Balogh, Péter; Antal, Gabriella; Bai, Attila

    2016-02-29

    This review studies biofuel expansion in terms of competition between conventional and advanced biofuels based on bioenergy potential. Production of advanced biofuels is generally more expensive than current biofuels because products are not yet cost competitive. What is overlooked in the discussion about biofuel is the contribution the industry makes to the global animal feed supply and land use for cultivation of feedstocks. The global ethanol industry produces 44 million metric tonnes of high-quality feed, however, the co-products of biodiesel production have a moderate impact on the feed market contributing to just 8-9 million tonnes of protein meal output a year. By economically displacing traditional feed ingredients co-products from biofuel production are an important and valuable component of the biofuels sector and the global feed market. The return of co-products to the feed market has agricultural land use (and GHG emissions) implications as well. The use of co-products generated from grains and oilseeds can reduce net land use by 11% to 40%. The proportion of global cropland used for biofuels is currently some 2% (30-35 million hectares). By adding co-products substituted for grains and oilseeds the land required for cultivation of feedstocks declines to 1.5% of the global crop area.

  9. Final report on the potential of local biofuels development to the Environmental and Renewable Industries Committee

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-01-31

    There is significant interest in renewable and sustainable energy technologies, particularly biofuels, because of the growing crisis in the agricultural and forestry sectors, rising fuel prices, dwindling energy supply and growing awareness of the impact of traditional energy resources on the environment. Biofuels represent a possible opportunity to move towards a sustainable bio-economy in which agricultural and forestry products, co-products, and waste materials are utilized to produce energy. This report discussed the policy context for biofuels. The key local drivers for biofuel development in Prince Edward Island (PEI) were presented. These include rising energy prices; dependence on fossil fuels; climate change; and agricultural industry challenges. Biofuel policies and initiatives in a federal context, in central and western Canada, in New England, and in Atlantic Canada were also addressed. Prince Edward Island feedstocks such as forestry, agriculture, marine-based, and waste resources were examined. The report also identified the biofuel potential in PEI with reference to biocombustibles; pure plant oils; biodiesel; ethanol; and biogas. Last, the report outlined several biofuel projects, proposal, and initiatives and presented conclusions and recommendations. Several appendices were also included on resource materials; federal funding programs; Canadian renewable fuel standards and tax incentives; and the PEI biofuels evaluation framework. It was concluded that biomass feedstocks such as wood, cereals, straw, grasses, and crop residues offer significant potential for space and water heating applications and electricity generation. refs., tabs.

  10. [Model-based biofuels system analysis: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Shiyan; Zhang, Xiliang; Zhao, Lili; Ou, Xunmin

    2011-03-01

    Model-based system analysis is an important tool for evaluating the potential and impacts of biofuels, and for drafting biofuels technology roadmaps and targets. The broad reach of the biofuels supply chain requires that biofuels system analyses span a range of disciplines, including agriculture/forestry, energy, economics, and the environment. Here we reviewed various models developed for or applied to modeling biofuels, and presented a critical analysis of Agriculture/Forestry System Models, Energy System Models, Integrated Assessment Models, Micro-level Cost, Energy and Emission Calculation Models, and Specific Macro-level Biofuel Models. We focused on the models' strengths, weaknesses, and applicability, facilitating the selection of a suitable type of model for specific issues. Such an analysis was a prerequisite for future biofuels system modeling, and represented a valuable resource for researchers and policy makers.

  11. Life cycle analysis for the cultivation and combustion of Miscanthus for biofuel compared with natural gas

    OpenAIRE

    Ashworth, A; West, C.; Popp, M; Montrejaud-Vignoles,; Sablayrolles, C.; Gabrielle, Benoit

    2008-01-01

    As negative environmental and economic impacts of fossil fuels have escalated, so has the importance of renewable bioenergy crops whose feedstocks are noncompetitive with food supplies. Compared with fossil fuels, use of lignocellulosic feedstocks offers potential for greenhouse gas reduction and highly positive net energy returns because of low input demand and high yields per unit of land area, thus making them advantageous for the emerging biofuel industry. The aim of this study was to sim...

  12. Sunflower-based Feedstocks in Nonfood Applications: Perspectives from Olefin Metathesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marvey, Bassie B.

    2008-01-01

    Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) oil remains under-utilised albeit one of the major seed oils produced world-wide. Moreover, the high oleic sunflower varieties make the oil attractive for applications requiring high temperature processes and those targeting the C=C double bond functionality. Herein an overview of the recent developments in olefin metathesis of sunflower-based feedstocks is presented. The improved performance of olefin metathesis catalysts leading to high turnover numbers, high selectivity and catalyst recyclability, opens new opportunities for tailoring sunflower-based feedstocks into products required for possible new niche market applications. Promising results in biofuel, biopolymers, fragrances and fine chemicals applications have been reported. PMID:19325810

  13. Catalytic Hydrothermal Conversion of Wet Biomass Feedstocks and Upgrading – Process Design and Optimization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoffmann, Jessica; Toor, Saqib; Rosendahl, Lasse

    Liquid biofuels will play a major role for a more sustainable energy system of the future. The CatLiq® process is a 2nd generation biomass conversion process that is based on hydrothermal liquefaction. Hydrothermal liquefaction offers a very efficient and feedstock flexible way of converting...... biomass to bio-oil. Bio-oils from hydrothermal liquefaction are characterised by their high feedstock flexibility. Upgrading of complete bio-oils derived from hydrothermal conversion has not yet been extensively studied. Purpose of this work is to reduce the oxygen content of the bio-oil to improve...

  14. An overview of biofuel policies across the world

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sorda, Giovanni [E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behaviour FCN, RWTH Aachen University, Mathieustrasse 6, 52074 Aachen (Germany); Banse, Martin [Johann Heinrich von Thuenen-Institute vTI, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries, Institute for Market Analysis and Agricultural Trade Policy, Braunschweig (Germany); Kemfert, Claudia [Deutsches Institut fuer Wirtschaftsforschung DIW, Energy, Transportation and Environment Department, Berlin (Germany)

    2010-11-15

    In the last decade biofuel production has been driven by governmental policies. This article reviews the national strategy plans of the world's leading producers. Particular attention is dedicated to blending targets, support schemes and feedstock use. Individual country profiles are grouped by continent and include North America (Canada and the US), South America (Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia), Europe (the European Union, France, and Germany), Asia (China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand) and Australia. (author)

  15. Plant-based biofuels [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth E. Hood

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This review is a short synopsis of some of the latest breakthroughs in the areas of lignocellulosic conversion to fuels and utilization of oils for biodiesel. Although four lignocellulosic ethanol factories have opened in the USA and hundreds of biodiesel installations are active worldwide, technological improvements are being discovered that will rapidly evolve the biofuels industry into a new paradigm. These discoveries involve the feedstocks as well as the technologies to process them.

  16. NREL biofuels program overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mielenz, J.R. [National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO (United States)

    1996-09-01

    The NREL Biofuels Program has been developing technology for conversion of biomass to transportation fuels with support from DOE Office of Transportation Technologies Biofuels System Program. This support has gone to both the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and over 100 subcontractors in universities and industry. This overview will outline the value of the Biofuels development program to the Nation, the current status of the technology development, and what research areas still need further support and progress for the development of a biofuels industry in the US.

  17. PERSPECTIVE: Learning from the Brazilian biofuel experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Michael

    2006-11-01

    converting rainforests into sugarcane plantations and (ii) local air pollution problems as a result of burning in plantations before harvest. Also, as interest in biofuels heightens worldwide, environment-conscious practices are needed to avoid adverse environmental effects of biofuel production and use. For instance, if feedstock production (sugarcane in Brazil, corn in the United States, and palm oil in Malaysia [for biodiesel production]) moves into virgin or marginal land, carbon in both soil and vegetation could be decreased and diminish the benefits associated with biofuels, and cause other environmental problems, such as soil erosion. Societies need to pay close attention to these potential detrimental environmental effects to ensure that biofuel production will, indeed, be on a sustainable path. © US Government References [1] Goldemberg J 2006 The ethanol program in Brazil Environ. Res Lett. 1 014008 (doi:10.1088/1748-9326/1/1/014008) Photo of Michael Wang Michael Wang has been working in the Center for Transportation Research of Argonne National Laboratory since 1991. He is the manager of the Systems Assessment Section in the center which evaluates energy and emission effects of advanced vehicle technologies and new transportation fuels. He developed the GREET (Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation) model, with which he has conducted several major studies for government agencies and industries. Since 1996, he has examined energy and emission benefits of bio-ethanol. His results for bio-ethanol have been cited by many. Michael Wang received his PhD in environmental science from University of California at Davis.

  18. Toward the design of sustainable biofuel landscapes: A modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izaurralde, R. C.; Zhang, X.; Manowitz, D. H.; Sahajpal, R.

    2011-12-01

    Biofuel crops have emerged as promising feedstocks for advanced bioenergy production in the form of cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel. However, large-scale deployment of biofuel crops for energy production has the potential to conflict with food production and generate a myriad of environmental outcomes related to land and water resources (e.g., decreases in soil carbon storage, increased erosion, altered runoff, deterioration in water quality). In order to anticipate the possible impacts of biofuel crop production on food production systems and the environment and contribute to the design of sustainable biofuel landscapes, we developed a spatially-explicit integrated modeling framework (SEIMF) aimed at understanding, among other objectives, the complex interactions among land, water, and energy. The framework is a research effort of the DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. The SEIMF has three components: (1) a GIS-based data analysis system, (2) the biogeochemical model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate), and (3) an evolutionary multi-objective optimization algorithm for examining trade-offs between biofuel energy production and ecosystem responses. The SEIMF was applied at biorefinery scale to simulate biofuel production scenarios and the yield and environmental results were used to develop trade-offs, economic and life-cycle analyses. The SEIMF approach was also applied to test the hypothesis that growing perennial herbaceous species on marginal lands can satisfy a significant fraction of targeted demands while avoiding competition with food systems and maintaining ecosystem services.

  19. Competitive liquid biofuels from biomass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demirbas, Ayhan [Sirnak University, Dean of Engineering Faculty, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sirnak (Turkey)

    2011-01-15

    The cost of biodiesels varies depending on the feedstock, geographic area, methanol prices, and seasonal variability in crop production. Most of the biodiesel is currently made from soybean, rapeseed, and palm oils. However, there are large amounts of low-cost oils and fats (e.g., restaurant waste, beef tallow, pork lard, and yellow grease) that could be converted to biodiesel. The crop types, agricultural practices, land and labor costs, plant sizes, processing technologies and government policies in different regions considerably vary ethanol production costs and prices by region. The cost of producing bioethanol in a dry mill plant currently totals US$1.65/galon. The largest ethanol cost component is the plant feedstock. It has been showed that plant size has a major effect on cost. The plant size can reduce operating costs by 15-20%, saving another $0.02-$0.03 per liter. Thus, a large plant with production costs of $0.29 per liter may be saving $0.05-$0.06 per liter over a smaller plant. Viscosity of biofuel and biocrude varies greatly with the liquefaction conditions. The high and increasing viscosity indicates a poor flow characteristic and stability. The increase in the viscosity can be attributed to the continuing polymerization and oxidative coupling reactions in the biocrude upon storage. Although stability of biocrude is typically better than that of bio-oil, the viscosity of biocrude is much higher. The bio-oil produced by flash pyrolysis is a highly oxygenated mixture of carbonyls, carboxyls, phenolics and water. It is acidic and potentially corrosive. Bio-oil can also be potentially upgraded by hydrodeoxygenation. The liquid, termed biocrude, contains 60% carbon, 10-20 wt.% oxygen and 30-36 MJ/kg heating value as opposed to <1 wt.% and 42-46 MJ/kg for petroleum. (author)

  20. Biological potential of microalgae in China for biorefinery-based production of biofuels and high value compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jingjing; Liu, Ying; Cheng, Jay J; Mos, Michal; Daroch, Maurycy

    2015-12-25

    Microalgae abundance and diversity in China shows promise for identifying suitable strains for developing algal biorefinery. Numerous strains of microalgae have already been assessed as feedstocks for bioethanol and biodiesel production, but commercial scale algal biofuel production is yet to be demonstrated, most likely due to huge energy costs associated with algae cultivation, harvesting and processing. Biorefining, integrated processes for the conversion of biomass into a variety of products, can improve the prospects of microalgal biofuels by combining them with the production of high value co-products. Numerous microalgal strains in China have been identified as producers of various high value by-products with wide application in the medicine, food, and cosmetics industries. This paper reviews microalgae resources in China and their potential in producing liquid biofuels (bioethanol and biodiesel) and high value products in an integrated biorefinery approach. Implementation of a 'high value product first' principle should make the integrated process of fuels and chemicals production economically feasible and will ensure that public and private interest in the development of microalgal biotechnology is maintained.

  1. Biofuels: network analysis of the literature reveals key environmental and economic unknowns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridley, Caroline E; Clark, Christopher M; Leduc, Stephen D; Bierwagen, Britta G; Lin, Brenda B; Mehl, Adrea; Tobias, David A

    2012-02-07

    Despite rapid growth in biofuel production worldwide, it is uncertain whether decision-makers possess sufficient information to fully evaluate the impacts of the industry and avoid unintended consequences. Doing so requires rigorous peer-reviewed data and analyses across the entire range of direct and indirect effects. To assess the coverage of scientific research, we analyzed over 1600 peer-reviewed articles published between 2000 and 2009 that addressed 23 biofuels-related topics within four thematic areas: environment and human well-being, economics, technology, and geography. Greenhouse gases, fuel production, and feedstock production were well-represented in the literature, while trade, biodiversity, and human health were not. Gaps were especially striking across topics in the Southern Hemisphere, where the greatest potential socio-economic benefits, as well as environmental damages, may co-occur. There was strong asymmetry in the connectedness of research topics; greenhouse gases articles were twice as often connected to other topics as biodiversity articles. This could undermine the ability of scientific and economic analyses to adequately evaluate impacts and avoid significant unintended consequences. At the least, our review suggests caution in this developing industry and the need to pursue more interdisciplinary research to assess complex trade-offs and feedbacks inherent to an industry with wide-reaching potential impacts.

  2. Forests, food, and fuel in the tropics: the uneven social and ecological consequences of the emerging political economy of biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauvergne, Peter; Neville, Kate J

    2010-01-01

    The global political economy of biofuels emerging since 2007 appears set to intensify inequalities among the countries and rural peoples of the global South. Looking through a global political economy lens, this paper analyses the consequences of proliferating biofuel alliances among multinational corporations, governments, and domestic producers. Since many major biofuel feedstocks - such as sugar, oil palm, and soy - are already entrenched in industrial agricultural and forestry production systems, the authors extrapolate from patterns of production for these crops to bolster their argument that state capacities, the timing of market entry, existing institutions, and historical state-society land tenure relations will particularly affect the potential consequences of further biofuel development. Although the impacts of biofuels vary by region and feedstock, and although some agrarian communities in some countries of the global South are poised to benefit, the analysis suggests that already-vulnerable people and communities will bear a disproportionate share of the costs of biofuel development, particularly for biofuels from crops already embedded in industrial production systems. A core reason, this paper argues, is that the emerging biofuel alliances are reinforcing processes and structures that increase pressures on the ecological integrity of tropical forests and further wrest control of resources from subsistence farmers, indigenous peoples, and people with insecure land rights. Even the development of so-called 'sustainable' biofuels looks set to displace livelihoods and reinforce and extend previous waves of hardship for such marginalised peoples.

  3. A roadmap for biofuels...

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faaij, A.P.C.; Londo, H.M.

    2009-01-01

    Biofuels have been in the eye of the storm, in particular since 2008, when the food crisis was considered by many to be caused by the increased production of biofuels. Heavy criticism in public media made various governments, including the European Commission, reconsider their targets and ambitions

  4. Plant biotechnology for lignocellulosic biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Quanzi; Song, Jian; Peng, Shaobing; Wang, Jack P; Qu, Guan-Zheng; Sederoff, Ronald R; Chiang, Vincent L

    2014-12-01

    Lignocelluloses from plant cell walls are attractive resources for sustainable biofuel production. However, conversion of lignocellulose to biofuel is more expensive than other current technologies, due to the costs of chemical pretreatment and enzyme hydrolysis for cell wall deconstruction. Recalcitrance of cell walls to deconstruction has been reduced in many plant species by modifying plant cell walls through biotechnology. These results have been achieved by reducing lignin content and altering its composition and structure. Reduction of recalcitrance has also been achieved by manipulating hemicellulose biosynthesis and by overexpression of bacterial enzymes in plants to disrupt linkages in the lignin-carbohydrate complexes. These modified plants often have improved saccharification yield and higher ethanol production. Cell wall-degrading (CWD) enzymes from bacteria and fungi have been expressed at high levels in plants to increase the efficiency of saccharification compared with exogenous addition of cellulolytic enzymes. In planta expression of heat-stable CWD enzymes from bacterial thermophiles has made autohydrolysis possible. Transgenic plants can be engineered to reduce recalcitrance without any yield penalty, indicating that successful cell wall modification can be achieved without impacting cell wall integrity or plant development. A more complete understanding of cell wall formation and structure should greatly improve lignocellulosic feedstocks and reduce the cost of biofuel production.

  5. Application of Electroporation Technique in Biofuel Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yousuf Abu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Biofuels production is mostly oriented with fermentation process, which requires fermentable sugar as nutrient for microbial growth. Lignocellulosic biomass (LCB represents the most attractive, low-cost feedstock for biofuel production, it is now arousing great interest. The cellulose that is embedded in the lignin matrix has an insoluble, highly-crystalline structure, so it is difficult to hydrolyze into fermentable sugar or cell protein. On the other hand, microbial lipid has been studying as substitute of plant oils or animal fat to produce biodiesel. It is still a great challenge to extract maximum lipid from microbial cells (yeast, fungi, algae investing minimum energy.Electroporation (EP of LCB results a significant increase in cell conductivity and permeability caused due to the application of an external electric field. EP is required to alter the size and structure of the biomass, to reduce the cellulose crystallinity, and increase their porosity as well as chemical composition, so that the hydrolysis of the carbohydrate fraction to monomeric sugars can be achieved rapidly and with greater yields. Furthermore, EP has a great potential to disrupt the microbial cell walls within few seconds to bring out the intracellular materials (lipid to the solution. Therefore, this study aims to describe the challenges and prospect of application of EP technique in biofuels processing.

  6. Water use impacts of future transport fuels: role of California's climate policy & National biofuel policies (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teter, J.; Yeh, S.; Mishra, G. S.; Tiedeman, K.; Yang, C.

    2013-12-01

    -hydrologic model EPIC to capture both green water (GW) and blue water (BW) use at a ~10 square km resolution among three scenarios: (1) a counterfactual scenario with no national biofuel policy, (2) current Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandates, and (3) a proposed national Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) plus the RFS scenario. Inputs to EPIC are spatially explicit: (a) cropping areas and yields as projected by a partial equilibrium economic model, (b) daily weather data, (c) soil properties (d) N fertilizer application, and (e) irrigation sources and volumes, by crop (Fig 4-5). We assess the differences among biofuel scenarios from 2007-2035 along the following metrics: (1) crop area expansion on prime & marginal lands (Fig 6), (2) Crop-specific & overall annual/seasonal water balances including (2a) water inflows (irrigation & precipitation), (2b) crop-atmosphere interactions: (evaporation & transpiration) and (2c) soil-water flows (runoff & soil infiltration), in mm3 /acre. We found differential water use impacts among biofuel scenarios are a primarily a function of (1) land use conversion, in particular that of formerly uncropped land classes (2) irrigation practices, (3) feedstock water use efficiency, and (4) the longer growing season and a predominance of rainfed cultivation of dedicated biofuel feedstocks. Fig 1-6 available at the linked urls.

  7. The Use of Biofuel for Sustainable Growth in Developing Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, J.

    2014-12-01

    The biofuel industry is divided into four categories comprising of feedstocks used in 1st and 2nd generation bioethanol and biodiesel. In order to identify and quantify each biofuel feedstock's potential for sustainable growth, each were evaluated according to self-developed social, financial, and environmental criteria. From the investigation and analysis carried out, 1st generation biodiesel and bioethanol were determined to be feedstocks not capable of facilitating sustainable growth. Results showed low earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of -0.5 to 1 USD per gallon for biodiesel and 0.25 to 0.5 USD per gallon for bioethanol. Results also showed a poor return on asset (ROA). The energy required to produce one MJ of 1st generation biofuel fuel was at least 0.4 MJ, showing poor energy balance. Furthermore, high land, water, pesticide, and fertilizer requirements strained surrounding ecosystems by affecting the food web, thus reducing biodiversity. Over 55% of land used by the biodiesel industry in Indonesia and Malaysia involved the deforestation of local rainforests. This not only displaced indigenous organisms from their habitat and decreased their scope of nutrition, but also contributed to soil erosion and increased the probability of flooding. If left unregulated, imbalances in the ecosystem due to unsustainable growth will result in a permanent reshaping of tropical rainforest ecosystems in Southeast Asia. Algae, an example of 2nd generation biodiesel feedstock, was concluded to be the biofuel feedstock most capable of supporting sustainable growth. This is due to its low production costs of $1-1.5/gal, high biological productivity of 5000 gallons of biodiesel per acre per year, and high ROA of 25-35%. Additionally, algae's adaptability to varying environmental conditions also makes it an appealing candidate for businesses in developing countries, where access to resource supplies is unstable. Additionally, its reduced net

  8. Midwest U.S. Landscape Change to 2020 Driven by Biofuel Mandates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meeting future biofuel targets set by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), without a loss of animal feedstock or grain for human consumption, will require a substantial increase in production of corn. The Midwest, which has the highest overall crop production ap...

  9. Moving toward energy security and sustainability in 2050 by reconfiguring biofuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    To achieve energy security and sustainability by 2050 requires reconfiguring biofuel production both by building on current infrastructure and existing technology and also by making substantial improvements and changes in the feedstocks used, the process technologies applied, and the fuels produced....

  10. Current and future economic performance of first and second generation biofuels in developing countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Eijck, Janske; Batidzirai, Batidzirai; Faaij, Andre

    2014-01-01

    Net Present Value (NPV) and total production cost calculations aremade for first and second generation biofuels in 74 settings, covering 5 fuel output types, 8 feedstock types, 12 countries and 8 combinations of agricultural management systems between 2010 and 2030. Yields are assumed to increase du

  11. Engineering microbes to produce biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wackett, Lawrence P

    2011-06-01

    The current biofuels landscape is chaotic. It is controlled by the rules imposed by economic forces and driven by the necessity of finding new sources of energy, particularly motor fuels. The need is bringing forth great creativity in uncovering new candidate fuel molecules that can be made via metabolic engineering. These next generation fuels include long-chain alcohols, terpenoid hydrocarbons, and diesel-length alkanes. Renewable fuels contain carbon derived from carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is derived directly by a photosynthetic fuel-producing organism(s) or via intermediary biomass polymers that were previously derived from carbon dioxide. To use the latter economically, biomass depolymerization processes must improve and this is a very active area of research. There are competitive approaches with some groups using enzyme based methods and others using chemical catalysts. With the former, feedstock and end-product toxicity loom as major problems. Advances chiefly rest on the ability to manipulate biological systems. Computational and modular construction approaches are key. For example, novel metabolic networks have been constructed to make long-chain alcohols and hydrocarbons that have superior fuel properties over ethanol. A particularly exciting approach is to implement a direct utilization of solar energy to make a usable fuel. A number of approaches use the components of current biological systems, but re-engineer them for more direct, efficient production of fuels.

  12. Two-stage Hydrolysis of Invasive Algal Feedstock for Ethanol Fermentation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xin Wang; Xianhua Liu; Guangyi Wang

    2011-01-01

    The overall goal of this work was to develop a saccharification method for the production of third generation biofuel(i.e.bioethanol) using feedstock of the invasive marine macroalga Gracilaria salicornia.Under optimum conditions(120℃ and 2% sulfuric acid for 30 min), dilute acid hydrolysis of the homogenized invasive plants yielded a low concentration of glucose(4.1mM or 4.3g glucose/kg fresh algal biomass). However, two-stage hydrolysis of the homogenates (combination of dilute acid hydrolysis with enzymatic hydrolysis) produced 13.8g of glucose from one kilogram of fresh algal feedstock. Batch fermentation analysis produced 79.1g EtOH from one kilogram of dried invasive algal feedstock using the ethanologenic strain Escherichia coli K011. Furthermore, ethanol production kinetics indicated that the invasive algal feedstock contained different types of sugar, including C5-sugar. This study represents the first report on third generation biofuel production from invasive macroalgae, suggesting that there is great potential for the production of renewable energy using marine invasive biomass.

  13. 2009 Feedstocks Platform Review Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferrell, John [Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Washington, DC (United States)

    2009-12-01

    This document summarizes the recommendations and evaluations provided by an independent external panel of experts at the U.S. Department of Energy Biomass Program‘s Feedstock platform review meeting, held on April 8–10, 2009, at the Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, D.C.

  14. ILUC mitigation case studies Tanzania. Applying the Low Indirect Impact Biofuel (LIIB) Methodology to Tanzanian projects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van de Staaij, J.; Spoettle, M.; Weddige, U.; Toop, G. [Ecofys, Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2012-10-15

    NL Agency is supporting WWF and the Secretariat of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) with the development of a certification module for biofuels with a low risk of indirect land use change (ILUC), the Low Indirect Impact Biofuel (LIIB) methodology (www.LIIBmethodology.org). The LIIB methodology was developed to certify that biomass feedstock for biofuels has been produced with a low risk of indirect impacts. It is designed as an independent module that can be added to biofuel policies and existing certification systems for sustainable biofuel and/or feedstock production, such as the RSB Standard, RSPO or NTA8080. It presents detailed ILUC mitigation approaches for four different solution types field-tested and audited in international pilots. Within the Global Sustainable Biomass programme and the Sustainable Biomass Import programme, coordinated by NL Agency, three projects are working on sustainable jatropha in Tanzania. Ecofys has been commissioned by NL Agency to contribute to the further development of the LIIB methodology by applying it to these three jatropha projects in Tanzania. All three projects located in the North of Tanzania, address sustainability in one way or another, but focus on the direct effects of jatropha cultivation and use. Interestingly, they nevertheless seem to apply different methods that could also minimise negative indirect impacts, including ILUC. Bioenergy feedstock production can have unintended consequences well outside the boundary of production operations. These are indirect impacts, which cannot be directly attributed to a particular operation. The most cited indirect impacts are ILUC and food/feed commodity price increases (an indirect impact on food security). ILUC can occur when existing cropland is used to cover the feedstock demand of additional biofuel production. When this displaces the previous use of the land (e.g. food production) this can lead to expansion of land use to new areas (e.g. deforestation) when

  15. Using mobile distributed pyrolysis facilities to deliver a forest residue resource for bio-fuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Duncan

    Distributed mobile conversion facilities using either fast pyrolysis or torrefaction processes can be used to convert forest residues to more energy dense substances (bio-oil, bio-slurry or torrefied wood) that can be transported as feedstock for bio-fuel facilities. All feedstock are suited for gasification, which produces syngas that can be used to synthesise petrol or diesel via Fischer-Tropsch reactions, or produce hydrogen via water gas shift reactions. Alternatively, the bio-oil product of fast pyrolysis may be upgraded to produce petrol and diesel, or can undergo steam reformation to produce hydrogen. Implementing a network of mobile facilities reduces the energy content of forest residues delivered to a bio-fuel facility as mobile facilities use a fraction of the biomass energy content to meet thermal or electrical demands. The total energy delivered by bio-oil, bio-slurry and torrefied wood is 45%, 65% and 87% of the initial forest residue energy content, respectively. However, implementing mobile facilities is economically feasible when large transport distances are required. For an annual harvest of 1.717 million m3 (equivalent to 2000 ODTPD), transport costs are reduced to less than 40% of the total levelised delivered feedstock cost when mobile facilities are implemented; transport costs account for up to 80% of feedstock costs for conventional woodchip delivery. Torrefaction provides the lowest cost pathway of delivering a forest residue resource when using mobile facilities. Cost savings occur against woodchip delivery for annual forest residue harvests above 2.25 million m3 or when transport distances greater than 250 km are required. Important parameters that influence levelised delivered costs of feedstock are transport distances (forest residue spatial density), haul cost factors, thermal and electrical demands of mobile facilities, and initial moisture content of forest residues. Relocating mobile facilities can be optimised for lowest cost

  16. Printed biofuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Joseph; Windmiller, Joshua Ray; Jia, Wenzhao

    2016-11-22

    Methods, systems, and devices are disclosed for implementing a biofuel cell device for extracting energy from a biofuel. In one aspect, a biofuel cell device includes a substrate, an anode including a catalyst to facilitate the conversion of a fuel in a biological fluid in an oxidative process that releases electrons captured at the anode, thereby extracting energy from the fuel substance, a cathode configured on the substrate adjacent to the anode and separated from the anode by a spacing region, and a load electrically coupled to the anode and cathode via electrical interconnects to obtain the extracted energy as electrical energy.

  17. System visualization of integrated biofuels and high value chemicals developed within the MacroAlgaeBiorefinery (MAB3) project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seghetta, Michele; Hasler, Berit; Bastianoni, Simone

    MacroAlgaeBiorefinery (MAB3) may functions as production platform and raw material supplier for future sustainable production chains of biofuels and high value chemicals. Biofuels are interesting energy source but challenges in terms of the composition of the biomass and resulting energy...... is integrated with a biogas biorefinery, a bioethanol biorefinery and a fish feed industry. The modeled system is able to adapt itself to different amount and quality of feedstock and to maximize valuable outputs (e.g. bio-fuels and chemical). Macroalgae are harvested and utilized as feedstock in bioethanol...... efficiencies has to be compensated for to make the biofuel prices competitive in replacing fossil fuel. Since it is difficult to increase the yield of the single biorefinery, the overall system productivity can be improved integrating different sub-systems. In this study, macroalgae cultivation in Denmark...

  18. Biofuels: balancing risks and rewards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornley, Patricia; Gilbert, Paul

    2013-02-06

    This paper describes a framework that can be used to evaluate the environmental risks and benefits associated with biofuel production. It uses the example of biodiesel produced from Argentinean soy to show how such a framework can be used to conceptualize trade-offs between different environmental, social and economic impacts of biofuel production. Results showing the greenhouse-gas savings and overall life-cycle impact of different 'soy-biodiesel' production methods are presented. These impacts and the significance of uncertainty in overall assessments of key parameters, such as greenhouse-gas savings, are discussed. It is shown that, even where sufficient knowledge exists to be able to quantify these impacts, the sustainability of supply of a particular biofuel is inextricably linked to values and ethical judgements. However, tailoring certification efforts to the issues that are most likely to make a significant difference to the overall sustainability could improve the effectiveness of certification efforts. The potential for a framework to guide and focus certification efforts is discussed and future research and policy priorities suggested.

  19. Survey of alternative feedstocks for biodiesel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summarized will be results obtained from the production of biodiesel from several alternative feedstocks with promising agronomic characteristics. Such feedstocks include camelina (Camelina sativa L.), coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.), field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.), and meadowfoam (Limnanth...

  20. The Biofuels Revolution: Understanding the Social, Cultural and Economic Impacts of Biofuels Development on Rural Communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Selfa, Theresa L; Goe, Richard; Kulcsar, Laszlo; Middendorf, Gerad; Bain, Carmen

    2013-02-11

    The aim of this research was an in-depth analysis of the impacts of biofuels industry and ethanol plants on six rural communities in the Midwestern states of Kansas and Iowa. The goal was to provide a better understanding of the social, cultural, and economic implications of biofuels development, and to contribute to more informed policy development regarding bioenergy.Specific project objectives were: 1. To understand how the growth of biofuel production has affected and will affect Midwestern farmers and rural communities in terms of economic, demographic, and socio-cultural impacts; 2. To determine how state agencies, groundwater management districts, local governments and policy makers evaluate or manage bioenergy development in relation to competing demands for economic growth, diminishing water resources, and social considerations; 3. To determine the factors that influence the water management practices of agricultural producers in Kansas and Iowa (e.g. geographic setting, water management institutions, competing water-use demands as well as producers attitudes, beliefs, and values) and how these influences relate to bioenergy feedstock production and biofuel processing; 4. To determine the relative importance of social-cultural, environmental and/or economic factors in the promotion of biofuels development and expansion in rural communities; The research objectives were met through the completion of six detailed case studies of rural communities that are current or planned locations for ethanol biorefineries. Of the six case studies, two will be conducted on rural communities in Iowa and four will be conducted on rural communities in Kansas. A multi-method or mixed method research methodology was employed for each case study.

  1. Impact of Biofuel Poplar Cultivation on Ground-Level Ozone and Premature Human Mortality Depends on Cultivar Selection and Planting Location.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashworth, Kirsti; Wild, Oliver; Eller, Allyson S D; Hewitt, C Nick

    2015-07-21

    Isoprene and other volatile organic compounds emitted from vegetation play a key role in governing the formation of ground-level ozone. Emission rates of such compounds depend critically on the plant species. The cultivation of biofuel feedstocks will contribute to future land use change, altering the distribution of plant species and hence the magnitude and distribution of emissions. Here we use relationships between biomass yield and isoprene emissions derived from experimental data for 29 commercially available poplar hybrids to assess the impact that the large-scale cultivation of poplar for use as a biofuel feedstock will have on air quality, specifically ground-level ozone concentrations, in Europe. We show that the increases in ground-level ozone across Europe will increase the number of premature deaths attributable to ozone pollution each year by up to 6%. Substantial crop losses (up to ∼9 Mt y(-1) of wheat and maize) are also projected. We further demonstrate that these impacts are strongly dependent on the location of the poplar plantations, due to the prevailing meteorology, the population density, and the dominant crop type of the region. Our findings indicate the need for a concerted and centralized decision-making process that considers all aspects of future land use change in Europe, and not just the effect on greenhouse gas emissions.

  2. Next-generation biofuels: a new challenge for yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrovič, Uroš

    2015-09-01

    Economic growth depends strongly on the availability and price of fuels. There are various reasons in different parts of the world for efforts to decrease the consumption of fossil fuels, but biofuels are one of the main solutions considered towards achieving this aim globally. As the major bioethanol producer, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has a central position among biofuel-producing organisms. However, unprecedented challenges for yeast biotechnology lie ahead, as future biofuels will have to be produced on a large scale from sustainable feedstocks that do not interfere with food production, and which are generally not the traditional carbon source for S. cerevisiae. Additionally, the current trend in the development of biofuels is to synthesize molecules that can be used as drop-in fuels for existing engines. Their properties should therefore be more similar to those of oil-derived fuels than those of ethanol. Recent developments and challenges lying ahead for cost-effective production of such designed biofuels, using S. cerevisiae-based cell factories, are presented in this review.

  3. Biofuels for transportation. From R and D to market

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pilo, C. [comp.

    1996-11-01

    The aim of the Workshop was to bring together stakeholders in industry, government and science to identify technical, economic and institutional opportunities and/or barriers to the market penetration of biofuels and to tackle these issues jointly in an international environment. The Workshop was to cover the role of biofuels in replacing fossil fuels and achieving sustainable transportation. It was to be more oriented towards policy issues than towards analyses of scientific and technical details. The Workshop was focused on the conditions in Northern Europe and North America. Three main themes were chosen: THEME 1. Biomass Feedstocks. How do we produce them cost-effectively and for what purpose? THEME 2. Biofuels for Transportation. What will make them technically and economically competitive? THEME 3. Market Penetration of Biofuels. How do we remove barriers? The following biofuels were considered during the Workshop: Alcohols, such as ethanol and methanol. Ethers, such as MTBE (methyl-tertio-butyl-ether) and ETBE (ethyl-tertio-butyl-ether). Vegetable oils and esters, such as VME (vegetable-oil-methylester), RME (rape-oil-methyl-ester) and REE (rape-oil-ethyl-ester)

  4. Biofuels and food security: biting off more than we can chew?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Clancy, Joy; Rivero Acha, Sergio Luis; Chen, Wei

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines the demonization of biofuels in relation to food security and assess whether or not the negativity towards biofuels is justified. We first examine the concept of food security which has been a concern long before the emergence of biofuels. We show that creating food security is m

  5. Using the GREET model to analyze algae as a feedstock for biodiesel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatum, Christopher

    There is a growing interest in renewable, carbon-neutral biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. A life-cycle analysis is conducted in this study to determine the viability of using algae as a feedstock for biodiesel. The method involves assessing energy use, fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, and criteria pollutant emissions using a simulation developed by Argonne National Laboratory. The energy and emissions of algae-derived biodiesel are compared to those of soybean biodiesel, corn ethanol, conventional gasoline, and low-sulfur diesel. Results show that there are sizeable greenhouse gas emission benefits attributed to the production of both types of biodiesel as compared to petroleum fuels. Energy expenditures are much larger when producing algae biodiesel than compared to the other four fuels. The alternative scenario of growing algae at a wastewater treatment plant is also evaluated and is proven to reduce fossil fuel consumption by 17%. The results suggest that producing biodiesel from algae, while not yet competitive regarding energy use, does have many benefits and is worthy of further research and development.

  6. Impacts of biofuels production alternatives on water quantity and quality in the Iowa River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Y.; Liu, S.

    2012-01-01

    Corn stover as well as perennial grasses like switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and miscanthus are being considered as candidates for the second generation biofuel feedstocks. However, the challenges to biofuel development are its effects on the environment, especially water quality. This study evaluates the long-term impacts of biofuel production alternatives (e.g., elevated corn stover removal rates and the potential land cover change) on an ecosystem with a focus on biomass production, soil erosion, water quantity and quality, and soil nitrate nitrogen concentration at the watershed scale. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was modified for setting land cover change scenarios and applied to the Iowa River Basin (a tributary of the Upper Mississippi River Basin). Results show that biomass production can be sustained with an increased stover removal rate as long as the crop demand for nutrients is met with appropriate fertilization. Although a drastic increase (4.7–70.6%) in sediment yield due to erosion and a slight decrease (1.2–3.2%) in water yield were estimated with the stover removal rate ranging between 40% and 100%, the nitrate nitrogen load declined about 6–10.1%. In comparison to growing corn, growing either switchgrass or miscanthus can reduce sediment erosion greatly. However, land cover changes from native grass to switchgrass or miscanthus would lead to a decrease in water yield and an increase in nitrate nitrogen load. In contrast to growing switchgrass, growing miscanthus is more productive in generating biomass, but its higher water demand may reduce water availability in the study area.

  7. A spatial modeling framework to evaluate domestic biofuel-induced potential land use changed and emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliot, Joshua; Sharma, Bhavna; Best, Neil; Glotter, Michael; Dunn, Jennifer B.; Foster, Ian; Miguez, Fernando; Mueller, Steffen; Wang, Michael

    2014-01-01

    We present a novel bottom-up approach to estimate biofuel-induced land-use change (LUC) and resulting CO2 emissions in the U.S. from 2010 to 2022, based on a consistent methodology across four essential components: land availability, land suitability, LUC decision-making, and induced CO2 emissions. Using highresolution geospatial data and modeling, we construct probabilistic assessments of county-, state-, and national-level LUC and emissions for macroeconomic scenarios. We use the Cropland Data Layer and the Protected Areas Database to characterize availability of land for biofuel crop cultivation, and the CERES-Maize and BioCro biophysical crop growth models to estimate the suitability (yield potential) of available lands for biofuel crops. For LUC decisionmaking, we use a county-level stochastic partial-equilibrium modeling framework and consider five scenarios involving annual ethanol production scaling to 15, 22, and 29 BG, respectively, in 2022, with corn providing feedstock for the first 15 BG and the remainder coming from one of two dedicated energy crops. Finally, we derive high-resolution above-ground carbon factors from the National Biomass and Carbon Data set to estimate emissions from each LUC pathway. Based on these inputs, we obtain estimates for average total LUC emissions of 6.1, 2.2, 1.0, 2.2, and 2.4 gCO2e/MJ for Corn-15 Billion gallons (BG), Miscanthus × giganteus (MxG)-7 BG, Switchgrass (SG)-7 BG, MxG-14 BG, and SG-14 BG scenarios, respectively.

  8. Carbon consequences and agricultural implications of growing biofuel crops on marginal agricultural lands in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Zhangcai; Zhuang, Qianlai; Zhu, Xudong; Cai, Ximing; Zhang, Xiao

    2011-12-15

    Using marginal agricultural lands to grow energy crops for biofuel feedstocks is a promising option to meet the biofuel needs in populous China without causing further food shortages or environmental problems. Here we quantify the effects of growing switchgrass and Miscanthus on Chinese marginal agricultural lands on biomass production and carbon emissions with a global-scale biogeochemical model. We find that the national net primary production (NPP) of these two biofuel crops are 622 and 1546 g C m(-2) yr(-1), respectively, whereas the NPP of food crops is about 600 g C m(-2) yr(-1) in China. The net carbon sink over the 47 Mha of marginal agricultural lands across China is 2.1 Tg C yr(-1) for switchgrass and 5.0 Tg C yr(-1) for Miscanthus. Soil organic carbon is estimated to be 10 kg C m(-2) in both biofuel ecosystems, which is equal to the soil carbon levels of grasslands in China. In order to reach the goal of 12.5 billion liters of bioethanol in 2020 using crop biomass as biofuel feedstocks, 7.9-8.0 Mha corn grain, 4.3-6.1 Mha switchgrass, or 1.4-2.0 Mha Miscanthus will be needed. Miscanthus has tremendous potential to meet future biofuel needs, and to benefit CO(2) mitigation in China.

  9. Microalgae biofuels: A critical review of issues, problems and the way forward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Man Kee; Lee, Keat Teong

    2012-01-01

    Culturing of microalgae as an alternative feedstock for biofuel production has received a lot of attention in recent years due to their fast growth rate and ability to accumulate high quantity of lipid and carbohydrate inside their cells for biodiesel and bioethanol production, respectively. In addition, this superior feedstock offers several environmental benefits, such as effective land utilization, CO(2) sequestration, self-purification if coupled with wastewater treatment and does not trigger food versus fuel feud. Despite having all these 'theoretical' advantages, review on problems and issues related to energy balance in microalgae biofuel are not clearly addressed until now. Base on the maturity of current technology, the true potential of microalgae biofuel towards energy security and its feasibility for commercialization are still questionable. Thus, this review is aimed to depict the practical problems that are facing the microalgae biofuel industry, covering upstream to downstream activities by accessing the latest research reports and critical data analysis. Apart from that, several interlink solutions to the problems will be suggested with the purpose to bring current microalgae biofuel research into a new dimension and consequently, to revolutionize the entire microalgae biofuel industry towards long-term sustainability.

  10. National Geo-Database for Biofuel Simulations and Regional Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Zhang, Xuesong; Sahajpal, Ritvik; Manowitz, David H.

    2012-04-01

    The goal of this project undertaken by GLBRC (Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center) Area 4 (Sustainability) modelers is to develop a national capability to model feedstock supply, ethanol production, and biogeochemical impacts of cellulosic biofuels. The results of this project contribute to sustainability goals of the GLBRC; i.e. to contribute to developing a sustainable bioenergy economy: one that is profitable to farmers and refiners, acceptable to society, and environmentally sound. A sustainable bioenergy economy will also contribute, in a fundamental way, to meeting national objectives on energy security and climate mitigation. The specific objectives of this study are to: (1) develop a spatially explicit national geodatabase for conducting biofuel simulation studies; (2) model biomass productivity and associated environmental impacts of annual cellulosic feedstocks; (3) simulate production of perennial biomass feedstocks grown on marginal lands; and (4) locate possible sites for the establishment of cellulosic ethanol biorefineries. To address the first objective, we developed SENGBEM (Spatially Explicit National Geodatabase for Biofuel and Environmental Modeling), a 60-m resolution geodatabase of the conterminous USA containing data on: (1) climate, (2) soils, (3) topography, (4) hydrography, (5) land cover/ land use (LCLU), and (6) ancillary data (e.g., road networks, federal and state lands, national and state parks, etc.). A unique feature of SENGBEM is its 2008-2010 crop rotation data, a crucially important component for simulating productivity and biogeochemical cycles as well as land-use changes associated with biofuel cropping. We used the EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) model to simulate biomass productivity and environmental impacts of annual and perennial cellulosic feedstocks across much of the USA on both croplands and marginal lands. We used data from LTER and eddy-covariance experiments within the study region to test the

  11. Membrane technology in production of biofuels : tried-and-tested technology improves new biofuel processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon.

    2010-07-15

    Membrane filtration technology, long used in many industrial process streams, is now being adopted in biofuels production and integrated biorefineries, particularly in second generation cellulosic ethanol processes. Second-generation bio-ethanol processes seek to optimize fuel recovery and secondary products from the feedstock and obtain a better value fuel. Membranes are being used to improve bioprocesses, lower energy costs, and increase product recovery. Membranes are engineered physical barriers used in processes for liquid/liquid and liquid/solid separation, permitting the passage of materials only up to a certain size, shape, or character. In biodiesel processes, membranes are being increasingly used to facilitate water reuse. The technology is being explored for use in the production of organic acids, which can form the base for biodegradable plastics. Integrated biorefineries are using microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis. Membranes are being used in fermentation with mesophilic and thermophilic organisms to produce biofuels and organic and amino acids. Membrane technology is low cost relative to using evaporators for recovering or removing water, and it is promising for continuous fermentation, as it helps retain microbial biomass in the fermenter while allowing liquid to be drawn out continuously. Membrane technology developed for use at wastewater treatment plants is being applied in biodiesel production, which produces wash water that is high in contaminants. Membrane technology is part of a wave of biofuel research and demonstration plants.

  12. Engineered plant biomass feedstock particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dooley, James H.; Lanning, David N.; Broderick, Thomas F.

    2011-10-11

    A novel class of flowable biomass feedstock particles with unusually large surface areas that can be manufactured in remarkably uniform sizes using low-energy comminution techniques. The feedstock particles are roughly parallelepiped in shape and characterized by a length dimension (L) aligned substantially with the grain direction and defining a substantially uniform distance along the grain, a width dimension (W) normal to L and aligned cross grain, and a height dimension (H) normal to W and L. The particles exhibit a disrupted grain structure with prominent end and surface checks that greatly enhances their skeletal surface area as compared to their envelope surface area. The L.times.H dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel side surfaces characterized by substantially intact longitudinally arrayed fibers. The W.times.H dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel end surfaces characterized by crosscut fibers and end checking between fibers. The L.times.W dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel top surfaces characterized by some surface checking between longitudinally arrayed fibers. The feedstock particles are manufactured from a variety of plant biomass materials including wood, crop residues, plantation grasses, hemp, bagasse, and bamboo.

  13. The role of microalgae as biodiesel feedstock in a tropical setting: Economics, agro-energy competitiveness, and potential impacts on regional agricultural feedstock production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boll, Matias G.

    The objective of this study is to obtain a realistic evaluation of the potential role of microalgae as a biodiesel feedstock in a tropical setting. First, microalgae economics are estimated, including the detailed design of a 400 ha microalgae open pond production farm together with the microalgae biomass and crude oil production costs calculations. Sensitivity analysis and a stochastic evaluation of the microalgae venture chances for profit are also included. Next, microalgae potential for biodiesel production is compared to traditional oil crops such as soybeans and African palm. This comparison is performed using the Northeast Region (NER) of Brazil as background. Six potential biodiesel feedstock sources produced in the NER and microalgae are compared considering selected environmental, economic and social sustainability indicators. Finally, in the third chapter, the study proposes a cropland allocation model for the NER. The model aims to offer insights to the decision maker concerning biofuel development strategies and their impact on regional agricultural feedstock production. In the model, cropland allocation among three agriculture feedstock sectors, namely staple food, commodity export and biofuel is optimized through the use of the multiple objective technique referred to as compromise programming (CP). Our results indicate a projected microalgae total production cost of R 78,359 ha-1 (US43,533), which has a breakdown as follows: R 34,133 ha-1 (US18,963) for operating costs and R 44,226 ha-1 (US24,570) for overhead (ownership) costs. Our stochastic analysis indicates that microalgae production under the conditions assumed in the baseline scenario of this study has a 0% chance to present a positive NPV for a microalgae crude oil price of R 1.86. This price corresponds to an international oil price around US 77 bbl-1. To obtain a reasonable investment return (IRR = 12%) from the microalgae farm, an international oil price as high as US 461 bbl-1 is

  14. Washery tailings from coal preparation used as aluminium feedstock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuehn, L.; Schieder, T.; Belsky, M.; Lotze, J.; Winkhaus, G.

    1982-06-01

    Kaolinite clays and washery tailings of coal mines are the major feedstocks of the West German aluminium industry. Statistics are given in order to assess the amount of washery tailings available and their suitability as feedstocks for aluminium production. The chemical and mineralogical composition are similar for washery tailings from different mines; accordingly, also their behaviour regarding decomposition by acids will be almost identical. Al/sub 2/O/sub 3/ extraction yields are satisfactory with strongly precalcinated material using concentrated sulphuric acid or azeotropic hydrochloric acid - in the latter case, however, only if fluoride is added to the acid.

  15. A Life-Cycle Assessment of Biofuels: Tracing Energy and Carbon through a Fuel-Production System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauskopf, Sara

    2010-01-01

    A life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a tool used by engineers to make measurements of net energy, greenhouse gas production, water consumption, and other items of concern. This article describes an activity designed to walk students through the qualitative part of an LCA. It asks them to consider the life-cycle costs of ethanol production, in terms of…

  16. Liquid biofuel production from volatile fatty acids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steinbusch, K.J.J.

    2010-01-01

    The production of renewable fuels and chemicals reduces the dependency on fossil fuels and limits the increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere only if a sustainable feedstock and an energy efficient process are used. The thesis assesses the possibility to use municipal and industrial waste as

  17. Cost structures and life cycle impacts of algal biomass and biofuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Katrina Lea

    2011-12-01

    Development and extraction of energy sources, energy production and energy use have huge economic, environmental and geopolitical impacts. Increasing energy demands in tandem with reductions in fossil fuel production has led to significant investments in research into alternative forms of energy. One that is promising but yet not commercially established is the production of biofuel from algae. This research quantitatively assessed the potential of algae biofuel production by examining its cost and environmental impacts. First, two models developed by the RAND corporation were employed to assess Cost Growth defined as the ratio of actual costs to estimated costs, and Plant Performance defined as the ratio of actual production levels to design performance, of three algal biofuel production technologies. The three algal biofuel production technologies examined to open raceway ponds (ORPs), photobioreactors (PBRs), and a system that couples PBRs to ORPs (PBR-ORPs). Though these analyses lack precision due to uncertainty, the results highlight the risks associated with implementing algal biofuel systems, as all scenarios examined were predicted to have Cost Growth, ranging from 1.2 to 1.8, and Plant Performance was projected as less than 50% of design performance for all cases. Second, the Framework the Evaluation of Biomass Energy Feedstocks (FEBEF) was used to assess the cost and environmental impacts of biodiesel produced from three algal production technologies. When these results were compared with ethanol from corn and biodiesel from soybeans, biodiesel from algae produced from the different technologies were estimated to be more expensive, suffered from low energy gains, and did not result in lower greenhouse gas emissions. To identify likely routes to making algal biofuels more competitive, a third study was undertaken. In this case, FEBEF was employed to examine pinch-points (defined as the most costly, energy consuming, greenhouse gas producing processes), in

  18. Biofuels are dead: long live biofuels(?) - part two.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    Whilst obsessing over the policy catastrophe surrounding biofuels, we could easily lose sight of the prospects for science and technology to increase the sustainability of biofuel production by orders of magnitude. Part two of this feature examines the research and development of more sustainable biofuels.

  19. Field-to-Fuel Performance Testing of Various Biomass Feedstocks: Production and Catalytic Upgrading of Bio-Oil to Refinery Blendstocks (Presentation)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carpenter, D.; Westover, T.; Howe, D.; Evans, R.; French, R.; Kutnyakov, I.

    2014-09-01

    Large-scale, cost-competitive deployment of thermochemical technologies to replace petroleum oil with domestic biofuels will require inclusion of high volumes of low-cost, diverse biomass types into the supply chain. However, a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of feedstock thermo-physical and chemical variability, particularly inorganic matter (ash), on the yield and product distribution

  20. BioFuels Atlas (Presentation)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moriarty, K.

    2011-02-01

    Presentation for biennial merit review of Biofuels Atlas, a first-pass visualization tool that allows users to explore the potential of biomass-to-biofuels conversions at various locations and scales.

  1. Potential of Micro and Macro Algae for Biofuel Production: A Brief Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renganathan Rajkumar

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The world seems to be raising its energy needs owing to an expanding population and people’s desire for higher living standards. Diversification biofuel sources have become an important energy issue in recent times. Among the various resources, algal biomass has received much attention in the recent years due to its relatively high growth rate, its vast potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG emissions and climate change, and their ability to store high amounts of lipids and carbohydrates. These versatile organisms can also be used for the production of biofuel. In this review, sustainability and the viability of algae as an up-coming biofuel feedstock have been discussed. Additionally, this review offers an overview of the status of biofuel production through algal biomass and progress made so far in this area.

  2. System for determining biofuel concentration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huff, Shean P.; Janke, Christopher James; Kass, Michael D.; Lewis, Sr, Samuel Arthur; Pawel, Steven J; Theiss, Timothy J.

    2016-09-13

    A measurement device or system configured to measure the content of biofuels within a fuel blend. By measuring a state of a responsive material within a fuel blend, a biofuel content of the fuel blend may be measured. For example, the solubility of a responsive material to biofuel content within a fuel blend, may affect a property of the responsive material, such as shape, dimensional size, or electrical impedance, which may be measured and used as a basis for determining biofuel content.

  3. Microalgae biofuel potentials (review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghasemi, Y; Rasoul-Amini, S; Naseri, A T; Montazeri-Najafabady, N; Mobasher, M A; Dabbagh, F

    2012-01-01

    With the decrease of fossil based fuels and the environmental impact of them over the planet, it seems necessary to seek the sustainable sources of clean energy. Biofuels, is becoming a worldwide leader in the development of renewable energy resources. It is worthwhile to say that algal biofuel production is thought to help stabilize the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and decrease global warming impacts. Also, among algal fuels' attractive characteristics, algal biodiesel is non toxic, with no sulfur, highly biodegradable and relatively harmless to the environment if spilled. Algae are capable of producing in excess of 30 times more oil per acre than corn and soybean crops. Currently, algal biofuel production has not been commercialized due to high costs associated with production, harvesting and oil extraction but the technology is progressing. Extensive research was conducted to determine the utilization of microalgae as an energy source and make algae oil production commercially viable.

  4. Isolation, Preliminary Characterization and Preliminary Assessment of Scale-Up Potential of Photosynthetic Microalgae for the Production of Both Biofuels and Bio-Active Molecules in the U.S. and Canada: Cooperative Research and Development Final Report, CRADA Number CRD-10-372

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pienkos, P.

    2012-09-01

    Combustion flue gases are a major contributor to carbon dioxide emissions into the Earth's atmosphere, a factor that has been linked to the possible global climate change. It is, therefore, critical to begin thinking seriously about ways to reduce this influx into the atmosphere. Using carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion as a feedstock for the growth, photosynthetic microorganisms can provide a large sink for carbon assimilation as well as a feedstock for the production of significant levels of biofuels. Combining microalgal farming with fossil fuel energy production has great potential to diminish carbon dioxide releases into the atmosphere, as well as contribute to the production of biofuels (e.g., biodiesel, renewable diesel and gasoline and jet fuel) as well as valuable co-products such as animal feeds and green chemicals. CO2 capture may be a regulatory requirement in future new coal or natural gas power plants and will almost certainly become an opportunity for commerce, the results of such studies may provide industries in the US and Canada with both regulatory relief and business opportunities as well as the ability to meet environmental and regulatory requirements, and to produce large volumes of fuels and co-products.

  5. Policies for the Sustainable Development of Biofuels in the Pan American Region: A Review and Synthesis of Five Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Barry D.; Banerjee, Aparajita; Acevedo, Alberto; Halvorsen, Kathleen E.; Eastmond, Amarella

    2015-12-01

    Rapid growth of biofuel production in the United States and Brazil over the past decade has increased interest in replicating this success in other nations of the Pan American region. However, the continued use of food-based feedstock such as maize is widely seen as unsustainable and is in some cases linked to deforestation and increased greenhouse gas emissions, raising further doubts about long-term sustainability. As a result, many nations are exploring the production and use of cellulosic feedstock, though progress has been extremely slow. In this paper, we will review the North-South axis of biofuel production in the Pan American region and its linkage with the agricultural sectors in five countries. Focus will be given to biofuel policy goals, their results to date, and consideration of sustainability criteria and certification of producers. Policy goals, results, and sustainability will be highlighted for the main biofuel policies that have been enacted at the national level. Geographic focus will be given to the two largest producers—the United States and Brazil; two smaller emerging producers—Argentina and Canada; and one stalled program—Mexico. However, several additional countries in the region are either producing or planning to produce biofuels. We will also review alternative international governance schemes for biofuel sustainability that have been recently developed, and whether the biofuel programs are being managed to achieve improved environmental quality and sustainable development.

  6. Policies for the Sustainable Development of Biofuels in the Pan American Region: A Review and Synthesis of Five Countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Barry D; Banerjee, Aparajita; Acevedo, Alberto; Halvorsen, Kathleen E; Eastmond, Amarella

    2015-12-01

    Rapid growth of biofuel production in the United States and Brazil over the past decade has increased interest in replicating this success in other nations of the Pan American region. However, the continued use of food-based feedstock such as maize is widely seen as unsustainable and is in some cases linked to deforestation and increased greenhouse gas emissions, raising further doubts about long-term sustainability. As a result, many nations are exploring the production and use of cellulosic feedstock, though progress has been extremely slow. In this paper, we will review the North-South axis of biofuel production in the Pan American region and its linkage with the agricultural sectors in five countries. Focus will be given to biofuel policy goals, their results to date, and consideration of sustainability criteria and certification of producers. Policy goals, results, and sustainability will be highlighted for the main biofuel policies that have been enacted at the national level. Geographic focus will be given to the two largest producers-the United States and Brazil; two smaller emerging producers-Argentina and Canada; and one stalled program-Mexico. However, several additional countries in the region are either producing or planning to produce biofuels. We will also review alternative international governance schemes for biofuel sustainability that have been recently developed, and whether the biofuel programs are being managed to achieve improved environmental quality and sustainable development.

  7. Will EU Biofuel Policies affect Global Agricultural Markets?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Banse, M.; Vvan Meijl, H.; Tabeau, A.; Woltjer, G.

    2008-04-15

    This paper assesses the global and sectoral implications of the European Union Biofuels Directive (BFD) in a multi-region computable general equilibrium framework with endogenous determination of land supply. The results show that, without mandatory blending policies or subsidies to stimulate the use of biofuel crops in the petroleum sector, the targets of the BFD will not be met in 2010 and 2020. With a mandatory blending policy, the enhanced demand for biofuel crops has a strong impact on agriculture at the global and European levels. The additional demand from the energy sector leads to an increase in global land use and, ultimately, a decrease in biodiversity. The development, on the other hand, might slow or reverse the long-term process of declining real agricultural prices. Moreover, assuming a further liberalization of the European agricultural market imports of biofuels are expected to increase to more than 50% of the total biofuel demand in Europe.

  8. Single and multiple objective biomass-to-biofuel supply chain optimization considering environmental impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valles Sosa, Claudia Evangelina

    Bioenergy has become an important alternative source of energy to alleviate the reliance on petroleum energy. Bioenergy offers diminishing climate change by reducing Green House Gas Emissions, as well as providing energy security and enhancing rural development. The Energy Independence and Security Act mandate the use of 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels including 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels by the year 2022. It is clear that Biomass can make a substantial contribution to supply future energy demand in a sustainable way. However, the supply of sustainable energy is one of the main challenges that mankind will face over the coming decades. For instance, many logistical challenges will be faced in order to provide an efficient and reliable supply of quality feedstock to biorefineries. 700 million tons of biomass will be required to be sustainably delivered to biorefineries annually to meet the projected use of biofuels by the year of 2022. Approaching this complex logistic problem as a multi-commodity network flow structure, the present work proposes the use of a genetic algorithm as a single objective optimization problem that considers the maximization of profit and the present work also proposes the use of a Multiple Objective Evolutionary Algorithm to simultaneously maximize profit while minimizing global warming potential. Most transportation optimization problems available in the literature have mostly considered the maximization of profit or the minimization of total travel time as potential objectives to be optimized. However, on this research work, we take a more conscious and sustainable approach for this logistic problem. Planners are increasingly expected to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach, especially due to the rising importance of environmental stewardship. The role of a transportation planner and designer is shifting from simple economic analysis to promoting sustainability through the integration of environmental objectives. To

  9. Washington State Biofuels Industry Development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gustafson, Richard [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)

    2017-04-09

    The funding from this research grant enabled us to design, renovate, and equip laboratories to support University of Washington biofuels research program. The research that is being done with the equipment from this grant will facilitate the establishment of a biofuels industry in the Pacific Northwest and enable the University of Washington to launch a substantial biofuels and bio-based product research program.

  10. Value Added Products from Renewable Biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blum, Paul [Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE (United States)

    2014-07-31

    Cellulosic ethanol is an emerging biofuel that will make strong contributions to American domestic energy needs. In the US midwest the standard method for pretreatment of biomass uses hot acid to deconstruct lignocellulose. While other methods work, they are not in common use. Therefore it is necessary to work within this context to achieve process improvements and reductions in biofuel cost. Technology underlying this process could supplement and even replace commodity enzymes with engineered microbes to convert biomass-derived lignocellulose feedstocks into biofuels and valueadded chemicals. The approach that was used here was based on consolidated bioprocessing. Thermoacidophilic microbes belonging to the Domain Archaea were evaluated and modfied to promote deconvolution and saccharification of lignocellulose. Biomass pretreatment (hot acid) was combined with fermentation using an extremely thermoacidophilic microbial platform. The identity and fate of released sugars was controlled using metabolic blocks combined with added biochemical traits where needed. LC/MS analysis supported through the newly established Nebraska Bioenergy Facility provided general support for bioenergy researchers at the University of Nebraska. The primary project strategy was to use microbes that naturally flourish in hot acid (thermoacidophiles) with conventional biomass pretreatment that uses hot acid. The specific objectives were: to screen thermoacidophilic taxa for the ability to deconvolute lignocellulose and depolymerize associated carbohydrates; evaluate and respond to formation of “inhibitors” that arose during incubation of lignocellulose under heated acidic conditions; identify and engineer “sugar flux channeling and catabolic blocks” that redirect metabolic pathways to maximize sugar concentrations; expand the hydrolytic capacity of extremely thermoacidophilic microbes through the addition of deconvolution traits; and establish the Nebraska Bioenergy Facility (NBF

  11. The Brazilian biofuels industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goldemberg José

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Ethanol is a biofuel that is used as a replacement for approximately 3% of the fossil-based gasoline consumed in the world today. Most of this biofuel is produced from sugarcane in Brazil and corn in the United States. We present here the rationale for the ethanol program in Brazil, its present 'status' and its perspectives. The environmental benefits of the program, particularly the contribution of ethanol to reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, are discussed, as well as the limitations to its expansion.

  12. Feedstock storage, handling and processing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Egg, R.P.; Coble, C.G.; Engler, C.R. (Texas A and M Univ., College Station, TX (United States). Dept. of Agricultural Engineering); Lewis, D.H. (Texas A and M Univ., College Station, TX (United States). Dept. of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology)

    1993-01-01

    This paper is a review of the technology and research covering components of a methane from biomass system between the field and the digester. It deals primarily with sorghum as a feedstock and focuses on research conducted by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. Subjects included in this paper are harvesting, hay storage, ansiling, materials handling, pumping and hydraulic characteristics, hydraulic conductivity, pressure/density relationship, and biological pretreatment. This paper is not a comprehensive design manual; however, design equations and coefficients for sorghum are presented, where available, along with references describing the development and application of design models. (author)

  13. A LCA Based Biofuel Supply Chain Analysis Framework

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘喆轩; 邱彤; 陈丙珍

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a life cycle assessment (LCA) based biofuel supply chain (SC) analysis framework which enables the study of economic, energy and environmental (3E) performances by using multi-objective opti-mization. The economic objective is measured by the total annual profit, the energy objective is measured by the average fossil energy (FE) inputs per MJ biofuel and the environmental objective is measured by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per MJ biofuel. A multi-objective linear fractional programming (MOLFP) model with multi-conversion pathways is formulated based on the framework and is solved by using theε-constraint method. The MOLFP prob-lem is turned into a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) problem by setting up the total annual profit as the optimization objective and the average FE inputs per MJ biofuel and GHG emissions per MJ biofuel as constraints. In the case study, this model is used to design an experimental biofuel supply chain in China. A set of the weekly Pareto optimal solutions is obtained. Each non-inferior solution indicates the optimal locations and the amount of biomass produced, locations and capacities of conversion factories, locations and amount of biofuel being supplied in final markets and the flow of mass through the supply chain network (SCN). As the model reveals trade-offs among 3E criteria, we think the framework can be a good support tool of decision for the design of biofuel SC.

  14. Potential land for plantation of Jatropha curcas as feedstocks for biodiesel in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    As a renewable energy,biofuel has attracted great attention in China and the rest of world.Concerned with the national food security,China recently has shifted its biofuel development priority from grain-based to non-grain-based biofuels,including forest-based biodiesel,since 2007.Jatropha curcas is one of major biodiesel feedstocks.However,there is rising debate on availability of land for expanding Jatropha curcas areas.The overall goal of this paper is to evaluate potential land for Jatropha curcas used as feedstock for biodiesel in China.Based on remote sensing data on land use,data on meteorological,soil and land slope,and suitable environment for Jatropha curcas plantation,this study uses Agro Ecological Zone method and considers social-economic constraints to evaluate potential suitable land for Jatropha curcas plantation in China’s major Jatropha curcas production region,Southwest China.The results show that while there are some potential lands to expand Jatropha curcas areas,amount of these lands will hardly meet the government’s target for Jatropha curcas-based biodiesels development in the future.China may need to reconsider its long-term targets on the development of Jatropha curcas-based biodiesels.

  15. Metals and minerals as a biotechnology feedstock: engineering biomining microbiology for bioenergy applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Indrani; Burrell, Brittany; Reed, Cara; West, Alan C; Banta, Scott

    2017-03-31

    Developing new feedstocks for the efficient production of biochemicals and biofuels will be a critical challenge as we diversify away from petrochemicals. One possible opportunity is the utilization of sulfide-based minerals in the Earth's crust. Non-photosynthetic chemolithoautotrophic bacteria are starting to be developed to produce biochemicals from CO2 using energy obtained from the oxidation of inorganic feedstocks. Biomining of metals like gold and copper already exploit the native metabolism of these bacteria and these represent perhaps the largest-scale bioprocesses ever developed. The metabolic engineering of these bacteria could be a desirable alternative to classical heterotrophic bioproduction. In this review, we discuss biomining operations and the challenges and advances in the engineering of associated chemolithoautotrophic bacteria for biofuel production. The co-generation of biofuels integrated with mining operations is a largely unexplored opportunity that will require advances in fundamental microbiology and the development of new genetic tools and techniques for these organisms. Although this approach is presently in its infancy, the production of biochemicals using energy from non-petroleum mineral resources is an exciting new biotechnology opportunity.

  16. Tappable Pine Trees: Commercial Production of Terpene Biofuels in Pine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-01-01

    PETRO Project: The University of Florida is working to increase the amount of turpentine in harvested pine from 4% to 20% of its dry weight. While enhanced feedstocks for biofuels have generally focused on fuel production from leafy plants and grasses, the University of Florida is experimenting with enhancing fuel production in a species of pine that is currently used in the paper pulping industry. Pine trees naturally produce around 3-5% terpene content in the wood—terpenes are the energy-dense fuel molecules that are the predominant components of turpentine. The team aims to increase the terpene storage potential and production capacity while improving the terpene composition to a point at which the trees could be tapped while alive, like sugar maples. Growth and production from these trees will take years, but this pioneering technology could have significant impact in making available an economical and domestic source of aviation and diesel biofuels.

  17. Tailoring lignin biosynthesis for efficient and sustainable biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang-Jun; Cai, Yuanheng; Zhang, Xuebin; Gou, Mingyue; Yang, Huijun

    2014-12-01

    Increased global interest in a bio-based economy has reinvigorated the research on the cell wall structure and composition in plants. In particular, the study of plant lignification has become a central focus, with respect to its intractability and negative impact on the utilization of the cell wall biomass for producing biofuels and bio-based chemicals. Striking progress has been achieved in the last few years both on our fundamental understanding of lignin biosynthesis, deposition and assembly, and on the interplay of lignin synthesis with the plant growth and development. With the knowledge gleaned from basic studies, researchers are now able to invent and develop elegant biotechnological strategies to sophisticatedly manipulate the quantity and structure of lignin and thus to create economically viable bioenergy feedstocks. These concerted efforts open an avenue for the commercial production of cost-competitive biofuel to meet our energy needs.

  18. Systems analysis and futuristic designs of advanced biofuel factory concepts.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chianelli, Russ; Leathers, James; Thoma, Steven George; Celina, Mathias Christopher; Gupta, Vipin P.

    2007-10-01

    The U.S. is addicted to petroleum--a dependency that periodically shocks the economy, compromises national security, and adversely affects the environment. If liquid fuels remain the main energy source for U.S. transportation for the foreseeable future, the system solution is the production of new liquid fuels that can directly displace diesel and gasoline. This study focuses on advanced concepts for biofuel factory production, describing three design concepts: biopetroleum, biodiesel, and higher alcohols. A general schematic is illustrated for each concept with technical description and analysis for each factory design. Looking beyond current biofuel pursuits by industry, this study explores unconventional feedstocks (e.g., extremophiles), out-of-favor reaction processes (e.g., radiation-induced catalytic cracking), and production of new fuel sources traditionally deemed undesirable (e.g., fusel oils). These concepts lay the foundation and path for future basic science and applied engineering to displace petroleum as a transportation energy source for good.

  19. Preparation of Biofuel Using Acetylatation of Jojoba Fatty Alcohols and Assessment as a Blend Component in Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel

    Science.gov (United States)

    The majority of biodiesel fuels are produced from vegetable oils or animal fats by transesterification of oil with alcohol in the presence of a catalyst. In this study, a new class of biofuel is explored by acetylation of fatty alcohols from Jojoba oil. Recently, we reported Jojoba oil methyl este...

  20. Biofuel vs. Biodiversity? Integrated Emergy and Economic Cost-Benefit Evaluation of Rice-Ethanol Production in Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Energy analysis results confirmed that abandoned rice fields provide a good opportunity for Japan to fulfill its E-3 target by producing ethanol from high-yield rice feedstock. However, to be a viable alternative, a biofuel should not only provide a net energy gain and reduce the...

  1. Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB). Users' Manual and Technical Documentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunn, Jennifer B. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Qin, Zhangcai [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Mueller, Steffen [Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States); Kwon, Ho-young [International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, DC (United States); Wander, Michelle M. [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States); Wang, Michael [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)

    2014-09-01

    The Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB) calculates carbon emissions from land use change (LUC) for four different ethanol production pathways including corn grain ethanol and cellulosic ethanol from corn stover, Miscanthus, and switchgrass. This document discusses the version of CCLUB released September 30, 2014 which includes corn and three cellulosic feedstocks: corn stover, Miscanthus, and switchgrass.

  2. Technology Roadmaps: Biofuels for Transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2011-07-01

    Biofuels could provide up to 27% of total transport fuel worldwide by 2050. The use of transport fuels from biomass, when produced sustainably, can help cut petroleum use and reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector, especially in heavy transport. Sustainable biofuel technologies, in particular advanced biofuels, will play an important role in achieving this roadmap vision. The roadmap describes the steps necessary to realise this ambitious biofuels target; identifies key actions by different stakeholders, and the role for government policy to adopt measures needed to ensure the sustainable expansion of both conventional and advanced biofuel production.

  3. Metabolic engineering of microalgal based biofuel production: prospects and challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiranjib eBanerjee

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The current scenario in renewable energy is focused on development of alternate and sustainable energy sources, amongst which microalgae stands as one of the promising feedstock for biofuel production. It is well known that microalgae generate much larger amounts of biofuels in a shorter time than other sources based on plant seeds. However, the greatest challenge in a transition to algae-based biofuel production is the various other complications involved in microalgal cultivation, its harvesting, concentration, drying and lipid extraction. Several green microalgae accumulate lipids, especially triacylglycerols (TAGs, which are main precursors in the production of lipid. The various aspects on metabolic pathway analysis of an oleaginous microalgae i.e. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii have elucidated some novel metabolically important genes and this enhances the lipid production in this microalgae. Adding to it, various other aspects in metabolic engineering using OptFlux and effectual bioprocess design also gives an interactive snapshot of enhancing lipid production which ultimately improvises the oil yield. This article reviews the current status of microalgal based technologies for biofuel production, bioreactor process design, flux analysis and it also provides various strategies to increase lipids accumulation via metabolic engineering.

  4. Laccase applications in biofuels production: current status and future prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudanga, Tukayi; Le Roes-Hill, Marilize

    2014-08-01

    The desire to reduce dependence on the ever diminishing fossil fuel reserves coupled with the impetus towards green energy has seen increased research in biofuels as alternative sources of energy. Lignocellulose materials are one of the most promising feedstocks for advanced biofuels production. However, their utilisation is dependent on the efficient hydrolysis of polysaccharides, which in part is dependent on cost-effective and benign pretreatment of biomass to remove or modify lignin and release or expose sugars to hydrolytic enzymes. Laccase is one of the enzymes that are being investigated not only for potential use as pretreatment agents in biofuel production, mainly as a delignifying enzyme, but also as a biotechnological tool for removal of inhibitors (mainly phenolic) of subsequent enzymatic processes. The current review discusses the major advances in the application of laccase as a potential pretreatment strategy, the underlying principles as well as directions for future research in the search for better enzyme-based technologies for biofuel production. Future perspectives could include synergy between enzymes that may be required for optimal results and the adoption of the biorefinery concept in line with the move towards the global implementation of the bioeconomy strategy.

  5. Production of biofuels from synthesis gas using microbial catalysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirado-Acevedo, Oscar; Chinn, Mari S; Grunden, Amy M

    2010-01-01

    World energy consumption is expected to increase 44% in the next 20 years. Today, the main sources of energy are oil, coal, and natural gas, all fossil fuels. These fuels are unsustainable and contribute to environmental pollution. Biofuels are a promising source of sustainable energy. Feedstocks for biofuels used today such as grain starch are expensive and compete with food markets. Lignocellulosic biomass is abundant and readily available from a variety of sources, for example, energy crops and agricultural/industrial waste. Conversion of these materials to biofuels by microorganisms through direct hydrolysis and fermentation can be challenging. Alternatively, biomass can be converted to synthesis gas through gasification and transformed to fuels using chemical catalysts. Chemical conversion of synthesis gas components can be expensive and highly susceptible to catalyst poisoning, limiting biofuel yields. However, there are microorganisms that can convert the CO, H(2), and CO(2) in synthesis gas to fuels such as ethanol, butanol, and hydrogen. Biomass gasification-biosynthesis processing systems have shown promise as some companies have already been exploiting capable organisms for commercial purposes. The discovery of novel organisms capable of higher product yield, as well as metabolic engineering of existing microbial catalysts, makes this technology a viable option for reducing our dependency on fossil fuels.

  6. A review on conversion of biomass to biofuel by nanocatalysts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mandana Akia

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The world’s increasing demand for energy has led to an increase in fossil fuel consumption. However this source of energy is limited and is accompanied with pollution problems. The availability and wide diversity of biomass resources have made them an attractive and promising source of energy. The conversion of biomass to biofuel has resulted in the production of liquid and gaseous fuels that can be used for different means methods such as thermochemical and biological processes. Thermochemical processes as a major conversion route which include gasification and direct liquefaction are applied to convert biomass to more useful biofuel. Catalytic processes are increasingly applied in biofuel development. Nanocatalysts play an important role in improving product quality and achieving optimal operating conditions. Nanocatalysts with a high specific surface area and high catalytic activity may solve the most common problems of heterogeneous catalysts such as mass transfer resistance, time consumption, fast deactivation and inefficiency. In this regard attempts to develop new types of nanocatalysts have been increased. Among the different biofuels produced from biomass, biodiesel has attained a great deal of attention. Nanocatalytic conversion of biomass to biodiesel has been reported using different edible and nonedible feedstock. In most research studies, the application of nanocatalysts improves yield efficiency at relatively milder operating conditions compared to the bulk catalysts.

  7. Biofuels from Microalgae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barbosa, M.J.; Wijffels, R.H.

    2013-01-01

    Microalgae are a promising feedstock for sustaineble production of biofuela due to their unique capacity to reach high lipid productivities. Although the promises are there, production costs and energy requirements are high and the technology is still ammature for the production of bulk products. It

  8. Outlook for advanced biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamelinck, Carlo Noël

    2004-01-01

    Modern use of biomass can play an important role in a sustainable energy supply. Biomass abounds in most parts of the world and substantial amounts could be produced at low costs. Motor biofuels seem a sensible application of biomass: they are among the few sustainable alternatives to the tran

  9. Biofuel seeks endorsement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongeneel, C.; Rentmeester, S.

    2015-01-01

    Biofuels such as ethanol from sugar cane and cellulose ‘waste’ are theoretically sustainable, as their combustion releases no more CO2 than is absorbed during production. Even so, they are also controversial, because they are believed to be grown at the expense of food crops, or because areas of rai

  10. Improved lignocellulose conversion to biofuels with thermophilic bacteria and thermostable enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhalla, Aditya; Bansal, Namita; Kumar, Sudhir; Bischoff, Kenneth M; Sani, Rajesh K

    2013-01-01

    Second-generation feedstock, especially nonfood lignocellulosic biomass is a potential source for biofuel production. Cost-intensive physical, chemical, biological pretreatment operations and slow enzymatic hydrolysis make the overall process of lignocellulosic conversion into biofuels less economical than available fossil fuels. Lignocellulose conversions carried out at ≤ 50 °C have several limitations. Therefore, this review focuses on the importance of thermophilic bacteria and thermostable enzymes to overcome the limitations of existing lignocellulosic biomass conversion processes. The influence of high temperatures on various existing lignocellulose conversion processes and those that are under development, including separate hydrolysis and fermentation, simultaneous saccharification and fermentation, and extremophilic consolidated bioprocess are also discussed.

  11. The feasibility of producing adequate feedstock for year–round cellulosic ethanol production in an intensive agricultural fuelshed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uden, Daniel R.; Mitchell, Rob B.; Allen, Craig R.; Guan, Qingfeng; McCoy, Tim D.

    2013-01-01

    To date, cellulosic ethanol production has not been commercialized in the United States. However, government mandates aimed at increasing second-generation biofuel production could spur exploratory development in the cellulosic ethanol industry. We conducted an in-depth analysis of the fuelshed surrounding a starch-based ethanol plant near York, Nebraska that has the potential for cellulosic ethanol production. To assess the feasibility of supplying adequate biomass for year-round cellulosic ethanol production from residual maize (Zea mays) stover and bioenergy switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) within a 40-km road network service area of the existing ethanol plant, we identified ∼14,000 ha of marginally productive cropland within the service area suitable for conversion from annual rowcrops to switchgrass and ∼132,000 ha of maize-enrolled cropland from which maize stover could be collected. Annual maize stover and switchgrass biomass supplies within the 40-km service area could range between 429,000 and 752,000 metric tons (mT). Approximately 140–250 million liters (l) of cellulosic ethanol could be produced, rivaling the current 208 million l annual starch-based ethanol production capacity of the plant. We conclude that sufficient quantities of biomass could be produced from maize stover and switchgrass near the plant to support year-round cellulosic ethanol production at current feedstock yields, sustainable removal rates and bioconversion efficiencies. Modifying existing starch-based ethanol plants in intensive agricultural fuelsheds could increase ethanol output, return marginally productive cropland to perennial vegetation, and remove maize stover from productive cropland to meet feedstock demand.

  12. Clean vehicles with biofuel. A state of the art report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maansson, Tommy

    1998-09-01

    The purpose of this report is to provide an overall analysis and assessment of the use of biofuel in the Swedish transport sector. The report is based on the information and experiences that have been accumulated within the KFB biofuel programme. The results of the various activities in the programme suggest that the technology required for the use of ethanol and biogas as fuels, functions satisfactorily and that biofuels possess considerable potential as a means of improving health and environment Refs, 57 figs, 20 tabs

  13. Multi-scale process and supply chain modelling: from lignocellulosic feedstock to process and products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosseini, Seyed Ali; Shah, Nilay

    2011-04-06

    There is a large body of literature regarding the choice and optimization of different processes for converting feedstock to bioethanol and bio-commodities; moreover, there has been some reasonable technological development in bioconversion methods over the past decade. However, the eventual cost and other important metrics relating to sustainability of biofuel production will be determined not only by the performance of the conversion process, but also by the performance of the entire supply chain from feedstock production to consumption. Moreover, in order to ensure world-class biorefinery performance, both the network and the individual components must be designed appropriately, and allocation of resources over the resulting infrastructure must effectively be performed. The goal of this work is to describe the key challenges in bioenergy supply chain modelling and then to develop a framework and methodology to show how multi-scale modelling can pave the way to answer holistic supply chain questions, such as the prospects for second generation bioenergy crops.

  14. Modifying lignin to improve bioenergy feedstocks: strengthening the barrier against pathogens?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott eSattler

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Lignin is a ubiquitous polymer present in cell walls of all vascular plants, where it rigidifies and strengthens the cell wall structure through covalent cross-linkages to cell wall polysaccharides. The presence of lignin makes the cell wall recalcitrant to conversion into fermentable sugars for bioenergy uses. Therefore, reducing lignin content and modifying its linkages have become major targets for bioenergy feedstock development through either biotechnology or traditional plant breeding. In addition, lignin synthesis has long been implicated as an important plant defense mechanism against pathogens, because lignin synthesis is often induced at the site of pathogen attack. This article explores the impact of lignin modifications on the susceptibility of a range of plant species to their associated pathogens, and the implications for development of feedstocks for the second-generation biofuels industry. Surprisingly, there are some instances where plants modified in lignin synthesis may display increased resistance to associated pathogens, which is explored in this article.

  15. Sunflower-based Feedstocks in Nonfood Applications: Perspectives from Olefin Metathesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bassie B. Marvey

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L. oil remains under-utilised albeit one of the major seed oils produced world-wide. Moreover, the high oleic sunflower varieties make the oil attractive for applications requiring high temperature processes and those targeting the C=C double bond functionality. Herein an overview of the recent developments in olefin metathesis of sunflower-based feedstocks is presented. The improved performance of olefin metathesis catalysts leading to high turnover numbers, high selectivity and catalyst recyclability, opens new opportunities for tailoring sunflower-based feedstocks into products required for possible new niche market applications. Promising results in biofuel, biopolymers, fragrances and fine chemicals applications have been reported.

  16. Arid Lands Biofuel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neupane, B. P.

    2013-05-01

    Dependence on imported petroleum, as well as consequences from burning fossil fuels, has increased the demand for biofuel sources in the United States. Competition between food crops and biofuel crops has been an increasing concern, however, since it has the potential to raise prices for US beef and grain products due to land and resource competition. Biofuel crops that can be grown on land not suitable for food crops are thus attractive, but also need to produce biofuels in a financially sustainable manner. In the intermountain west of Nevada, biofuel crops need to survive on low-organic soils with limited precipitation when grown in areas that are not competing with food and feed. The plants must also yield an oil content sufficiently high to allow economically viable fuel production, including growing and harvesting the crop as well as converting the hydrocarbons into a liquid fuel. Gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa) currently appears to satisfy all of these requirements and is commonly observed throughout the west. The plant favors dry, sandy soils and is most commonly found on roadsides and other freshly disturbed land. A warm season biennial, the gumweed plant is part of the sunflower family and normally grows 2-4 feet high with numerous yellow flowers and curly leaves. The gumweed plant contains a large store of diterpene resins—most abundantly grindelic acid— similar to the saps found on pine trees that are used to make inks and adhesives. The dry weight harvest on the experimental field is 5130 lbs/acre. Whole plant biomass yields between 11-15% (average 13%) biocrude when subjected to acetone extraction whereas the buds alone contains up to a maximum of 35% biocrude when harvested in 'white milky' stage. The extract is then converted to basic form (sodium grindelate) followed by extraction of nonpolar constituents (mostly terpenes) with hexane and extracted back to ethyl acetate in acidified condition. Ethyl acetate is removed under vacuum to leave a dark

  17. Identifying potential areas for biofuel production and evaluating the environmental effects: a case study of the James River Basin in the Midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yiping; Liu, Shu-Guang; Li, Zhengpeng

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels are now an important resource in the United States because of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Both increased corn growth for ethanol production and perennial dedicated energy crop growth for cellulosic feedstocks are potential sources to meet the rising demand for biofuels. However, these measures may cause adverse environmental consequences that are not yet fully understood. This study 1) evaluates the long-term impacts of increased frequency of corn in the crop rotation system on water quantity and quality as well as soil fertility in the James River Basin and 2) identifies potential grasslands for cultivating bioenergy crops (e.g. switchgrass), estimating the water quality impacts. We selected the soil and water assessment tool, a physically based multidisciplinary model, as the modeling approach to simulate a series of biofuel production scenarios involving crop rotation and land cover changes. The model simulations with different crop rotation scenarios indicate that decreases in water yield and soil nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) concentration along with an increase in NO3-N load to stream water could justify serious concerns regarding increased corn rotations in this basin. Simulations with land cover change scenarios helped us spatially classify the grasslands in terms of biomass productivity and nitrogen loads, and we further derived the relationship of biomass production targets and the resulting nitrogen loads against switchgrass planting acreages. The suggested economically efficient (planting acreage) and environmentally friendly (water quality) planting locations and acreages can be a valuable guide for cultivating switchgrass in this basin. This information, along with the projected environmental costs (i.e. reduced water yield and increased nitrogen load), can contribute to decision support tools for land managers to seek the sustainability of biofuel development in this region.

  18. Uncertainties in Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Advanced Biomass Feedstock Logistics Supply Chains in Kansas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Long Nguyen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available To meet Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA cellulosic biofuel mandates, the United States will require an annual domestic supply of about 242 million Mg of biomass by 2022. To improve the feedstock logistics of lignocellulosic biofuels in order to access available biomass resources from areas with varying yields, commodity systems have been proposed and designed to deliver quality-controlled biomass feedstocks at preprocessing “depots”. Preprocessing depots densify and stabilize the biomass prior to long-distance transport and delivery to centralized biorefineries. The logistics of biomass commodity supply chains could introduce spatially variable environmental impacts into the biofuel life cycle due to needing to harvest, move, and preprocess biomass from multiple distances that have variable spatial density. This study examines the uncertainty in greenhouse gas (GHG emissions of corn stover logistics within a bio-ethanol supply chain in the state of Kansas, where sustainable biomass supply varies spatially. Two scenarios were evaluated each having a different number of depots of varying capacity and location within Kansas relative to a central commodity-receiving biorefinery to test GHG emissions uncertainty. The first scenario sited four preprocessing depots evenly across the state of Kansas but within the vicinity of counties having high biomass supply density. The second scenario located five depots based on the shortest depot-to-biorefinery rail distance and biomass availability. The logistics supply chain consists of corn stover harvest, collection and storage, feedstock transport from field to biomass preprocessing depot, preprocessing depot operations, and commodity transport from the biomass preprocessing depot to the biorefinery. Monte Carlo simulation was used to estimate the spatial uncertainty in the feedstock logistics gate-to-gate sequence. Within the logistics supply chain GHG emissions are most sensitive to the

  19. Drop-in biofuel production via conventional (lipid/fatty acid) and advanced (biomass) routes. Part I: Drop-in biofuel production via conventional and advanced routes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karatzos, Sergios [IEA Bioenergy Task 39 and Forest Products Biotechnology/Bioenergy Group, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC Canada; van Dyk, J. Susan [IEA Bioenergy Task 39 and Forest Products Biotechnology/Bioenergy Group, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC Canada; McMillan, James D. [IEA Bioenergy Task 39 and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Denver Colorado; Saddler, Jack [IEA Bioenergy Task 39 and Forest Products Biotechnology/Bioenergy Group, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC Canada

    2017-01-23

    Drop-in biofuels that are 'functionally identical to petroleum fuels and fully compatible with existing infrastructure' are needed for sectors such as aviation where biofuels such as bioethanol/biodiesel cannot be used. The technologies used to produce drop-in biofuels can be grouped into the four categories: oleochemical, thermochemical, biochemical, and hybrid technologies. Commercial volumes of conventional drop-in biofuels are currently produced through the oleochemical pathway, to make products such as renewable diesel and biojet fuel. However, the cost, sustainability, and availability of the lipid/fatty acid feedstocks are significant challenges that need to be addressed. In the longer-term, it is likely that commercial growth in drop-in biofuels will be based on lignocellulosic feedstocks. However, these technologies have been slow to develop and have been hampered by several technoeconomic challenges. For example, the gasification/Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis route suffers from high capital costs and economies of scale difficulties, while the economical production of high quality syngas remains a significant challenge. Although pyrolysis/hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) based technologies are promising, the upgrading of pyrolysis oils to higher specification fuels has encountered several technical challenges, such as high catalyst cost and short catalyst lifespan. Biochemical routes to drop-in fuels have the advantage of producing single molecules with simple chemistry. However, the high value of these molecules in other markets such as renewable chemical precursors and fragrances will limit their use for fuel. In the near-term, (1-5 years) it is likely that, 'conventional' drop-in biofuels will be produced predominantly via the oleochemical route, due to the relative simplicity and maturity of this pathway.

  20. The Long-Term Prospects of Biofuels in the EU-15 Countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reinhard Haas

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The core objective of this paper is to analyze the energy and CO2 reduction potentials as well as the market prospects of biofuels in EU-15 in a dynamic framework till 2050. The most important result of this analysis is that 2nd generation biofuels might become economically competitive between 2020 and 2030, yet this can only be achieved if the following preconditions are fulfilled: (1 achievement of significant learning effects leading to considerably lower plant costs; (2 significant improvement of conversion efficiency from feedstock to fuel leading to lower feedstock costs and better ecological performance; (3 increases in conventional diesel and gasoline prices, e.g., due to CO2 based taxes.

  1. Meeting the U.S. renewable fuel standard: a comparison of biofuel pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Y. Menetrez

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The production of renewable energy is undergoing rapid development. Ethanol primarily derived from corn and biodiesel made from recycled cooking oil and agricultural grains are established sources of renewable transportation fuel. Cellulosic ethanol production is increasing substantially, but at a rate below expectations. If future renewable fuel projections are to be accomplished, additional sources will be needed. Ideally, these sources should be independent of competing feedstock use such as food grains, and require a minimal footprint. Although the uses of algae seem promising, a number of demonstrations have not been economically successful in today‟s market. This paper identifies efforts being conducted on ethanol and biodiesel production and how algae might contribute to the production of biofuel in the United States. Additionally, the feedstock and land requirements of existing biofuel pathways are compared and discussed.

  2. BIOMASS SUPPLY FOR BIOFUEL PRODUCTION: ESTIMATES FOR THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subbu Kumarappan

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available The potential supply of biomass feedstocks in the US and Canada is estimated using a static supply function approach. Estimated total biomass available at a price of $100 per metric ton is 568 million metric tons in the US and 123 million tons in Canada, which together can displace 23-45 billion gallons of gasoline. Sufficient biomass, mainly agricultural and mill residues, will be available at prices of around $50/ton to meet the advanced biofuel mandates of the US Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The estimates of agricultural residue supply are very sensitive to the assumed fraction of residues that can be sustainably removed from the field, and the potential of municipal solid waste as a feedstock depends on which components can be economically converted into liquid biofuels.

  3. The Genetics of Biofuel Traits in Panicum Grasses: Developing a Model System with Diploid Panicum Hallii

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Juenger, Thomas [Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Dept. of Integrative Biology; Wolfrum, Ed [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2016-07-31

    Our DOE funded project focused on characterizing natural variation in C4 perennial grasses including switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and Hall’s panicgrass (Panicum hallii). The main theme of our project was to better understand traits linked with plant performance and that impact the utility of plant biomass as a biofuel feedstock. In addition, our project developed tools and resources for studying genetic variation in Panicum hallii. Our project successfully screened both Panicum virgatum and Panicum hallii diverse natural collections for a host of phenotypes, developed genetic mapping populations for both species, completed genetic mapping for biofuel related traits, and helped in the development of genomic resources of Panicum hallii. Together, these studies have improved our understanding of the role of genetic and environmental factors in impacting plant performance. This information, along with new tools, will help foster the improvement of perennial grasses for feedstock applications.

  4. Improving EU biofuels policy?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swinbank, Alan; Daugbjerg, Carsten

    2013-01-01

    in the WTO, as there would be a clearer link between policy measures and the objective of reductions in GHG emissions; and the combination of the revised RED and the FQD would lessen the commercial incentive to import biofuels with modest GHG emission savings, and thus reduce the risk of trade tension.......Both the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and Article 7a of its Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) seek to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport fuels. The RED mandates a 10% share of renewable energy in transport fuels by 2020, whilst the FQD requires a 6% reduction in GHG emissions...... (from a 2010 base) by the same date. In practice, it will mainly be biofuels that economic operators will use to meet these requirements, but the different approaches can lead to either the RED, or the FQD, acting as the binding constraint. A common set of environmental sustainability criteria apply...

  5. Life cycle environmental impacts of wastewater-based algal biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Dongyan; Min, Min; Krohn, Brian; Mullins, Kimberley A; Ruan, Roger; Hill, Jason

    2014-10-07

    Recent research has proposed integrating wastewater treatment with algae cultivation as a way of producing algal biofuels at a commercial scale more sustainably. This study evaluates the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels with a well-to-wheel life cycle assessment (LCA). Production pathways examined include different nutrient sources (municipal wastewater influent to the activated sludge process, centrate from the sludge drying process, swine manure, and freshwater with synthetic fertilizers) combined with emerging biomass conversion technologies (microwave pyrolysis, combustion, wet lipid extraction, and hydrothermal liquefaction). Results show that the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels is generally better than freshwater-based algal biofuels, but depends on the characteristics of the wastewater and the conversion technologies. Of 16 pathways compared, only the centrate cultivation with wet lipid extraction pathway and the centrate cultivation with combustion pathway have lower impacts than petroleum diesel in all environmental categories examined (fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication potential, and consumptive water use). The potential for large-scale implementation of centrate-based algal biofuel, however, is limited by availability of centrate. Thus, it is unlikely that algal biofuels can provide a large-scale and environmentally preferable alternative to petroleum transportation fuels without considerable improvement in current production technologies. Additionally, the cobenefit of wastewater-based algal biofuel production as an alternate means of treating various wastewaters should be further explored.

  6. Benchmarking biofuels; Biobrandstoffen benchmarken

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Croezen, H.; Kampman, B.; Bergsma, G.

    2012-03-15

    A sustainability benchmark for transport biofuels has been developed and used to evaluate the various biofuels currently on the market. For comparison, electric vehicles, hydrogen vehicles and petrol/diesel vehicles were also included. A range of studies as well as growing insight are making it ever clearer that biomass-based transport fuels may have just as big a carbon footprint as fossil fuels like petrol or diesel, or even bigger. At the request of Greenpeace Netherlands, CE Delft has brought together current understanding on the sustainability of fossil fuels, biofuels and electric vehicles, with particular focus on the performance of the respective energy carriers on three sustainability criteria, with the first weighing the heaviest: (1) Greenhouse gas emissions; (2) Land use; and (3) Nutrient consumption [Dutch] Greenpeace Nederland heeft CE Delft gevraagd een duurzaamheidsmeetlat voor biobrandstoffen voor transport te ontwerpen en hierop de verschillende biobrandstoffen te scoren. Voor een vergelijk zijn ook elektrisch rijden, rijden op waterstof en rijden op benzine of diesel opgenomen. Door onderzoek en voortschrijdend inzicht blijkt steeds vaker dat transportbrandstoffen op basis van biomassa soms net zoveel of zelfs meer broeikasgassen veroorzaken dan fossiele brandstoffen als benzine en diesel. CE Delft heeft voor Greenpeace Nederland op een rijtje gezet wat de huidige inzichten zijn over de duurzaamheid van fossiele brandstoffen, biobrandstoffen en elektrisch rijden. Daarbij is gekeken naar de effecten van de brandstoffen op drie duurzaamheidscriteria, waarbij broeikasgasemissies het zwaarst wegen: (1) Broeikasgasemissies; (2) Landgebruik; en (3) Nutriëntengebruik.

  7. Biofuels from microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoni, Dominik; Zverlov, Vladimir V; Schwarz, Wolfgang H

    2007-11-01

    Today, biomass covers about 10% of the world's primary energy demand. Against a backdrop of rising crude oil prices, depletion of resources, political instability in producing countries and environmental challenges, besides efficiency and intelligent use, only biomass has the potential to replace the supply of an energy hungry civilisation. Plant biomass is an abundant and renewable source of energy-rich carbohydrates which can be efficiently converted by microbes into biofuels, of which, only bioethanol is produced on an industrial scale today. Biomethane is produced on a large scale, but is not yet utilised for transportation. Biobutanol is on the agenda of several companies and may be used in the near future as a supplement for gasoline, diesel and kerosene, as well as contributing to the partially biological production of butyl-t-butylether, BTBE as does bioethanol today with ETBE. Biohydrogen, biomethanol and microbially made biodiesel still require further development. This paper reviews microbially made biofuels which have potential to replace our present day fuels, either alone, by blending, or by chemical conversion. It also summarises the history of biofuels and provides insight into the actual production in various countries, reviewing their policies and adaptivity to the energy challenges of foreseeable future.

  8. BIOFUELS: FROM HOPES TO REALITY

    OpenAIRE

    Carioca,José Osvaldo Beserra; Friedrich, Horst E.; Ehrenberger, Simone

    2011-01-01

    This paper combines the research for biofuels processing development with the vehicle conception to focus on realistic scenarios for biofuels to attend vehicle specifications and future green mobility. Actually, these are two important segments of fuels and biofuels context which should converge to a sustainable and realistic model. Recently, due to the climate changes versus fossil fuels use, and its consequences, the United Nations System addressed to the world a report on green economy ind...

  9. Biofuel production system with operation flexibility: Evaluation of economic and environmental performance under external disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kou, Nannan

    Biomass derived liquid hydrocarbon fuel (biofuel) has been accepted as an effective way to mitigate the reliance on petroleum and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. An increasing demand for second generation biofuels, produced from ligno-cellulosic feedstock and compatible with current infrastructure and vehicle technologies, addresses two major challenges faced by the current US transportation sector: energy security and global warming. However, biofuel production is subject to internal disturbances (feedstock supply and commodity market) and external factors (energy market). The biofuel industry has also heavily relied on government subsidy during the early development stages. In this dissertation, I investigate how to improve the economic and environmental performance of biorefineries (and biofuel plant), as well as enhance its survivability under the external disturbances. Three types of disturbance are considered: (1) energy market fluctuation, (2) subsidy policy uncertainty, and (3) extreme weather conditions. All three factors are basically volatile, dynamic, and even unpredictable, which makes them difficult to model and have been largely ignored to date. Instead, biofuel industry and biofuel research are intensively focused on improving feedstock conversion efficiency and capital cost efficiency while assuming these advancements alone will successfully generate higher profit and thus foster the biofuel industry. The collapse of the largest corn ethanol biofuel company, Verasun Energy, in 2008 calls into question this efficiency-driven approach. A detailed analysis has revealed that although the corn ethanol plants operated by Verasun adopted the more efficient (i.e. higher ethanol yield per bushel of corn and lower capital cost) dry-mill technology, they could not maintain a fair profit margin under fluctuating market condition which made ethanol production unprofitable. This is because dry-mill plant converts a single type of biomass feedstock (corn

  10. Biofuels: The key to India's sustainable energy needs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2005-06-01

    A country of billion population and having seen a sustained and rapid economic expansion in the last decade Indias energy demand will see a quantum 40 percent growth in the next ten years. India, like many other developing countries, is a net importer of energy. More than 25 percent of primary energy needs are being met through imports mainly in the form of crude oil and natural gas. Biofuels as a domestic and renewable energy source, can significantly reduce India's dependence on foreign oil, can minimize the environmental threat caused by the fossil fuels and it is the best ever alternate in securing the energy needs of the country. The other advantage is in meeting rural energisation and empowerment of village community through enhanced livelihood opportunities and thus controlling migration. There is a huge potential in India for the production of biofuels in terms of feed stock availability. Present accessibility of feedstocks in meeting the demand of biofuels has been examined along with recent developments in the biofuel sector of the country. Commercialisation of biofuels has to overcome various technological and policy challenges. Keeping this perspective in view biofuel technologies has been evaluated in terms of logistics of feed stock availability, existing processes, and policy framework. Obstacles for biofuel promotion are dealt in detail and a viable model for India is proposed. Research priorities that need to be promoted on an urgent basis to improve the economic competitiveness of biofuels has been identified and scrutinized. It is concluded that through a coherent and responsible policy and technological initiative, India could meet the every growing energy need through biofuels creating a positive impact on energy economy of the country. (au)

  11. Carbon and energy balances for a range of biofuels options

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elsayed, M.A.; Matthews, R.; Mortimer, N.D.

    2003-03-01

    This is the final report of a project to produce a set of baseline energy and carbon balances for a range of electricity, heat and transport fuel production systems based on biomass feedstocks. A list of 18 important biofuel technologies in the UK was selected for study of their energy and carbon balances in a consistent approach. Existing studies on these biofuel options were reviewed and their main features identified in terms of energy input, greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and total), transparency and relevance. Flow charts were produced to represent the key stages of the production of biomass and its conversion to biofuels. Outputs from the study included primary energy input per delivered energy output, carbon dioxide outputs per delivered energy output, methane output per delivered energy output, nitrous oxide output per delivered energy output and total greenhouse gas requirements. The net calorific value of the biofuel is given where relevant. Biofuels studied included: biodiesel from oilseed rape and recycled vegetable oil; combined heat and power (CHP) by combustion of wood chip from forestry residues; CHP by gasification of wood chip from short rotation coppice; electricity from the combustion of miscanthus, straw, wood chip from forestry residues and wood chip from short rotation coppice; electricity from gasification of wood chip from forestry residues and wood chip from short rotation coppice; electricity by pyrolysis of wood chip from forestry residues and wood chip from short rotation coppice; ethanol from lignocellulosics, sugar beet and wheat; heat (small scale) from combustion of wood chip from forestry residues and wood chip from short rotation coppice; and rapeseed oil from oilseed rape.

  12. Microalgae as a raw material for biofuels production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouveia, Luisa; Oliveira, Ana Cristina

    2009-02-01

    Biofuels demand is unquestionable in order to reduce gaseous emissions (fossil CO(2), nitrogen and sulfur oxides) and their purported greenhouse, climatic changes and global warming effects, to face the frequent oil supply crises, as a way to help non-fossil fuel producer countries to reduce energy dependence, contributing to security of supply, promoting environmental sustainability and meeting the EU target of at least of 10% biofuels in the transport sector by 2020. Biodiesel is usually produced from oleaginous crops, such as rapeseed, soybean, sunflower and palm. However, the use of microalgae can be a suitable alternative feedstock for next generation biofuels because certain species contain high amounts of oil, which could be extracted, processed and refined into transportation fuels, using currently available technology; they have fast growth rate, permit the use of non-arable land and non-potable water, use far less water and do not displace food crops cultures; their production is not seasonal and they can be harvested daily. The screening of microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris, Spirulina maxima, Nannochloropsis sp., Neochloris oleabundans, Scenedesmus obliquus and Dunaliella tertiolecta) was done in order to choose the best one(s), in terms of quantity and quality as oil source for biofuel production. Neochloris oleabundans (fresh water microalga) and Nannochloropsis sp. (marine microalga) proved to be suitable as raw materials for biofuel production, due to their high oil content (29.0 and 28.7%, respectively). Both microalgae, when grown under nitrogen shortage, show a great increase (approximately 50%) in oil quantity. If the purpose is to produce biodiesel only from one species, Scenedesmus obliquus presents the most adequate fatty acid profile, namely in terms of linolenic and other polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, the microalgae Neochloris oleabundans, Nannochloropsis sp. and Dunaliella tertiolecta can also be used if associated with other

  13. Estimation of Economic Impacts of Cellulosic Biofuel Production: A Comparative Analysis of Three Biofuel Pathways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Yimin; Goldberg, Marshall; Tan, Eric; Meyer, Pimphan Aye

    2016-05-01

    The development of a cellulosic biofuel industry utilizing domestic biomass resources is expected to create opportunities for economic growth resulting from the construction and operation of new biorefineries. We applied an economic input-output model to estimate potential economic impacts, particularly gross job growth, resulting from the construction and operation of biorefineries using three different technology pathways: (i) cellulosic ethanol via biochemical conversion in Iowa, (ii) renewable diesel blendstock via biological conversion in Georgia, and (iii) renewable diesel and gasoline blendstock via fast pyrolysis in Mississippi. Combining direct, indirect (revenue- and supply-chain-related), and induced effects, capital investment associated with the construction of a biorefinery processing 2000 dry metric tons of biomass per day (DMT/day) could yield between 5960 and 8470 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the construction period, depending on the biofuel pathways. Fast pyrolysis biorefineries produce the most jobs on a project level thanks to the highest capital requirement among the three pathways. Normalized on the scale of $1 million of capital investment, the fast pyrolysis biorefineries are estimated to yield slighter higher numbers of jobs (12.1 jobs) than the renewable diesel (11.8 jobs) and the cellulosic ethanol (11.6 jobs) biorefineries. While operating biorefineries is not labor-intensive, the annual operation of a 2000 DMT/day biorefinery could support between 720 and 970 jobs when the direct, indirect, and induced effects are considered. The major factor, which results in the variations among the three pathways, is the type of biomass feedstock used for biofuels. Unlike construction jobs, these operation-related jobs are necessary over the entire life of the biorefineries. Our results show that indirect effects stimulated by the operation of biorefineries are the primary contributor to job growth. The agriculture/forest, services, and

  14. Climate risk management for the U.S. cellulosic biofuels supply chain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Langholtz

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available As U.S. energy policy turns to bioenergy, and second-generation biofuels in particular, to foster energy security and environmental benefits, consideration should be given to the implications of climate risk for the incipient bioenergy industry. As a case-in-point, we review evidence from the 2012 U.S. drought, underscoring the risk of extreme weather events to the agricultural sector in general, and the bioenergy supply chain in particular, including reductions in feedstock production and higher prices for agricultural commodities and biofuels. We also use a risk management framework developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to review current understanding regarding climate-related hazards, exposure, and vulnerability of the bioenergy supply chain with a particular emphasis on the growing importance of lignocellulosic feedstocks to future bioenergy development. A number of climate-related hazards are projected to become more severe in future decades, and future growth of bioenergy feedstocks is likely to occur disproportionately in regions preferentially exposed to such hazards. However, strategies and opportunities are available across the supply chain to enhance coping and adaptive capacity in response to this risk. In particular, the implications of climate change will be influenced by the expansion of cellulosic feedstocks, particularly perennial grasses and woody biomass. In addition, advancements in feedstock development, logistics, and extension provide opportunities to support the sustainable development of a robust U.S. bioenergy industry as part of a holistic energy and environmental policy. However, given the nascent state of the cellulosic biofuels industry, careful attention should be given to managing climate risk over both short- and long-time scales.

  15. Engineered plant biomass feedstock particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dooley, James H [Federal Way, WA; Lanning, David N [Federal Way, WA; Broderick, Thomas F [Lake Forest Park, WA

    2012-04-17

    A new class of plant biomass feedstock particles characterized by consistent piece size and shape uniformity, high skeletal surface area, and good flow properties. The particles of plant biomass material having fibers aligned in a grain are characterized by a length dimension (L) aligned substantially parallel to the grain and defining a substantially uniform distance along the grain, a width dimension (W) normal to L and aligned cross grain, and a height dimension (H) normal to W and L. In particular, the L.times.H dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel side surfaces characterized by substantially intact longitudinally arrayed fibers, the W.times.H dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel end surfaces characterized by crosscut fibers and end checking between fibers, and the L.times.W dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel top and bottom surfaces. The L.times.W surfaces of particles with L/H dimension ratios of 4:1 or less are further elaborated by surface checking between longitudinally arrayed fibers. The length dimension L is preferably aligned within 30.degree. parallel to the grain, and more preferably within 10.degree. parallel to the grain. The plant biomass material is preferably selected from among wood, agricultural crop residues, plantation grasses, hemp, bagasse, and bamboo.

  16. Metabolic Engineering of Yeast to Produce Fatty Acid-derived Biofuels: Bottlenecks and Solutions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiayuan eSheng

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Fatty acid-derived biofuels can be a better solution than bioethanol to replace petroleum fuel, since they have similar energy content and combustion properties as current transportation fuels. The environmentally friendly microbial fermentation process has been used to synthesize advanced biofuels from renewable feedstock. Due to their robustness as well as the high tolerance to fermentation inhibitors and phage contamination, yeast strains such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Yarrowia lipolytica have attracted tremendous attention in recent studies regarding the production of fatty acid-derived biofuels, including fatty acids, fatty acid ethyl esters, fatty alcohols, and fatty alkanes. However, the native yeast strains cannot produce fatty acids and fatty acid-derived biofuels in large quantities. To this end, we have summarized recent publications in this review on metabolic engineering of yeast strains to improve the production of fatty acid-derived biofuels, identified the bottlenecks that limit the productivity of biofuels, and categorized the appropriate approaches to overcome these obstacles.

  17. Biofuels from pyrolysis in perspective: trade-offs between energy yields and soil-carbon additions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolf, Dominic; Lehmann, Johannes; Fisher, Elizabeth M; Angenent, Largus T

    2014-06-03

    Coproduction of biofuels with biochar (the carbon-rich solid formed during biomass pyrolysis) can provide carbon-negative bioenergy if the biochar is sequestered in soil, where it can improve fertility and thus simultaneously address issues of food security, soil degradation, energy production, and climate change. However, increasing biochar production entails a reduction in bioenergy obtainable per unit biomass feedstock. Quantification of this trade-off for specific biochar-biofuel pathways has been hampered by lack of an accurate-yet-simple model for predicting yields, product compositions, and energy balances from biomass slow pyrolysis. An empirical model of biomass slow pyrolysis was developed and applied to several pathways for biochar coproduction with gaseous and liquid biofuels. Here, we show that biochar production reduces liquid biofuel yield by at least 21 GJ Mg(-1) C (biofuel energy sacrificed per unit mass of biochar C), with methanol synthesis giving this lowest energy penalty. For gaseous-biofuel production, the minimum energy penalty for biochar production is 33 GJ Mg(-1) C. These substitution rates correspond to a wide range of Pareto-optimal system configurations, implying considerable latitude to choose pyrolysis conditions to optimize for desired biochar properties or to modulate energy versus biochar yields in response to fluctuating price differentials for the two commodities.

  18. Moth diversity in three biofuel crops and native prairie in Illinois.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Terry; Berenbaum, May R

    2013-06-01

    The expanding demand for biofuel feedstock may lead to large-scale conscription of land for monoculture production of biofuel crops with concomitant substantial negative impacts on biodiversity. We compared moth diversity in light-trap samples from corn, miscanthus, switchgrass and native prairie, to determine whether there is an observable relationship between plant species diversity and moth abundance and diversity. Moth alpha diversity was highest in prairie and was higher in switchgrass than in the other two biofuel crops. Beta diversity generally was low among the biofuel crops, and prairie shared lower beta diversity with switchgrass than with corn or miscanthus. Analysis of variance showed no significant differences in moth abundance per species among treatments. The alpha and beta diversity index findings are consistent with those of other studies on arthropods in biofuel crops and provide evidence to suggest that large-scale conversion of acreage to biofuel crops may have substantial negative effects on arthropod biodiversity both within the cropping systems and in the surrounding landscape.

  19. Sustainable Production of Second-Generation Biofuels. Potential and perspectives in major economies and developing countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eisentraut, A.

    2010-02-15

    The paper focuses on opportunities and risks presented by second-generation biofuels technologies in eight case study countries: Brazil, Cameroon, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, Tanzania and Thailand. The report begins by exploring the state of the art of second-generation technologies and their production, followed by projections of future demand and a discussion of drivers of that demand. The report then delves into various feedstock options and the global potential for bioenergy production. The final chapter offers a look at the potential for sustainable second-generation biofuel production in developing countries including considerations of economic, social and environmental impacts. Key findings of the report include that: second-generation biofuels produced from agricultural and forestry residues can play a crucial role in the transport sector without competing with food production; the potential for second-generation biofuels should be mobilized in emerging and developing countries where a large share of global residues is produced; less-developed countries will first need to invest in agricultural production and infrastructure in order to improve the framework conditions for the production of second-generation biofuels; financial barriers to production exist in many developing countries; and the suitability of second-generation biofuels against individual developing countries' needs should be evaluated.

  20. A Techno-Economic Analysis of Emission Controls on Hydrocarbon Biofuel Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhatt, Arpit; Zhang, Yimin; Davis, Ryan; Eberle, Annika; Heath, Garvin

    2016-06-23

    Biofuels have the potential to reduce our dependency on petroleum-derived transportation fuels and decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Although the overall GHG emissions from biofuels are expected to be lower when compared to those of petroleum fuels, the process of converting biomass feedstocks into biofuels emits various air pollutants, which may be subject to federal air quality regulation or emission limits. While prior research has evaluated the technical and economic feasibility of biofuel technologies, gaps still exist in understanding the regulatory issues associated with the biorefineries and their economic implications on biofuel production costs (referred to as minimum fuel selling price (MFSP) in this study). The aim of our research is to evaluate the economic impact of implementing emission reduction technologies at biorefineries and estimate the cost effectiveness of two primary control technologies that may be required for air permitting purposes. We analyze a lignocellulosic sugars-to-hydrocarbon biofuel production pathway developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and implement air emission controls in Aspen Plus to evaluate how they affect the MFSP. Results from this analysis can help inform decisions about biorefinery siting and sizing, as well as mitigate the risks associated with air permitting.

  1. Design of a biomass-to-biorefinery logistics system through bio-inspired metaheuristic optimization considering multiple types of feedstocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trueba, Isidoro

    Bioenergy has become an important alternative source of energy to alleviate the reliance on petroleum energy. Bioenergy offers significant potential to mitigate climate change by reducing life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions relative to fossil fuels. The Energy Independence and Security Act mandate the use of 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels including 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels by the year 2022. It is clear that Biomass can make a substantial contribution to supplying future energy demand in a sustainable way. However, the supply of sustainable energy is one of the main challenges that mankind will face over the coming decades. For instance, many logistical challenges will be faced in order to provide an efficient and reliable supply of quality feedstock to biorefineries. 700 million tons of biomass will be required to be sustainably delivered to biorefineries annually to meet the projected use of biofuels by the year of 2022. This thesis is motivated by the urgent need of advancing knowledge and understanding of the highly complex biofuel supply chain. While corn ethanol production has increased fast enough to keep up with the energy mandates, production of biofuels from different types of feedstocks has also been incremented. A number of pilot and demonstration scale advanced biofuel facilities have been set up, but commercial scale facilities are yet to become operational. Scaling up this new biofuel sector poses significant economic and logistical challenges for regional planners and biofuel entrepreneurs in terms of feedstock supply assurance, supply chain development, biorefinery establishment, and setting up transport, storage and distribution infrastructure. The literature also shows that the larger cost in the production of biomass to ethanol originates from the logistics operation therefore it is essential that an optimal logistics system is designed in order to keep low the costs of producing ethanol and make possible the shift from

  2. The substitutive effect of biofuels on fossil fuels in the lower and higher crude oil price periods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang, Ting-Huan [Energy and Environment Research Laboratories, Industrial Technology Research Institute, Hsinchu County 310 (China); Department of Banking and Finance, Tamkang University, No.151, Ying-Chuan Road, Taipei County 251 (China); Su, Hsin-Mei [Department of Banking and Finance, Tamkang University, No.151, Ying-Chuan Road, Taipei County 251 (China)

    2010-07-15

    Various biofuels, including bioethanol and biodiesel are technologically being considered replacements for fossil fuels, such as the conventional gasoline and diesel. This paper aims to measure whether economic substitutability can be generated during periods of higher and/or lower prices of crude oil. The empirical results of the bivariate EGARCH model prove that this substitutive effect was occurred during the higher crude oil price period due to the significant price spillover effects from crude oil futures to corn and soybean futures, indicating that the increase in food prices can be attributed to more consumption of biofuels. We suggest more extensive research in the search for fuel alternatives from inedible feedstock such as pongamia, jojoba, jatropha, especially the 2nd generation biofuel technologies such as algae-based biofuels. (author)

  3. Efficient Eucalypt Cell Wall Deconstruction and Conversion for Sustainable Lignocellulosic Biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healey, Adam L; Lee, David J; Furtado, Agnelo; Simmons, Blake A; Henry, Robert J

    2015-01-01

    In order to meet the world's growing energy demand and reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from fossil fuel combustion, renewable plant-based feedstocks for biofuel production must be considered. The first-generation biofuels, derived from starches of edible feedstocks, such as corn, create competition between food and fuel resources, both for the crop itself and the land on which it is grown. As such, biofuel synthesized from non-edible plant biomass (lignocellulose) generated on marginal agricultural land will help to alleviate this competition. Eucalypts, the broadly defined taxa encompassing over 900 species of Eucalyptus, Corymbia, and Angophora are the most widely planted hardwood tree in the world, harvested mainly for timber, pulp and paper, and biomaterial products. More recently, due to their exceptional growth rate and amenability to grow under a wide range of environmental conditions, eucalypts are a leading option for the development of a sustainable lignocellulosic biofuels. However, efficient conversion of woody biomass into fermentable monomeric sugars is largely dependent on pretreatment of the cell wall, whose formation and complexity lend itself toward natural recalcitrance against its efficient deconstruction. A greater understanding of this complexity within the context of various pretreatments will allow the design of new and effective deconstruction processes for bioenergy production. In this review, we present the various pretreatment options for eucalypts, including research into understanding structure and formation of the eucalypt cell wall.

  4. Mapping grasslands suitable for cellulosic biofuels in the Greater Platte River Basin, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, Bruce K.; Gu, Yingxin

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels are an important component in the development of alternative energy supplies, which is needed to achieve national energy independence and security in the United States. The most common biofuel product today in the United States is corn-based ethanol; however, its development is limited because of concerns about global food shortages, livestock and food price increases, and water demand increases for irrigation and ethanol production. Corn-based ethanol also potentially contributes to soil erosion, and pesticides and fertilizers affect water quality. Studies indicate that future potential production of cellulosic ethanol is likely to be much greater than grain- or starch-based ethanol. As a result, economics and policy incentives could, in the near future, encourage expansion of cellulosic biofuels production from grasses, forest woody biomass, and agricultural and municipal wastes. If production expands, cultivation of cellulosic feedstock crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and miscanthus (Miscanthus species), is expected to increase dramatically. The main objective of this study is to identify grasslands in the Great Plains that are potentially suitable for cellulosic feedstock (such as switchgrass) production. Producing ethanol from noncropland holdings (such as grassland) will minimize the effects of biofuel developments on global food supplies. Our pilot study area is the Greater Platte River Basin, which includes a broad range of plant productivity from semiarid grasslands in the west to the fertile corn belt in the east. The Greater Platte River Basin was the subject of related U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) integrated research projects.

  5. Liquid Biofuels: Vegetable Oils and Bioethanol; Biocombustibles Liquidos: aceites Vegetales y Bioetanol

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ballesteros, M.; Ballesteros, I.; Oliva, J.M.; Navarro, A.A.

    1998-12-01

    The European energy policy has defined clear objectives to reduce the high dependency on fossil petroleum imports, and to increase the security of sustainable energy supply for the transport sector. Moreover, the European environmental policy is requesting clean fuels that reduce environmental risks. Liquid Biofuels (vegetable oils and bioethanol) appear to be in a good position to contribute to achieve these goals expressed by the established objective of European Union to reach for biofuels a market share of 5% of motor vehicle consumption. This work presents the current state and perspectives of the production and utilisation of liquid fuels from agricultural sources by reviewing agricultural feedstocks for energy sector, conversion technologies and different ways to use biofuels. Environmental and economical aspects are also briefly analysed. (Author) 10 refs.

  6. 2011 Biomass Program Platform Peer Review: Feedstock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCann, Laura [Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Washington, DC (United States)

    2012-02-01

    This document summarizes the recommendations and evaluations provided by an independent external panel of experts at the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy Biomass Program’s Feedstock Platform Review meeting.

  7. Mixed Culture PHA Production With Alternating Feedstocks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oliveira, C.S.S.; Duque, A.F.; Carvalho, Gilda

    Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are a sustainable alternative to conventional plastics that can be obtained from industrial wastes/by-products using mixed microbial cultures (MMC). MMC PHA production is commonly carried out in a 3-stage process consisting of an acidogenic stage, a PHA producing culture...... selection stage, and a PHA production phase. This work investigated the performance robustness and microbial population dynamics of a PHA producing MMC when subjected to a feedstock shift, mimicking a seasonal feedstock scenario, from cheese whey to sugar cane molasses. Research was focused...... on the possibility of tailoring PHA through the selection of feedstock: either using feedstocks with different compositions or mixing two or more fermented substrates with different organic acid profiles. This knowledge is expected to contribute to the extended application of this promising process for resource...

  8. Catalytic Conversion of Biofuels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Betina

    oxidation of ethanol to form acetyl compounds. The steam reforming has been covered by a literature study of the research work done so far giving an introduction to the use of ethanol as a feedstock. The partial oxidation of ethanol has been studied experimentally using gold and vanadium based heterogeneous...... catalysts, and two different experimental methods, namely, a batch system and a continuous flow system. In the batch reaction the process was carried out in the liquid phase using a gold catalyst and atmospheric air as the oxidant. Experiments were conducted at moderate pressures and temperatures (90-200 °C...

  9. Economics, Environmental Impacts, and Supply Chain Analysis of Cellulosic Biomass for Biofuels in the Southern US: Pine, Eucalyptus, Unmanaged Hardwoods, Forest Residues, Switchgrass, and Sweet Sorghum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse Daystar

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The production of six regionally important cellulosic biomass feedstocks, including pine, eucalyptus, unmanaged hardwoods, forest residues, switchgrass, and sweet sorghum, was analyzed using consistent life cycle methodologies and system boundaries to identify feedstocks with the lowest cost and environmental impacts. Supply chain analysis was performed for each feedstock, calculating costs and supply requirements for the production of 453,592 dry tonnes of biomass per year. Cradle-to-gate environmental impacts from these modeled supply systems were quantified for nine mid-point indicators using SimaPro 7.2 LCA software. Conversion of grassland to managed forest for bioenergy resulted in large reductions in GHG emissions due to carbon uptake associated with direct land use change. By contrast, converting forests to cropland resulted in large increases in GHG emissions. Production of forest-based feedstocks for biofuels resulted in lower delivered cost, lower greenhouse gas (GHG emissions, and lower overall environmental impacts than the agricultural feedstocks studied. Forest residues had the lowest environmental impact and delivered cost per dry tonne. Using forest-based biomass feedstocks instead of agricultural feedstocks would result in lower cradle-to-gate environmental impacts and delivered biomass costs for biofuel production in the southern U.S.

  10. Bioprocessing for biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanch, Harvey W

    2012-06-01

    While engineering of new biofuels pathways into microbial hosts has received considerable attention, innovations in bioprocessing are required for commercialization of both conventional and next-generation fuels. For ethanol and butanol, reducing energy costs for product recovery remains a challenge. Fuels produced from heterologous aerobic pathways in yeast and bacteria require control of aeration and cooling at large scales. Converting lignocellulosic biomass to sugars for fuels production requires effective biomass pretreatment to increase surface area, decrystallize cellulose and facilitate enzymatic hydrolysis. Effective means to recover microalgae and extract their intracellular lipids remains a practical and economic bottleneck in algal biodiesel production.

  11. Biofuels: Project summaries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-07-01

    The US DOE, through the Biofuels Systems Division (BSD) is addressing the issues surrounding US vulnerability to petroleum supply. The BSD goal is to develop technologies that are competitive with fossil fuels, in both cost and environmental performance, by the end of the decade. This document contains summaries of ongoing research sponsored by the DOE BSD. A summary sheet is presented for each project funded or in existence during FY 1993. Each summary sheet contains and account of project funding, objectives, accomplishments and current status, and significant publications.

  12. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doshi, Rupak; Nguyen, Tuan; Chang, Geoffrey

    2013-05-07

    Engineering microorganisms to produce biofuels is currently among the most promising strategies in renewable energy. However, harvesting these organisms for extracting biofuels is energy- and cost-intensive, limiting the commercial feasibility of large-scale production. Here, we demonstrate the use of a class of transport proteins of pharmacological interest to circumvent the need to harvest biomass during biofuel production. We show that membrane-embedded transporters, better known to efflux lipids and drugs, can be used to mediate the secretion of intracellularly synthesized model isoprenoid biofuel compounds to the extracellular milieu. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion sustainably maintained an approximate three- to fivefold boost in biofuel production in our Escherichia coli test system. Because the transporters used in this study belong to the ubiquitous ATP-binding cassette protein family, we propose their use as "plug-and-play" biofuel-secreting systems in a variety of bacteria, cyanobacteria, diatoms, yeast, and algae used for biofuel production. This investigation showcases the potential of expressing desired membrane transport proteins in cell factories to achieve the export or import of substances of economic, environmental, or therapeutic importance.

  13. Environmental authorities and biofuel controversies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mol, A.P.J.

    2010-01-01

    The current generation of crop-based biofuels is heavily contested for its negative consequences for the environment and the poor. Hence, the current biofuel system needs to be transformed in the direction of what can be labelled 'fair fuels': (bio) fuels that are environmentally and socially sustai

  14. CARBONIZER TESTS WITH LAKELAND FEEDSTOCKS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    C. Lu; Z. Fan; R. Froehlich; A. Robertson

    2003-09-01

    Research has been conducted under United States Department of Energy Contract (USDOE) DE-AC21-86MC21023 to develop a new type of coal-fired plant for electric power generation. This new type of plant, called a Second Generation Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustion Plant (2nd Gen PFB), offers the promise of efficiencies greater than 48%, with both emissions and a cost of electricity that are significantly lower than those of conventional pulverized coal-fired (PC) plants with wet flue gas desulfurization/scrubbers. The 2nd Gen PFB plant incorporates the partial gasification of coal in a carbonizer, the combustion of carbonizer char in a pressurized circulating fluidized (PCFB) bed boiler, and the combustion of carbonizer syngas in a topping combustor to achieve gas turbine inlet temperatures of 2700 F and higher. Under the USDOE Clean Coal V Demonstration Plant Program, a nominal 260 MWe plant demonstrating 2nd Gen PFB technology has been proposed for construction at the McIntosh Power Plant of the City of Lakeland, Florida. In the September-December 1997 time period, four test runs were conducted in Foster Wheeler's 12-inch diameter carbonizer pilot plant in Livingston New Jersey to ascertain carbonizer performance characteristics with the Kentucky No. 9 coal and Florida limestone proposed for use in the Lakeland plant. The tests were of a short-term nature exploring carbonizer carbon conversions, sulfur capture efficiencies and syngas alkali levels. The tests were successful; observed carbonizer performance was in agreement with predictions and no operating problems, attributed to the planned feedstocks, were encountered. The results of the four test runs are reported herein.

  15. Fatty acid alkyl esters: perspectives for production of alternative biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röttig, Annika; Wenning, Leonie; Bröker, Daniel; Steinbüchel, Alexander

    2010-02-01

    The global economy heads for a severe energy crisis: whereas the energy demand is going to rise, easily accessible sources of crude oil are expected to be depleted in only 10-20 years. Since a serious decline of oil supply and an associated collapse of the economy might be reality very soon, alternative energies and also biofuels that replace fossil fuels must be established. In addition, these alternatives should not further impair the environment and climate. About 90% of the biofuel market is currently captured by bioethanol and biodiesel. Biodiesel is composed of fatty acid alkyl esters (FAAE) and can be synthesized by chemical, enzymatic, or in vivo catalysis mainly from renewable resources. Biodiesel is already established as it is compatible with the existing fuel infrastructure, non-toxic, and has superior combustion characteristics than fossil diesel; and in 2008, the global production was 12.2 million tons. The biotechnological production of FAAE from low cost and abundant feedstocks like biomass will enable an appreciable substitution of petroleum diesel. To overcome high costs for immobilized enzymes, the in vivo synthesis of FAAE using bacteria represents a promising approach. This article points to the potential of different FAAE as alternative biofuels, e.g., by comparing their fuel properties. In addition to conventional production processes, this review presents natural and genetically engineered biological systems capable of in vivo FAAE synthesis.

  16. Closing the Carbon Budget in Perennial Biofuel Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantola, I. B.; Anderson-Teixeira, K. J.; Bernacchi, C.; Hudiburg, T. W.; Masters, M. D.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2013-12-01

    At present, some 40% of corn grown in the United States, accounting for more than 26 million acres of farmland, is processed for bioethanol. Interest has arisen in converting biofuel production from corn grain ethanol to cellulosic ethanol, derived primarily from cellulose from dedicated energy crops. As many cellulosic biofuel feedstocks are perennial grasses, conversion from annual corn cropping to perennials represents a substantial change in farming practices with the potential to alter the plant-soil relationship in the Midwestern United States. Elimination of annual tillage preserves soils structure, conserving soil carbon and maintaining plant root systems. Five years of perennial grass establishment in former agricultural land in Illinois has shown a significant change in soil carbon pools and fluxes. Atmospheric carbon exchange monitoring combined with vegetation and soil sampling and respiration measurements confirm that in the first 3 years (establishment phase), perennial giant grasses Miscanthus x giganteus and Panicum virgatum rapidly increased belowground carbon allocation >400% and belowground biomass 400-750% compared to corn. Following establishment, perennial grasses maintained below- and aboveground annual biomass production, out-performing corn in both average and drought conditions. Here we offer a quantitative comparison of the carbon allocation pathways of corn and perennial biofuel crops in Midwestern landscapes, demonstrating the carbon benefits of perennial cropping through increased C allocation to root and rhizome structures. Long rotation periods in perennial grasses combined with annual carbon inputs to the soil system are expected to convert these agricultural soils from atmospheric carbon sources to carbon sinks.

  17. National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferrell, John [Dept. of Energy (DOE), Washington DC (United States); Sarisky-Reed, Valerie [Dept. of Energy (DOE), Washington DC (United States)

    2010-05-01

    The framework for National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap was constructed at the Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap Workshop, held December 9-10, 2008, at the University of Maryland-College Park. The Workshop was organized by the Biomass Program to discuss and identify the critical challenges currently hindering the development of a domestic, commercial-scale algal biofuels industry. This Roadmap presents information from a scientific, economic, and policy perspectives that can support and guide RD&D investment in algal biofuels. While addressing the potential economic and environmental benefits of using algal biomass for the production of liquid transportation fuels, the Roadmap describes the current status of algae RD&D. In doing so, it lays the groundwork for identifying challenges that likely need to be overcome for algal biomass to be used in the production of economically viable biofuels.

  18. Analysis of advanced biofuels.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dec, John E.; Taatjes, Craig A.; Welz, Oliver; Yang, Yi

    2010-09-01

    Long chain alcohols possess major advantages over ethanol as bio-components for gasoline, including higher energy content, better engine compatibility, and less water solubility. Rapid developments in biofuel technology have made it possible to produce C{sub 4}-C{sub 5} alcohols efficiently. These higher alcohols could significantly expand the biofuel content and potentially replace ethanol in future gasoline mixtures. This study characterizes some fundamental properties of a C{sub 5} alcohol, isopentanol, as a fuel for homogeneous-charge compression-ignition (HCCI) engines. Wide ranges of engine speed, intake temperature, intake pressure, and equivalence ratio are investigated. The elementary autoignition reactions of isopentanol is investigated by analyzing product formation from laser-photolytic Cl-initiated isopentanol oxidation. Carbon-carbon bond-scission reactions in the low-temperature oxidation chemistry may provide an explanation for the intermediate-temperature heat release observed in the engine experiments. Overall, the results indicate that isopentanol has a good potential as a HCCI fuel, either in neat form or in blend with gasoline.

  19. First generation biofuels compete.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Marshall A

    2010-11-30

    Rising petroleum prices during 2005-2008, and passage of the 2007 U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act with a renewable fuel standard of 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022, encouraged massive investments in U.S. ethanol plants. Consequently, corn demand increased dramatically and prices tripled. This created a strong positive correlation between petroleum, corn, and food prices resulting in an outcry from U.S. consumers and livestock producers, and food riots in several developing countries. Other factors contributed to higher grain and food prices. Economic growth, especially in Asia, and a weaker U.S. dollar encouraged U.S. grain exports. Investors shifted funds into the commodity's future markets. Higher fuel costs for food processing and transportation put upward pressure on retail food prices. From mid-2008 to mid-2009, petroleum prices fell, the U.S. dollar strengthened, and the world economy entered a serious recession with high unemployment, housing market foreclosures, collapse of the stock market, reduced global trade, and a decline in durable goods and food purchases. Agricultural commodity prices declined about 50%. Biotechnology has had modest impacts on the biofuel sector. Seed corn with traits that help control insects and weeds has been widely adopted by U.S. farmers. Genetically engineered enzymes have reduced ethanol production costs and increased conversion efficiency.

  20. Biofuels. Handle with care. An analysis of EU biofuel policy with recommendations for action

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2009-11-15

    For many policymakers biofuels must have seemed like a dream-come-true. The arguments put forward by supporters were plentiful and powerful. Carbon Dioxide emissions (CO2) could be cut because the biofuel crops absorb CO2 while they grow and energy security could be guaranteed because biofuels can be grown at home or imported from stable regions rather than oil states. The car industry also liked them because they took political focus away from vehicle fuel efficiency as a route to cutting CO2 emissions. Cars require only minor modifications to become green-looking 'flexfuel' models. Farmers liked them because it created another market for their products and even oil companies came to like them, because it enabled them to look more 'green'. The EU and other regions hurried to put in place volume targets and financial incentives to force the market to adopt biofuels. However, in the rush, the full impacts of their production were not well understood. And, by focusing on a single nascent technology, rather than on the goal - carbon emissions reductions - the dream soon turned to a nightmare. It has now become clear that there is no simple answer to the question of whether biofuels are truly a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. The evidence, much of it published in the last three years, suggests that in the vast majority of existing cases, they are not. A change to current policy is needed. This report follows the adoption, at the end of 2008, of the European Union's mandatory 10% renewable energy target for transport, to be reached by 2020. It attempts to assess the environmental implications of that policy. Its key findings are that if the target is, as is widely accepted, almost completely to be met through the use of biofuels, it is highly unlikely to be met sustainably. In short, there is a very substantial risk that current policy will cause more harm than good. One of the most important reasons for this is the failure to account

  1. Renewable energy progress and biofuels sustainability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamelinck, C.; De Lovinfosse, I.; Koper, M.; Beestermoeller, C.; Nabe, C.; Kimmel, M.; Van den Bos, A.; Yildiz, I.; Harteveld, M. [Ecofys Netherlands, Utrecht (Netherlands); Ragwitz, M.; Steinhilber, S. [Fraunhofer Institut fuer System- und Innovationsforschung ISI, Karlsruhe (Germany); Nysten, J.; Fouquet, D. [Becker Buettner Held BBH, Munich (Germany); Resch, G.; Liebmann, L.; Ortner, A.; Panzer, C. [Energy Economics Group EEG, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna (Austria); Walden, D.; Diaz Chavez, R.; Byers, B.; Petrova, S.; Kunen, E. [Winrock International, Brussels (Belgium); Fischer, G.

    2013-03-15

    On 27 March 2013, the European Commission published its first Renewable Energy Progress Report under the framework of the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive. Since the adoption of this directive and the introduction of legally binding renewable energy targets, most Member States experienced significant growth in renewable energy consumption. 2010 figures indicate that the EU as a whole is on its trajectory towards the 2020 targets with a renewable energy share of 12.7%. Moreover, in 2010 the majority of Member States already reached their 2011/2012 interim targets set in the Directive. However, as the trajectory grows steeper towards the end, more efforts will still be needed from the Member States in order to reach the 2020 targets. With regard to the EU biofuels and bioliquids sustainability criteria, Member States' implementation of the biofuels scheme is considered too slow. In accordance with the reporting requirements set out in the 2009 Directive on Renewable Energy, every two years the European Commission publishes a Renewable Energy Progress Report. The report assesses Member States' progress in the promotion and use of renewable energy along the trajectory towards the 2020 renewable energy targets. The report also describes the overall renewable energy policy developments in each Member State and their compliance with the measures outlined in the Directive and the National Renewable Energy Action Plans. Moreover, in accordance with the Directive, it reports on the sustainability of biofuels and bioliquids consumed in the EU and the impacts of this consumption. A consortium led by Ecofys was contracted by the European Commission to perform support activities concerning the assessment of progress in renewable energy and sustainability of biofuels.

  2. Surface properties correlate to the digestibility of hydrothermally pretreated lignocellulosic Poaceae biomass feedstocks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tristan Djajadi, Demi; Hansen, Aleksander R.; Jensen, Anders

    2017-01-01

    in response to hydrothermal pretreatment at different severities are still not sufficiently understood. Results: Potentially important lignocellulosic feedstocks for biorefining, corn stover (Zea mays subsp. mays L.), stalks of Miscanthus × giganteus, and wheat straw (Triticum aestivum L.) were systematically...... hydrothermally pretreated; each at three different severities of 3.65, 3.83, and 3.97, respectively, and the enzymatic digestibility was assessed.Pretreated samples of Miscanthus × giganteus stalks were the least digestible among the biomass feedstocks producing~24 to 66.6% lower glucose yields than the other...... feedstocks depending on pretreatment severity and enzymedosage. Bulk biomass composition analyses, 2D nuclear magnetic resonance, and comprehensive microarray polymer profiling were not able to explain the observed differences in recalcitrance among the pretreated feedstocks. However, methods characterizing...

  3. Status of advanced biofuels demonstration facilities in 2012. A report to IEA Bioenergy task 39

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bacovsky, Dina; Ludwiczek, Nikolaus; Ognissanto, Monica; Woergetter, Manfred

    2013-03-18

    A number of companies around the world pursue projects to develop and deploy advanced technologies for the production of biofuels. Plenty of options are available, e.g. on which feedstock to use, how to pretreat it and how to convert it, up to which fuel to produce. This report monitors the multi-facetted development, adds transparency to the sector and thus supports the development and deployment of advanced biofuels production technologies. Main pathways under development can be classified into biochemical technologies, thermochemical technologies and chemical technologies. Biochemical technologies are usually based on lignocellulosic feedstock which is pretreated, hydrolysed into sugars and then fermented to ethanol. Alternative biochemical pathways process sugars or gaseous components into methanol, butanol, mixed alcohols, acetic acids, or other chemical building blocks. Most thermochemical technologies use gasification to convert lignocellulosic feedstock into synthesis gas, which can be converted into BtL-Diesel, SNG, DME or mixed alcohols. Alternative thermochemical pathways include pyrolysis of biomass and upgrading of the resulting pyrolysis oil. The most successful chemical pathway is the hydrotreatment of vegetable oil or fats to produce diesel-type hydrocarbons. Other pathways include catalytic decarboxylation, and methanol production from glycerin. This report is based on a database on advanced biofuels projects. The database feeds into an interactive map which is available at http://demoplants.bioenergy2020.eu, and it is updated continuously. The report includes general descriptions of the main advanced biofuels technologies under development, a list of 102 projects that are being pursued worldwide, and detailed descriptions of these projects. All data displayed has been made available by the companies that pursue these projects. For this reason, the list of projects may not be complete, as some companies may still be reluctant to share data. Since

  4. 生物质固体成型燃料全生命周期评价%LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT ANALYSIS FOR DENSIFIED BIOFUEL

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    霍丽丽; 田宜水; 孟海波; 赵立欣; 姚宗路

    2011-01-01

    为探讨生物质固体成型燃料的能源效率和温室气体排放量,采用全生命周期评价分析原理,对北京地区以玉米秸秆为原料的生物质固体成型燃料进行全生命周期分析.结果表明:生物质固体成型燃料的净能量为13243.5MJ/t,能量产出投入比为10.8,其中,种植阶段、加工阶段以及秸秆运输能源消费居前三位,分别占总量的58.65%、24.23%、12.58%.CO2当量排放量为11.13g/MJ,约为煤的1/9.这说明生物质固体成型燃料具有较大的节能、减少温室气体排放的效益.%This study aimed to investigate energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission. Utilizing system BSAS, using corn stalk as raw material in Beijing Area, It was LCA of densified biofuel and the results showed that the Process of LCA earned 13243. 5MJ/t net energy and energy input-output ratio has been arrived about 10. 8, among them, planting phase, processing phase and com stalk transportation were high-overall energy consumption, and case percentages were 58.65% , 24. 23% and 12.58%. Greenhouse gas emission was 11. 12g/MJ, only one nine. Speak volumes for densified biofuel have benefit of energy saving and emission reduction, it provide evidence for national policy making.

  5. Progress in the production of bioethanol on starch-based feedstocks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dragiša Savić

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Bioethanol produced from renewable biomass, such as sugar, starch, or lignocellulosic materials, is one of the alternative energy resources, which is both renewable and environmentally friendly. Although, the priority in global future ethanol production is put on lignocellulosic processing, which is considered as one of the most promising second-generation biofuel technologies, the utilizetion of lignocellulosic material for fuel ethanol is still under improvement. Sugar- based (molasses, sugar cane, sugar beet and starch-based (corn, wheat, triticale, potato, rice, etc. feedstock are still currently predominant at the industrial level and they are, so far, economically favorable compared to lingocelluloses. Currently, approx. 80 % of total world ethanol production is obtained from the fermentation of simple sugars by yeast. In Serbia, one of the most suitable and available agricultural raw material for the industrial ethanol production are cereals such as corn, wheat and triticale. In addition, surpluses of this feedstock are being produced in our country constantly. In this paper, a brief review of the state of the art in bioethanol production and biomass availability is given, pointing out the progress possibilities on starch-based production. The progress possibilities are discussed in the domain of feedstock choice and pretreatment, optimization of fermentation, process integration and utilization of the process byproducts.

  6. International Trade of Biofuels (Brochure)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2013-05-01

    In recent years, the production and trade of biofuels has increased to meet global demand for renewable fuels. Ethanol and biodiesel contribute much of this trade because they are the most established biofuels. Their growth has been aided through a variety of policies, especially in the European Union, Brazil, and the United States, but ethanol trade and production have faced more targeted policies and tariffs than biodiesel. This fact sheet contains a summary of the trade of biofuels among nations, including historical data on production, consumption, and trade.

  7. Algal Biofuels; Algal Biofuels R&D at NREL (Brochure)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2010-09-01

    An overview of NREL's algal biofuels projects, including U.S. Department of Energy-funded work, projects with U.S. and international partners, and Laboratory Directed Research and Development projects.

  8. Growth in Biofuels Markets: Long Term Environmental and Socioeconomic Impacts (Final Report)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seth D. Meyer; Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes

    2010-12-02

    Over the last several years increasing energy and petroleum prices have propelled biofuels and the feedstocks used to produce them, to the forefront of alternative energy production. This growth has increased the linkages between energy and agricultural markets and these changes around the world are having a significant effect on agricultural markets as biofuels begin to play a more substantial role in meeting the world's energy needs. Biofuels are alternatively seen as a means to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy independence, support rural development and to raise farm income. However, concern has arisen that the new demand for traditional commodities or alternative commodities which compete for land can lead to higher food prices and the environmental effects from expanding crop acreage may result in uncertain changes in carbon emissions as land is converted both in the US and abroad. While a number of studies examine changes in land use and consumption from changes in biofuels policies many lack effective policy representation or complete coverage of land types which may be diverted in to energy feedstock production. Many of these biofuels and renewable energy induced land use changes are likely to occur in developing countries with at-risk consumers and on environmentally sensitive lands. Our research has improved the well known FAPRI-MU modeling system which represents US agricultural markets and policies in great detail and added a new model of land use and commodity markets for major commodity producers, consumers and trade dependent and food insecure countries as well as a rest of the world aggregate. The international modules include traditional annual crop lands and include perennial crop land, pasture land, forest land and other land uses from which land may be drawn in to biofuels or renewable energy feedstock production. Changes in calorie consumption in food insecure countries from changes in renewable energy policy can also be examined

  9. FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS FOR INSTALLING A CIRCULATING FLUIDIZED BED BOILER FOR COFIRING MULTIPLE BIOFUELS AND OTHER WASTES WITH COAL AT PENN STATE UNIVERSITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruce G. Miller; Sharon Falcone Miller; Robert Cooper; Douglas Donovan; John Gaudlip; Matthew Lapinsky; William Serencsits; Neil Raskin; Dale Lamke

    2001-10-12

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is performing a feasibility analysis on installing a state-of-the-art circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler and ceramic filter emission control device at Penn State's University Park campus for cofiring multiple biofuels and other wastes with coal, and developing a test program to evaluate cofiring multiple biofuels and coal-based feedstocks. Penn State currently operates an aging stoker-fired steam plant at its University Park campus and has spent considerable resources over the last ten to fifteen years investigating boiler replacements and performing life extension studies. This effort, in combination with a variety of agricultural and other wastes generated at the agricultural-based university and the surrounding rural community, has led Penn State to assemble a team of fluidized bed and cofiring experts to assess the feasibility of installing a CFB boiler for cofiring biomass and other wastes along with coal-based fuels.

  10. FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS FOR INSTALLING A CIRCULATING FLUIDIZED BED BOILER FOR COFIRING MULTIPLE BIOFUELS AND OTHER WASTES WITH COAL AT PENN STATE UNIVERSITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruce G. Miller; Sharon Falcone Miller; Robert Cooper; Douglas Donovan; John Gaudlip; Matthew Lapinsky; William Serencsits; Neil Raskin; Tom Steitz

    2002-07-12

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is performing a feasibility analysis on installing a state-of-the-art circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler and ceramic filter emission control device at Penn State's University Park campus for cofiring multiple biofuels and other wastes with coal, and developing a test program to evaluate cofiring multiple biofuels and coal-based feedstocks. Penn State currently operates an aging stoker-fired steam plant at its University Park campus and has spent considerable resources over the last ten to fifteen years investigating boiler replacements and performing life extension studies. This effort, in combination with a variety of agricultural and other wastes generated at the agricultural-based university and the surrounding rural community, has led Penn State to assemble a team of fluidized bed and cofiring experts to assess the feasibility of installing a CFB boiler for cofiring biomass and other wastes along with coal-based fuels. The objective of the project is being accomplished using a team that includes personnel from Penn State's Energy Institute, Office of Physical Plant, and College of Agricultural Sciences; Foster Wheeler Energy Services, Inc.; Parsons Energy and Chemicals Group, Inc.; and Cofiring Alternatives.

  11. FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS FOR INSTALLING A CIRCULATING FLUIDIZED BED BOILER FOR COFIRING MULTIPLE BIOFUELS AND OTHER WASTES WITH COAL AT PENN STATE UNIVERSITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruce G. Miller; Sharon Falcone Miller; Robert Cooper; Douglas Donovan; John Gaudlip; Matthew Lapinsky; William Serencsits; Neil Raskin; Dale Lamke; Joseph J. Battista

    2001-03-31

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is performing a feasibility analysis on installing a state-of-the-art circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler and ceramic filter emission control device at Penn State's University Park campus for cofiring multiple biofuels and other wastes with coal, and developing a test program to evaluate cofiring multiple biofuels and coal-based feedstocks. Penn State currently operates an aging stoker-fired steam plant at its University Park campus and has spent considerable resources over the last ten to fifteen years investigating boiler replacements and performing life extension studies. This effort, in combination with a variety of agricultural and other wastes generated at the agricultural-based university and the surrounding rural community, has led Penn State to assemble a team of fluidized bed and cofiring experts to assess the feasibility of installing a CFB boiler for cofiring biomass and other wastes along with coal-based fuels. The objective of the project is being accomplished using a team that includes personnel from Penn State's Energy Institute and the Office of Physical Plant, Foster Wheeler Energy Services, Inc., and Cofiring Alternatives.

  12. Options of biofuel trade from Central and Eastern to Western European countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dam, J.; Faaij, A.P.C.; Lewandowski, I.M.; Van Zeebroeck, B.

    2009-01-01

    Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) have a substantial biomass production and export potential. The objective of this study is to assess whether the market for biofuels and trade can be profitable enough to realize a supply of biofuels from the CEEC to the European market and to estimate t

  13. The blue water footprint and land use of biofuels from algae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerbens-Leenes, P. W.; Xu, L.; De Vries, G. J.; Hoekstra, A. Y.

    2014-01-01

    Biofuels from microalgae are potentially important sources of liquid renewable energy. Algae are not yet produced on a large scale, but research shows promising results. This study assesses the blue water footprint (WF) and land use of algae-based biofuels. It combines the WF concept with an energy

  14. Assessment of pretreatments and enzymatic hydrolysis of wheat straw as a sugar source for bioprocess industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bohdan Volynets, Yaser Dahman

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Environmental concerns and rising oil prices have led to development of biofuels from crop residue lignocelluloses, among which wheat straw is an important feedstock used in leading commercial bioethanol processes. Lignocellulose is structured in a way that makes direct bioconversion of biomass into sugars by hydrolytic enzymes difficult and unfeasible, requiring a pretreatment step. Common biomass pretreatment technologies are assessed for potential application in obtaining fermentable sugars of wheat straw. Current outlook, challenges and opportunities on enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulose are also presented.

  15. Transgenic woody plants for biofuel

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei Tang; Anna Y.Tang

    2014-01-01

    Transgenic trees as a new source for biofuel have brought a great interest in tree biotechnology. Genetically modifying forest trees for ethanol production have advantages in technical challenges, costs, environmental concerns, and financial problems over some of crops. Genetic engineering of forest trees can be used to reduce the level of lignin, to produce the fast-growing trees, to develop trees with higher cellulose, and to allow the trees to be grown more widely. Trees can establish themselves in the field with less care of farmers, compared to most of crops. Transgenic crops as a new source for biofuel have been recently reviewed in several reviews. Here, we overview transgenic woody plants as a new source for biofuel including genetically modified woody plants and environment; main focus of woody plants genetic modifications;solar to chemical energy transfer; cellulose biosynthesis;lignin biosynthesis;and cellulosic ethanol as biofuel.

  16. Biofuel support policies in Europe. Lessons learnt for the long way ahead

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiesenthal, Tobias; Leduc, Guillaume; Christidis, Panayotis; Schade, Burkhard [European Commission, DG JRC, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), Edificio Expo, C/Inca Garcilaso, s/n, E-41092 Sevilla (Spain); Pelkmans, Luc; Govaerts, Leen [Flemish Institute for Technological Research VITO, Boeretang 200, BE-2400 Mol (Belgium); Georgopoulos, Panagiotis [CERTH/HIT Centre for Research and Technology Hellas/Hellenic Institute of Transport, 6th Km Charilaou, Thermi Road, 57001 Thermi, Thessaloniki (Greece)

    2009-05-15

    Biofuel consumption in the EU is growing rapidly but major efforts will need to be undertaken if the EU's objectives for 2010 and beyond are to be achieved. This article analyses the strengths and weaknesses of different biofuel support policies based on the experiences gained in pioneering countries and explores scenarios for their possible impacts in the long-term. It comes to the conclusion that important pre-conditions such as fuel standards and compatibility with engines are in place or being introduced on an EU-wide basis. Current and future policy support therefore focuses on creating favourable economic or legal frameworks to accelerate the market penetration of biofuels. The ambitious targets endorsed in terms of biofuel market shares require the implementation of efficient policy instruments. At the same time, large consumption volumes and the advent of innovative production technologies make it possible for Member States to promote specific types of biofuels, depending on their main objectives and natural potentials. This will require complementary instruments such as subsidies for production facilities, user incentives or feedstock subsidies. (author)

  17. Recent patents on genetic modification of plants and microbes for biomass conversion to biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubieniechi, Simona; Peranantham, Thinesh; Levin, David B

    2013-04-01

    Development of sustainable energy systems based on renewable biomass feedstocks is now a global effort. Lignocellulosic biomass contains polymers of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, bound together in a complex structure. Liquid biofuels, such as ethanol, can be made from biomass via fermentation of sugars derived from the cellulose and hemicellulose within lignocellulosic materials, but pre-treatment of the biomass to release sugars for microbial conversion is a significant barrier to commercial success of lignocellulosic biofuel production. Strategies to reduce the energy and cost inputs required for biomass pre-treatment include genetic modification of plant materials to reduce lignin content. Significant efforts are also underway to create recombinant microorganisms capable of converting sugars derived from lignocellulosic biomass to a variety of biofuels. An alternative strategy to reduce the costs of cellulosic biofuel production is the use of cellulolytic microorganisms capable of direct microbial conversion of ligno-cellulosic biomass to fuels. This paper reviews recent patents on genetic modification of plants and microbes for biomass conversion to biofuels.

  18. Moth diversity in three biofuel crops and native prairie in Illinois

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Terry Harrison; May R.Berenbaum

    2013-01-01

    The expanding demand for biofuel feedstock may lead to large-scale conscription of land for monoculture production ofbiofuel crops with concomitant substantial negative impacts on biodiversity.We compared moth diversity in light-trap samples from corn,miscanthus,switchgrass and native prairie,to determine whether there is an observable relationship between plant species diversity and moth abundance and diversity.Moth alpha diversity was highest in prairie and was higher in switchgrass than in the other two biofuel crops.Beta diversity generally was low among the biofuel crops,and prairie shared lower beta diversity with switchgrass than with corn or miscanthus.Analysis of variance showed no significant differences in moth abundance per species among treatments.The alpha and beta diversity index findings are consistent with those of other studies on arthropods in biofuel crops and provide evidence to suggest that large-scale conversion of acreage to biofuel crops may have substantial negative effects on arthropod biodiversity both within the cropping systems and in the surrounding landscape.

  19. Algal Pretreatment Improves Biofuels Yield and Value; Highlights in Science, NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2015-05-15

    One of the major challenges associated with algal biofuels production in a biorefinery-type setting is improving biomass utilization in its entirety, increasing the process energetic yields and providing economically viable and scalable co-product concepts. We demonstrate the effectiveness of a novel, integrated technology based on moderate temperatures and low pH to convert the carbohydrates in wet algal biomass to soluble sugars for fermentation, while making lipids more accessible for downstream extraction and leaving a protein-enriched fraction behind. This research has been highlighted in the Green Chemistry journal article mentioned above and a milestone report, and is based on the work the researchers are doing for the AOP projects Algal Biomass Conversion and Algal Biofuels Techno-economic Analysis. That work has demonstrated an advanced process for algal biofuel production that captures the value of both the algal lipids and carbohydrates for conversion to biofuels.  With this process, as much as 150 GGE/ton of biomass can be produced, 2-3X more than can be produced by terrestrial feedstocks.  This can also reduce the cost of biofuel production by as much as 40%. This also represents the first ever design case for the algal lipid upgrading pathway.

  20. The Use of Artificial Neural Networks for Identifying Sustainable Biodiesel Feedstocks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoran D. Ristovski

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Over the past few decades, biodiesel produced from oilseed crops and animal fat is receiving much attention as a renewable and sustainable alternative for automobile engine fuels, and particularly petroleum diesel. However, current biodiesel production is heavily dependent on edible oil feedstocks which are unlikely to be sustainable in the longer term due to the rising food prices and the concerns about automobile engine durability. Therefore, there is an urgent need for researchers to identify and develop sustainable biodiesel feedstocks which overcome the disadvantages of current ones. On the other hand, artificial neural network (ANN modeling has been successfully used in recent years to gain new knowledge in various disciplines. The main goal of this article is to review recent literatures and assess the state of the art on the use of ANN as a modeling tool for future generation biodiesel feedstocks. Biodiesel feedstocks, production processes, chemical compositions, standards, physio-chemical properties and in-use performance are discussed. Limitations of current biodiesel feedstocks over future generation biodiesel feedstock have been identified. The application of ANN in modeling key biodiesel quality parameters and combustion performance in automobile engines is also discussed. This review has determined that ANN modeling has a high potential to contribute to the development of renewable energy systems by accelerating biodiesel research.

  1. Prospective and development of butanol as an advanced biofuel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Chuang; Zhao, Xin-Qing; Liu, Chen-Guang; Chen, Li-Jie; Bai, Feng-Wu

    2013-12-01

    Butanol has been acknowledged as an advanced biofuel, but its production through acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation by clostridia is still not economically competitive, due to low butanol yield and titer. In this article, update progress in butanol production is reviewed. Low price and sustainable feedstocks such as lignocellulosic residues and dedicated energy crops are needed for butanol production at large scale to save feedstock cost, but processes are more complicated, compared to those established for ABE fermentation from sugar- and starch-based feedstocks. While rational designs targeting individual genes, enzymes or pathways are effective for improving butanol yield, global and systems strategies are more reasonable for engineering strains with stress tolerance controlled by multigenes. Compared to solvent-producing clostridia, engineering heterologous species such as Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae with butanol pathway might be a solution for eliminating the formation of major byproducts acetone and ethanol so that butanol yield can be improved significantly. Although batch fermentation has been practiced for butanol production in industry, continuous operation is more productive for large scale production of butanol as a biofuel, but a single chemostat bioreactor cannot achieve this goal for the biphasic ABE fermentation, and tanks-in-series systems should be optimized for alternative feedstocks and new strains. Moreover, energy saving is limited for the distillation system, even total solvents in the fermentation broth are increased significantly, since solvents are distilled to ~40% by the beer stripper, and more than 95% water is removed with the stillage without phase change, even with conventional distillation systems, needless to say that advanced chemical engineering technologies can distil solvents up to ~90% with the beer stripper, and the multistage pressure columns can well balance energy consumption for solvent fraction

  2. Biofuel Production Initiative at Claflin University Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chowdhury, Kamal

    2011-07-20

    For US transportation fuel independence or reduced dependence on foreign oil, the Federal Government has mandated that the country produce 36 billion gallons (bg) of renewable transportation fuel per year for its transportation fuel supply by 2022. This can be achieved only if development of efficient technology for second generation biofuel from ligno-cellulosic sources is feasible. To be successful in this area, development of a widely available, renewable, cost-effective ligno-cellulosic biomass feedstock that can be easily and efficiently converted biochemically by bacteria or other fast-growing organisms is required. Moreover, if the biofuel type is butanol, then the existing infrastructure to deliver fuel to the customer can be used without additional costs and retrofits. The Claflin Biofuel Initiative project is focused on helping the US meet the above-mentioned targets. With support from this grant, Claflin University (CU) scientists have created over 50 new strains of microorganisms that are producing butanol from complex carbohydrates and cellulosic compounds. Laboratory analysis shows that a number of these strains are producing higher percentages of butanol than other methods currently in use. All of these recombinant bacterial strains are producing relatively high concentrations of acetone and numerous other byproducts as well. Therefore, we are carrying out intense mutations in the selected strains to reduce undesirable byproducts and increase the desired butanol production to further maximize the yield of butanol. We are testing the proof of concept of producing pre-industrial large scale biobutanol production by utilizing modifications of currently commercially available fermentation technology and instrumentation. We have already developed an initial process flow diagram (PFD) and selected a site for a biobutanol pilot scale facility in Orangeburg, SC. With the recent success in engineering new strains of various biofuel producing bacteria at CU

  3. High quality transportation fuels from renewable feedstock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindfors, Lars Peter

    2010-09-15

    Hydrotreating of vegetable oils is novel process for producing high quality renewable diesel. Hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO) are paraffinic hydrocarbons. They are free of aromatics, have high cetane numbers and reduce emissions. HVO can be used as component or as such. HVO processes can also be modified to produce jet fuel. GHG savings by HVO use are significant compared to fossil fuels. HVO is already in commercial production. Neste Oil is producing its NExBTL diesel in two plants. Production of renewable fuels will be limited by availability of sustainable feedstock. Therefore R and D efforts are made to expand feedstock base further.

  4. Wastepaper as a feedstock for ethanol production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergeron, P.W.; Riley, C.J.

    1991-11-01

    The possibility of using wastepaper as a cheap feedstock for production of ethanol is discussed. As the single largest material category in the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream, wastepaper is the main target of efforts to reduce the volume of MSW. And in the process for producing ethanol from lignocellulosics, the feedstock represents the highest cost. If wastepaper could be obtained cheaply in large enough quantities and if conversion process cost and efficiency prove to be similar to those for wood, the cost of ethanol could be significantly reduced. At the same time, the volume of wastepaper that must be disposed of in landfills could be lessened. 13 refs., 3 figs., 7 tabs.

  5. Estimation of Economic Impacts of Cellulosic Biofuel Production: A Comparative Analysis of Three Biofuel Pathways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Yimin; Goldberg, Marshall; Tan, Eric; Meyer, Pimphan A.

    2016-03-07

    The development of a cellulosic biofuel industry utilizing domestic biomass resources is expected to create opportunities for economic growth resulting from the construction and operation of new biorefineries. We applied an economic input-output model to estimate potential economic impacts, particularly gross job growth, resulting from the construction and operation of biorefineries using three different technology pathways: 1) cellulosic ethanol via biochemical conversion in Iowa, 2) renewable diesel blendstock via biological conversion in Georgia, and 3) renewable diesel and gasoline blendstock via fast pyrolysis in Mississippi. Combining direct, indirect, and induced effects, capital investment associated with the construction of a biorefinery processing 2,000 dry metric tons of biomass per day (DMT/day) could yield between 5,960 and 8,470 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the construction period. Fast pyrolysis biorefineries produce the most jobs on a project level thanks to the highest capital requirement among the three pathways. Normalized for one million dollars of capital investment, the fast pyrolysis biorefineries are estimated to yield slighter more jobs (12.1 jobs) than the renewable diesel (11.8 jobs) and the cellulosic ethanol (11.6 jobs) biorefineries. While operating biorefineries is not labor-intensive, the annual operation of a 2,000 DMT/day biorefinery could support between 720 and 970 jobs when the direct, indirect, and induced effects are considered. The major factor, which results in the variations among the three pathways, is the type of biomass feedstock used for biofuels. The agriculture/forest, services, and trade industries are the primary sectors that will benefit from the ongoing operation of biorefineries.

  6. Conversion of Grazed Pastures to Energy Cane as a Biofuel Feedstock Alters Soil GHG Fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Casanovas, N.; DeLucia, N.; Bernacchi, C.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2013-12-01

    Changes in land use profoundly affect climate through variations in soil Greenhouse Gas (GHG) exchange. The need for alternative energies is accelerating land use change as marginal land or managed ecosystems are being converted to highly productive second-generation bioenergy crops such as energy cane (Saccharum spp. L). Although the deployment of energy cane is a promising strategy to meet global bioenergy industry demands, few studies have investigated soil GHG fluxes in these crops and sub-tropical low-intensity grazing pasture (bahiagrass, Paspalum notatum L., as forage for cattle, Bos taurus L.) with which they are competing for land. Here, we showed that soil N2O fluxes in bioenergy crops were higher (>250%) than those observed in pastures following fertilization when soil moisture and temperature were high. In the absence of recent fertilization, the N2O source strength in energy cane and pasture sites was similar. Under drier and cooler soil conditions, both pastures and bioenergy crops were weak sources of N2O even when energy cane plots were recently fertilized. Soils on grazed pastures were sources of CH4 during the wet season but became sinks under drier, colder conditions. Energy cane plantations were weak sources of CH4 over a complete wet-dry seasonal cycle. The heterotrophic component of soil respiration was larger (139-155%) in pastures than in energy cane crops, suggesting lower decomposition of SOC in bioenergy crops. In terms of global warming potential, grazed pastures were stronger (120-150%) soil GHG emitters than energy cane crops over a complete wet-dry seasonal cycle. Moreover, pastures became a substantial source of GHG emitters when including estimates of CH4 flux from cattle. Our results suggest that the conversion of pasture to energy cane will be beneficial in relation to GHGs emitted from soils and cattle. Improved understanding of land use impact on soil GHG dynamics will provide valuable information for decision makers debating sustainable bioenergy policies.

  7. National Bio-fuel Energy Laboratory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jezierski, Kelly [NextEnergy Center, Detroit, MI (United States)

    2010-12-27

    The National Biofuel Energy Laboratory or NBEL was a consortia consisting of non-profits, universities, industry, and OEM’s. NextEnergy Center (NEC) in Detroit, Michigan was the prime with Wayne State University as the primary subcontractor. Other partners included: Art Van Furniture; Biodiesel Industries Inc. (BDI); Bosch; Clean Emission Fluids (CEF); Delphi; Oakland University; U.S. TARDEC (The Army); and later Cummins Bridgeway. The program was awarded to NextEnergy by U.S. DOE-NREL on July 1, 2005. The period of performance was about five (5) years, ending June 30, 2010. This program was executed in two phases: 1.Phase I focused on bench-scale R&D and performance-property-relationships. 2.Phase II expanded those efforts into further engine testing, emissions testing, and on-road fleet testing of biodiesel using additional types of feedstock (i.e., corn, and choice white grease based). NextEnergy – a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Detroit was originally awarded a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy for Phase I of the NBEL program. A few years later, NextEnergy and its partners received an additional $1.9MM in DOE funding to complete Phase II. The NBEL funding was completely exhausted by the program end date of June 30, 2010 and the cost share commitment of 20% minimum has been exceeded nearly two times over. As a result of the work performed by the NBEL consortia, the following successes were realized: 1.Over one hundred publications and presentations have been delivered by the NBEL consortia, including but not limited to: R&D efforts on algae-based biodiesel, novel heterogeneous catalysis, biodiesel properties from a vast array of feedstock blends, cold flow properties, engine testing results (several Society of Automotive Engineers [SAE] papers have been published on this research), emissions testing results, and market quality survey results. 2.One new spinoff company (NextCAT) was formed by two WSU Chemical Engineering professors

  8. Upgrading of petroleum oil feedstocks using alkali metals and hydrocarbons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gordon, John Howard

    2014-09-09

    A method of upgrading an oil feedstock by removing heteroatoms and/or one or more heavy metals from the oil feedstock composition. This method reacts the oil feedstock with an alkali metal and an upgradant hydrocarbon. The alkali metal reacts with a portion of the heteroatoms and/or one or more heavy metals to form an inorganic phase separable from the organic oil feedstock material. The upgradant hydrocarbon bonds to the oil feedstock material and increases the number of carbon atoms in the product. This increase in the number of carbon atoms of the product increases the energy value of the resulting oil feedstock.

  9. Environmental, economic, and energetic costs and benefits of biodiesel and ethanol biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jason; Nelson, Erik; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Tiffany, Douglas

    2006-07-25

    Negative environmental consequences of fossil fuels and concerns about petroleum supplies have spurred the search for renewable transportation biofuels. To be a viable alternative, a biofuel should provide a net energy gain, have environmental benefits, be economically competitive, and be producible in large quantities without reducing food supplies. We use these criteria to evaluate, through life-cycle accounting, ethanol from corn grain and biodiesel from soybeans. Ethanol yields 25% more energy than the energy invested in its production, whereas biodiesel yields 93% more. Compared with ethanol, biodiesel releases just 1.0%, 8.3%, and 13% of the agricultural nitrogen, phosphorus, and pesticide pollutants, respectively, per net energy gain. Relative to the fossil fuels they displace, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 12% by the production and combustion of ethanol and 41% by biodiesel. Biodiesel also releases less air pollutants per net energy gain than ethanol. These advantages of biodiesel over ethanol come from lower agricultural inputs and more efficient conversion of feedstocks to fuel. Neither biofuel can replace much petroleum without impacting food supplies. Even dedicating all U.S. corn and soybean production to biofuels would meet only 12% of gasoline demand and 6% of diesel demand. Until recent increases in petroleum prices, high production costs made biofuels unprofitable without subsidies. Biodiesel provides sufficient environmental advantages to merit subsidy. Transportation biofuels such as synfuel hydrocarbons or cellulosic ethanol, if produced from low-input biomass grown on agriculturally marginal land or from waste biomass, could provide much greater supplies and environmental benefits than food-based biofuels.

  10. From the Cover: Environmental, economic, and energetic costs and benefits of biodiesel and ethanol biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jason; Nelson, Erik; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Tiffany, Douglas

    2006-07-01

    Negative environmental consequences of fossil fuels and concerns about petroleum supplies have spurred the search for renewable transportation biofuels. To be a viable alternative, a biofuel should provide a net energy gain, have environmental benefits, be economically competitive, and be producible in large quantities without reducing food supplies. We use these criteria to evaluate, through life-cycle accounting, ethanol from corn grain and biodiesel from soybeans. Ethanol yields 25% more energy than the energy invested in its production, whereas biodiesel yields 93% more. Compared with ethanol, biodiesel releases just 1.0%, 8.3%, and 13% of the agricultural nitrogen, phosphorus, and pesticide pollutants, respectively, per net energy gain. Relative to the fossil fuels they displace, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 12% by the production and combustion of ethanol and 41% by biodiesel. Biodiesel also releases less air pollutants per net energy gain than ethanol. These advantages of biodiesel over ethanol come from lower agricultural inputs and more efficient conversion of feedstocks to fuel. Neither biofuel can replace much petroleum without impacting food supplies. Even dedicating all U.S. corn and soybean production to biofuels would meet only 12% of gasoline demand and 6% of diesel demand. Until recent increases in petroleum prices, high production costs made biofuels unprofitable without subsidies. Biodiesel provides sufficient environmental advantages to merit subsidy. Transportation biofuels such as synfuel hydrocarbons or cellulosic ethanol, if produced from low-input biomass grown on agriculturally marginal land or from waste biomass, could provide much greater supplies and environmental benefits than food-based biofuels. corn | soybean | life-cycle accounting | agriculture | fossil fuel

  11. Integrated strategic and tactical biomass-biofuel supply chain optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Tao; Rodríguez, Luis F; Shastri, Yogendra N; Hansen, Alan C; Ting, K C

    2014-03-01

    To ensure effective biomass feedstock provision for large-scale biofuel production, an integrated biomass supply chain optimization model was developed to minimize annual biomass-ethanol production costs by optimizing both strategic and tactical planning decisions simultaneously. The mixed integer linear programming model optimizes the activities range from biomass harvesting, packing, in-field transportation, stacking, transportation, preprocessing, and storage, to ethanol production and distribution. The numbers, locations, and capacities of facilities as well as biomass and ethanol distribution patterns are key strategic decisions; while biomass production, delivery, and operating schedules and inventory monitoring are key tactical decisions. The model was implemented to study Miscanthus-ethanol supply chain in Illinois. The base case results showed unit Miscanthus-ethanol production costs were $0.72L(-1) of ethanol. Biorefinery related costs accounts for 62% of the total costs, followed by biomass procurement costs. Sensitivity analysis showed that a 50% reduction in biomass yield would increase unit production costs by 11%.

  12. Preprocessing Moist Lignocellulosic Biomass for Biorefinery Feedstocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neal Yancey; Christopher T. Wright; Craig Conner; J. Richard Hess

    2009-06-01

    Biomass preprocessing is one of the primary operations in the feedstock assembly system of a lignocellulosic biorefinery. Preprocessing is generally accomplished using industrial grinders to format biomass materials into a suitable biorefinery feedstock for conversion to ethanol and other bioproducts. Many factors affect machine efficiency and the physical characteristics of preprocessed biomass. For example, moisture content of the biomass as received from the point of production has a significant impact on overall system efficiency and can significantly affect the characteristics (particle size distribution, flowability, storability, etc.) of the size-reduced biomass. Many different grinder configurations are available on the market, each with advantages under specific conditions. Ultimately, the capacity and/or efficiency of the grinding process can be enhanced by selecting the grinder configuration that optimizes grinder performance based on moisture content and screen size. This paper discusses the relationships of biomass moisture with respect to preprocessing system performance and product physical characteristics and compares data obtained on corn stover, switchgrass, and wheat straw as model feedstocks during Vermeer HG 200 grinder testing. During the tests, grinder screen configuration and biomass moisture content were varied and tested to provide a better understanding of their relative impact on machine performance and the resulting feedstock physical characteristics and uniformity relative to each crop tested.

  13. Halophytes Energy Feedstocks: Back to Our Roots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendricks, Robert C.; Bushnell, Dennis M.

    2008-01-01

    Of the Earth s landmass, approx.43% is arid or semi-arid, and 97% of the Earth s water is seawater. Halophytes are salt-tolerant plants (micro and macro) that can prosper in seawater or brackish waters and are common feedstocks for fuel and food (fuel-food feedstocks) in depressed countries. Two types, broadly classed as coastal and desert, can be found in marshes, coastal planes, inland lakes, and deserts. Major arid or semi-arid halophyte agriculture problems include pumping and draining the required high volumes of irrigation water from sea or ocean sources. Also, not all arid or semi-arid lands are suitable for crops. Benefits of halophyte agriculture include freeing up arable land and freshwater resources, cleansing the environment, decontaminating soils, desalinating brackish waters, and carbon sequestration. Sea and ocean halophyte agriculture problems include storms, transport, and diffuse harvesting. Benefits include available nutrients, ample water, and Sun. Careful attention to details and use of saline agriculture fuel feedstocks are required to prevent anthropogenic disasters. It is shown that the potential for fuel-food feedstock halophyte production is high; based on test plot data, it could supply 421.4 Quad, or 94% of the 2004 world energy consumption and sequester carbon, with major impact on the Triangle of Conflicts.

  14. Chemical or feedstock recycling of WEEE products

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tukker, A.

    2012-01-01

    This chapter reviews initiatives with regard to chemical or feedstock recycling of plastics waste from electrical and electronic products. eurostat estimates the amount of waste from electrical and electronic products that is collected is 2.2 million tonnes. Roughly 20% of this waste consists of pla

  15. Impacts of bioenergy feedstock production on environmental factors in the Central U.S. using an agroecosystem model (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twine, T. E.; Vanloocke, A. D.; Williams, M.; Bernacchi, C.

    2010-12-01

    The Renewable Fuel Standard in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires annual U.S. production of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, nearly half of this from cellulosic biofuels. We have little guidance as to where to grow bioenergy feedstocks to maximize yield without competing for food resources, and little understanding of the environmental and economic impacts of their production. Furthermore, it is unclear how bioenergy feedstocks might be incorporated into the current landscape to minimize environmental consequences. Numerical models allow us to predict environmental impacts across large spatial domains and long time periods by simulating the response of potential feedstocks to drivers such as soil type and climate. We used the Agro-IBIS (Integrated Biosphere Simulator, agricultural version) model to quantify the impacts on Midwest U.S. water and energy budgets from land use for bioenergy production. We analyzed effects of changes in land cover (e.g., from current crops to perennial grasses) as well as changes in management (e.g., removal of crop residues for fuel). Our analyses indicate that perennial grasses can substantially increase evapotranspiration (water transport to the atmosphere) in locations where fraction cover is greater than 25%. This change in evapotranspiration is lowest in regions where current crops and grasses are highly productive and evapotranspiration is large, and is highest in semi-arid regions where productivity is lower. These results imply that growing bioenergy feedstocks on marginal lands could have substantial effects on water resources.

  16. Gaining ground in the modeling of land-use change greenhouse gas emissions associated with biofuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, J.; Mueller, S.; Kwon, H.; Wang, M.; Wander, M.

    2012-12-01

    Land-use change (LUC) resulting from biofuel feedstock production and the associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a hotly-debated aspect of biofuels. Certainly, LUC GHG emissions are one of the most uncertain elements in life cycle analyses (LCA) of biofuels. To estimate LUC GHG emissions, two sets of data are necessary. First, information on the amount and type of land that is converted to biofuel feedstock production is required. These data are typically generated through application of computable general equilibrium (CGE) models such as Purdue University's Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model. Second, soil carbon content data for the affected land types is essential. Recently, Argonne National Laboratory's Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB) has been updated with CGE modeling results that estimate the amount and type of LUC world-wide from production of ethanol from corn, corn stover, miscanthus, and switchgrass (Mueller et al. 2012). Moreover, we have developed state-specific carbon content data, determined through modeling with CENTURY, for the two most dominant soil types in the conterminous 48 U.S. states (Kwon et al. 2012) to enable finer-resolution results for domestic LUC GHG emissions for these ethanol production scenarios. Of the feedstocks examined, CCLUB estimates that LUC GHG emissions are highest for corn ethanol (9.1 g CO2e/MJ ethanol) and lowest for miscanthus (-12 g CO2e/MJ ethanol). We will present key observations from CCLUB results incorporated into Argonne National Laboratory's Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model, which is a LCA tool for transportation fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. We will discuss selected issues in this modeling, including the sensitivity of domestic soil carbon emission factors to modeling parameters and assumptions about the fate of harvested wood products. Further, we will discuss efforts to update CCLUB with county

  17. BIOFUEL FROM CORN STOVER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ljiljanka Tomerlin

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with production of ethyl alcohol (biofuel from corn stover acid hydrolysate by yeasts, respectively at Pichia stipitis y-7124 and Pachysolen tannophilus y-2460 and Candida shehatae y-12856. Since moist corn stover (Hybryds 619 is proving to decomposition by phyllospheric microflora. It was (conserved spattered individually by microbicids: Busan-90, Izosan-G and formalin. In form of prismatic bales, it was left in the open air during 6 months (Octobar - March. At the beginning and after 6 months the microbiological control was carried out. The only one unspattered (control and three stover corn bals being individually spattered by microbicids were fragmented and cooked with sulfur acid. The obtained four acid hydrolysates are complex substratums, containing, apart from the sugars (about 11 g dm-3 pentosa and about 5.4 g dm-3 hexose, decomposite components as lignin, caramel sugars and uronic acids. By controlling the activity of the mentioned yeasts it was confirmed that yeasts Pichia stipitis y-7124 obtained best capability of ethyl alcohol production from corn stover acid hydrolysate at 0.23 vol. % to 0.49 vol. %.